Wednesday Afternoon News, October 30
(Updated) Rural Electrical Coops React To FEMA Aid Denial
(Le Mars) -- Several northwest Iowa electrical cooperatives are appealing the Federal Emergency Management's Administration's decision not to grant any financial assistance aid following an April snow storm. Lyon Rural Electric Cooperative, Iowa Lakes Electrical Cooperative, Osceola Rural Electric Cooperative, and Sanborn Municipal Utilities have filed a formal appeal asking that FEMA reverse an earlier decision to deny federal disaster aid to Iowa following devastating storms, a decision that could also force the repayment of millions in previously awarded aid. Following a late winter snow, ice, and wind storm in April, a federally declared major disaster area was given to Lyon, Osceola, Dickinson, Sioux
and O'Brien counties. However, FEMA officials stated that disaster aid could not be issued
because the affected electric utilities did not conduct comprehensive laboratory testing on every mile of wire on an annual basis.
Lyon County Electrical Cooperative general manager Ross Loomans says the National Rural Electrical Cooperatives Association and FEMA originally worked together to establish a policy to determine the need for repair and/or replacement of electrical lines.
Loomans says the policy has been in place since 2009, and he doesn't know why FEMA has decided to change the rules.
He says what FEMA is now asking of the electrical cooperatives is simply not practical.
The electrical cooperative manager says he is caught between a "rock and a hard place" with regards to 100 miles of electrical line that still needs repairing.
Sergeant Bluff Will Have "Write-In" Mayor
SERGEANT BLUFF, Iowa (AP) - The next mayor of Sergeant Bluff will be a write-in winner because no mayoral candidate is listed on the ballot.
Woodbury County election commissioner Pat Gill says that the lack of a candidate is rare for cities the size of Sergeant Bluff. The city's population in the 2010 U.S. Census was 4,227.
So, because no name is listed on Tuesday's ballot, the mayor will be a write-in.
Gill says that if there's a tie, county Board of Supervisors will put the names in a hat and draw the winner.
Fur Trapping Season To Begin Saturday
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's fur trapping season will begin Saturday, and the Department
of Natural Resources says trappers should have good luck with strong populations of most species.
The DNR says fur harvesters should find plenty of raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, river otters and mink.
Furbearer biologist Vince Evelsizer says only muskrats and gray fox will be scarce.
The furbearer season will end for most species on Jan. 31.
The DNR says there has been an increase in the number of Iowa trappers in each of the past three years and the number will likely top 19,000 this season.
Iowa State University To Hire More Faculty
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University is posting 29 new faculty positions as part of President Steven Leath's plan to expand hiring.
Des Moines television station KCCI says the hires are part of the Presidential High-Impact Hires Initiative launched last month.
Money for the new positions comes from $1.5 million in new state appropriations and $500,000 from changes in the academic affairs division.
Leath's overall goal is to hire 200 new faculty members in three years.