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

LongIslandHomeInspectors

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

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Mediacom Offers Home Security From the Future

Who would have thought that someday, you could shut your lights off, turn up the heat, and control other household devices from your cell phone? It’s becoming the latest technology trend and Mediacom is getting in on it. Phyllis Peters with Mediacom says it all starts with a small control panel… “You can check to see which windows have opened and closed and check the cameras. From that [home control] panel, a person can control what ever is important to them. Continue Reading

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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