A power disconnection crisis: In 31 states, utilities can shut off electricity in a heat wave

By: - July 9, 2023

By Sanya Carley and David Konisky Millions of Americans have already been sweltering through heat waves this summer, and forecasters warn of hot months ahead. July 3 and 4, 2023, were two of the hottest days, and possibly the hottest, on satellite record globally. For people who struggle to afford air conditioning, the rising need […]

Judge: DeWitt school board violated open meetings law

By: - July 3, 2023

STAFF REPORT ǀ DEWITT OBSERVER Superintendent Dan Peterson and the Central DeWitt school board violated Iowa law when they conducted a closed meeting more than a year and a half ago, a district judge has ruled. As a result, the district was ordered to provide a recording of the meeting to The Observer and pay […]

Attorneys general want Apple, Google to raise age ratings for TikTok

By: - December 19, 2022

By Louisiana Illuminator Attorneys general from 15 states want Apple and Google to increase their age ratings for  the social media application TikTok. They have sent letters to the companies’ CEOs that say states have the right to pursue legal action if age ratings for the app aren’t changed. The Apple App Store rates TikTok […]


The Iowa Democratic caucuses gave a voice to rural voters

By: - December 5, 2022

By Barbara Trish and Bill Menner The death knell of the Iowa caucuses wasn’t sounded last week when the DNC’s Rules & Bylaws Committee recommended a 2024 presidential nomination calendar that left out Iowa. It was sounded in 2016, when the caucus process was called into question by supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. And […]


Noise, safety issues make rail merger a rotten deal for eastern Iowa

By: - September 2, 2022

By Ann Geiger There are issues flying under the radar in our neck of the woods. Last year, Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern launched a corporate merger under the purview of the Surface Transportation Board (STB), a totally autonomous federal agency. As a result, the two railroads will triple their traffic through eastern Iowa […]

More Midwest banks see opportunity to finance solar, energy efficiency projects

By: - August 22, 2022

By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network Smaller, regional banks and credit unions are increasingly looking to help homeowners finance solar installations in a sign of growing recognition of the opportunities in clean energy finance. In the Midwest, Iowa-based Decorah Bank & Trust is among the latest to begin marketing loans for solar and other clean […]


Merger of Sanderson Farms and Cargill is a bad deal for farmers and consumers

By: - August 21, 2022

By Tim Gibbons Why conspire with your competitors when you can just merge? Over the last two years, giant corporate meat companies have been settling lawsuits to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars that allege they conspired with each other to fix prices, lower workers’ and farmers’ pay and raise the price of […]

Missouri Independent, Midwest Newsroom co-hosting community discussion on lead

By: - August 17, 2022

By Staff Reports, Missouri Independent A study released last year found that more than 80% of Missouri children had some level of lead in their blood. Across the Midwest, in Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, the data painted a similar picture — children with elevated levels of lead in their blood far above the national average. […]

General Mills boosts D.C. lobbying presence as Congress reviews food policy

By: - July 31, 2022

By Emma Loop WASHINGTON — The Minnesota-based food manufacturing giant best known for its sugary cereals and snacks is slowly expanding its lobbying operation in the nation’s capital as a Democratic-led Congress reviews sweeping food policy legislation. General Mills spent $360,000 on lobbying in the first quarter this year — nearly half of what it […]


Where’s the meat? Solving a bottleneck in the meat supply chain vital to farmers’ profitability

By: - July 30, 2022

By Paul Sobocinski COVID-19 brought a lot of hard lessons, one of which is that it’s not a good bet to put all of our meat processing needs into the hands of just a few large processing plants. When COVID infections soared, many large processors in our region had to shut down for a few […]


Do to guns what we did to cigarettes — make them culturally repellent | Opinion

By: - July 2, 2022

By Sheldon Clay Maybe you’ve wondered how much innocent blood needed to get spilled to finally convince Senate Republicans that gun violence has spiraled out of control, and we need to do something. The back-to-back mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde gave us the unhappy answer. One month later Congress presented President Joe Biden with […]

Brother and sister recount ‘very traumatizing’ Amtrak derailment in Missouri

By: - July 1, 2022

By Lily O’Shea Becker A mother aboard a train derailment in Mendon, Missouri, on Monday climbed on top of the wreckage and went from train car to train car, yelling into each window while searching for her three children, according to her son, Dax McDonald.  The Amtrak train was traveling from Los Angeles to Chicago […]