Nature Avenue To Be Closed Today Due To Railroad Repairs
(Le Mars) — Nature Avenue between 150th Street and 160th Street is being closed today by the Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department. Work crews are scheduled to make repairs to the railroad crossing. It is expected the work will be completed later this afternoon.
Governor Reynolds Extends Public Health Emergency Proclamation
(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds on Friday signed a proclamation that extends the public health disaster emergency for another 30 days. The proclamation extends all the public health mitigation measures currently in place for businesses and other establishments until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, 2020. This includes the requirements for bars and restaurants to ensure six feet of physical distance between each group or individual dining or drinking; to ensure all patrons have a seat at a table or bar and consume alcohol or food while seated; and to limit congregating together closer than six feet. Requirements for social distancing, hygiene, and other public health measures to reduce the risk of transmission also remain in place for gyms, casinos, salons, theaters, and other establishments.
The proclamation also extends the suspension of weight limits for transportation of agricultural supplies and commodities on state highways for the continued fall harvest. And it extends many of the previously issued regulatory relief measures necessary to respond to this public health disaster, including those related to healthcare, professional licensure, educational workforce, and expiration of driver’s licenses.
The proclamation now remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, November 15, 2020.
Political Candidates Scramble As Election Day Nears
(Hinton) — Political candidates are trying to reach potential voters and are working hard at campaigning as the time winds down to Election Day. Iowa’s 4th District Democratic candidate J.D. Scholten was in Hinton earlier this week, and explains he has concluded his tour of visiting every community within the district.
Many people are choosing to vote early through an absentee ballot, and Scholten talks about how that affects his campaign.
Scholten says he takes pride in the fact that his campaign has only accepted local contributions.
There are only 15 days left until election day, scheduled for November 3rd.
U-S Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Visits Dordt University
(Sioux Center) — U-S Secretary of Education Betsy De Vos visited Dordt University Friday afternoon to see how the four-year college has implemented its Pro-Tech program which allows a student to get a two-year degree with incorporating job skills with local employers. The Secretary of Education met with Dordt University officials and spoke with some students enrolled in the Pro-Tech program, then held a round table discussion consisting of various college officials and private company officials. Dordt University president, Eric Hoekstra says he invited the Education Secretary to visit the Sioux Center college some years back. De Vos told reporters that she is impressed with what Dordt University has done to create additional opportunities for students.
Dordt University president Hoekstra says under the Education Secretary’s leadership, several regulations have been lifted, allowing Dordt to transition into the new Pro-Tech program.
Hoekstra then further clarified some of the restrictive regulations and how it applies to religious institutions and education that are not affiliated or owned by a church.
DeVos says she appreciates visiting with an array of educational institutions, like Dordt University, to get a better understanding of the many innovative programs that are being implemented.
Prior to visiting Dordt University, U-S Education Secretary made a stop in Pella.
State Finalizes Plan For Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution
(Des Moines, IA) — State officials have drafted a plan for distributing COVID-19 shots when a vaccine becomes available. Each state was to draw up a plan and submit it to the Centers for Disease Control. Iowa’s was released late Friday and it says the state will follow federal guidelines unless needs in Iowa are substantially different. The report does refer to long-term care facilities as a priority for the first wave of vaccinations, along with E-M-Ts, nurses, doctors, and others who work in health care. The Iowa Department of Public Health suggests it will likely require more than one dose, so officials are advising health care providers to be ready to notify patients they must schedule follow-up shots.
Racing And Gaming Commission Issues Three Fines
(Des Moines, IA) — An online sports gambling company and two casinos have been fined by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for violations. Racing and Gaming Commission administrator Brian Ohorilko says DraftKings was fined five-thousand dollars for a late download of new self-ban list information. He says an audit by the commission determined the list was not uploaded within the required seven days — and he says they did note that no one on the ban list signed up or played. The Rhythm City Casino in Davenport and Diamond Jo Casino in Worth County were each fined for violations involving surveillance cameras. Each had outages in their surveillance systems that were partly due to upgrades. Both Rhythm City and Diamond Jo Worth County were fined 75-hundred dollars.
Kossuth County Jail Inmate Dies
(Algona, IA) — The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is reviewing the death of a prisoner at the Kossuth County Jail in Algona. Jailers found the man unresponsive in his private cell just after 7:00 a-m Saturday. Efforts to revive him failed. The man’s name is being withheld pending the notification of his family. His body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner’s office for an autopsy.
Former Hawkeye Football Players Ask For Payment With Threat Of Lawsuit
(Iowa City, IA) — Eight former University of Iowa football players are asking for 20 million dollars from the University of Iowa, athletic director Gary Barta, head coach Kirk Ferentz and offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz. The players claim they were subject to racial discrimination. They also requested football coach Kirk Ferentz be fired. KCRG T-V reports the request was presented in a letter on October 5th, and the former players threatened to sue if their demands aren’t met. The players include Akrum Wadley, Aaron Mends, Jonathan Parker, Marcel Joly, Maurice Fleming, Reggie Spearman, Kevonte Martin-Manley, and Andre Harris. Coach Ferentz released a statement: saying “I am disappointed to receive this type of demand letter. Due to the threat of litigation, I am not able to address the specific comments made by our former players.” The university made changes this summer in response to complaints by players.