Category: News

Iowa Corn Promotion Board: New Patent Good for Iowa Farmers and the Environment

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published this week a new patent application (U.S. 62/345,399) from the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), adding to a previously issued U.S. patent on a proprietary production method using corn in the industrial manufacturing of a raw material called monoethylene glycol (MEG). MEG is an industrial chemical used in the manufacture of antifreeze, plastic bottles for pop or bottled water, and polyester clothes. Today, MEG makes up about 30 percent of the bottles and polyester. The patent covers an improvement in the process conditions to increase efficiency from approximately 60 percent to 85 percent yield.
“Production efficiencies that drive yield while reducing cost drive success – this holds true in manufacturing as well as in farming,” said Pete Brecht, a farmer from Central City who chairs Iowa Corn’s Research and Business Development Committee.
“Patenting research that improves production efficiencies of corn-based bio-MEG helps us eliminate the need for petroleum-based ethylene derivatives. This creates more environmentally friendly consumer bioplastic products and increases demand for Iowa corn farmers.”
The current way bio-MEG is made is through a conversion of sugarcane ethanol, which is usually sourced from Brazil, to ethylene, but still the majority of MEG comes from fossil fuels. ICPB’s patented process can eliminate the added costs of bio-MEG by going from corn sugar to MEG in one step.
Most MEG currently goes into making polyethylene terephthalate (PET), a plastic used for beverage bottles, polyester textiles, and films, but MEG can also be used as anti-freeze, coolants, aircraft deicers and industrial solvents. Plastic companies are currently making limited quantities of bottles utilizing biobased MEG made from sugarcane-based ethanol imported from South America. In 2016, 62 billion pounds of MEG were sold. The market continues to grow at the rate of about four percent a year and that four percent equates to about 94 million bushels of corn.
Investment of checkoff dollars in research and business development allows for a direct return on Iowa corn farmer investments. Consequently, ICPB research programs have continued to grow. ICPB research programs aim to find new and innovative uses of corn, such as plastics and industrial chemicals. ICPB develops and licenses intellectual property to partner with companies; this strategy will increase the commercialization of new products related to corn and create new opportunities for corn farmers.
 

Reginald the Blue-Nosed Reindeer?

A classic holiday song and animated program could have been so different…
“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose,
And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glows.”
Popularized by the song written by Johnny Marks and sung by Gene Autry, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer dates back to 1939. A copywriter named Robert L. May created the story of the misfit reindeer in 1939 when working for Montgomery Ward. The retail giant was producing marketing holiday coloring books for children and wanted to come up with a clever character.
Although Rudolph is now beloved, May’s original ideas included Rollo and Reginald. Also, Rudolph’s famed red nose almost didn’t come to be. Because a red nose at the time was viewed as a sign of alcoholism, Montgomery Ward was hesitant to get on board with a reindeer sporting a bulbous, red snoot. A blue nose was considered, but later changed.
In its first year of publication, Montgomery Ward had distributed 2.4 million copies of Rudolph’s story. The catchy tune came thereafter, followed by a cartoon short in 1948.
In 1964, the stop-motion animated television special further propelled Rudolph to celebrity and became the most recognizable Rudolph adaption.
Today, Rudolph is known across the globe as the reindeer responsible for navigating Santa’s sleigh through tricky weather on Christmas Eve. He continues to be loved by many, young and old.
 

Holidays at Hawkins:Wish Tree and Adopt a Book

Make a difference right here at home. Hawkins Memorial Library and the La Porte City FFA Historical and Ag Museum have a Christmas Wish Tree adorned with tags on display at the library. Each tag bears the request of a simple item needed. Your donation of that item (or cash if you want the staff members to do the shopping) will help these non-profit organizations provide additional programming and much more for the community, a simple way way to say, “Thank you.” So please, pluck a tag, purchase that item, and return it to be placed under the tree for the holidays.
The Adopt a Book Tree makes it possible for patrons to purchase new books for children in this community to read and enjoy. You choose a book to donate and pay for it. The library orders the book and when it arrives, a name plate will be placed inside the book as a special thank you for your kindness.
Wish list tags for easy and juvenile books can be selected from the Christmas tree in the library entry – each showing the book cover and cost. Book prices range between $6.95 and $23.99 for these sturdy hardcover reading treasures that will be used by many children over the years.
 

Free Colon Cancer Screenings Offered

This holiday season, give yourself the gift of peace of mind! Get screened for colon cancer for FREE through the Black Hawk County Health Department.
To qualify you must:

Be between the ages of 50-64
Live in Black Hawk or surrounding counties
Have no insurance or have a high deductible/co-pay on their insurance.
Meet income guidelines (Household of 2 can make up to $47,790/net per year)
Not be experiencing symptoms of colon cancer.

To reduce your risk of colon cancer, it is important to have regular screening. If the Iowa Get Screened program is right for you, local staff will determine if participants are eligible for either a free take home stool test or a colonoscopy. For more information or to enroll in the program, people are encouraged to contact the Iowa Get Screened program at 319-292-2225.
The Iowa Get Screened services are funded by the Iowa Department of Public Health in an effort to help increase screening for colon cancer.
 

County Sheriff to Hold Town Hall Meeting

Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson invites the La Porte City community to attend a town hall meeting that will begin at 6:30 PM in the Union Community School Board Meeting Room (200 Adams Street) on December 14. County law enforcement efforts will be the focus, as Sheriff Thompson will be prepared to address topics such as neighborhood watch and burglary prevention, range issues, weapons laws, mental health issues, budget, radio project and more.
“Bring your questions, comments and concerns,” encouraged Thompson, noting that questions, ideas and feedback are always welcome.
Thompson regularly holds town hall meetings in each of the communities the Sheriff’s Department serves, as it offers him the opportunity to learn more about concerns and questions citizens may have.

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Community Calendar

  • Morning Coffee, Hawkins Library

    Monday, December 11 2017 @ 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

  • Seniors in Motion, LPC Community Center

    Monday, December 11 2017 @ 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
    LPC Community Center

  • LPC Council on Aging Board Meeting, LPC Comm. Center

    Monday, December 11 2017 @ 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM

  • 7pm LPC Elem Winter Concert, UHS Auditorium

    Monday, December 11 2017 @ 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

  • LPC City Council Meeting

    Monday, December 11 2017 @ 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    City Hall, La Porte City Iowa

    Regular scheduled meeting of the City Council of La Porte City

2018 Honor Flight Calendar

2018 Honor Flight Calendar

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