ISU Extension makes adjustment to Earth Day programs

first_imgAMES — The 50th anniversary of Earth Day is Wednesday but the pandemic has forced the cancellation of environmental awareness activities, including the Iowa State University Extension program “Water Rocks!”The staff visits Iowa schools throughout the year to hold water quality assemblies. Outreach specialist Hilary Pierce says students are urged to commemorate Earth Day by gathering objects from nature to create works of art. “And then snap a photo of it and share it with us on social media,” Pierce says. “We will enter that into our contest where winners will be selected based on who gets the most shares, who has the most creative ideas, and we will be giving out prizes.”Pierce says Earth Day served as an inspiration for “Water Rocks!” to begin publishing four short weekly educational videos on YouTube. Half are original music performances about the environment and the others are classroom lessons. Also as part of Earth Day, the Iowa Environmental Council is encouraging people to make changes they may not have otherwise considered.The council’s spokeswoman, Angelisa Belden, says while many are working from home during Earth Week, they can pay attention to personal energy and product consumption. “This situation has had us start to think more about the ways that we get them into our homes, how quickly we use them,” Belden says. “People are just more aware of how quickly they’re putting items into the recycling bins because they’re home all day. I think it makes you more aware of your consumption and that’s a good thing.”The Iowa Environmental Council will release a report this week proposing how the state can meet electricity demands by 2050 without using fossil fuels.last_img read more

Lawyer supports tampering allegation

first_imgLOS ANGELES – Prosecution claims that Phil Spector’s defense concealed key evidence in an actress’ shooting death were given surprise support Thursday when a lawyer who once worked for the record producer said she saw famed criminalist Henry Lee pick up a fingernail-sized object at the scene. The testimony, at a hearing outside the jury’s presence, contradicts Lee’s official report. Prosecutors say part of an acrylic fingernail missing from Lana Clarkson’s right hand could show whether she was in a struggle when she died, but defense lawyers have claimed for more than three years that the nail does not exist. The prosecution is expected to ask for severe sanctions against the defense if it is shown that lawyers purposely withheld evidence in the Feb. 3, 2003, shooting at Spector’s home. Spector’s murder trial is under way but jurors have been off this week because lead defense attorney Bruce Cutler called in sick. The lawyer being questioned was Sara Caplan, an associate of Robert Shapiro, the first lawyer to represent Spector. They also worked together on the O.J. Simpson trial. She said she had no idea what became of the item. Lee has said in his official report that the only things he recovered were two white threads and some carpet fiber taken for samples. Spector, 67, whose “Wall of Sound” transformed rock `n’ roll in the 1960s, has pleaded not guilty in the case, and his lawyers have argued the actress shot herself. Law clerk Greg Diamond, who first testified on Wednesday, set off a court fight after he came forward to say that a small white piece of evidence was collected at the scene by Caplan and shown to the entire defense team. Diamond, who once worked for Shapiro, said forensic pathologist Michael Baden handled the object and said he thought it was a tooth fragment. “I would never touch an object at an alleged crime scene ever,” Caplan said. “I have been a criminal defense lawyer over 20 years. I know not to contaminate evidence … I value my ethical responsibilities.” Baden, who flew in from New York for the hearing Wednesday, said he didn’t see any such object at the scene and didn’t see Caplan pick up anything. Diamond said that before he went to prosecutors with his information he called a number of news organizations including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Web-based The Smoking Gun and Court TV, but none of the media organizations published his material.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Caplan said under questioning by defense lawyer Roger Rosen that she was part of the defense delegation that went to Spector’s home a day after the shooting, after authorities completed their evidence gathering at the scene. Lee was part of the team and all were scrutinizing the foyer area where Clarkson was shot, looking for anything that might have been overlooked by law enforcement. “I pointed out a few things to Henry,” said Caplan, recalling one white object. “He had on rubber gloves and had a tweezer. He said, `Might be interesting.”‘ Lee picked it up and put it in a vial, Caplan said. Asked to describe the object, she held up the thumb of her right hand and said, “About the size of my fingernail.” She added, “It was flat with uneven edges, a solid object.” last_img