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Hard Rock To Begin Work on Sportsbook Area, Expo Center Project Begins, 4:32

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The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is now ready to prepare for betting on college and professional sports. Today the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved projects requested by the Hard Rock and Grand Falls Casino in Larchwood.

Work will begin Monday on the Hard Rock project that will convert 400 square feet of existing casino space into a sportsbook. Grand Falls also plans to start soon on remodeling that will free up existing space for its new sports betting area.

A groundbreaking ceremony will be held Wednesday to kick off construction of the Siouxland Expo Center, according to the Sioux City Journal.  The ceremony begins at noon.

The 100,000-square-foot-venue, which will be built on a parcel of land bounded by Interstate 29 and the Floyd River channel, celebrates the heritage of the city's former stockyards and the continuing success of its ag-based economy. Local leaders have been working for more than a decade to bring an ag-focused expo center to Woodbury County.

State officials are warning people to avoid the Elkhorn River in eastern Nebraska's Dodge County after flooding exposed natural gas pipelines there.

The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission said yesterday in a news release that Northern Natural Gas will be replacing the pipelines, so the public is advised to avoid the river north of Highway 91 and south of County Road J through June 25.

Northern says neither the pipeline nor efforts to replace it pose a risk to the public. However, any boating or other traffic could pose a safety risk to pipeline workers.

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