OUTDOOR PLAN TO LIKE: We like the plan to spare 13 acres of partially wooded land near Seminole Valley Park and Ushers Ferry Historic Village in Cedar Rapids from being developed as residential housing. Instead, the trees will stay as Dave Blankenship, local executive in AEGON USA, wants to create an outdoor education center where Scouts and their leaders will learn about the outdoors, CPR, green technologies and amateur radio operation.
FATALITIES DROP: The number of fatalities on Iowa roads dropped to 317 in 2013, down from the five-year average of 382 and the lowest on record since 1944. That’s even more encouraging when you consider there are many more cars on the road compared to 70 years ago. Better roads, a 93 percent seat-belt compliance rate, safer vehicles and laws that discourage distracted driving are among the factors cited by state public safety officials.
VACCINE HOLDS PROMISE: University of Iowa researchers have developed a vaccine that protects against staph infections, including drug-resistant strains such as MRSA that kill thousands of Americans a year. FDA approval is the next step.
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