News

Immigration protections in Biden’s social policy bill face a new test in the Senate

BY: - November 24, 2021

WASHINGTON — Nearly 100 House Democrats are pushing the Senate to expand immigration protections in President Joe Biden’s massive social spending and climate bill, and advocates say that it may be a last opportunity for years to advance any reform. The letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and the chairman of the […]

Doctor sued after setting up shop four blocks from former employer

BY: - November 24, 2021

Mercy Medical Services is suing one of its former physicians, accusing the doctor of poaching both its employees and its patients. Mercy and its Sioux City hospital, the MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center, allege in a newly filed federal lawsuit that Dr. Stilianos Efstratiadis, a cardiology specialist, signed an employment contract with the corporation in January […]

State scales back hospital COVID reporting requirements

BY: - November 24, 2021

It was burdensome and unnecessary for hospitals to report the county of residence for Iowans receiving in-patient treatment for COVID-19, according to Sarah Ekstrand, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Public Health. As such, the department is no longer requiring hospitals to report the information, which the state previously published online. A page on […]

Biden opens oil reserve to relieve high gas prices — but it won’t be immediate

BY: - November 23, 2021

As gasoline prices spiral ahead of the big holiday travel season, President Joe Biden on Tuesday authorized the release of a record 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — complicating his administration’s goal to transition to cleaner energy sources. In prepared remarks, Biden said he coordinated the release from the reserve, a […]

Company abandons appeal to export Iowa groundwater

BY: - November 23, 2021

A northeast Iowa company that initially sought to export billions of gallons of groundwater to parched western states each year but scaled back the quantity after pushback has abandoned the request to state regulators altogether. The Pattison Sand Co. proposal was repeatedly rejected by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources — most recently in May […]

Reynolds celebrates ‘getting back to normal’ with traditional turkey pardoning

BY: - November 23, 2021

Squash and Stuffing, two turkeys raised near Ellsworth, will not be on the menu for Thanksgiving Day. Gov. Kim Reynolds “pardoned” the two birds Tuesday as part of an annual tradition that also recognizes Iowa’s role as a major turkey producer. Iowa ranks seventh in U.S. turkey production with about 12 million birds raised a […]

Iowa Supreme Court says delayed parole for sex offenders isn’t unconstitutional

BY: - November 23, 2021

The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled that the state is not wrongfully detaining sex offenders by delaying the treatment they must complete to be considered for parole. The opinion issued Tuesday states that the Iowa Department of Corrections has acted reasonably in attempting to address the fact there are too many sex offenders in the system […]

Reynolds ‘confident’ U.S. Treasury will approve her use of COVID-19 aid for staff salaries

BY: - November 23, 2021

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said Tuesday she is “very, very confident” her use of nearly $450,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds for staff salaries will be approved by the U.S. Treasury. A state audit released Nov. 15 found that the governor’s office had not provided documentation necessary to show the employees were “substantially dedicated” to […]

Analyst: Iowa student loan delinquency dropped 36% in early pandemic

BY: - November 23, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a short but drastic recession, generating a wave of layoffs and business closures. But a new analysis found that the first seven months of the pandemic actually ended with fewer Iowans delinquent on credit card and student loan debts. “I think it really shows us how, in […]

Reynolds ‘disappointed’ in ruling on transgender Medicaid coverage

BY: - November 22, 2021

A Polk County judge has ruled that a state law denying Medicaid coverage for gender-confirmation surgery violates the Iowa Constitution and the Iowa Civil Rights Act. A spokesman for Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday the governor “is disappointed in today’s decision and disagrees with the district court’s ruling on Medicaid coverage for transgender reassignment surgeries.” The spokesman said the governor’s staff is […]

Company plans to grind wind turbine blades near Earlham

BY: - November 22, 2021

A Bondurant company plans to use large wood chippers to grind old wind turbine blades into bits to recycle them, but its work site near Earlham has drawn scorn and pushback from anti-turbine residents in Madison County. Renewablade has tested the grinding process on three blades at a site near U.S. Interstate Highway 80 about […]

Caregiver fired for abuse keeps his name off state registry of abusers

BY: - November 22, 2021

An Iowa caregiver accused of physically abusing dependent adults was fired from his job this year after state officials offered him a deal to keep his name off the registry of known abusers. State records indicate Joseph K. DeVries was fired in July from Opportunity Living in Lake City where he had worked for eight […]