COVID-19 Now Numbers 179 Positive Cases Across Iowa
(Des Moines) — The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been notified of 34 additional positive cases of Iowans with COVID-19, for a total of 179 positive cases. There have been a total of 2,975 negative tests to date, which includes testing reported by the State Hygienic Lab and other labs.
Sioux County is now reporting its second case of coronavirus, as is Woodbury County, while Monona County has confirmed its first positive case of coronavirus. Meanwhile, Plymouth County has not yet had a case of coronavirus.
Reynolds Orders Retail Stores To Close
(Des Moines) — Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, during her daily news briefing held Thursday afternoon, has now ordered retail stores, including clothing stores, book stores, and furniture stores to join the ranks of restaurants and bars to be closed until at least April 7th. The list also includes: shoe stores, jewelry stores, luggage stores, perfume and beauty supply stores,
florists, home furnishing stores, and other retail stores. Schools are still to be closed until at least April 13th, and quite possibly may be extended.
As a means to save on essential medical supplies such as gowns, gloves, and medical masks, the governor has ordered all elective surgeries to be canceled until April 7th. Floyd Valley Healthcare of Le Mars had already implemented such policies.
Steve King Comments On COVID-19 Relief Bill
(Kiron) — The U-S House of Representatives are expected to vote on the $2.2 trillion dollar COVID-19 Relief Bill on Friday. The Senate finally passed the measure on Wednesday after some contentious debate and stone-walling.
Initially, the measure was voted down in the Senate on Monday when the bill was split down party lines. Iowa 4th District Republican Congressman Steve King says he is certain the expensive relief bill will pass the House on Friday. What he is not certain about is whether the vote can be conducted by
a voice vote, or if a roll-call vote will be called, requiring Congressional members to return to Washington.
King says the bill contains nearly 900 pages. Although King says he supports the bill, he is troubled by the portion dealing with additional payments to unemployed workers. The Republican Congressman wants to make certain people have an incentive to return to work.
King says Congress needs to act on this measure quickly, and he says there isn’t enough time to conduct much debate on the bill’s merits.
Congressman Steve King says the nation’s economy has been hit hard by the spread of the coronavirus. Although he remains optimistic, King says it may be several months before the economy can bounce back to the levels prior to the pandemic.
King says he believes the economy will pick up in the Midwestern states first, and then go to the coastal communities.
The Iowa Republican Congressman says government relief checks to individuals and family members may be issued and sent within a matter of weeks.
King says rather than making one large payment, he would have favored incremental payments spread over the course of several months, and hopefully having a better idea of knowing how much money would be required for the coronavirus relief package.
Candidates Announced To Appear On Primary Election Ballot
(Le Mars) — Wednesday was the deadline for candidates to submit their nomination papers to be filed and listed for the primary election scheduled for June 2nd. Cheri Nitzschke Plymouth County Deputy Auditor has announced the candidates seeking election for Plymouth County offices. For the position of County Auditor, Republican Stacey Feldman is seeking re-election and is running unopposed. Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo has indicated he will leave his position as the county sheriff at the end of the year. However, Van Otterloo is seeking the vacant position of County Supervisor for District 2. Van Otterloo, a Republican, will be running unopposed as will County
Supervisor Gary Horton, who is seeking to be re-elected to the county supervisor district 5 position. Horton is also a Republican. Jeff Te Brink is also running unopposed for his quest for the Plymouth County Sheriff.
Those residents living on the eastern edge of Plymouth County will need to decide among three people seeking the State House District 3 position on the Republican ticket. K. Lynn Evans, Mark McHugh, and Dennis Bush are all seeking the position that will be vacated by current House Representative Dan Huseman. Dr. Tom Jeneary is unopposed for the State House District 5 position. State Senate seat District 2 has Jeff Taylor, a republican, being
unopposed for both the primary and the general election. Taylor is seeking the position that is being vacated by current State Senator Randy Feenstra.
In the Iowa 4th District Congressional race, J.D. Scholten is the only Democrat seeking the position. Meanwhile, there are five candidates running on the Republican ticket and will face each other in the primary election scheduled for June 2nd. Those candidates include: incumbent Steve King, and challengers Randy Feenstra, Jeremy Taylor, Bret Richards, and Steven Reeder.
Seeking the U-S Senate position is Republican Joni Ernst. The Democrats have five candidates for the primary election, and they include: Teresa Greenfield, Eddie Mauro, Cal Woods, Kimberly Graham, and Mike Franken.
Le Mars City Offices To Remain Closed
(Le Mars) — Le Mars city administrator, Jason Vacura, has announced all City of Le Mars facilities closures will be extended to April 7. All facilities will continue to remain staffed and continue to perform day-to-day operations. Any individual that has a question or is seeking information may still contact City Hall or any of the individual departments. We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed.
Ethanol Plants Wanting A Waiver To Produce Sanitizer
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Hospitals and nursing homes are desperately searching for hand sanitizer amid the coronavirus outbreak and the ethanol industry is ready to step in to provide the alcohol, a key ingredient.
Federal regulators are preventing them from providing millions of gallons of alcohol that could be transformed into the germ-killing mixture. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration insists that the alcohol at ethanol plants meet stringent production standards designed to protect medicine and food quality.
In addition the alcohol must be mixed with a bitter additive to make it undrinkable. The ethanol industry is asking for waivers during the coronavirus emergency.
Two-Year Old Dies After Father Backs Over Her
GUTHRIE CENTER, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a 2-year-old girl died in central Iowa after her father accidentally backed a truck over her. The accident occurred Wednesday on a farm outside Guthrie Center. Guthrie County deputies summoned to Guthrie County Hospital were told by a man there that he and his family had just returned home from a fishing trip when he went to a
barn to check on livestock. He told a deputy that he was backing up the truck when he saw his little girl lying in front of it. She was pronounced dead later at the hospital. The names of those involved haven’t been released.
Lottery Jackpots To Decrease Due To Virus
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Lottery jackpots are going to shrink as the coronavirus pandemic tamps down lottery sales. The group that oversees the Powerball game announced Wednesday night that it would cut minimum jackpots in half, from $40 million to $20 million, after there is a winner of the current big prize. The jackpot also could grow more slowly, with minimum
increases of $2 million instead of the normal $10 million after each twice-weekly drawing. The other national lottery game in the United States, Mega Millions, is considering a similar move. The move by Powerball won’t affect the current $160 million jackpot.