RAIL ON THE ROPES? It’s looking more likely that Iowa will forfeit a federal funding match toward upgrading the rail system for high-speed passenger service connecting Iowa City and Chicago. The governor is still skeptical of the benefits of the proposal vs. the costs of Iowa’s portion. State Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines, chair of the Senate transportation budget subcommittee, said last week he doesn’t expect House Republicans will ever support the project. Skeptics don’t like the idea that the line would need subsidies to operate. Yes — but so does all public transportation, and the entire impact picture must be weighed as an investment in Iowa’s future and changing societal expectations. We’re glad to see, though, that the governor wants to wait on a final Iowa Department of Transportation analysis report.
NEW DRUG THREAT: Iowans have dealt with several non-native insect pests that destroy trees and plants in recent years. And we’re not immune to invaders from the ever-changing illegal drug world. In the latter category, the latest is “krokodil,” an addictive, flesh-eating drug moving into the Midwest. The derivative of morphine, three times more powerful than heroin, is expected to show up in Iowa within months.
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