Briefs

NRCS seeks comment on conservation easement rule

BY: - January 13, 2020

The U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service will accept public comments through March 6 on its interim rule on the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, part of changes in the 2018 farm bill. “Through easements, agricultural landowners are protecting agricultural lands from development, restoring grazing lands and returning wetlands to their natural conditions,” NRCS Chief Matthew Lohr […]

Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins to retire from Iowa Supreme Court

BY: - January 10, 2020

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Acting Justice David Wiggins announced on Friday that he is retiring from the state’s highest court, effective in March. The news comes about 24 hours after Gov. Kim Reynolds received the names of three finalists to fill another vacancy on the court. Wiggins, 68, was appointed to the Supreme Court in […]

Longtime DOT staffer named interim department chief

BY: - January 10, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has appointed longtime Iowa Department of Transportation staffer Stuart Anderson as interim director effective Friday. He replaces Mark Lowe. He resigned effective Friday at the request of Reynolds, who indicated she wanted a change in leadership. Lowe served at-will, meaning he could be dismissed for any reason. He told DOT staff […]

Last year brought 6 inches extra rain to Iowa

BY: - January 9, 2020

A new state report shows Iowa got six inches more rain than usual in 2019. It was the 12th-wettest year on record, with 41.5 inches of rain, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and partners reported. “2019 was a very wet year, but so was 2018. The last two years combined were the wettest two […]

Reynolds’ campaign raises record-breaking $1.3 million

BY: - January 9, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ campaign said she raised over $1.3 million in 2019, breaking the fundraising record for total contributions an Iowa governor has collected the year after an election, according to a news release from the Kim Reynolds for Iowa Committee. Reynolds was elected as the first female governor in 2018 and will not […]

DNR investigates red stream in Davenport

BY: - January 8, 2020

State environmental investigators are still looking into what caused a red sheen on Crow Creek in northern Davenport on Tuesday. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the city of Davenport reported that the pollution appears to be a nontoxic dye from a nearby property. No harm to the environment is expected, but state officials […]

Policy group: Lawmakers should boost family aid, child care, education support

BY: - January 8, 2020

In a new report, Iowa Policy Project calls on lawmakers to strengthen several key programs to help low-income families make ends meet and train for jobs. IPP said its previous studies have shown showed about one in five working families in Iowa don’t make enough to pay for basic needs. The new report, “Strengthening Pathways […]

Charles City development park certified

BY: - January 7, 2020

The Avenue of the Saints Development Park in Charles City Tuesday became the 29th certified development site under an Iowa Economic Development Authority program that began in 2012. The idea is to offer developers sites that are shovel-ready, and the state attributes $850 million in investment to the program. A third party, firm Quest Site […]

Airport association seeks sales tax break

BY: - January 7, 2020

The Iowa Public Airports Association has called for the Iowa Legislature to support House File 607, which would exempt aircraft parts and labor from state sales and use taxes. The association notes that Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin already exempt aircraft parts and labor from sales tax. Iowa could miss economic developments related to […]

Expand, streamline programs for rural development, task forces say

BY: - January 7, 2020

The Empower Rural Iowa Initiative has approved recommendations for legislation intended to help build the economy in Iowa’s smaller communities.    No overall cost estimate for the recommendations was reported. Gov. Kim Reynolds established three task forces by executive order in July 2018. Iowa has struggled to keep its rural communities healthy as many Iowans moved […]

Iowa AG joins petition seeking Supreme Court review of ACA ruling

BY: - January 7, 2020

Miller is joining the nationwide request from 20 other governors and attorneys general to review the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision on Dec. 18 that upheld the ACA’s individual mandate as unconstitutional.

Now’s the time to have your say about hemp

BY: - January 7, 2020

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is accepting comments on hemp production in Iowa. You have until 4:30 p.m. Jan. 22 to make your point. Iowa has asked federal agriculture officials for permission to allow hemp production in a state known more for corn, soybeans and hay. The U.S. Department of Agriculture must […]