Democrat Scholten Holds Town Hall Meeting At Le Mars
(Le Mars) — More than 50 people attended a town hall meeting held last evening at the Le Mars Public Library to hear the comments of J.D. Scholten, the Democratic candidate running for Iowa’s 4th U-S District. Scholten says he has had good attendance at the town hall meetings, as he visits all 39 counties within the Congressional district.
Recent polls show Scholten is within five points of incumbent Republican Congressman Steve King. Scholten is pleased with the narrowing of the gap, from when he first launched his congressional campaign, but says there is still plenty of work to be done before election day.
Scholten says he is patterning his campaign after former Congressman Berkley Bedell, and even Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.
Scholten says he has not been saying bad things about Steve King during his campaign, but he has questioned his frequent absents from committee meetings and votes. Scholten says the heart and soul for Iowa’s 4th District is agriculture, and the Democratic candidate is critical of King’s leadership with agricultural issues.
The Democrat candidate says he has concerns with three issues when discussing agriculture.
We will share more of Scholten’s comments during future news updates.
Northwestern College To Dedicate New Science Center
(Orange City) — Northwestern College of Orange City will hold ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremonies on its new $24.5 million science center Friday afternoon. Greg Christy, the college’s president says the new Jack and Mary De Witt Family Science Center three-story, 61,000 square feet building will house the college’s nursing, biology, chemistry, and bio-chemistry programs. Christy says thanks to donations and trust funds, the new science center is already paid in full.
Christy says the new facility will house Northwestern’s growing nursing education program, as well as the expanding genetics curriculum, and it will have all of the science faculty in one location.
The Northwestern College president says the building features state-of-the-art laboratory and research facilities, and will better prepare those students who wish to pursue a health-related career.
Christy says the architecture of the building features several glass walls, allowing people to view the classrooms.
The dedication ceremonies will begin at 4:00 p.m. Public tours of the new Jack and Mary DeWitt Family Science Center will occur following the dedication ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Grassley Delivers Opening Comments During Kavanaugh Hearing
(Washington) — Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa opened Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing by apologizing to the two witnesses — U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey (BLAH-zee) Ford, the woman who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her.
Grassley also defended his decision to have a prosecutor from Arizona ask questions of both witnesses, rather than have the 11 Republicans on the committee do the questioning. Grassley said Democrats’ complaints about the decision were “just plain politics.”
Grassley said his goal for today (Thursday) was to hold a “safe, comfortable and dignified” hearing.
Grassley chided the top Democrat on the committee for failing to confidentially share Ford’s allegations with him in August, so they could be investigated.
Grassley spoke for nearly 14 minutes to open the hearing. Ford began her testimony shortly after 9:30 Iowa time this morning. During his remarks, Grassley accused attorneys for two other women who’ve publicly accused Kavanaugh of misconduct of refusing to cooperate with senate staff.
Democrats on the panel continued to ask for a F-B-I investigation of the allegations from Ford and the other two public accusers. After the first break in today’s hearing, Grassley told reporters he did not plan to make “hasty comments” about his reaction to Ford’s testimony. Grassley called the testimony he’s hearing “pretty important” and “maybe it’s something I ought to sleep on.”
Hog Numbers Set New Record
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa has reached a record number of pigs on farms as the pork industry continues to expand production amid questionable export demand due to tariff battles with China.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday Iowa has 23.6
million pigs on farms as of Sept. 1, an increase of 4 percent from the previous year and the highest number recorded.
That makes Iowa the leading pork producer by far. North Carolina is second with 9.4 million pigs and Minnesota third with 8.6 million.
The total for the United States has reached 75.5 million pigs, a 3
percent increase from a year ago.
Overproduction and fewer export markets could result in cheaper pork chops and ham, but low prices make profitability a challenge for farmers.
The USDA predicts increased U.S. demand for pork and industry groups say they’re working to find other markets to sell product.
Homeless Shelters To Close In Cedar Rapids
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – A nonprofit group says a shortfall in donations is forcing it to close two shelters for homeless people in Cedar Rapids.
Station KCRG reports that Mission of Hope needs donations of about $40,000 a month to staff and maintain the shelters. Gifts in August totaled only $16,000 and have reached just $8,000 so far in September.
Executive director Kim Reem says the two shelter houses for
overnight stays will close Saturday morning and five workers will be laid off. Reem says the shelters will remain closed until the long-term financial situation changes.
Officials say Mission of Hope provides 28 beds out of the 142
available every night for the homeless in Cedar Rapids.
Mamie Eisenhower House May Be Sold
BOONE, Iowa (AP) – A dispute over whether to sell the birthplace of former first lady Mamie Doud Eisenhower has led to a lawsuit and mismanagement allegations.
The Des Moines Register reports that former members of the Boone County Historical Society filed a lawsuit Friday against the nonprofit. The lawsuit is seeking an injunction to block the nonprofit’s sale of the home, which has since been turned into a museum.
The lawsuit says the historical society announced last year that it
planned to close the home to focus efforts on other projects.
Mara MacKay is the historical society’s former executive director
and a defendant in the lawsuit. She volunteers at the organization after being terminated due to lack of funds. MacKay says the home is no longer for sale and the organization will need to find other ways to raise revenue.