JENEARY – TEACHER EMPOWERMENT
Iowa teachers are facing more behavioral problems in the classroom, and it’s gotten the attention of the state legislature. State Representative Tom Jeneary of Le Mars says a bill which empowers teachers is moving forward in the House Education Committee.
Jeneary says the bill is a work in progress.
The focus of the bill is on creating tools for teachers to control their classrooms.
Under this measure, teachers can make a complaint directly to the school ombudsman; requires notification of parents if a teacher witnesses a student injury; and lays out a three strike system for student discipline.
TAYLOR – PIPELINES
Action on carbon capture pipelines is focused on the Iowa House. State Senator Jeff Taylor of Sioux Center has introduced 5 pipeline bills in the Senate. None will advance past this week’s legislative deadline.
The action on pipelines is in the House. A bill authored by Rep. Holt of Denison passed in committee this week, and will be considered by the full House soon.
Taylor prefers that eminent domain be outlawed for carbon capture pipelines. But there are other provisions which make it tougher for the pipeline projects to advance.
Taylor is skeptical that carbon capture pipelines are the best way to meet new government regulations
Sen. Taylor says there are other ways ethanol plants can make use of the carbon they produce. They will require investment, but there’s also the potential for profit on those investments.
UNITYPOINT HEALTH MERGER
Unitypoint Health and New Mexico-based Presbyterian Healthcare Services have signed a letter of intent to explore the formation of a new healthcare organization. The proposed company would have both systems preserve their brand and continue delivering local care while jointly achieving administrative efficiencies under a parent organization.
Dale Maxwell, President and C-E-O of Presbyterian Healthcare Services says Unitypoint shares their commitment to keeping healthcare delivery local and creating a culture where the workforce thrives.
Unitypoint Health and Presbyterian impact the lives of four million patients and members through more than 40 hospital facilities, hundreds of clinics and significant health plan operations.
The two organizations collectively represent 40,000 employees including nearly 3,000 physicians.
Both systems will now pursue a period of greater evaluation and exploration of the next steps towards a definitive agreement and regulatory approvals.
The Midwest economy took an unexpected jump last month, while employment and inflation concerns continue.
Economist Dr Ernie Goss, Author of monthly Midwest Business Managers’ Survey, says the February index jumped nearly ten points…
Dr. Goss expected the index to decline. Purchasing managers expect inflation to be a continued concern.
Hiring is up, but there’s still concern over the labor market, and wages. 20% of the firms surveyed raised entry level wages above the rate of inflation in order to attract new employees. Dr. Goss says inflation is not at a good level right now,
The overall economy is showing little or no growth. Some sectors, such as housing, are faring worse.
Oil prices are edging up, and that’s going to affect motorists into the spring and summer.
Dr. Goss says inflation is rising due to a couple of factors: Social Security recipients saw their benefits increase 8 to 9 percent, and government spending is well above pre-pandemic levels.
ACCIDENT LEADS TO ARRESTS
A motor vehicle accident west of Sioux Center this week resulted in the arrests of two people. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, early Tuesday morning, investigated the accident.
Brandon Draayer, 21, of Sioux Center, was driving east on 390th Street, when he swerved to avoid striking an oncoming vehicle. He went out of control. The vehicle entered the south ditch. .
Deputies located an open container of alcohol inside the vehicle and determined that a passenger, Analicia Garcia, age 24, of Akron, IA, had valid arrest warrants from Plymouth County.
Garcia was arrested for the warrants and Draayer was cited for failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle and open container of alcohol in vehicle.
TEEN WORK RULES
Republicans on committees in the Iowa House AND Senate have voted to let teenagers work longer hours and let them work at jobs that are currently off-limits for minors. Senator Adrian Dickey, a Republican from Packwood, says it will help teenagers who desire and aspire to take on and learn the responsibilities of having a job. The bill would let kids who have a permit to drive to and from school — drive to and from work. They’d also be able to work two more hours at night. Teenagers could get permission from their parents to serve alcohol in a bar or restaurant if the bill becomes law and do supervised work in places like factories and construction sites. Senator Molly Donahue, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says the bill would put kids in harm’s way.
Five northeast Iowa counties are hiring an attorney to respond to development of a carbon capture pipeline. Navigator’s proposed Heartland Greenway pipeline would run through 33 Iowa counties, covering about 800 miles. Supervisors in Bremer, Butler, Delaware, Emmet and Floyd Counties have hired a Des Moines attorney who specializes in work with government boards. A member of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors says the attorney will assist with drawing any future ordinances and represent the counties at Iowa Utilities Board hearings. The Utilities Board will decide whether the three proposed carbon pipelines get construction permits. Navigator plans to criss-cross ten northwest Iowa counties with their pipelines, including Plymouth, Woodbury, Sioux and O’Brien Counties.
The busy Spring Break travel season is just getting underway, and Iowans who want to fly someplace warm — and take along a firearm — are being reminded there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about it. The wrong way could cost you a lot of money and may very well ruin your vacation plans. Transportation Security Administration spokesman Mark Howell says guns on planes are fine, but they must be checked with baggage. Howell says the firearm needs to be completely unloaded, with any ammunition stored separately inside the box, and that box must be locked and taken directly to the airline’s ticket counter when you check in. Howell says the penalty for boarding with a weapon can reach nearly 15-thousand dollars, depending on the circumstances.