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Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States of America on the rolling hills between the Mississippi River and the Missouri River. The state is the center of one of the Earth’s most productive agricultural regions. Admitted to the Union on December 28, 1846, Iowa became the 29th State. Iowa ranks 26th in total area and 30th in population among the 50 states. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the state population was 3,007,856 in 2009. Des Moines is the capital, most populous city, and center of the most populous metropolitan area of Iowa.

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Interstate 380 (I-380) is a 73-mile (117 km) auxiliary Interstate Highway located in eastern Iowa. The route extends from Interstate 80 near Coralville to Waterloo. I-380 connects the cities of Cedar Rapids and Waterloo, the second- and fifth-largest cities in the state, respectively, to the Interstate Highway System. Except for its last 1 12 miles (2.4 km) north of U.S. Route 20 (US 20), I-380 runs concurrent with Iowa Highway 27, which represents Iowa's portion of the 560-mile (900 km) Avenue of the Saints Highway connecting St. Louis, Missouri, with St. Paul, Minnesota. Construction of I-380 took 12 years to complete, ending in 1985. After the interstate opened, US 218 was moved onto the new freeway. In the 1990s, the I-380 corridor was selected as part of the Avenue of the Saints corridor, which Iowa designated as Iowa Highway 27 in 2001. I-380 has been affected by two major floods, the Great Flood of 1993 and the Iowa flood of 2008, both of which closed the road at the Iowa River for two weeks.

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Bedell in 2007
Berkley Warren Bedell (born March 5, 1921) is a former U.S. Representative from Iowa. After starting a successful business in his youth, Berkley Fly Co., he ran for the United States Congress in 1972, but was defeated by incumbent Wiley Mayne. In 1974, however, Bedell beat Wiley Mayne and was elected to Congress.He was known for his support of representative democracy and his populist style. For example, he would hold town halls and let constituents vote on motions to decide what he would do in Congress on their behalf. These meetings helped Bedell understand the problems of his constituents; as a result, he backed issues that were important to his farming constituency, such as waterway usage fees and production constraints. He did not seek reelection in 1986 after contracting Lyme disease from a tick bite. Though he no longer serves in Congress, Bedell remains active in Iowa politics, strongly supporting Howard Dean in 2004 over John Kerry. In the 2008 presidential election, he met several times with Chris Dodd, but endorsed Barack Obama in the end.

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The 31st President of the United States, Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, Iowa.
Official presidential portrait by Elmer Wesley Greene
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