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Amy Mayer / IPR file photo

The next hurdle for the 2018 farm bill is a conference committee, where the House and Senate work out a compromise between their two very different bills.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says he doesn’t expect to serve as one of the nine senators on the committee because he doesn’t have the seniority, but he’s hoping his limit on federal payments will survive.

NRCS via https://www.nrcs.usda.gov

Iowa regulators are not meeting some state requirements for water-quality related conservation practices, according to an analysis of the Department of Natural Resources by state Auditor Mary Mosiman. The DNR is not implementing a program to buy property rights to restore wetlands near agricultural drainage wells, as set out in state law.

doctors office
Jennifer Morrow / flickr

The executive director of Iowa’s medical regulatory board has abruptly retired, saying he was treated unfairly by state officials.

The Iowa Board of Medicine put executive director Mark Bowden on administrative leave about a month ago, and voted to reinstate him Friday.

Board members then scheduled a meeting for Monday morning to consider Bowden’s employment status. His retirement was announced instead.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A planned expo space in Northwest Iowa is intended to bring more events, farm and tractor shows to the community. Woodbury County is talking about reconsidering its financial commitment. 

Updated Aug. 2, 2018 — The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission did not have enough votes Aug. 1 to approve the poultry barns at issue. Another vote is expected Aug. 15, though any decision is expected to be appealed.

Kate Payne / IPR

President Donald Trump touted a recent trade deal with European Union leaders at a stop in Iowa Thursday. He visited Northeast Iowa Community College in Peosta with an official mission to hold a discussion on workforce development. But the status of the president’s international trade disputes and political flashpoints from Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prescription drug prices steered much of the conversation away from economic development policy.

There could soon be a different kind of fuel going into trucks and planes, one that could help farmers and create rural jobs.

It’d come from sorghum: a grass grown around the world, but increasingly so in states like Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska. 

The former state senator who made recommendations last year for addressing sexual harassment in the Iowa Senate is weighing in on State Senator Nate Boulton’s decision to return to the capitol.  

Boulton (D-Des Moines) dropped out of the race for the democratic nomination for governor after complaints of sexual improprieties.   Some of his Democratic colleagues, including Minority Leader Janet Peterson (D-Des Moines), wanted Boulton to resign his Senate seat.    

But former Republican Senator Mary Kramer says that wouldn’t be fair to the voters who put him in office.

Clay Masters / IPR

President Donald Trump is slated to visit Dubuque Thursday to host a roundtable discussion on workforce development. But the trip comes as the state is grappling with the backlash from the president's own trade policies, and news of a federal plan to bail out farmers feeling the impact.

Joyce Russell/IPR

Portions of Iowa’s controversial voter ID law will not be enforced for now, after a ruling today by a Polk County District Court judge.  

The law signed by former Governor Terry Branstad in 2017 requires voters to show identification at the polls starting in 2019.

Judge Karen Romano’s ruling temporarily blocks other parts of the law governing absentee ballots which were already in effect for the June primary election.

Courtesy of Sustainable Iowa Land Trust

Sustainable Iowa Land Trust is selling a permanently protected farm in Southwest Iowa in a move to pay off debt and honor the farm’s previous owners.

Tom Gustafson / Courtesy of Okoboji Tourism

A group of residents in northwest Iowa has plans to spruce up the area leading into the Iowa Great Lakes.

Dean Borg / IPR

Glenn Van Wyk is clearing debris spit out by the July 19th tornado after ripping through the nearby Vermeer factory and leveling three of his farmstead’s buildings. But he hasn’t yet decided what to do about flattened corn fields littered with steel sheets and other parts of the Vermeer buildings.

Van Wyk estimates about 40-acres is damaged. Maybe a total loss. He and his wife, Denise, farm 160 acres outside Pella, less than a quarter mile from the Vermeer plant’s Global Pavilion.

Vladimir Kulikov / Wikimedia Commons

An on-campus worker education program is still looking for solutions, after the University of Iowa announced it’s closing the center down.

Courtesy of Sioux County

Weeks after heavy rain damaged about 80 homes in a northwest Iowa town, officials are looking into installing permanent barriers to protect buildings from future flooding.

Katie Peikes / IPR

Department of Justice officials say the problem of sexual harassment in housing often goes unreported. Officials met with Sioux City-area community groups Friday at the Sioux City Public Museum to spark conversations about how to recognize and prevent these problems.

