News

Aerial view of a combine harvesting soybeans

Iowans praise signing of initial China deal

BY: - January 15, 2020

Reaction from Iowa on President Trump’s signing of the initial trade deal with China and was quick and mostly positive, with a dose of time-will-tell.  The phase one deal includes a promise from China that it will double its purchases from U.S. farmers in the first year, CNN reported. China is one of the largest […]

Acting Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins notes challenges for rural courts

BY: - January 15, 2020

As Iowa’s rural courthouses continue to shrink and leave people in those counties with less access to services, the Iowa Judicial Branch is requesting more funding from the Legislature to help fill the gap. In 2019, 29 rural counties were staffed with two or fewer clerks, according to the Iowa Judicial Branch.  That creates challenges […]

nterior of an empty courtroom with gavel and sounding block on the desk.

Fired fraud investigator claims she was ‘blacklisted’ by state

BY: - January 15, 2020

A fired Medicaid-fraud investigator is suing the state of Iowa claiming she was “blacklisted” after complaining about the need for improved methods of preventing fraud. Wendy Dishman, who worked for the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals from July 2010 through May 2015, was the administrator of the department’s Medicaid investigations division. In 2014, Dishman […]

Iowa moments relatively sparse in only Hawkeye State debate

BY: - January 14, 2020

There were only a few genuine Iowa moments in the Democratic presidential debate, even though it was broadcast from Des Moines less than three weeks from the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses. Those moments mostly came during a round of questions on trade, raised by moderator Brianne Pfannenstiel, chief political reporter for The Des Moines Register.  […]

Mental health advocates express concern over Reynolds’ plan  

BY: - January 14, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds wants to use a portion of her proposed 1-cent sales tax increase to help pay for some of the mental health costs now shouldered by the counties. Reynolds would increase the statewide sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent — Iowa also allows local governments to impose a 1 percent […]

Legislators call governor’s agenda ‘bold’ but stop short of pledging passage

BY: - January 14, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday announced what may be her most ambitious agenda to date, centered around a one-cent sales tax increase that would be offset by cuts in income taxes, property taxes and other state revenue streams. Her proposals focus significantly on workforce development, environmental challenges and mental health, but also delve into abortion […]

Reynolds backs major water quality initiative, reviews mixed

BY: - January 14, 2020

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Tuesday called for a sales tax increase to fund $150 million in annual  water quality, conservation and outdoor recreation work. The 1 percentage point increase in sales tax would be offset by accelerated cuts in income taxes and trims in property taxes associated with mental health programs, which also would […]

A man uses an e-cigarette

Iowa health officials propose a ban on vaping in public 

BY: - January 14, 2020

Iowa may soon join 13 other states that prohibit vaping and the use of e-cigarettes in public. Iowa’s Smokefree Air Act, enacted in 2008, prohibits smoking in almost all public places – including offices, restaurants, bars, and outdoor entertainment venues. Under new legislation proposed by the Iowa Department of Public Health, the law would be […]

Bill would create special driver’s license for teen farm workers

BY: - January 13, 2020

For Iowa teenagers helping their families out on the farm, there’s a new bill that would create a new special license that could let them drive a vehicle up to 50 miles in Iowa. The bill, introduced by Iowa Sen. Tim Kapucian, R-Keystone, authorizes the Iowa Department of Transportation to issue a “special minor farm […]

Jennifer Easler named consumer advocate

BY: - January 13, 2020

Jennifer Easler has been appointed consumer advocate for regulated utility issues, replacing Mark Schuling, who retired Jan. 10, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller announced. Easler, an attorney in the office since 1996, must be confirmed by the Iowa Senate. She will oversee a staff of 14 people who investigate services regulated by the Iowa Utilities […]

DNR’s new team: Will ag background be a plus, or ‘cause for concern’?

BY: - January 13, 2020

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources went more than a year without a permanent director and months more filling some of the other key posts. Now, some who have regular contact with the department wonder if the new lineup will show a strong dedication to environmental protection and natural resources, or lean more toward making […]

DOT: Traffic fatalities running 40% above average

BY: - January 13, 2020

The year is young, but the seven traffic-related deaths in Iowa through Jan. 10 is two more than than five-year average — up 40%, the Iowa Department of Transportation reported. The DOT’s Monday newsletter noted that this can be a particularly dangerous time of year to drive, and not just because of the snow and […]