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Saturday News, August 29

State Board Of Medicine Will Not Appeal Court's Decision To Allow Telemedicine Abortions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A medical board says it will not appeal an Iowa Supreme Court's decision that allows doctors to dispense abortion-inducing pills remotely via a teleconferencing system.
Iowa Board of Medicine Chairman Hamed Tewfik tells the Des Moines Register that the group will not appeal the June 19 decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. The board had 90 days to consider the option.
Tewfik tells the newspaper that board members consulted with attorneys and decided an appeal would have been a complicated process.
Planned Parenthood of the Heartland sued the board over a 2013 decision to require a doctor to be in the room with a patient when dispensing abortion-inducing medication. The Iowa Supreme Court agreed with Planned Parenthood's argument that the rule would have placed an undue burden on women.

 

 

 

Branstad Forms Working Group To Study Criminal Policies

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says a working group will review Iowa's criminal justice practices to make recommendations for reform.
Branstad announced the group's formation Friday during a summit in Ankeny that addressed racial disproportionality in Iowa's criminal justice system.
The group will be given access to state agencies and other resources, and they will be expected to present a report with recommendations by November. Branstad says the deadline allows lawmakers to consider suggestions for the next legislative session.
The working group will include experts on justice policies, including a representative from the Iowa Attorney General's Office.
The summit Friday was organized by the Iowa-Nebraska State Area Conference of Branches for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

 

 

 

Judge Allows Prosecutors To Obtain Emails From Republican Consultant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge is allowing federal prosecutors to obtain emails of a once-powerful Republican consultant from Google Inc.
U.S. District Judge John Jarvey rejected a request Friday to quash a warrant ordering Google to give prosecutors the contents of Jesse Benton's Gmail account, which he used to work on Ron Paul's 2012 presidential campaign and Sen. Mitch McConnell's 2014 re-election.
Benton and two others face charges in Iowa stemming from the 2012 campaign. Benton led presidential candidate Rand Paul's super PAC until his indictment this month.
Google told Benton last year it would comply with the warrant unless challenged. Benton did, arguing it was overly broad.
A magistrate upheld the warrant this month. Google didn't produce the records, giving Benton time to appeal. A Google attorney said Friday it would comply.

 

 

 

 

O'Malley Critical Of Decision To Hold Only Four Democratic Debates Before Iowa Caucus

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley is slamming the Democratic National Committee's decision to hold only four debates before the Iowa caucuses next February.
O'Malley says the move is "totally unprecedented" in the Democratic party and says "this sort of rigged process has never been attempted before."
As the party's chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, sat a few feet away from him, O'Malley asked: "Whose decree is it exactly? Where did it come from?"
His speech generated some applause in the ballroom but was a direct rebuke to DNC leaders, including Wasserman Schultz, who came up with the plan for six debates beginning in October and ending in February or March.
O'Malley says when Republicans can draw more than 20 million people to watch their first debate this month, it's important for the party to offer its own ideas.

 

 

 

 

Hillary Rodham Clinton Claims To Be The Standard Bearer For The Election

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Hillary Rodham Clinton is insisting she is the party's standard-bearer in next year's election, even as Vice President Joe Biden considers challenging her and Senator Bernie Sanders draws big crowds.
Pointing to big losses in the 2010 mid-term elections, Clinton says the party can't allow that to happen again and must rebuild "from the ground up."
Clinton says GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is now the de facto leader of the Republican party. She says "the party of Lincoln has become the party of Trump."

 

 

 

Sanders Says Excitement At Rallies Will Be Instrumental At Election Time

 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders says the excitement of rallies will be critical to electing Democrats in 2016.
Sanders is warning party leaders at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting in Minneapolis that the party will not retain the White House and recapture the House or Senate "unless we generate excitement and momentum and produce a huge voter turnout."
He tells DNC members he doesn't "mean to insult anyone here," but that type of turnout "will not happen with politics as usual. The same old, same old will not be successful."
That was apparently a reference to former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, the presumptive front-runner in the party's presidential nominating contest. Clinton has been dogged by questions about her emails and a private server she used as secretary of state.
Sanders says people understand that the nation doesn't need "more establishment politics or establishment economics."

 

 

 

Trump Holds A $100 A Plate Dinner, But Says It Is Not A Fundraiser

NORWOOD, Massachusetts (AP) - Republican Donald Trump held a $100-per-person campaign event - which he repeatedly insisted wasn't a fundraiser - outside of Boston on Friday evening as he backpedaled on his previous pledge not to accept contributions for his 2016 presidential campaign.
Trump said the money raised was only being used to offset the costs of the event and said people attending could choose to pay whatever they wanted.
That's despite multiple signs that were posted at the property's entrance telling those arriving, "Please have cash ready or make checks payable to: Donald J. Trump for President, Inc." and "Entry Fee $100 Per Person."
"This Is not a fundraiser tonight, just so you understand," Trump told reporters at the sprawling Norwood property owned by local car dealership owner Ernie Boch Junior.


