Audit: Governor improperly used COVID funds for salaries
A state audit report on government spending released Monday accused Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds of using nearly $450,000 in federal coronavirus relief funds to pay salaries for 21 staff members for three months last year and concealing the spending by passing it through the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. State Auditor Rob Sand said a review of the state's payroll system shows the money was used to pay the Republican governor's office staff, but it's unclear why she had to take federal money to pay the salaries. “What is not clear, is why these salaries were not included in the governor’s budget set prior to the fiscal year and prior to the pandemic,” he said in the audit report.news.yahoo.com
Black Democratic chair gets lynching threat over Trump essay
The first Black chair of Iowa’s Democratic Party says he received a series of racist messages, including a lynching threat, after writing a newspaper op-ed criticizing former President Donald Trump and the state Republican officials who stood with him at a recent rally in Des Moines.
Local school boards emerge as hot races in November election
Races for local school board seats have emerged as intense political battlegrounds in the upcoming Nov. 2 elections across the U.S. Parental protests that started during COVID-19 lockdowns are evolving into full-fledged board takeover campaigns.
How scientists are creating technology based on a beetle's exoskeleton that could help end water scarcity
Two-thirds of the world's population faces an extreme water shortage at least one month a year. Many of these places are dry, arid deserts with no reliable source of fresh water — other than fog, that is. But fog capture isn't as easy as you might think, at least for us humans. The Namib Desert beetle, on the other hand, has practically perfected the art. Here's how scientists are creating technology based on the beetle's exoskeleton that could help end water scarcity.news.yahoo.com
Billboard targeting Gov. Kim Reynolds to be removed after backlash
A hard-to-miss billboard downtown is facing its most vocal opposition by liberals online, despite it being commissioned by a PAC that opposes Gov. Kim Reynolds.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeState of play: The billboard along I-235 East and Keo Way was purchased by OPE! PAC and claims Reynolds contributed to the state's 42% increase in abortions under her tenure between 2018-20. (The numbers are accurate via Iowa Department ofnews.yahoo.com
Multiple Republican Governors Reject CDC Mask Guidance Renewal
Multiple Republican governors rejected the CDC's mask guidance renewal Tuesday that recommends some vaccinated individuals in locations with greater rates of infection, as well as everyone in K-12 schools, resume mask-wearing in certain indoor venues.news.yahoo.com
Iowa governor says state will pay for troopers sent to Texas border
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds said Monday that Iowa will cover the cost of troopers sent to Texas to fight crime along the U.S.[San Marcos, TX] [Hays County news] News San Marcos News, San Marcos Record [Texas State]sanmarcosrecord.com
Iowa governor questions migrant flights into Des Moines
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds complained in a letter sent Thursday that the federal government didn't notify her before flying migrant children into the Des Moines airport in April, then shuttling them to other cities as part of an effort to join them with relatives. In a letter sent to Iowa U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, Reynolds called for a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing on immigration that should address the Biden administration’s lack of notice when it moves children through the states. Although similar migrant children relocation occurred during the Trump and Obama administrations, Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett said the recent flight was different because it occurred late at night and a federal agency initially denied it had organized the flight.news.yahoo.com
Gov. Reynolds claims feds lied about flying migrant children to DSM
Unaccompanied migrant children were transported to Iowa and Tennessee this spring without any notice from federal agencies, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Thursday in a call for transparency.Reynolds and Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee also claim that federal officials initially denied their involvement. Why it matters: Now the two Republican governors — who both denied the Biden administration's requests to house migrant children in their states — are calling on Congress to investigate the incidents.Stay on tonews.yahoo.com
Why Iowa's unemployment experiment is worth watching
All eyes will be on Iowa and other Republican-led states these next few months to see if an early exit from federal unemployment benefits truly nudges people back to work. Why it matters: Gov. Kim Reynolds decided to curtail the weekly $300 supplemental aid starting Saturday — making Iowa one of the earliest states to try and see if it moves the needle in labor participation."This is going to be one of the largest experiments in the U.S. labor market that I've ever heard of," Peter Orazem, an ecnews.yahoo.com
Iowa's governor again accused of misspending COVID funds
A COVID-19 awareness campaign featuring Gov. Kim Reynolds violated an Iowa law that prohibits using public money on self-promotion, according to a special investigative audit released today by state auditor Rob Sand.At least $152,585 of federal coronavirus relief funding was misspent, the audit shows.Just minutes after the audit's release, Reynolds' office responded in a statement saying "any competent reading" of the law shows Sand is wrong.Why it matters: Beyond raising concerns about how statnews.yahoo.com
Election officials face fines, charges in GOP voting laws
The county officials who run elections are facing a slate of new punishments as part of a nationwide Republican campaign to roll back access to the ballot, months after many hailed them as heroes for the creative ways they expanded voting access last year during the coronavirus outbreak.
