Thursday News, January 28
Gun Permits On The Rise In Nationally And In Plymouth County
(Le Mars) -- Gun permits have been on the rise nationally and locally. Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo says ever since the Iowa legislature modified the laws in 2011, people have been requesting a permit to carry a concealed handgun. Van Otterloo says more than 4000 permits have been granted in Plymouth County.
Van Otterloo says the fee to obtain a gun permit for five years is $50, plus for an additional five dollars, Plymouth County will issue a copy of the permit and have it laminated.
The Plymouth County Sheriff says gun permit applicants need to pass a background check, plus they need to fill out a questionnaire.
Van Otterloo says following the application process, you then need to complete some hand gun training.
Van Otterloo says for Veterans, often times the training they received while serving this nation is sufficient for the application process. He says only the county sheriff of your residing county can approve the gun permit.
Once you have your hand gun permit, Van Otterloo says there are some restrictions as to where you can carry your hand gun.
The Plymouth County Sheriff says of the more than 4000 permits issued in Plymouth County the ratio would be close to 60 percent males and 40 percent females have the gun permits.
Northwest Iowa Pork Producers Honored As "Master Pork Producers"
(Des Moines) -- Three pork producers from northwest Iowa have been honored as a Iowa "Master Pork Producer". Tom and Kathy Langel of Le Mars, Leon Puhrmann of Paullina, and Marv and Helene Rietema of Sioux Center were all honored last evening at a banquet held in Des Moines.
New Privatization Medicaid Program May Not Offer A Venue For Complaints
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A report that makes recommendations on how Iowa should handle its Medicaid program under private care also highlights confusion over how recipients will be able to voice complaints.
Deanna Clingan-Fischer is state long-term care ombudsman, a position designed to help respond to complaints from people who receive long-term care in Iowa. Clingan-Fischer spoke to lawmakers Wednesday about a report released in December that recommends an independent system for overseeing such complaints from Medicaid recipients.
Iowa is scheduled to turn over its $4.2 billion Medicaid program to three private companies on March 1st. The report makes recommendations like adding representatives who assist Medicaid recipients with challenges to claims or service.
Lawmakers in the Senate Human Resources Committee expressed concern that such an independent system won't be in place by March 1.
State Lawmakers Considering A Bill That Would End The Lives Of The Terminally Ill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Legislation has been introduced in the Iowa Legislature that would allow terminally ill people to end their lives with drugs prescribed by a doctor.
Bills in the Senate and the House would allow a terminally ill but mentally capable person to self-administer medication that ends his or her life. Supporters of the legislation spoke Wednesday at the Capitol.
The legislation mirrors a law in Oregon, and a handful of other states have passed similar measures. It would allow doctors and health care institutions to opt out.
It's unclear how much support the bill would get in the Republican-controlled House. Senator Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City who helped sponsor one of the bills, says the legislation focuses on the dying individual and not on family or a medical insurer.
Caucus Night Weather Forecast
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Snow appears headed toward Iowa early next week, but people gathering for the presidential caucuses likely won't be hindered as the wintry weather is expected to hit following the event.
Mindy Beerends, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Des Moines, says there could be rain and a little snow during the caucuses, set to begin at 7 p.m. Monday, but early projections show no accumulating snow until early Tuesday.
Weather is always an unpredictable factor of the caucuses, which typically draw hundreds of thousands of Iowa voters to precinct gatherings to choose presidential candidates and conduct political party business.
The bigger problem could be for the many campaign staffers and reporters in Iowa who want to leave after the caucuses. They could find their exit complicated by steadier snow Tuesday.
Man Throws Tomatoes At Trump
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man has been arrested on charges that he threw tomatoes at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign stop at the University of Iowa.
Hayley Bruce, a University of Iowa spokeswoman, says 28-year-old Andrew Joseph Alemao was charged Tuesday with disorderly conduct after officers say they saw him throwing two tomatoes toward Trump during a speech. It wasn't clear whether the tomatoes hit anyone.
Secret Service and University of Iowa police officers arrested Alemao, and he was booked into the Johnson County Jail.
Court records don't indicate whether Alemao has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Johnson County Jail officials say Alemao was released Wednesday morning without bond.