US President Donald Trump

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The Sioux City Council will be asked today to approve a resolution that a maximum of $1 million in funds be committed to the Badgerow Building and another $1.6 million to two other projects in the city's Historic Fourth Street District.

The council will consider adopting an amendment to the Combined Central Sioux City -- CBD Urban Renewal Area Plan.

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A new committee tasked with making criminal justice reform recommendations to Governor Kim Reynolds met for the first time today.

Iowa criminal justice system leaders and stakeholders heard presentations about trends in Iowa’s prison population and the barriers people face when they leave prison.

Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg chairs the committee. 

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Governor Kim Reynolds spoke this morning with the task force she’s assembled to come up with a series of criminal justice reforms, according to Radio Iowa.

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A broad coalition of biofuel and farm advocates today sent a letter to the White House calling on President Trump to fix a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency. It notes that the EPA’s draft plan undermines the administration’s commitment to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and accurately account for biofuel demand destroyed by Small Refinery Exemptions 

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association sent out a news release saying the letter says was signed by 60 organizations, including the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. 

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U.S. agriculture officials say a rule that allows farmers to legally grow hemp will be finalized this week.

It's a move that many states have awaited for months so they can begin widespread hemp production.

It's a big step for Iowa farmers hoping to tap into a rapidly growing market for hemp-derived cannabidiol, commonly called CBD, used in everything from pet food to wine and creams that help relieve minor aches and pains. The $5 billion market is expected to grow to nearly $24 billion by 2023.

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Corn growers and ethanol producers are concerned about the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed fix for ethanol demand.  The comment period is still open. The ethanol industry wants the federal government to account for dozens of ethanol exemption waivers it issued to small refineries.

Iowa’s Republican elected officials to say they are confident the President is on their side, though the EPA  proposal disappointed many. Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says intends to submit comments asking that the legally required number of gallons be met.

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Ethanol advocates are frustrated with a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency that they say goes against a promise made by the White House.

Earlier this month President Donald Trump said he had reached a deal to restore demand for ethanol that is lost when the EPA grants waivers to small oil refineries. But biofuels producers say the official EPA proposal would only cover about half of the industry’s annual losses. 

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Though plenty of hard work remains on a possible trade deal between the United States and China, the agriculture sector is finding hope in the tentative agreement the countries have announced. 

President Donald Trump says China has agreed to buy between 40 and 50 billion dollars in US agriculture products if the deal goes through. Iowa State University economics professor Wendong Zhang says that’s significantly more than any single-year of US exports to the Asian giant. But it’s not clear whether the new number reflects an annual promise.

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The Trump administration says it will increase ethanol requirements to make up for waivers allowing oil refiners to blend less biofuel into gasoline  But the plan does not restore everything the industry has lost.

The waivers add up to about a billion gallons in lost ethanol demand each year. That cuts into corn demand, too, at a time when farmers are seeing low prices.

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Republican US Senator Joni Ernst is refusing to pass judgment possible wrongdoing by President Donald Trump but said yesterday Congress needs to investigate any allegations of corruption. Ernst was at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City yesterday morning, talking with high school students about leadership.

Ernst was asked about the possible impeachment of the president.  She said the Senate Intelligence Committee will take the process seriously because all forms of corruption need to be exposed.

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