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Speaker Announced for WPU Dean’s Convocation

(OSKALOOSA, Iowa) – William Penn University staff, faculty and students will ring in the start of the spring semester with the Dean’s Convocation on Thursday, January 18, at 11:15 a.m. in the main gymnasium of the Oskaloosa campus. William Penn welcomes Chicago native, Christina Fernandez-Morrow, as the keynote speaker.

Fernandez-Morrow moved to Des Moines in 2001 after accepting a public relations position with State Farm Insurance Co. She has worked in the non-profit world for most of her career and launched the Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines, the only agency in the state that focuses on leadership development for young Latinas.

While in Des Moines, Christina helped start a number of community organizations, including the Young Professionals Connection and Art Noir, where she was instrumental in kicking off their inaugural Hair Ball fundraiser. She was a founder of Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival. Most recently, she started the Warren Morrow Latin Music Festival, named for her late husband who was also an active Des Moines resident and Latino advocate.

Among her recognitions for her community service, Christina was LATINA magazine’s Next Generation Latina award winner, featured in the Des Moines Registers’ “13 People to Watch in 2013”, and a 40 Under 40 award recipient.

Christina is currently serving as an educator at Des Moines University, where she creates live patient-simulated clinical examinations for medical students.

Musco Illuminates Iowa State Capitol

Iowa’s Golden Dome has a different kind of glow after sundown. The high-pressure sodium lights that cast an orange tint on the state capitol at night are gone. A new L-E-D system is in place, courtesy of Oskaloosa-based Musco Sports Lighting. Jim Berns, Musco’s international engineering manager, was at the capitol Thursday night.

“It was April of 2016 when we first did the demonstration on the west side here,” Berns says. “It’s been a long process, but we’ve finally made it to the night to turn them all on.” Berns and his team made some final adjustments last night. Musco installed similar lighting systems at the White House in 2008 and for the Statue of Liberty in 2015.

“Nice to finally bring it to Iowa and show what can be done on the Capitol Building,” Berns says. L-E-D lighting is cheaper and Berns says it will cut the electric costs for “light-scaping” the capitol “by about two-thirds.”

“It’s also more efficient at getting light to what you want it,” Berns says. “The other huge advantage with LED is maintenance costs. The light source in past lighting fixtures was the weakest link of the system. Now, the light source with LEDs will last hundreds of thousands of hours if you control how they’re operated and monitor the heat and get that away from the fixture. They can last a tremendously long time.”

In 1988, A-B-C Television crews used lights to illuminate the exterior of the capitol building for the network’s Caucus Night reports. State leaders, including then-Governor Terry Branstad, liked the look so much they decided to make nighttime lighting permanent. Berns says Iowa’s statehouse is the only one in the country that has one of Musco’s new L-E-D systems.

“I think the biggest reaction is just being able to see the colors that the capitol really is rather than orange at night and just the truer color that you see on the dome,” Berns said.

Berns just returned to Iowa from the United Arab Emirates where he met with Musco teams working on lighting sports stadiums in the Middle East as well as Europe. Musco is also working on new lighting at Kaufmann Stadium, the home field for the Kansas City Royals, and two other Major League Baseball stadiums.

Pella Christian Falls in Semifinals, Will Play for 3rd Place at State

The most efficient defense in the state of Iowa in Class 2A showed exactly why they earned that mark Thursday afternoon.

Cascade of Western Dubuque, the #4 seed in the tournament, took full advantage of an undersized Pella Christian front line and closed the three point line to get a 51-36 win.

#8 seed Pella Christian battled gamely during the first half, as the lead exchanged hands 8 different times. But PC’s patient offensive attack was unable to get consistent looks inside the arc and the shots from downtown were contested regularly by the long and active Cougar defense.

The Eagles’ defense did the job they needed to, limiting the chances Cascade had inside. But their inability to score with any consistency on the offensive end led to their demise.

Levi Jungling, PC’s best scorer at over 20 points per game, was held to just 5 points on 2 of 9 shooting. Mitch Fopma led the Eagles with 13.

Pella Christian will play Anamosa in the 3rd Place Consolation Game at 11:45 AM on Friday morning. Cascade will face Western Christian for the Class 2A State Championship Friday night at 8 PM.

You can hear reports from that game on 104.9 FM KBOE and 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN.

Pella Christian, Lynnville-Sully Among Teams Advancing in Boys’ Basketball

Tournament action continued in boys’ basketball on Tuesday night, and a few area teams were victorious, and a few ended their season.

In Class 1A District 10, Lynnville-Sully defeated Belle Plaine, 54-38. The Hawks will advance to the District 10 Final on Thursday against Meskwaki Settlement School, who defeated BGM, 75-57. That game will be in Marshalltown Thursday at 6:30 PM.

In Class 1A District 11, as heard on the Mahaska Zone Network, Keota defeated Sigourney, 61-53, to advance to the District 11 Final. They will face Montezuma, who beat Wayne, 61-37. That matchup will be in Wellman at 7 PM on Thursday, and can be heard on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN, the KMZN mobile app, and radiokmzn.com.

In Class 2A District 11, Pekin made a good run, but fell to West Burlington in the District Final, 56-52. Meeting West Burlington in the Class 2A Substate 6 Final will be Pella Christian, who defeated Albia Tuesday, 58-33. The Substate 6 Final will be contested at Fairfield High School on Saturday at 7 PM. The winner will advance to the Class 2A Boys’ Basketball State Tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

Bird Flu Confirmed In Iowa Turkey Flock

A bird-flu strain that has already hit numerous turkey farms in the Midwest has been found in a turkey flock in northwest Iowa.

An Iowa Department of Agriculture spokesman says Tuesday the H5N2 strain of bird flu virus has been confirmed in a barn on a farm housing 27,000 birds in Buena Vista County. The disease was suspected when turkeys began dying in the barn.

An Iowa Poultry Association spokesman says the farm is under quarantine and the turkeys will be euthanized.

Animal health officials have long said the virus is dangerous to all commercial poultry. Iowa has 130 turkey farms raising 11 million turkeys a year. The state also is the nation’s leading egg producer with 59.6 million egg layers. No chicken flocks in Iowa have been infected.

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