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(Cedar Rapids, IA) -- Newly-elected Cedar Rapids Mayor, Tiffany O'Donnell says she's very encouraged by new gambling market studies. Cedar Rapids was denied a casino license in 2014 and 2017 out of concerns it would cannibalize existing casinos. O'Donnell says she believes that is going to change with the latest studies. "The effects will be minimal, and certainly the effects on existing casinos less than they've ever been before. If not a casino in Cedar Rapids now, I'm not sure when it would be." The studies are the first step in the process of the Racing and Gaming Commission possibly awarding a new casino license.

 (Des Moines, IA)  --  Iowa National Guard Adjutant General Benjamin Corell says the soldiers in his ranks are “a wealth of talent” for the state not seen since World War II.  But during the annual “Condition of the Guard” address this (Thursday) morning at the Capitol, Corell said the Guard is going to lose some soldiers due to the Pentagon’s Covid vaccine mandate.  Corell said, "these mandates have already started to create dilemmas within our ranks where our members must decide to get vaccinated or leave military service.”  Corell later told reporters that about 80 percent of Iowa Army National Guard soldiers and Iowa Air National Guard airmen are fully vaccinated.  Airmen faced a December deadline to get vaccinated.  The deadline for soldiers is this summer.  Some of the unvaccinated are seeking medical or religious exemptions, which must be approved by the secretaries of the Army or Air Force.

(Des Moines, IA) -- Iowa National Guard Adjutant General Benjamin Corell has alerted several units that they are likely to be called to active duty this year. It includes a mission in support of NATO -- the North Atlantic Treaty Organization -- as fears rise about a Russian invasion of Ukraine. "We anticipate we will deploy members of the 209th Medical Company from Iowa City and members of the 1133rd Transportation Company from Mason City to support Operation Atlantic Resolve in Poland," Corell says. Corell delivered the annual "Condition of the Guard" address to legislators yesterday (Thursday).

(Cedar Falls, IA) -- Authorities in Black Hawk County have arrested a 38-year-old suspect on livestock neglect charges. He is accused of causing the deaths of hundreds of pigs on his farm. The man had been hired to raise 25 hundred baby pigs. They were delivered to his farm in rural Cedar Falls along with 15 tons of feed. When a consultant checked up on the pigs he found 800 had died because they didn’t have ready access to water and some didn’t have access to food. A state veterinarian determined the animals died of malnutrition and dehydration.

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