The Rising Cost – Part 1

September 30th, 2010
Justin Aaberg was only 15 years old. He had come out to his mother when he was 13, and while on the outside he seemed to have a great life going, on the inside he was a tormented storm. LGBT students at the Anoka-Hennepin School that Justin attended were, like is so frequently the case, easy targets as other students, and even teachers turned a blind eye. It finally got to a point where he just couldn?t handle it any more and feeling he had no where to turn to for help, he hanged himself in his room. Justin was the sixth student from the school to take his own life in the last 2 years and most are believed to have been the result of homophobic bulling.

More on Justin at WCCO including a video.


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Iowa News

Congressman Boswell Attacked

imageIowa Congressman Leonard Boswell and his family were at his Lamoni farm when an attacker entered the home and held Boswell’s daughter at gun point and demanded money. The congressman fought with the intruder which gave his grandson time to get a get and load a shotgun which scarred off the attacker. Authorities are investigating and the motive at the moment seems to have been mainly robbery.

Des Moines, Ia. – Please find a statement below from Congressman Leonard Boswell’s Chief of Staff, Grant Woodard, concerning an incident at the Congressman’s farm on the night of July 16th.

At approximately 10:45 p.m. on Saturday there was an attempted home invasion at Congressman Leonard Boswell’s farm outside of Lamoni, Iowa. At the house at the time was Congressman Boswell, Dody Boswell, his daughter Cindy Brown, and grandson Mitchell Brown. The intruder entered the front door of the farm house and physically assaulted Cindy while demanding money at gunpoint. Hearing Cindy’s screams, Congressman Boswell entered the entryway and attempted to disarm the intruder of his weapon. While the scuffle between Congressman Boswell and the intruder was occurring, Mitchell was able to secure a shotgun from another room. Mitchell pointed the shotgun at the intruder who then retreated into the fields around the house.

Besides some scrapes and bruises, Congressman Boswell and his family are fine.

The Decatur County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating the incident along with state and federal authorities.

Congressman Boswell would like to express his sincere thanks to all the members of the law enforcement community who have worked through the night on this matter.

School Jam

From KCCI-TV

The St. Ansgar school in Northeastern Iowa is, like most schools in America, having difficulty getting kids to stop using their cell phones during school hours which are distracting and can help propagate cheating. St. Ansgar?s answer, signal jammers. The school board recently passed a motion to spend up to $5000.00 to purchase jamming equipment.

A couple of questions I have here is one, it doesn?t seem to be very legal. In 2005 the FCC issued a public notice stating?

In response to multiple inquiries concerning the sale and use of transmitters designed to prevent, jam or interfere with the operation of cellular and personal communications service (PCS) telephones, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is issuing this Public Notice to make clear that the marketing, sale, or operation of this type of equipment is unlawful. Anyone involved with such activities may be subject to forfeitures, fines or even criminal prosecution.

So I don?t see how the school can do this. I understand that they haven?t actually bought the equipment yet and that the Iowa Association of School Boards is helping research whether or not it?s legal (maybe they should read the FCC notice I just linked).

Another question I have is, how does the school ensure that the jamming of the signals only encompasses the school grounds and not say, half the neighborhood the school resides in. While I?m no expert on signal jamming I would think that the equipment wouldn?t be very discriminating in what it blocks.

And finally, what about emergencies? While officials state that the equipment would be shut off in emergencies, the time it takes for someone to go to switch and shut it down could mean the difference between someone living or dying.

I-Jobs Projects Moving Forward

The I-Jobs program that was recently signed into law by Governor Chet Culver is all ready starting to hand out money.

According to WHO-TV the first seven applications have been approved. All of them appear to be in the Cedar Rapids area, which was hit very hard by the 2008 flooding.

The projects would receive $45 million in I-JOBS funding. Some of the money will be pumped into Cedar Rapids’ public library, Paramount Theater, Public Works Building as well as the National Czech and Slovak Museum.

Finally

Gay RightsThe front page of this mornings edition of the Des Moines Register says it all really. On Friday, April 3rd, the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously rules that the 1998 statute that placed a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional.

Ruling Summary

Full Ruling

The night before, it had been announced on WHO that the ruling would be out Friday, and myself, along with many other Iowans, waited anxiously. Friday morning, around 8:30 am the Iowa Courts web site crashed, probably from the massive amounts of traffic. I ended up finding out the result from WHO again.

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Iowa Ruleing

The Iowa State Supreme Court will release it’s ruling on the state’s gay marriage bank on Friday.

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