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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

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By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Hope blooms in flooded Iowa town

By Lynda Waddington | 06.01.09 | 5:34 pm

Nearly one year ago the small Iowa town of Palo was decimated by flood waters as the entire town was evacuated. This past weekend, elected officials and volunteers delivered baskets of flowers as their thanks to those who have returned and begun the rebuilding process.

“My father’s home in Palo was one that was flooded last summer,” said Cedar Rapids resident Heather Akers, who volunteered along with her husband and two young children to deliver the pots of flowers to residents. “We are interested in opportunities to help people out, and this seemed like a really nice gesture. We helped right after the flood, mucking out the damage, but it is really nice to return and do something else now that it has been a year.”

Cedar Rapids resident Heather Akers said it was good for her children -- Harrison, 7, and Zoey, 3 -- to see that people have returned to Palo and are rebuilding the community.

Cedar Rapids resident Heather Akers said it was good for her children -- Harrison, 7, and Zoey, 4 -- to see that people have returned to Palo and are rebuilding the community. The children's grandfather, a resident of Palo, lost nearly everything during the 2008 flood.

The children — Harrison, 7, and Zoey, 4 — smiled and laughed while loading the pots into the back of an awaiting trailer, but otherwise had few comments about the good work they were doing.

“Yes,” Harrison responded when asked if he thought the deliveries were a good thing. He added “great,” when asked how he thought people would feel about the gifts.

“It’s good for the kids to see that people are coming back and that things are being rebuilt,” Heather added. “It was kind of tough for them to see grandpa lose so much stuff last summer.”

A total of 350 pots of red, white and blue petunias were loaded into trailers and the backs of pick-up trucks Saturday morning. The gifts were made possible by the Rebuild Palo Fund with support and contributions from Anderson-Bogert Engineering and the Cedar River Garden Center, and will be bright additions to a landscape that still bears the scars from last summer.

“It’s a good way for us to acknowledge this first anniversary of the flood,” said Jeff Beauregard, mayor of Palo. “It’s good to welcome everyone back, and its good for everyone to know that we are still working together to rebuild.”

A label placed on each pot featured a quote from Lady Bird Johnson: “Where flowers bloom, so does hope.” In the coming days, many Iowa communities impacted by the 2008 floods will commemorate the one-year anniversary with parades, community gatherings and video footage.

Iowa Sen. Swati Dandekar (above) and Iowa Rep. Kraig Paulsen (below), both of whom represent Palo in the state legislature, were on hand to help load and deliver the petunias to each doorstep in the community.

Iowa Sen. Swati Dandekar (above) and Iowa Rep. Kraig Paulsen (below), both of whom represent Palo in the state legislature, were on hand to help load and deliver the petunias to each doorstep in the community.

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