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Monday morning read: Transgender teen to go to Boys State, officials laud Iowa's mental health care changes, preservation demonstration planned before Bever Building demolitions

Emmet Cummings is interviewed April 2 about his plans to attend American Legion Boys State. “I'm hoping by going to Boys State that I'll be able to show the board of directors, hey, allowing transgender people into Boys State isn't that big of a deal.” (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Emmet Cummings is interviewed April 2 about his plans to attend American Legion Boys State. “I'm hoping by going to Boys State that I'll be able to show the board of directors, hey, allowing transgender people into Boys State isn't that big of a deal.” (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Transgender teen will go to Boys State- With a deep interest in civics, high school junior Emmet Cummings had his heart set on attending the American Legion’s Boys State this summer.

When Legion leaders said he wasn’t welcome, but then changed their minds, he at first wasn’t sure what to do.

But even with the cool reception, the teenager ultimately decided he would go to show that the Legion’s vacillation was all so unnecessary.

“I have decided I am going to go, so I can hopefully show the board of directors that having a transgender individual there is not a big deal, that it shouldn’t be followed up with this much hesitation and fear of what the parents or my fellow Boy Staters would say,” Emmet said. Read more...

Officials laud Iowa's mental health care changes- Iowans who work closest with those with mental health care needs are singing the praises of newly signed legislation that overhauls the state’s mental health care delivery system.

The package of programs recently received unanimous approval from state lawmakers and was signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds.

The sweeping legislation makes myriad additions and changes to the state’s mental health care delivery system, and mental health experts and officials are pleased with the contents. Read more...

Historic preservation demonstration planned before Bever Building demolitions- Decrying “subsidizing the demolition of our city’s heritage,” historic preservation advocates are planning a demonstration Monday afternoon in front of the Bever Building, 417 First Ave. SE, before the 1923-built structure is demolished.

This is the latest in a series of demolitions or scheduled demolitions of historic properties, including a former Sinclair gas station structure in the Automobile Row District and an early mansion to make way for a parking lot for a Physicians’ Clinic of Iowa expansion, according to Save CR Heritage, the group organizing the event. Read more...

Time Machine: The April 1973 blizzard- Forty-five years ago this week, the worst April blizzard in Iowa history paralyzed the state.On Sunday, April 8, 1973, it started snowing, with 3 inches predicted.

The slow-moving storm sped up a bit on Sunday evening, and 5 more inches of snow was added to the forecast.But the storm refused to move on. It stayed put for 18 hours, and Eastern Iowa was in the grip of a full-blown blizzard. In April.“Like a tire spinning on ice, it continued to intensify, generating northerly winds in excess of 60 mph and dumping heavy snow over the same areas, hour after hour,” The Gazette reported. Read more...

Drake Relays form chart: 2018 cutoffs, Iowa high school leaders- The high school portion of the Drake Relays is April 26-28 at Drake Stadium.Here is a form chart, through events recorded at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 8. Deadline for qualification is 11:59 p.m., April 19.This will be updated periodically as the Relays approach. See the list...

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