Tuesday Reads — Culver Speech, Brownie Theft

So this is the auspicious day Gov. Chet Culver drops in to reveal what condition our condition is in. And this morning’s previews seem to focus on two concepts — recovery and bonding.

The Gazette/Lee Newspapers, The Register and Radio Iowa all have fine point ups to Culver’s 10 a.m. speech to a joint legislative session in the House chamber. Our man at the Statehouse Rod Boshart has some numbers, including $40 million from the state’s Economic Emergency Fund, aka Rainy Day Fund, for flood relief, and what aides called a “nine-figure” bonding program aimed at infrastructure.

In the Register’s piece, Jennifer Jacobs says the governor will unveil a big road-building program without raising taxes, through bonding. Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson talks with Cedar Rapids Mayor Kay Halloran, who will obviously be looking for flood money. “Not the least of which is money to help us recover our downtown and our major industries,” Halloran tells Radio Iowa.

Bottom line, Culver is “optimistic,” Iowans are “resilent” and officials are “tight=lipped” about what exactly Culver will say at 10 a.m. You can watch the speech on IPTV and I’ll be liveblogging Culver’s remarks at gazetteonline starting at 10 a.m. along with Boshart and Charlotte Eby.

Lee/Gazette Statehouse reporter Fred Love brings word this morning that Iowa’s state-licensed casinos are weathering tough economic times. Some casinos made modest gains, but still, more than half lost revenue during the last six months of 2008. It’s too early to know how hard the recession will hit casinos and the fat state revenues they generate.

So should a student who swiped a couple brownies at school be subject to criminal charges? That’s the question being asked in Mason City, where a student faces fifth-degree theft chargesafter stealing two brownies from the cafeteria. His mother thinks its an overreaction. The school calls it deterrence.

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