Bees flock to the flowers of a sedum plant.

A bee enjoys nectar from the bright yellow flowers of a golden rod plant.

Vigilante justice isn’t the American way

Let’s set aside our views on abortion. Instead, let’s consider one aspect of the new Texas abortion law that took effect last week.

All of us should be able to agree on this, whether we find abortions abominable or support a woman’s right to end her pregnancy:

The enforcement mechanism created by Texas lawmakers is un-American. It farms out enforcement of a state’s laws to vigilantes and bounty hunters.

Cropaganda: ag industry's mendacious TV ads

Ag media is like the sound of thunder at 3 a.m. when I’m suffering from an inspiration drought. I can always count on them, especially the communication shops at the advocacy organizations, to provide a timely soaker just when I’m most parched.

The most recent gully-washer was a You Tube video posted by our favorite insurance company.

Four middle-aged and snappily-dressed Randys, looking as though they saw no need to change clothes after just filming a Cialis commercial, pose as Iowa farmers chugging coffee in a small town café.

Also making an easy transition from the Cialis set is the bragging about their performance, but in this skit the boasting relates to their success in reducing nutrient pollution.

Reynolds office least transparent in 30 years

A journalist is arrested and put on trial for doing her job. The governor’s office and state agencies defy the law without consequence by ignoring or refusing requests for public records. A veteran state employee claims she was fired for complying with the law and providing a public record to a reporter.

It sounds like some banana republic that we might hear about on the news. Sorry to say, these and other assaults on the First Amendment, press freedoms and public access to their government have all happened right here in Iowa. And it’s costing all of us, the taxpayers.

In my years as a journalist in Iowa, I’ve covered five gubernatorial administrations. (Only four governors, because Gov. Terry Branstad served twice.) I can say without hesitation that Gov. Kim Reynolds’ administration has been the absolute worst in terms of secrecy and outright denial of public access to information.

Lee Enterprise, Inc. reports third quarter earnings of $3.74 million, 56 cents per share

Lee Enterprises, Inc. – owner of both daily newspapers in the Quad Cities – reported Thursday (7/5) it earned $3.74 million, 56 cents per share, during the third quarter ended June 27.

That compares with a loss of $727,000, 23 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.

On a pro forma basis to reflect acquisition of Berkshire Hathaway Media and Buffalo News last year, total operating revenue fell 4.7 percent and total advertising revenue was down 9.3 percent compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Court of Appeals upholds judge's decision closing Cricket Hollow Zoo for 'deplorable conditions'

Deputy Editor, Iowa Capital Dispatch

The Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled the owners of Manchester’s Cricket Hollow Zoo were not denied a fair trial by a judge who closed the attraction after citing the “deplorable” conditions she observed there.

The two owners of the Cricket Hollow, Pamela and Thomas Sellner of Manchester, had appealed a 2019 court ruling declaring the zoo to be a public nuisance. In briefs filed with the court, attorneys for the Sellners argued that the trial judge, Monica Zrinyi Wittig, “took an advocacy role” on the side of the animal rights groups that helped a group of Iowans sue to close the zoo by “criticizing and arguing with” the Sellners and their witnesses.

In their appeal, the Sellners cited comments made to their attorney by Judge Wittig shortly after all of the parties visited the zoo on the first day of trial.

CLICK HERE to read entire article on Iowa Capital Dispatch web site.

Bettendorf would add three traffic roundabouts under Forest Grove Drive and Middle Road intersection plan going before city council

Forest Grove Dr. and Middle Rd. corridor improvements projected at $11.46 million; city share estimated at $5.5 million

CLICK HERE to view web site created by project's engineering firm.

Bettendorf was one of the first communities in Iowa to install a traffic roundabout back in 2002.

Now nearly 20 years later, the city is planning to quadruple the number of roundabouts under a traffic plan being proposed for the congested Forest Grove Drive and Middle Road corridor.

New ALDI Food Store to join HyVee and Fareway along Bettendorf Devils Glen and Belmont corridor

A new 19,000-square-foot ALDI Food Store will soon join HyVee and Fareway grocery stores in the busy Devils Glen and Belmont corridor in Bettendorf.

The site plan for the new store will go before the Bettendorf City Council Tuesday (6/1) for approval. The store will be on the southeast corner of Devils Glen and Belmont Roads, part of what was once known as the "Golden Triangle" because of its potential for commercial development.

Disinfection treatment, flood protection required at Davenport/Bettendorf sewage treatment plant under amended consent order with Iowa DNR

Sewage from Bettendorf and Davenport will undergo enhanced treatment beginning early next year under revised terms of a consent order signed in February with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR).

The revised agreement establishes Feb. 28, 2022 as the deadline for adding disinfection treatment, using ultraviolet light, at the Davenport Wastewater Treatment Plant, which handles sewage from Davenport, Bettendorf, Riverdale and Panorama Park.

Lee reports $600,000 loss for second quarter

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch Argus newspapers – reported a net loss of $600,000 (6 cents per share) for the second quarter ended March 28.

The loss reflects a 16 percent decline in advertising and marketing services revenue for the period compared (on a pro forma basis) with the same three-month period a year ago.

Bettendorf subdivision developer fined $6,000 by Iowa DNR to settle storm water permit violations

Ven Green Land Development LLC – developer of the Spencer Hollow residential subdivision in north Bettendorf – has agreed to pay $6,000 to settle storm water runoff permit violations that occurred in July 2020.

According to the administrative consent order issued March 9, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) received a complaint July 15 of last year alleging water in a tributary to Spencer Creek was brown from silt that had run off from the housing subdivision.

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