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Chicago’s iconic ‘Bean’ sculpture reopens to tourists after nearly a year of construction

CHICAGO (AP) — One of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions known as “The Bean” reopened to the public Sunday after nearly a year of renovations and construction.

Construction started in August last year, and fencing around the iconic sculpture limited closeup access to visitors. The work on the plaza surrounding the sculpture included new stairs, accessible ramps and a waterproofing system, according to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

The bean-shaped sculpture by artist Anish Kapoor is formally known as “Cloud Gate” and weighs 110 tons (99.8 metric tons).

It’s a busy tourist hub near Michigan Avenue, particularly for selfies with its reflective surface inspired by liquid mercury. Views of skyscrapers and crowds are reflected on the Millenium Park sculpture.

“Visitors can once again have full access to Chicago’s iconic Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor,” city officials said in a Sunday statement. “Come back and get your #selfie!”

Flooding in some Iowa locations to surpass 1993 records

By O. Kay Henderson (Radio Iowa)

National Weather Service forecasters says some river levels in northwest Iowa will crest above levels set during the historic flood of 1993.

Shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday hundreds of Rock Valley residents were ordered to evacuate due to heavy rains and a surging Rock River. Boats and helicopters were used to rescue people from swamped homes. Four shelters were set up for Spencer residents who had to evacuate their homes. However, the shelter at Spencer’s Y-M-C-A was inundated with floodwater and had to be evacuated. The 70 people there moved to shelter at a nearby church.

Roads in and out of Le Mars are blocked by floodwaters and travel is not advised in many northwest Iowa counties. A section of Union Pacific Railroad track north of Sheldon is washed out.

By Saturday night, the west fork of the Des Moines River in Emmetsburg was six feet above flood stage — higher than it was in 1993.

Governor Kim Reynolds has declared 21 counties state disaster areas and she plans to seek a presidential disaster declaration. Reynolds, who toured the flood zone in a helicopter Saturday afternoon, said the “devastation is widespread.”

Changes to note ahead of Iowa’s hunting seasons

DES MOINES — Hunters will notice a few regulation changes for the upcoming 2024-2025 hunting seasons. These changes could impact deer hunters, waterfowl hunters and furharvesters.

Deer

  • Due to a recent statewide effort to combine, clarify, and simplify regulations, Iowa’s hunting regulations now clearly state that party hunting is not allowed for nonresidents. Party hunting, which allows anyone in the hunting party to use their own tag on a deer harvested by another member in the party, is only permitted for residents during the Gun 1, Gun 2, and January antlerless seasons.  Nonresidents may hunt as part of the hunting party, but must shoot and tag their own deer. This language states more simply and clearly the differences that existed for years between resident and nonresident transportation tag uses in the former Iowa Administrative Code.

  • Population Management January Antlerless Season will be available in Allamakee, Winneshiek, Decatur, Appanoose, Monroe, Lucas and Wayne counties if the number of unsold antlerless licenses on the third Monday in December exceeds 100.
  • Monona, Harrison, Shelby, Pottawattamie, Mills and Fremont counties were added to the buck-only counties for first gun season.
  • Antlerless quotas have changed in 12 counties.

Trail Camera Use on Public Land

  • The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has tabled its proposed policy position regarding trail cameras on public land to allow for more public input on the issue during its wildlife rules meetings, held across the state in February. There are no changes to how trail cameras can be used on public land during the 2024-25 seasons.

Migratory birds

  • HIP – All licensed hunters pursuing migratory game birds are required to register for HIP annually, either through the Go Outdoors Iowa app on their smartphone or through a link at www.iowadnr.gov/waterfowl. Non-licensed youth hunters are not required. Migratory game birds include doves, ducks, geese, coots, woodcock and snipe.
  • Federal E-Stamp – The federal E-Stamp is now valid for the entire hunting season. The physical stamp will be mailed to the address on file after waterfowl season concludes. Hunters are responsible to make sure their address on file is current.

