A variety of people — from elected officials to health experts to business people and the media — gathered Tuesday to get an update from Kent Corporation officials on a $100 million project at GPC to help improve the community's air quality. Our Andy Foster was there and will file a full report tomorrow. In the meantime, the Muscatine Journal reports that Josh Tapp of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional office in Kansas City attended. Tapp says the company’s efforts seem to be paying off, at least for complying with the requirements for the PM2.5 emissions that are particularly dangerous for children, the elderly and people with lung diseases. GPC’s efforts include a new $75 million dryer house designed to cut emissions by 72 percent when it opens in 2015. Gage Kent is the CEO and chairman of the board of Kent Corporation. He says it’s a complex effort, but the company is living is up to its commitment to make Muscatine a better place. Read more about this story in the Muscatine Journal or at muscatinejournal.com.
Muscatine voters got an up close and personal glimpse of Muscatine School Board candidates last night at a lengthy forum at city hall. Our Andy Foster attended.
Summer is winding down and many travelers will be on Iowa’s highways the Labor Day holiday weekend. The Iowa Department of Transportation and the state’s counties and cities want to remind travelers to use extra caution in work zones. ?Here are some places to watch out for in Eastern Iowa:
• Cedar County: Iowa 130 is closed during construction of a new bridge located 1.9 miles east of Tipton. Traffic is being detoured on Iowa 38, U.S. 30 and Cedar County Road X-64.
• Muscatine County: U.S. 6 is closed west of West Liberty for bridge construction. Traffic is being detoured on Muscatine County Road X-30, I-80 and Muscatine County Road X-40.
• Scott County: A roadway repair project is being performed on U.S. 67 approximately 1 mile south of I-80. One lane of traffic is being maintained in each direction.
Expect more hot and humid conditions today. Here are some tips from the Iowa Department of Public Health for surviving the heat:
• Increase fluid intake, regardless of your activity level.
• If experiencing a lot of sweating, replace salt and minerals by eating foods like bananas and salty crackers, or drink rehydrating beverages that contain salts such as sports drinks.
• Choose lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing and wear sunscreen.
• Wear hats that shade your face.
• Keep in the shade or air conditioned areas as much as possible.
• Work slowly if you are not used to working or exercising in heat and humidity. Stop immediately if you get dizzy, nauseated or feel weak. Go into an air-conditioned space and drink cool liquids.
• Use a buddy system. Watch others for heat-induced illness, since some people may not realize that they are suffering heat-related illnesses and can become confused or lose consciousness.
Inquiring minds want to know what you think. The Muscatine County Conservation Board will hold a public meeting about proposed plans for Deep Lakes Park. The meeting is 5 to 8 Thursday at the Environmental Learning Center. Conservation Board members and staff, Deep Lakes Park Steering Committee members and park planners will attend to answer questions and hear comments and suggestions about the proposed plans for the park.