Winter Weather Timeline

Look for a chance for some freezing drizzle this morning before turning to all snow this afternoon. The winds will pick up Tuesday morning, resulting in areas of patchy drifting snow especially east of I-29 through the afternoon. Wednesday will be the most pleasant day of the week for us with mostly sunny skies. Winter weather once again returns on Thursday with another chance for some snow.

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Wanted: Young Rockers To Compete For Statewide Cred, Recording Studio Time

Arnolds Park, Iowa — Young Iowa musicians who have a solo act or play in a band have a shot at statewide exposure and landing a recording session through the Iowa Rocks Talent Contest. Cindy Stanbro at the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Association says entries are now being taken.


This is the fifth year for the competition and it’s grown since last year, which featured four regional contests.


The finals will be held Labor Day weekend in Arnolds Park and the winner will perform as the opening act during the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.


The winning act will also get recording time at Catamount Studios in Cedar Falls. Last year’s winners included a tie for best group between “Been There Done That” from the Quad Cities and “Awakening Force” from Des Moines. The best individual performer was Eli Dykstra of Boyden. Learn more at www.iowarocknroll.com.


Conservatives Rail Against ‘Activist’ Judges

Des Moines, Iowa — Conservatives who oppose Iowa Supreme Court rulings legalizing same-sex marriage and overturning abortion restrictions are urging the Republican-led legislature to strike back.

“Iowa has one of the most activist Supreme Courts in the country,” Chuck Hurley, legal counsel for The Family Leader, said last week. He says, “You name it and the Iowa Supreme Court is to the left on almost every issue currently.”

Public hearings were held at the state capitol last week on a plan to reshuffle the commission that nominates judges as well as a bid to amend the Iowa Constitution to specify that it does not “secure” the right to an abortion. Isabelle Barrett of Des Moines accused Republicans of pursuing a “crazy ideology.”

She says that it is about wanting to control bodies and about wanting to make people’s choices for them.

Keenan Crow of One Iowa, representing Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Questioning Iowans, said Iowa’s courts are giving everyone a fair shot at justice.

Crow says, “The response to that should not be to politicize the court in order to get decisions that we want.”

Representative Sandy Salmon, a Republican from Janesville, said it’s time to give Iowans a “larger voice” in who gets to be a judge.

During a subcommittee hearing last week, she said “Out in rural Iowa, everybody sees that politics is part of the judiciary.”

Iowa lawyers currently vote on which lawyers should serve on the Judicial Nominating Commission alongside people selected by the governor.

Bill Gustoff, a Des Moines attorney who unsuccessfully sought a spot on the commission in 2011, said trial lawyers are choosing the judges they’ll face in court.

A bill that instead would have the top four legislative leaders appoint half of the members of the Judicial Nominating Commission cleared House and Senate subcommittees last week.

The other abortion-related proposal — a constitutional amendment to block future court rulings upholding abortion rights — advanced out of a Senate subcommittee. Kimberly Laube of Lutheran Family Service said the Iowa Supreme Court has overstepped its authority. She says that the proposed amendment became necessary when a handful of unelected members of Iowa’s Supreme Court chose, in essence, to create law rather than interpret it.

A district court judge recently ruled Iowa’s six-week abortion ban was unconstitutional. Last year the Iowa Supreme Court nullified the state’s 72-hour waiting period for abortions.


Advocates Warn Of Addiction Among Young Adults Who Wager On Sports

Des Moines, Iowa — Representatives of the state’s casinos, grocery stores, restaurants, the Iowa Lottery, and the horse racing industry are all taking a shot at publicly explaining why they should get a slice of the action if the state legalizes betting on pro and college sports. Amy Campbell is a lobbyist for the Iowa Behavioral Health Association, which operates the gambling treatment programs in Iowa. She’s telling legislators the group is opposed to expanding gambling options in Iowa.


Campbell says if betting on college and pro sports is legalized in Iowa, lawmakers should ensure all systems — including smartphone apps — have some sort of lock-out option for addicts who sign up to be barred from making bets. In addition, Campbell says the state should beef up public education efforts.


Keith Miller, a Drake University law professor, is an expert on gambling. He says there’s a clear public health issue here.


If lawmakers do legalize sports betting in Iowa, Miller says it’s important to nail down the exact amount of money dedicated to treatment for gambling addictions, or that money will be redirected to other programs when the economy sours and the state budget shrinks.