Iowa Welcome Sign

(Undated) -- A new era in gambling in Iowa begins at high noon today – legal sports betting. Iowa Racing and Gaming Administrator Brian Ohorilko (Oh-reel-koh) has been working with casinos to get them approved to offer legal sports betting on-site or on-line. He says the last few days have been a flurry to finalize a number of controls. Four casinos have been approved for both on-site and online gambling. Two others have been approved for on-site only sports gambling. Ohorilko says the work continues to get all the casinos approved and more will be approved next week.

(West Des Moines, IA) The Hy-Vee grocery store chain is investigating what it calls a "security incident" that may have affected some customer payment information. Hy-Vee says it detected "unauthorized activity" in payments made at fuel pumps, drive-through coffee shops and Hy-Vee operated restaurants -- the Hy-Vee Market Grill, Market Grill Express and Wahlburgers. Federal officials have been notified. A company statement says the investigation is in its early stages and they will release more details when it determines "the specific timeframes and locations that may have been involved."

(Undated) -- Whether you have a small patch of cone flowers and milkweeds in a backyard garden or several acres of restored prairie, you're encouraged to register your plot on a new mobile app. Dana Schweitzer (SHWITE-zer), the program coordinator of the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, says the Habi-Tally app is designed to improve data collection about pollinator habitats of all sizes. The app was developed in part by Iowa State University's Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology for use by farmers, ranchers, landowners and private citizens. Anyone can use the HabiTally app, which is available as a free download for iOS devices from the App Store.

(Newton, IA) - - A new group called "Project Fastpitch" announced plans Wednesday for a 32-million dollar, 16-field tournament softball complex on the southeast edge of Newton. The proposed development directly north of Iowa Speedway includes a 300-thousand square foot enclosed building with four regulation-sized softball fields, batting cages, meeting rooms, and a restaurant. Project Fastpitch leader Troy Strawhecker says that building will be the first of its kind in the country and guarantees games will not be rained out. Strawhecker estimates the complex could annually generate an additional 150-thousand hotel/motel room nights in Central Iowa. He says Project Fastpitch’s financing should be wrapped up in the next 30 to 45 days.

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