If you want a friend in Des Moines, get a dog.
Mari Culver made a surprise introduction Wednesday of the Culvers’ new three-month-old pound puppy Buck. I think “Little Lug” would have been a better name, but what do I know? Radio Iowa’s O.Kay Henderson has a story and photo. The pup is from the Animal Rescue League, and word is that Culver’s approval rating with his 15-year-old cat just dropped like a rock. The cat, “Fran,” has reportedly signed on with Bob Vander Plaats’ exploratory committee. I can’t confirm that.
Upstairs, lawmakers heard word of “Buck Culver” and immediately passed a gas tax hike. Just kidding. But The Register’s David Yepsen says he expects a gas tax hike Culver doesn’t like to be attached to a $700 million bonding plan he champions. If he has to accept a tax hike, at least he’ll get a treat. Who’s a good boy?
Elsewhere, state lawmakers heard word of more tough work ahead for the Iowa National Guard. Outgoing Adjutant Gen. Ron Dardis said thousands more call-ups are ahead during is last condition of the guard address. An escalation of troop levels in Afghanistan is one factor.
A Waterloo lawmaker wants fewer call-ups in the classroom, according to Gazette/Lee’s James Q Lynch. Rep. Deb Berry, D-Waterloo, has introduced legislation that would ban student access to cell phones during class. She complains the phones are used to organize fights and trade test answers. Under the bill, students could bring phones on school grounds, just not to class.
The reaction from students? “That totally sucks,” Adam Child of Des Moines said when told about House File 371.
More flooding around these parts would also “suck,” to put it mildly. The Gazette fronts a report from Adam Belz that says forecasters are predicting a below-normal chance of flooding on the Cedar and Iowa River. Of course, this is just an educated guess that could be washed away by late, heavy snowfall or heavy spring rain. But the region is in much better shape now than a year ago.