Kate Payne / IPR

Recovery and rebuilding efforts are already underway at central Iowa manufacturer Vermeer, one day after the corporation's headquarters in Pella took a direct hit from a tornado. Metal siding, downed powerlines and crumpled cars were scattered across the grounds at the agriculture and construction equipment company, but with limited injuries and no fatalities, officials have said they'll come back "stronger than ever."

Joyce Russell/IPR

Attorneys for the Burlington Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation were in a Des Moines hearing room Friday, arguing for the confidentiality of records in a fatal police shooting more than three years ago.   

The Burlington Hawkeye and the victim’s family seek the release of police video and 911 recordings in the death of Autumn Steele, who was fatally shot by Officer Jesse Hill at the Steele home in January of 2015.  

marshall county courthouse damage
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Clean-up efforts continued Friday in Marshalltown after a tornado devastated the downtown area and some residential neighborhoods Thursday afternoon.

Streets in downtown Marshalltown were blocked off so crews and residents could remove bricks, broken glass, tree branches and downed power lines.

“As you get out into the neighborhoods, if you go west from downtown, we look like we have some pretty significant damage about six to eight blocks going to the west, and then to the east approximately 12 blocks,” Marshalltown Fire Chief Dave Rierson said.

Katie Peikes/IPR

Thousands of cyclists will soon start to trickle in to a small Western Iowa city for an annual bike ride across the state. Onawa businesses are hopeful they’ll see an economic boom from hosting the first stage of the ride.

Iowa Environmental Mesonet

Gov. Kim Reynolds plans to visit the central Iowa cities of Bondurant, Pella, and Marshalltown Friday.  All three communities were hit by tornadoes late Thursday afternoon.  As of Thursday night, no deaths or serious injuries had been reported, but there was a lot of damage.

In Marshalltown, a large twister heavily damaged several buildings downtown, and knocked the spire off the county courthouse.  Also, the Lennox manufacturing plant was damaged, as were many other buildings in the area.

Douglas Palmer/Flickr

A recent ruling in a Stand Your Ground case in Eastern Iowa won’t resolve larger questions about the statute, according to one Iowa law professor.

Iowa Public Radio

Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says he is satisfied with President Donald Trump’s explanation for his controversial remarks in Finland this week that caused an outpouring of criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.  

At a news conference on Monday, Trump concurred with President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.   That contradicted Trump’s own intelligence agencies conclusions that Russian agents were behind U.S.  cybersecurity violations.

On Tuesday, Trump walked back his comments and said he misspoke. 

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Blue-green algae blooms like the one that spurred a drinking water ban in one Iowa town are not widespread in the state, according to a state water analyst. 

Kate Payne / IPR

Iowa is a leading contributor to the so-called dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. The low-oxygen area the size of Connecticut can kill fish and sea life. And it’s largely fueled by the runoff from Midwestern farm fields. Five years after the state created a plan to slow this process, researchers say Iowa isn't moving fast enough to cut its nutrient runoff.

Gov. Kim Reynolds was in Ypsilanti, Michigan today pleading with the Environmental Protection Agency on behalf of the Iowa farmers who produce renewable fuels.

The EPA is considering rules for 2019 for the Renewable Fuel Standard governing how much ethanol and biodiesel must be blended into the nation’s fuel supply.

The proposed rules would set the conventional ethanol level at the maximum 15 billion gallons, and increase the requirements for biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol.

kim reynolds
Katarina Sostaric / IPR

Gov. Kim Reynolds Wednesday defended a state review of how an Iowa State Patrol captain handled a sexual harassment complaint against a trooper.

The Associated Press reported this week a state employee accused Captain Mark Logsdon in emails of failing to follow up on her harassment complaint against Trooper Wade Karp.

Iowa Public Radio

Democratic State Sen. Nate Boulton says he will retain his seat in the Iowa Senate, in spite of calls for his resignation.  

Boulton was accused of sexual misconduct and dropped out of the race for the Democratic nomination for governor.  

That was days before the June primary, after the Des Moines Register revealed complaints from women who described being touched inappropriately by Boulton in social situations in the past.  

Iowa Public Radio

Some Iowa Republicans Monday issued statements critical of President Donald Trump for his remarks in Finland following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.  

In a joint news conference, the president appeared to accept Putin’s denial of involvement in the 2016 U.S. election, even though the U.S. Justice Department has indicted Russians in a cybersecurity scheme.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people," Trump said. "But I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. 

inkknife_2000/flickr

Iowa’s secretary of agriculture says he’s continuing to monitor the impacts of heavy rains that battered Northern Iowa last month. Heavier than normal summer rains flooded fields, especially in the north central and northwestern part of the state. But Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig said it’s not clear if the federal government will offer disaster aid.

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