Dollar Tree buying up Family Dollar Stores

Iowans who like to shop at stores where everything’s a dollar may soon see some changes. The Dollar Tree chain is buying rival Family Dollar for eight-and-a-half BILLION dollars. There are about 40 Dollar Trees in Iowa and around 20 Family Dollars. While the items at Dollar Tree all cost a buck or less, the Family Dollar stocks some items up to five-dollars, and higher. The new Dollar Tree chain will become North America’s biggest discount retailer. Continue Reading


Another RAGBRAI Rider Dies

A RAGBRAI rider was found dead inside his tent Thursday in Mason City. The man has been identified as 74-year-old George Brinkeroff of Sioux City. The cause of death has yet to be determined but a medical examiner says it appears the man died from natural causes. This is now the second person who has died on the ride this year. Continue Reading


RAGBRAI rider died Monday

His identity has not been released, but a 63-year-old man died Monday during RAGBRAI.  

(photo from )

According to the RAGBRAI website, he suffered from a medical issue and not from a traumatic injury. He was taken to a hospital in Emmetsburg where he later passed away. The last time someone died during the bike event was in 2010 when a cyclist collided with another rider. Within the 42 years RAGBRAI has taken place, 29 people have died during the event. Continue Reading

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