Wednesday Afternoon, February 27
Snowball Fight Results in Bus Accident - 21 Injured
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City police say students who pelted a school bus with snowballs caused a collision that injured 21 other students.
Sgt. Brad Bollinger says the accident occurred about 3:05 p.m. Tuesday in front of West High School. Bollinger says the driver stopped the school bus when the snowballs hit it. It was struck in
the rear by a city transit bus that couldn't stop in time.
The buses were carrying students home from West High and West Middle schools.
The students suffered mostly bumps and bruises. One student was taken by ambulance to a hospital. The bus drivers weren't hurt.
School spokeswoman Alison Benson says throwing snowballs at a bus would violate the district's code of conduct and that students could be punished.
Iowa House Republicans Announce Target Budget
(Des Moines) -- The Iowa House Republicans released their proposed budget this morning. The number at $6.414 billion is slightly smaller than the $6.5 billion dollar budget proposed by Governor Terry Branstad, although considerably lower than the Senate Democrats proposed budget of $6.9 billion. Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars represents most of Plymouth county and the northern section of Woodbury County. Soderberg serves as the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. He says the Republican budget allows for a three percent growth.
Soderberg says the House intends to keep the state's expenditures lower than the state's revenue.
Soderberg says the primary areas of funding were the Human and Health Services, which includes funding allocation to mental health...education...and public safety. Soderberg says there are still several uncertainties before a final budget can be passed.
Republicans say they want to focus on keeping expenses down, while Democrats say they want to make investments to improve programs.
Northwestern College Student Learns of Family Deaths
ORANGE CITY, Iowa (AP) - A college student from Sioux Falls, S.D., who lost her entire family in a car crash was told about the accident during the intermission of a school play.
Greg Christy, president of Northwestern College, broke the news to Brittany Vollmer, a sophomore at the Orange City school who was watching the play.
Christy tells KMEG that it was painful to share such tragic news and it's something no one would ever want to do.
The Saturday crash on Interstate 90 in South Dakota killed James and Julie Vollmer and their children, 16-year-old Alyssa and 13-year-old Caleb.
Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Friday at Sioux Falls Christian Schools.
Prison Inmate Suspected of Mailing White Powder To Federal Courthouse
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials suspect a prison inmate in another state sent a letter containing white powder to a federal court building in Des Moines.
Postal inspector Jim O'Hara says the inmate already is being investigated for allegedly sending a
similar threatening letter with white powder to another government building in Iowa.
O'Hara would not release the inmate's name or the state where the inmate is imprisoned.
The federal court annex in Des Moines was locked down for nearly an hour Monday after the letter was opened. The building was reopened after a test showed the powder was acetaminophen, a common over-the-counter pain reliever.
Winter Snow Storm Blankets Central and Northeast Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials warn that travel remains hazardous as snow from a surprising snowstorm continues to fall.
Travelers are urged to check road conditions by visiting http://www.511ia.org, calling 511 in Iowa or 800-288-1047 nationwide. No weather-related road closures have been reported so far Wednesday.
The storm has dropped more than 9 inches of snow on some areas of Iowa and has perplexed forecasters.
National Weather Service meteorologist Jeff Johnson says the storm moved 100 miles off its expected course and loosed a blanket of heavy snow instead of merely dusting central, eastern and southern portions of Iowa on Tuesday.
Johnson says he can provide long meteorological explanations about the storm's behavior, "but basically it didn't do what we expected it to do."