Weird Iowa: Diaper Discounts and Pajama Parties, Nickels and Nitwits, Mailboxes and -- BOOM! (Plus, Gabby!)
Weird crime, weird taxes, weird explosions, weird Iowa.
We're into another week of Weird Iowa with a bang.
What may have been intended as a prank has authorities warning residents that destroying a mailbox is a federal crime punishable by three years in prison. An Urbandale mailbox in the 15900 block of Winston Avenue was destroyed July 27 when a Dr. Pepper bottle filled with an unknown chemical exploded near it, police said.
Move to Iowa City, where burglary tools and a unique nickel may be used as evidence against an Iowa City man accused of commiting burglary and -- hold on -- riding a bike without a light on.
Iowa City police say they responded to the report of a burglary at 420 Hutchinson Ave. last night at 11:30 p.m. Officers at the scene found that someone had apparently tried to pry the back door open.
Soon after a reported burglary, an Iowa City man was stopped by police while riding on his bike on a public street with no light, according to a criminal complaint. He was asked for identification and he replied that he didn't have any, when he tried to bike away the officer stopped him again.
Before he was initially stopped, the man allegedly threw an object to the ground. When this item was recovered, police say they discovered a stocking cap containing a bandana tied off as a mask, gloves a screwdriver, scouring pad, and metal tire gauge. Things only got worse: Among the items the man was accused of taking was $10.23 in change, and an employee of the burglared store said that one of the nickels taken was a unique coin with punchmarks in it.
Guess what Iowa City police found on the man without the light? Yep.
Sen. Chuck Grassley is nothing if not a shrewd politician who never shies away from a fight -- even a food fight. Now, he's one carnivore the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals would like to see go extinct.
Grassley, a longtime farmer and Republican senator, bristled on Twitter earlier this month about the United States Department of Agriculture's statement in its interofficenewsletter posted on its website that participating in Meatless Mondays would be "one simple way to reduce your environmental impact while dining at our cafeterias."
"I will eat more meat on Monday to compensate for stupid USDA recommendation abt a meatless Monday," Grassley wrote in response on his now well-known Twitter account on July 12.
The last day of Iowa's sales tax holiday is here. Are you ready?
For those not in the know, the tax-free holiday means no sales tax on all the essential clothing and footwear you might need for back-to-school. In Waukee and all of Dallas County, that equates to a savings of up to 6 percent on everything from socks, shoes and shirts to pants, pajamas and adult diapers...
What? Adult diapers? Yeah, you read that right.
A real funny guy must have decided what items are taxable and what items are exempt during Iowa's sales tax holiday. For example, shoes are tax free unless they have cleats. Shoulder pads for dresses and jackets are exempt (even if they're no longer in style) but shoulder pads for protection are not (footballers need not apply.) And it might be time for a pajama party. Yep, PJs are exempt, too.
Finally, there's nothing weird about our Golden Girl, The Great Gabby. But we're mentioning her at every opportunity because we couldn't be more proud of our adopted Iowa gymnast.
Our West Des Moines wonder-kid captured the gold at the London 2012 Olympics, and she competes again on Monday.
Go, Gabby, Go!