December 17th, 2012
01:36 PM ET

World's oldest person dies at 115

Just days after becoming the world's oldest person, 115-year-old Dina Manfredini has died at a retirement home in Iowa.

Manfredini's youngest granddaughter, Lori Logli, told CNN she understood her that her grandmother died in her sleep during the night.

Guinness World Records had declared Manfredini the world's oldest person just days ago.

On December 4, Besse Cooper, age 116, died at a Georgia assisted-living center.

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Filed under: Georgia • Iowa
Case of missing Iowa girls an 'abduction,' police say
10-year-old Lyric Cook-Morrissey, left, and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins went missing in Evansdale, Iowa.
July 20th, 2012
08:24 PM ET

Case of missing Iowa girls an 'abduction,' police say

The case of two missing Iowa girls is now being called an abduction after the search of a lake near where the cousins were last seen turned up nothing.

"Those girls are not in that lake," Black Hawk County Sheriff's Deputy Rick Abben told reporters Friday. "Obviously, within a week if they were lost they would have been found by now."

"Since we can't find them, they're not in the lake, we're calling it an abduction," Abben said.

Lyric Cook, 10, and her cousin Elizabeth Collins, 8, were last seen by their grandmother on July 13 when they left on a bike ride.

Their bicycles and a purse were found near Meyers Lake hours after they were reported missing.

Scent dogs following the girls' trail led searchers around the lake and stopped at the water's edge, according to Lyric's mother, Misty Cook-Morrissey.

Meanwhile, authorities have searched the home of Cook-Morrissey and Wylma Cook, who is a grandmother to both girls, with the women's consent.

The two women said they also provided investigators with a key to get into the attic.

Investigators confiscated Cook-Morrisey's computers with her consent, she said.

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Filed under: Crime • Iowa
Hogs feel drought's pinch
The U.S. drought could hurt livestock producers more than farmers, who often are protected by federal crop insurance.
July 20th, 2012
08:35 AM ET

Hogs feel drought's pinch

By Chris Welch, CNN

Washington, Iowa (CNN) - For Rachel and Dan Berdo and their four young children, hogs are everything:  They're the source of nearly all of the family's income.

The couple from the small town of Washington are particularly worried this year because of the drought, considered the worst in a generation.


Filed under: Agriculture • Heat • Iowa • Weather
January 21st, 2012
12:20 AM ET

Iowa GOP officials declare Rick Santorum winner of Iowa caucuses

The Iowa Republican Party officially declares Rick Santorum the winner of the Iowa caucuses late Friday.

Initial returns gave Mitt Romney a eight-vote margin of victory over Santorum, giving the former Massachusetts governor a major momentum boost heading into the New Hampshire primary.

However, a recount later gave Santorum a 34-vote advantage over Romney in Iowa. The news comes as voters head to the polls Saturday for the South Carolina primary.

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Filed under: Elections • Iowa • Mitt Romney • Politics • Rick Santorum
Gotta Watch: Huntsman's presidential campaign
Republican presidential candidate and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman campaigns at Keene State College on January 08, 2012
January 16th, 2012
12:38 PM ET

Gotta Watch: Huntsman's presidential campaign

On June 21, 2011, former Utah Governor and U.S.ambassador to China Jon Hunstman announced his candidacy for president. He began his campaign in Liberty State Park, the same place where Ronald Reagan announced his bid for president in 1980. Over the past several months, the moderate conservative traveled across the country to tout his tax plan and foreign policy views. However, his campaign never really got the momentum he needed.  Huntsman finished last in the Iowa caucus and third in the New Hampshire primary. Despite the endorsement by South Carolina's largest newspaper, Huntsman decided it was time to end his campaign and back one of his rivals. Today's Gotta Watch features a look back at Huntsman's campaign, his feisty exchanges with Mitt Romney and the end of his bid for the White House.

Bad-mouthing Mitt - During his campaign, Huntsman attacked Romney on everything from tax policy to health care to his views on China.

A message for Mitt - During his campaign, Huntsman sent a message to Romney, the winner of the Iowa caucuses. "Welcome to New Hampshire. Nobody cares." That, and a nod to the Grateful Dead, were some of the more memorable highlights from his run for the GOP nomination.

To quit and endorse Mitt -  In the end, Huntsman decided he shouldn't continue on, and suspended his campaign. And, despite their "differences," Huntsman gave Romney his endorsement.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • China • Economy • Gotta Watch • Health Care • Iowa • Jobs • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • Politics • Republican Party • South Carolina • U.S. • World
Gotta Watch: CNN 'After Dark'
January 4th, 2012
12:58 PM ET

Gotta Watch: CNN 'After Dark'

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Filed under: Elections • Gotta Watch • Iowa • Media • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Politics • Republican Party • Rick Perry • TV • Twitter • U.S.
Romney, Santorum share top spot in Iowa GOP caucuses
Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each got roughly 25% support in Tuesday's Iowa GOP caucuses.
January 4th, 2012
09:59 AM ET

Romney, Santorum share top spot in Iowa GOP caucuses

The first real voter decision of the 2012 Republican presidential election season is in, and it's a split one. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum each got roughly 25% of the support from Iowa's caucuses Tuesday night, with Romney edging Santorum by just eight votes.

