Thursday News, August 27
Grassley Answers Questions At Le Mars Town Hall Meeting
(Le Mars) -- U-S Senator Chuck Grassley was in Le Mars on Wednesday afternoon to answer questions from constituents during a town hall meeting held at the Floyd Valley Hospital. Grassley addressed issues relating to trade agreements, immigration, ethanol, the national debt, Iranian nuclear arms agreement, defunding planned parenthood, and the solvency of Social Security. But a few people expressed their concern and displeasure with Grassley about being fed up with Washington politics. One individual said that what was being discussed at Wednesday's town hall meeting doesn't matter, because Grassley and other elected officials in Washington D.C. would do what ever they wanted, and they don't ever listen to their constituents. Grassley responded, "why do you think I come here then?" Another individual spoke up to say the reason Donald Trump is doing well in the presidential polls is because people are tired of the partisan politics stalemate that is seen in Washington. The first individual mentioned his displeasure for "professional career politicians" making reference to Grassley having been in the U-S Senate for 36 years and is again seeking re-election. The individual said he favors term limits. Grassley, again, defended his tenure position in the Senate by informing the individual that during the mid-1990's when the issue was brought up to the Senate for a vote, that Grassley had voted for term limits. Grassley says that was the only time the issue came before the Senate chamber. Following his town hall meeting Grassley met with local media representatives and addressed the issue of constituent discontent.
Grassley says it is absolutely necessary for him to hold town hall meetings to better understand what is on the minds of the people he represents. And what issue will Grassley remember from the Le Mars town hall meeting?
Plymouth County World War II Veterans Receive Medals
(Le Mars) -- Just prior to his town hall meeting, Senator Grassley presented Victory medals to two Plymouth County World War II veterans. Robert Taylor of Westfield and John Hart of Le Mars received the medals for their work in the military. Upon receiving their medals, the gathering showed their appreciation for their service, by giving both veterans a standing ovation. John Hart served two years in the U-S Navy in the Pacific region as a petty officer, quarter master. He tells of his emotions upon receiving the medal.
One of Hart's memories from the second World War was witnessing the Japanese surrender.
The 70th anniversary of the Japanese surrender just occurred a couple of weeks ago. Hart says he still from time to time reflect back on the historical date. Hart says his other memory from his time in the Navy was when he received his orders indicating his time in the Navy was completed.
Robert Taylor of Westfield and John Hart of Le Mars receive "Victory Medals" from U-S Senator Chuck Grassley on Wednesday afternoon.
Insurance Companies To Raise Rates
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's top insurance regulator has approved rate increases for several health providers in the state.
Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart announced Wednesday that he approved increases on individual insurance plans provided by Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Coventry Health Care and Gundersen Health Insurance. The changes go into effect in January.
Rate increases include between 17.6 percent and 28.7 percent on average for plans by Wellmark, 19.8 percent on average for plans by Coventry and 9.4 percent on average for plans by Gundersen.
Some residents who attended a hearing earlier this year on the proposed increases criticized it. Officials for at least two of the providers say the increases were needed because of unexpected health care costs.
USDA Says Farmers Will See Fewer Profits In Year Ahead
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will be a less profitable year for farmers as low grain, milk and hog prices cut into income.
The abundance of grain leftover from last year's crop and this year's anticipated harvest of the third-largest corn crop and second-largest soybean crop on record have kept prices below the cost of production.
The USDA said in a report Tuesday net farm income is expected to decline 36 percent to $58.3 billion, the lowest in nine years.
Iowa State University agricultural economist Chad Hart says farmers are using savings to get by.
Others are borrowing more, but while farm debt is rising, the USDA says it is not yet at worrisome levels.