Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
This is looking west on "The Strip" in Coralville. Usually, this is 4 lanes of solid traffic during the day.
This is an apartment complex on 4th Avenue in Coralville. This is about 6 city blocks from the river bank.
This is of the Coralville Dam's spillway. Normally, it is dry. Now, combining the water coming over the spillway and through the floodgates, there are an estimated 50,000 cubic feet of water per second going down stream toward Coralville and Iowa City.
3rd Avenue in Downtown Cedar Rapids
This railroad bridge is Downtown Cedar Rapids near I380. The things hung up on the bridge are houseboats that are usually docked at the Ellis Docks several miles away.
The last photo is of downtown Cedar Rapids. Interstate 380 goes through the middle of the photo and Quaker Oats can be seen just below it.
This is the Vinton Fire Department. Vinton is about 30 miles Northwest of Cedar Rapids. It sits right on the Cedar River. They've had flooding there before, such as in 1993, but nothing like this year. This picture was taken Tuesday, just as the river started to rise. At crest, the water was about halfway up the large doors.
Also, here are some photos from the Iowa DOT of some of the rural areas. The pictures are a few days old and the water in most of the places, especially Coralville, is much higher today. Vinton is my hometown, and it's something else. They have a max security jail there that is totally flooded. They had to move inmates out in a boat and get them to other jails in the area. I think many ended up at the prison in Anamosa or Oakdale.
There has been record-setting flooding in Eastern Iowa the past few days. about 500 city blocks in Cedar Rapids are under several feet of water. Several main highways, such as Interstates 80 and 380 have been closed because the rivers they cross - the Iowa and Cedar, have covered bridges over them.
No one here has seen flooding of this magnitude. We had "record setting" floods in 1993, but the levels this year have already surpassed the totals for 1993. The water in Cedar Rapids has crested, but the Iowa river that goes through Iowa City and Coralville isn't expected to crest until Tuesday or Wednesday.
So, I've been sandbagging for the past few days. I have about an hour drive to work, but I can't go because every possible route to get me there is closed, so I'm on a kind of vacation. My house sits on the high ground, so I'm not worried about my property, but my neighbors are being flooded, so I've been helping them.
This is a crazy time - the rain only stopped for about 24 hours, and now I hear thunder approaching, again. Apparently we have very severe weather headed our way and I can hear the tornado sirens. Great.
Speaking of tornadoes, we've had two deadly tornadoes in the state. Recently, a tornado in the Parkersburg area killed 7 and a few days ago, a tornado in Northwest Iowa killed 4 boyscouts in injured several more. Here is a picture sent to me by a friend. It was taken as the tornado passed by a farm in Northwest Iowa. Click here for media coverage of Parkersburg and The Boy Scouts.
So, all in all, it's nuts here.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I'd like to apologize to the author and thank them for letting me know what was going on.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Monday, May 19, 2008
There has also been a large influx of illegal immigrants coming to Postville over recent years. Apparently, the company aided these people in obtaining the paperwork necessary to "legally" work in the US. Many times, this meant using the same Social Security Number for a large number of employees. Other times, the employees would steal someone else's identity to be able to work.
Last week, ICE conducted what has been called the largest raid in US Immigration history in Postville. Many of the detainees have been temporarily housed in the National Cattle Congress, which is basically a fair grounds. Those that have been charged have been shipped to jails all over the state and midwest. Some have been charged and released because they are the only caregiver for children at home.
Nothing has been reported about what, if anything, is going to be done to the owners/administrators at AgriProcessors.
Of course, there was a protest about all of this, as well. All in all, it looks to me to be a circus. Click here if you're interested in some of the press coverage.
God bless our troops.
On another note, my husband tore up his knee in a fight at work a few weeks back. He ruptured his ACL and had to have surgery this past Friday. This is the same surgery I had 4 years ago, almost to the day. I also had the surgery a month after delivering our daughter. While in recovery Friday (and still a little doped up), my husband looked at me and said "I have a lot more respect for how tough you are after this. And I thought you were a bad ass before".