It was the closest GOP presidential vote in history, tighter than the 1936 South Dakota primary, which Alf Landon won by 257 votes.

Get the full story on the Iowa caucuses.

And check out an analysis of where the GOP nomination race is headed from here from CNN political director Mark Preston.

We may know more about that direction in a few hours.

Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who got 5% of the votes in the Iowa caucuses, has announced she'll hold a press conference at 11 a.m. ET in West Des Moines, Iowa. Look for live coverage on CNN TV and

And Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who earned 10% of the Iowa votes, said he's headed back to the Lone Star State to reassess his candidacy.

Meanwhile, dive into the numbers behind Tuesday's caucuses in the entrance polls page.

And for complete coverage of Iowa and the entire 2012 presidential campaign, go to

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Filed under: Iowa • Politics • Republican Party
January 3rd, 2012
07:43 AM ET

Tuesday's live events

After months of campaigning, spending and debating, the Iowa caucuses are today.  It's the unofficial launch of the 2012 presidential campaign, and Live will be there for all of the results and reactions to the race.

Today's programming highlights...

8:55 am ET - Romney rallies supporters - GOP candidate Mitt Romney makes a final push to supporters in Des Moines, Iowa.


Filed under: Elections • Iowa • Politics
November 19th, 2011
05:37 PM ET

McDonald's, Target drop egg supplier after animal cruelty report

McDonald's and Target dropped an egg supplier this week after an activist group released disturbing video showing what it says shows animal cruelty at three of the company's barns.

The undercover video, released by Mercy for Animals, was allegedly shot between May and August at facilities run by Sparboe Farms in Colorado, Iowa and Minnesota. It shows hens crammed in crowded cages, workers burning beaks and one, trying to shove a bird inside the pocket of a co-worker, apparently for fun. Another worker presses his thumb against the back of a chick's neck until it breaks.

"Regarding the undercover videos, the behavior on tape is disturbing and completely unacceptable. McDonald's wants to assure our customers that we demand humane treatment of animals by our suppliers. We take this responsibility - along with our customers' trust - very seriously. It's important to note that the most alarming actions on video did not occur at Sparboe's Vincent, Iowa, facility that supplies McDonald's. Nonetheless, our extremely high standards for our suppliers prohibit this conduct," McDonald's said in a statement, announcing its decision to cut ties with Sparboe Farms.

Target similarly said it was dropping Sparboe Farms, which describes itself as the fifth-largest shell egg producer and marketer in the United States.

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Filed under: Animals • Colorado • Fast Food • Food • Iowa • Minnesota
On the Radar: Obama in Iowa, violence in Syria, sweat lodge guru's lawyers in court
President Barack Obama brings a town-hall style meeting to Decorah, Iowa, on Monday as part of his Midwest tour.
August 16th, 2011
07:57 AM ET

On the Radar: Obama in Iowa, violence in Syria, sweat lodge guru's lawyers in court

President's Midwest tour - On his bus tour's second day in the nation's heartland, President Barack Obama is set to meet with farmers and business owners in Peosta, Iowa, an enclave of about 1,700 people in Dubuque County with a large industrial park and a handful of new businesses. The White House has billed the Midwestern tour as an opportunity for the president to talk about job growth and the effects of national economic policy with people in their own communities. Obama also is scheduled to sit down with CNN's Wolf Blitzer for a one-on-one interview Tuesday.


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Filed under: Barack Obama • Iowa • On the Radar • Politics • Syria
Scramble to save Iowa town as floodwaters approach
This year's flooding is putting levees to the test along much of the 1,700 miles of the Missouri River.
June 14th, 2011
09:56 AM ET

Scramble to save Iowa town as floodwaters approach

Authorities were scrambling Tuesday to protect the town of Hamburg, Iowa, after a swollen Missouri River broke two levees near the Missouri-Iowa border.

Fifty Army National Guard troops arrived in Hamburg Monday night to join efforts to finish a temporary levee before water from the levee breaches can reach the town - expected to happen sometime Tuesday, according to CNN affiliate KMTV. Crews are working to add another three feet to the top of the temporary levee, KMTV said. If the temporary levee does not hold, parts of Hamburg could be inundated with up to 10 feet of water.

The Iowa Department of Transportation closed one lane of northbound Interstate 29 for a half-mile while the work was underway, it said Monday. Floodwaters are expected to inundate the roadway within 48 hours, it said.