Furharvesters

  • A person under age 16 is not required to have a furharvester license to trap furbearing animals if accompanied by a parent, guardian or other competent adult, who possess a valid furharvester license while trapping furbearing animals. There must be one licensed adult for each person under 16 years of age.

Hunting Regulations

Dutch Oven Picnic This Thursday at ELC

OSKALOOSA — Bring your family, a picnic supper, and something to drink to a Dutch oven demonstration behind the Environmental Learning Center on Thursday, June 27 from 6:00-7:00 pm. They will meet at the back of the ELC at the picnic tables and Naturalist, Laura DeCook, will share information about cooking with Dutch ovens. She will also prepare and cook a dessert for everyone to sample while you eat your picnic supper.

***Please sign up for this program to make sure there is enough seating and samples. Call our office at (641)673-9327 or email decook@mahakacountyia.gov and they will get you on the list.

Donald Sutherland, the towering actor whose career spanned ‘M.A.S.H.’ to ‘Hunger Games,’ dies at 88

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Sutherland, the Canadian actor whose wry, arrestingly off-kilter screen presence spanned more than half a century of films from “M.A.S.H.” to “The Hunger Games,” has died. He was 88.

Sutherland died Thursday in Miami after a long illness, according to a statement from Creative Artists Agency, which represented him.

Kiefer Sutherland said on X he believed his father was one of the most important actors in the history of film: “Never daunted by a role, good, bad or ugly. He loved what he did and did what he loved, and one can never ask for more than that.”

The tall and gaunt Sutherland, who flashed a grin that could be sweet or diabolical, was known for offbeat characters like Hawkeye Pierce in Robert Altman’s “M.A.S.H.,” the hippie tank commander in “Kelly’s Heroes” and the stoned professor in “Animal House.”

“Donald was a giant, not only physically but as a talent,” Sutherland’s “M.A.S.H.” co-star Elliott Gould said in a statement to The Associated Press as many paid tribute. “He was also enormously kind and generous.”

Before transitioning into a long career as a respected character actor, Sutherland epitomized the unpredictable, antiestablishment cinema of the 1970s. He never stopped working, appearing in nearly 200 films and series.

Over the decades, Sutherland showed his range in more buttoned-down — but still eccentric — roles in Robert Redford’s “Ordinary People” and Oliver Stone’s “JFK.” More, recently, he starred in the “Hunger Games” films.

A memoir, “Made Up, But Still True,” is due out in November.

“I love to work. I passionately love to work,” Sutherland told Charlie Rose in 1998. “I love to feel my hand fit into the glove of some other character. I feel a huge freedom — time stops for me. I’m not as crazy as I used to be, but I’m still a little crazy.”

Born in St. John, New Brunswick, Donald McNichol Sutherland was the son of a salesman and a mathematics teacher. Raised in Nova Scotia, he was a disc jockey with his own radio station at age 14.

“When I was 13 or 14, I really thought everything I felt was wrong and dangerous, and that God was going to kill me for it,” Sutherland told The New York Times in 1981. “My father always said, ‘Keep your mouth shut, Donnie, and maybe people will think you have character.'”

Sutherland began as an engineering student at the University of Toronto but switched to English and started acting in school theatrical productions. While studying, he met Lois Hardwick, an aspiring actress. They married in 1959 but divorced seven years later.

After graduating in 1956, Sutherland attended the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art to study acting. He began appearing in West End plays and British television. After a move to Los Angeles, a series of war films changed his trajectory.

His breakthrough was “The Dirty Dozen” (1967), in which he played Vernon Pinkley, the officer-impersonating psychopath. 1970 saw the release of the World War II yarn “Kelly’s Heroes” and “M.A.S.H.,” a smash hit that catapulted Sutherland to stardom.

“There is more challenge in character roles,” Sutherland told The Washington Post in 1970. “There’s longevity. A good character actor can show a different face in every film and not bore the public.”

