NEWS

Friday Morning Read: Buy in to renewable energy, updated Iowa license plate designs to make their debut, new laws going into effect on Saturday

Dan Tyne, a technician with Nelson Electric of Cedar Rapids, installs solar panels on the roof of Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. Nelson subcontracted with Alliant Energy, which owns the solar panels, for the installation. The new building, dubbed the “Amazing Space” by nature center administrators, is due to open in a soft launch on Tuesday, September 6, with a grand opening weekend planned for September 15-18. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
Dan Tyne, a technician with Nelson Electric of Cedar Rapids, installs solar panels on the roof of Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids on Wednesday, August 31, 2016. Nelson subcontracted with Alliant Energy, which owns the solar panels, for the installation. The new building, dubbed the “Amazing Space” by nature center administrators, is due to open in a soft launch on Tuesday, September 6, with a grand opening weekend planned for September 15-18. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

TODAY’S WEATHER — Cloudy. High 81, low 60.

NEW LICENSE PLATE DESIGN COMING FOR IOWA —The last time Iowa had a plate redesign was in the mid-1990s, when the state switched from a solid, royal blue plate with a white outline. The 1998 version depicting a city skyline overlaid with a farm scene doesn’t stand out remarkably from other Midwest states’ plates, including Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana and Illinois. Read more here.

YOU CAN BUY IN TO SOLAR, WIND: ALLIANT STARTS NEW PROGRAM TO SUPPORT GREEN ENERGY  Alliant Energy is opening a portion of its massive 5-megawatt solar array in Dubuque and nearby Hancock County Wind Farm to a community renewable energy program. Alliant on Thursday announced the utility’s Beyond Solar program, which allows Alliant customers to directly reserve kilowatt blocks of the utility’s wind and solar energy resources. Read more here.

LIMITS ON LAWSUITS AMONG NEW LAWS GOING INTO EFFECT SATURDAY —Laws limiting Iowans’ opportunity to sue over medical malpractice, shoddy home construction and stinky livestock facilities take effect Saturday. Also, Iowans will be able to enjoy a cocktail when they visit Iowa craft liquor distilleries. That’s because state legislators agreed that, unlike lawsuits against doctors, contractors and farmers, cocktails are good for economic development. Read more here.

SOUTHEAST IOWA AUCTION DRAWS THOUSANDS OF ANTIQUE COLLECTORS — A steady murmur hung in the air inside the Robert Gabeline family farm’s sprawling machine shed Thursday morning. It’s the sound you hear any time a large crowd is gathered at an indoor venue. But in this case, the talk was all about an auction — likely the largest antique estate auction many attendees had ever witnessed. Read more here.

QUOTABLE —“They didn’t have to kill him,”  Peggy Armstrong regarding to her son, cab driver Ricky Lillie, whose cause of death has not been disclosed. Read more here.

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