law

Judge Orders Juvenile Home Reopened

A district court judge has ruled the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo should be reopened. The judge ruled Governor Branstad over-stepped his authority when he ordered the home closed in mid-January. Four Democrats in the legislature and the president of the union that has represented the home’s workers filed the lawsuit challenging the closure. AFSCME president Danny Homan says the governor should “immediately comply” with the judge’s order and reopen the home. House Democratic Leader Mark Smith is calling on Branstad to work with legislators on a bill that would improve services for the state’s most troubled teens, including girls sent to the Juvenile Home. Continue Reading

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Here Comes the Snow

Forecasters say much of Iowa is seeing snowflakes fly today while south-central Iowa could get as much as eight or nine inches of snow by Wednesday morning. Meteorologist Jim Lee at the National Weather Service says there will be snow off-and-on much of the day, with heavier snow late this afternoon. By this evening, he says the big problem will be the winds whipping up the new-fallen flakes… “We’re looking for increasing northwest-to-north winds tonight, particularly after sunset, reaching speeds of 15 to 25 miles an hour with higher gusts tonight,” Lee says. “We’re not expecting blizzard conditions but we will see some blowing and drifting of snow that will primarily effect travel.” Continue Reading

propane

Branstad’s Office Moves to Ease Propane Shortage

GOVERNOR TERRY BRANSTAD FRIDAY DECLARED A PROCLAMATION OF DISASTER AND ENERGY EMERGENCY, DUE TO THE RECORD HIGH DEMAND FOR PROPANE THROUGHOUT THE UPPER MIDWEST. IN ADDITION, THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN & HEALTH SERVICES HAS RELEASED A SECOND LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM(LI-HEAP)APPROPRIATION OF 7.4-MILLION DOLLARS TO THE STATE OF IOWA, TO HELP FAMILIES HEAT THEIR HOMES DURING THE COLD WEATHER. BRANSTAD AND LT. GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS ALSO LAUNCHED THE PROPANE SHORTAGE & HEATING ASSISTANCE WEBPAGE. Continue Reading

snow

Winter Storm Coming for SE Iowa

Much of Southeast Iowa and West Central Illinois are in for another dose of snow tonight and tomorrow. There is a “Winter Weather Advisory” from 6 o’clock tonight until 6pm tomorrow. The greatest snow intensity is expected between midnight and noon Saturday. 5-7 inches of snow is expected. Increasing winds may lead to drifting snow Saturday afternoon and evening, so be careful when traveling. Continue Reading

Dec. 17 airpower summary: Reapers touch enemy forces

IA Legislature to Take Up Drone Use

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers have begun considering limits to the use of drones in Iowa. A subcommittee of the House Public Safety Committee discussed the issue Thursday and planned to make changes to a bill before approving the measure. The current proposal would allow law enforcement agencies and state officials to use drones only under certain circumstances, including life-threatening emergencies. Rep. Jerry Klein, a Republican from Keota, says increased accessibility and improved technology sparked a need for drone restrictions. Ankeny police chief Gary Mikulec says restricting drone use could impair effective law enforcement. Continue Reading

propane

IL Offers Low Income Residents More Help with Propane

CHICAGO (AP) — The state of Illinois is offering more help to low-income households struggling to heat their homes because of a shortage of propane.  

Earlier this week, Gov. Pat Quinn declared the shortage in Illinois an emergency. He relaxed rules on truck drivers so they could travel out of state in search of propane supplies. On Friday, Quinn announced other steps, including an additional credit of $1,000 for each household taking part in a program that helps low-income residents with home energy bills. The governor says no one should have to choose “between feeding their families and heating their homes.” Continue Reading

Marion Group-Home Resident Died from Heat

MARION, Iowa (AP) — State records say a mentally disabled woman overheated and died inside a Marion group home that had been heat-treated for bedbugs.  

The Des Moines Register says 61-year-old Rhonda Skoog died at 29th Street Crest Group Home. She was found dead the morning of Aug. 30 last year, a day after superheated air was blown into the home, raising the temperature to at least 125 degrees. State records say home staffers were undertrained and unaware that Skoog’s diagnosed sensitivity to heat was aggravated by two of her medications. Continue Reading

snow

Iowa’s Winter Has Been “Unusually” Cold

There’s a reason this winter feels as if it’s dragging from one endless arctic chill to another. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker said today his records show this winter has been unusually cold. Temperatures in Iowa between Oct. 1 and Jan. 23 represent the ninth coldest for that period in the past 121 years. Continue Reading

Dust Storm Closes Central IL Highway

CARLINVILLE, Ill. (AP) — An unusual dust storm forced authorities to shut down a five-mile stretch of a central Illinois highway because of low visibility.  

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports Friday’s dust storm near Carlinville caused several car crashes on Illinois 108. Drivers said they couldn’t see beyond their cars’ hoods. The road was closed for about four hours. Continue Reading