Home News KLEM News for Thursday, May 11

KLEM News for Thursday, May 11

Former Iowa Governor and former U-S Ambassador to China Terry Branstad offered his perspective on climate change to the Senate Budget Committee Wednesday. US Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is the ranking member of the committee.

Grassley says Chinese industry is continuing to ignore the warnings from scientists about the looming ramifications of polluting the environment.

Grassley, a Republican, notes there are many large and populous nations around the globe who are contributing to the specter of climate change, and action is needed.

While China is in the process of putting policies in place that would mitigate some of the impact of climate change, including a focus on ending the use of coal, Grassley says it’s too little, too late.



The end of the Iowa legislature this year came abruptly, as it always does, but it did not have the same feel as last year.  That’s the assessment of State Representative Tom Jeneary of Le Mars.

Rep. Jeneary described what he thought was unusual about the session this year.

One of Rep Jeneary’s priorities passed in the legislature this session, and another did not. Jeneary told KLEM news his top priority failed.

He says the public wanted lawmakers to take action to protect landowners..

Rep Jeneary thinks the opportunity to act on eminent domain may be lost, as the Utilities Board is expected to rule on the carbon capture pipelines later this year, before the next legislative session.

The other was property tax reform, especially in light of the latest property value assessments. A tax reform measure did pass, but it will need adjustment next year.



The state’s Enhance Iowa Board has awarded one-point-eight (M)million dollars worth of grants to help finance four community projects. The small northwest Iowa town of Marcus is getting a 300-thousand dollar grant for a facility that will include a golf course clubhouse, a recreation center, a restaurant and event venue as well as an area for virtual sports.  . The Enhance Iowa Board has awarded a half a million dollar grant toward improvements around West Okoboji’s Terrace Park Beach, which has a public swimming area in the lake, and the nearby Alex Danborn Memorial Park.  Enhance Iowa Grants were also awarded to projects in Keota and Washington, Iowa.  Sports tourism marketing grants were awarded to the city of Carroll, and to two groups promoting events during RAGBRAI’s stop in Des Moines this year.



The Iowa Transportation Commission has approved a draft for the updated five-year construction and improvement plan. The D-O-T’s Stuart Anderson says they had to deal with inflation and increases that made the dollars not stretch as far as they updated the plan.  One of those actions was looking at delaying some projects by no more than a year 12 projects were moved back.  Projects that began in this construction season, and the new fiscal year, include a major repaving project along US 75 between Hinton and Merrill in Plymouth County, repaving Plymouth Street in Le Mars, and rehab work along Iowa 60 from the Le Mars interchange up to the Minnesota border.



Iowa will no longer require experienced physician assistants  — known as P-As — to be work under the direct supervision of doctor in order to practice medicine. P-As who are newly licensed, though, will have to have an agreement with a supervising doctor for two years before they may practice independently. P-As graduate from programs at Northwestern College in Orange City, and four other colleges and universities in Iowa.  Governor Kim Reynolds has signed the bill making those changes into law and she says the policy will be a game changer for rural hospitals. Over half of the licensed P-As in Iowa today are working in rural communities — but about 40 percent of the P-As who graduate in Iowa, though, leave to practice elsewhere.



Iowa State University researchers are getting a National Science Foundation grant to study if people who get cybersick while using virtual reality headsets can adapt over time. I-S-U psychology professor Jonathan Kelly predicts virtual reality will have an increasingly bigger role to play in education, work and social life, and researchers want to make sure everyone can have equal access to it without feeling woozy.

The researchers already know women tend to experience motion sickness from V-R more often than men. Now they want to find out if people who get cybersick can adapt to virtual reality and eventually not feel sick. Kelly says there are tools that can help narrow peoples’ fields of vision while using virtual reality. They’re kind of like training wheels that gently expose someone to V-R.

He says researchers want to see virtual reality be as accessible as possible, especially as it becomes more widely used. The grant is for 600-thousand-dollars.



A 30 year old woman from western Iowa has been arrested and accused of stabbing her boyfriend late Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning.  The Monona County Sheriff’s Office was notified shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday that a man who’d been stabbed was being treated at a hospital in Onawa. According to a news release from the Iowa Department of Public Safety, 32-year-old Derek Webster, Junior, of Monona was airlifted to a hospital in Sioux City, where he’s listed in stable condition. Court documents indicate Webster told investigators he’d been attacked outside a bar by a white man on a motorcycle, but 30-year-old Inessa Lyons later admitted Webster had repeatedly asked her to take him to a store to buy more booze and she stabbed him with a knife in their kitchen.