Archive for  January 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Students at Drake University gathered on Tuesday night to watch President Trump deliver his State of the Union Address.

The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement hosted the watch party at its office near campus. There was pizza and bingo, and students from both political parties were on hand to listen to the president’s speech, then analyze and discuss his message. The students said the personal stories highlighted by the president were the aspects of the speech that stood out to them the most.

“There’s a lot of personal stories,” said Allyson Miller, an undergraduate student. “He brought a lot of guests. I guess I wasn’t really expecting to see so many guests for each topic that he was touching on, so I’d say that kind of surprised me.”

“For class tomorrow, I wrote down the four pillars that he talked about in his immigration policy,” said Catherine Anderson, another undergraduate student. “I thought those were interesting and I think it’s definitely going to be something that we hear a lot more about in the coming months. We also were all really kind of taken aback about the story about the homeless pregnant woman where the police officer adopted the child. That was really pretty heartwarming and a neat story and one that really brings the seriousness of the opioid crisis and brings it to a real world perspective.”

According to the New York Times, Ronald Reagan invited Lenny Skutnik, who saved a woman from drowning after a plane crash, to the State of the Union in 1982. Since then, presidents have kept the tradition of inviting guests.

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Tax filing season is here again, and a metro school is working to make the process a little easier.

Starting on Wednesday, DMACC will offer free tax help at its urban campus on 7th Street. Students certified by the IRS will help prepare and file taxes for anyone with an income under $58,000.

This is the 11th year DMACC has offered the service.

VINTON, Iowa  —  A northeast Iowa woman accused of hoarding hundreds of animals appeared in court for the first time on Monday.

Police seized 500-1,000 animals from a home in Vinton earlier this month. The animals included rabbits, mice, hedgehogs, turtles, fish, and hamsters, among others. Prosecutors say the animals were abused, and during Monday’s hearing argued against returning them to their owner.

“There was an instance where there was two rabbits in a cage, one was dead, the other one was consuming its flesh because it had no food or water,” said veterinarian Dr. Ennen Leigh.

The animals’ owner, Barbara Galkowski, presented pet food receipts trying to prove the animals were cared for and fed. Galkowski also took the stand, saying some of the animals were kept in small cages and moved into the house temporarily to get them out of the cold in the garage. She said the rabbits were only typically kept in small crates when they traveled to shows, and were moved into them shortly before they were removed from the home because her daughter was “concerned they were going to die.”

The judge did not issue a ruling on the custody of the animals, which are currently being cared for by area animal shelters. Galkowski is not currently facing any criminal charges.

STORM LAKE, Iowa  —  The Iowa DNR is helping with a massive wastewater leak into Storm Lake.

The leak was discovered on Monday morning on the northeast shore of the lake near King’s Pointe Resort. The DNR says the leak started sometime on Friday when crews damaged a large sewer line during a repair work.

The damage caused up to 500 gallons of untreated wastewater to spill into the lake every minute. As of 3 p.m. on Monday, the DNR was still working to fix the leak. That works out to nearly two million gallons of waste water released into the lake.

The DNR is encouraging people to avoid the area, but say fish caught in the lake are still safe to eat if rinsed off before cleaning.

In this week’s What’s Bugging Andy, Andy Fales says dismissive cries of Fake News can’t quiet an American truth: investigative journalism is as powerful and meaningful as ever.



DES MOINES, Iowa  —  The fire that took out Plaza Lanes last month also took away a venue for high school bowling teams.

This meant the Iowa High School Athletic Association had to find a new place to hold the state tournament. Earlier this week, the association announced Cadillac Lanes in Waterloo would host the three-day tournament, in which 60 teams will compete.

The alley’s owners say when they heard the news about Plaza Lanes they offered to do anything they could to make the state competition a success. They are proud of the opportunity to bring so many bowlers to their city.

“To be given the opportunity to host it, that’s not just an economic impact, but it is a feather in our cap for our association and for all the teams that have programs here in Waterloo,” said Mike Hackbarth, Cadillac Lanes’ general manager.

Before the state competition, teams must get through regionals. The teams who make it compete in Waterloo from February 19th-21st.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Olympic Gold Medalist, figure skater and cancer survivor Scott Hamilton visited Des Moines Saturday to speak at the Rally Against Cancer and tour the John Stoddard Cancer Center.

