Eminent Domain Reform Legislation Advances

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislation that would make it harder for two energy projects to win eminent domain rights has won preliminary approval in the Iowa Legislature. Subcommittees in the House and Senate met jointly Tuesday and approved identical legislation on the issue. Under the proposal, a project seeking eminent domain to build through private properties could only get permission after negotiating voluntary deals for at least 75 percent of the affected land. The proposed change could impact two current proposals. One is to build an oil pipeline that would ship 450,000 barrels daily from production sites in North Dakota to an oil hub in Illinois. Continue Reading

Iowa Legislature Prepares to Adjourn, But Won’t Be Home Anytime Soon

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Staffers in the Iowa Legislature are starting some of the tasks associated with adjourning the session, even though lawmakers are not close to concluding the budget process. Student pages in the Iowa Senate were organizing boxes in the chamber Tuesday for members to pack up desks. As per tradition, they also stacked the boxes up to the balcony until they collapsed. Friday will mark the last day for lawmakers to receive daily expense payments, as well as the final day of work for many clerks and pages in the part-time Legislature. But lawmakers in the Democratic-majority Senate and Republican-controlled House have not reached a compromise deal on the state budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Continue Reading

Millions of Infected Birds to be Killed to Stop Bird Flu Spread

The outbreak of bird flu in Iowa has the state looking at clearing out millions of birds in eight facilities in four counties. Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, says they will kill the infected animals in a humane fashion. “There’s several different processes. Often it involves a C-O-2 process where the birds that have not caught the disease and are not dead yet can be taken from the cages and put into a cart that has C-O-2, and then quickly die,” Northey says. Once the animals are euthanized, Northey says there are many ways to dispose of the animals. Continue Reading


Mount Pleasant Street Bridge Deteriorating, New Weight Limit Established

A 22 ton weight limit has been placed on the Mount Pleasant Street bridge after a private inspection company determined that the aging bridge has deteriorated significantly. The Burlington City Council learned of the status of the bridge during a Monday Night City Council work session. Mike Vander Wert, a spokesman for the contracting company, says that the 72 year old bridge’s deck is seriously damaged after years of use. “It’s 72 years old.” Vander Wert said, “It’s done well, but it’s reached the point where the salt and the contaminants used to de-ice the road over the years and the use of the deck have deteriorated the deck, and it’s cracking it.” Continue Reading

Child on Bike Injured After Pulling Out In Front of Car

A child riding their bike pulled out in front of a car, causing injury on Sunday. At around 5:10pm the young boy was southbound on Central near Court Street when he turned his bike and ran into the fender of a southbound vehicle driven by 21 year old Dana Pfeiff of Watseka, IL. Pfeiff had attempted to avoid the collision. The strike sent the boy flying off his bike. The juvenile was transported to Great River Medical Center for treatment of non life threatening injury. Continue Reading


HyVee Recalls Pasta Salad Amid Listeria Concerns

If you’ve purchased “Summer Fresh Pasta Salad” from HyVee, you’re going to want to throw it out or bring it back to the store for a refund. HyVee has issued a recall on that salad. The frozen vegetables, produced by a Georgia farm, may have been contaminated with Listeria, which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, those with weak immune systems, or elderly people. Listeria infections come with fevers, headaches, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. It can even cause miscarriages and stillbirths in pregnant women. Continue Reading

Federal Board Declines Request to Reopen Buddy Holly Crash

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board has declined a request to reopen the investigation of the Iowa plane crash that killed musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. The Civil Aeronautics Board ruled in 1959 that the most likely cause of the crash was pilot error. Snow was listed as a secondary caused. In a letter dated April 21, the agency said the evidence presented in a request from pilot L.J. Coon wasn’t sufficient to merit the reconsideration of the findings of the original investigation. Coon had contended that there were other issues involving weight and balance calculations, fuel-gauge readings and more that contributed to the crash. Continue Reading

Keokuk Man Could Get 115 Years in Prison on Meth Charges

Another Meth Bust, this one the result of an investigation by the Lee County Narcotics Task Force. 54 year old Tony Lee Farmer of Keokuk was arrested earlier Tuesday morning at his home in the 1500 block of Morgan Street on multiple charges including three counts of Delivery of Methamphetamine with enhancements for previous offenses, and ongoing criminal conduct. Farmer faces 115 years in prison if convicted on all charges. Continue Reading

Lawyers Ask for Jury to Spare Boston Bomber’s Life

BOSTON (AP) — Defense lawyers began making their case to spare the life of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by contrasting him with his older brother, who they said was “consumed by jihad.” Attorney David Bruck told jurors Monday that Tsarnaev was “a good kid” who was led down the path to terrorism by his brother, Tamerlan, who was later killed in a shootout with police. The jury convicted Tsarnaev earlier this month in the 2013 bombing that killed three spectators and wounded more than 260 others. He also was found guilty of killing an MIT police officer as the brothers tried to flee. The jury must decide whether Tsarnaev deserves the death penalty, as prosecutors have called for, or if he should spend the rest of his life in prison. Continue Reading