Iowa Health Officials Report Death Resulting From West Nile Virus
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say Iowa’s first reported 2018 death associated with the West Nile virus has occurred.
The Iowa Public Health Department said in a news release Friday that the victim was 81 or older and lived in central Iowa. Another infected man age 61 to 80 who lives in Palo Alto County has recovered from the illness.
The department says 12 Iowans were diagnosed with West Nile virus last year and two died.
Experts say most people who are infected have no symptoms or experience only mild, flu-like symptoms. The most vulnerable people are those who are at least 50 or have weakened immune systems.
The virus is transmitted to humans through mosquitoes, which acquire the virus by feeding on infected birds.
People Getting Frustrated Over Missing Girl – Investigators Remain Silent
MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) – Investigators are offering no new details in their search for a University of Iowa student who vanished more than two weeks ago.
Kevin Winker, investigative operations director for the Iowa
Department of Public Safety, said Friday he knows the tight-lipped approach is frustrating for people who are eager to know what happened to 20-year-old Mollie Tibbetts.
But he says investigators will continue to withhold basic details
about the case because they believe it gives them the best chance to solve it.
At a news conference, Winker said investigators are confident in
their timeline of the night Tibbetts went missing from her small hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa, on July 18.
But again he declined to say whether Tibbetts is believed to have
returned home safely from a jog that evening.
Newton Officials Consider Using Wind Turbine Blade For Sculpture
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) – A local official in central Iowa is proposing turning a wind turbine blade into a sculpture that would be a new landmark for the community.
The Newton Daily News reports that Bruce Showalter’s proposal to use the TPI Composites-made wind turbine blade aims to make Newton more appealing and distinguishable to visitors and passers-by.
Showalter is the chairman of the Newton Hometown Pride Committee and housing director of Newton Housing Development Corporation. He proposed the idea to city council members during a Monday workshop.
Showalter says the project would cost an estimated $100,000.
Councilwoman Evelyn George liked the idea, but voiced concerns about whether the blade would obstruct the view of businesses. Councilman Mark Hallam also enjoyed the concept of the project.
Elephant Ride At Fair Nixed
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – Elephant rides aren’t available as advertised as an attraction at the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport: State law won’t allow them.
Shawn Loter is in his second year as general manager of the fair, and he told the Quad-City Times that he was unaware of the ban until this week. The elephants from Carson & Barnes Circus from Oklahoma are back this year, and Loter says they were used for rides at last year’s fair.
The law forbidding handlers from offering rides was enacted in 2007. Iowa Agriculture Department spokesman Dustin VandeHoef says the state veterinarian alerted Loter’s office of the law after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals notified the state Tuesday that elephant rides were being advertised in the fair’s brochure.
Elephant handler Mychelle Omar says neither she nor her husband have offered rides this week. The fair opened Tuesday and is scheduled to close Sunday.