Saturday News, May 30
Cabin May Be Moved On Monday
(Le Mars) -- Museum officials are hoping the Joy Hollow log cabin can be moved on Monday. The move is scheduled to happen between 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. The 115 year old cabin was scheduled to be moved from the Plymouth County fairgrounds to the Plymouth County Historical Museum on Thursday. However, permits had not been completed, and some tree limbs were needing to be trimmed, so not to damage the cabin.
EPA Sets Ethanol Production At Lower Levels
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa leaders are criticizing a proposal from the Obama administration that would reduce the amount of ethanol blended in U.S. gasoline.
Iowa leads the nation in producing ethanol, a fuel additive made mostly from corn. Under the proposal released Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of ethanol blended in to gasoline will increase, but not by as much as originally required by law.
Still, the agency didn't decrease the standards as much as it had proposed in 2013. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad - who has lobbied aggressively for maintaining a strong standard - says in a statement that he was disappointed, but noted that the EPA made slight increases from a previous proposal.
Senator Joni Ernst says in a statement that "we can and must do better."
Branstad Extends Disaster Proclamation From Bird Flu
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Governor Terry Branstad says he has extended a state of disaster emergency until July 1 as farms continue to report new cases of the bird flu virus in their poultry operations.
Branstad announced Friday he had extended the proclamation, which otherwise would have expired Sunday.
The virus has infected more than 26 million birds in 18 Iowa counties, making the state the hardest hit in the nation.
Branstad's declaration activates disaster response programs, allows the use of state supplies and makes other efforts to speed response efforts.
Legislative Leaders Say They Have Reached An Agreement On Budget
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Legislative leaders say they have a tentative budget agreement that could enable them to adjourn within days.
Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen and Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal said Friday they had reached an understanding. They declined to provide details on the overall spending level or on individual items, like education, saying that information would be released next week.
The leaders in the divided Legislature reached the terms after roughly five hours of negotiations Friday. They have been haggling for weeks since their daily expense payments ran out May 1.
Gronstal said he expected that the Legislature could adjourn next week. He said Democrats chose "compromise over gridlock."
Paulsen said the agreement "meets the needs and priorities of Iowans."
Fort Madison Officials Hope To Turn Penitentiary To Tourism Site
FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) - The Fort Madison City Council has approved $10,000 for a nonprofit group that is planning the future of the old penitentiary in the southeast Iowa community.
The Burlington Hawk Eye reports the money, which comes from Fort Madison's hotel/motel tax fund, will go to form the group, which then will rely on grants and donations.
The initial money will be used to pay an attorney to form the nonprofit, hire a project manager and reimburse travel expenses for volunteers from Iowa State and the University of Iowa.
Fort Madison officials envision the prison, parts of which date to 1839, as a tourist destination.
Their plans have been delayed by problems opening a new prison in Fort Madison, but officials want to be ready when the old prison closes.