The Ottumwa Courier

October 21, 2013

Iowa today


Ottumwa Courier

---- — DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Drivers with out-of-state plates are much more likely to be stopped by Iowa State Patrol when they drive across the state.

The Des Moines Register reviewed (http://dmreg.co/16kJcdlhttp://dmreg.co/16kJcdl ) about 22,000 traffic warnings and tickets issued by the State Patrol between 2008 and the end of last year. About 86 percent of those tickets and warnings went to out-of-state drivers.

Some lawyers and motorists question whether the State Patrol's interest in out-of-state drivers is warranted, and they say troopers sometimes use minor offenses to conduct questionable interrogations.

But officials defend the State Patrol's practices and say the state where a car is from is only one factor considered. Sgt. Rob Mordini says troopers are also looking for suspicious behavior on the part of drivers.

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.comhttp://www.desmoinesregister.com

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Iowa insurance enrollments begin trickling in

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa residents are slowly exploring their options under President Barack Obama's health care law after technical glitches stalled the rollout of the new federally run online insurance marketplaces.

Detailed enrollment data isn't available because the federal government, which is running the so-called exchanges in Iowa and 35 other states, has not provided any numbers since the new marketplaces were launched Oct. 1. But a spokeswoman for one of the two insurance companies providing insurance in Iowa through the exchange said they have had 16 people enroll using the federal website during the first two weeks.

Leigh R. McGivern , a spokeswoman for CoOportunity Health, said they expect enrollment to increase in the coming months as the federal government deals with website delays that have plagued the first few weeks of the process.

"I think patience and persistence are the words of the day," McGivern said.

A spokeswoman for Iowa's other exchange provider, Coventry Health Care of Iowa, said it was too soon to release any numbers. The Obama administration is not expected to provide enrollment data until later this fall.

Matthew Covington, an organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, which supports the health care law, said he was optimistic people will be able to get enrolled in the coming months.

"Once the rush subsides a bit or they beef up some infrastructure, we'll see some positive developments," Covington said. "Darn near everyone knew this wasn't going to roll out with bells and whistles."

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Iowa couple robbed at gunpoint at home by 5 men

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa couple says five men broke into their home in a Des Moines suburb and robbed them at gunpoint.

The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1gvqmomhttp://dmreg.co/1gvqmom ) the incident happened in Pleasant Hill around 8 p.m. Saturday.

Police say the men entered the home through a basement window and crept upstairs to where the husband and wife were watching television.

Officer Adam Choat says two of the men held guns on the couple while the other three searched the home. When they found the couple's high school-age son upstairs, they also ordered him to the floor.

The men left with cellphones, a tablet computer, an Xbox video game console, more than 40 Xbox games, less than $200 cash and a couple bags of Halloween candy.

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Iowa fire injures 4, damages cat shelter

ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) — A fire in eastern Iowa injured four people in an apartment and damaged a cat shelter in Anamosa.

KWWL reports (http://bit.ly/16kKeWOhttp://bit.ly/16kKeWO ) the fire started in a building that housed The Cat Adoption Center and an apartment in Anamosa Sunday morning.

Firefighters say the fire was confined to the second floor of the building.

The injured are being treated at area hospitals.

Animal Welfare President Kelly Day says all the cats survived the fire, but about a dozen cats escaped when firefighters opened the door.

Volunteers are looking for the missing cats.

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Waterloo Technical Society celebrates 100 years

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Gary Dorhout was asked to speculate on what the first gathering of the Waterloo Technical Society might have discussed.

"Might have been Wilbur and Orville Wright," said Dorhout, the organization's president. "It would have been the technologies that were prevalent at the time."

It was a long time ago. When the group held its most recent monthly meeting in its usual venue, the restaurant of the Clarion Inn in Cedar Falls, it marked the start of its 100th year as an organization.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports (http://bit.ly/1gMHkw3http://bit.ly/1gMHkw3 ) that in fall 1914, about 20 engineers & technical men in Waterloo launched the Waterloo Technical Society as a nonprofit organization whose focus was to discuss the latest advancements and theorize on its implications for the future.

The inaugural group of engineers and technically trained men from various fields of expertise took on new members at a steady pace, reaching a peak of about 500 members during the 1950s.

Over the last 30 years, membership has settled back in the 60-80 range, Dorhout said.

Today, there are about 50 members, primarily with engineering backgrounds.