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President Trump rattles the Middle East, saying the U.S. will recognize Israel’s authority over the Golan Heights. Also on our Friday rundown: A judge blocks laws limiting the power of the new Wisconsin governor. Plus, momentum builds across party lines to abolish the death penalty.

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Iowa's Smart Planning Hearings Soon Underway

September 20, 2010

DES MOINES, Iowa - Beginning September 28, the Iowa Smart Planning Task Force hosts a series of public meetings statewide to get input on its draft recommendations to help communities better prepare for future disasters, and improve the quality of life and economic opportunities in Iowa.

Aaron Todd with the state Rebuild Iowa Office says those who attend will learn more about "smart planning" and what it can do for Iowa communities.

"We really are trying to reach out to as many interested persons and organizations as possible to make sure that these are well attended. We hope that we are inundated with lots of comments that we can sort through and synthesize, and really produce a better product that the citizens of Iowa can support."

Todd says many of the proposals have no cost, but some will require an initial investment.

"It does have an up-front cost, but long-term, if done right and implemented well, it could - and very well will - save local governments and the state of Iowa taxpayer dollars in the long run."

He says the Task Force has to submit a report to the Governor and Legislature by November 15, including the recommendations that come from the public hearings.

To download copies of the recommendations and for a schedule of the hearings go to

Dick Layman, Public News Service - IA