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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Tribute Honors 60th Anniversary of Iowa Civil Rights Icon

By Dana Boone | 07.02.08 | 9:23 pm

Edna Griffin, known as the “Rosa Parks of  Iowa,” will be honored Monday at the Fort Des Moines Museum in Des Moines.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Griffin’s legendary battle against Katz Drug Store, which had refused Griffin and other African-Americans service because of their skin color.

The museum, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, the Des Moines Human Rights Commission and the Des Moines Chapter of the NAACP will host a tribute to Griffin, who died in 2000.

At 2 p.m., on July 7 at the Grimes State Office Building, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission will have a ceremony to name its offices after Griffin. At 7 p.m., the museum will hold a theatrical tribute featuring Ruth Ann Gaines, Maureen Korte of the Iowa Arts Council and musician John Cheatem. A symbolic march will follow the production.

In 1948, after Griffin and others picketed the downtown Des Moines store, Griffin sued Katz Drug Store under the 1884 Iowa Civil Rights Act, and won. The series of legal victories Griffin won paved the way for blacks to receive equal access in public accommodations — seven years before Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott sparked a national Civil Rights Movement.

The museum, which honors the U.S. Army’s first officer candidate class for black men in 1917 and the first Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps in 1942, has a little known connection to Griffin, said Joe Nolte, executive director.

Griffin was a member of the (WAAC’s) but it’s unclear whether she served in Des Moines, he said. Griffin’s military background was used by defense lawyers for Katz, Nolte said.

“We thought that was something worth celebrating,” he said, of her military background. “We want to make sure people understand the courage, the bravery and the skills she would have needed were definitely honed during her time in the military.”

The event, which is sponsored by Banker’s Trust, will end with a march by candle light.

“As a tribute to the folks who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make sure we had civil rights in Iowa,” Nolte said. 

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