If Sutherland had had his way, Altman would have been fired from “M.A.S.H.” He was unhappy with the director’s unorthodox, improvisational style. But the film caught on beyond anyone’s expectations.

Sutherland identified with its anti-war message. Outspoken against the Vietnam War, he along with actress Jane Fonda and others founded the Free Theater Associates in 1971. Banned by the Army because of their political views, they performed in venues near military bases in Southeast Asia in 1973.

“I thought I was going to be part of a revolution that was going to change movies and its influence on people,” Sutherland told the Los Angeles Times.

His career as a leading man peaked in the 1970s, when he starred in films by the era’s top directors — even if they didn’t always do their best work with him. Sutherland, who frequently said he considered himself at the service of a director’s vision, worked with Federico Fellini (1976’s “Fellini’s Casanova”), Bernardo Bertolucci (1976’s “1900”), Claude Chabrol (1978’s “Blood Relatives”) and John Schlesinger (1975’s “The Day of the Locust”).

One of his finest performances came as a detective in Alan Pakula’s “Klute” (1971). During filming he met Fonda, with whom he had a three-year relationship that began at the end of his second marriage to actor Shirley Douglas. He and Douglas divorced in 1971 after having twins: Rachel and Kiefer, who was named after Warren Kiefer, the writer of Sutherland’s first film, “Castle of the Living Dead.”

Nicolas Roeg’s psychological horror film “Don’t Look Now” (1973) was another high point. Sutherland starred with Julie Christie as a grieving couple who move to Venice after their daughter’s death. The film included a famous, explicit sex scene, artfully edited.

“Nic and I thought that maybe I would die in the process of it, so much were we committed,” Sutherland once said. His admiration for the film and Roeg was such that he and his next wife, actress Francine Racette, named their first-born child Roeg.

Sutherland married Racette in 1972 and remained with her. She survives him. They had two other children: Rossif, named after the director Frederic Rossif; and Angus Redford, named after Redford.

Robert Redford’s “Ordinary People” (1980) also dealt with the loss of a child. His directorial debut, starring Sutherland as the father of a family destroyed by tragedy, won four Oscars, including best picture.

Sutherland was never nominated for an Academy Award but received an honorary Oscar in 2017. He did win an Emmy in 1995 for the TV film “Citizen X” and won two Golden Globes for “Citizen X” and the 2003 TV film “Path to War.”

Sutherland’s New York stage debut in 1981, though, went terribly. He played Humbert Humbert in Edward Albee’s adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” and the reviews were merciless; it closed after a dozen performances. A down period in the ’80s followed, with failures like the 1981 satire “Gas” and the 1984 comedy “Crackers.”

But Sutherland continued to work steadily and increasingly worked in television, most memorably in HBO’s “Path to War,” in which he played President Lyndon Johnson’s defense secretary, Clark Clifford.

After son Kiefer emerged as a star, Sutherland appeared in numerous films with him, including the 1996 thriller “A Time to Kill” and 2015’s “Forsaken.” But he turned down the chance to play the father on the hit series “24.”

To a younger generation, Sutherland was most familiar as President Snow in “The Hunger Games” franchise beginning with the 2012 original. Sutherland sought out the part.

“The role of the president had maybe a line in the script. Maybe two. Didn’t make any difference,” Sutherland told GQ. “I thought it was an incredibly important film, and I wanted to be a part of it.”

In his final years, the nonstop actor mused about dying onscreen, for real.

“I’m really hoping that in some movie I’m doing, I die — but I die, me, Donald — and they’re able to use my funeral and the coffin,” Sutherland told the AP. “That would be absolutely ideal. I would love that.”

Hot weather can cause deer to be on the move

By Ellis Codjoe (Radio Iowa)

The director of the Wapello County Conservation Board says you may see more deer on and along the roadways in warm weather.

