Four Iowa Deaths Reported From Influenza
(Des Moines) — The Iowa Department of Public Health reported four new flu deaths on Friday. Department Medical Director Patricia Quinlisk says the flu victims are an elderly female and older adult female in southeast Iowa; an elderly female in northeast Iowa; and an elderly male in northwest Iowa.
A total of six flu-related deaths have been reported in the state since October, and the average age of those who have died is 86.
Three individuals who died had underlying conditions or contributing factors reported. Doctor Quinlisk says it’s not too late to get a flu shot to protect yourself.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) recommends anyone over six months of age receive a flu vaccination.
Quinlisk says there is something you can do if you think you are coming down with the flu.
Quinlisk says the very young, very old and those with
weakened immune systems are especially susceptible to the flu. She says there is a second line of protection for them once they have the flu shot.
The flu is a respiratory illness caused by viruses. It comes on
suddenly and symptoms may include fever, headache, tiredness, cough, sore throat, nasal congestion and body aches. Illness typically lasts two to seven days, and often puts healthy people in bed for days.
Snowmobile Accident Claims Clay County Life
WEBB, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in northwestern Iowa say a 39-year-old Milford man has died in a snowmobile crash.
Justin Robert Stahly died Thursday night after the snowmobile he was driving north along the Little Sioux River crashed into a tree.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office says first responders were sent to the crash site shortly after 8 p.m. Thursday.
Officials say efforts were made to save Stahly, but he died at the scene near the town of Webb.
Frozen Water Pipes Causes Extensive Damage To Grand Falls Casino
LARCHWOOD, Iowa (AP) – Water from frozen water pipes that burst has damaged a casino resort in northwest Iowa.
Subzero temperatures outside froze the fire system pipes at the Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood. The water damaged 18 of the hotel’s 97 rooms, a meeting room and the men’s portion of the spa.
General Manager Sharon Haselhoff told the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission on Thursday the repair costs could run between $500,000 and $1 million.
Haselhoff isn’t sure when the repairs will be finished but says
everything at the resort casino is back in operation, including the fire suppression system and the spa.
The casino opened in 2011.
Mosiman Says No Irregularities Found In Iowa’s Budget
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s top auditor says she found no evidence of irregularities in Iowa’s budgeting when tax revenues came in higher than expected last year.
Auditor Mary Mosiman provided the information in a letter made public Friday, after Democratic Rep. Chris Hall requested a review of the state’s books for the budget year that ended in June.
Data at one point showed incoming revenue for Iowa’s roughly $7.2 billion state budget could end up below projections by about $100 million, requiring a special session. Revenue officials later said final tax collections greatly reduced the estimated shortfall. Hall challenged those figures.
Gov. Kim Reynolds later transferred $13 million from an emergency fund and avoided a special session. Hall has separately challenged the legality of the transfer in a lawsuit, which Reynolds says is politically motivated.
Hall says he’s reviewing Mosiman’s analysis.
New Tax Reform Could Benefit Iowa’s Revenue
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa is still analyzing the full impact of the federal tax overhaul law on state revenues, but some provisions are expected to create a windfall.
The Iowa Department of Revenue provided preliminary data Friday showing the state expects to collect about $16 million more in individual income taxes for the current budget year because of changes to how residents will deduct federal taxes. That’s estimated to increase to about $106 million in the budget
year that goes into effect next summer and by $138 million the following budget year.
A department spokeswoman cautioned other aspects of the $1.5 trillion law, like changes to property tax deductions, could reduce state revenue.
Republicans with majorities in the Iowa Legislature want to change the state tax code this year, including through cuts. Details have not been shared publicly.
One Ticket Matches Mega Millions Lottery Jackpot
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – One Mega Millions ticket matched all six numbers and will claim a $450 million grand prize.
The winning numbers drawn Friday night to claim the nation’s 10th largest jackpot were 28-30-39-59-70-10.
It was not immediately known where the winning ticket was sold.
Lottery officials also increased the jackpot of Powerball, the other
national lottery game, to $570 million. That drawing is Saturday night.
The jackpots refer to the annuity options for both games, in which payments are made over 29 years. Most winners opt for cash options, which would be $281 million for Mega Millions and $358.5 million for Powerball.
The odds of winning the Mega Millions jackpot are one in 302.5 million.
Powerball odds are one in 292.2 million.