CDC may suggest masks for everyone in K-12 schools; Ernst says it’s a family decision

BY: - July 27, 2021

Parents should decide whether their children wear masks to school even if new federal guidelines recommend them for all students, U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Tuesday. CNN reported shortly before Ernst’s phone call with Iowa reporters that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is expected to recommend that everyone in a […]

Hundreds apply for parent-taught driver’s education under new law

BY: - July 26, 2021

Parent-taught driver’s education applications are skyrocketing in Iowa after a bill that expanded the option was enacted earlier this month. The Iowa Department of Transportation has seen an exponential increase in inquiries about parent-taught options and applications to begin driver’s education from home, said Driver Education Program Coordinator Steve Stonehocker. “Before the law changed, we […]

Iowa’s COVID cases jump nearly 250% in two weeks

BY: - July 26, 2021

Iowa’s daily COVID-19 cases have spiked nearly 250% in the past two weeks, but remain at levels similar to the beginning of the pandemic early last year, the New York Times reported.  There are signs of trouble in the latest rise in Iowa cases, as the more contagious delta variant continues to dominate. Though the […]

Democrats say vacant public health board is ‘failed leadership’

BY: - July 26, 2021

Democrats criticized state leadership Monday over an advisory health board that was left unable to operate because of vacant positions.  The Iowa State Board of Health canceled a July meeting because seven of its 11 positions were vacant. Two Democratic state senators, Herman Quirmbach of Ames and Liz Mathis of Marion, raised concerns about the […]

On ADA’s 31st anniversary, Biden recalls Harkin’s historic role

BY: - July 26, 2021

President Joe Biden on Monday recalled a hallmark moment in the career of former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa.  At a White House ceremony marking the 31st anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which Harkin authored and sponsored, Biden described the moment just before the Senate passed the bipartisan bill. “On the floor of […]

Judge: Iowa nurse was justified in quitting ‘unsafe’ nursing home

BY: - July 26, 2021

An Iowa judge has ruled that a nurse was justified in quitting her job at a Lee County nursing home due to concerns that staffing levels were unlawful and were unsafe for residents. State records indicate Kristin Pullins had worked for the Montrose Health Center since 2018 as a full-time registered nurse. In early 2020, […]

Jobless benefits update: Abuse, harassment and ‘Weenie Bite’ ruminations

BY: - July 26, 2021

Hundreds of Iowans left jobless amid allegations of harassment, ethics violations and other forms of misconduct have had their claims for unemployment benefits decided by an administrative law judge in recent weeks. In some cases, the workers were found to have committed misconduct, while other cases involve employers whose actions left the workers with no […]

Pandemic-era rush to parks continues, hunting license sales up, fishing down

BY: - July 24, 2021

Iowans are continuing their pandemic-era rush to state parks, and resident hunting license sales are the highest they’ve been in at least three years. Some fishing license sales have been below last year, when pandemic restrictions made lakes and rivers some of the few places where people could safely be out of their home. This […]

Iowa leaders plead for vaccination as cases rise, delta variant spreads

BY: - July 23, 2021

Elected leaders and public health officials are pleading with Iowans to get vaccinated as the highly transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 spreads in the state. “Right now, we’re in a race against getting people vaccinated versus the variant spreading,” said Nola Aigner Davis, communications officer for the Polk County Health Department. The delta variant became […]

Iowa businesses see delayed start to home alcohol delivery

BY: - July 23, 2021

Iowans might be waiting for to-go alcohol by delivery apps for a little while longer. The Iowa Legislature this year approved House File 766, a bill that creates more opportunities for third-party delivery of alcohol in Iowa. As of July 1,  retailers and grocery stores can use food delivery apps to deliver products to customers […]

Lawsuits filed by Tyson workers over COVID-19 still on hold

BY: - July 23, 2021

Before he died of COVID-19 last year, Arthur Scott of Waterloo worked in a Tyson Foods plant that manufactures dog treats. Even so, Tyson claims it cannot be sued in state court for contributing to Scott’s death because the company was trying to secure the nation’s food supply and critical infrastructure when it kept the […]

D.C. Dispatch: Lawmakers vote together on Afghanistan visas and crime victims fund

BY: - July 23, 2021

Welcome to the D.C. Dispatch, your weekly news roundup of what Iowans are doing in the nation’s capital. This week, Iowa legislators aligned on bills to expand and expedite the visa process for allies in Afghanistan and to preserve the Crime Victims Fund. On the campaign side of things, all eyes were on U.S. Sen. […]