money in the hands

Low campaign funds for Hatch compared to Branstad

Jack Hatch, the Democratic candidate for governor, continues to trail Republican Governor Terry Branstad in fundraising. The single-largest individual contribution during the reporting period came from Josh Nelson of Spencer, the owner of a local phone company who wrote a 50-thousand dollar check to the Branstad campaign. John Smith, the C-E-O of a Cedar Rapids-based trucking company, wrote Branstad’s campaign a 25-thousand dollar check. Mark Falb of Dubuque, the executive of a textbook publishing company, also contributed 25-thousand dollars. Bruce Rastetter, the agribusinessman who was Branstad’s number-one contributor in 2010, wrote the campaign a 10-thousand dollar check earlier this month. Continue Reading


Not enough Ambulances in Iowa

A newspaper report says 29 of Iowa’s 99 counties have no ambulance or only one capable of providing full-time, 24-hour-a-day service. These 29 counties are home to nearly 427,000 people. The Des Moines Register also says in its analysis of data from the Iowa Bureau of Emergency Medical Services that 14 Iowa counties have four or fewer emergency medical service agencies of any kind within their borders. Brian Donaldson is director of Sumner Emergency Medical Services, and he says part of the problem is that emergency medical services are not required of cities and counties. Donaldson says a 2007 study showed the relative risk of a rural victim dying in a crash is 15 times greater than in urban areas, after adjusting for other contributing factors. Continue Reading


Potential Oil Pipeline across Iowa

Published reports say a Texas firm proposes constructing an oil pipeline that would cut diagonally through some 400 miles of Iowa farmland, crossing 17 counties in the state. The 11-hundred-mile pipeline would join the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota with an existing pipeline in southern Illinois. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin just learned of the proposal yesterday morning and says it’s too early to make a definitive statement on it until more detail is known… “Generally, I favor pipelines over rail. It’s cheaper and it’s safer. Continue Reading


Almost 11 Twisters Reports in Iowa Sunday

Nearly a dozen tornadoes were reported touching down in Iowa on Sunday afternoon and evening, though the experts are working to determine just how many twisters appeared. Meteorologist Craig Cogil, at the National Weather Service, says it was a very active couple of hours. “We did have several reports across central Iowa of tornadoes. We are sending out a storm team to determine if there were 11 separate tornadoes or if it was several reports of the same tornado. They’ll find out the damage path, the intensity of those tornadoes.” Continue Reading


Unusual number of Drownings in Iowa

Hospital officials in Des Moines are urging parents of young children to get certified in C-P-R after seeing more cases of drowning-related incidents this summer. Dr. Ricardo Flores of the Blank Children’s Hospital says at least seven children have been treated in the past two weeks for drowning-related injuries in the Des Moines area, and there are other victims across the state… “We see drownings, near drownings every year, but this concentration of so many victims in a short amount of time, it’s scary.” He is the director of the children’s hospital pediatric intensive care unit. Flores say this concentration of incidents is unusual, even in the summer, but the wet weather may have something to do with it…. Continue Reading


Iowa’s Sweet Corn may be Late

It appears Iowans won’t be able to enjoy Iowa-grown sweet corn anytime too soon. Ajay Nair, with the horticulture department at Iowa State University, says it’s usually available by Independence Day… “Usually, growers shoot for the Fourth of July to get their crop into the market.” The cool weather this spring slowed the growth of many vegetables and the projected picking date for sweet corn is about a week behind schedule… “Anywhere from the 10th of July to the 15th,” Nair says. Continue Reading


IA. State Fair Offers 5 New Foods for $3

One of the big draws for people who attend the Iowa State Fair each year is the food and fair-goers will get to sample several new items this year. Fair spokesperson Lori Chappell says the five new items are pretty cheap… Chappel says that this is the second year they’ve held a food contest, and this it what the vendors have come up with… Last year’s winning item was the shrimp corn dog. If you’re at the Iowa State Fair this year, they’re asking you to vote for one of the five new menu items. The winner earns a trophy and bragging rights…. Continue Reading


Iowa Museum Features Famous Iowa Celebrities

Early this morning Governor Terry Branstad toured the “Hollywood in the Heartland” exhibit that opens to the public at the State Historical Building on Friday, June 27th. It showcases Iowans who’ve become movie stars and films that have been made in the state. There’s a good bit of movie-related memorabilia, too… “A ‘Teen Choice Award’ surfboard from Ashton Kutcher, who is from Homestead, Iowa — over near Iowa City; photographs and artifacts from Brandon Routh from Norwalk who starred in ‘Superman’ and the Academy Award won by Chloris Leachman for Best Supporting Actress in The Last Picture Show,” says Branstad. Liz Gilman of the “State Office of Media Production” brought Leachman’s 1971 Oscar to Iowa last week. Continue Reading

field of dreams

Kevin Costner Coming to Celebrate “Field of Dreams” Anniversary

Local officials in Dyersville, Iowa are getting ready for this weekend’s party, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the “Field of Dreams” movie. The Dubuque Telegraph Herald says more than 11,000 people are expected to visit the field near Dyersville in northeast Iowa this Friday and Saturday. There will be several special events, including a cast reunion and question-and-answer session and a celebrity softball game. Star Kevin Costner is expected to attend, as is Timothy Busfield, who played Costner’s brother-in-law in the film, Dwier Brown, who played Costner’s father, and Brian Frankish, the movie’s executive producer. The movie was released in 1989, after several scenes were filmed at the rural site near Dyersville. Continue Reading