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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa • Page 11
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa • Page 11

Des Moines, Iowa
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itcipfcf SICTION September 30, 1986 Polk surge in DATELINE IOWA value of new construction -u 'if a 'i it niiy in ft I I REGISTER PHOTO BY BOB NANDELL at zoo fops 4x Jfll projections 'na Vi 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Former Hamilton city clerk to be sentenced for theft KNOXVILLE, IA. (AP) Former Hamilton City Clerk Joan Isley will be sentenced Oct. 31 for first-degree theft following the disappearance of more than $5,000 from the Hamilton city treasury. Isley, 45, pleaded guilty to the theft Charge Friday in Marion County District Court here. Earlier this month, she resigned after 10 years as city clerk following an investigation by Mayor Victor Allen into missing city money. i According to court records, Isley had been writing checks to herself on a regular basis until the shortage was discovered. Marion County Attorney Martha Mertz said the checks were for amounts varying from 100 to $300 and occasionally were written as reimbursement for purchasing VV- II IS Biggest one-year jump since '74, says assessor By PERRY BEEMAN Rttfsfor Staff WiHw The assessed value of new construction added to Polk County's tax rolls this year 58 percent over the 1985 figure, the biggest one-year jump since 1974, the county assessor said Monday. Jack Newell said the increase which excludes property in Des Moines is part of the good news contained in his annual report to be received by the Polk County Board of Supervisors today. "It really surprised me. That's the most new construction we've put on the rolls in one year since I started in 1974," Newell said. "It's kind of uplifting. This year's figure is about $184.5 million, compared with the 1985 figure of approximately $116.7 million. They include the valuations on 868 homes, 60 commercial buildings, 33 agricultural structures and three industrial facilities. Commercial on Top While commercial construction valuation generally lags well behind residential, commercial came out slightly on top this year, Newell said. Residential construction accounted for about $90.4 million; commercial for about $91 million. "The residential market continues to improve partially because of the favorable interest rates and also because of the demand buildup that was created because of the former higher interest rates and the state of the economy," Newell's report says. Another "indication of a measure of confidence in the future economic climate in the county," Newell said, was the jump in the average value of added homes to $104,817 in 1986, from $84,543 in 1985, a leap of 24 percent. Both the jump in average home value and the surge in new construction value can be attributed to the heavy construction in West Des Moines, Urbandale, Clive and Johnston, some of the fastest-growing communities in Iowa, Newell said. "Without a doubt, observation would dictate that that is the case," he said. Declines At the same time, new construction in all classes has declined in rural Polk County, an area already hit by drops in agricultural land values of about 8 percent in each of the past two years, he said. New industrial construction also has fallen in all areas outside Des Moines. The number of new homes built in the past two construction seasons fell 4.3 percent, from 907 in 1985 to 868 in 1986, while the total number of construction permits dropped 12 percent, from 4,153 in 1985 to 3,654 in 1986. A total of 2,819 permits have been issued for the 1987 construction season, 12 percent more than in the same period the previous year, Newell said. By ANNE WILLETTE Rofjttttr Stsff Wrttor More than 216,800 people visited Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo this summer, exceeding the zoo director's "wildest hopes." "It was much more than what we had expected, even in our best hopes that we didn't dare talk about out loud," director Ralph Waterhouse said. Sunday was the last day of the zoo's first season since it was closed four years for remodeling. When it reopened in May, city budget planners estimated attendance for the season at 92,000. The Des Moines Park and Recreation Department put the figure at 142,000. And Waterhouse secretly hoped for 180,000. "There was a pent-up demand for a good zoo in the community," he said. "We just brought so many people out because there hadn't been a good zoo here for a while." He also credited good weather and lots of sunny weekends for helping attendance. Waterhouse said checks Of license plates in the zoo's parking lot throughout the season showed that 60 percent of the vehicles were from outside of Polk County and 4 percent were from other states. Good News for Des Moines That's good news for Des Moines. "Many of those people are going to buy gasoline, they are going to go to restaurants, they are going to do shopping while they are in town," Waterhouse said. The high attendance turned out to be a boon for the Des Moines Civic Center. Because more people than were anticipated paid to visit the zoo, the facility needed less money from