New Funding Available For EMS in Iowa Counties
(Des Moines, IA) — A bill signed into law by Governor Reynolds allows Iowa counties to recognize emergency medical services as “essential” and pay for those services through property taxes. Anamosa Ambulance Service director Sheila Fink says many departments are desperate for funding and still surviving because they’re having pancake breakfasts and raffles. Fink said, “I mean they spend as much time fundraising as they do taking care of patients and that’s sad.” Unlike fire and police services, local governments in Iowa are not required to provide E-M-S. Under the new law, county supervisors can declare the work essential and seek approval from voters for a new property tax to support those services. Advocates say the shift is sorely needed, especially in rural Iowa communities, where residents often rely on a dwindling number of volunteer E-M-Ts.
Two Kids Seriously Hurt in Cedar Rapids Scooter Crash
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — Two kids under age 12 are hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after an electric scooter crash in Cedar Rapids. Police and firefighters say the boys were riding the scooter Wednesday afternoon in an alley when they were struck by a car. They were taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for treatment of life-threatening injuries. No word on the driver of the car that struck them.
Remains of Korean War Veteran Being Returned to Northwest Iowa
(George, IA) — The remains of northwest Iowa soldier killed in the Korean War are returning to Lyon County today (Thursday). Iowa and South Dakota Patriot Guard riders and state troopers from both states are escorting the body of Army Corporal Eldert J. Beek from the Sioux Falls airport to Rock Rapids. Corporal Beek was presumed dead on December 1st, 1950 after his unit was attacked in North Korea. The 20-year-old from George was a member of the Army’s Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. Beek’s family says it is a relief to finally get some closure more than 70 years later.
Black Bear Sightings Reported in Dubuque County
(Dubuque, IA) — Officials say two employees recently saw a bear on John Deere’s property north of Dubuque and Vince Evelsizer of the Iowa Department of Natural Resource suspects it was a male bear — since this is breeding season for bears. Evelsizer says, “it’s usually young males — two to four-year-old males — moving around and actively looking for females this time of the year.” There have been several recent black bear sightings in Dubuque County and there are some trail camera photos. He says the animals are likely coming from Minnesota and Wisconsin. If they’re not looking for a mate, they’re probably looking for food. Evelsizer said last month that it’s likely black bears will start to have cubs in Iowa and groups will eventually repopulate in the state.