Bird Flu Detected in Wright County

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say there’s another probable case of bird flu in Iowa. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship said Wednesday it’s responding to a probable case of bird flu at a commercial laying operation in Wright County in northern Iowa. Initial testing was positive for the disease. If confirmed, the operation’s estimated 1 million birds will be euthanized. The announcement comes a day after the department said other probable cases were reported in Adair and Webster counties. Continue Reading

Dyersville Acted Legally on “Field of Dreams” Zoning Change

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A judge has ruled that Dyersville officials acted legally in approving a zoning change for a proposed baseball complex at the “Field of Dreams” movie site. The Telegraph Herald reports that residents seeking to block the development say they’ll appeal. District Court Judge Thomas Bitter’s ruling, which was made public Monday, stemmed from a March trial over the council’s decision to rezone the site from an agricultural space to a commercial space. The move paved the way for the planned development of a 24-field youth baseball and softball complex. The council approved the rezoning in 2012. Continue Reading

No Clear Timetable for Legislative Adjournment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — While the timetable for adjournment in the Iowa Legislature remains up in the air, lawmakers in many other states have more clear schedules to follow. Leaders in the Republican-led House and Democratic-majority Senate reported to the state Capitol on Wednesday as they continue to negotiate a budget deal. The timing for conclusion is unclear. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, says there was still a “serious gap” between the two sides. Daily expense payments for lawmakers ended May 1, but the real final deadline is July 1, when the new budget year starts. Continue Reading

JOBS

Iowa Unemployment at Lowest Level in Seven Years

A record number of Iowans were working last month, according to a new report from Iowa Workforce Development. I-W-D spokesman Ed Wallace says the state’s jobless rate in April dropped to 3.8-percent, down from 4-percent in March. “This is the lowest Iowa unemployment rate in 7 years,” Wallace said. The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,647,700 in April. That’s 600 higher than March and 23,700 higher than one year ago. Continue Reading

Legislators Still Trying to Find Common Ground

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Legislative leaders are back in the Iowa Capitol trying to resolve their budget differences so they can adjourn for the year. After the holiday weekend, a handful of lawmakers reported for duty Tuesday. Leaders and some committee chairs were set to continue budget negotiations. The Republican-led House and Democratic-majority Senate must determine an overall spending level and how much new money to provide to K-12 education. Democrats are seeking to spend more than Republicans. Continue Reading