Iowa News

Council rejects agreement for Mason City pork plant
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — The City Council has rejected an agreement with a company to build a $240 million pork processing plant in Mason City. The agreement failed on a 3-3 vote early Wednesday morning after the council met for seven hours. Councilman Bill Schickel says he struggled with his vote against the Prestage Foods plan but finally decided there wasn't enough community acceptance for the agreement to work. Prestage Foods officials said the $240 million pork processing plant in southwest Mason City would hire nearly 1,800 people in two phases. Officials said the plant would have a buffer zone and the company would make payments to the local school district. Residents who oppose the plant have raised environmental issues related to wastewater and odor and expressed concern about possible harm to property values.

Council Bluffs man gets 25 years in attack on estranged wife
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A 40-year-old Council Bluffs man accused of trying to kill his estranged wife had been imprisoned. David McKee was given 25 years at his sentencing hearing Tuesday. He'd pleaded guilty to a burglary charge after prosecutors dropped charges for attempted murder and other crimes. Police say McKee a year ago broke into a home where his estranged wife and another woman were living. The wife told officers that he threatened to kill both of them and grabbed her by the throat. She stabbed him with a knife she was holding and the other woman struck him with a weight. He was hospitalized.

Dubuque issues boil advisory after water main breaks
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A broken water main in Dubuque has spilled 3.3 million gallons of water, the largest amount leaked in the city in at least 24 years. Brant Schueller, the city's water distribution supervisor, tells the Telegraph Herald that crews responded to the break around 1:30 a.m. Tuesday. The city issued a boil advisory for drinking water nine hours later because of potential bacteria contamination. Officials say residents shouldn't drink the water or use it to prepare food. The advisory runs until 3 p.m. Thursday. Some residents expressed concerns about the city's approach to notifying residents of the potential risks. The impacted areas of downtown Dubuque, the Port of Dubuque and properties in the area of Central Avenue and Rhomberg Avenue contain about 5,500 water customers.

Council Bluffs voters approve bond measure for police HQ
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Council Bluffs voters have approved a bond referendum for a new, $20 million police headquarters. Nearly 63 percent of the votes counted Tuesday approved the referendum for a bond issue. The unofficial turnout was nearly 3,900 voters, or about 11.6 percent. Several city sites are under consideration for the new building. The current 19,000-square-foot headquarters was built in 1977. Police Chief Tim Carmody has said the department needs at least 58,000 square feet for current and future needs.

Powerball jackpot reaches $348 million
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Powerball jackpot is creeping higher again. No one has won the full jackpot since March 2 and the multi-state lottery estimates Wednesday night's drawing will be worth $348 million. While it's not chump change, it's a far cry from the $1.6 billion Powerball prize shared by three winning lottery ticketholders in January, the largest ever jackpot draw in the world. Powerball says the odds of winning the top prize are one in more than 292 million. Powerball tickets are sold in 44 states, as well as the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Students get bottled water after school water shows bacteria
AMES, Iowa (AP) — Students at an Ames elementary school have been given bottled water since the school's water showed bacterial contamination. Des Moines television station KCCI reports that water fountains at Meeker Elementary have been taped off and warning signs have been placed on them. The precautions have been in place since February, after a routine water test showed total coliform. Experts say total coliform bacteria are routinely found in soil or vegetation and are usually harmless. If only total coliform are found, the source likely is environmental and likely not a result of fecal contamination. District facilities director Gerry Peters says some sort of organic compound in the pipes is feeding the bacteria. The district has been chlorinating the water lines in an effort to clear up the problem.

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