Iowa pushes pop-up vaccination as demand for shots wanes
As interest in the coronavirus vaccine continues to lag, Iowa public health officials are trying to make it easier to get a shot. Gov. Kim Reynolds said Wednesday that a bus will be set up this week in the parking lot of the Iowa Cubs baseball park in Des Moines for the first two days of games this season, and a similar pop-up vaccination station is planned at the Des Moines Farmers Market this weekend. The state also now allows people who have had their first shot to take their vaccination card to any pharmacy or health care provider to get the second dose.news.yahoo.com
Man charged with threatening Iowa governor cites free speech
An Iowa man charged with leaving a threatening voicemail telling Gov. Kim Reynolds she should be “hung for treason” defended his comments Thursday as free speech, saying he was expressing opposition to COVID-19 restrictions. Harvey Hunter Jr., 48, is charged with first-degree harassment for the profane Jan. 5 message he left on a governor’s office phone line set up to gather input over whether Reynolds should continue the partial statewide mask mandate. Hunter called the GOP governor a dictator and said “every single one of you need to be hung for treason for pushing this COVID scam,” according to a criminal complaint filed in Polk County.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: 6 more COVID cases found in local China outbreak
Ad___JOHNSTON, Iowa — Facing an uptick in new coronavirus cases and a hesitancy among a significant portion of the population to get the vaccine Iowa Gov. State health data shows 555 new positive cases in the past 24 hours and no additional deaths reported. Illinois Department of Public Health officials on Tuesday reported 2,404 coronavirus cases, including 17 more deaths. State health officials say 43% of people have received at least one dose of a vaccine and about 65% are fully vaccinated. ___ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s number of confirmed coronavirus cases reached 39,302, a record high for a second straight day.
GOP lawmakers seek greater control over local elections
In addition to their nationwide efforts to restrict voting access, Republican lawmakers in some key states are seeking greater control over the local mechanics of elections, from voter registration to certifying results. In addition to their nationwide efforts to limit access to the ballot, Republican lawmakers in some states are moving to gain greater control over the local mechanics of elections, from voter registration all the way to certifying results. Brian Kemp signed a bill Thursday to give the GOP-dominated Legislature greater influence over a state board that regulates elections and empowers it to remove local election officials deemed to be underperforming. A South Carolina proposal would give lawmakers new oversight of the members appointed to the currently independent State Election Commission. The board could then remove local election officials and replace them.
EXPLAINER: Varying views on how to keep accurate voter rolls
Maintaining accurate voter rolls is a bipartisan concern, but there is little agreement on the best way to do it. Republicans say Democrats are too lax, resulting in bloated voter rolls that undermine confidence and invite fraud. Here is an explanation of how voter rolls are maintained, how states do it differently and the conflicts over this year’s legislative proposals. WHAT ARE VOTER ROLLS AND HOW ARE THEY MAINTAINED? In 2016, New York City’s Board of Elections improperly removed more than 200,000 names from the voter rolls.
Police: Inmates killed 2 Iowa prison staff in escape attempt
Inmates Woodard and Michael Dutcher used hammers to attack prison staff members during a failed attempt to escape an Iowa prison, killing a nurse and correctional officer, kidnapping a third employee and severely injuring an inmate who intervened, authorities said Wednesday, March 24, 2021. (Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation via AP)IOWA CITY, Iowa – Inmates used hammers to attack staff members during a failed attempt to escape an Iowa prison, killing a nurse and a correctional officer, kidnapping a third employee and severely injuring an inmate who intervened, authorities said Wednesday. Schulte was also beaten with a hammer when she, like McFarland, intervened to stop their escape, Rahn said. AdAFSCME Council 61 President Danny Homan, whose union represents Iowa prison workers, said he was mourning the loss of two dedicated and experienced public servants. Schulte had worked at the prison since 2007 and previously worked at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.
