Officials from 16 Iowa counties gathered in Newton yesterday for a seven-hour-long homeland security exercise. Jasper County emergency management coordinator Dan DeMott says the scenario for the “table-top exercise” got folks to think and plan.DeMott says developed a response to a biological-type attack at the state fairgrounds. DeMott feels the exercise went well. DeMott says it opened up a lot of communication and highlighted areas of emergency preparedness plans which need to be rewritten. Officials from the following counties participated: Jasper, Polk, Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Dallas, Greene, Grundy, Hamilton, Hardin, Marshall, Poweshiek, Story, Tama, Webster and Warren. The group will meet again next year for a similar exercise.