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Vietnam Vets pull out of Bluffs parade over Tiger Cage controversy

News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A parade scheduled to take place Saturday in Council Bluffs will feature several floats and participants, but a local veterans group has pulled out after they were asked not to display a replica of a cell designed to hold Prisoners of War. The Council Bluffs Daily NonPareil reports members of the local Vietnam Vets of America group will not be participating because parade officials oppose their “tiger cage,” which the group president said is simply a loose representation of what Vietnam prisoners of war endured. One of the parade’s emcees has also threatened to pull out of the parade unless event officials change their minds.

An event spokesperson said the parade entry submitted by the veterans group doesn’t reflect the theme of the parade, which is “CB Better Together.” Celebrate CB is a private event organized by a group of local volunteers. It is not affiliated with the city of Council Bluffs and has not been affiliated with Council Bluffs schools since 1978.

The local veterans group’s representation of the “tiger cage,” was constructed out of the same bamboo material that held Vietnam-era POW’s, and features with a captain’s flight suit inside representing a soldier. A parade official said the float was detrimental to children and refused its showing during the parade. The same float was in the parade last year, according to a veterans representative, and there were no complaints.

Ben Wiese said he believes only one or two people complained about the float to parade officials, who then decided to pull the plug. Parade committee member Lynne Branigan said the parade committee monitors every float each year to ensure the parade theme is followed. She admitted the float should not have been allowed last year, and said the committee reserves the right to accept or deny requests to participate in any of their 10 days of events, including the parade, if the entries don’t reflect the theme.

Iowa early News Headlines: Friday, May 16th 2014

News

May 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economy appears to be gaining strength in rural parts of Nebraska, Iowa and eight other Midwest states. The overall economic index for the region improved to 55.6 in May from April’s 53.2, suggesting growth in the months ahead across the rural Midwest.

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a convicted sex offender faces felony charges after he was found hiding under a child’s bed in Bettendorf. The Quad-City Times reports the two charges were filed Tuesday for 33-year-old Julien Skipper. He remains at the Scott County Jail. Police say Skipper was found April 19th hiding at a neighbor’s apartment as officers investigated a disturbance call. He was arrested at the time and charged with possession with intent to deliver and a parole violation.

FAIRFIELD, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say they have discovered a marijuana growing operation at a home near a southeast Iowa high school. The Fairfield Police Department tells the Ottumwa Courier it executed a search warrant Wednesday at a home close to Fairfield High School owned by 63-year-old Campbell Hair.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Loras College in Dubuque has received a $1 million donation for its business education program. The private college announced Tuesday that Andrew and Mary Pat Studdert had contributed the $1 million to fund the Andrew P. Studdert Endowed Chair in Business Ethics and Crisis Leadership. The contribution is part of a $75 million fundraising campaign at Loras, a Catholic college with about 1,600 students.

Frost Advisory early Friday morning

News, Weather

May 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

345 PM CDT THU MAY 15 2014

…NEAR FREEZING TEMPERATURES EXPECTED TONIGHT…

A WEAK AREA OF HIGH PRESSURE WILL PUSH INTO WESTERN IOWA TONIGHT. MOSTLY CLEAR SKIES AND LIGHT WINDS WILL ALLOW FOR TEMPERATURES TO FALL TO NEAR FREEZING IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS. FROST WILL BE POSSIBLE.

COUNTIES: SAC-CRAWFORD-CARROLL-AUDUBON-GUTHRIE-DALLAS-CASS-ADAIR-MADISON-ADAMS-UNION-TAYLOR-RINGGOLD.

…FROST ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 7 AM CDT FRIDAY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN DES MOINES HAS ISSUED A FROST ADVISORY…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 4 AM TO 7 AM CDT FRIDAY.

* TIMING…TEMPERATURES WILL FALL THROUGHOUT THE OVERNIGHT HOURS…WITH THE COLDEST TEMPERATURES OCCURRING IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS NEAR SUNRISE.

* TEMPERATURE…LOWS FROM NEAR FREEZING TO THE UPPER 30S ARE EXPECTED.

* IMPACTS…SENSITIVE OUTDOOR VEGETATION COULD BE DAMAGED OR KILLED IF LEFT UNPROTECTED…ESPECIALLY IN SHELTERED OR LOW LYING AREAS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A FROST ADVISORY MEANS THAT FROST IS POSSIBLE. SENSITIVE OUTDOOR PLANTS MAY BE KILLED IF LEFT UNCOVERED.

