Briefs

Biden’s pick to lead U.S. Fish and Wildlife vows ‘collaborative conservation’ at agency

BY: - November 17, 2021

President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pledged Wednesday to let science guide decision-making at the agency and to collaborate with government and private partners. Martha Williams, the former director for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, told the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee that wildlife […]

Biden taps Louisiana’s Mitch Landrieu to oversee infrastructure law

BY: - November 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Monday named former New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to serve as a senior adviser tasked with implementing the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package. The president is scheduled to sign the infrastructure bill late Monday, and Landrieu will attend. “Our work will require strong partnerships across the government and with state […]

Environmental group to host clean energy talk Thursday

BY: - November 15, 2021

The Iowa Environmental Council is set to hold its two-hour Bright Ideas 2021 event Thursday to discuss sources of clean energy in Iowa. The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Des Moines but has satellite, group-viewing options in Iowa City and Waterloo. Attendees also have the option to watch a livestream that […]

Clark Kauffman honored as a press freedom champion

BY: - November 12, 2021

Iowa Capital Dispatch Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has been named the 2021 Stephen Berry Press Freedom Champion by the Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism. The award was announced Friday at virtual storytelling event sponsored by the center, which publishes the website IowaWatch.org. The Berry award is named for the center’s co-founder, a Pulitzer Prize-winning […]

Party leaders meet with Brown and Black Forums of America on racism, caucuses

BY: - November 9, 2021

Iowa’s Democratic and Republican party leaders met last week with the Brown and Black Forums of America to discuss Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses and a series of racist threats against Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn. Wayne Ford and Mary Campos, co-chairs of the Iowa-based Brown and Black Forums of America, said in a statement that […]

Iowa Board of Regents launches free-speech survey for students, staff

BY: - November 9, 2021

The Iowa Board of Regents launched its first free-speech survey on Tuesday, part of a multi-step plan to protect freedom of expression at the state’s public universities. The survey asks university staff and students to respond to a set of statements about free speech, ranking them from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.” The survey ends […]

Iowa receives $5.3 million for tourism ads, improving rest stops

BY: - November 8, 2021

Iowa will use a $5.27 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to promote tourism to the state and improve technology at four state-owned rest stops. U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced Monday that the department has awarded $314 million in a first round of state grants. The money is meant to assist […]

Polk voters approve $65 million for water, parks

BY: - November 3, 2021

About 81% of voters supported the second Polk County Water & Land Legacy Bond on Tuesday, which will allow the county to borrow up to $65 million for parks, trails and water projects. That exceeded the support for a similar referendum in 2012, when about 72% of the vote was “yes” for a $50 million […]

Reynolds: Election results show that ‘parents matter’

BY: - November 3, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday that the election — especially the victory for Republican Glenn Youngkin in Virginia — was “a great indication that parents matter.” “(Virigina parents) made the determination that they weren’t going to be told to go home and shut up, that these are their children and they’re going to engage in […]

Social worker fired for leaving injured woman on the floor of her home

BY: - November 3, 2021

An Ankeny social worker fired for leaving a client injured and alone on the floor of her home is not entitled to jobless benefits, a judge has ruled. According to state records, social worker Michael Van Gorder, 48, worked for the nonprofit social-service organization Immanuel from January 2021 through the first half of June 2021, […]

IDPH worker accused of Facebook privacy violation wins jobless benefits

BY: - November 2, 2021

An Iowa Department of Public Health worker fired for allegedly violating privacy guidelines through a Facebook post is entitled to collect unemployment benefits, a state judge has ruled. Zhen Rammelsberg worked for IDPH as a full-time COVID-19 contact tracer beginning in September 2020, according to state records. She was fired on April 1 of this […]

U.S. Senate committee advances nomination for National Park Service director

BY: - November 2, 2021

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on a voice vote Tuesday approved Charles F. Sams III’s nomination to lead the National Park Service. Sams, an Oregonian who would be the first enrolled tribal member to be NPS director, won the support of several Republicans on the committee. Ranking Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming […]