You are the owner of this page.
A1 A1
GALLAGHER: Bulldog bowler 'pins' title hopes on spares

LE MARS, Iowa | I met Gary Brady in August 2005 as he orchestrated a 160-pin salute at the funeral for Virgil Schramm, who, for 35 years, owned and operated Sweet 16 Lanes in Le Mars with his wife, Kay Schramm.

Schramm's funeral was held at the bowling alley, a service that concluded as Brady, who bought the business from Schramm one year earlier, dropped 10 pins in all 16 lanes.

Schramm got the last laugh, as pins on lane 4 were last to rack. Schramm, a mechanical wizard when it came to bowling, always sensed lane 4 had an independent streak at his beloved Sweet 16.

I've crossed paths with Brady a few times since, including a stop this winter as his Le Mars Bulldogs bowled in a regular season match. The site teemed with boys' and girls' teams in action. Parents, grandparents and friends watched the action unfold as players from opposing teams congratulated one another on spikes and spares.

The Bulldogs ended their season last week with the boys earning an eighth-place finish at the state tournament. The girls, on the other hand, took second behind Ottumwa in Class 2A. Lexi Schroeder, Brady's step-daughter, paced the local unit with a seventh-place individual effort.


Lexi Schroeder works in the kitchen at Sweet 16 Lanes in Le Mars, Iowa, when she's not competing for the Le Mars Bulldogs in bowling. Schroeder, a junior, placed seventh in the state meet last week and helped her team to a second-place effort.

"I've been with this ever since bowling was a club sport on the high school level," said Brady, noting it has likely been around 17 years. "Since it's been sanctioned as a high school sport in Iowa, the Le Mars boys have gotten second place in 2016 and our girls got second place this year."

Both teams finished fourth in the state one year ago.

"I've bowled ever since my stepdad bought the business," said Schroeder, a junior. "He always tells me to at least get spares and never let an open frame get you down."

Schroeder, apparently, didn't have many open frames in her two-game series at the state meet. She started with a 223 and finished with a 185, good for a 204 average.

According to Brady, there was scant little to separate the top 10 individuals in the girls' state meet. "Lexi needed one more mark per game," Brady said.

Schroeder bowls in the Tuesday afternoon league for youths at Sweet 16 Lanes. She works in the kitchen when she's not polishing her game, one that boasts of a 268-pin high. Her average this season came to 199. She aims to bowl at Morningside come 2019.

Schroeder said bowling continues to gain steam at the Lakes Conference school, a district whose board voted on Wednesday to join the Missouri River Activities Conference in the fall of 2019 (see sidebar).

"I think some people went out for bowling in the beginning just to mess around," she said. "But then they started to like it and began working at it."

Brady and co-coaches Kelly Bork and Gail Swanberg worked with 54 prep bowlers this year, down from a high of 60 participants in recent years.

"In a number of meets, our Le Mars junior varsity would be the second best team at the meet," said Brady, whose girls' team posted a 13-0 record this season.

The second-place Bulldogs girls' team graduates four of the top five keglers in Brooke Westhoff, Caitlynne Peters (first-team all-district performers with Schroeder) and second-team all-district honorees Steph Williams and Abby Whiddon. 

"Lexi is coming back for her senior year, so we'll get to work," Brady said. "We have four different leagues for kids here, so we'll keep the next group (of students) going."

The girls, he concluded, missed out on a state title by what amounts to three spares. Maybe with a little extra work over the course of the upcoming year, his program can "fill" those frames and cart home a championship trophy.

top story
Awesome Biker Nights wouldn't set up own beer tents under new proposal

SIOUX CITY | Awesome Biker Nights would not set up any beer tents of its own at this year's charity motorcycle rally, under a proposal expected to be discussed at Monday's council meeting. 

The proposal strikes what event organizers hope will be an acceptable resolution following weeks of friction between the ABN committee and owners of a pair of Historic Fourth Street businesses over accommodations for the annual event. 

Some businesses have been concerned the annual rally hurts weekend business by hindering access to their establishments, as well as charges them too much to set up their own tents to sell beer and food. Some also have taken issue with the beer tents set up by Awesome Biker Nights, which compete with bars and restaurants for sales.  

According to the latest proposal, Awesome Biker Nights would agree not to sell beer, and businesses would likely pay a reduced fee -- $1,000 -- to vend inside the event confines. Awesome Biker Nights also will provide an entrance for non-event attendees to access the businesses more easily. 

To help offset its anticipated losses due to no beer sales, City Councilwoman Rhonda Capron confirmed Awesome Biker Nights may seek out a deal with The Marquee, a nightclub at 1225 Fourth St., that would allow ABN to receive a portion of sales from a beer tent inside The Marquee's property.

Capron said the proposal is being produced in writing and is expected to go before the council Monday as it considers approval of street closures along Fourth Street for the event. It will be the third time in five weeks the council has considered the street closures. 

KKaufman / Provided 


"I'm waiting to read the contract to see that everybody's on board," Capron said Thursday afternoon. 

Representatives of M's on Fourth and SoHo Kitchen & Bar, the two Historic Fourth Street establishments that have been the most vocal about negative effects of the event on their businesses, had told the council Monday that a similar proposal would be palatable to them. 

Their response came as the council nearly passed a motion that would have approved the closures on condition that the Awesome Biker Nights board would not apply for a beer permit. But the motion died on a 2-2 vote after Mayor Bob Scott -- who himself made the motion -- voted against it to allow the board time to meet again before a final decision was reached.

Board members on Monday had not supported Scott's motion, saying as sponsorship revenue and tickets have declined in recent years, the event has begun selling beer to increase revenue. A portion of the beer sales has also gone to charity.

