DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Volunteers turned out this week in Des Moines to build kits to help boost the reading skills of kids. United Way of Central Iowa hosted Literacy Solstice on Thursday. All day, volunteers from around central Iowa created 1,000 literacy kits that each includes a book and activities to reinforce literacy skills.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa City is expecting tens of thousands of people to attend its second Downtown Block Party this weekend. Last year's inaugural Downtown Block Party drew an estimated 30,000 people to the downtown area. The event, which runs from 5-11 p.m. Saturday, includes live music, sand volleyball, a fashion show, ping pong, mini golf, tug-of-war tournament and outdoor movie.
DOON, Iowa (AP) - Cleanup of an oil spill caused by the derailment of nearly three dozen oil tankers in northwestern Iowa has begun. Lyon County Sheriff Steward Vander Stoep says between 30 and 40 semitrailers containing cleanup equipment had arrived at the scene near Doon, Iowa, by Friday afternoon. BNSF spokesman Andy Williams says 33 oil tanker cars hauling crude oil from Alberta, Canada, derailed early Friday morning.
ROCK VALLEY, Iowa (AP) - Most people have been allowed back into their homes in a northwest Iowa community after they were evacuated because of flooding. Rock Valley public information officer Travis Olson says 12 blocks of the city _ between 50 and 70 homes _ were evacuated Thursday as the swollen Rock River came out of its banks. But Olson says by Friday afternoon, the waters had begun to recede, and most residents were allowed to return.
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