fairfood

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

famous

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

gay

Same-Sex Couples Can Take Vows in Illinois

Some couples in Illinois have been waiting for this day for a very long time. Today, June 1st, is the first day that Illinois counties can start issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Governor Pat Quinn signed the Religious Freedom and Marriage Fairness Act back in November that made Illinois the 16th state to allow same sex marriage. Some Illinois counties were already issuing the marriage licenses. Equality Illinois, a gay-rights advocacy group, estimates about 1,300 same-sex licenses have been issued statewide, 1,110 of those are in Cook County. Continue Reading

branstad

Iowa Governor Signs Cannabis Oil Bill

Supporters call yesterday a banner day, as Governor Terry Branstad signed a bill into law that provides “targeted immunity” in Iowa for the possession of cannabis oil as treatment for chronic epilepsy. Two mothers who led the lobbying effort for the bill spoke with reporters moments after the bill signing ceremony. Maria La France of Des Moines has a son who suffers from epilepsy, and she had some choice words a few months ago when a legislator told her the bill could not pass the legislature. She had words of praise for the governor and legislators yesterday…. “The number one message is gratitude and thank you so much for your unwavering”. Continue Reading

shell-gas-station-pump

Gas Prices Starting to Ease

U.S gas prices have fallen a bit for the first time in 13 weeks. Some analysts at AAA are saying gas prices for the spring season may have already peaked, or are close to doing so. Just in time for Memorial Day weekend, GasBuddy.com reports that motorists may pay a bit less at the pump than they did this time last year. According to the GasBuddy blog…”many of the factors that contributed to a 35cts gal spike in 2014 prices have run their collective course. All U.S. distribution terminals have now transitioned from “winter” to “summer” grades of gasoline, and about 90% of all U.S. spring refinery maintenance has been successfully concluded.” Continue Reading

No-Money

Republicans Block Minimum Wage Bill

Senate Republicans have blocked an election-year bill by Iowa Democrat Tom Harkin that would have raised the federal minimum wage. Harkin is a Democrat and he chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. He says his bill would gradually raise the wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.00 over a period of 30 months. In addition to raising the wage nearly three dollars an hour, Harkin’s measure also calls for automatic annual increases in the wage to offset inflation. Harkin says if the wage hike was approved, it would have given consumers another 35-billion dollars to spend at local businesses, helping boost jobs and production. Continue Reading

Corn

Rain Prevent Farmers from Planting

The U-S-D-A crop report says the rains have kept farmers out of the fields, but improved the soil moisture in most areas. Soil temperatures remain a concern for farmers planting in northern Iowa. The report says 15-percent of the projected state corn crop has been planted — which is 13-percent ahead of last year — but 18-percent behind the five year average. Some corn has started to emerge. Soybean planting has yet to fully take off as there were just scattered reports of beans being planted last week. Continue Reading

walnuttwig

Another Invasive Insect Heading to Iowa

While Iowans are seeing the first ash trees cut down to slow the spread of the emerald ash borer, yet another invading insect is causing a stir as it could threaten our walnut trees. Robin Pruisner, an entomologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture, says the pest called the walnut twig beetle is being found in nearby states, but it hasn’t been found in Iowa — yet. “Research is ongoing on how to protect walnut trees,” Pruisner says. “We just don’t have a lot of answers. This is even newer than the emerald ash borer at this point in time.” Continue Reading