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 […]

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 […]

Lawmakers open session with focus on workforce

BY: - January 13, 2020

Despite a minor glitch with some of their microphones, Iowa legislative leaders were loud and clear about their priorities as they opened the 2020 legislative session on Monday. “Yes, I know the sound is off – you’re just going to have to strain your ears and I apologize for that,” Senate President Charles Schneider, R-West […]

Bernie Sanders leads Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll

BY: - January 10, 2020

In a tight race, Bernie Sanders edged out ahead of the other top Democratic presidential candidates, narrowly leading them for the highest support among likely Iowa caucusgoers, according to the latest Des Moines Register/CNN/Mediacom Iowa Poll released Friday evening. Since the 2016 Iowa caucus cycle, Sanders has maintained steady support in Iowa. Poll results show […]

Panel lets dust gather on cremation rule

BY: - January 10, 2020

Melissa Bird of the Iowa Department of Public Health walked into a state meeting Friday with a proposed rule that navigated the apparently touchy world of getting a permit to dig up or otherwise retrieve the cremated remains of a person. She walked out with dust. If not ashes. After the board chairwoman expressed frustration […]

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 […]

What’s Gov. Kim Reynolds got to worry about?

BY: - January 10, 2020

Gov. Kim Reynolds doesn’t seem to have a lot of worries these days.  She’s starting the second legislative session of her four-year term.  Her Republican Party controls both chambers of the Legislature. And her campaign just announced record-breaking fundraising for this stage of any Iowa governor’s term. Reynolds sat down with Iowa Capital Dispatch recently […]

Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg at an ethanol plant in Iowa

Pete Buttigieg on wine caves and white privilege

BY: - January 10, 2020

“I went and looked up the house I lived in as a little kid, just to see what it’s going on the market for now.  I think it’s 60,000 bucks,” Buttigieg said.

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 […]

U.S. House votes to check Trump on military action against Iran

BY: - January 9, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Thursday on a resolution to curtail President Donald Trump’s ability to take military action against Iran without first securing congressional approval.  The chamber voted 224-194, largely along party lines, to approve the resolution from Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), which would direct Trump to halt the use of U.S. armed […]