Tuesday Afternoon News, August 26
Fewer Parents Having Their Children Vaccinated (Updated)
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials are concerned over the increase in parents choosing not to vaccinate their children.
Parents received vaccination exemptions in the 2012-13 school year for nearly 8,000 children. That's more than triple the number from 12 years ago.
While the figure represents less than 2 percent of all Iowa children, health leaders say they're worried about the rise in unvaccinated children.
Polk County's public health director Rick Kozin says some parents might not realize that unvaccinated children could lead to a disease outbreak in schools.
Iowa laws allow two kinds of exemptions for medical or religions reasons. Some children have to avoid vaccinations for medical reasons such as allergies. Plymouth County Community Health Director Deb Steffen says she has seen an increase of parents refusing to have their children immunized here in Plymouth County.
Steffen says she sometimes worries whether an epidemic were to occur in Plymouth County, many people may not at first recognize the symptoms.
The Community Health Director says the internet has provided both factual and incorrect information about vaccinations, which has led to public confusion.
Green Gables Restaurant To Close
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A popular restaurant in Sioux City has decided to close the doors. The owner of the Green Gables restaurant in Sioux City says the business is closing after 85 years due to financial problems.
Jennifer Vollmer owns the eatery at 18th and Pierce streets. Her grandfather opened the business in 1929. A sign on the front door announced the closure Monday.
Vollmer says closing the restaurant was a family decision.
Over the years, the restaurant's menu expanded to include breakfast, lunch and dinner options. This summer the restaurant made a few changes. It dropped several dinner items and changed its hours to close at 3 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. Vollmer says the cutback was a result of shrinking dinner crowds.
State Senator Calls For Restructuring Of Administrative Services Agency
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Democratic senator on the Government Oversight Committee says the Iowa Department of Administrative Services is a mammoth state agency that is too large for proper oversight and needs to be restructured.
Sen. Matt McCoy at a committee hearing Tuesday says DAS spent has more money instead of saving millions as the agency has claimed.
Legislative Services Agency Director Holly Lyons presented a report which says DAS spent 17 percent more money between 2011 and 2013. DAS Deputy Director Lon Anderson says the report does not include savings from construction projects and includes spending from other agency budgets.
The DAS oversees state building construction, human resources, and purchasing.
The committee continues its hearing focusing Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday on allegations of political interference at Iowa Workforce Development.