Daylight Savings Time ends tonight. That means you must turn your clocks back one hour. There was a push in Congress this year to make Daylight Savings Time Permanent. A bill to that effect passed in the US Senate last March, but it stalled in the House. Currently, Daylight Savings Time covers eight months out of the year.
FOURTH DISTRICT CONGRESS
All four of Iowa’s representatives in the U.S. House are seeking reelection, but Republican Randy Feenstra’s path to a second term appears to be the easiest. He’s running in a district with 95-thousand more Republicans than Democrats.
The district includes all the counties along the Missouri River, the cities of Marshalltown and Ames in central Iowa and then basically the northwest quadrant of the state. Jeff VanDerWerff is a political science professor at Northwestern College in Orange City.
This is how Congressman Feenstra described the 2022 election this spring, as he spoke to delegates at the Iowa G-O-P’s state convention. “We have to fire Pelosi,” Feenstra said. “We have to hold this administration accountable…You think about crisis after crisis after crisis.”
Democratic challenger Ryan Melton of Nevada, who works for a major insurance company, says he felt obligated to run. “In the age of Trumpism that we’re seeing…I thought it was absolutely untenable that there wouldn’t be a Democrat on the ballot.” During a party fundraiser this spring, Melton told his fellow Democrats the fourth district race doesn’t get a lot of attention — and that depresses the votes of Democrats who live there.
A third candidate is on the ballot in the 4th district. Bryan Jack Holder of Council Bluffs is making his fifth and he says last run for congress. Holder has run before as a Libertarian. He’s a Liberty Caucus candidate this year.
State officials are urging Iowans to be wary of scams that incorrectly claim you can cast your vote online or by phone. Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Stephan Bayens (BAINS, rhymes with “rains”) says his agency started investigating a Mahaska County case in September. He says phone calls were being made to Mahaska County residents, attempting to gain either personal information or to leave a false impression that you could vote via the telephone. As with most phone scams, Bayens says it’s been hard to track down the guilty party on the other end of the line, but they have determined the calls originated OUTSIDE of Iowa. Election officials are reminding Iowans that every vote in Iowa is cast by paper ballot, either on Election Day or with an absentee ballot during the early voting period.
After a dry October, weather is changing into early November. State climatologist Justin Glisan says October was one of Iowa’s 20 driest Octobers in 150 years of record keeping. The northwest and central regions of the state were as much as two-and-a-half inches below normal for rainfall for the month. November started off warm but turned colder yesterday.
Glisan says it appears the weather pattern known as La Nina will continue into the winter ahead for a third straight year, which is unusual.
La Nina happens when cold sea surface temperatures in the Pacific impact where the storm track sets up across the country. With the wide temperature swings during October, Glisan says it all balanced out as the average temperature for the month was less than one degree below normal.
Substitute teachers aren’t as hard to come by as they were last year, according to some Iowa school administrators. This time last year, school board meetings at Sioux City Community School District were full of tense discussion on how to improve its substitute fill rate of 70-percent. The district settled on raising rates by at least 25-dollars a day and providing a one-hundred dollar recruitment stipend. It helped, as district human resource director Jen Gomez says the fill rate has risen to 87-percent.
Des Moines Public Schools is seeing a similar situation. It’s increased its fill rate from 46-percent to 64. District officials say they’ll will continue pushing recruitment efforts.