Home News Friday Afternoon News, April 30th

Friday Afternoon News, April 30th


Broadband Companies Excited For Bill Passage

(Sioux Center) — Earlier this week, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed into law the broadband internet bill that allocates up to $100 million dollars for the installation of high-speed broadband internet services through out the entire state of Iowa, including rural areas. Communications companies are
thrilled with the passage of the bill which will provide state-funded grants to the private sector to install broadband internet services. Doug Boone is the C-E-O of Premier Communications of Sioux Center. He says providing broadband internet services is important.

(File photo of Premier Communications CEO, Doug Boone.)

Premier Communications serves 29 different communities in northwest Iowa, and southeast South Dakota and has already begun the process of providing broadband internet services to rural regions of northwest Iowa through U-S-D-A Rural Development grants, as well as state grants. Boone says the passing of the bill will help Premier Communications expand even further.

The broadband bill requires private companies to also invest with the program by putting up matching funds. Boone says the bill may allow for Premier Communications to move into other uncharted territory, or areas that may presently be under-served.

Boone believes high-speed broadband internet is essential for rural areas to continue to grow and prosper.

The Premier Communications executive says he appreciates the leadership as exhibited by Governor Reynolds and of the state legislature. He says there are now efforts underway on a national basis to expand broadband internet services.




Iowa Turned Down $95 Million In COVID Relief For Student Testing

(Des Moines, IA) — Governor Kim Reynolds says the state declined 95-million dollars in federal pandemic aid for surveillance testing of students in schools. The Republican governor said on Fox News Thursday night, “President
Biden thinks the Covid just started and the state doesn’t need that money to get kids back in the classroom since most Iowa students have been in the classroom since August.” The Iowa Department of Public Health sent a letter to the C-D-C April 23rd saying Iowa has ample funding and testing capacity for
Iowa school districts. The letter asked for state officials to be notified if the money could be used in a different way, particularly if the state could use the 95 million “for vaccine distribution.”




No Resolution at Iowa Capitol on Renewable Fuel Standard Bill

(Des Moines, IA) — There’s no resolution yet on a bill aimed at expanding the use of ethanol and biodiesel in Iowa. Governor Reynolds’ advisor Logan Shine suggests critics are spreading misinformation about what Reynolds has called a Renewable Fuels Standard for Iowa. Shine said, “at this point we’re
disagreeing on the semantics of whether it’s a mandate, a standard – it simply doesn’t matter because this is a pro-Iowa bill.” Ken Kleemeier of Kum and Go stores says while retailers have major concerns, the real victims of this bill will be the drivers who’ll wind up paying more for gas and diesel. Michael
Walz of POET says the most important part of the bill ensures consumers have access to E-15 by 2026. House Speaker Pat Grassley says there’s been hard work to try to find a satisfactory compromise, but it’s unlikely the legislature will pass an Iowa renewable fuel standard this year.




New University of Iowa President to Be Announced Friday Afternoon

(Iowa City, IA) — A new president of the University of Iowa should be named late this afternoon (Friday 4 p-m). Four finalists are competing to replace retiring U-I President Bruce Harreld. The final four are Penn State Dean Hari Osofsky, University of Illinois vice president Barbara Wilson, Georgia State
provost Wendy Hensel, and Iowa College of Education Dean Daniel Clay. The search committee met in closed session the past two days. The Board of Regents meets today (Friday) to select the new president. Harreld’s last day as president is May 16th.




Sioux City Homicide Under Investigation

(Sioux City, IA) — Police in Sioux City haven’t released the names of two people found dead in a home Thursday morning. Officers say the bodies of a man and woman were discovered after one of them didn’t show up at work. Both died of gunshot wounds. Investigators say there was no sign of forced entry
and no suspects are being sought.