Like most states with active trade associations of barbers and beauticians, Iowa strictly regulates those professions, requiring 2,100 hours of training plus continuing education — but also like many other states, Iowa does not regulate body piercers at all (though it forbids minors from getting tattoos). Thus, the puncturing of body parts and insertion of jewelry or other objects under the skin can be done by anyone, with or without formal training, under no one's watchful eye except the customer's. (A few cities' ordinances require a minimum age to get pierced.) Said one professional piercer to the Des Moines Register for a March report, "The lack of education in this industry is scary."
Government in Action
-Controlling the Waters: (1) A February bill in the Wyoming legislature to prepare the state for possible secession authorized a task force to consider establishing a state army, navy, marine corps and air force, and one amendment added the consideration of purchasing an aircraft carrier. Wyoming is, of course, landlocked, but it does have the 136-square-mile Yellowstone Lake, though that body of water is high up in the Teton mountains. (The aircraft-carrier amendment was defeated even though 27 representatives voted for it.) (2) Texas announced in February that it would deploy six gunboats to patrol the Mexican border's Rio Grande river. Said a state Department of Safety official, "It sends a message: Don't mess with Texas."
-With a National Institute of Justice grant, the Houston Police Department was able to learn precisely how embarrassingly bad it had been in investigating rape cases. In February it conceded that, as of December, it had on hand 6,663 untested rape kits (some from the 1980s) taken from rape victims at the time of the crime but then apparently ignored. (Not all are significant: In some rapes, a perpetrator has already confessed or been convicted, and still other victims recanted, and in still others, the statute of limitations has run out.)
Hot Commodity in Pennsylvania
-(1) In January, police in Bridgeville, Pa., investigated a series of vehicle break-ins, including one of a car belonging to Kathy Saunoras, who reported that only her dentures were taken. (2) Two weeks later, health worker Marlene Dupert, 44, was charged with yanking dentures out of the mouth of one of her charges at a nursing home in Selinsgrove, Pa. (3) Also in February, Evelyn Fuller, 49, was charged with robbing the First National Bank in Waynesburg, Pa. — a crime necessitated, she told a police officer, because she needed money for new dentures.
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