Argosy seeks bankruptcy protection to save casino

News

May 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The owner of the Argosy riverboat casino in Sioux City has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an effort to stop its scheduled closing. Belle of Sioux City LP filed for Chapter 11 protection Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Des Moines. The Sioux City Journal reports Belle, the Iowa-based subsidiary of Penn National Gaming Co., has asked a judge for an automatic stay or temporary injunction of an order to shut down the casino by July 1.

An expedited hearing on the request is scheduled Friday in U.S. District Court in Reading, Pennsylvania. The company wants the stay until Penn’s lawsuit against the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is resolved. Penn has criticized the bidding process for a license that later went to another developer.

Economy improving in rural parts of 10 states

News

May 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economy appears to be gaining strength in rural parts of 10 Plains and Western states. The overall economic index for the region improved to 55.6 in May from April’s 53.2, suggesting growth in the months ahead.

The survey of bankers in the region uses indexes that range from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. A score above 50 suggests growth in that factor in the months ahead. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey. He says the results show the economy is improving in these rural areas that depend heavily on agriculture and energy production.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

Heavy rains lessen drought in Iowa, Nebraska

Ag/Outdoor, News, Weather

May 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Recent heavy rainfall has washed away or at least lessened drought conditions in swaths of Nebraska and Iowa. A report released Thursday by the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln says drenching rains led to significant improvements for areas of the two states considered to be in drought. Brian Fuchs, a climatologist at the center, says overall drought reduced last week by nearly 12 percent in Iowa and about 17 percent in Nebraska.

The report says western Iowa saw the greatest improvement in the state. Nebraska saw a substantial reduction in the east-central region, with a pocket now considered drought-free. Fuchs says the improvements seen within the past week are noteworthy, as changes in drought status typically occur slowly.

Atlantic men arrested on warrants, Wednesday

News

May 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Two Atlantic men were arrested Wednesday, on Cass County warrants for Failure to Appear at their respective Child Support/Contempt hearings. Atlantic Police report 51-year old Larry Will and 54-year old Trent Schroeder were booked into the Cass County Jail.

University of Iowa seen as less welcoming

News

May 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The president of the Iowa Board of Regents says the University of Iowa is viewed as less welcoming than the two other state universities. The Iowa City Press-Citizen says President Bruce Rastetter told the University of Iowa Staff Council on Wednesday that the university “typically has come in third as a choice for college of Iowans.”

He says state officials consistently hear from parents that they don’t feel as welcomed on the Iowa City campus as they do at Iowa State University in Ames and the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

Rastetter also told the council that UI doesn’t recruit as aggressively as the other universities for in-state students and that ISU and UNI do more follow-up after campus visits.

UI plans sex assault intervention training

News

May 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa plans to provide bystander intervention training at fraternities and sororities to help combat sexual assaults. Tom Rocklin is vice president for student life and he told the Iowa City Press-Citizen  that the entire UI Greek community has agreed to take the annual training, which begins in fall. That’s about 3,000 students.

Rocklin says the training isn’t about stopping a rape in progress, but it is aimed at “getting someone out of a situation that has a lot of risk to it.” The university is developing a similar program for bar workers.

Harlan’s Cox receives Public Works Award

News

May 15th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the American Public Works Association or APWA have presented the Harlan City Administrator with an award for being one of the 2014 Top Ten Public Works Leaders of the Year. The presentation for Terry Cox was held on Tuesday at the Therkildsen Activity Center in Harlan. During the presentation, several guest speakers stood in front of the audience of around 40 people including Harlan Mayor Gene Gettys, Iowa APWA President Tracy Warner and the National APWA President-elect Larry Stephens.

Stephens said in his speech, Cox is one of a select group to win the award. “The Top Ten Award started in 1960 and as you (Gettys) eluded to over the years that’s about 55 years, there have been about 550 recipients of this award and that’s over the last half century. That’s not a lot of people. And in an association that’s nearly 29,000 members and represents the entire public works profession, you are one of a small number of individuals to receive this award.”

The Top Ten Award recognizes those individuals who personify excellence in serving the public interest in the field of public works. Stephens called it the highest award a member of the APWA can receive. Cox was presented a plaque with a medal inside. Cox took to the podium and thanked his staff at city hall, past and current city council members and mayors and all the city officials. Cox has been working with the city of Harlan for 37 years and will receive the same award in front of his peers in Toronto, Canada at a convention in September.

(Joel McCall/KNOD)