Corn-Based Iowa Vodka Hopes Purity Will Justify $24 Price-Tag

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa company hopes its corn-based vodka will succeed because of a new process that eliminates impurities in the finished liquor. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports IngeniOz vodka started selling for about $24 a bottle in Iowa stores a month ago. A pure vodka is supposed to be better quality and less likely to cause a hangover. Tests conducted at Iowa State showed Smirnoff vodka has eight impurities, Absolute has 16 and Grey Goose has 14. The OZ Spirits company was started in 2012 by Johannes Van Leeuwen after he developed the process for creating vodka with zero impurities at Iowa State University. Continue Reading

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Nasty Storms Cross Iowa; One Person Injured by Lightning

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Severe storms swept across much of Iowa yesterday and last night, with heavy rains causing some flooding and strong wind gusts snapping tree limbs and affecting power lines. The Des Moines Register said the National Weather Service received a report of one person injured by lightning during the storms Sunday, but details about the severity were not available. Crawford County emergency management coordinator Gregory Miller said several highways were covered at various points during the storm. Heavy rains broke through a farm retention dam in Denison, flooding Iowa Highway 39. The Omaha World-Herald reported that Interstate 29 was closed when the roof and sidewall blew off a building and into a pickup pulling a trailer. Continue Reading

Family of Champion Little-Leaguer No Longer Homeless

CHICAGO (AP) — Offers of help are pouring in after a newspaper story revealed that one of Chicago’s Little League champions and his family have struggled with homelessness.  

The Sun-Times reported this week that Jackie Robinson West star Jaheim Benton and his family have been sleeping at the homes of friends and family since July. That’s when the boy’s mother had her work hours cut. Benton and the Jackie Robinson West All Stars won the national championship last weekend in the Little League World Series. They lost the overall championship to a team from South Korea. Continue Reading

Ottumwa Burger Laced with Pot

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) — Police in southeast Iowa say lab tests have confirmed the presence of THC, the intoxicating chemical found in marijuana, in a burger bought last April at a local fast-food restaurant.  

An Ottumwa couple reported to police on April 26th that they believed the food they received from the restaurant on April 26 contained marijuana. Police seized the food, sent it off for tests and began an investigation. While the lab determined the controlled substance was in the food, police say they have no evidence that a restaurant employee put it there, and the investigation has been closed. Continue Reading

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Downtown DM Blaze Injures Five Firefighters

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Five firefighters have been treated for injuries they received fighting a fire in a downtown Des Moines building.  

Officials say the firefighters’ injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The fire was reported shortly after 12 a.m. Saturday in the 19-story Equitable Building. Fire Chief John TeKippe tells The Des Moines Register that two firefighters were hurt by falling debris, one fell off an 8-foot ladder and two others were treated for heat-related issues. No other injuries have been reported. Continue Reading

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Mother Charged in Connection to Daughter’s Death

Police say a western Illinois woman has been charged in connection to the death of her 19-month-old daughter. The Quincy Herald-Whig reports  33-year-old Jody Price was charged Thursday in Hancock County court with endangering the life or health of a child. Nauvoo Assistant Police Chief Mike Boley says the investigation is ongoing into the death of Price’s daughter in July. He says the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy but hasn’t determined the cause of death. He says morphine was found in the girl’s body and morphine pills were found near her bed and play area. Continue Reading

Loebsack, Miller-Meeks Square Off in Iowa City; First-of-Three Debates

The major party candidates running in Iowa’s second congressional district this year met in their first debate of the season Thursday evening. Both Democratic Congressman Dave Loebsack and Republican challenger Mariannette Miller-Meeks agreed congress is dysfunctional. Miller-Meeks says Loebsack is part of the problem because he moves in “lock-step” with President Obama.  Loebsack says he’s worked with Republicans on a number of key issues. Both said economic sanctions are the appropriate response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the two discussed the rise of Islamic militants who’ve taken control of parts of Syria and Iraq. Continue Reading

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Iowan Selected for “The Bachelor”

A farmer from northeast Iowa will be the next star on the reality TV show “The Bachelor.” The announcement was made this morning on A-B-C’s Good Morning America. Thirty-two-year-old Chris Soules grew up on a family farm near Arlington in Fayette County and graduated from Iowa State University. He’s hoping to find his bride-to-be on the popular TV series. Soules, who gained fame as a “suitor” on the most recent season of The Bachelorette, was asked how he felt when he was asked to star in 19th season of The Bachelor… Continue Reading

U-S Chamber Supports Ernst

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Republican Joni Ernst in Iowa’s U.S. Senate race. Rob Engstrom, the group’s national political director, says they’re “all in” for Ernst because her opponent is “actively hostile” toward businesses.  Engstrom spoke during an event at an Indianola hardware store, praising Ernst as an advocate of the free enterprise system, but directing most of his remarks at Braley. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce spent over 35 million dollars supporting Republican candidates in 2012 and the group this year has already spent more than half a million on behalf of just one incumbent Republican senator from Mississippi. Ernst will now benefit from U.S. Chamber of Commerce campaign ads run on her behalf in Iowa. Continue Reading