Google Plus as a mountain base camp
The terms and conditions for the new social-netowrking site are a lot more favorable than those for Facebook, and that's a strong advantage. Plus, it's integrated into Gmail and other Google services, so it's easy to get to and you're reminded to use it whenever you're already logged onto any of those. On the downside, it's still not very well-designed, so it's visually clunky. And it's not quite as intuitive as it should be, so early adopters are spending a lot of time asking, "What am I supposed to do next?"
Des Moines gets a #1 ranking as a city for young professionals
The city is still hampered by local and state tax policies that are painful for small businesses, but low costs of living and a high standard of life make up for a lot -- especially for people who are willing to work for big companies. The winters are still terrible, though. We shouldn't lie about that. And sometimes the summer weather is awful, too.
Chicago will get a coal-to-natural-gas plant
A bill approving some of the necessary conditions has been signed by the governor
Corn prices rise as projected supplies shrink
Overall, 80% of the state's crops are in good condition. That's even after considering the huge amount of flood damage in western Iowa.