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Waterloo has a pit bull problem, right?

Friday, Sep, 20 2013

As Waterloo animal control staffers work on a new, tougher ordinance to control pit bulls, we hear of yet another attack.

On Wednesday, 79-year-old Bill Winder of Waterloo was walking in George Wyth State Park with his Wheaton terrier, Snickers.  Three pit bulls attacked Snickers.  While Winder tried to pull the dogs off, two women who appeared to own the dogs grabbed them and put them in a car.  They refused to give their names and drove off.

Winder received 14 puncture wounds.  Snickers had severe bites to its neck.

Last week, a Waterloo woman who was letting her dogs out had a pit bull push past her and attacked her two dogs, a dachshund and a Rottweiler.  Her boyfriend hit the pit bull over the head with a rattan table five times before it stopped its attack.

A few weeks ago, a 65-year-old woman was bitten over 200 times by two pit bulls and a Boston terrier mix as she was on her morning walk.  A 13-year-old boy who came to her aid suffered bites and scratches from an attack by the same dogs.

It’s easy to blame the breed.  The pit bull is not to blame.  Irresponsible owners are to blame.

That’s something city officials need to keep in mind as they consider stricter animal control laws.

posted by: Dennis Lowe 10 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


Back to School Safety

Tuesday, Aug, 27 2013

With the start of another school year, I feel compelled to remind ALL motorists to be especially careful.

A lot of kids walk to and from school, ride their bicycles, ride the bus or get dropped off and picked up by parents, guardians or car pools.  My friends in law enforcement offer some basic safety tips to remember:

• Slow down in school and residential areas.
• Watch for clues that kids are in the area (bikes, adult crossing guards, school buses).
• Obey school bus stop laws.
• Clear fogged windows before driving.
• Avoid school zones during arrival and dismissal hours.

Cedar Rapids police also encourage parents of children walking or riding their bikes to school to follow some basic safety tips as well:

• Walk the route to school to know the safest route.
• Find a friend to walk with to and from school.  Avoid walking alone.
• Know where there are “safe” places to go in case of emergency.
• Use crosswalks and designated school crossing zones whenever possible.
• Help children learn to estimate if there is enough time to cross the street.
• Never cross the street between parked cars.
• When there is no sidewalk and it is necessary to walk on the roadway, walk on the far-left side of the street, facing traffic.

Bottom line: use extreme caution when driving in school zones.  A life may depend on it.

posted by: Dennis Lowe 11 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


A great voice is silenced

Tuesday, Aug, 20 2013

Monday, August 19th, 2013 will be remembered as the worst day of my professional life.  That’s the day I found out that my friend and colleague, Paul Michaels, had died.

Monday started like any other day.  Up at 3 a.m., at the radio station by 4.  Within minutes of arriving, all of us on the morning crew are greeted by Paul’s signature, “Goooooood morning.”  At about 4:10 I asked Gary Edwards if he had seen Paul.  He had not.  I looked out the back door to see if Paul’s car was in its usual spot.  It was not.  I checked my schedule to see if I had forgotten vacation days Paul had requested.  No vacation.  I said out loud, “This is not good.”  Gary called Paul’s cell phone, which went to voice mail.  I tried again a few minutes later.  My call went to voice mail too.  My bad feeling got worse.

After consulting with our general manager, I called the Black Hawk County Dispatch Center and requested a welfare check.  A short time later, Waterloo police officers forced their way through Paul’s front door.  He was found lying on his couch.  My guess is Paul died sometime late Saturday or early Sunday.

Paul Michaels was a unique talent.  He had a passion for radio.  That passion inspired others.  His enthusiasm was contagious.  I’m fairly certain Paul had no idea how many lives he’s touched.  I’m not sure I fully realized it until he was gone.  Since Monday, I’ve received dozens of phone calls, emails, texts and Facebook messages.  To a person, what people remembered most about Paul were his ever-present smile and his laugh.  It was a great belly laugh.  Just thinking about it makes me smile.

Paul’s passing has left a void in our building.  Our broken hearts will heal.  We may find another person to do Paul’s job, but Paul will never be replaced.  He was that special.  All of us who worked with Paul are better people for it.

Rest in peace, my friend.  You’ll be missed.  You are missed.

posted by: Dennis Lowe 11 month(s) ago Comment On This Post


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