Hometown Harvest receives $100,000 grant; more
Hometown Harvest receives $100,000 grant
Hometown Harvest of Southeast Iowa in Fairfield and Pathfinders Resource Conservation & Development Inc. will receive $100,000 from the USDA Farm to School grant program.
This new initiative will help schools respond to the growing demand for locally sourced food and increase market opportunities for producers and food businesses, including food processors, manufacturers, and distributors. The funding also will be used to support agriculture and nutrition education efforts, such as school gardens, field trips to local farms and cooking classes.
“Hometown Harvest has done a great job of bringing the education and agriculture communities together in the pursuit of a common goal,” said Congressman Dave Loebsack. “I am pleased that this support will help them to expand their operations and continue to teach our young people about the agriculture economy and the importance of supporting local producers.”
Hometown Harvest has been working to get more local food into school systems since Buy Fresh Buy Local arrived in 2005. Its mission is to cultivate a sustainable healthy food network by bringing together local producers and consumers in southeast Iowa. It has worked to educate the communities and expand the network of local food production through the region by launching school gardens and encouraging local food aggregation to school cafeterias. The funding will allow the group to expand its network of local food communities and begin processing local produce at two schools.
Body found on Ottumwa sidewalk
OTTUMWA — At about 5:45 a.m. today, the Ottumwa Police Department received a call reporting an individual lying on the sidewalk at Mary and Ransom streets in Ottumwa.
Officers arriving on scene discovered the individual was deceased. Based on the preliminary investigation, according to the Ottumwa police, no foul play is suspected in the death.
The investigation is ongoing at this time.
The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of family.
Iowa orders use of program for struggling students
DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa Education Department Director Jason Glass has ordered public schools to adopt an instructional program to help struggling students.
Under the Response to Intervention program being imposed, all public school students would be screened at least three times a year. Those falling below a baseline would be given extra instruction and other support.
The state says that, in general, minority students, students from poor families and students from immigrant families fall behind their peers on state assessments.
Jay Pennington is chief of the Education Department’s Bureau of Information and Analysis Services. He says the number of students living in poverty and participating in English Language Learner programs has increased over the past two decades. But he says Iowa’s white, affluent students are also underperforming when compared to peers nationwide.
Iowa lawmakers backing parole board change
DES MOINES (AP) — State legislators are allowing the Iowa Board of Parole to proceed with plans to reduce the number of board votes needed to parole high-risk inmates.
The Des Moines Register reports the Administrative Rules Review Committee discussed the proposal Tuesday and opted to let the change take effect next month. The panel could have delayed the new rules so the full Legislature could debate the matter.
The change would trim the number of votes needed to parole high-risk inmates to three from the current four or five.
Backers of the change note that because two board members work part-time, inmates can wait up to 60 days before the entire board can gather to make decisions. That delay costs the state about $500,000 a year as inmates are held pending decisions.
Iowa auctioning unclaimed property on eBay
DES MOINES — State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald will host Iowa’s first unclaimed property eBay auction Nov. 26 through Dec. 3.
“If you are still looking for a unique gift after you have done your Black Friday shopping, check out our eBay auction starting on Cyber Monday,” Fitzgerald encouraged. “Many items are one of a kind or collectibles that were turned over in unclaimed safe deposit boxes held by financial institutions. EBay will ensure we get top dollar for each item.”
Interested bidders may visit the state treasurer’s eBay page at http://myworld.ebay.com/ia.unclaimed.property.
Some of the treasures include ladies and men’s rings; 90 percent silver coins; .999 fine silver medallions; basketball cards; pocket and wrist watches; and U.S. and foreign currency.
Items included in the auction are from abandoned safe deposit box contents reported to the state treasurer as unclaimed property by various banks and financial institutions across the state. All items have been abandoned for more than seven years prior to the auction.
Photos, letters and other personal memorabilia will not be included in the auction.
Every effort is made to contact the original owner of the property prior to sale. The sale proceeds are held for the rightful owners should they ever come forward.
Every year, millions of dollars in abandoned property is turned over to the state treasurer’s office. Prior to any auction, the treasurer’s office completes an exhaustive effort to locate the owner. Letters are mailed to the last known address; names are published in a newspaper in the county of the last known address; names are posted on www.greatiowatreasurehunt.com; and names are taken to the Iowa State Fair and other events around the state.
“In addition, we search online databases to determine if we can find a new address for a lost owner,” Fitzgerald explained. “We find a number of people through these efforts. If an owner comes forward prior to the conclusion of the auction, we will return the item to the owner rather than sell it.”
Unclaimed property refers to money and other assets held by financial institutions, businesses and other organizations that have lost contact with the owner for a specific period of time. Common forms of unclaimed property include checking and saving accounts, court deposits, stocks, dividends, gift certificates, life insurance policies, utility deposits, refunds, rebates, wages, and abandoned safe deposit boxes.
Anyone can search the unclaimed property database for property at www.greatiowatreasurehunt.com