Scott Brickman, formerly of Muscatine, has been named the interim pitching coach for the University of Iowa baseball program. Brickman joins the Hawkeyes after a four-year stint as head coach at Division II Belmont Abbey University. From 2000 to 2002, Brickman was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Muscatine Community College. During his tenure, he saw three pitchers and 15 total players earn all-region honors, and four players were selected in the MLB Draft. The Denver, Iowa, native earned his bachelor's degree in general studies from Northern Iowa in 1998.


Two groups from Durant are among those benefiting from the latest round of grants from Iowa 80 Truckstop and CAT Scale Company’s Go Iowa Fund. That’s a grant program that was established last year. Durant Boy Scout Troop no. 153 will receive $1,500 and Durant Cub Scout Pack no. 153 will receive $750. Iowa 80 and CAT Scale established the fund through the Community Foundation of the Great River Bend. It provides employees and other individuals a way to request money to support good causes, organizations or philanthropies they are involved in.


The season for fairs and festivals remains in full swing. The 94th Mississippi Valley Fair starts today and runs through Sunday at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport. From a small county fair in 1919, the Mississippi Valley Fair has grown to become a large regional fair, attracting 300,000 people during fair week. Grandstand acts this year are Toby Keith tonight, Josh Turner on Wednesday, Dwight Yoakam on Thursday, Lynyrd Skynyrd on Friday, Diamond Rio on Saturday and Jake Owen on Sunday. Keith and Yoakam each have opening acts.


Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says the cooler weather we’ve had lately is a nice reprieve and reduces stress on both crops and livestock. But he says Iowa’s crop remains behind schedule so we’ll continue to need warm weather to help advance maturity. Northey says much of the state could still use some rain because corn needs more than an inch of moisture each week during this part of the growing season.


The Des Moines Police Museum has added a controversial new exhibit to the other items that tell the history of the police department. A 100-pound mountain lion that was shot by officers in a Des Moines backyard in October of 2012 has been stuffed and mounted and is now on display. Sergeant Jason Halifax says very few people can say they’ve seen a mountain lion alive let alone seeing one in a city the size of Des Moines, which is not near the natural habitat for a mountain lion. Halifax says the shooting of the mountain lion generated a lot of controversy from those who thought shooting the animal was wrong. He says it posed a threat to everyone and officers acted on their best instincts given the circumstances they were in when they found the animal.


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