Cool, wet spring may ease western Plains drought
A spring forecast of above-average rainfall in parts of the Plains region is raising hopes for a break in drought conditions plaguing much of the area.
"It looks pretty good for conditions to improve into the early summer," said Sioux Falls-based National Weather Service hydrologist Mike Gillispie about predictions for precipitation in parts of Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota.
Regents considering Branstad order on settlements
More than three weeks later, the Iowa Board of Regents is still figuring out how to comply with Gov. Terry Branstad's order to post employee settlement agreements online.
In an executive order on March 24, Branstad ordered his administration and the regents to post all legal agreements that resolve employment disputes on websites that are easily accessible to the public.
- Broadband bill advances in legislature DES MOINES (AP) -- A legislative panel has backed a plan meant to extend broadband access to rural Iowans, though an agreement hasn't been reached on language about the placement of new cell towers. The House Ways and Means Committee voted 16-to-9 Tu
- Iowa Senate approves disabled veterans tax credit DES MOINES (AP) -- A bill meant to further relieve the financial stress of disabled veterans in the state has won the unanimous support of the Iowa Senate. The Senate voted 50-0 Tuesday to expand a homestead tax credit already in place for disabled v
Iowa regulators to hold forums on investment scams
Iowa's insurance commissioner has scheduled forums in Cedar Rapids and Davenport to educate the public on how to avoid investment and insurance scams.
Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said a May 1 forum and panel discussion at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center would be limited to the first 210 respondents. A similar event is scheduled June 5 in Davenport.
Panel asks managers to return for more questioning
Two top managers at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services answered lawmakers' questions during a nearly two-hour hearing Monday but did not clarify the big question: Who authorized settlement agreements with former state employees in which money was paid for secrecy?
Branstad: Action needed to protect Iowa students
Gov. Terry Branstad has called on the Legislature to take action following an Iowa Supreme Court ruling that found school coaches cannot be convicted of sexual exploitation by a school employee under current law.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled 5-2 Friday to overturn the conviction of a former Bloomfield basketball coach who had sex with a 16-year-old girl on his team, saying coaches without teaching licenses are not considered school employees and therefore cannot be convicted. In a statement Monday, Branstad urged lawmakers to pass legislation to include school coaches in the law to protect Iowa students from sexual exploitation.
Branstad: Partisan politics behind investigations
Gov. Terry Branstad says Democrats pursuing investigations into confidential settlement agreements, do-not-hire lists, and other issues are practicing partisan politics at its worst.
Iowa man arrested in school bathroom camera case
Authorities have arrested an eastern Iowa man accused of placing hidden video recording devices in a girls' school bathroom.
The U.S. Department of Justice for the southern district of Iowa says 29-year-old Ian Dishon Isabel was taken into custody Friday. He was captured in Adams County in western Illinois.
Iowa hires nearly 400 without advertising the jobs
At least 386 state employees have been hired by Gov. Terry Branstad's administration without advertising the positions, but this is not a new practice in Iowa.
Critics told the Des Moines Register the practice makes it easier for friends and campaign donors to land the jobs.
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- Cool, wet spring may ease western Plains drought