Friday News, January 18
Plymouth County Sees A Rise In Gun Permits
(Le Mars) -- The number of people seeking permits to carry hand guns in Plymouth County has seen a dramatic increase, especially since the November elections. Plymouth County Sheriff, Mike Van Otterloo says since the election, Plymouth County has issued 227 total permits to carry a hand gun, and the county has issued 84 permits to purchase a hand gun. During the year of 2012, a total of 546 permits to carry a hand gun were issued, along with 170 permits to purchase a hand gun. Back in 2011, the Iowa legislature changed the rules regarding gun ownership and the opportunity to carry a hand gun making it somewhat easier to acquire a permit to purchase and a permit to carry hand guns. Sheriff Van Otterloo says Plymouth County residents have taken advantage of the new rules.
Van Otterloo says people give many reasons for wanting to carry a hand gun.
The Plymouth County sheriff says, in general, he is not worried about the people who have filed to carry a hand gun.
Van Otterloo offers his opinions about the high number of people seeking gun permits.
Gun permits are for either hand guns or rifles, long barreled guns, such as shotguns are excluded.
Iowa Receives Money For Insurance Exchange
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has received more than $6.8 million in federal money to help build its new health insurance exchange.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the one-year grant Thursday.
The level one funding is used to conduct insurance market research and analysis. The state's public health department can use the money to determine what financial resources are needed for
individuals, small businesses, coverage appeals and complaints.
Governor Terry Branstad announced last month that Iowa would create a state-federal partnership exchange instead of a state-based exchange. The exchange system is a requirement of the
federal health care law.
Health officials say Iowa has now received more than $40 million in federal grants to build its exchange.
Iowa Board of Education Wants To Make It Easier To Recruit Superintendents
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state Board of Educational Examiners wants more time to discuss a proposal that would let business and military leaders become Iowa school superintendents.
A March 14 work session on the proposal was scheduled by the board at Thursday's meeting. Iowa Education Department staffers also were asked to prepare other proposals for creating alternative paths for superintendents.
Currently, only licensed educators may become superintendents.
Under the proposal, people with five years of recent experience in the "upper cabinet or leadership team of an organization" would be eligible for preliminary administrator licenses. That
would let them serve as school superintendents or the directors of Area Education Agencies.
They then would be required to spend the next three years completing courses for professional administrator licenses.
Dvorsky To March In Inaugural Parade
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Democratic Party says its chairwoman and a Des Moines-based drill group will represent Iowa in Monday's inaugural parade in Washington.
Party Chair Sue Dvorsky said Thursday she "couldn't be more excited" to join the parade along with the Isiserettes, a group of high school students that performs marching and drumming routines.
The group performed at President Barack Obama's first inaugural event in 2009 and at an Obama campaign stop at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines last May. The group also appeared at
Obama campaign events dating back to 2007.
Dvorsky says she's thrilled to appear with other Iowans who helped launch Obama's career. She says it's been "an incredible journey and the opportunity to march in the parade puts a perfect
bow on this whole experience."
Emerald Ash Borer Moving Slowly
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Agriculture officials say there's little movement in northeast Iowa of an invasive insect known for killing ash trees.
The Iowa Emerald Ash Borer Team says final results from surveillance efforts in 2012 show little movement from the emerald ash borer. Two traps last year indicated the metallic green beetles
had moved inland from the Mississippi River.
The insect was spotted in 2010 on Henderson Island in the Mississippi River in Allamakee County. The latest data shows the insects are still in Allamakee County but no longer on the island.
The county has been under a federal and state quarantine since 2010. It prohibits the movement of such items like firewood, ash nursery stock and ash timber.