Clay County Auditor Mixes Up Names – Prevents Innocent Man From Voting
SPENCER, Iowa (AP) – An auditor says her office mistakenly cancelled the voting rights of a northwest Iowa rancher who has the same name as a felon.
Clay County Auditor Marge Pitts said Friday her office made Christopher E. Wood ineligible to vote last fall. She said that was an “unfortunate error” because he’d done nothing wrong. Her office had intended to cancel the voting rights of repeat criminal offender Christopher R. Wood.
Pitts said she worked with the state to correct the mistake and restore Wood’s voting rights after he complained. She noted that there were no elections when he was disqualified.
The rancher said he was stunned when he got a letter saying he was disenfranchised. He said locals have a long and unfortunate history of confusing him with the other man.
American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Rita Bettis says the case shows a “lack of appropriate safeguards and procedural checks” in Iowa’s felon list.
Residents Upset Over American Flag Not Flying
INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) – Some residents in northeastern Iowa are upset officials plan to stop flying a giant American flag because of the cost to frequently replace it.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the Independence City Council unanimously voted last month to take the flag down. Officials say high winds frequently damage the flag. Lighting problems and a broken electronic sign also add to costs.
Mayor Bonita Davis says she wants to try and keep the flag up through Memorial Day.
Members of the area’s Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion posts are among the residents upset about the decision to remove the most visible flag in the city. Individuals and veterans groups have offered to pay for the flag, but some say military families shouldn’t have to bear that cost.
Public Health Services Tells People To Use Caution During the Weekend Heat Wave
(Des Moines) — We are seeing our first major heat wave of the year across the state and the Iowa Department of Public Health says you need to adjust to the conditions. Deputy state epidemiologist, Ann Garveysays a key is to stay hydrated.
She says you can help handle the heat by adjusting your clothing.
She says if you have sunscreen that’s been around awhile — you might want to get a new tube.
Doctor Garvey says be sure you have the right sunscreen for your needs.
Garvey says be aware of what’s happening to your body if you are out in the heat.
The forecast predicts Iowa could see highs in the 90s through the weekend.
Iowa State Patrol Says They Will Watch Highways During Memorial Day Holiday Weekend
(Des Moines) — This Memorial Day weekend, the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Iowa State Patrol will have increased patrol efforts on Iowa roadways with the main focus on speed and distracted driving. The Crash Awareness and Reduction Effort, or CARE, is a national effort to increase
officer presence on interstate and U-S highways across the nation during specific high crash periods. Iowa State Patrol Trooper Vince Kurtz says law enforcement will be watching the highways and roadways this holiday weekend.
Last year, during the three-day Memorial Day holiday weekend, two people were killed on Iowa roadways. As of today, 106 fatalities have occurred on Iowa roads, with nearly 30 percent of those being unbuckled. Kurtz says even though the numbers are near the same from last year, he says one fatality is too many.
Kurtz says 106 fatalities is still a significant number. He says the goal for the Iowa State Patrol is to always strive for zero fatalities.
Motorists are encouraged, as always, to obey the posted speed limits and buckle up. Troopers will also be on the lookout for distracted driving and impaired drivers. The Iowa State Patrol wants to keep Iowa’s roadways safe and save lives.
Nebraska Call Center To Close Operations
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A company that operates call centers intends to close its Omaha operations next week, costing the city nearly 100 jobs. The Omaha World-Herald reports that Cincinnati-based Convergys has filed notice with the Nebraska Labor Department of its intended closure. A spokeswoman says the closure is “just a business decision” and wasn’t tied to any specific contract. The company announced in January that it would close its call center in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa, eliminating about 180 jobs.