Gay Marriage, Bullying, Price Lab, Justin Hartwig, King-Vilsack and Burning the American Flag: Pick of the Patches
Thanks, Patchers, for getting so involved in our nine sites in Iowa. The comments have been rolling in -- and we love it. Here's some news from Ames, Ankeny, Cedar Falls, Iowa City, Johnston, Marion, Urbandale, Waukee and West Des Moines.
The Patch community includes nine sites in Iowa. Here are some stories from the past week.
Our Urbandale local editor, Anne Carothers-Kay, gave us this week's Iowa Patch Poll. The Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., a civil rights leader and Baptist minister, said last year that the gay rights movement was an insult to the civil rights movement and resigned his post at the NAACP last month. Should he have resigned? You can still let us know what you think in this week's Patch Poll.
In Cedar Falls, Local Editor Alison Gowans reported that a hearing date has been set for a lawsuit filed against the Iowa Board of Regents in hopes of overturning a decision to close Malcolm Price Laboratory School. The hearing will be Monday, June 18, at 10:30 a.m. at the Black Hawk County Courthouse. Geoff Greenwood, communications director with the Iowa Attorney General's Office, said the hearing will include oral arguments on previously submitted briefs.
You may remember Matt Shankles — he's the Marion teen and Linn-Mar High School student, with an incredible story centered around his tireless fight against bullying. His story was so powerful that our profile of him went viral. He was later featured on the Advocate and CNN, among other outlets. Marion Local Editor Scott Raynor reported that last Friday he testified as a witness in a field hearing held by Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee at East High School in Des Moines. Harkin called out the 16-year-old teen and noted his creative use of social media to reach out to his cyber bullied classmates.
Ever wanted to go over the Burlington Street bridge dam while sitting in an inner tube? Iowa City Local Editor Stephen Schmidt reported that in a few years, that might actually be something you could do and survive to tell your friends about. The City of Iowa City planning department is looking into converting the low-head dam into an integral part of a whitewater rafting course as an element of the city's work on the Riverfront Crossings District.
In West Des Moines, Local Editor Beth Dalbey reported that Justin Hartwig, a 1997 graduate of Valley High School and an NFL athlete who played on the 2009 Super Bowl championship Pittsburgh Steelers team, will be among six former prep standouts who will be honored in November as a member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association Football Players Hall of Fame Class of 2012.
Ashlee Kieler, our local editor in Johnston, has been reporting on Green Days. The largest Johnston summertime community event is free to residents and visitors. However, expect to pay for food, drinks and the carnival rides.
More than three weeks ago, Ankeny Local Editor Megan Verhlest reported that detailed plans for a proposed 150-acre, $78.3 million athletic complex are now in the hands of Ankeny school board members to review. The comments section of the story blew up with opinions. Have one? You can still comment.
Waukee veterans' groups respectfully retired more than 100 flags Thursday night, while dozens of youths from local Scouting groups helped, reported Guest Editor Matt Nelson, who put up a nice photo gallery on the event. The flags were collected for the event from a variety of places within Waukee, including the American Legion, the VFW and Boy Scouts. The children lined up behind a table where the flags were stacked, and carried them to where older members tossed them into the flames.
Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that developers at Facebook were developing technology that would allow children younger than 13 years-old to use the popular social networking site. Waukee Local Editor Jodie Gifford asked whether this was a good idea. You can still vote and tell us what you think in the comments section.
Finally, in Ames, Christie Vilsack and Rep. Steve King continue to go at it during campaigning for the newly redrawn District 4 seat for the U.S. House. As Associate Regional Editor B.A. Morelli, reported, Vilsack is slamming her opponent for getting pay increases while voting against bonuses for service members. The Vilsack camp released a statement saying King voted to accept five pay raises, increasing his pay by nearly $20,000, to $174,000 a year.