Powerball jackpot grows to $600 million
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Powerball officials say the jackpot has climbed to an estimated $600 million, making it the largest prize in the game's history and the world's second largest lottery prize.
Lottery officials say the prize is growing quickly Friday because so many people have been purchasing the $2 tickets. The jackpot has grown by an estimated $236 million since the last drawing on Wednesday.
The last jackpot was won on March 30, so it's been growing for about six weeks. The next drawing is Saturday night.
The largest jackpot ever was a $656 million Mega Millions prize won in March 2012. The prize was split three ways with winners in Illinois, Kansas and Maryland.
Odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are about 1 in 175 million.
Iowa jobless rate drops to 4.7% in April
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's unemployment rate dropped to 4.7% in April, the lowest rate since December 2008.
Iowa Workforce Development reported Friday that the figure is two-tenths of a point below the March rate of 4.9%. The rate is half a point under the April 2012 rate of 5.2%.
The number of unemployed people dropped to 77,800 in April, compared with 80,500 in March. Nonfarm employment remained unchanged over the month but is down 11,900 people from April 2012.
Iowa lawmakers still working to conclude session
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa legislators are back in the Capitol as they try to wrap up the 2013 legislative session.
Lawmakers reported for duty Friday, a day they usually take off.
It wasn't clear how quickly they could finalize their budget and policy work.
On Thursday, legislators struck a tentative deal to cut commercial property taxes and make other tax reductions. But by midday Friday the, legislation had not come up for a vote.
Democratic Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, of Council Bluffs, says he's not sure if they will move it Friday, though he was hopeful other budget bills would come up.
Some lawmakers say they expect to return next week. They still have to work out an agreement on education policy and decide how to handle health care for low-income Iowans.
SHELTER FIRE DEATH
Woman dies in shelter fire in Boone
BOONE, Iowa (AP) - Fire officials in Boone say a woman died in an early morning fire at a shelter.
The Des Moines Register reports the woman died in the fire at a house being used as a woman's shelter in the central Iowa city.
The fire was reported about 3:45 a.m.
The fire department didn't release the woman's name but say she is an adult. No one else was in the home when the fire occurred.
Officials are investigating the cause of the fire and why the woman wasn't able to escape.
Vinton man hospitalized after rock picker accident
HAZLETON, Iowa (AP) - The Buchanan County sheriff's office says a Vinton man was injured after getting trapped in farm equipment near Hazleton.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Randy Blake was operating a rock picker in a field Thursday when a rock got stuck, causing the machine to jam.
Blake dislodged the rock but the machine suddenly began working and he became trapped between the reel and the inside of the hopper. He managed to wave his arms and get the attention of others workers.
Crews from Hazleton and Oelwein got Blake out of the picker. He was taken to a hospital in Oelwein and then flown to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. He's listed in stable condition.
Marine reunites with dog from Afghanistan
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Marine has been reunited with the dog he served with in Afghanistan during a surprise ceremony at the Iowa Capitol.
Marine Sgt. Ross Gundlach of Madison, Wis., thought he was travelling Friday to the Iowa Capitol to tell state officials why he should take ownership of the dog, which has been working for the state fire marshal's office.
Gundlach didn't realize officials already had made arrangements to get another dog for explosives detection.
State officials told Gundlach their meeting had been delayed and asked him to join in an Armed Services Day celebration in the rotunda, but during the event they brought out 4-year-old yellow lab, Casey.
When Gundlach saw Casey, he put his face into his hands and cried.
Gov. Terry Branstad officially retired Casey from active duty.
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