Home News KLEM News for Friday, May 3

KLEM News for Friday, May 3


State officials say about 233-thousand Iowans are no longer receiving Medicaid coverage after a year-long review. Federal guidelines established at the start of the COVID pandemic prevented states from removing most recipients from the Medicaid program, but that rule ended a year ago. Elizabeth Matney is the state Medicaid director. She says about 50-thousand Iowans who were notified they’d be removed from the Medicaid program in the past year are still enrolled after officials confirmed they qualified for the benefit,
Kelly Huntsman is the C-E-O of Primary Health Care, a federally qualified health center that operates clinics in central Iowa. She says some of their patients missed state notifications and didn’t realize they had lost coverage until they showed up for an appointment.
State officials say based on recent state and federal data, they believe most of the 233-thousand Iowans who are no longer enrolled in Medicaid were eligible for other types of health coverage.



Governor Kim Reynolds says unlawful activity will not be tolerated during the three days of pro-Palestinian demonstrations planned on the University of Iowa campus. The group sponsoring the gatherings does not plan an encampment, but is calling for people to gather on the lawn around the Old Capitol Building from noon until 7 p.m. today (Friday) as well as Saturday and Sunday to call for an end to the war in Gaza. Governor Kim Reynolds says people have a first amendment right to protest — peacefully — but if it crosses that line, law enforcement will be ready. Reynolds cites a law passed in 2021 that increased the penalties for protest-related crimes like rioting, vandalism or blocking a highway.



The Governor is requesting an expedited Presidential Disaster Declaration for nine Iowa counties hit by the severe storms and tornadoes on April 26th. The governor is asking for funding from FEMA’s Individual Assistance Program and access to the U-S Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Program for Clarke, Crawford, Harrison, Mills, Polk, Pottawattamie, Ringgold, Shelby, and Union Counties. The request says the towns of Crescent and Minden in Pottawattamie County saw the most damage. One person died from injuries suffered in the Minden tornado, the town’s water plant was destroyed, and over 50 percent of the homes were damaged, leaving an estimated 30-thousand cubic yards of debris from demolished homes and trees. The governor has also requested funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. Iowa’s Congressional delegation has sent a letter in support of the Governor’s request.



The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office says there’s another scam at work in the county.  Wednesday, a victim reported that a scammer called and wanted money for an arrest warrant.  The story was fabricated and untrue.  The scammers persuaded the victim to withdraw a large amount of cash out of their savings account, and the scammers came in person to pick up the cash.

The Sheriffs Office says neither they or any other law enforcement agency will ask for bond money over the phone for an arrest warrant.  They remind everyone that these types of calls are a scam.  If they sound suspicious, you are urged to hang up the phone and report the incident to law enforcement.  The scammers tend to target the elderly.



One of State Representative Tom Jeneary’s priorities passed into law in this year’s legislature.  Rep. Jeneary says lawmakers passed a bill that will make known trails that are accessible to persons with disabilities.


Jeneary says another priority bill that was passed increases penalties for injuring pedestrians at crosswalks


A bill that did not pass would have allowed non-profit organizations to publicly bid on land.  This land would be used for conservation purposes.



Thursday Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra had surgery to treat a blood clot in his leg. According to a statement posted on social media, Feenstra had a scheduled, outpatient surgery that successfully treated a blood clot in his leg. The statement indicates Feenstra’s doctor has recommended that Feenstra stay in Washington and limit his travel until he’s fully recovered. Feenstra, who is 55, was a state senator for 12 years before winning a seat in the U.S. House in 2020.



Sioux City police say seven men were charged in a recent prostitution sting. Sergeant Tom Gill says the Special Police Investigations Unit conducted the sting at a local hotel on two recent nights. Gill says prostitution has changed through the years and it is usually initiated online.


. He says it is rare to see the crime start out in public.


Gill says those who are charged are processed through the system.


The seven who were arrested ranged from a 17-year-old from South Sioux City, to a 59-year-old from Maquoketa. Two of the men were from Sioux City, one from Dakota Dunes, one from Orange City, and one from Dakota City, Nebraska.



The annual Pella Tulip Festival is underway as the community celebrates its Dutch heritage. Pella Historical Museum executive director, Jessi Galligan says some of the tulips did mature and bloom earlier than normal, but there’s still plenty of color for the event. They always plant early, mid, and late blooming varieties to ensure they have tulips during the festival. She says tulips are a hearty flower and have been able to survive the recent rain. The events run through Saturday. You can find the complete schedule at pellahistorical.org.



Research at the Iowa State University Ames Lab is working to turn waste plastic into fuel and other chemicals. Aaron Sadow is leading the research to find a way to keep plastics out of landfills.


Sadow says plastics have been an issue for 40 years and they may’ve found a way to successfully solve the problem.


He says it’s been a scientific mystery to unlock how to reuse some plastics.


They received nearly 13 million dollars in an Energy Frontier Research Center grant from the U-S Department of Energy to do the research. Sadow says the goal is to also create a monetary incentive for people to recycle plastic.