Home News Thursday News, April 14

Thursday News, April 14

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RED FLAG

The National Weather Service has issued a red-flag warning for the western half of the state today. The Red Flag Warning is until 7 pm. In addition, there’s a high wind warning for northwest Iowa and southeast South Dakota until 7 pm.

Meteorologist Kristy Carter says the lack of moisture in the air and the wind are causing the concern.

Carter says we are going to have to deal with the winds all day and into this evening.

Carter also says we are going to stay cooler — with highs in the 40s and 50s rolling through the weekend.

West winds are forecast to gust between 30 and 45 miles per hour, up to 60 miles per hour in Plymouth County until early this evening.

 

DISASTER PROCLAMATION

 

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has issued disaster proclamations for seven counties. These come after severe storms Thuesday night, which produced high winds, hail, and generated several tornadoes. The seven counties include Pocahontas in northwest Iowa.
The governor’s proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to, and recover in the seven designated counties. The proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents. While there was a lot of damage, there have so far been no reports of injuries in the storms.

 

DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSES

 

2020 may be the last time Iowa stages the first in the nation precinct caucuses among Democrats. The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee has voted to have state parties apply to be among the first five contests in the 2024 presidential election. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn says Iowa Democrats look forward to enthusiastically making the case Iowa should host an early voting contest. National party leaders have been encouraging states to hold primaries rather than caucuses. Wilburn says there will be discussions about making the Iowa Caucuses more accessible and straightforward.
Iowa Republicans essentially hold a Straw Poll on Caucus Night and Iowa G-O-P chairman Jeff Kaufmann says Republican leaders at the national level are poised to affirm the Iowa Republican Party’s Caucuses as first-in-the-nation in 2024.

 

SCHOLARSHIP PLAN

 

Iowa Lawmakers’ decisions on the state budget and other high-profile issues are apparently on hold. Governor Kim Reynolds continues to lobby for state-funded scholarships for 10-thousand kids to enroll in private schools. The governor told reporters she’s fighting for every vote and isn’t interested in negotiating with legislators on other issues, like the bottle bill. The Republican-led Senate has passed the governor’s plan, but Reynolds does not yet have 51 Republican “yes” votes lined up in the Iowa House. Republicans who are reluctant to support the governor’s private school initiative say small public schools in rural Iowa have tight budgets now and could see another drop in state funding with a shift to more state support of private schools.

 

SCHOLTEN CANDIDACY

 

A candidate for the District One seat in the Iowa House has baseball on his mind. Democrat J-D Scholten is hoping to succeed incumbent Chris Hall who chose not to run this time around. While championing causes that include economic inequality and helping rural resident, Scholten says his first priority will be to get Major League Baseball to stop blacking out games on T-V and streaming platforms — specifically for fans of the Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Minnesota Twins. Scholten twice ran for Congress, losing a close race to Republican Steve King in 2018 and losing again two years later to Republican Randy Feenstra.

 

 

BALLOT HEARING

 

Iowa Supreme Court justices are being asked to resolve a question that has sparked a legal challenge and has the potential to keep Democratic U-S Senate candidate Abby off the June Primary ballot. The case revolves around three signatures — one that has the wrong date beside it, one without a date, and one with a zip code instead of a date. The attorney for the State Objection Panel, which approved the three signatures, said the list of disqualifying errors in one section of Iowa law does not mention the date on a petition’s signature line. An attorney for two Republican plaintiffs argued there’s another section of state law which says a date IS required on the signature line. A district judge agreed with the Republicans and ordered Finkenauer’s name off the ballot — the Supreme Court did not issue a ruling yesterday.

 

SHAW E-15

 

President Biden visited an Iowa ethanol plant Tuesday to highlight his administration’s move to allow nationwide sales of E-15 during the summer months. Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director Monte Shaw says it’s the single most important step Biden could have taken to keep fuel costs down this summer.

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In parts of rural Iowa, E-15 is about 30 cents per gallon cheaper than gasoline with 10 percent ethanol and it’s a cheaper option near Shaw’s office in suburban Des Moines.

 

Some stations in Minnesota and other parts of the country have E-15 priced 50 cents a gallon cheaper than E-10.

The Trump Administration moved to allow year-round sales of E-15 in 2019, but a recent court ruling in a lawsuit filed by the oil industry would have blocked sales in much of the country this summer.

 

There are 22-hundred gas stations in Iowa and about 275 of them offer E-15.

 

 

Shaw is among the crowd at the POET plant near Menlo Iowa for Tuesday’s event.

 

 

IOWA TORNADOS

 

A storm front pushed hazardous weather through the state Tuesday afternoon and evening, spawning tornadoes and damaging winds in some areas. National Weather Service meteorologist Rod Donovan says northern Iowa took the brunt of it. He says there were some “tornado confirmations” around the Gilmore City area and near Bode and Harvey. Donovan says storm survey crews will be sent out to determine the amount of damage. Hail that was a bit larger than two-and-a-half inches in diameter was also reported near Gilmore City. There were no reports of anyone being injured in Tuesday’s storm.