Drought Area Continues To Expand
(Des Moines) — There hasn’t been much rain in the last week for those areas of the state facing drought conditions. Iowa D-N-R analyst Tim Hall says that’s led to a slight worsening of the situation on the drought monitor.
He says the longer the drought continues, the tougher it is to pull out.
Hall says the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has a prediction that is positive for Iowa.
He says the fallout from the most recent tropical storms veered away from Iowa, but there could be others that bring in moisture. Hall says this drought is not yet as bad as the most recent severe situation.
He says that does not diminish the problem for those in the center of the drought.
Hall says we came off of two wet year heading into this year and that built a sort of a cushion that helped keep the current drought from getting worse.
Iowa Restaurant Association Not Happy Governor Closed Bars in Six Counties
(West Des Moines, IA) — The head of the group representing thousands of Iowa bars and restaurants is expressing dismay at the governor’s order that closed bars in six counties after coronavirus cases spiked among young adults. Iowa Restaurant Association C-E-O Jessica Dunker said, “to have a blanket shutdown in six counties of businesses who have been doing everything right is frustrating and, quite honestly, it is threatening to the livelihoods and the well-being of the members we have.” Governor Reynolds ordered bars, nightclubs and breweries in Story, Johnson, Black Hawk, Linn, Polk and Dallas counties to close by 5 p-m Thursday. Reynolds said statistics show the majority of new COVID cases in the six counties are among young people between the ages of 19 and 24. Dunker said if the problem is “a demographic” rather than a type of business, the governor might consider temporarily raising the drinking age in certain cities or counties.
Simpson College Confirms 4 COVID-19 Cases
(Indianola, IA) — Simpson College in Indianola is reporting its first cases of COVID-19. The school confirmed four cases Thursday, saying those who tested positive are in isolation and those in direct contact with them are in quarantine. Simpson is reminding students to follow all on-campus health requirements. The college says it is working directly with both the Iowa and Warren County Departments of Public Health on proper protocols, including contact tracing and quarantine. The school remains open for in-person, hybrid and online classes.
Food Assistance Available to Low-Income Residents Affected by Derecho in Linn County
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — The U-S-D-A is offering food assistance for low-income residents in Linn County affected by the derecho storm. Officials say some families not eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP may qualify for the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP). Households would received one month of food benefits under D-SNAP. The Iowa Department of Human Services will manage the D-SNAP program.
Iowa Hawkeye Fans Mourn Loss of Former Basketball Coach Lute Olson
(Tucson, AZ) — Hawkeye basketball fans are mourning the loss of former University of Iowa coach Lute Olson. Eighty-five-year-old Olson died Thursday after spending the last few days in hospice care. Olson coached the Hawkeyes from 1974 to 1983 and led Iowa to the Final Four in 1980. Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City is known as “the House That Lute Built.” Olson left Iowa for the University of Arizona and took the Wildcats to four Final Fours and won the 1997 N-C-A-A championship. He’s a member of the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame and the Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.