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Wednesday AM Daily | June 28, 2017
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UI finds PCBs in schools 
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University of Iowa researchers found polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, in older schools, apparently from outdated building materials such as window caulking and light ballasts.

The multiyear study by the Iowa Superfund Research Program was one of the largest studies of airborne PCBs in schools. It found exposure rates to the cancer-causing industrial chemicals were roughly the same in urban and rural schools. Researchers were surprised to find the students were exposed to about the same amount of PCB through inhalation as they were through various foods they ate.

Researchers collected indoor and outdoor air samples at six schools in Iowa and Indiana from 2012 to 2015. Generally, PCB levels were below the concentrations that require immediate action. The study was published in Environmental Science & Technology.

In 2014, a school in Lexington, Mass., was closed after high levels of PCBs were found inside the building. New York City replaced light ballasts in 800 schools. Last year, parents in Malibu, Calif., won a court battle to force the removal of PCBs in schools.

"Due to the presence of PCBs in the environment, humans are easily exposed to them," Rachel Marek, assistant research scientist at the UI College of Engineering and lead author of the study, said in a statement. "Exposure of school-aged children to PCBs is of particular concern because these are compounds we know impair memory and learning and cause cancer in humans."

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NEWS BRIEFS

Committee leaves crop insurance intact
A congressional subcommittee this week turned aside President Donald Trump's move to cut crop insurance, and also left several conservation programs unscathed, Successful Farming reported. A 108-page appropriations draft includes $1.8 billion for food aid and export promotion, including a key program Trump wanted to cut.

Mercy celebrates groundbreaking on Clive rehabilitation hospital
Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines marked the start of construction of Iowa's first free-standing rehabilitation hospital with a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday. Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital in Clive, slated to open a year from now, is being built on 5 acres of land that Mercy originally purchased in the 1980s as a potential site for a future western hospital expansion, said Mike Wegner, Mercy's interim president. The 50-bed rehabilitation hospital at Northwest 114th Street and Campus Drive will have 20 physicians and a caregiving staff of about 100. "It's going to be state-of-the-art," said Dr. Bruce Hughes, director of Mercy's Neuroscience Division. The 58,000-square-foot rehab hospital will replace a 14-bed inpatient unit that Mercy operates at its downtown campus.

LCS commits to raise $250,000 for Alzheimer's Association
Des Moines-based senior living company LCS is taking a leading role in supporting the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's fundraising event. LCS has committed to raising $250,000 nationally as a Gold National Team; locally it has already raised more than $113,000 toward its $143,000 goal for the Des Moines walk to be held Sept. 16. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer's or another dementia. In Iowa alone, more than 64,000 people have Alzheimer's. "Our passion is caring for and serving seniors, so it is of the utmost importance to champion this fight for an end to this terrible disease," said Joel Nelson, LCS president and an Alzheimer's Association of Greater Iowa board member. To register for the walk, click here.

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MEMBER EXCLUSIVE CONTENT
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A brief look back at members-only news from the past week on BusinessRecord.com.

Locals more diverse, older
The Census Bureau says the metro is getting more diverse, and as a group we're getting older. Read more

Birmingham developer arrives
A Clive rehab hospital marks the local debut for a Birmingham developer. Read more
 
New Business Record editor hired
News industry veteran Suzanne Behnke joins the Business Record as its new editor. Read more

The Principal of the thing
Principal Financial Group turns art deco headquarters into modern digs with really cool atrium. Read more

ISU presidential search gets underway
The state Board of Regents and its consultants will officially launch the search for Steven Leath's replacement on July 6. Read more

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NEWS BRIEFS

BPI settles defamation suit with ABC
Sioux City Journal: Bringing a landmark defamation case to a close, Beef Products Inc. has settled its $1.9 billion lawsuit against ABC News over a series of reports that repeatedly referred to BPI's signature product as "pink slime." The judge in the case announced the settlement this morning at the start of the 18th day of the trial in South Dakota. Terms were not immediately disclosed.

Ransomware attack raises concerns over future assaults
New York Times: Governments and organizations around the world grappled today to contain a cyberattack that struck parts of Europe, the United States and Asia. The ransomware attack, which began and was most prevalent in Ukraine, has raised concerns that similar attempts will become more widespread as hackers mimic the same techniques in copycat digital assaults.

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Branson: Don't look in the rearview mirrors 

BY PERRY BEEMAN: Virgin Group founder Richard Branson says too many of us look in the rearview mirror for too long. He thinks Regina Britt, in her "45 Lessons Life Taught Me" list, made a good point when she wrote, "Put every setback in perspective. Think long-term. In five years, will this matter?" Branson said if we sit around regretting our losses, we lose sight of our goals. We need to think long-term. "Gone are the days of quick wins. All businesses and business leaders should operate with an end goal in mind that can be continuously improved on. Long-term thinking is the key to a thriving planet, and happy and healthy people." Read more

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July 19: July Startup Stories
Host: Square One DSM
About: Bill Bernardo, Founder of WINPRO, will be the guest speaker at the July Square One DSM Startup Stories event. Startup Stories is a monthly networking event geared toward entrepreneurs, investors and those interested in entrepreneurship. WINPRO is a line of soft-chew nutritional supplements for active and athletic dogs. Bernardo will talk about how he came up with the idea to create WINPRO and the experiences that led him to start the company.
When: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Where: Greater Des Moines Partnership
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Family of Brandon Ellingson fears trooper plea will not bring justice 
A Missouri trooper pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges in the death of 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson. Trooper Anthony Piercy was scheduled to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter after Ellingson drowned in his care at the Lake of the Ozarks in May of 2014. Piercy avoided that trial by pleading guilty to negligent operation of a vessel, a misdemeanor charge. Ellingson's family told KCCI that they fear they will never see justice. "That's the only justice Brandon is going to get down there," said Craig Ellingson, Brandon Ellingson's father. Read more

City bans bridge jumping on popular Greenbelt Trail 
A Des Moines suburb has taken steps to keep people from jumping off a railroad bridge into a creek. Officials in Clive had grown concerned about increasing numbers of people jumping into Walnut Creek from an old railroad bridge along the Clive Greenbelt Trail. Clive Police Chief Michael Venema says the rising and falling water level poses a danger to jumpers. The Des Moines Register reports that the Clive City Council voted last week to bar people from gathering on or climbing bridges in the city. Read more

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Today:
Windy with showers and thunderstorms likely. A few storms may be severe. High 87. Winds SSW at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of rain 90 percent. 

Tonight:
Thunderstorms likely this evening. Then the chance of scattered thunderstorms overnight. A few storms may be severe. Low 69. Winds SSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 80 percent.

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Today:
4400 Block of Ingersoll Avenue - westbound
1700 Block of University Avenue- eastbound
4000 Block of Woodland Avenue - eastbound

Tomorrow:
2000 Block of Hartford Avenue - eastbound
4500 Block of Beaver Avenue - southbound
700 Block of Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway - northbound

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