DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials at Des Moines' Blank Park Zoo say the attraction's youngest giraffe, Lizzy, has died, just weeks before what would've been her second birthday. The Des Moines Register reports that the zoo made the announcement Thursday; Lizzy died Tuesday. Officials say initial results from a necropsy showed the giraffe had 'internal abnormalities" and had also recently suffered from a minor gastrointestinal illness that may have contributed to her death.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A new survey says farmland prices are expected to continue their decline in parts of 10 Plains and Western states. The latest Rural Mainstreet survey shows that on average, bank CEOs in the region estimated farmland prices declined by 4 percent over the past 12 months. Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Judicial Branch has started tracking a legal deadline for judge appointments amid uncertainty over whether Gov. Kim Reynolds made two picks on time. The governor has 30 days to appoint a judge once the names of finalists have been submitted by a nominating commission. The liberal blog Bleeding Heartland reported last month that Reynolds informed Judge Jason Besler of his appointment after the deadline. Now questions are being raised about the timing of a second appointment.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Deer from a private herd on a Minnesota farm have contracted a deadly virus that until now had not yet been seen in the state. Minnesota Board of Animal Health officials say the virus was confirmed in seven deer on a Goodhue County farm and six have died. State wildlife officials say there's no indication the virus is present in the wild deer population.

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