the area's hotel-motel tax to cover its budget deficit. Earlier this month, the City Council gave the extra money $26,350 to the Civic Center to help restore money cut this spring when the council decided tax revenue should go first to city-run cultural centers. Waterhouse fears, however, that the zoo's unexpected popularity was a first-year phenomenon. He said he wouldn't be surprised if attendance' drops 15 percent to 20 percent next season, which starts May 2. Elevated Walkway To help keep interest high, the zoo is planning an elevated walkway through the African exhibit. Water-bouse said the $20,000 project will allow people to watch the animals from seven feet off the ground. "You'll have a bird's-eye view of the giraffe and the antelope," he said. "It really will be pretty." The boardwalk is the first step in a $160,000 addition to the African exhibit. When finished, the pasture area will be twice as big and the boardwalk will extend over bird and monkey exhibits. It will be accessible by the handicapped and will provide shaded rest areas. Waterhouse also hopes that new baby animals at the zoo next season will draw crowds. He expects the' wallabies, Japanese snow monkeys, waterbuck antelope, prairie dogs and various birds to have offspring. 1 i Nancy Cross Rodgers searches Monday morning for farmstead Sunday night while Rodgers and her parents kitchen items in the debris of what was her cousin Wade were visiting at the Cross home. Seven family members Crow' home southwest of Baxter. A tornado flattened the sought shelter in a coal bin in the basement of the home. 'Devastating' damage done by tornado Mertz said investigators have been unable to determine what Isley did with the money. Hunted Iowa man arrested in Minnesota rape case Tht ftwbttr'i lwt News Strvtc CHARLES CITY, IA. A Charles City-area man who had been the object of a three-day search in south-central Minnesota in connection with the alleged kidnapping and rape of a Minnesota woman was arrested Monday afternoon in a wooded area near Faribault, Minn. A spokesman for the Rice County (Minn.) Sheriff's Department said Charles Eugene Ferch, 37, had been sought since early Saturday when an officer stopped a car that had been swerving down a road near there. The officer ordered the occupants out of the car when he beard a woman scream inside the vehicle, officials said. Two men emerged without incident, but the third man came out holding a gun against the head of a woman and then fled in the darkness. Arrested at the scene were Donald Abendorth, 26, and Alvin Lee Workman, 23, both of Mason City. The woman told law officers that she had been forced Into the car Friday night and had been sexually assaulted by the three men. Garner woman's body recovered from river Th Rtntittfi torn News Swvtc I GARNER, IA. The body of a rural Garner woman was recovered from the Winnebago River north of Ventura Monday morning. Dr. Arthur McMahon, Cerro Gordo County medical examiner, said Irene Lois Anderson, 65, was an apparent drowning victim. He said she had been dead four or five hours. Elsewhere: John Amundus, 75, of Gowrie died Friday at a Des Moines hospital of injuries suffered in a traffic accident Sept. 14 in Fort Dodge. Amundus' vehicle collided at an intersection with a vehicle driven by Joe Jackowell, 72, of Fort Dodge. Jack-pwell was not injured. Request for rape-trial thanges denied by judge fam RmMw'i tewt ttowi Srvk SIOUX CITY, IA. A Woodbury County judge turned down a Sioux City man's request Monday to delay his trial on charges of raping a 13-year-old girl and move the trial to another city. An attorney for Monroe Johnson, 26, based the requests on his contention that Johnson could not get a fair trial here because of publicity surrounding Johnson's arrest Friday on a charge of robbing a branch of the First Interstate Bank of $5,600. The federal arrest warrant accuses Johnson of using force and intimidation, and not a gun, to rob the bank. Johnson allegedly leaned over the 'eounter, pushed a teller out of the way and scooped up cash, according ho court records. fingerprint left on the teller i drawer was traced to Johnson. Missing Iowa girl pictured at end of movie T1 RtgHtoft tew Nm Sarvtc OSKALOOSA, IA. A 16-year-old Oskaloosa girl, who apparently ran away from home a week ago, was to be among the missing children whose pictures appeared in a roll call of missing children following Monday night's NBC-TV movie "Adam: His Song Continues." An Oskaloosa police spokesman 'said Heather Shanahan, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David Shanahan, 'withdrew $800 from her bank ac- count and took a number of belong-I ings with ber. The girl was last seen Sept. 22 in her father's car, a white Oldsmobile Toronado with license plate PEF-389. By PAULA YOST Rtttstor Stiff WrUtr Flattened homes, crumpled combines and dead livestock were left in the wake of a tornado that ripped through northwestern Jasper County Sunday night and caused roughly $2 million in losses, authorities said Monday. As rural Jasper County residents sifted through rubble Monday, state disaster officials surveyed the damage. "It is devastating," said Jasper County Sheriff Alan Wheeler. "Homes that you remember having been there