Governor Reynolds Forms Board To Oversee Flood Relief
(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds is creating a new state board to oversee the response to last month’s catastrophic flooding.
Reynolds issued an executive order this (Monday) morning, establishing a 15-member Flood Recovery Advisory Board. She’ll be the board’s chairwoman.
The governor also is asking legislators to set aside 25-million dollars in state funds for flood recovery. The first 15 million would be used for flood mitigation, including help in making levee repairs.
House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, a Republican from Clear Lake, says responding to the housing need in flooded areas is a priority.
Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver of Ankeny says there’s room in the budget for this extra spending.
The governor says she’s asked federal officials if there are ways the state can line up contractors or take other steps that would speed up the process of buying out flood-ravaged properties. FEMA’s website indicates it’s a lengthy process that can take a year to 18 months. Reynolds says she’s asked FEMA to set up a “mini processing center” in Council Bluffs where flood victims may find out what disaster assistance may be available.
Grassley Says Next Step In Securing Disaster Relief Funding For Iowans Will Depend On Senators Shelby and Leahy To Reach Agreement
(Washington) — Congress is now in recess and lawmakers are back home for the Easter Holiday. U-S Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa told reporters during his weekly news conference on Monday, he is deeply disappointed with
the Democratic Senators that twice voted down the bill that would have provided disaster relief assistance to flood victims living in southwest Iowa, eastern Nebraska, and northwest Missouri. Grassley explains what is the next step in order to provide assistance to those flood victims.
Grassley was also asked about the shake-up within the Trump administration with the Homeland Security Department, and with all the other cabinet or high-level leadership posts that have been fired, or have otherwise walked away from their positions.
Grassley says he will utilize the time back home in Iowa to conduct a series of town hall meetings across the state.
The Iowa Senator says he will conduct 20 different town hall meetings within the next two weeks.
Northern Iowa Woman Given Probation For Stealing From Hospital Auxiliary
CRESCO, Iowa (AP) – A northern Iowa woman has been given two to five years of probation for stealing thousands of dollars from a hospital auxiliary.
Howard County District Court records say 58-year-old Rebecca Creger, of Cresco, was sentenced last week. She was given a deferred judgment and ordered to pay restitution of $20,275. A deferred judgment allows Creger’s conviction to be removed from court records if she fulfills her probation terms.
She’d pleaded guilty to ongoing criminal conduct. Prosecutors dropped a theft charge in return.
Authorities say Creger wrote checks to herself in 2017 while she was treasurer of the Regional Health Services of Howard County Hospital Auxiliary. She told an investigator that she needed the money for medical bills and that she wanted to pay it back.
Central Iowa Museum Faces Soggy Conditions
OTHO, Iowa (AP) – The Webster County Museum faces a bleak future after a leaky roof left its building soggy and most of its artifacts covered in plastic sheeting.
Phyllis Stewart, the museum’s volunteer curator, says the former Otho Elementary School building holds all of Webster County’s history. Stewart says the museum can’t open this spring because of the water and mold issues.
The Messenger reports that Stewart noted the choices are either finding a roofer who can repair the leaks quickly, relocate to another building or be forced to shut down the 11,000-square-foot museum entirely. Stewart says permanent closure isn’t a desired option.
Stewart says the museum is in need of public help that includes
financial support, expertise in museum supervision, infrastructure care and anyone else with useful skills.
Des Moines Water Works Director Dies
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A man who’d been responsible for providing safe drinking water to Des Moines has died.
Sixty-year-old Bill Stowe had been CEO and general manager of Des Moines Water Works until pancreatic cancer forced him to retire April 2.
Water Works board member Graham Gillette said Monday that Stowe died Sunday.
Stowe was Des Moines’ public works director for 13 years before
taking his Water Works post in 2012. Water Works is an independently operated public utility providing drinking water to about 500,000 people in the greater Des Moines area.
Stowe grew up on a farm in Nevada (nuh-VAYE’-duh), Iowa, and played basketball at Grinnell College.
Gillette says his friend Stowe “was an exceptional leader, because he knew a person’s promise nearly always outweighs his past mistakes.”
Three Women Dead After Train Hits SUV
DANVILLE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say three women were fatally injured when a train struck a sport utility vehicle in southeast Iowa.
The accident was reported around 11:30 a.m. Saturday, just east of Danville.
The Iowa State Patrol says the SUV was leaving a private residence north of the tracks when it was struck by an eastbound coal train. The patrol says the crossing didn’t have traffic control devices.
The patrol identified the SUV driver as 29-year-old Amber Curry and her two passengers as 27-year-old Laura Burch and 26-year-old Anna Smith. All three lived in Burlington.