Briefs

Axne: U.S. House to include $1 billion for biofuels in budget bill

BY: - September 8, 2021

The U.S. House will include $1 billion in biofuels funding in its initial draft of the budget bill, U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne said Wednesday. “With the right infrastructure investments, we can quickly expand the availability of this low carbon fuel across the U.S.,” Axne, D-3rd District, said in a news release. “To fight climate change, […]

Iowa public health director: School districts can decide what COVID-19 data to report

BY: - September 2, 2021

It’s up to school districts to decide how to track and report COVID-19 outbreaks in schools, Iowa Department of Public Health Director Kelly Garcia said Thursday. “School districts are reporting that information, and some school districts have made the decision not to provide that information,” Garcia said. “But I believe the vast majority are.” Garcia […]

State auditor urges vaccination, citing high hospitalization cost

BY: - September 1, 2021

State Auditor Rob Sand urged Iowans to be vaccinated Wednesday, citing billions of dollars spent for COVID-19 hospitalizations nationwide. “We are all paying for these preventable hospitalizations, whether it be in the form of premiums to private insurers or costs to taxpayer-funded public programs,” Sand said in a news release. “Please don’t add to others’ […]

Former Marshalltown doctor faces new medical-board charges

BY: - August 31, 2021

The Iowa Board of Medicine is accusing a former Marshalltown physician of violating a board order. The board says Dr. Richard L. Dowell, a 55-year-old Iowa licensed physician who now practices obstetrics and gynecology in Kansas City, Mo., “violated a lawful order of the board” and that a disciplinary hearing shall be scheduled in the […]

Grassley raises questions about VA oversight of veterans’ homes

BY: - August 30, 2021

U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley is asking the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to answer questions about its oversight of nursing homes for veterans. Care facilities for veterans are federally supported, but are owned and managed by the states, with inspections and oversight handled by the states and by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. […]

Biden administration to restart oil and gas leasing

BY: - August 24, 2021

The Interior Department will make significant steps toward restarting its leasing programs for onshore and offshore oil and gas development in the coming months, the Biden administration said in a court filing Tuesday. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management anticipates holding a sale for offshore leases in October or November, the administration said. The Bureau […]

Rep. Christina Bohannan, University of Iowa law professor, announces 2nd District congressional run

BY: - August 24, 2021

Rep. Christina Bohannan, a University of Iowa law professor and first-term state representative, announced Tuesday that she will challenge U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks for Iowa’s 2nd District seat. “I’m running for Congress because there’s so much at stake,” Bohannan said in a campaign video posted to YouTube. “Our kids, our families and our small businesses […]

Polk Co. officials: COVID still surging ahead of school year

BY: - August 19, 2021

Less than a week before Des Moines Public School students return to class, the Polk County Emergency Operations Center issued a dire update on COVID-19. “Our hospitals are full. Our health care workers are tired,” said Helen Eddy, director of the Polk County Health Department. “This is what keeps me up at night.” Eddy emphasized […]

Biden to nominate first tribal member to lead National Park Service

BY: - August 18, 2021

President Joe Biden plans to nominate the first enrolled tribal member to head up the National Park Service — Oregon conservationist Charles F. Sams III, the White House announced Wednesday. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, he would be the first full-time director since Jonathan B. Jarvis left the job at the end of the […]

Pay boost for federal firefighters OK’d by Biden administration

BY: - August 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — As wildfires rage in the western United States, the Biden administration on Tuesday announced it is hiking pay for federal wildland firefighters to at least $15 per hour. Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the change will boost pay for 3,500 firefighters with the Interior Department and […]

Redistricting plan will be ready by Sept. 16, after constitutional deadline

BY: - August 17, 2021

Delayed several months by census glitches, Iowa’s redistricting process has begun. Ed Cook, senior legal counsel for the Legislative Services Agency, told a bipartisan commission on Tuesday that the first redistricting proposal would be finished by Sept. 16. The U.S. Census released data last week that allows states to draw new legislative and congressional maps […]

National Park Service renews mask mandate for all visitors

BY: - August 16, 2021

The National Park Service on Monday reinstated a mask mandate for all visitors, workers and volunteers at NPS buildings and crowded outdoor areas, regardless of vaccination status. In May, the agency said it would require only unvaccinated people to wear masks. Recently, as the delta variant of the coronavirus has led to a spike in […]