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P-E-D-V: Remember Those Letters if You Raise Pigs

Tests have confirmed a “devastating” virus has struck swine herds in eight states, including Iowa and Illinois. The National Pork Producers Council is committing 410-thousand dollars to research aimed at combatting the disease. The virus — known as P-E-D-V — is not transmitted to humans and is not considered a threat to food safety, but the vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration it causes can kill up to 90 percent of baby pigs in a herd. This is the first time PEDV has been idenfied in the western hemisphere, although it exists in Europe and Asia.  Diagnostic labs at Iowa State University and the University of Minnesota have confirmed 103 cases of the virus. Besides Iowa and Illinois, tests have confirmed the virus is present in swine herds in Ohio, Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan, Oklahoma and Colorado. Continue Reading

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Ottumwa Men’s Shelter Closing

After 10 years of operation, the men’s shelter in Ottumwa is closing their doors. The Ottumwa Courier reports that the Ottumwa Community Outreach Ministry will be serving it’s last meal tomorrow. The shelter has been serving 50-100 meals a day. The decision to close the center was based on inability to maintain an active board of directors as well as dwindling financial resources. Continue Reading

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Metropolis, IL. Hopes to Break Superman Record

The southern Illinois city of Metropolis is attempting to set a Superman record. Organizers of the yearly festival honoring Superman, hope to enter the record books for having the most people dressed up as Superman at one time. The mark now stands at 437, but there’s competition. Yesterday 566 people were dressed as the superhero in Chicago. The event was tied to the new Superman movie. Continue Reading

Illinois Pays More Than $1-Billion in Past-Due Bills

 CHICAGO (AP) _ More than $1 billion of the state’s overdue bills are being paid
off.  
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Wednesday signed legislation that pays down the bill
backlog of a number of social service providers.  
 The Community Care Program will receive $142 million. The governor’s office
says another $235 million will go to care for people with developmental
disabilities. Group health insurance will receive $350 million and $500 million
will go to Medicaid bills. Continue Reading

IA Gaming Commission Looks at C.Rapids Proposal

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) _ The board that regulates gambling in Iowa is discussing a
proposal to build a $100 million casino in Cedar Rapids. The five-member Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission must decide if it is ready to authorize another casino, adding to the 18 already licensed by the state to operate. The state
also has three Native American casinos not regulated by the board.  
 The Cedar Rapids proposal is on the agenda for the commission’s meeting
Thursday at Lakeside Hotel Casino in Osceola
 
     Linn County voters approved a gambling referendum in March.  
 The board also is discussing a Davenport group’s plan to buy the Rhythm City
casino located near the Mississippi River. Continue Reading

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Free Fishing This Weekend in Iowa

It could be the perfect weekend for fishing, especially if you don’t have a fishing license. Iowa residents can fish without a license this weekend. The Department of Natural Resources says the free fishing weekend runs from this Friday through Sunday. The event is scheduled around a time when bluegills are usually close to the shore and aggressive. DNR encourages those catching their first fish to take a photo and send it to the DNR, who will commemorate the event by sending back a certificate suitable for framing. Continue Reading

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University of Iowa Receives Grant From EPA

The University of Iowa  in Iowa City will receive a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for their study “Sources and Radiative Properties of Organosulfates in the Atmosphere”. The EPA partners with NSF, NOAA and Climate and Air Quality Research to provide the grant. Today the EPA announced more than $4.3 million in grants to 13 institutions to study and improve our understanding of how certain organic compounds form in the atmosphere. Research performed by the people who receive these grants will help the federal government improve it’s air quality management systems and climate change models. The University of Iowa’s research project amount is $300,000. Continue Reading

Republican Rauner Joins Already-Large IL Gov. Field

 CHICAGO (AP) _ Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner says he’s
running for Illinois governor in 2014.  
 In a video posted on his website, Rauner says Illinois is in a financial mess. He says the state needs a political outsider to fix things.  
 Rauner will face state Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH’-ur-furd) in the GOP
primary. Republican Sens. Continue Reading

Old Man River Breaks Missouri Levees; Illinois and Missouri Rivers Also Being Closely Watched

 ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The Mississippi River has busted through a couple of levees
near St. Louis, and is threatening to turn a tiny southeast Missouri town into
an island. Meanwhile, the Illinois River is creating headaches in several small
western Illinois towns.  
 Heavy rain last week caused a sudden rise in the Mississippi, the Missouri, the
Illinois and several smaller rivers. Continue Reading