Archive for  April 2018

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Congressman Steve King says airport travelers don’t have enough options when it comes to how they get their news, and that CNN has too much control. Congressman King has submitted an amendment to the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, that he says would allow for greater broadcast choice for the nation’s travelers.

CNN programming airs on the television screens at some 60 airports across the country, including Des Moines International Airport.

“I`m all for all different views, news at airports,” said Mark Berthelsen, a traveler from Oregon. “I always see CNN here, at all airports, and so seeing some Fox News would be good with me. I`m for that.”

“I think you should have both ends of the spectrum,” said Chet McDonough, a traveler from Florida. “You should have the liberal side, the conservative side, and let`s go from there, right? The right side, the left side, and, maybe somebody in the middle.”

The travelers we caught up with at Des Moines International Airport said they’re all for diversity of viewpoint when it comes to the news, but they don’t think the government should get involved.

“I think the market should play to that,” said Berthelsen. “I don`t think it has to be any government mandate to do that, but I`d like to see just diverse news.”

Diane McDonald, a traveler from Ames, says there’s especially no need for regulation, because of all of the different options people already have: in their own hands.

“I think that there is no need for the government to regulate when there is the access for social media,” said McDonald. “People have the option to use their phones and access any station or any outlet for opinions, news, opinions that they can, they want.”

But Congressman King says that CNN has an ‘airport monopoly’ and that travelers are a “captive audience.”

“I’m a captive audience,” admitted McDonald. “I don’t usually use my phone, except to check personal information, but if someone feels strongly about it, they can always…choose not to watch and use their own devices to get a different viewpoint.”

On Congressman King’s Facebook page, opinions on this matter vary, but some question whether the congressman getting involved in this issue is the best use of his time and energy.

One airport that does not have an agreement with CNN is the one in Sioux City: Sioux Gateway Airport. That airport is located in Congressman King’s district: Iowa’s 4th congressional district.

 

 

URBANDALE, Iowa — Instead of counting down the days to summer fun summer fun, some Urbandale parents like Nicole Schwegler are feeling frustrated.  “I was hurt, I was angry, I was confused and I was mad,” said the mother of three children within Urbandale Community School District.

A week ago Schwegler says the Urbandale CSD notified her that her fourth grade son Joey, who is autistic, will be forced to switch schools and attend Webster Elementary along with other level three special education students next school year.  He’s been here since Pre-K.  He’s grown up with these kids. This is our home,” she said, referring to Rolling Green Elementary.

The district believes special education teachers currently are not able collaborate well enough to best serve the students.  They responded saying
“Teacher collaboration directly supports better services and learning for students, which is why we determined a better long-term solution would be to more fully utilize the space at Webster elementary in order to welcome additional students with special needs, and their teachers, as it provides the greatest handicap-accessible areas and supports when compared to our other elementary buildings.”

Schwegler responded saying, “Taking them away from their core family is not helping them.  It doesn’t matter what the teacher collaboration is.”

Tiffany Vasquez-Dewein’s daughter Brenna is a classmate of Joey’s but is considered a level two special education student and will not have to move.  She is having trouble understanding why her friend has to leave.  Tiffany said, “She asked me if they were being punished because they learn differently and why she wasn’t being punished.”

Schwegler says throwing off a steady routine for Joey and other special ed students could be disastrous.  “It takes two months of me prepping him for a fifteen minute hair cut.  Kids on the spectrum need time to transition,” said Schwegler.

The move impacts thirteen of the three hundred and thirty-one K-12 special education students within the district.  “They are choosing to affect the thirteen most vulnerable kids in the school.  He is getting set up for failure,” said Schwegler.

A parent and student petition has been set up in hopes of holding the move off until the fall of 2019 to give the special education students more time to ease into the change.  Siblings of the students moving have also been given the chance to transfer into Webster Elementary.

PRAIRIE CITY, Iowa  —  What happened in the lunchroom of Prairie City-Monroe Middle School last week is the subject of controversy, as one parent is speaking out and putting the blame on the school’s principal.

Jennifer Miles, the mother of an eighth grade student at PCM, says she’s very upset with Principal Ty Weatherman. Miles says Weatherman allowed eighth grade students to essentially bully the sixth graders by letting them leave a mess in the lunchroom and making the sixth grade students clean it up.

