The Department of Defense says most of its civilian employees, including Rock Island Arsenal workers, will be furloughed for 11 days due to budget cuts under sequestration and other budgetary factors. Congressman Dave Loebsack, who voted against the cuts, says it is unconscionable that Arsenal workers and their families will be forced to take a pay cut because Congress and the Administration can’t work together to replace the arbitrary cuts caused by sequestration. Loebsack says sequestration is an irresponsible and illogical way to deal with the nation’s fiscal challenges. 


Weather permitting, Iowa farmers hope to plant more corn and soybeans this week following several weeks of wet fields. In a report issued Monday, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says only 15 percent of the corn crop is planted, compared to the 5-year Iowa average of 79 percent. Just 1 percent of soybean acres are in the ground, well behind the 5-year average of 30 percent. On the plus side, Northey says soil moisture has been replenished.


The Blue Zones Project in Muscatine is hosting a Blue Zones Project Community Input Open House, designed for citizens to provide their ideas on strategies for improving well-being. This event, from 4 to 6 on Tuesday, June 4th, at the Muscatine Schools administration building, will feature booths on each of the Blue Zones Project Blueprint strategies and the plan for implementing them in Muscatine. General presentations will begin at the top of each hour.


The Muscatine County Conservation Board is hosting a fishing event from 6 to 7 this Thursday night. It takes place at Discovery Pond in Discovery Park, 3300 Cedar Street. It's free, and equipment will be provided. But anglers 16 and above must have a fishing license.


Iowa now has two interactive websites that show the state's byways and bicycle trails. The goal is to help visitors explore Iowa's two national scenic byways and nine state scenic and heritage byways. The byways website is The bicycle website is


Campers looking to reserve a campsite at an Iowa state park with electricity for Memorial Day weekend are nearly out of luck. Officials say the goofy spring weather we’ve had has not been very inviting for campers to head to parks. So sites for Memorial Day weekend are much more in demand.


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