WIC RESPONSE: It was impressive to see how swiftly so many Eastern Iowans and organizations put together food drives after the Oct. 1 federal government shutdown froze payments to recipients of WIC, the federal supplemental food nutrition program for children of low-income families. Later in the week, the freeze on WIC payments, one of the more serious consequences of the shutdown, received a temporary reprieve.
BIRD SANCTUARY: Kudos to Jon Stravers of McGregor, whose seven years of research was instrumental in Iowa securing its first designated Globally Important Bird Area. The honor was bestowed by the Audubon Society and Bird Conservation International for the Effigy Mounds-Yellow River Forest Bird Conservation Area, home to increasingly rare cerulean warblers, among other species.
APPLES REBOUND: After last year’s disastrous season because of unusual early warming in March and then killing April frost, many of Iowa’s apple orchards are producing a bumper crop this year. The spring’s heavy rainfall before another round of drought hit in the summer gets much of the credit.
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