Recent Articles

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.

Education department expertise loses out to political power in school voucher legislation

The Iowa Department of Education has 220 staff members and a budget of more than $10 million. But it has zero independence or political power.

That's why school legislation in Iowa is driven by the political agenda of the governor, Republican Party leaders and this year, by the Americans for Prosperity, a right wing organization funded largely by the Koch brothers, and Betsy DeVos, ex-head of the Trump administration's education department.

Lee posts first quarter profit thanks in part to $24-million gain from axing retiree medical benefits

Lee Enterprises, Inc. – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch/Argus – reported first quarter net income of $16.4 million, thanks in part to a $23.8-million gain "associated with elimination of retiree medical benefits."

Total advertising revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 27 fell to $102.6 million, a decline of 20 percent compared to the same period a year ago when factoring in the acquisition of Berkshire-Hawthaway's BH Media and the Buffalo News in early 2020. Net income per share for the three months was 28 cents, compared with 9 cents per share for the same period a year ago.

Hearing under way to determine if Cricket Hollow owners should be held in contempt of judge's order

Owners of the troubled – and now closed – Cricket Hollow Zoo are again in court.

This time the owners of the roadside zoo near Manchester are facing charges they disobeyed the district court's December 2019 order that required them to turn over hundreds of animals for relocation by animal rescue personnel.

The trial of Pamela and Thomas Sellner on contempt charges began Wednesday (1/6/21) and is expected to conclude Tuesday in Iowa District Court in Delaware County. The case was filed a year ago, Jan. 8, 2020.

Iowa's ag college experts on nutrient reduction say their role is to educate, not regulate farm operations

Mandating measures to control and reduce chemical pollution from farm fields should begin, University of Iowa water quality researchers say.

But, don't expect Iowa's land-grant agricultural institution – Iowa State University – to join the call for regulation or any government measures to limit the use of fertilizer on ag land.

Researchers at the University of Iowa Hydroscience and Engineering Department have been analyzing farm field runoff of nitrogen and phosphorus for decades.

Voluntary efforts will never achieve Iowa's goal to curb nitrogen runoff, water quality researcher says

Iowa will never achieve its goal to reduce nitrate runoff from Iowa farm fields relying only on voluntary actions of farm operators, according to a hydrologist who has done extensive research on the state's waterways and water quality.

The state has not only has failed to achieve its goal to reduce nitrogen runoff by 45 percent over the past eight years, the 5-year average of nitrate flowing into the Mississippi River has increased, up more than 100 percent between 2003 and 2019, according to Larry Weber, Ph.D, a research engineer with the University of Iowa's IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering Department.

Farm bureau crows about water quality progress; nutrient reduction report stats show otherwise

The Iowa Farm Bureau unleashed its public relations machine after release of the 2018-19 Nutrient Reduction Strategy (NRS) Report July 2, heralding what it called "clear and significant strides" on reducing nitrogen and phosphorus leaching from farms fields into state streams, rivers and lakes.

Problem is the farm bureau either failed to read the report statistics on nitrogen and phosphorus runoff, or simply chose to ignore the research results and spin the findings.

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