New Tax Credit for First-Time Home Buyers

The Iowa Finance Authority is now offering some first-time Iowa home buyers a tax credit of up to two-thousand dollars a year, for the life of their 30-year mortgage. Twenty years ago congress passed a law allowing states to set up this kind of a program and Iowa is doing it for the first time in 2014. Iowa Finance Authority director Dave Jamison says his agency will issue a certificate for that tax credit on mortgages that are handled by a lender participating in the program… “One important note is that the Mortgage Credit Certificate funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis until the funds are expended.” Home sales that closed after February 3rd of this year are eligible. Continue Reading


Mediacom Offers Home Security From the Future

Who would have thought that someday, you could shut your lights off, turn up the heat, and control other household devices from your cell phone? It’s becoming the latest technology trend and Mediacom is getting in on it. Phyllis Peters with Mediacom says it all starts with a small control panel… “You can check to see which windows have opened and closed and check the cameras. From that [home control] panel, a person can control what ever is important to them. Continue Reading


Recreational Pot Hurting Colorado’s Image?

A new poll suggests Colorado voters believe the law they passed legalizing recreational marijuana is hurting the state’s image. Fifty-one percent of Colorado voters in a new Quinnipiac  University Poll say legal pot is bad for the state’s reputation. Only 38 percent said it is helping. Young voters see the measure as a net positive, while older voters view it negatively. A majority of respondents, however, still support both the measure and how Gov. John Hickenlooper is implementing it. Continue Reading


New Mississippi River Bridge Opens Today

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has joined his Missouri counterpart and others at a ribbon-cutting for a new bridge over the Mississippi at St. Louis. The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge is opening to traffic today
The two states spent years fighting over how to pay for the $700 million span, then argued over what to name the bridge. But yesterday officials from both states came together to celebrate its completion. Quinn said the first new link to be built between downtown St. Continue Reading


Two Oquawka Meth Arrests

Two Oquawka residents have been arrested on meth charges according to a press release from Henderson county Sheriff Steve Haynes. 46-year-old Scott Woodard and 30-year-old Nichole Larson of 701 Pike Street were both arrested for Aggravated Participation of Meth Manufacturing, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of Meth Manufacturing Materials. he Henderson County Sheriff’s Investigator and State Police Drug Task Force found items in their garage that associated with Meth Manufacturing. Both were taken to the Henderson County Jail while they await a court appearance. Continue Reading


New Legislation to Increase Animal Abuse Penalties

Pets would be better protected and animal abuse offenders punished more severely under legislation being discussed by Iowa lawmakers. Republican Rep. Bobby Kauffman, of Wilton, says he hopes to prevent animal abuse by increasing criminal penalties. Des Moines Democratic Sen. Janet Petersen says she backs a proposal to include pets in domestic abuse protective orders in hopes of compelling victims to leave dangerous situations more quickly, rather than remain out of fear that an abuser will hurt a pet. The measure also could better protect pets in such situations. Lobbyists are also pushing for a bill in the Senate to ban the slaughter of horses, but lawmakers so far haven’t introduced such a bill. Continue Reading


Branstad Won’t Open Juvenile Home Until Renovated

The chairman of the task force Governor Terry Branstad asked to review the Iowa Juvenile Home’s operations last year says the facility is “unsafe” and should not be reopened without significant renovations. The governor Thursday asked the Iowa Supreme Court to overturn a district court judge’s order that the Iowa Juvenile Home for girls be reopened. Jerry Foxhoven, the chairman of the task force Branstad asked to review the home’s operations last year, says the living conditions on that Toledo campus are “terrible.”… “The cottages are old, old, old.” According to Foxhoven, the state would refuse to license any privately-run facility that had the same kind of living conditions… Continue Reading

Obama Arrives In New York

Obama Signs Farm Bill

President Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill into law Friday in East Lansing, Michigan. The president told the crowd gathered for the event that the long overdue bill doesn’t just help farmers… “Secretary Vilsack calls it a jobs bill, an innovation bill, an infrastructure bill, a research bill, a conservation bill,” Obama said. “It’s like a Swiss Army knife.” The legislation strips out controversial direct payment subsidies to farmers and bulks up subsidized crop insurance… Continue Reading


Alliant Energy Warns Iowans of Scam

Alliant Energy is warning its customers in Iowa about a new scam. Utility spokesman Justin Foss says a couple of customers in Mason City say they’ve been approached by someone claiming to be with Alliant and saying they had to pay their bill on the spot… “Somebody came to the door and demanded they be paid in cash or that the person go buy a pre-paid debit card and hand that over right away or their electricity would be disconnected.” Foss says they do not go door-to-door demanding payment. Foss says if you get someone at your door or on the phone demanding immediate payment and it sounds suspicious, it’s likely bogus. Continue Reading


Burlington Council Agrees to 42-Cent Tax Increase

The Burlington City Council agreed last night to raise property taxes 42-cents-per-thousand dollars.    

It had been considering a 60-cent increase. Here’s what will be cut…

Police Department- $20,000

Fire Department- $25,000

Demolition Fund- $30,000

(potentially) The Bees- $25,000

Maintaining of two parking lots- $65,000

$46,000-plus over two years by requiring 48 non-union city workers to contribute 2.5% of their salaries to their health insurance premiums.

The Library will not be cut again, but may in fiscal year ’16. Continue Reading