Rick Tebbs says deer are like humans and stay in the shade to keep cool during the day, and then go on the move to look for food as the sun sets. “It’s cooler now. I’ve been hungry,” Tebbs explains. “I haven’t eaten all day and so now I’m going to try to cross roads where I can get to new soybean fields that are planted or grassy areas, or the ditch along the highway [that] just got mowed so the new grass that is trying to replace it is nice and green and tender.”

Tebbs says the deer we are most likely to see while driving around this time of the year are very young. “Those six-week-old fawns are really naive to cars. So they think nothing about running right in front of you. I mean, they don’t have a concept of speed and different things,” Tebbs says.

Tebbs suggests drivers should go easy on the gas pedal while traveling at night. “I would slow down,” Tebbs cautions. That’s always the best method. Slow down and try to take your time and hopefully, you can have your brights on so that they’re (deer) more visible but when you got oncoming traffic, you gotta turn your brights off so you can’t see as far.”

Experts say you should not swerve if you see a deer in the roadway, as you may lose control of your car and put yourself in danger.

Iowa’s Unemployment Rate Remains at 2.8 Percent in May

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 2.8 percent in May, unchanged from April and the same as one year ago. The state’s labor force participation rate fell to 66.7 percent, down slightly from 66.8 percent last month. Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate increased to 4.0 percent in May.

“After strong job growth earlier this year, Iowa saw moderate decreases in hiring across many industries, except health care,” said Beth Townsend, Executive Director of Iowa Workforce Development. “We also know that IWD’s Reemployment Case Management program has been very successful in helping unemployed Iowans find their next job in the shortest time possible. IowaWORKS Career Planners provide one-on-one assistance for jobless Iowans from the very beginning and can help them find their next opportunity at one of the 56,000+ job openings around the state.”

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 46,900 in May from 47,200 in April.

The total number of working Iowans fell to 1,644,700 in May. This figure is 2,200 lower than April and 20,600 lower than one year ago.

Seasonally Adjusted Nonfarm Employment

Iowa establishments showed little movement in payrolls compared to April (-200). This modest loss is the second consecutive and was fueled by private sector losses in professional and business services, other services, and trade. The losses were partially offset by hiring in local government, which advanced by 700 jobs at the local level as municipal entities ramped up for summer activities. Compared to last May, total nonfarm employment is now up 23,800 jobs.

Professional and business services shed the most jobs in May (-900). Administrative support and waste management industries were responsible for most of the decline this month, which is identical to the decline in April (-1,100). Smaller losses occurred in other services (-700). Many of these job losses were related to civic, professional, and similar organizations. Other losses included both wholesale and retail trade, which led to a decline of 500 jobs in trade, transportation, and utilities. This monthly loss was the first since January. On the other hand, education and health care gained 1,400 jobs to lead all sectors. Much of the increase stemmed from health care and social assistance (+1,100 jobs). Offices of physicians, dentists, and other practitioners showed the most signs of hiring in May. Leisure and hospitality had the only other notable increase with 500 jobs added since April. Amusement, gambling, and other recreational industries was responsible for most of the gains.

Annually, Iowa employers added 23,800 jobs over the past 12 months. Health care and social assistance has gained 5,500 jobs and fueled a gain of 6,900 in the education and health care super sector. Leisure and hospitality industries are up 6,500 jobs. Accommodations and food services was responsible for all the hiring. Alternatively, trade, transportation, and utilities shed the most jobs over the past 12 months, paring 1,700 jobs. Both retail trade and transportation and warehousing were responsible for these losses.

Vendor Registration Deadline for Sweet Corn Serenade Approaching

OSKALOOSA — Oskaloosa’s Sweet Corn Serenade is a little over a month away, and Oskaloosa Main Street is reminding area residents that the final registration deadline for the craft and vendor fair is coming up.

Each year, the Sweet Corn Serenade brings over 3,000 people to downtown Oskaloosa, and those who would like to participate as a vendor need to register for the event by July 15. The Sweet Corn Serenade is scheduled for July 25, lasting from noon-9pm on the city square.

More information on the event can be found online at mahaskachamber.org.

