- 6/18/13; West Hancock vs. Corwith Wesley Luverne Baseball will play varsity first at 5:45 p.m. No JV. :
MEDICAID EXPANSION-IOWA Democratic lawmakers seek to expand Iowa Medicaid DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Democratic legislators are pushing to expand Medicaid in Iowa. Sen. Jack Hatch and Rep. Lisa Heddens, both Democrats, introduced legislation Tuesday that would broaden eligibility requirements for the state program, which covers low-income people, including children and the disabled. President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul provides funding to states that do this expansion. If expanded, as many as 150,000 people could be added to Iowa’s Medicaid rolls, mostly low-income childless adults. Gov. Terry Branstad has opposed an expansion, based on the cost to the state. The federal government would pay the full cost of the expansion for three years and then the state would gradually assume 10 percent of the costs for the new enrollees.
IOWA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Agency seeks extra $65 million for tax credits DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Economic Development Authority is asking legislators to approve an extra $65 million in state tax credits for this fiscal year. The state puts a $120 million limit on tax breaks the agency can offer business, but director Debi Durham told lawmakers Tuesday that the authority needs $185 million for the fiscal year ending June 30. Democrat Sen. William Dotzler of Waterloo express skepticism, saying Iowa got “suckered” into giving $150 million in loans and tax breaks to two fertilizer companies last year. Those were the state’s biggest capital investment in history. Durham says the request is necessary to compete with other states to get big business deals in Iowa. The authority also asked for a $35 million budget increase for international marketing and a new jobs program.
IOWA GUN LAWS GOP lawmaker wants amended gun laws for veterans DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Republican lawmaker wants to make it easier for veterans to purchase certain types of guns in Iowa. Rep. Dwayne Alons has proposed legislation that would allow veterans to buy pistols and revolvers without getting a permit from a county sheriff. Currently, anyone purchasing those types of firearms must first get a permit. Alons, of Hull, argued Tuesday at a subcommittee hearing that gun dealers already do background checks, so the additional permit process is unnecessary.
IOWA VOTING RULES Republican lawmakers introduce voter ID law DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Senate Republicans are again seeking to require Iowans to present photo identification in order to vote. Iowa law currently doesn’t require identification at the polls. For several years, Republicans have argued that could lead to voter fraud, though Democrats say there is little evidence of such problems. Senate Republicans introduced legislation Tuesday to change the rules. Senate Republican Leader Bill Dix says the legislation would protect Iowa’s voting system by requiring ID. If a voter couldn’t present a required form of identification, they would be offered a provisional ballot that would be checked later. The bill is modeled after similar legislation introduced by Republican Secretary of State Matt Schultz.
MYSTERY MILLIONAIRE Phone, email records sought in Iowa lotto mystery IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Investigators are seeking phone and email records as they try to solve the mystery behind a winning $14.3 million Iowa lottery ticket that was withdrawn after the winner refused to be identified. A year after the investigation started, agents are still trying to identify the person who bought the Hot Lotto ticket at a Des Moines gas station in December 2010. A New York lawyer claiming to represent the winning trust waited until minutes before the one-year deadline to claim the prize – then gave up rather than explain how he got the ticket. Patrick Townsend of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says agents issued subpoenas for phone and email records in an effort to “link communication to some specific people who we think might be part of this.”
SURVIVOR DOG Interest high for Iowa dog that ate own tail (Information in the following story is from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/ ) MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – Calls are pouring into the Humane Society of North Iowa with offers to adopt an abandoned and starved dog that ate her own tail. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports calls to take Goldie home have come from as far away as Australia. Humane Society officials also say many people have donated money on behalf of the golden retriever. Applications for adoption are being accepted through Friday. Officials will then make a decision on a new owner. The newspaper reports Goldie was badly abused when she was discovered at an apartment in Forest City. Officials say she had been abandoned without food for three weeks.
CANDIDATE-RANDOM DRAW Iowa candidate wins council seat by random draw (Information in the following story is from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com ) OTO, Iowa (AP) – A city council member in northwest Iowa has been selected for the position by random draw. The Sioux City Journal reports Matt Mead was selected Tuesday to join the Oto City Council. That’s because candidates in Iowa with the same number of votes are selected by random draw. Mead, a write-in candidate, tied Elizabeth Swearingen with 12 votes each in a Jan. 22 special election. Mead now joins two other members that won in the same election. Their next meeting is scheduled for early February.
WINTER WEATHER-SOCIAL MEDIA Iowa DOT encourages social media during storm DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa officials are encouraging residents to use social media during an upcoming winter storm. The state Department of Transportation says it wants people to use Twitter and Facebook during a Tuesday night and Wednesday morning storm that could dump up to six inches of snow across parts of the state. That includes using the agency’s official Twitter handle and hashtag in posts related to the storm. DOT also is encouraging residents to enable a geotagging feature on their smartphones that will show the location of a posted photo or video. They say the citizen observations help the agency and travelers stay informed about traffic incidents and road conditions. Still, DOT says a person should not use a mobile phone for talking, photo taking or texting while driving.