Home News KLEM News for Monday, November 7

KLEM News for Monday, November 7

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FRANKEN SENATE
Sioux County native Mike Franken is campaigning in western Iowa today, the last day before tomorrow’s election. Franken seeks election to the US Senate. He describes what he would like to create in iowa.

There’s a greater issue Iowa faces. He wants to bridge the deep political divide that exists between Iowans.

Inflation and the struggling economy is the voter’s greatest concern. Franken says what the Biden administration is working on – a massive infrastructure bill and the Inflation Reduction Act – are long-term solutions.

Franken says higher prices and inflation are fueled by corporate greed.

Franken says immigration must be fixed. He said a compromise was near back in 2013, but nothing has happened since then.

Solutions include providing visas, and pathway to citizenship for some.

Franken faces incumbent Chuck Grassley, who has served in the Senate for over 40 years, and seeks another 6-year term. Grassley says a dysfunctioning economy is the result of economic policies and executive orders of the Biden Administration.

Franken has rallies in central and western Iowa today. Grassley is part of a fly around to eight rallies in the state.

A Des Moines Register “Iowa Poll” released this weekend shows Grassley with a 12 point lead over Franken.

 

U OF IOWA PHARMACY

At the height of the pandemic, many Iowa drugs stores cut hours or closed a few days a week due to staff shortages, and pharmacists and pharm techs remain in very high demand. Liz Davis, director of admissions at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy, says pharmacists play an exceptionally crucial role, as they’re arguably the state’s most accessible healthcare providers.

Given the added stresses of the job during COVID, the state lost several dozen pharmacists due to burnout. While the U-I program graduates about one-hundred new pharmacists every year, that’s still not enough to meet demand from drug stores and hospitals statewide.

Davis says the U-I’s Assured Admission Program is designed to create a direct path for high school seniors to start a pharmacy education, headed for the Pharm-D, or Doctorate of Pharmacy degree.

The U-I and Drake University in Des Moines offer the state’s only pharmacy programs. Davis says pharmacy technicians are also vital to keeping operations running smoothly, and they’re in high demand as well.

Davis says U-I College of Pharmacy graduates are now practicing in 94 of Iowa’s 99 counties, while five in every ten pharmacists in Iowa were trained at the U-I.

 

ISU CEREMONY

Five Iowa State University students who died serving our country will be honored this afternoon with a ceremony in the Gold Star Hall of the Memorial Union. Rita Case, with I-S-U’s military-affiliated Student Center, says more than 600 names of former I-S-U students are carved in the hall’s wall and several veterans are singled out every year. The hall’s origins date back to 1928, when the names of Iowa State students who died in World War One were carved into the walls of the newly opened Memorial Union. Five veterans are being featured this year: Howard Medin of Algona and James R. Davis of Ames, both of whom served in World War Two; Ramon Roderick Davis and Donald Scott Wilkins, both of Ames, both who served in Korea; and Vietnam veteran Ronald Edgar Riede of St. Louis, Missouri.

 

ELECTIONS

One the day before elections, candidates are making their final pitch to the voters.  Some of the statewide candidates are focusing on national themes.  In the races for governor and US Senate, Republican candidates Kim Reynolds and Chuck Grassley, focus on reversing actions taken by the Biden Administration.  Their opponents, Diegre DeJear and Mike Franken, pont to abortion rights in the wake of the overturn of Roe vs Wade.

Election officials say it’s too late to mail an absentee ballot, because absentee ballots have to be inside your county auditor’s office by 8 p.m. Tuesday. You may drop off your absentee ballot at your county auditor’s office today (Monday) *OR* turn it in tomorrow (Tuesday) at your precinct, where you’ll be a regular ballot to fill out instead.  Polls open tomorrow at 7 am and close at 8 pm.

 

ORANGE CITY COUNCIL 

The Orange City Council this afternoon will hold three public hearings.  One is to consider the sale of property in Puddle Jumper Trail 10th addition to a construction, which intends to use this parcel and two adjacent parcels for construction of three multi family housing units.

Another hearing will consider a rezoning of property located along 7th St SW, from single family residential to multi-family residential.  The city planning and zoning commission had turned down the request on a 3-2 vote.  The developer appealed to the city council to approve his request.

A third hearing will consider moving forward with plans for construction of the Puddle Jumper Park.  This includes consideration of bids and award of contract.

 

LIHEAP FUNDS

It’s the start of the winter heating season, and the federal government has announced 13 billion dollars to assist low-income families in paying utility bills this winter.  That includes 4.5 billion dollars into the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP.  Iowa will receive 60-million dollars of that amount.  The other 9 billion, from the Inflation Reduction Act, will be used to make houses more energy efficient.

 

FLIGHT SCHOOL

Sioux City officials are breaking ground on what will be a new flight school serving as Morningside University’s training center for pilots and other aviation professionals. Assistant City Manager Mike Collett (cuh-LET) sees the program as a major opportunity for economic growth in the community.

Morningside is partnering with Omaha-based Oracle Aviation to launch the flight school. The new department will include a professional flight program for aspiring pilots and aviation management for those interested in airline operations. Morningside University President Albert Mosley says these curriculums will help students find jobs in a growing industry.

The school is projected to begin accepting students as early as next fall. Morningside officials hope it can help curb pilot shortages felt in Sioux City and around the nation. Earlier this year, Sioux City Gateway Airport’s commercial carrier pared down its flight schedule due to a pilot shortage. City and community partners estimate the new facility’s construction will require a ten-point-seven million dollar investment.

 

COMPASSIONATE RELEASE

Iowa is the only state without a compassionate release program for prison inmates, ranking Iowa at the very bottom of a new report comparing state programs. They allow inmates, generally near the end of their lives, to apply for release due to factors like debilitating illnesses, injuries or age-related chronic conditions. Mary Price is general counsel for FAMM, a criminal justice reform advocacy group that issued the report. Price says keeping someone who is sick and near death in prison is not only costly for the state, but also can cause excessive suffering.

Price says programs vary widely between states, but if it’s wanted, Iowa is well-positioned to build a program from the ground up and include a range of stakeholders. Alison Guernsey (GURN-see) directs the University of Iowa’s Federal Criminal Defense Clinic. Guernsey says one of the reasons it’s disappointing there’s no compassionate release program here is that it’s a poor reflection of Iowa’s justice system.

Two neighboring states received high marks in the report. Illinois earned an A, and Minnesota received a B-minus. Iowa’s other neighbors also failed, but scored more points than Iowa’s zero.