The current levees protecting Hamburg were designed to an elevation of 916 feet, the Corps of Engineers said in a statement Monday. "Based on the current size, new staff gauges and the model calibrated to new survey data, a new water surface elevation of 918 feet has been estimated," according to the Corps.


Filed under: Iowa
June 13th, 2011
02:40 PM ET

Missouri River levee breaks near Iowa-Missouri border, officials say

A 50-foot-wide breach occurred Monday in a levee on the Missouri River near the Iowa-Missouri border, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The "full breach" occurred in about five minutes, the Corps said in a statement. It said it is the fourth in the area and "is just south of the previous three partial breaches." The break was in Atchison County, Missouri, just south of Hamburg, Iowa, it said.

A breach earlier this month prompted the evacuation of hundreds of people in the area as a precaution. No evacuations were occurring as a result of Monday's breach, officials said.

However, "people's safety is our number one concern, so we want to stress how important it is for the public to stay off these levees as we continue to assess the risk," Omaha Corps District Commander Col. Bob Ruch said in the statement.

State and local emergency management officials were notified, the Corps said, and are working closely with the Corps along with the National Weather Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

It was too early to determine the cause of the breach, the Corps said. But it follows weeks of high flows and record releases from dams in Montana and the Dakotas. Heavy rains and snow pack runoff could result in near-record flooding along parts of the Missouri this year, officials have said.

This year's flooding is putting levees to the test along much of the 1,700 miles of the Missouri. Temporary levees are being built in several locations.

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Filed under: Iowa • Missouri
On the Radar: Michigan storm, Afghan attack, Endeavour's return
Battle Creek, Michigan, was ravaged by a tornado Sunday night.
May 30th, 2011
08:10 AM ET

On the Radar: Michigan storm, Afghan attack, Endeavour's return

More storms in Midwest - Many people across the midsection of the country are going to spend Memorial Day cleaning up, after severe storms hit Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Illinois overnight. More than 100,000 people in those states are without power. "It sounded like a freight train." That's the refrain of this past week. Missourians described the tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri, on May 22 that way, and now someone is using the same description in Michigan. Winds of more than 80 mph hit Battle Creek, Michigan. Hundreds of flights were canceled in Chicago.

Twin suicide bombings in Afghanistan - Suicide bombers targeted security forces and foreign civil affairs workers in separate blasts Monday in the western Afghanistan city of Herat, killing at least five people and wounding 33, a police official told CNN. The attacks occurred within minutes of each other just blocks apart in Herat, an area where U.S. military officials have hinted American troops would be withdrawn by July because it has been largely free of violence.

The second bomber  blew himself up outside the main gate of a compound that is home to a Provincial Reconstruction Team, an attack that allowed gunmen to rush inside. Afghan and NATO-led forces fought the gunmen, Afghan government official Harif Taib told CNN. A police commander later said the situation was under police control and the gunfight had ended.

Endeavour heads home - The space shuttle undocked from the international space station and is scheduled to land early Wednesday morning. There is one last shuttle mission after Endeavour's journey: Atlantis is scheduled to launch in July.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Joplin • Michigan • Missouri • Shuttle • Space • Weather
May 27th, 2011
07:32 AM ET

Friday's live video events

Watch Live for continuing coverage of the devastating storm that have hit parts of the United States.

Today's programming highlights...

8:30 am ET - Casey Anthony trial - Testimony resumes in the murder trial of Casey Anthony, accused of murdering her young daughter in 2008.


Filed under: Casey Anthony • Crime • Elections • Florida • Iowa • Joplin • Missouri • Natural Disasters • On today • On the Ground • Politics • U.S.
U.S. hit with a weird combination of fire, water and ice
Storm chasers get ahead of a tornado in Mapleton, Iowa, on Friday.
April 11th, 2011
12:32 PM ET

U.S. hit with a weird combination of fire, water and ice

Hailstones covered a beach in Southern California over the weekend; tornadoes tore up a small town in Iowa; residents of Fargo, North Dakota, escaped a flood threat; and West Texas is battling the biggest wildfire outbreak in its history.

Yes, it’s spring in America.

The crazy weather is expected to continue today, with record temperatures predicted along the East Coast. Highs will top 80 as far north as Philadelphia, and it will feel like summer in the South. But an advancing cold front will set off a line of potentially severe storms from Texas to the Great Lakes, according to the National Weather Service. That line will head east into the evening.

Residents of Newport Beach, California, were soaking in a Jacuzzi, enjoying an unseasonably cool night, when the skies opened up, CNN affiliate KTLA reports.

At first they thought they were being pelted by raindrops, but it stung. The hail-snow combo covered the sand with icy pellets - and was the first time many residents had seen snow on the beach.


