Drake basketball coach Tom Davis is pleased with the Bulldogs’ schedule for the upcoming season. Thirteen home games, including a December 20th matchup with Iowa State highlight the schedule. Drake will also take part in the Bracket Buster on February 21st, a day of games designed to give mid-major conference teams added exposure. They go on the road this year and then get a guarantee of a regular home game the next year. Davis says television exposure will depend on the quality of the matchup. He says it’s exciting for Drake, and he says they have nothing to lose and it’s worth the risk.Davis will return to Carver-Hawkeye Arena for a matchup with Iowa on November 25th.
Archives for August 2003
Anyone who’s seen the TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” will understand the concept of what’s going to happen on a Des Moines stage tonight. Two teams of improvisational comedians will be facing off in what they’re calling “Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Comedy.” Shawn Wilson is a member of the group called “The Brink” and says audience participation is key. Wilson says the comedians will ask for suggestions from the audience like, “Give me a place that would fit on this stage,” like a kitchen or an amusement park ride, and based on the suggestion, an improvisational scene will be created. The twist to this evening’s show is, the event pits two teams of comedians against one another, working with the same suggestions for a score. The event will feature at least ten comedians from Wilson’s group and from another comedy troupe called The Comedy Xperiment, both based in central Iowa. Wilson says the suggestions often venture into the bizarre, like having to portray Elvis vacuuming the carpet, except the carpet is made of earthworms. He says being thrown into impossible situations and having to make sense of them is the fulfilling challenge of improvisation. The show is at 8 P.M. tonight at the Vaudeville Mews in downtown Des Moines. For more information, call (515) 243-3270 or surf to “http://thebrink.home.mchsi.com”. Wilson says tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door or $10,000,000 if you are the latest Powerball winner.
A Grinnell doctor’s quick thinking may have saved a child from injury or death in a hot car this week, after the absent-minded mother made a couple dangerous mistakes. Doctor David Coster says it was not a case of a forgotten baby, though there was an immediate risk to the child on that hot Monday. A patient was in a hurry to make way for another car trying to park out front of the office, and closed the door with her infant daughter inside, not realizing it would lock and she’d left her keys in the car. The forecast Monday was for highs in the 90s. He could see right away there was trouble as the child in the car was very flushed and listless. Alerted by a patient who’d looked out the window, Dr. Coster went to the car where the distraught mother was at a loss. He says the mother was frantic and had called her partner instead of police, and was waiting for help from someone who was 20 minutes away. The doctor broke a window and got the child out of the car, but says anyone who drives with children in the car should consider what they’d do in the same situation. He says you can’t think clearly, but the best advice is to call 911 if it’s possible, and if not to go to the nearest place where someone CAN call for help. The child was taken from the car unharmed.
The first three awards from the state’s new economic development fund have been to companies in the financial services, computer and life science industries. Earlier this month, Wells Fargo received a 10-million dollar grant, and this past week computer software designer got a million and TransOva Genetics received a nine million dollar commitment. But Governor Tom Vilsack is seeking to assure one of the state’s traditional industries that it is not forgotten. Vilsack says state officials “must not and will not forget” the state’s manufacturing industry as he says manufacturing is an important segment of Iowa’s economy. He says state officials have been working with a number of long-standing industries to retain the good-paying jobs, and the Governor says that effort will continue.
A southwestern Iowa firm that makes parts for engines including the space shuttle got a visit from a real astronaut Friday. Commander Barry “Butch” Wilmore talked with some workers from Fansteel Wellman Dynamics and the chamber of commerce in Creston, about the shuttle. Wilmore says the “elbow” that carries liquid oxygen is made at the Creston plant and plays a big role in getting the shuttle into orbit. Wilmore brought pictures and video clips to show how the technology comes together to help put humans into space. Wilmore says seeing the factory impressed upon him how many workers it takes to get the shuttle off the ground, and he told the workers the flow of fuel is a critical part of his successful mission on the shuttle. If there’s a “hiccup” in the steady flow of fuel it can be catastrophic for the engine, so the quality of workmanship is vital. Wilmore talked with workers Friday in Creston, signed autographs, and talked about his first impressions of Iowa. Having been a Navy pilot for 17 years, Wilmore says he’s flown over Iowa but never driven through the state before and now he’s gotten a look at it, he said “You guys need rain!”Wilmore says it reminds him of a drought year in his native Tennessee. Lockheed Martin, a client of the Creston business, helped sponsor the astronaut’s visit to the Fansteel Wellman plant.
