Home News Thursday Afternoon News, December 3rd

Thursday Afternoon News, December 3rd


COVID-19 Vaccines May Soon Be Made Available To Iowa 

(Des Moines) — We may be getting closer to the time a vaccine for the COVID-19 virus may be available for distribution to Iowans. During Governor Kim Reynolds’ news conference held Thursday morning, Iowa Department of Human Services Director, Kelly Garcia says the distribution of the vaccines will be
administered to health officials first, and our elderly population living in long-term care facilities second. Garcia says there are two vaccines that are seeking emergency use authorization distribution waivers with the Food and Drug Administration. Garcia offered an update as to what is known as of today. She first highlighted the characteristics of the Pfizer vaccine.

Next, Garcia then told of the characteristics involving the Merderna vaccine.

Garcia says a priority list will be compiled selecting the population and demographic base of which the COVID-19 vaccines will be administered, when they are made available to the general public.

The director of the Iowa Human Services agency says Iowa will get its first allocation of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer the week of December 13th.

Garcia says Walgreens, C-V-S, and Community Pharmacy are the national based pharmacy companies that will assist with the administration of the vaccines.




Education Director Says Students Have Been Safe In Schools During the “Return To Learn” Program

(Des Moines) — Iowa Director of Education, Ann Lebo says as schools across Iowa are approaching the mid-year point, she says by-in-large students have remained safe in the “Return to Learn” format as implemented by many of the state’s public and private schools.

Lebo spoke at Thursday morning’s Governor Reynolds’ news conference saying in person learning continues to provides students easier access to essential services, and offers the greatest advantages for most students. Lebo says those families unable to afford to provide educational opportunities online,
are seeing the greatest discrepancy in their children’s education.

The state education official says proficiency scores have dropped when students were not attending classes in person.

Lebo says this school year has proven that our teachers and school administrators, along with our parents and students have been able to adapt to the constant changing conditions.





Iowa State University Extension And Outreach To Host Online Pro-Ag Outlook Seminars

(Le Mars) — 2020 has certainly been a challenging year for everyone, including those involved with agriculture. But what about the year ahead? What will 2021 look like? Iowa State University Extension and Outreach will be hosting a series of five seminars focusing on next year’s agricultural production outlook. Gary Wright is the Farm Management Specialist for
Northwest Iowa with Iowa State University Extension. He says the “Pro-Ag” seminars will be featured online this year because of the COVID-19 virus.
Wright says the one-hour daily seminars will be of interest to farmers, as well as agriculture business professionals.

Registration for the seminars is $20 for the entire week. Wright says the seminars will begin at 1:00 p.m. and will feature a different speaker and topic each day. The Iowa State University farm management specialist says land values and lease agreements will kick off the week’s virtual seminars.

Wright says Tuesday’s Pro-Ag Outlook seminar will look at additional types of coverage to be introduced with crop insurance.

Wednesday’s outlook seminar will focus on livestock marketing with Dr. Lee Schultz who will look at price outlook trends with cattle, hogs, and dairy.
Thursday’s seminar will touch on the state’s farmer cooperatives, and the economic conditions following last August derecho wind storm.

Friday’s session will feature Dr. Chad Hart, Grain Marketing Specialist and Agricultural Economist. Hart will discuss the outlook for corn and soybean prices for the year ahead, as well as review the export market for grain commodities.




Sentencing Set For Sioux City Man Convicted of Ex-Girlfriend’s Murder

(Sioux City, IA) — A Sioux City man will be sentenced January 15th for the 2019 killing of a Hinton woman in a hotel room. Twenty-nine-year-old Jordan Henry was convicted last month for the second-degree murder of 40-year-old Elizabeth Bockholt. Prosecutors say Henry strangled Bockholt and then started the hotel room bed on fire to cover up the crime. Bockholt was
reportedly Henry’s former girlfriend. His family says Henry has struggled with mental health issues.




Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Expect Strong Season

(New Hampton, IA) — Some Christmas tree farms in the state are already reporting strong sales. Jan Pacovksy of the Iowa Christmas Tree Growers Association in New Hampton says it’s shaping up to be a potential record season. She says people are decorating early during the pandemic and many growers say they’re having a better season than they’ve had for a long time.
The August 10th derecho damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of trees, but most evergreens were able to bend with the gusts and not break. Pacovsky said a couple tree farms near Cedar Rapids had a little damage but they’re still open this year.




Iowa Workforce Development Reports Decrease in Unemployment Claims

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa Workforce Development is reporting a significant decline in weekly unemployment claims. The five-thousand-593 initial claims between November 22nd and 28th is a decrease of three-thousand-337 from the previous week. Continuing unemployment claims fell by more than 26-hundred
to 34-thousand-178. I-W-D says 53 percent of claimants were not related to COVID-19. There were 712-thousand unemployment claims nationally last week as coronavirus cases continued to surge.