Marijuana

Branstad Interested in Limited Medical Marijuana Bill

Governor Terry Branstad is giving his first indication that he would be open to signing a limited medical marijuana bill into law this legislative session. Branstad recently met with parents who want to use an oil derived from marijuana to help their children who have seizures. Branstad, a Republican, says he’s talked with the governor of Utah, who approved such a law… “One of our big problems today is people abusing prescription drugs that are meant for somebody else. We don’t want to create more problems –we don’t want unintended consequences, but, it looks like we could end up with something that is very limited in focus like was passed recently in Utah and Alabama. Continue Reading

Nat’l/World Headlines from the Associated Press

PERTH, Australia (AP) — A ship carrying a black box detector is expected to take a few days to reach the current Indian Ocean area where the search for a missing Malaysian airliner continues.  

Ships have recovered some debris but none has been confirmed as part of the missing aircraft. In Malaysia relatives of Chinese passengers today demanded an apology and more information from the government.  

PARIS (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry was on his way home from the Middle East and on a fuel stop in Ireland when he ordered a course change back to Paris. He’s to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Russian ambassador’s residence to again discuss the Ukraine crisis. Continue Reading

barge

Frozen Mississippi Delays Barge Traffic by a Month

Barge operators say persistent ice in the Mississippi River is delaying traffic along the water by a month. The Telegraph Herald reports some operators begin sending their barges up and down the river in early March. But the bitter cold this winter and frigid start to the spring has changed the schedule. The National Weather Service says the Mississippi still has ice in a stretch of river that extends from Minneapolis to Clinton, Iowa. The depth of the ice varies from 5-10 inches. Continue Reading

barge

Frozen Mississippi Delays Barge Traffic by a Month

 Barge operators say persistent ice in the Mississippi River is delaying traffic along the water by a month. The Telegraph Herald reports some operators begin sending their barges up and down the river in early March. But the bitter cold this winter and frigid start to the spring has changed the schedule. The National Weather Service says the Mississippi still has ice in a stretch of river that extends from Minneapolis to Clinton, Iowa. The depth of the ice varies from 5-10 inches. Continue Reading

DSCN2551

NOAA Predicts Cool Iowa Spring and Delayed Flooding

Our area was mentioned in a national teleconference this morning by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) when speaking about the potential flood risk for this Spring. NOAA’s acting director, Robbert Hartman: “Specific rivers at risk include the Mississippi River between Davenport and Burlington, Iowa, the Illinois River between Beardstown and Henry Illinois, as well as many smaller rivers in this region.” He also said that our flooding will most likely be delayed… “The continuation of winter weather, along with the above average snow pack, frozen ground, and thick ice coverage on streams and rivers, will delay spring flooding into April in the upper Midwest.” Temperatures for our spring are predicted to be lower than normal. Continue Reading

spring

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

JOBS

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

daylight

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