The Awesome Biker Nights board then met Tuesday and has discussed the idea to forgo beer sales with council members. 

Awesome Biker Nights chairman Brian Hall could not be reached Thursday afternoon. Marquee co-owner Mitch Martin said he would not comment until the situation is finalized Monday. 

Beer sales were the major sticking point for representatives of M's on Fourth and SoHo Kitchen & Bar, the two businesses who have been the most vocal opponents of the event conducting business as usual in its 19th year. 

The two businesses were among a handful that had notified the city and event organizers late last year that they wanted the event to consider alternate locations because the event decreases business access and charges too high a fee to sell inside the event. 

Following meetings with the two businesses and city staff in January, Awesome Biker Nights representatives reached what they had believed to be a compromise: Reducing the fee to $1,000 and providing the non-event attendee entrance. But business owners later said they did not agree with the proposal

If the street closures pass Monday, it will keep the event on Fourth Street, which has been the expressed preference of event organizers. They had also considered moving the event to the Missouri riverfront or Tyson Events Center and Long Lines Family Rec Center parking lots. 

For nearly two decades, Awesome Biker Nights has brought thousands to downtown Sioux City each summer for live music, a bike show and other events. All proceeds generated at the rally benefit charity organizations. It has raised more than $1 million during its existence.

The 19th annual event will be June 14 through 16. Performers have yet to be announced. 

KKaufman / Provided 


Trump orders big tariffs on steel, aluminum

WASHINGTON — Ordering combative action on foreign trade, President Donald Trump declared Thursday the U.S. will impose steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, escalating tensions with China and other trading partners and raising the prospect of higher prices for American consumers and companies.

With "trade war" talk in the air, stocks closed sharply lower on Wall Street.

Trump said firm action was crucial to protect U.S. industry from unfair competition and to bolster national security. However, his announcement came only after an intense internal White House debate. It brought harsh criticism from some Republicans and roiled financial markets with concerns about economic ramifications.

Overseas, Trump's words brought a stinging rebuke from the president of the European Commission. Though the president generally focuses on China in his trade complaining, it was the EU's Jean-Claude Juncker who denounced his plan as "a blatant intervention to protect U.S. domestic industry."

Juncker said the EU would take retaliatory action if Trump followed through.

Canada, the largest source of steel and aluminum imports in the U.S., said it would "take responsive measures" to defend its trade interests and workers if restrictions were imposed on Canadian steel and aluminum products.

On Wall Street, the Standard & Poor's 500 index tumbled 36.16 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,677.67. It's the third straight day where the index has lost at least 1 percent. It had only four such days last year. 

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 420.22 points, or 1.7 percent, to 24,608.98, and the Nasdaq composite fell 92.45, or 1.3 percent, to 7,180.56.

Also, China expressed "grave concern" today about a U.S. trade policy report that pledges to pressure Beijing but had no immediate response to Trump's plan to increase tariffs on steel and aluminum. The report Thursday accused China of moving away from market principles and pledged to prevent Beijing from disrupting global trade. "The Chinese side expresses grave concern," said a Commerce Ministry statement. Chinese officials have threatened to take "necessary measures" to defend their country's interests.

Trump, who has long railed against what he deems unfair trade practices by China and others, summoned steel and aluminum executives to the White House and said next week he would levy penalties of 25 percent on imported steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports. The tariffs, he said, would remain for "a long period of time," but it was not immediately clear if certain trading partners would be exempt.

"What's been allowed to go on for decades is disgraceful. It's disgraceful," Trump told the executives in the Cabinet Room. "When it comes to a time when our country can't make aluminum and steel ... you almost don't have much of a country."

The president added: "You will have protection for the first time in a long while, and you're going to regrow your industries. That's all I'm asking. You have to regrow your industries."

Increased foreign production, especially by China, has driven down prices and hurt U.S. producers, creating a situation the Commerce Department has called a national security threat.

However, critics raised the specter of a trade war, suggesting other countries will retaliate or use national security as a reason to impose trade penalties of their own.

Trump's move will likely raise steel and aluminum prices here. That's good for U.S. manufacturers. But it's bad for companies that use the metals, and it prompted red flags from industries ranging from tool and dye makers to beer distributors to manufacturers of air conditioners. The American International Automobile Dealers Association warned it would drive prices up "substantially."

"This is going to have fallout on our downstream suppliers, particularly in the automotive, machinery and aircraft sectors," said Wendy Cutler, a former U.S. trade official who is now vice president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.

Steel-consuming companies said steel tariffs imposed in 2002 by President George W. Bush ended up wiping out 200,000 U.S. jobs.

The decision had been strenuously debated within the White House, with top officials such as economic adviser Gary Cohn and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis raising concerns.

The penalties were pushed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, an economist who has favored taking aggressive action.

Mattis, in a memo to Commerce, said the department was "concerned about the negative impact on our key allies" of any tariffs.

Some Republicans in Congress were plainly upset.

"The president is proposing a massive tax increase on American families. Protectionism is weak, not strong," said Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska. "You'd expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one."

GOP Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said, "Every time you do this, you get a retaliation and agriculture is the No. 1 target." House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said through a spokesman he hoped Trump would "consider the unintended consequences of this idea and look at other approaches before moving forward."

Trump met with more than a dozen executives, including representatives from U.S. Steel Corp., Arcelor Mittal, Nucor, JW Aluminum and Century Aluminum. The industry leaders urged Trump to act, saying they had been unfairly hurt by a glut of imports.

"We are not protectionist. We want a level playing field," said Dave Burritt, president and chief executive officer at U.S. Steel.

Kerry Hayes 

Michael Shannon and Sally Hawkins in the film "The Shape of Water."