W. IL Site Considered for Nat’l Park

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ U.S. senators want the federal government to consider national park status for the site of the first town founded and built by a freed slave before the Civil War.  


U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk say the New Philadelphia archaeological site in western Illinois has “exceptional historical significance.” They say designating it as part of the national park system would ensure the area is protected. New Philadelphia was plotted in 1836 as the first fully racially integrated community before the Civil War. Continue Reading

Nat’l Safe Boating Week Underway

With the Memorial Day holiday nearing, many Iowans are getting their boats ready for launch and National Safe Boating Week starts this weekend.  

Susan Stocker is the boating law administrator and education coordinator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Stocker says the numbers of boating-related arrests, injuries and deaths were all down in Iowa last year compared with 2012.  In 2012, there were 95 B-W-I arrests, 21 personal injuries and 10 fatalities.  

Stocker says all boaters need to follow the rules and regulations while enjoying the water. Continue Reading


One Door Closes While Another Opens: Local Jobs

In the wake of DuPont-Pioneer’s announcement that it’s closing its Mt. Pleasant seed production plant, a western Iowa-based company says it’s opening a large-scale facility in the Monmouth area.  

The DuPont-Pioneer move will idle about 50 employees, but the Cloverleaf Cold Storage news, to be officially announced today, will bring an estimated 150 jobs to Warren County, Illinois.  

In fact, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will travel to west-central Illinois today to discuss the project and campaign on behalf of Illinois’ economy. Continue Reading

Cedar Rapids Officials Not Done with Casino Push

Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett says the next stop in trying to win a casino for his city could be in Des Moines.  

State regulators voted 4-1 last month against awarding a license to developers for a proposed casino in downtown Cedar Rapids. Corbett is a former legislator, and says getting such issues passed in the legislature isn’t always easy, though he says lawmakers have recently reached agreement on things like property tax reform and education reform. Racing and Gaming commissioners said they feared the impact of a new casino on existing facilities and Corbett sees that argument coming up again at the capitol. He says they would push the case for a more open system of handing out gambling licenses. Continue Reading


Gov. Branstad Says He’ll Double “First Responders” Tax Credit

Governor Branstad intends to sign a bill into law that will double a tax credit for volunteer fire fighters and others who volunteer to be “first responders” in Iowa.  

The current tax credit of 50-dollars that was established in 2012 will go up to 100 dollars. The bill also extends the credit to reserve peace officers and to professional fire fighters who volunteer for other departments as well. Representative Roger Thomas, a Democrat from Elkader, says a one-hundred-dollar tax credit is a small way to recognize those who perform a valuable service. Senator Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, says these hard-working Iowans deserve this credit. Continue Reading

Climate Change Talks in DM

Members of a White House task force to address climate change met in Des Moines Wednesday following previous gatherings in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles.  

The group is composed of federal officials, eight governors, and various local and tribal leaders. Co-chair Mike Boots, who leads the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said the task force will be submitting new recommendations to the President in the fall — outlining how best to work with local governments in combatting climate change. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said climate change is already affecting farmers in the Midwest.  He said that contributes to the Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Continue Reading


Possible Pot Burgers in Ottumwa

AP-Police are investigating an Iowa couple’s report that they found marijuana among the layers on their double cheeseburgers. The couple told police they bought the burgers at the McDonald’s drive-thru on Richmond Street in Ottumwa on April 26. Ottumwa police Lt. Jason Bell says they reported that, after taking at least a bite each, they noticed plant material that smelled and looked like pot. The two told the restaurant management about what they found and then contacted Ottumwa police. A sample of the substance has been sent to the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation for testing. Continue Reading


Missing Boater Found in Argyle Lake

The body of a missing boater found early this morning on Argyle Lake near Colchester, Illinois has been identified as 22-year old Derrick Hull of Coatsburg, Illinois. McDonough County Sheriff Rick VanBrooker told WGEM News that Hull and 22-year old Dustin Tanjerose of Camp Point had been in a Jon boat that began taking on water and sank late yesterday afternoon. Tanjerose swam to shore, but told authorities he couldn’t find Hull, who he reported missing at 5:45 pm. Crews found Hull’s body around 12:30 this morning using sonar detection. Continue Reading


State Starts Study of TrafCam Reports

It will be at least one month before the Department of Transportation makes any decision on the first traffic camera reports.  

New rules required cities with speed or red-light cameras along state roadways to submit a report by May 1st to show how the cameras are being used to improve traffic safety. The director of the D-O-T’s office of traffic and safety, Steve Gent, told the Transportation Commission 10 cities or counties have the cameras and six — Davenport, Muscatine, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Council Bluffs and Sioux City — filed reports. Clive did not file a report as the city has decided to shut down its cameras in June. Windsor Heights and Fort Dodge also did not file reports. Continue Reading