Snapchat Inc. to pay $15 million to settle discrimination and harassment lawsuit in California

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Snapchat Inc. will pay $15 million to settle a lawsuit brought by California’s civil rights agency that claimed the company discriminated against female employees, failed to prevent workplace sexual harassment and retaliated against women who complained.

The settlement with Snapchat Inc., which owns the popular disappearing-message app by the same name, covers women who worked for the company in California between 2014 and 2024, the California Civil Rights Department announced Wednesday. The settlement is subject to court approval.

The agreement resolves a more than three-year investigation over claims that the Santa Monica, California-based company discriminated against female employees when it came to pay and promotions, the department said in a statement.

The bulk of the settlement money will go to employees who faced discrimination at Snapchat Inc., California officials said.

“In California, we’re proud of the work of our state’s innovators who are a driving force of our nation’s economy,” said Kevin Kish, director of California’s civil rights agency. “This settlement with Snapchat demonstrates a shared commitment to a California where all workers have a fair chance at the American Dream. Women are entitled to equality in every job, in every workplace, and in every industry.”

Snapchat Inc. said it disagrees with the agency’s claims but that it decided to settle to avoid costly and lengthy litigation.

“We care deeply about our commitment to maintain a fair and inclusive environment at Snap, and do not believe we have any ongoing systemic pay equity, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation issues against women,” the company said in a statement.

Snapchat Inc. grew from 250 employees in 2015 to over 5,000 in 2022. But the growth didn’t translate to advancement for female employees who “were told to wait their turn, were actively discouraged from applying for promotions, or lost promotion opportunities to less qualified male colleagues,” California officials said.

In particular, women in engineering roles, which account for about 70% of Snap’s workforce, found barriers when trying to advance from entry-level positions, according to the complaint.

California’s civil rights agency also said in its lawsuit that women were sexually harassed and that when they spoke up, they faced retaliation that included negative performance reviews and termination. Male managers routinely promoted male employees over more qualified women, the agency said.

“Women were told, both implicitly and explicitly, that they were second-class citizens at Snap,” the agency said in its lawsuit.

The settlement will require the company to hire an independent consultant to evaluate its compensation and promotion policies and retain an outside auditor of its sexual harassment, retaliation, and discrimination compliance. The company will also have to train its staff on preventing discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment in the workplace, officials said.

Snapchat Inc. also agreed to provide information to all employees about their right to report harassment or discrimination without fear of retaliation.

You have until July 1st to nominate a State Fair ‘Iowan of the Day’

By Ethan Hewett (Radio Iowa)

The deadline is approaching for nominations for the 2024 Iowan of the Day Awards at the Iowa State Fair. Ten people will be singled out for the title during the August event.

The fair’s Chloe Hamaker says the Iowan of the Day program is an opportunity to recognize those people who are positively impacting their towns and their neighbors.

“We are just looking to highlight Iowans who demonstrate integrity and leadership and hard work,” Hamaker says. “Those who are always volunteering and helping out in their communities.”

Winners of the Iowan of the Day receive a day of recognition at the fair, gate admission for four, 200-dollars in cash, use of a golf cart at the fair, V-I-P parking, and more. Hamaker says they have seen individuals from six to 90 years old receive the recognition.

“There was one little girl who helped raise funds to pay for milk for all the kids in her class — if their family couldn’t afford milk in their school lunch program, she raised money so they could have milk with their lunch,” she said. “Then there are individuals who have just volunteered a lot of time with the youth, or Big Brother/Big Sister programs or volunteered in the hospitals, different things like that.”

Nominations from 2021, 2022 and 2023 will also be reconsidered. While there are no age limitations, Hamaker says nominees do need to be Iowa residents and nominating someone is easy.

“We just ask that you submit a letter of nomination as well as any letter of references from other individuals who you think know them well and any supplemental information, such as news articles or other awards that they’ve won,” she says.

Nomination forms are available at blueribbonfoundation.org. All nominations are due by July 1st.

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