According to Miles, the sixth grade students have been leaving a mess on the tables at lunch for weeks. Then on Wednesday, there was early dismissal, so the lunches were switched and the eighth grade students got to eat first. The allegation is that the eighth grade students were told it was okay for them to leave a mess for the sixth graders–and were even egged on to do so–and that sixth grade students had to then clean up the mess. However, Miles says that sent the wrong message and was not the right way to teach the kids a lesson.

“It just sends a message to our kids that it’s okay to retaliate and bully other kids, and that’s not the kind of message we want to send here at PCM,” she said. “If it had been taken care of without involving the eighth graders, that’s where I think it should have ended, you know? If the sixth grade children were leaving a mess, for weeks and weeks at a time, then why didn’t the principal have them clean it up? Why did he allow eighth grade students to retaliate against them and bully them?”

While Miles disagrees with Weatherman’s alleged actions, another parent who did not want to be identified said she understands the lesson the principal may have been trying to teach.

In response to the incident, the school’s superintendent provided the following statement:

“This is matter is under review in accordance with the District’s established process for investigating and resolving complaints.  The District does not comment on pending complaints.” 

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Ninety-six-year-old Mike Fremont of Ohio stopped running marathons when he was 90. On Tuesday, Fremont set his sights on setting a new American record in the road race mile–and he did it.

Fremont finished the Grand Blue Mile in 13 minutes 55 seconds.

Fremont will attempt a world record in his age group on Friday night in the 800 meters. That race takes place at Drake Stadium.

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Instead of the car lot, several vehicles are likely headed to the junkyard.

On Monday afternoon, a semi transporting multiple vehicles slammed into a railroad bridge, causing damage to the cars on top. A white Ford F-150 was pushed back into several other cars on the trailer.

No one was injured in the crash.

The truck clipped the top of the bridge just below the sign warning drivers of low clearance.

VAN METER, Iowa  —  The Iowa DNR recently conducted a controlled burn at Badger Creek State Recreation Area.

On April 12th, 120 acres were intentionally burned in order to remove trees from prairie areas, destroy dead grass and leaves that collect over the winter, and help with new growth during spring.

Just two weeks after the fire, it appears to be working. New green plants are already showing up in the area that was burned.

In this week’s FaceOff, Keith Murphy and John Sears discuss several timely topics, but somehow it ends with John doing a wall sit.

John Sears thinks the national champion Grand View volleyball team was interesting long before it won the title.

ANKENY, Iowa — About 80 Algona High School band students and staff were on a day trip when they were caught in a crash on I-35 around 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

“So it was a chain reaction the pickup pulling the boat had to slow down. The first school bus rear ended the boat and it caused damage to the front of that bus and the second school bus rear ended the first one. So we would consider that moderate damage, what we saw when we arrived on scene,” Ankeny Fire Department Lieutenant Barry Schmidt said.

Lieutenant Schmidt said there were no serious injuries.

“We notified Polk County Emergency Management and they sent two DART buses up there to pick up all of the people and bring them back here to station one,” Schmidt said.

The Algona Superintendent said they were in between stops on the trip when the crash happened.

“So today was a day trip for our high school band. They had stopped in Ames and done a indoor fun park type thing and then we were on our way down to the mall and then we are heading to Les Mis tonight. So we were on our way between that first stop and the mall and ended up in a car accident out here on the interstate,” Algona Superintendent Marty Fonley said.

Fonley said the crash made some of the students anxious, but they still wanted to finish the day how they planned.

“They’re looking forward to the show still. The kids are pretty excited. We talked when we got here about do we want to go onto the show or do you want to just go home, do you want the buses to come down and get us to go home. Overwhelmingly the kids wanted to go on,” Fonley said.

Two students with minor back and neck injuries were taken to the hospital, but the majority of them went to the Des Moines Civic Center to see Les Miserables.

DES MOINES – After finishing runner-up the last 2 years Grand View won its first national volleyball title Saturday night, beating Benedictine (Mesa) 3-1.

Tim Johnson led the way with 17 kills, Felix Chapman added 16.

It was sweet revenge for the Vikings, who lost to Benedictine earlier in the week in pool play.