IOWA CAPITOL FOCUS
Legislative leaders push for adjournment
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Legislative leaders say they could end the session this week despite disagreements over budget bills and Governor Terry Branstad's policy priorities.
They have a strong incentive to close up shop and go home - their daily allowance for working and living in Des Moines runs out Tuesday.
Three budget bills on which there are differences are in conference committees, where lawmakers from both parties negotiate compromises. Differences remain on a school anti-bullying bill and expansion of broadband Internet, but leaders say resolution is possible.
Branstad appears unfazed by ongoing criticism from Democrats about payments for secrecy in settlement agreements and other executive branch issues pursued by the Government Oversight Committee.
He says his focus remains on the substance of issues and he remains optimistic.
IOWA DATA CENTER
Past work credited for luring data center to Iowa
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - West Des Moines officials say their past work with major companies played a major role in attracting a $1.1 billion Microsoft data center to their city.
The Des Moines Register reports that Microsoft approached West Des Moines about the project roughly five years ago, but had concerns over whether the city could provide the necessary infrastructure.
West Des Moines Mayor Steve Gaer says city officials pointed to their relationships with other major companies, such as Wells Fargo and General Growth Properties, which owns the Jordan Creek Town Center. Gaer says those connections gave the city credibility and showed that they deliver on their promises.
The new data center announced on Friday is Microsoft's second in West Des Moines.
Study: Fuels from corn waste not better than gas
WASHINGTON (AP) - A study paid for by the federal government says biofuels made from the leftovers of harvested corn plants are worse than gasoline for global warming in the short term.
The research published in the journal Nature Climate Change challenges the Obama administration's conclusions that biofuels are a much cleaner oil alternative and will help fight climate change.
The study is being criticized by the biofuels industry and Obama administration as flawed.
Corn residue is one of the most promising ways to make cellulosic biofuels. Biofuels have struggled to reach the volumes required by law.
The administration and biofuel supporters claim biofuels are better for the environment than are gasoline and corn ethanol.
A 2007 law requires that they release 60 percent less carbon than gas to qualify as renewable fuel.
PLAINFIELD WATER BREAK
Water shut off in small northern Iowa town
PLAINFIELD, Iowa (AP) - A water-line break in Plainfield has forced city officials to shut off the northeast Iowa town's water supply.
KWWL-TV in Waterloo reports that city officials aren't sure how long it will take for crews to fix the problem. City officials say residents should use bottled water until further notice.
Plainfield is a town of nearly 450 in Bremer County, about 35 miles north of Waterloo.
FIELD OF DREAMS
Debate still simmers over Field of Dreams site
DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Twenty-five years after "The Field of Dreams" debuted in movie theaters, the Iowa farm where it was filmed remains at the center of simmering debates.
The Des Moines Register says the film, which premiered in Iowa 25 years ago Sunday, turned the land into the state's most famous farm. It also set off a land dispute that has become bigger and more divisive as years passed.
The latest involves an Illinois couple that wants to develop the farm around the field into a $74 million baseball and softball complex for traveling youth tournament teams. The proposed All-Star Ballpark Heaven has sparked feuds and lawsuits between neighbors and against the city of Dyersville.
As the debate rages, cast members are scheduled to return in June for the 25th anniversary celebration.
Iowa inmate escapes from work release facility
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are looking for a 24-year-old man who has gone missing from a Davenport work-release facility.
The Iowa Department of Corrections says Tyler Lampe was placed on escape status from the facility at 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Lampe is serving a 15-year sentence for intimidation with a dangerous weapon and escape of felon.
Lampe began serving his sentence on July 30th, 2010, and he was transferred to the work release facility on January 9th, 2014. Authorities say Lampe is white, stands 5 feet 9 inches tall, and weighs 150 pounds. He has tattoo on his upper left arm.
Authorities say anyone with information about Lampe's whereabouts should contact Davenport police or the Scott County Sheriff's Department.
Body found near burning vehicle in W. Des Moines
WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are investigating a body that was found lying next to a burning vehicle in West Des Moines.
West Des Moines police say officers discovered the body when responding to the fire report around 6 a.m. Sunday.
The body has not been identified. West Des Moines police are working with the city's fire department, the Iowa State Fire Marshal's Office, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigations and the Polk County Medical Examiner's office.
Anyone with information is asked to call West Des Moines police at 515-222-3321 or Polk County Crime Stoppers at 515-223-1400.
DES MOINES TRAIN-FATAL
Teen dies while climbing onto moving freight train
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police say a teenager died while trying to climb onto a slow moving freight train.
Police were called to a crossing on the city's eastside early Sunday and determined that a male in his late teens had been waiting with friends at a rail crossing. The teen tried to climb onto the slow-moving train, possibly to cross to the other side.
Police say he fell during this attempt. He was caught beneath the train and dragged along the tracks.
Officers didn't release the name of the teen.
The train operator was notified and stopped the cars while police investigated. Several rail crossings were blocked by the train through the early morning hours.
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