gone." Gov. Terry Brans tad has declared the area an emergency disaster area, which will enable storm victims to receive state resources, and possibly federal relief dollars, in the cleanup. A tornado, which touched down near Farrar about 5:40 p.m. and moved in a crooked path from Mingo to Ira and on to Baxter, destroyed seven homes, 65 farm buildings and 60 pieces of farm machinery, said Ellen Gordon, director of the Office of Disaster Services. grandstand shows Talent Fee Attendance Purse :...9,010 $52,981 7,394 19,150 2,045 10,926 11,726 84,693 2,768 14,968 6,036 79,925 ...10,992 83,732 5,519 19,762 22,469" 131,790 7,039 55,000 1,428 4,825 9,346 54,230 1,310 5,340 8,401 60,030 Profit (Low) $24,871 31,628 1,465 17,044 3.639 (3,511) 15,814 17,152 39,245 12,613 (194) 20,848 3.330 17,995 Also, five homes had major damage and 30 homes are in need of minor repair, she said, adding that the home and farm capital loss touted $1.6 million. At least $350,000 worth of corn and beans were wiped out by heavy winds and rain, said Tom Hart of the disaster services office. He said some swine and cattle were killed, but not a significant number. Roughly 50 percent of the affected farmers should be covered under a federal crop-insurance program, said Steve Kennedy, executive director for the county's Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. Kennedy, who toured the damaged area Monday, recalled seeing a ditch filled with what appeared to be hail. "They were beans. Apparently the tornado just sucked the beans right out of the pods and deposited them in a ditch. It looked just like a wagon load of beans dumped over," he said. Twisters also were sighted Sunday night in Polk, Clay, Webster, Floyd, Benton and Tama counties none of Candidate's The sting of public criticism is one thing, but candidate Denise'Essman wasn't prepared for the reception she received on the campaign trail in West Des Moines last weekend. Essman, the Democrat who is challenging Republican Senator Julia Gentleman in Polk County's 41st District, checked herself into Iowa Lutheran Hospital Monday on the advice of doctors for treatment of a dog bite. The candidate was completing a day of campaign door-knocking early Saturday evening when she entered a yard on 31st Street in West Des Moines. What Essman called a "nice, friendly looking" dog bit her in the left shin. Essman said she didn't recognize the breed of the black, medium-built dog, which was on a rope. Doctors stitched the bite Saturday night, and when she returned for a Monday morning examination, she was advised to enter the hospital for treatment of infection and possible bone damage. Essman, a 38-year-old marketing consultant, said she's been told to expect a hospital stay of about five days. She declined to identify the dog's owner or give the exact location of the incident. Asked for ber advice to fellow door-knockers this election season, she said: "I'd say not to go into yards where there are dogs." I I if which caused major damage, officials said. Wheeler said Monday's twister was the most destructive he remembers ever occurring in Jasper County. "This is just total devastation. It's not a roof gone. The whole house is down and strewn about. Vehicles are just rolled into balls, banged up and beaten almost beyond recognition," he said. Kennedy said it's a miracle no one was killed. "I can't believe with what I saw that somebody wasn't injured. So you can be thankful for that." Wheeler said he was particularly saddened by the loss of the 100-year-old Baxter farm owned by Wade and Donna Cross. "I've been by it on patrol on numerous occasions when the farm buildings were there, the house was there. It was a tree-covered road. It was kind of like driving through a tunnel of trees at night," he said. "Now there's no trees there at all. The house is gone. Everything's gone. It's just stark nakedness on the horizon." pitch nipped in iP Denlse Essman is confined to a hospital 1 WIlT-WI'TH 1938 Iowa State Fair Show Starship, Aug. 14 Rock n' Roll Reunion, Aug. 15 IMCA National Points Race, Aug. 1 6 Statler Brothers. Aug. 16 Winged Sprint Car Race, Aug. 17.... Julio Iglesias, Aug. 1 7 Alabama, Aug. 18 George Strait, Aug. 19 Grand National Tractor Pull, Aug. 20-21 John Denver, Aug. 22 Pickup Pull, Aug. 23 Oak Ridge Boys, Aug. 23 Enduro Auto Race, Aug. 24 Beach Boys, Aug. 24 CtmMntd ittMNttnct for two tvontt. the bud REGISTER PHOTO BY DOUG WELLS 1 bed for treatment of a dog bite. 'l'JiK7, Fair's grandstand shows set crowd, profit records By CHARLES BULLARD PttststMT Sttff Wrttaf The grandstand lineup at the 1986 Iowa State Fair attracted record crowds and earned record profits, fair manager Marion Lucas said Monday. More than 105,000 persons bought grandstand tickets, exceeding the previous record of 104,000 set in 1982. And the $196,000 in profits was larger than last year's record of $147,000. The 1986 fair, Lucas' first as fair manager, represents a dramatic turnaround from the 1984 fair when only 82,000 grandstand tickets were sold and the fair lost more than $50,000 on its grandstand shows. Twelve of the 14 grandstand attractions made money in 1986. Only Julio FAIR Pleose turn to Page 6M

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