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The good

A small airplane that can drive on roads has been billed as the first “flying car” and is one step closer to becoming street and sky legal. The Terrafugia vehicle recently cleared a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) hurdle for craft classification by weight. The two-seater vehicle came in 110 lbs. overweight in accommodating roadworthy-assuring safety items such as crumple zones. The FAA said that so long as customers are advised about this extra weight, the car-plane hybrid can be sold. The Terrafugia completed its maiden voyage last March in upstate New York. According to its maker, the Terrafugia can transform from a vehicle that can hit highway speeds of 65 mph to a winged aircraft in 30 seconds. The plane version can cruise at about 115 mph and cover about 400 miles before needing a refill of regular unleaded gas. According to multiple reports, a full-fledged production prototype could be ready in the near future. The price of a Terrafugia is expected to be around $200,000 and deliveries could start next year, assuming the vehicle passes crash tests. The best part — no fees for extra baggage.

 

Pizza seems to be synonymous with American culture, and Little Caesars understands that. Last week, the Little Caesars Love Kitchen rolled into the Central Iowa Shelter and Services with pizza for approximately 100 people. The Kitchen travels across the United States and Canada and has served more than two million people in 48 states and four Canadian provinces. That’s what we call delivery.

 

The bad

Remember last year when the government told us to be scared of the Swine Flu? Well, look where all that money is going now. About a quarter of the swine flu vaccine produced for the U.S. public has expired, which means 40 million doses, worth about $260 million, is now considered trash. The outdated vaccine will be incinerated, but that’s not all of it. About 30 million more doses will expire later and may go unused, according to one government estimate. If all that vaccine expires, more than 43 percent of the supply for the U.S. public will be wasted. The real epidemic is our government’s continual misuse of money.

 

Mother Nature is taking its toll on Iowa. Last week the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lowered the crest gates at Saylorville Lake’s emergency spillway, sending billions of gallons of water downstream. Officials found a crack in the Birdland levee last Thursday night, but believe there is no immediate threat. Other officials estimate that residents and businesses owners in the Birdland and Central Place areas will face at least another week of high water and further flooding.


 

The ugly

Yes, BP still has oil gushing from its underwater pipes, but at least the company set a record. BP’s massive oil spill became the largest ever in the Gulf of Mexico last week. The oil that’s spewed for two and a half months from a blown-out well a mile under the sea hit the 140.6 million gallon mark, eclipsing the record-setting, 140-million-gallon Ixtoc I spill off Mexico’s coast from 1979 to 1980. The whole “bloody mess” makes us “barking mad.”

What a way to pay thanks to veterans who risked their lives fighting for our freedom.


Reports of a Veterans Affairs hospital in St. Louis, Mo., claim hundreds of veterans may have been exposed to HIV, hepatitis and other illnesses. The John Cochran VA Medical Center sent a letter to 1,812 veterans this week, notifying them that they may have been exposed to deadly blood-borne diseases at the center’s dental clinic. Unsanitary cleaning practices are being blamed. Thanks for risking your lives; now enjoy this incurable disease. CV


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