State Legislature Is Split As To How To Fund Broadband Internet
(Des Moines) — At the start of this year’s Iowa General Session, Governor Reynolds had requested the state legislature to give serious consideration of funding $450 million dollars over three years to install high-speed broadband internet to all areas of Iowa, including the rural areas. The state House of Representatives appear to be poised to pass a bill that would allocate $100 million dollars for one year for broadband internet. State Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary of Le Mars offers an update on the broadband issue.
The Republican lawmaker explains what is the State Senate’s plan as to how to fund the installation of broadband services throughout the state.
During an interview with KLEM news on Friday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she is pleased with the legislature for its work with the broadband issue, and believes there may be an opportunity to capture some federal grants to makeup the difference between the amount she had requested, and the amount the Iowa legislature is proposing to fund the installation of broadband internet throughout the state.
Reynolds says the state will be able to leverage additional funds, especially when it utilizes Rural Development small interest loans through the U-S-D-A, as well as from the private sector, such was the case with Premier Communications when last year it installed broadband internet to rural Sioux County.
The governor says she wants to encourage the legislature, and all Iowans that this is an important goal for the state to achieve.
(Governor Reynolds photo courtesy of Iowa Soybean Association)
Man Walks Across Iowa To Raise Awareness Of Alzheimer Disease
(Le Mars) — While carrying a 20 pound backpack on his back, a hiking stick in hand, and wearing a good pair of sneakers, Jeff Miller of West Des Moines, Iowa, has set a challenge for himself to walk approximately 325 miles across the state of Iowa calling attention and awareness to Alzheimer disease. Miller started on his cross-state trek Saturday morning from Akron. His plan is to follow Highway 3.
Miller is often greeted by a friendly “Iowa wave” by passing motorists, and he hopes to be able to cover at least 20 miles a day. Le Mars was his first over-night stop on his journey, with Dubuque as his final destination.
Miller says his sister was first diagnosed with the disease when she was 64 years of age, and soon afterwards she started suffering from dementia, which is a common symptom associated with Alzheimer disease.
Miller says his sister’s condition deteriorated rather quickly after being placed in the long-term care facility.
Miller hopes that his walk will raise funds to be directed towards additional research for finding a cure to the debilitating disease.
Of all the different ways to raise funds and awareness, Miller explains why he chose to walk across the state.
Although Miller is a four-time RAGBRAI veteran, this is his first time to visit this corner of northwest Iowa. He says he is amazed by the geography and terrain with the Loess Hills found in Plymouth County.
Miller says he prepared for the cross-state walk by doing a lot of walking, hiking of trails, and riding his bicycle, but after the first day, he admits to having sore legs and feet. Miller says once he has completed his Iowa journey, he fully expects his sneakers will be worn to the point that replacement of shoes will be necessary.
Bill To Increase Penalties For Protest-Related Crimes Expected To Go To Governor
(Des Moines, IA) — A bill to increase the penalties for crimes related to protest activities is expected to go to Governor Kim Reynolds in the coming weeks. Supporters say the law will protect law-abiding citizens. Opponents say it would have a chilling effect on free expression and would disproportionately punish Black Iowans. It would establish stiffer penalties to rioting, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct, harassment, and criminal mischief. It would also grant civil immunity if a driver strikes protesters while trying to leave the area of an unlawful protest.
It Happens Again: Correctional Officer At Anamosa State Penitentiary Attacked
(Anamosa, IA) — The Iowa Department of Corrections says a correctional officer was handing out medications to inmates when one of them assaulted her Saturday. The attacker put the officer in a chokehold, but she was able to free herself, then take control of him when other staff members responded. The officer was taken to a local hospital for a medical review, then released. She had suffered only bruising and the inmate wasn’t hurt. Just the day before the attack, Iowa lawmakers had toured the prison to determine what changes were needed. A nurse and a correctional officer were killed there during an escape attempt last month.
Grain Bin Manufacturer Buys Fabrication Company
(Sheffield, IA) — Sukup Manufacturing Company says it is buying the assets of a fabrication company to expand its production capabilities. The price for buying Global Fabrication hasn’t been announced. Sukup makes grain bins at its northern Iowa facility in Sheffield. Global makes catwalks, towers, and other structural products that go on grain bins and other storage facilities. Sukup officials say the purchase will double its manufacturing capacity. Global has a facility in Hampton. Sukup officials say they are currently hiring an additional 60 workers at three locations: Sheffield, Hampton, and Manley.
Man Sentenced To Life In Prison For Killing Tells Judge He Was Justified
(Des Moines, IA) — When he was given a chance to speak after being sentenced to life in prison, 49-year-old Stanley Wofford told the judge his actions were justified and he shouldn’t have charged with first-degree murder. Wofford says he killed 45-year-old John Belcher Junior in September 2019 because Belcher threatened his life. Wofford was found guilty last month on the first-degree murder charge. Police say he was the one who called 9-1-1 and claimed he had discovered Belcher’s body. The evidence led investigators back to Wofford as the shooter.