Home News Monday News, December 31st

Monday News, December 31st


Iowa Political Parties Prepare For 2020 Caucuses

(Des Moines) — The 2020 Iowa Caucuses are more than 395 days away, but the leaders of Iowa’s two major political parties say it’s already “Caucus season” in Iowa.
The next Iowa Caucuses are scheduled for February 3rd, 2020, but a couple of dozen potential Democratic presidential candidates and two declared candidates have made their way through Iowa already. On the Republican side, Donald Trump has held three campaign-style rallies here since he was elected
president in 2016. The priority for the party leaders who are hosting the 2020 Caucuses? Make sure the voting goes smoothly on both sides. “This is the one, strong bipartisan part of the job that, quite frankly, I rather enjoy,” says Iowa G-O-P chairman Jeff Kaufmann. He was the party’s chairman during the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. That’s when Microsoft developed the reporting
system for Caucus results from both parties. Troy Price has been the Iowa Democratic Party’s chairman since July of 2017 and he was just reelected to another two-year term in the job. Price says, “Whatever system we end up using, we always do a lot of testing around it and we always have back-ups in case it doesn’t work.” . The Iowa Caucuses are party events, so the two
parties have to raise money privately for all the expenses. Iowa Democrats will have NEW expenses this time around, as NATIONAL party leaders have imposed new requirements, like allowing absentee participation.
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In 2019, Iowa Democrats will host their presidential candidates at two annual party fundraisers — one in the summer and one in the fall. Kaufmann says the Iowa G-O-P’s leadership hasn’t yet decided when Republican party fundraisers will be held in 2019.
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He says “legitimate” Republican challengers to Trump may emerge in 2019 and Kaufmann says they’ll be welcome at G-O-P events if they avoid “mud-slinging” and focus on their policy differences with the president.



Democrats Hope To Have A Repeat Of 2008

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Barack Obama’s earliest supporters in Iowa are setting aside the romance of his surprise 2008 caucus victory and focusing on who can seize the presidency from Donald Trump.
In Iowa, where Democrats look back wistfully on his Cinderella rise, uniform antipathy for Trump and the divisive 2016 Democratic caucuses between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have party activists thinking more with their heads than their hearts at the onset of the 2020 campaign.
Some say it’s foolish to try to recreate the Obama phenomenon. Cedar Rapids Obama organizer Dale Todd says such an effort would be “false.”
As many as two dozen Democrats may be vying for support in the caucuses, scheduled for February 2020, a little more than 13 months away.



Authorities Track Stolen Copper Wire

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing copper wire in western Iowa that was soon tracked to his Nebraska home.
The Daily Nonpareil reports that 39-year-old Brian Cave was sentenced Thursday in Council Bluffs after he pleaded guilty to theft. The judge says the sentence will run the same time as a theft sentence Cave is serving in Nebraska.
Court records say some wire was stolen in May from a Union Pacific yard in south Council Bluffs. Police put a GPS tracking unit inside another spool of the wire at the yard. It was soon stolen as well. Authorities say the GPS attached to the spool showed its new location as Cave’s home in Omaha.



Fire At Nebraska Nuclear Power Plant

BROWNVILLE, Neb. (AP) – Utility crews extinguished a fire at a nuclear power plant in southeast Nebraska over the weekend.
The Nebraska Public Power District says the fire was discovered in the basement of the facility around 9 a.m. Saturday while crews were investigating a hazardous gas. It was extinguished before 10 a.m.
The utility says the fire never threatened public safety. NPPD and
the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will investigate what started the fire and evaluate the utility’s response.
The Cooper nuclear plant continued operating throughout the incident on Saturday.
Cooper sits along the Missouri River in southeast Nebraska near
Brownville about 80 miles south of Omaha and across the river from Iowa.



Coralville’s Bond Rating Is Lowered

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) – A major financial rating agency has lowered its bond ratings for an Iowa town because of how it is financing a $70 million arena.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that S&P Global Ratings pointed to Coralville’s bank loans with variable interest rates to pay for the planned 5,700-seat arena set to open in 2020. The arena would host the University of Iowa’s home volleyball games and concerts.
City leaders say they remain confident the project does not threaten Coralville’s finances.
S&P this month lowered its rating for Coralville’s general
obligation bonds from BBB+ to BB+, making it “noninvestment grade.” The rating for bonds back by annual appropriations dropped from BBB to BB.
An S&P report said the city has a “heightened debt burden” and
exposure to high interest rates.



Woman Listens To Heartbeat From Son’s Organ Donation

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa woman whose son died from a drug overdose has had a chance to hear his heart beat again in the chest of an Ohio man who received it as an organ donation.
The Quad City Times reports that Lisa Bragg met Friday in Davenport with Kenneth Vogelsong, of Sherwood, Ohio. She and family members put a stethoscope to Vogelsong’s chest to listen.
Bragg’s 27-year-old son, Markus Abbott, died in January, and his
heart was transplanted in Vogelsong. With the help of donor networks, Bragg and Vogelsong exchanged letters, emails, and texts and agreed by phone to
Vogelsong is a is a 45-year-old father of four who was close to
death because he had an enlarged heart that couldn’t efficiently pump blood to other organs.



Pella, Iowa Company Sets Up Manufacturing In Kentucky

MAYSVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky says more manufacturing jobs are coming to Kentucky.
Bevin said in a statement that Pella, Iowa-based Precision Pulley
and Idler plans to locate a $10.8 million manufacturing and distributing operation in an existing 105,000-square-foot building in Maysville and will hire 134 full-time employees over the next 10 years. The company supplies idlers, pulleys, bearings and other products.
PPI President and CEO Roger Brown said the Maysville facility allows additional capacity to meet the company’s growing demands. The company operates 12 facilities in the U.S. and also has locations in Canada and Chile.
Bevin says the jobs will benefit the economy in northeastern