EXPLAINER: How states are seeking to loosen controls on guns
States led by Democrats are pushing to expand some gun control laws. AdMaryland lawmakers overrode a veto from Republican Gov. AdALLOWING GUNS IN MORE PLACESSeveral states are expanding where people can take their guns. But 15 states already have laws allowing permitless carry for concealed guns. A similar “Stand Your Ground” measure has been approved by the South Dakota Legislature and is awaiting Republican Gov.
Crowded bars: March Madness or just plain madness?
The NCAA Tournament and bars were made for each other, with fans of powerhouse teams like Gonzaga and longshots like Colgate pouring in to cheer their teams. This year, the tournaments back, and bars and restaurants, some shuttered for months, are open for March Madness, though things may look a little different. This year, the tournament’s back, and bars and restaurants, some shuttered for months, are open for March Madness, though things may look a little different. As for those who choose to watch at bars or restaurants, their experiences will vary depending on their location. AdIn Chicago, city inspectors cite bars and restaurants that violate strict capacity rules.
The Latest: All Duke University undergrads must quarantine
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)DURHAM, N.C. -- Duke University issued a quarantine order for all of its undergraduates effective Saturday night due to a coronavirus outbreak caused by students who attended recruitment parties, the school said. The university said in a statement that all undergraduate students will be forced to stay-in-place until at least March 21. Suspension or dismissal from the school are potential punishments for “flagrant or repeat violators.”Over the past week, the school has reported more than 180 positive coronavirus cases among students. AdItaly has now tallied some 3.2 million cases in the pandemic. The COVAX alliance aims to share COVID-19 vaccines with more than 90 lower and middle-income nations.
As GOP makes it harder to vote, few Republicans dissent
Geoff Duncan left the room as Senate Republicans approved a bill to block early voting for all but the GOP's most reliable voting bloc. This is what amounts to dissent as Republican lawmakers push a wave of legislation through statehouses across the nation to make voting more difficult. Instead of being a day of celebration, he said, there was a sense that the civil rights movement was sliding backward because of the Republican voting proposals. During Monday's Senate vote, several Republicans who represent competitive metro Atlanta districts didn’t vote, including Sen. Brian Strickland. He had tried to amend the bill in committee to remove provisions scrapping no-excuse absentee voting but was unable to muster enough support.
Iowa Republicans cut back early voting and Election Day hours
Iowa Republicans cut back early voting and Election Day hours Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds signed a GOP-backed law this week to restrict the state's early and Election Day voting. CBS News reporter Adam Brewster joins CBSN's "Red & Blue" host Elaine Quijano to discuss efforts by Republicans across the country to limit voting access.cbsnews.com
Iowa governor signs GOP-forced voting changes bill into law
Iowa Democrats are beginning to consider changes to their get-out-the-vote plans under the assumption that Reynolds will sign into law a Republican-backed bill that makes it harder to vote early, potentially eroding a key aspect of Democratic campaigns. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds on Monday signed into law a Republican-backed bill that makes it harder to vote early, potentially eroding a key aspect of Democratic campaigns. AdDemocrats said they’re examining their reliance on early voting. The law shortens the early voting period to 20 days from the current 29, just three years after Republicans reduced the period from 40 days.
The Latest: Governor extends Oregon's state of emergency
Kate Brown on Thursday extended Oregon’s declaration of a state of emergency until May 2 as confirmed COVID-19 cases drop but hundreds of new cases continue to be reported daily. The Oregon Health Authority on Thursday reported 553 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, bringing the state total to 154,554. ___MISSOURI __ Missouri teachers and child care providers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in mid-March, Gov. The nation of 10.7 million had almost 1.2 million cases with 19,835 deaths. AdLast week the Democratic governor announced that at least 10% of the state’s vaccine supply would go to education workers.
School voucher push taps frustration over distance learning
Rivera is hoping a voucher bill passes that will help pay for her to move her son out of a public Cobb County school and into a private school. They're back in public school and mostly attending class in person. “We’ve been just a public school family forever, without any intention or desire to leave," Rivera said. “The major concern I’ve had over the last year has been from parents who don’t have a public school offering in-person classes,” Cantrell said. Rivera herself wonders about the tension between her desires to support her kids and support public schools.
