Thursday Afternoon News, May 7
Life Skills Training Center To Host Awards Banquet On Monday
(Le Mars) -- Life Skills Training Center of Le Mars, a facility that assists mentally challenged adults, will hold its annual banquet and awards program on Monday evening. Shelly Thomson, the Marketing and Development Director says at this year's banquet, Life Skills will unveil its new website.
Lawmakers Try To Find Compromise On Education Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers are trying to move toward a compromise deal on education funding that could help them resolve the budget for the next fiscal year.
Legislative leaders said Thursday they are talking about education funding, which has been a key sticking point in the budget process. A deal may include a budget increase in basic aid for K-12 schools, as well as a one-time payment.
House Speaker Kraig Paulsen, a Hiawatha Republican, said conversations were underway. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, said lawmakers were "making progress."
The potential compromise could work because schools would get the overall funding sought by Democrats but because some of the money is a one-time appropriation, the Republican-controlled House would be sticking to a pledge to contain ongoing costs.
Iowa Straw Poll To Go Back To Basics
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's presidential straw poll wants to go back to basics - just politics, no need for tents filled with barbecue and flashy bands.
Held since 1979, the straw poll is considered an early test of strength in presidential campaigns. It's grown from a county fundraiser to a major event where candidates spend heavily to entertain supporters.
But critics complain the event has become a costly sideshow. Now, the Iowa Republican Party says candidates will no longer have to bid thousands of dollars for space. The state party will also arrange for the food.
Candidates can still go over the top. But Party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann hopes to end the idea that they have to "pay to play."
The straw poll will be held in Boone, Iowa, on Aug. 8.
Branstad Signs Bill To Keep Abuse Victims Addresses Private
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has signed a bill into law that will allow victims of domestic abuse and other crimes to keep their home address private through a mail-forwarding program.
Branstad signed the bill Thursday. It takes effect in January.
The law will allow victims of domestic abuse and other crimes to have their mail sent to an address managed by the Iowa Secretary of State's Office. The mail will then be forwarded to the victim's home address. The system allows victims to keep their home address confidential from an abuser or potential abuser.
Rep. Dean Fisher, a Republican from Garwin, sponsored the bill. He says it could help between 300 and 500 people in Iowa. More than 30 other states have similar laws.
Composting Dead Poultry Causes Odors
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Millions of dead chickens and turkeys lie in stinking, fly-swarmed piles near dozens of large Iowa farms due to the H5N2 bird flu virus.
Neighbors say they understand the challenge in disposing of more than 20 million bird carcasses, but are eager for quick action, especially as temperatures rise and create more decomposition odor and flies.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources environmental supervisor Ken Hessenius says the state must look at "all methods of disposal" and called the virus a "crisis."
Some of the birds are piled up and covered with dirt or other material, turkeys are often composted inside barns and at least one chicken farm is burying them in trenches. Portable incinerators have been set up and state officials are working with landfills.
Veterinarian Confirms Rare Dog Disease In Iowa
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Veterinarians have confirmed the first known case of a rare, deadly dog disease in Iowa.
A 4-month-old black lab named Shadow from Independence was diagnosed with canine dysautonomia, an illness that attacks the part of a dog's nervous system that regulates many body organs, including the heart and digestive tract.
The diagnosis means Iowa now joins a handful of other Midwestern states where canine dysautonomia has been confirmed.
Kathy Finholt, the dog's owner, says Shadow began displaying symptoms in February, and her condition quickly deteriorated. Shadow was euthanized following a nearly month-long battle with the disease.
Vets say they don't believe the disease is contagious, yet its exact cause remains unclear. University of Wyoming researchers are exploring a theory that consumption of certain soil is to blame.