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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

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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

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

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Expect to Put Out More for Food This Year: USDA

Iowans will likely be spending more money at grocery stores this year, but USDA economist Ricky Volpe says the food price increase should not be dramatic.  

One area where shoppers will keep seeing high prices will be in the beef aisle.   Volpe says that’s mostly because cattle herds have gotten smaller since 2011. A wild card influence on food prices in 2014 will be if wholesalers and retailers decide to widen what have been narrow profit margins in recent years. Continue Reading

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Farm Bill Passes Senate, Ready for Obama’s Signature

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday passed a five-year Farm Bill on a vote of 68-32. Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey is relieved the measure is finally headed to President Obama, who is expected to sign the bill into law… “It’s certainly a relief to finally have a Farm Bill after a long run. It could’ve and should’ve probably been done in 2012.” The $500 billion Farm Bill will end direct payments to farmers… Continue Reading

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Facebook Turns 10, Local Businesses Benefit

It’s been 10 years today since the popular social media site “Facebook” was launched. The site had around 1 million members by the end of its first year, and now has more than 1.2 billion monthly users. One of those billion users is the PAW Animal Shelter located in Fort Madison. Without the use of social media like Facebook, Director Sandy Brown says adoption numbers wouldn’t be what they are today…

“It’s been amazing. We have almost 5,000 likes from all over the United State. Continue Reading

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School Shooting Numbers Unchanged

An Associated Press analysis finds there’s been no real reduction in the number of U.S. school shootings despite increased security put in place after the rampage at Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. There have been at least 11 school shootings this academic year alone, in addition to other cases of gun violence, in school parking lots and elsewhere on campus, when classes were not in session. Experts say the rate of school shootings is statistically unchanged since the mid- to late-1990s. Continue Reading

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New Cell Phone Scam Could Cost You

Curiosity may have killed the cat, but curiosity could also lead to an expensive cellular phone bill. Iowans are being warned about a new scam that targets cell phone users. Jim Hegarty, at the Better Business Bureau, says it starts when either a scammer or their robo-call device contacts your cell… “When they go to answer, the person on the other line, or if it’s an automated call, it just disconnects immediately,” Hegarty says. “The whole purpose of this is to get you to call that number back, just because you’re curious as to who called.” Continue Reading

Columbia Mall Remains Closed as Police Find Explosives

COLUMBIA, Md. (AP) — A Maryland mall will remain closed today as police continue to look for a motive in the shooting deaths of two skateboard store employees by a gunman who later killed himself.  

Police used dogs to search the mall in Columbia overnight, which is standard procedure. Police say they also disabled crude attempts at explosive devices that were found in a bag carried by a gunman. A news release late Saturday night says investigators searched the gunman’s bag inside the store where the two employees were shot. Continue Reading