EPA changes stand, sides with ethanol industry in court case
The federal government announced Monday, Feb. 22, 2021, that it will support the ethanol industry in a lawsuit over biofuel waivers granted to oil refineries under President Donald Trump's administration. The Environmental Protection Agency said it is reversing course and will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed by the Renewable Fuels Association and farm groups. Refineries can seek waivers if they can show that meeting the ethanol quotas would create a financial hardship for their companies. The appeals court concluded the EPA improperly granted exemptions to refineries that didn’t qualify.
Iowa governor auctioned off access for pork barons' charity
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa Gov. AdThe records show Reynolds has supported policies Iowa Select has sought, made several appearances for the corporation and its charity, and routinely spoken with Jeff Hansen. Ad“From the top of the gold dome to the Governor’s office, you’ll be treated to a tour unlike any other!” it said. Weeks after he won the auction, Reynolds was a keynote speaker at Lynch's annual charity banquet in Decorah. Iowa Select spokeswoman Jen Sorenson said the company feels “an important responsibility” to educate elected officials on Iowa's multibillion-dollar animal agriculture industry, saying it leads to better policy.
The Latest: LA County says medical center broke virus rules
The Supreme Court is telling California it cant enforce a ban on indoor church services because of the coronavirus pandemic. The celebration is on hold until next year as Rio struggles with a rise in coronavirus cases. ___OKLAHOMA CITY — The number of reported coronavirus cases in Oklahoma has surpassed 400,000. Health officials are urging football fans to forego Super Bowl gatherings with members outside of their own households. France has registered 3.5 million confirmed cases and more than 78,700 confirmed deaths.
The Latest: Sri Lankan officials say vaccinations advancing
FILE - In this Jan. 29, 2021, file photo, Sri Lankan nursing staff administer COVID-19 vaccines to front-line health workers in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Reynolds issued the earlier restrictions in November when hospitals were struggling to care for a surge of coronavirus patients. Officials say it could help up to four COVID-19 patients. ___LISBON, Portugal — Portugal has set a new daily record for COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care with 904 patients on Friday. AdThe Austrian government offered to take in five COVID-19 patients and five non-COVID patients to relieve Portuguese hospitals.
States holding key vaccine discussions in closed meetings
AdThe federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has recommended that states “promote transparency” as one of four ethical principles in vaccine allocation programs. When Texas’ vaccine panel met last month, the subject of equity surfaced. “Because these are internal, advisory working groups, their meetings are not public,” a Pennsylvania spokesman said of the state's three vaccine committees. Larry Hogan said state health officials make vaccine allocation decisions based on federal guidelines, but he would not identify those officials. Missouri opened its advisory committee meetings last month, only after media outlets questioned why several prior meetings had been held behind closed doors without any public notice.
Pressure builds on schools to reopen during pandemic
The school has had some students in classrooms for in-person learning since September of 2020, but other students who attend the school are still learning remotely. In Cincinnati, some students returned to classrooms Tuesday after a judge threw out a teachers union lawsuit over safety concerns. In California, with 6 million public school students, teachers unions say they won’t send their members into an unsafe situation. In several states, lawmakers are advancing legislation to require more in-person learning. Roy Cooper faces pressure from GOP lawmakers to reopen more schools.
Charges dropped against activist who exposed Iowa hog deaths
County prosecutors dismissed the charges Thursday, Jan. 28 at the request of Iowa Select, whose personnel had been subpoenaed to testify. Matt Johnson, an activist with the group Direct Action Everywhere, had been scheduled to stand trial in Grundy County, Iowa, on Monday on two counts of trespassing at Iowa Select Farms properties in May. County prosecutors moved to dismiss the charges Thursday at the request of Iowa Select, whose personnel had been subpoenaed but said they didn't wish to testify, court documents show. “We cannot be distracted by individuals who choose to break the law and grandstand,” Iowa Select spokeswoman Jen Sorenson said Friday. Iowa Select blasted Johnson and other activists at the time, saying they were trying to exploit the coronavirus crisis to advance their agenda.