 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Friday Afternoon News, August 28

Environmental Protection Agency To Begin Enforcing WOTUS Rules

(Le Mars) -- Today, (Friday) was to be the date when the Environmental Protection Agency was to begin enforcing the new rules of the Waters of the United States, under the Clean Water Act. However, a North Dakota federal court, yesterday, placed an injunction on the enforcement of the rules established by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.  Chris Gruenhagen serves as the Iowa Farm Bureau's Government Relations Counsel. She says there is a question whether the E-P-A will honor the injunction nationwide, or just within the federal district.  Gruenhagen says the EPA expanded the definition and ruling so it could account for all waters.

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Gruenhagen says the new ruling is part of the Clean Water Act.

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The Farm Bureau official says the EPA is even wanting to including erosion gullies as tributaries after a hard rain.

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U-S Senator Chuck Grassley says Congress would like to take away the EPA's powers of the enforcement of the Waters of the United States rules.  However, Grassley admits that is highly unlikely.  Instead, Grassley says Congress hopes to do the second best thing.

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Critics say the rules of The Waters of the United States would hurt agriculture since it would regulate even the smallest amounts of standing water found in ditches and other areas.  Grassley says since the EPA has expanded the definition of navigational waters, and he claims nearly every portion of Iowa would be adversely affected.

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So far, 27 states have filed a lawsuit against the E-P-A and the Army Corps of Engineers hoping to stop the new rules.  Gruenhagen says Iowa has not yet joined in on the lawsuit, but she says the state still has time, and she is hopeful that Iowa will join other states to challenge the ruling.

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Group Opposes Veterans Memorial

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) - A group says a veterans memorial in a Knoxville city park that shows a plywood cutout of a soldier kneeling next to a cross amounts to a government endorsement of Christianity.
The Americans United for Church and State is asking the city for the removal of the cross.
The memorial's creator, 67-year-old Vietnam War veteran Al Larsen, tells The Des Moines Register that he didn't intend for the cross to have a religious connotation.
He says the cross is meant to represent a grave marker, similar to the rows of white crosses at a France cemetery, where more than 9,000 American World War II troops are buried.
The Knoxville mayor says the City Council will decide on whether to remove the memorial during a September meeting.

 

 

 

 

University Of Iowa To Forbid Catcalls

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Student government leaders at the University of Iowa have launched a campaign to reduce catcalling, saying that the shouts are a form of sexual harassment.
Television station KCRG reports that shuttles used during the recruitment process for fraternities and sororities at the university will display anti-catcalling posters.
Student Government Vice President Morgan Brittain says the vehicles' drivers have been asked to be on the lookout for instances of catcalling and to address them.
The initiative first launched last spring as part of a national effort called "It's On Us," aimed at ending sexual violence on college campuses.
Sophomore student Autumn Domres says catcalling is a problem she often sees in downtown Iowa City.

 

 

 

 

Pella Electrical Cooperative Drops Fees To Install Solar Panels

PELLA, Iowa (AP) - Facing a backlash, a rural Iowa power co-operative is dropping a plan to charge customers who install solar panels on their homes a special $85 monthly charge.
The Pella Cooperative Electric Association withdrew its proposal Thursday in a filing with the Iowa Utilities Board.
The plan had angered customers who have or were planning to install solar generation systems that would connect with the utility's distribution system. Environmental groups and solar energy backers were also opposed, calling the charge discriminatory.
In a news release, the association insists the plan was justified because it covered solar customers' true cost of service.
But the group says that it has withdrawn the plan until "we can better educate our members and the community as to the fair and equitable recovery of fixed costs."

 

 

 

 

MidAmerican Energy To Build Wind Farms In Ida And O'Brien Counties

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - MidAmerican Energy says it will build its next two wind farms in northwest Iowa.
The company says there will be 134 generators at the Ida County site and 104 at the site in O'Brien County, providing a combined capacity of 552 megawatts. The estimated investment for the two projects is $900 million.
A MidAmerican vice president, Mike Gehringer, says that by the end of the year, more of MidAmerican's electricity will come from wind than from any other single source. MidAmerican spokeswoman Ruth Comer says that by the end of 2016, when both projects are completed, the Berkshire Hathaway-owned company will have more than 2,000 wind turbines across Iowa.

 


   

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