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Filed under: California • Iowa • North Dakota • Texas • Tornadoes • U.S. • Weather
March 7th, 2011
07:53 AM ET

Monday's live video events

Watch Live for continuing coverage of the crisis in Libya and the final journey for space shuttle Discovery.

10:30 am ET - Sweat lodge manslaughter trial - The manslaughter trial of James Arthur Ray FULL POST

Filed under: Arizona • Australia • Barack Obama • District of Columbia • Elections • Iowa • On today • Politics • Republican Party • Shuttle • Space • U.S. • World
Tournament over for wrestlers in boy-vs.-girl drama
Joel Northrup, left, and Cassy Herkelman leave the scorer's table Thursday.
February 18th, 2011
01:47 PM ET

Tournament over for wrestlers in boy-vs.-girl drama

The drama is over in the Iowa state high school wrestling tournament.

Cassy Herkelman, a freshman from Cedar Falls who advanced by default Thursday when a boy refused to wrestle her, lost twice Friday and was eliminated, CNN affiliate WHO-TV in Des Moines reports.

Joel Northrup of Linn-Mar, the boy who refused to wrestle any girl because of his religious convictions, won one match Friday in the consolation round but then lost and was eliminated.


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Filed under: Iowa • Religion • Sports
240-point game breaks record for girls high school basketball
February 9th, 2011
03:05 PM ET

240-point game breaks record for girls high school basketball

Girls high school basketball in Iowa sure ain't what it used to be.

In the state where girls used to play six-on-six and only forwards were allowed to shoot, two teams combined Monday night for an astonishing 240 points.

The Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels outlasted the West Marshall Trojans 122-118 in a double-overtime barn burner.

By contrast, another girls high school game in Iowa the same night featured a final score of 27-26, the Times-Republican newspaper reported.

The 240 total points is a national record for a high school girls basketball game, smashing the old record of 222 set in a 113-109 win by Booneville, Mississippi's Thrasher High School over Wheeler in 2004, according to the National High School Sports Record Book.

The two teams scored at a rate of six points per minute in the 40-minute game. It was tied at 98 at the end of regulation and at 108 after the first four-minute overtime, according to the Times-Republican.

The Rebels' Paige Thompson scored 10 of her 20 points in the second overtime to ice it for the home team.

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Filed under: Basketball • Iowa • Sports
Flavor Flav opens fried chicken restaurant in Iowa
Flavor Flav is looking to "blow up your taste buds, man."
January 24th, 2011
09:31 PM ET

Flavor Flav opens fried chicken restaurant in Iowa

Look out, Colonel Sanders. Flavor Flav has a fried chicken restaurant, and he's coming for you - starting in a small Iowa city.

The Public Enemy rapper and reality TV star opened Flav's Fried Chicken in Clinton, Iowa, on Monday with a business partner he met through a connection in Las Vegas, the Clinton Herald reported.

"My chicken ain't no joke. I ain't scared to go up against the Colonel, tastewise," Flav said, referring to chicken giant KFC, in a YouTube video of him frying chicken at Monday's opening.

The sight of Flav cooking at his own restaurant apparently won't be a one-time thing. He told the newspaper he intends to work at the Clinton location now and then to help draw customers. (Good news for the fledgling operation: If his trademark attire is any indication, he should have no trouble arriving to work on time.)

"You're going to find me in here working. … You're going to catch me in here seasoning up my chicken, flouring up my chicken, frying up my chicken. And not only that, but coming out here and serving my chicken to people," he said.

The idea for the venture came after Flav befriended Las Vegas restaurateur Peter Cimino. Flav cooked Cimino some chicken, and Cimino, duly impressed, had Flav sell his chicken wings at Mama Cimino's Pizza in Las Vegas, the rapper told northern Illinois news site

It was Cimino's brother, Clinton restaurateur Nick Cimino, who suggested he and Flav open a fried chicken restaurant in the Iowa city of roughly 26,000 people.


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Filed under: Celebrity • Food • Iowa • Music • Showbiz
Eighth graders learn big lessons from CNN Heroes assignment
Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow e-mailed and chatted over Skype about his work to relieve hunger problems for kids.
January 5th, 2011
11:44 AM ET

Eighth graders learn big lessons from CNN Heroes assignment

For a group of eighth graders in Iowa a language arts assignment turned into an eye-opening experience when they got the chance to speak with some of the CNN Heroes winners.

Their teacher assigned them to draw names of the CNN Hero finalists and try to reach out to them for a Skype session for class. Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, who was named a hero for his efforts to towards global hunger relief, shared stories with the students of other kids, worlds away, who don't have even the simple luxuries the Dickinson County kids likely took for granted.

"For our kids to hear these stories about other students their age that all they want out of life is education and a meal," teacher Chris Block told the Dickinson County News. "That's pretty amazing– for our students to know what life is really like in other places."

Learn more about CNN Heroes

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