“When I come to towns to help raise money for cancer I like to come to the hospitals and tour and see the culture and the different cancer centers around the country. It’s always great to meet the patients. I was in one of those beds, more than once and it’s really nice to share somebody’s day,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said during his battle with cancer, he was inspired to help others know exactly how chemotherapy works and remind patients they’re not alone.

One patient he visited with is Nancy Cayler.

Cayler started treatment for leukemia in 2016 and just when she thought she was out of the rough she found out she relapsed and is back for more treatment.

“The relapse has probably been a little harder emotionally than what the original diagnosis was. Going into it the first time you don’t know what to expect and going into it the second time you don’t know what is ahead,” Cayler said.

Cayler said meeting another survivor, like Hamilton, is uplifting especially because she loved ice skating as a young girl.

“I always enjoyed ice skating. I liked the feel of it. I don’t know what it was about the ice that just made you so free and kind of like you’re flying. And I will love the book and this will be an inspiration to me forever,” Cayler said.

Hamilton dropped off a copy of his new book “Finish First” to every patient he saw today.

Hamilton said it’s important to have faith.

“I’ve lived long enough and been through enough to know that this too shall pass. And it’s keeping people saying, I think you’re going to be just fine. I just feel it. There is just something about right here right now, I just feel it you’re going to be great. It’s good to hear those words.”

Cayler said attitude, optimism and prayer are what keeps her going.

“Now you’re here and fighting for your life and it’s always nice to be given a little wind in our sails, be given a ray sunshine and some optimism and hope from somebody that’s been there done that,” Hamilton said.

If you would like to donate or find out more about chemotherapy Hamilton has two websites, Scott Hamilton and Chemo Care.

NORWALK, Iowa  —  It’s a game most people either loved or hated in grade school, but a local organization found a way to draw adults back to the activity.

The Law Enforcement Torch Run hosted a dodgeball tournament to raise money for Special Olympics Iowa. Dozens of teams faced off in the competition at Lakewood Elementary School in Norwalk on Saturday. This is the fourth year the fundraiser has taken place.

Organizers say it’s all about camaraderie and raising funds that will help more than 14,000 Special Olympic athletes compete in the state.

The event raised more than $10,000.

CLIVE, Iowa  —  The workday for some people inside a metro pharmacy included a trip to the hospital on Friday afternoon, after seven employees fell mysteriously ill inside a Walgreens in Clive.

What caused them to become sick, however, is still a question emergency crews are asking.

Just after 3 p.m., Haz-Mat crews scoured the Walgreens on 128th and University, trying to figure out what caused the employees to be sent to the hospital with vomiting, dizziness, and headaches.

“Once they were in fresh air, no further treatment was necessary as far as we’ve been told,” said Clive Fire Chief Rick Roe.

The Haz-Mat team was able to rule out carbon monoxide and natural gas, and as far as they could tell there was nothing wrong, leaving the cause of the incident a mystery.

“The employees weren’t sick when they came to work, we made sure they weren’t sharing the same amount of food, we made sure there weren’t any spills, we made sure they weren’t doing any unusual mixing of pharmaceuticals, we just slowly ruled all of that out,” said Roe. “Our theory is that something may have been brought in from the outside air through the air handling systems, so they’re bringing in some crews to look at that and see if there’s anything that needs to be cleaned or filtered out of there.”

With people still working to figure what caused it, officials say they’re relieved they didn’t find anything hazardous.

“Sometimes in our line of work that is a happy thought, because there is nothing hazardous in the building that could make people, employees, customers potentially sick,” said Nola Aigner with the Polk County Health Department.

Still, customers who showed up after the crews left were happy Walgreens decided to shut down for the night.

“It’s pretty scary, I mean, this is somewhere I frequently go and I wouldn’t want to see anything bad happen to anyone who didn’t know what was going on,” said Jordan Grimm, who had to find a different pharmacy to pick up his daughter’s prescription.

Aigner says Polk County Health will continue monitoring the building.

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  One of Iowa’s biggest cultural festivals returns this weekend for its 20th year.

I’ll Make Me A World In Iowa is a celebration of African American heritage including food, music, and art. Admission to the festival is free and includes free entertainment.

This year’s festival will be headlined with an appearance by film star Larenz Tate with a performance by Carl Thomas, and Channel 13’s Jodi Whitworth will be emceeing.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday at the Iowa Events Center.