Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) recently received several awards at the 94th annual national convention in Nashville, Tenn., for outstanding state Farm Bureau activities. IFBF was honored with five awards of excellence in all program areas including education and outreach, leadership development, member services, policy development and implementation and public relations and communications. IFBF also earned a President’s Award for outstanding grassroots programs and policy development and the national New Horizon Award for innovation.
A new species has been officially added to the endangered list — crabs. Why is that good? Because we’re not talking about the kind you dip in butter at fancy restaurants. No, we’re talking south of the border. The kind that causes an uncomfortable itch in college kids everywhere. Experts are blaming the increased hair waxing trend for the loss in habitat, as the more than 80 percent of college students in the U.S. now remove all or some of their pubic hair. In Sydney, Australia, the city’s main sexual health clinic hasn’t seen a woman with pubic lice since 2008, and male cases have fallen 80 percent from about 100 a decade ago. The poor parasites are losing their habitat.
Are you behind on your power bill? You’re not the only one. Jerry McKim, Iowa Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program director, says Iowa started the winter with the number of households owing money on their power bills at an all-time high, with 279,706 total residential accounts past due in the month of November. That’s the highest number ever reported for a single month, going back to 1999. And he says there has been a surprising 7 percent drop so far this year in the number of Iowans seeking help paying those bills. The good news is that at least $49 million is available in LIHEAP funds.
It was only a matter of time before these not-so-crafty crooks got caught in their diabolical, after-school activities. Several Des Moines residents were arrested last week for a series of robberies. Their strategy was to answer Craigslist ads and arrange meetings with buyers interested in selling items such as iPads, headphones and other electronics then rob them at gunpoint. It turns out, the alleged suspects are only 14-17 years old. Imagine the surprise when sellers were confronted with these gun-toting youth.
Des Moines police found themselves deep in a tragic homicide case just two weeks into a new year. The body of 47-year-old Cynthia Rouse was discovered on Jan. 14 in her apartment at 1050 21st St. Police immediately ruled her death suspicious and began searching for Lavelle “O.G.” McKinley, 42, who was arrested last week and charged with first-degree murder.
Diagnosed cases of AIDS and HIV infections are on the rise again in Iowa, according to a recent Iowa Department of Health press release The number of HIV diagnoses hit a record 126 in 2007 before dipping back down a year later. But Jerry Harms of the state Department of Health said 70 HIV and 46 AIDS diagnoses were reported during the first half of 2009, topping the averages for the previous five-year periods. Last summer, 1,314 males and 353 females living in Iowa had tested positive, including 11 people under the age of 13. Health officials reported there were 26 HIV-infected deaths in Iowa in 2008. Figures for 2009 won’t be available until March, but the federal Center for Disease Control has estimated about 21 people who have been infected with HIV do not know it. Polk County had the highest number of residents diagnosed with HIV or AIDS with 470, followed by Scott County with 172, Johnson County with 128, Linn County with 113, Black Hawk County with 81, Pottawattamie County with 64 and Woodbury County with 62. There also were 62 inmates diagnosed with HIV or AIDS in Iowa’s nine prisons as of last June 30. CV