AAA Suggests Taking A COVID Pack When Traveling
(Des Moines) — With the arrival of March and the one-year anniversary of sweeping COVID-19 shutdowns across the state, more people are getting vaccinated which is prompting some Iowans to consider Spring Break trips or summer vacations. Bao Vang, spokeswoman for the Better Business Bureau, says if you’re planning to get away, be sure to take a “pandemic bag” with you.
You may want to opt for a road trip instead of flying, she says. While road travel carries risks along with flying, it’s much easier to mitigate risks from within a smaller space you and your family control. Vang reminds, the pandemic isn’t over and there are still multiple risks associated with travel. She encourages you to do your homework ahead of time.
Vang says flexibility is key. Be willing to pay extra for fully refundable flights, car rentals, and accommodations, plus, recognize your plans may change last-minute due to an unexpected lockdown or infection.
Des Moines Police Investigate First Homicide Of Year
(Des Moines, IA) — Des Moines police are investigating the city’s first homicide of 2021. Officers responded to a report of a shooting Friday at about 11:20 p-m. When they arrived, they found a 52-year-old man suffering from a gunshot wound. The man was taken to a nearby hospital where he died at about 1:20 a-m Saturday. His name hasn’t been released. Des Moines police investigated 21 homicides last year – the second-most in the last 42 years. Police haven’t announced any persons of interest in the case.
Lawmakers Try To Force Public Universities To Hold In-Person Graduation Ceremonies
(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa lawmakers are trying to force the state’s three public universities to hold in-person graduation ceremonies this year. Republican State Representative Bobby Kaufmann introduced the legislation last week. It would let each graduate have two guests in the audience for the ceremonies at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa. Kaufmann’s measure is called a temporary provision that would only impose the requirements for the current school year. All three universities canceled in-person ceremonies last spring and winter during the coronavirus pandemic.
Waukee Residents Complain About Big Jump In Utility Bills
(Waukee, IA) — February was a bitterly cold month, so gas utility customers in Waukee expected their bills to be a little higher – just not this high. One customer says her usual bill in December and January was 200 dollars, but last week they had to pay a 400-dollar bill. The city of Waukee says the freezing temperatures in Texas also had an impact, severely constricting supplies. Gas usage in Waukee was reportedly up 41-percent over January’s usage. The average household is seeing an increase of 200-dollars on the current bill. Those bills have to be paid, but the city says it is working with people to let them spread the payments over the next 12-to-18 months.
National Conservative Organization Puts Pressure On House Speaker Grassley
(Des Moines, IA) — A national conservative organization is putting pressure on Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley. The Club for Growth is spending 167-thousand dollars on television ads accusing Grassley of stalling the governor’s bill on school choice. A spokesperson for the Republican Grassley calls the ad “lazy” and “uninformed,” saying House Republicans are vetting the bill right now. It faces an uncertain future in the Iowa House and a key legislative deadline is looming on Friday. The measure would give some students taxpayer-funded scholarships to attend private schools, ease the rules for creating new charter schools, expand some tax credits, and make it easier for students to transfer between districts.