Chinese Nationals Busted for Smuggling in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal authorities have arrested two Chinese nationals — one of them a former Iowa State student — accused of smuggling and other federal crimes. The Des Moines Register reports it obtained federal documents Friday showing that the former student, 29-year-old Wentong Cai, and an associate, 28-year-old Bo Cai, were arrested in February. Arrest warrants say Wentong Cai had contact with an undercover federal agent posing as an international distributor of trade-protected technology. Court documents say Wentong told the agent he wanted to smuggle nearly two dozen ARS-14 sensors into China. The sensors help gauge precise motion control in aerial and ground-based vehicles. Continue Reading


Clovis to Seek Treasurer’s Job

The second-place finisher in the June 3rd primary race for the Iowa G-O-P’s U.S. Senate nomination is stepping forward to seek the Republican Party’s nomination for the job of state treasurer.  

Sam Clovis says it all began a few days ago when a supporter posted a comment online, suggesting Clovis would be a good candidate for the job. Since there was no G-O-P candidate for state treasurer on the Republican Primary ballot, delegates at Saturday’s Iowa Republican Party state convention will select a nominee for that slot on the General Election ballot. Clovis, who describes himself as a Christian conservative, says he hopes his candidacy would help unify the factions within the G-O-P.  And Clovis says having active campaigns in all the statewide races will benefit the party’s effort to turn out voters in legislative races as well. Continue Reading


Biz Survey Predicts More Hiring

Another survey released today (Tuesday) is showing a lot of companies in the state have plans to add employees.  

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey shows 22-percent of the companies surveyed expect to increase staff levels over the third quarter of the year. Another 72-percent plan to maintain staffing levels, while four-percent anticipate layoffs. That’s good for a Net Employment Outlook of 18-percent. Manpower spokesperson Karen Miller says the results, while positive, show weaker optimism about hiring expectations compared to recent surveys. Continue Reading


Cat to Close 3 IL Plants

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — Caterpillar Incorporated has announced plans to close three production facilities in Illinois and move the work to a plant in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The Journal Star in Peoria reports the plants being closed in Sterling and Dixon are all Anchor Coupling facilities, which is a subsidiary of Caterpillar. Hydraulic hose assemblies for both Caterpillar and other equipment manufacturers are made the plants. The closings will affect about 170 jobs. Continue Reading

W. Iowa Counties to Get Weather-Disaster Help

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad has issued a proclamation of disaster emergency and activated an assistance program for four Iowa counties affected by recent severe weather. Branstad said in a news release Friday that the Iowa Individual Assistance Program has been activated for Cass, Harrison, Montgomery, and Ringgold counties. Pottawattamie County was declared under a disaster emergency on Tuesday and is open to the assistance program. The program provides grants of up to $5,000 to households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or a maximum annual income of less than $40,000 for a family of three. The money is available for home or car repairs, clothing, food and temporary housing. Continue Reading

Field of Dreams Stars to Visit

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — Kevin Costner, Dwier Brown and other stars of the baseball blockbuster “Field of Dreams” will be in Iowa this coming Father’s Day weekend to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie. The celebration is being held outside Dyersville on the northeastern Iowa farm where the movie was filmed. Activities will be held on Friday, Saturday and Father’s Day, including ballgames and a screening of the movie. Details about activities can be found at the movie site’s website at . Continue Reading

Poll Shows Ernst Leading Braley

A Loras College Poll of likely voters conducted Wednesday and Thursday has found Republican Joni Ernst leading Democrat Bruce Braley in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race by nearly six percentage points. A Rasmussen Report poll conducted over that same two-day period found the race a dead heat, with Ernst just one point ahead. Both polls had a margin of error of four percent. Political science professor Christopher Budzisz is the director of the Loras College Poll. Of the likely voters surveyed, just over eight percent had never heard of Ernst, who is running in her first statewide race after one race for a state senate seat. Continue Reading

No Call Yet on Green County Casino; Decision to be Announced Here

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission toured the site of the proposed new casino near Jefferson yesterday(Thur), then held a public hearing on the Green County project.  

Commission chair, Jeff Lamberti of Ankeny, says hearing from the community helps in their decision.  Lamberti says Wild Rose Entertainment is proposing a 40-million-dollar casino resort with restaurants, a conference center and hotel.  The commission will make a final decision on awarding a gambling license for the project at its meeting on June 12th in Burlington.  

The commission denied a license for a casino proposal for Cedar Rapids at its April meeting. Continue Reading

Poison Expert Says “Beezin” on Eye Lids is Risky

Iowa parents are being warned to watch for a new fad among teenagers which can have a harmful impact. It’s called “beezin,”and it involves using the brand-name Burt’s Bees mint lip balm in a place where the product wasn’t designed to go.   Tammy Noble is a registered nurse and spokeswoman for the Iowa Statewide Poison Control
There may also be a risk of causing a bacterial infection if the balm was also used on the lips. Knowledge is power and Noble says she wants parents to know about this sort of oddball fad. Another dangerous teen fad in recent years involves trying to eat a teaspoon full of cinnamon, which can result in a trip to the emergency room if the spice is inhaled into the lungs. Continue Reading