Friday Reads — Ch Ch Ch Changes

Change is inevitable. And this morning, it’s in the news.

Clark Kauffman over at The Register reports on the interesting saga of an Oakdale state corrections officer who is now out of a job. Derek White of West Brachwas under investigation for reportedly bringing a cake to work to celebrate the death of an inmate. That was cleared up, but what finally took the cake were some bumper stickers he affixed to his ride:

But when White returned to work, his vehicle bore a sticker that said “Cake Scandal Survivor.” There also was a sticker that said “F##K Joakdale. I like real prisons.” A third sticker featured a likeness of Calvin, from the “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip, urinating on the word “Joakdale.”

According to White, he gave about 80 of the custom-made stickers to his fellow employees, some of whom displayed them on their own vehicles at work.

That Calvin, always peeing on something. Officials asked him to remove them. He said freedom of speech. They disagreed. He’s canned.

Elsewhere…

The Quad-City Times’ Ann McGlynn reports that state court officials are considering replacing court reporters with digital recording devices. A panel will study the idea with an eye on cost savings. It’s sure to be controversial.

Over in Waterloo, termites are changing the Waterloo Public library into sawdust. The Courier reports that library staff knew things were getting worse when they saw the little buggers flying around. Pest controllers estimate 15,000 to 20,000 termites are checking out the library. So far, books have not been chewed.

Iowa tourism is changing. The Iowa-City Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau is launching an ad campaign aimed at attracting gay couples who want to get married. KCRG TV in Cedar Rapids has the story.

And we’ve been told for years that if you’re caught by a tornado in your car, you need to get out and head for the ditch or another low spot. Now, The Omaha World-Herald reports that the American Red Cross and the National Weather Service are at odds over whether that’s good advice.

The Red Cross now says it’s better to stay in your vehicle. The NWS says no, get out. The sides met Thursday in DC and essentially “agreed to disagree.”

Some people who abandoned their vehicles have been killed by debris. But stats indicate that more people are killed in vehicles:

About 9 percent of tornado deaths are people in vehicles, while about 4 percent are those caught in the open. The largest share of tornado deaths, 44 percent, are in mobile homes. About 32 percent of deaths occur in houses, and 8 percent in schools, churches or businesses.

Last year, more than one-third of the 23 people killed in a single tornado that hit Missouri and Oklahoma were in vehicles.

The danger in a car, Ferree said, is that debris will pierce it or the vehicle will be picked up, mangled and slammed back to the ground.

Really, the best defense is to remain in a reinforced concrete bunker until Dec. 1.

Good news, no severe weather is expected today. So leave the bunker and enjoy your Friday.

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