Meth Labs Continue to Proliferate; DEA Changes Tactics

Five massive, metal containers are being placed around the state…including one in our area…to help authorities safely clean up meth lab sites. The containers, which have an exhaust system, will be located in areas near Montrose, Clinton, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines and Council Bluffs. Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement Special Agent in Charge Dan Stepleton will manage the three eastern Iowa containers, which are all being provided by the federal government. He says the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is also paying for small trailers at each site which will be used to haul the hazard materials from the meth lab site to the container. In addition to making the cleanup of a meth lab less dangerous, the containers will serve as a big cost saver. Continue Reading

Danville Station Misses Out Again; Grand Junction to Get “CAT” Grant

Still no CAT grant money from the Vision Iowa Board for the Danville Station Foundation, but a small town in west-central Iowa was awarded a 220-thousand dollar ($220,000) state grant Wednesday for the construction of a new community center. Diane Wise has helped lead the fundraising effort in Grand Junction. She says the town’s old community center was shut down this summer. The Vision Iowa Board awarded Grand Junction with a Community Attraction and Tourism grant. The total cost of building the new community center is estimated at one-point-one million dollars ($1.1 million). Continue Reading

Honey Creek Bailout Paves Way for Resort’s 2013 Profit

A state audit shows the Honey Creek Resort near Lake Rathbun made more money than it lost last year. Department of Natural Resources spokesman, Kevin Baskins, says the biggest factor in the resort’s bottom line this year is the decision by the state legislature to pay off the bonds used to finance its construction in 2008. Lawmakers approved nearly 32-million dollars to pay off the revenue bonds for Honey Creek after the head of the D-N-R said the facility wouldn’t be able to be profitable without the bailout. The state audit found Honey Creek had revenues of just over six million dollars for the fiscal year that ended in June, with expenses of around five-point-nine million dollars for an operating profit of 163-thousand-930 dollars. The resort struggled to get ahead since it opened in September of 2008 and reported a loss last year of 165-thousand-433 dollars. Continue Reading

Canadian Pacific Agrees to $625,000 Fine for ’08 IA/WI Derailment

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A railroad company has agreed to pay $625,000 to cover environmental costs related to a 2008 derailment that caused an oil spill in the Mississippi River between Iowa and Wisconsin. Canadian Pacific would make the payment without admitting wrongdoing to settle a civil complaint filed Tuesday by the state of Iowa and the United States government. The proposed settlement faces a 30-day comment period. The complaint alleges that derailed locomotives spewed 4,400 gallons of diesel oil and other petroleum products onto the shoreline near Guttenberg, Iowa and into the river. It allegedly resulted in the loss of mussels that are considered endangered and damage to other aquatic life. Continue Reading


ATV Victim a QC Man

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials have released the name of a man killed in an all-terrain vehicle crash in Appanoose County. The state Department of Natural Resources says 83-year-old Allen Sindt, of Davenport, was deer hunting Monday afternoon in Stephens State Forest, northwest of Unionville, when the all-terrain vehicle he was driving rolled over on top of him. Officials say Sindt was trying to maneuver over a downed log at the time. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The DNR says Sindt had a valid permit to operate the ATV in the state forest. Continue Reading


$1,200 Coin Finds Way to Suburban Salvation Army

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — The Salvation Army got a nice surprise when it was discovered one of the coins dropped in a Red Kettle in suburban Chicago wasn’t just another coin. The Lake County News-Sun reports that over the Thanksgiving weekend, somebody anonymously dropped a 1-ounce gold coin worth $1,200 in one of the Salvation Army’s kettles outside a Walmart store in Round Lake Beach. In a news release, the Salvation Army’s Waukegan Corps says the gold coin couldn’t have come at a better time. That’s because some of the money dropped in kettles is spent helping those who need it pay their rent or utility bills. Continue Reading

Ameren-IL, Com Ed Closer to Raising Rates

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois Legislature committee has taken action that puts a pair of the state’s electric utilities closer to receiving two more years of automatic rate hikes. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports the Illinois Senate Executive Committee on Tuesday voted 12-1 on a measure involving Ameren Illinois and Commonwealth Edison. The utilities want to avoid legislative oversight until 2019 on upgrades to the state’s aging electric grid. The law currently says the “smart grid” oversight program should end in 2017. Continue Reading

Two Energy Pipelines Proposed to Cross Iowa

While a Texas energy company called Dakota Access gears up to tell Lee County residents Monday what to expect from an underground oil pipeline that’ll stretch from North Dakota to Illinois, more than one-thousand Iowans have joined a group that opposes the two-billion-dollar Rock Island Clean Line wind energy project which aims to build two-thousand wind turbines across Iowa and a 500-mile-long transmission line. Carolyn Sheridan, who lives near Spencer in Clay County, is president of the Preservation of Rural Iowa Alliance. Sheridan says they have several concerns with the project and its potential harmful effects. Sheridan says, according to state law, wind companies may invoke eminent domain through what’s known as the franchise process. One of the first requirements, she says, is to hold informational meetings. Continue Reading

Man Charged in Bait Shop Murder

ELDON, Iowa (AP) — A 24-year-old man has been charged with killing a man whose body was found inside a southeast Iowa bait shop. Authorities say Ricky Davidson was arrested around 1 p.m. Monday. He’s charged with murder and burglary in slaying of 64-year-old Darrell Teeter, who was found dead in the Main Street Bait Shop in Eldon on Aug. 11. Teeter was shot in the head. Continue Reading