Federal judge in Iowa ridicules Trump's pardons
Pratt, who has warned that systemic political corruption is a threat to U.S. democracy, is ridiculing President Trump's pardons, including those issued to convicted Republican campaign operatives and members of Congress. "It's not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals," Judge Pratt of the Southern District of Iowa said Monday, Dec. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall File)IOWA CITY, Iowa – A federal judge in Iowa who has warned against political corruption is ridiculing President Donald Trump’s pardons, including those issued to convicted Republican campaign operatives and former members of Congress. “It’s not surprising that a criminal like Trump pardons other criminals,” senior U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt of the Southern District of Iowa told The Associated Press in a brief phone interview Monday. Trump also pardons turkeys — this year two from Iowa — annually before Thanksgiving.
No officers convicted by Iowa AG in force cases since 2004
FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2020, file photo, Iowa attorney general Tom Miller speaks in Iowa City, Iowa. Jones escaped one officer’s tackle and carried a handgun as he fled through a neighborhood in Burlington, Iowa. To determine whether Chiprez should face charges, authorities turned to Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat and the longest-serving attorney general in U.S. history, with four decades in the role. It pursued charges against two officers out of 35 force cases reviewed, and both were ultimately acquitted. Kim Reynolds in June, in response to racial injustice protests, authorizes the attorney general to investigate any officer’s use of force that results in death.
Coronavirus infections are higher than ever, but COVID-19 deaths are not. Why?
For months, epidemiologists have predicted a spike in COVID-19 cases as winter approaches. Coronavirus infections are rising across much of the United States, with the number of new daily cases nearing 200,000 for the past several days. But as infections spiraled to never-before-seen heights, the number of COVID-19 deaths per day has not followed suit. The more coronavirus cases that are reported, the more COVID-19 deaths we’d expect to see, right? That dichotomy explains why the percentage of coronavirus cases serious enough to result in death has gone down.latimes.com
Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Nov. 17 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area
Chicago Public Schools has announced that it will continue to provide classes through remote learning until after the winter break, but then plans to begin bringing students back on Jan. 11. CPS' announcement also coincides with decisions by several suburban district to revert to remote learning as COVID-19 cases surge in Illinois. At a news conference, Reynolds defended exceptions in her mask mandate that public health experts say makes it weak. As the number of new coronavirus cases in Illinois topped 15,000 for the first time — setting a record for consecutive days — Gov. —Michael HawthorneBreaking coronavirus news Stay up to date with the latest information on coronavirus with our breaking news alerts.chicagotribune.com
Iowa imposes new restrictions to fight surge of coronavirus cases
The proclamation comes as the state is facing a surge of COVID-19 hospitalizations. Republican Governor Kim Reynolds said the mandate will take effect November 17 and continue through December 10. Iowa state health officials reported on Monday that more than 1,000 people were hospitalized due to the coronavirus. The state's daily death toll from COVID-19 has also seen a steady rise since late September, according to Iowa officials. Meanwhile, Moderna on Monday said that its coronavirus vaccine is 94.5% effective, according to preliminary data from the company's ongoing study.cbsnews.com
Iowa governor, after possible coronavirus exposure at White House, to partially self-quarantine
U.S. President Donald Trump listens during a meeting about the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) response with Iowa Governor Kimberly Reynolds in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Tom BrennerWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds said on Monday she would follow a modified self-quarantine plan in case she was exposed to the deadly coronavirus during a visit to the White House last Wednesday or meetings in Iowa with Vice President Mike Pence on Friday. During that time, weve learned that a member of the vice presidents staff tested positive for COVID-19. Pence met with faith and business leaders on Friday in Iowa to discuss the impacts of the coronavirus. The White House has directed staff working in the West Wing to wear masks at all times in the building.feeds.reuters.com
Iowa official forced to resign one day after sending mass email with Tupac lyrics
Then last month, he sent another such email to all 4,300 agency employees. Foxhoven, 66, told employees that he had been a huge fan of the hip-hop artist for years. He traded lyrics with employees and he marked his own 65th birthday with Shakur-themed cookies, including ones decorated with the words "Thug life." He told colleagues he was inspired by lyrics that included: "It's time for us as a people to start makin' some changes." A spokesman for the governor wouldn't confirm or deny that Foxhoven's email figured into her surprise request for his resignation.cbsnews.com