INNOVATION FOR SAFETY: The Iowa Department of Transportation is testing the use of cameras on some of the state’s 900 snowplows to capture real-time images of road conditions that feed into an online map. The public would be able to access the website for travel information that is updated every 30 minutes. During a winter like this, how great would that be if and when the statewide plan is running? DOT officials also say the cameras could save money by reducing the need to send out assessment teams to check roads.
MARION ON THE MOVE: Marion’s population and economic growth continues to be impressive. At the State of the City event last week, Mayor Allen Bouska noted the city of 36,000 has grown 32 percent since 2000 and is expected to hit 43,000 by 2020. The city last fall opened a new shovel-ready enterprise area that has attracted one new company with ongoing talks for others. A number of other projects including roads, new fire station, library expansion and improved trail system are in the works, and the Uptown area has seen two major new business buildings that should be finished this year.
NATURE CENTER MILESTONE: Iowa’s first and only private, non-profit nature center, Cedar Rapids Indian Creek Nature Center, marked 40 years of programming with a Groundhog Gala on Feb. 2. The center was incorporated in 1973. Its first program celebrated Groundhog Day in 1974.