A fire drill the first full week of classes was more than just practice, for kids at an Afton school. Steve Clark’s superintendent at East Union of Afton and says a fan overheated. It started to smoke and tripped fire alarms and smoke detectors and the volunteer fire department came. Clark says firefighters brought in big exhaust fans to take out the oily smoke from the overheated motor and a school nurse checked students in three nearby classrooms. He says none of the kids complained of any problems, as he says smoke detectors in the school “triggered” so early the kids all got out fast. The school lost only about forty minutes of classroom time in the Friday fire alarm. Clark says they had just decided in an administrative meeting to schedule fire drills next week. The overheated fan motor was in a mechanical closet near the school building’s restrooms. The superintendent praised the fast work of firefighters, who are all volunteers with other fulltime jobs.
Motorists in the state’s largest city have seen some progress on what’s one of the state’s largest ever construction projects. The Iowa Department of Transportation is in the midst of project to rebuild I-235 through the capital city. D-O-T spokesman Bill Lusher says much of the effort this construction season has focused on the bridges along the route. He says all of the bridges over the freeway will eventually be replaces, or widened and improved. Lusher says things have gone well with the project. He says they’re on schedule and have benefited from the dry weather in getting the work done. One of the challenges of the project has been working along one of the most heavily traveled areas of the state without shutting down traffic. Lusher says it seems like they’ve accomplished that.He says they’ve done a lot of coordinating with the city to make changes in traffic flow to keep traffic moving. As for the actual construction, he says crews haven’t come across any major hurdles they can’t work around. He says they’ve run into hitting some rock unexpectedly and high water caused some problems earlier this year. The I-235 project is still several years from completion, and will include removal and replacement of the pavement on the roadway before all the work is done.
The president of the League of Women Voters of Iowa says the group isn’t just for women. Jan McNelly of Webster City says the League of Women Voters is open to men, too. Men have been eligible for League of Women Voters membership for 30 years, and about 10 percent of the members in Iowa are men. To become a member, one need only be 18 or older, and be a legal U.S. resident. McNelly says the League’s mission is to help “concerned citizens” learn more about issues. She says it’s important to learn more about what candidates will do if elected rather than to learn about their personalities. McNelly was among those celebrating Women’s Suffrage Day this past week — the 83rd anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which gave women the right to vote. McNally says the work women suffragists started is not finished — and she says members of the League of Women Voters “are ready to work.” The League of Women Voters was formed in 1920 and has been active in Iowa, which boasted some of the prominent names in the women’s suffrage movement. The League has over 700 members in Iowa and has a history of political action. The League of Women Voters successfully challenged the Congressional redistricting plan the Iowa Legislature crafted in 1972.
A Clarinda native is featured in a new horror movie that opens up this weekend. Bill Aaron Brown is a 1998 graduate of Clarinda High School and is in “Jeepers Creepers 2” — a sequel to the first movie. He says the “Creeper” comes back every 23 years for 23 days to eat people’s body parts to survive — eyes to see, hearts to live. Brown says in his film, the monster attacks a busload of high school kids.He says they’ve just won a high school basketball championship and are on their way home when the creeper attacks the bus. Brown plays the nerdy team manager Bucky in what he says is a departure from the other roles he’s played.Brown says he went in for four different roles before he got this one, which was the only role left. Brown hopes this film does as well as the original.He says the first one did really well on Labor Day weekend two or three years ago. He says there’s some competition from the film “Freddy versus Jason”, but he thinks it will do okay. Brown continues to play a reoccurring role as Kyle on the TV sitcom “Eight Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter.” he’s also appeared in other TV shows such as “Boston Public” and two movies with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen.
An annual draft horse show’s underway in Britt, showcasing the original horsepower that plowed the prairies. Organizer Melanie Hiscock says this is one of the biggest draft-horse “hitch” shows in North America. In the draft-horse industry she says they refer to this as “the Britt Show” and everyone knows where and what that is, and Hiscock adds it draws competitors from many states and Canada as well as spectators who’ll drive 6-8 hours just to see it. Secretary-treasurer today, Hiscock says this is the 22nd annual show. Britt’s lucky to bring in team “hitches” from all over the country — as far as Idaho, Texas and Nova Scotia, Canada, with 19 six-horse hitches in all. Hiscock says this is a salute to history as well as a qualifying show for the “Classic Series Show Circuit.” She calls it a great family activity, with kids of all ages up to the fellows who remember farming with horses and like to watch and compare notes about old times. The Britt Draft Horse show will run through Sunday at the Hancock County Fairgrounds.