MLK Ceremonies To Be Virtual
(Undated) — Ceremonies across the state will honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Junior today (Monday). Most of the events will be held virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Virtual events include prayer breakfasts and the traditional ceremonies honoring the slain Civil Rights leader. State offices and Test Iowa sites will be closed today (Monday) for the holiday.
Public Health Looking Into More Doses Of COVID Vaccine
(Des Moines, IA) — The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) released a statement saying they continue to be in close communication with their federal partners about more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine coming to the state. The statement says the targeted plan underway will continue until that information is updated. The current phase one-A plan includes health
care personnel and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Phase one-B will include those age 75 and over, as well as other high-risk populations. This next phase will begin receiving vaccinations no later than February 1st.
Congresswoman Axne Not Ruling Out Run For Senate Or Governor
(Johnston, IA) — Iowa Congresswoman, Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, said during the taping of this weekend’s Iowa Press program on Iowa P-B-S that she isn’t ruling out a run for governor or the U-S Senate in 2022.
Axne is the only Democrat in the Iowa delegation and just won a second term.
She said a decision about the next campaign will come in a few months.
Republican Congresswoman Hinson said during an Iowa P-B-S appearance in December that she wouldn’t rule out running for the U-S Senate if fellow Republican Chuck Grassley decides against seeking an eighth term.
COVID-19 Reported At Iowa House Of Representatives
(Des Moines) — Members of the state legislature were notified Friday night that someone “associated” with the Iowa House had tested positive for Covid.
The notification indicated the person had been in the state Capitol on Wednesday and, although there is not requirement to do so, the person had been wearing a face covering. The person’s identity or condition isn’t being revealed. Democrats have argued the 2021 legislative session, which began LAST Monday, will become a super spreader event if Republicans in the majority don’t take more steps to stop the spread of the virus. G-O-P leaders say under state constitution, they do not have the authority to require that elected officials wear a mask. The Iowa legislature is not meeting today (Monday), in observance of the Martin Luther King, Junior holiday. The MISSOURI House of Representatives is not meeting at all this
week after a covid outbreak among lawmakers. The Missouri legislature also began its session a week ago.
Kaufmann Re-elected To Lead Iowa Republican Party
(Des Moines) — The chairman of the Iowa G-O-P says having President Trump at the top of the ticket in 2016 and 2020 obviously helped Iowa Republican candidates, but Jeff Kaufmann (COUGH-man) says the state party is led by its Republican governor.
Kaufmann (COUGH-man) has been the Iowa Republican Party chairman since June of 2013 and on Saturday the Iowa G-O-P’s governing board voted to keep him in that role. Kaufmann says his focus now is on reelecting Reynolds and Senator Chuck Grassley in 2022.
Kaufmann (COUGH-man) is also focused on the lobbying effort to keep Iowa’s Caucuses first in the nation. Kaufmann says it’ll be up to citizens to decide if Donald Trump makes a political comeback in the 2024 Iowa Caucuses, but Kaufmann says he’s currently getting phone calls, texts and email from Iowa Republicans expressing continued support for Trump.
Kaufmann says he won’t gloss over the disappointment that Trump has not been reelected, but Kaufmann says the focus now is on the next election. That includes next week’s special election for a state senate seat in the Ottumwa area.
Iowa State University Professor Working With NASA On Satellite Testing
(Ames) — Two professors from Iowa State University and the University of Iowa recently served on a panel that determines the future of NASA satellite missions. I-S-U agronomy professor, Brian Hornbuckle, says these are satellites that are experimental.
Hornbuckle says the panel he served on helps determine how long missions last on these discovery satellites.
Hornbuckle says they usually have one or more new satellites proposed each year as the older ones are taken out of service.
Hornbuckle says the satellites go through all types of testing — including flying on planes — to see if they work before rocketing into space. But even that testing sometimes fails to find flaws and the satellite mission doesn’t pan out.
Hornbuckle was chosen to be on the panel because of his work with NASA using a satellite that determines how much water is stored in the soil.
Hornbuckle has worked on other NASA satellite projects as well, and says they provide lots of information on a variety of issues that help researchers. He says these discovery type satellites don’t get all the attention that things like trips to the space station get.
University of Iowa Chemical and Biochemical Engineering professor Jun Wang served on the panel with Hornbuckle.