Nothing like a little pain to help him see the light
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The article is about carrying off duty and why some people don't. It references an article written by the FOP while Congress was considering H.R. 218. I pasted that link here:
Very interesting reading. The FOP article only references officers killed, not those who were injured. I know one officer personally from the Des Moines area that observed a man driving recklessly through the officer's neighborhood while the officer was outside. He had decided to let it go, but when the man came tearing back through his neighborhood again, the officer decided to follow the man to find out what was going on.
He began to follow the driver, who tried to get away by driving down a bike path. The officer knew where the path came out, so he cut the man off. When the car stopped, the officer got out to confront the other driver. That is when the other driver shot the officer. When the officer was lying on the ground, the man shot him in the back at close range.
The officer didn't die, but he was paralyzed from the mid-chest down.
When the bad guy was caught, it was found that he was wanted for several things, the most concerning warrant being for murder.
We all might second-guess the officers decision to insert himself into the situation when it was not necessary (in some people's opinion). Hindsight is 20/20. It definitely got me thinking... I carry off-duty when I leave home to go somewhere. I don't carry in my front yard, mowing or throwing a ball for the dogs. Would I chase after someone in that situation? I don't know... I might, I might not. I could see it going both ways. I think the deciding factor for me would be if my family was home or not. I can definitely understand both decisions.
I think that, no matter which choice you would make, it's vital that cops consider the possibility that they will end up in a confrontation off-duty at some point in their careers and form some kind of plan for what you will do in the event something goes down. Let your family know what to do if something should happen, too. The last thing you want are your wife and kids standing frozen in panic in the middle of the mall as you go charging off after some active shooter.
Just food for thought.
On another, more humorous note, check these morons out:
Men charged after skull dug up, used as bong
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Authorities in Texas have filed corpse-abuse charges against two men who allegedly removed a skull from a grave and used it as a bong.
The Harris County District Attorney's Office confirmed on Thursday that misdemeanor abuse of corpse charges have been filed in the case.
One of the men allegedly told police they dug up a grave in an abandoned cemetery in the woods, removed a head from a body and smoked marijuana using the skull as a bong.
Police found the cemetery and a grave that had been disturbed but are still investigating the rest of the story, officials said.
(Reporting by Bruce Nichols)WOW.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Man Arrested For Throwing M&Ms at Officer
Story Created: May 12, 2008
Story Updated: May 12, 2008
DES MOINES (AP) - A 20-year-old Des Moines man is charged with assaulting a police officer - with candy.
Officials say Sean McGuire, a student at Drake University, was arrested early Sunday at a convenience store. He allegedly threw several M&M's at a Des Moines police officer, who was investigating a hit-and-run accident involving an intoxicated man.
Police reports say Drake security guards on the scene noticed M&M candies falling on the ground around the officer. When the officer turned around one of the candies hit his shoulder.
McGuire claimed he threw the candy because he was "sticking up for his friend," who apparently was the man suspected in the accident.
What a moron.
OUR HERO POLICE OFFICERS RISK THEIR LIVES EVERY DAY TO
PROTECT AND SERVE US. AND THEY ARE SUBJECTED TO STRESSES,
PRESSURES, AND DANGERS THAT FEW OF US COULD EVEN IMAGINE.'
THEY ARE FATHERS, BROTHERS, SON'S, UNCLES.....
THEY ARE MOTHERS, SISTERS, DAUGHTER'S, AUNT'S.....
YOU GO TO WORK IN A SUIT AND TIE AND CARRY A BRIEF CASE....
THEY GO TO WORK WITH A BULLET PROOF VEST , PEPPER SPRAY,
OR HOT COCCO....
THEY ARE OUT THERE PROTECTING OTHERS LIVES AND HELPING WHOMEVER
IS IN NEED...PUTTING THEIR OWN SAFETY AT RISK.....
IN THE RAIN....
OR THE SNOW....
EVEN HURRICANES...THEY ARE THERE...
THEY ARE THERE TO COMFORT YOU WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES....
THEY ARE THERE TO COMFORT A LITTLE GIRL WHO'S MOTHER WAS JUST
ARRESTED FOR SELLING HERSELF ON A STREET CORNER, JUST SO SHE