Home News Friday News, December 4th

Friday News, December 4th


COVID-19 Vaccine May Be Available To Iowans By December 13th

(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 Remained Safe With “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 have been able to adapt the constant changing conditions.




Iowa State University Extension And Outreach To Host “Pro-Ag” Online 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 Outlook 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.




Record-High 70 COVID-19 Deaths in Iowa, 2926 New Cases

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health is reporting a record 70 COVID-19 deaths Thursday. The previous record was 47 on November 25th. The latest fatalities bring the death toll to two-thousand-519 since the coronavirus pandemic began. Two-thousand-926 more positive COVID tests were confirmed, increasing the state’s total to 236-thousand-792
cases. One-thousand-124 people are hospitalized with the virus. Two-hundred-24 of those patients are in intensive care and 131 are on ventilators. Eighty Iowa counties currently have a 14-day average positivity rate of at least 15 percent.




Sibley-Ocheyedan Schools Locked Down For Student With Weapon

(Sibley, IA) — A 17-year-old student in northwest Iowa is facing charges for carrying a weapon on school grounds. Sibley-Ocheyedan High School and Middle School were put on lockdown Thursday morning.
Superintendent James Craig says the high school principal received reports of a student with a handgun. Craig says a search turned up the weapon and the student was removed without incident by a Sibley County sheriff’s deputy.
Craig says they are lucky that nothing worse happened. The all-clear was given after the incident and regular classes resumed.




Dakota City Woman Sentenced To 50 Years After Pleading Guilty To Murder Charges

(Sioux City, IA) — A Dakota City, Nebraska woman will have to serve 35 years in prison before she is eligible for parole. Melissa Camargo-Flores pleaded guilty to second-degree murder charges. She admitted causing the death of Kenia Alvarez-Flores in April of 2018. Camargo-Flores was handed a 50-year sentence earlier this week. Defense attorney Jennifer Solberg says
all parties “spoke from the heart” before the sentence was pronounced. She says her client has remorse and sorrow. The defense has 30 days to decide whether to appeal the sentence.





Des Moines Loses More From Bottom Line With Cancellation Of Pork Congress

(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Pork Producers has announced the cancellation of its Iowa Pork Congress. The decision was revealed on the same day that Des Moines city leaders said events called off during the coronavirus pandemic are going to cost the city 25-million dollars in lost revenue. The Pork Congress normally brings about five-thousand producers to Des Moines.
The 49th Pork Congress was originally scheduled for January 27th and 28th.
Its absence will add to the lost revenue for the city.




Former Iowa Nurse Pleads Not Guilty To Federal Drug Charges

(Cedar Rapids, IA) — A former Iowa nurse has entered a not guilty plea to charges she stole the powerful painkiller fentanyl. Fifty-two-year-old Sabrina Thalblum of Cedar Rapids faces federal drug charges in the case.
Prosecutors say Thalblum took the opioid from unopened vials of the drug, replacing it will a clear liquid. She worked with an outpatient surgery center in Cedar Rapids at the time. Investigators say she took the fentanyl for her own use. The Iowa Board of Nursing says Thalblum admitted to tampering and diverting the drug. She also admitted she has a substance
abuse problem.





Charges Filed Against Des Moines Daycare Provider For Hitting Child

(Des Moines, IA) — Polk County prosecutors say a 53-year-old daycare provider in Des Moines hit one of the children she was caring for. Yolanda Negron faces a charge of child endangerment. Negron is accused of using her hand to hit the victim in the face, twice, while they were in her home. She
was booked into the Polk County Jail Thursday. A preliminary hearing for Negron is scheduled for December 14th.




Ottumwa Couple Charged in Sexual Abuse Case

(Ottumwa, IA) — An Ottumwa man and woman face multiple counts of sexual abuse and authorities say the abuse dates back seven years. Forty-nine-year-old Jesse Harnden has been charged with 85 counts of second and third-degree sexual abuse. Court records say Harnden started engaging in illegal
sex acts with a seven-year-old child in February 2013 and continued until early this year. Forty-seven-year-old Heather Mantell is the child’s biological mother and is in a relationship with Harnden. Court documents allege Mantell was aware of the illegal acts occurring between Harnden and her child. Mantell is charged with child endangerment and two counts of
third-degree sexual abuse. Both are in the Wapello County Jail.