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Friday News, January 17

Northwest Iowa Roads Still Ice And Snow Covered

(Le Mars) -- Many of Northwest Iowa roads remain partially covered with ice or snow following yesterday afternoon's blizzard.  Highways 75, 60, 3, 59, 12, and 18 all show some icy conditions. Portions of Highway 20 are partially covered with ice and snow.  From Sioux City to Holstein the Iowa Department of Transportation is calling the road normal winter wet conditions.  Emergency rescue crews and toll trucks were busy nearly all afternoon yesterday responding to various accidents.  Motorists are still urged to drive with caution and to allow some extra time for your destination.  


Muliti-Car Pile Up On I-80 

WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa State Patrol says dozens of cars are involved in a crash on Interstate 80 near Waukee.
     25 to 40 vehicles were involved in the crash. No injuries were reported Thursday night.
     Sergeant Scott Bright said troopers closed the eastbound lanes of I-80 near mile marker 117 Thursday evening.
     The crash comes amid snow and strong winds that settled over the Des Moines area late Thursday afternoon.


Iowa Legislature Passes FEMA Resolution

(Des Moines) -- The Iowa legislature is completing its first week back in session.  Legislators this week approved a resolution calling upon the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to allocate funds to several utility cooperatives and companies that had suffered severe damage to electrical powerlines and poles as a result of an April blizzard from last year.  The area in question, within northwest Iowa, was originally designated as a disaster area, by both Iowa Governor Terry Branstad and President Obama.  FEMA officials have already approved for disaster assistance funding for electrical cooperatives within South Dakota and Minnesota, but have refused to allocate funding for Iowa.  FEMA officials say the electrical utility companies and cooperatives needed to test check their power lines.



Soderberg And Anderson Schedule Legislative Forums In Woodbury County

(Des Moines) -- Speaking about the legislature, State Representative Chuck Soderberg and State Senator Bill Anderson plan to hold two legislative forums scheduled for Saturday.  The lawmakers will be at the Lawton Town Hall, Friendship Center at 8:30 a.m.  The second forum is scheduled for the Correctionville Town Hall, Community Center, at 10:00 a.m.


Grassley Says There Will Be A Farm Bill Passed  

(Washington) -- Despite the numerous delays, U-S Senator Chuck Grassley told reporters today that there will be a farm bill.  Grassley says too much progress has been made at this point to abandoned the farm bill.  The Iowa Republican says a major sticking point is with the diary provisions.

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Grassley says another point of contention is with his own amendment that would limit the amount of subsidies given to one farmer, and Grassley says he doesn't understand why?

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The allocation and distribution of food stamp assistance had been an issue that separated the Republican controlled House of Representatives and the Democratic controlled Senate.  But Grassley believes the wide gap of $36 billion to be spent for food assistance has been resolved.

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Legislators Pass Pro-ethanol Resolutions 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers want it known that they oppose a proposal that would reduce the amount of ethanol in the nation's fuel supply.
     Legislators in the state House and state Senate voted Thursday in favor of resolutions supporting the existing fuel standards. They are reacting to a recent proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the amount of ethanol that must be blended with gasoline in 2014.
     The resolutions are purely symbolic. 
     Iowa is the nation's leading producer of ethanol, a fuel additive primarily made from corn that produces lower carbon emissions than gasoline. The EPA proposal drew outcry by political leaders from both parties who claimed such a move would devastate Iowa's economy.


Survey Indicates Farmers May Plant More Soybean Acres

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Corn is the top crop for U.S. farmers but the golden luster has faded with much lower corn prices prompting many to consider switching to more soybeans this year.
     A December survey of more than 1,600 producers by Farm Futures, an agriculture-focused publisher, indicated farmers intend to reduce corn planting 3 percent from last year and boost soybeans about 7.6 percent.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture won't release its first official report on farmer intentions until March 31st.
     Last year U.S. farmers harvested nearly 14 billion bushels of corn, four times the soybeans produced.
     Over the next six weeks farmers will work out budgets that will determine the corn/soybean mix for the year. Some experts say a shift of 2 million to 3 million acres wouldn't be a surprise.


Shaw To Run For Congress

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A longtime Republican activist who serves as the head of a pro-ethanol trade group is entering the race for the U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Tom Latham.
     Monte Shaw announced Thursday that he will step down from his role on the GOP State Central Committee so that he can pursue the seat. The 41-year-old Shaw says he must leave because he promised to remain politically neutral while in a party office.
     Shaw, an Iowa native who lives in West Des Moines, serves as executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. He has worked on GOP campaigns in the past.
     Shaw says the race presents an opportunity to work for Iowa.
     Latham announced last month his plans to retire after finishing his 10th term.


Economic Development Authority Announce Business Incentives

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Economic Development Authority is considering financial incentives for several proposed business expansions.
     General Mills Cereals is proposing to convert warehouse space in Cedar Rapids to a food manufacturing area. The project cost is $58 million. The company wants a $200,000 loan, $3.2 million in state tax credits, and $85,000 in Alliant Energy tax rebates. The project creates 41 jobs.
     Loffredo Gardens, a fresh produce distributor, proposes to build a $7 million food processing facility in Norwalk. The company, creating six new jobs, seeks up to $401,000 in tax credits.
     Carter Lake steel fabricator Owen Industries is proposing a $34 million project to build a new factory adding 16 jobs. The company seeks a $50,000 forgivable loan and $2 million in tax credits.








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