water

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

sweetcorn

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

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