Monday News, March 4
185th Refueling Wing Returns Home
(Sioux City) -- Members of the 185th Air Refueling Wing, based at Sioux City returned home on Sunday. Nearly 160 airmen and airwomen were recognized for their sacrifices during a welcome home ceremony held at the airwing's hanger. Over this past year, the 185th were deployed to 12 different parts of the world including Afghanistan,Saudi Arabia, Guam, and Antarctica.
Proposed Casinos Go Through Background Check
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - State casino regulators are scheduled this week to hear reports on the background checks done on applicants for a casino license in Sioux City.
The Sioux City Journal reported Sunday that the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is scheduled to hear the results at a closed meeting on Wednesday.
The commission expects to issue a state gaming license to a casino operator on April 18th.
Extensive background checks are done by the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation. Top officials with the proposed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and the proposed Warrior Casino and Hotel were
checked. So were board members of two nonprofit groups, Siouxland Strong Incorporated, which backs the Warrior project, and Greater Siouxland Improvement Association, which is partnering with Penn
National Gaming Co. on a Hollywood-themed casino.
Northern Iowa To Get Snow
CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - Snow has started to fall in northern Iowa, but meteorologists say heavier snow is on the way.
The National Weather Service said an inch and a half of snow had already fallen on Charles City by 5:30 a.m. Monday. The service says the snow band is expected to leave up to 3 inches in some
parts of northern or northeast Iowa.
The heavier snow is expected to arrive Monday night, totaling up to 6 inches by sunrise Tuesday and as much as 8 more inches by Tuesday evening before the storm exits to the east. Blowing snow
and drifting are expected Tuesday afternoon.
The weather service says travel will become dangerous and all but impossible in some locations.
February Precipitation and Temperatures About Normal
(Des Moines) -- February ended on a snowy note across sections of Iowa, and that helped make the month overall a little wetter than normal. State climatologist Harry Hillaker keeps track of the precipitation.
Temperature readings didn't show anything that stood out.
Hillaker says he doesn't have all the numbers in yet, but things will be very close to normal. Hillaker says the snow late in February turned around what had been a lack of the white stuff for most of this winter. One storm dumped a statewide average of just over five inches of snow, while another left an average of four inches across the state.
Branstad Pushes IowaCare
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad is expected to soon reveal his plans for revamping the IowaCare health program for low-income adults, sticking to an approach he holds is better for
the state than the Medicaid expansion that Democrats are promoting.
IowaCare was designed to provide limited health benefits to low-income adults who don't qualify for Medicaid. But the program, which now has about 70,000 enrollees, offers very limited services.
If Branstad agreed to expand Medicaid, the federal government would pay the full cost of the expansion for the first three years, then 10 percent of the cost would gradually be shifted to the
But Branstad says he's not convinced the federal government will keep its promise to pay most costs.
Disabled Residential Care Facilities Not Being Inspected
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State records show 39 percent of Iowa's 178 residential care facilities for the disabled have not had a full state inspection in at least 2 1/2 years even though a state law
requires regular inspections.
A Des Moines Sunday Register analysis of state records shows some care facilities have gone almost four years without an inspection.
The newspaper reports on Sunday delayed inspections are due to a law passed in 2011 that suspended a previous policy requiring inspections every 30 months. The move enacted under former Gov. Chet Culver was intended to save money.
Last year, the Legislature and Governor Terry Branstad reinstated inspections, but inspectors haven't caught up.
Inspections are completed at 109 facilities, leaving 69 - or 39 percent - uninspected for at least 30 months.
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