Spring Begins Tomorrow!

Many people have been counting down the days, and tomorrow it will be here. After a harsh winter, Thursday March 20th is the beginning of Spring, the date of the vernal equinox, or spring equinox, in the northern hemisphere. Unfortunately, according to Kerry Koonce from Iowa Workforce Development, warmer temperatures won’t immediately signal the start of construction in many towns… “The ground, they’re saying, is frozen so deep that that’s really going to have an impact on when some of them get started.” She says things probably won’t pick up until we get into April. Continue Reading


Iowa Unemployment Increases a Tiny Bit

It wasn’t a drastic change, but the unemployment rate in Iowa moved up to 4.3% in January. In December unemployment was at 4.2%. Last January however, Iowa was at 5.0%, so we are seeing an improvement. Overall in the U.S., unemployment fell to 6.6% from 6.7% in December. It’s the lowest national rate since October 2008. Continue Reading

11 More Countries Join Jetliner Search

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities say the number of countries involved in the search for the missing jetliner has increased to 25.  

Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Sunday that 11 more countries joined the search after it was determined that the missing Malaysia Airlines plane may have gone as far north as Central Asia, flying over several countries. He also said authorities were hoping for more satellite data that would narrow the search, which also includes the Indian Ocean. Meanwhile, police chief Inspector General Khalid Abu Bakar said he had requested countries with citizens on board the plane to investigate their background. He said some had already done this and found nothing suspicious, but he was waiting for others to respond. Continue Reading


Tips for Surviving Post-Daylight Saving Switch

Many of us may find themselves dragging this morning (Monday) after the change to Daylight Saving Time over the weekend.  

Mike Gremmer of Des Moines, a regional vice president for the staffing service Robert Half, says we spring ahead and fall back every year, but it’s always tough for some people to lose an hour of sleep… “Eat a good breakfast, coffee is great,” Gremmer says. “I would encourage you to not eat a lot of sugary foods and maybe stock up more on protein and whole grains instead and stay hydrated.” Studies find that productivity in most lines of work can suffer for several days after a time change. Continue Reading


Daylight Saving Time this Weekend

This weekend marks the beginning of daylight saving time, which means losing an hour of sleep. Iowa Sleep Disorder Center founder, Steven Zorn, says it’s hard for some people to recover from the loss of sleep… “Well if they’re already sleep deprived adding another hour of sleep certainly doesn’t help. And that can be an issue in coordination and reaction times. People often feel like they don’t get back to their normal self for about a week.”

Daylight Saving Time begins at 2am on Sunday March 9th, and ends at 2am on November. Continue Reading


More Water Main Breaks Expected with Warm-Up

Dozens of communities across Iowa have seen water main breaks over the extremely cold winter, but one expert says we need to prepare for even more breaks when the warm weather arrives. Greg Huff, C-E-O of the Iowa Rural Water Association, says the rollercoaster temperatures can be very hard on water pipes… “With these repeated cold snaps, the frost levels are lower than they’ve been in recent years due to the cold and that causes these breaks to occur.” Huff says the problem with water main breaks won’t be ending when spring arrives… “What we’re really concerned with is what happens when it starts warming up. Continue Reading


March Comes in Like a Lion

(AP) — Iowans hoping that March would usher in warmer, spring-like weather following what has been a brutal winter were no doubt disappointed Saturday. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for much of the state for Saturday overnight into Sunday. Parts of the state are expected to get about half-a-foot of snow, although northeast Iowa should get only 2 to 3 inches.  Locally, we averaged 3 inches-plus. Along with the snow will be more bitter cold. Continue Reading

Nat’l/World News from the Associated Press

UNDATED (AP) _ Most of the winter storm warnings in New England are coming
down, though the one for northeast Maine remains in effect this morning.  

Forecasters still say high winds could create blizzard-like conditions at times
but the storm itself is moving out to sea. Many residents are still digging out
from the snow late last week. TOKYO (AP) _ Up to a dozen people have been killed by the second heavy snowfall
in a week to hit Japan. Hundreds of people were injured as the storm paralyzed
traffic and caused power outages. Continue Reading


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