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17-year-old arrested in Cedar Rapids double homicide

Daily Digest

Thursday, October 14

4:16 p.m. – Iowa Democratic leaders support John Deere union employee strike

Iowa Democratic leaders say they’re standing in solidarity with the more than 10,000 John Deere workers who went on strike Thursday.

United Auto Workers members rejected a six-year contract proposal that offered up to 6 percent raises and would’ve ended pensions for workers hired in the future.

Iowa Democratic Party Chair Ross Wilburn says going on strike is the last thing workers want to do. “It’s costly and it’s difficult for working families because they’re not getting a paycheck. But following a year where John Deere made record profits and their CEO got 160 percent raise, workers deserve to share in the family’s financial success.”

Wilburn says Democrats are the party of the middle class, and they believe working families are entitled to good wages and benefits.

2:17 p.m. – John Deere union employees on strike

More than 10,000 John Deere workers at plants in Iowa, Kansas and Illinois went on strike Thursday after their union contract ran out at midnight. The United Auto Workers union and John Deere failed to reach terms on a new six-year contract. Rank-and-file workers had earlier rejected an offer promising up to 6 percent raises and cost-of-living increases.

The deal union members turned down also included higher monthly payments for retired workers on the pension plan, but would have ended pensions for employees hired after Nov. 1. The strike marks one of the largest labor walkouts in the country since UAW shut down General Motors plants in 2019.

Entry via Harvest Public Media.

1:35 p.m. – 17-year-old arrested in Cedar Rapids double homicide

Cedar Rapids police have arrested a 17-year-old teenager for allegedly killing both of his parents. Officers responded to a call about a suspicious person at a suburban home in northeast Cedar Rapids Thursday, where they found the teenager covered in blood.

According to a criminal complaint, the teen told officers he killed his parents with a knife and an ax in order to “take charge of his life.” The 17-year-old has been charged as an adult and faces two counts of first degree murder. He is being held on a $2 million bond.

Wednesday, October 13

1:36 p.m. – As extreme weather events become more frequent, Iowa must strengthen and expand its electrical grid, researchers say

Iowa needs targeted investments to strengthen and expand its electrical grid, in order to prepare for extreme weather events brought on by climate change. That’s the recommendation from the latest Iowa Climate Statement, which was released Wednesday by a coalition of more than 200 researchers.

Iowa State University engineering professor Jim McCalley says the extensive power outages from last year’s derecho showed clear vulnerabilities in the state’s infrastructure.

“We need to reduce impact and increase speed of restoration and recovery during extreme events. This requires diversification in the ways that we supply power. It means, for example, deploying micro-grids for loads providing critical services, such as hospitals and grocery stores.”

The authors of the Climate Statement are calling on residents and regulators to push utilities to make the investments.

12:49 p.m. - 94 additional deaths, 8,167 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Iowa

State health officials are reporting 8,167 new COVID-19 infections have been confirmed in the past week.

More than 20 percent of the new cases are reported to be in children 17 and under. The state’s 14-day test positivity rate is 9.2 percent, a slight decrease from last week’s rate.

Ninety-four additional Iowans have been confirmed to have died from COVID-19 in the past week. This brings the state’s total death count to 6,748.

Hospitalizations continue to hover around 600, as the state is reporting 598 Iowans are currently hospitalized with the virus. That’s down from last week’s rate of 626.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 64 percent of Iowans 12 and older are fully vaccinated. And all 99 of Iowa’s counties have high levels of community spread.

12:39 p.m. – State will use lawsuit settlement to launch opioid treatment program with UIHC

The state Attorney General’s office has announced it is working with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to launch a new opioid treatment program.

The $3.8 million program will be funded using part of the state’s settlement with a large consulting firm that helped drug manufacturers promote opioids like OxyContin.

Under the program, UIHC specialists will train practitioners across the state to use medication to treat opioid addiction.

Alison Lynch directs the opioid addiction clinic at UIHC. She says medication greatly reduces the risk of death. “When they're taking buprenorphine, they don't have to worry about going into withdrawal. So it really, it just — they feel better and it reduces the amount of time and effort and energy that has been required when they have an addiction that is not controlled.”

Last year, there were 213 opioid-related deaths in Iowa. That’s nearly a 36 percent increase from 2019.

9 a.m. – Report finds that more Iowa children have obesity

A new report has found about one in six Iowa children are considered to be obese.

Nearly 17 percent of Iowa’s children ages 10 to 17 are obese. That’s according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The report found Iowa ranked 18th highest in the nation for child obesity.

“It's really important to recognize the influence of community conditions, structural racism, that play into whether or not a child has overweight or obesity.” Jamie Bussel is with the nonprofit. She says the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the nation’s childhood obesity crisis.

“Millions of families are struggling with food insecurity, meaning they don't have consistent access to enough food to lead a healthy life. Our nation safety net is fragile, outdated and out of reach for millions of eligible kids and their caregivers.”

The report recommends making universal school meals permanent and expanding federal programs like WIC and others that aim to pull families out of poverty.

7 a.m. - “Welcoming Iowa” event breaks fundraising record before it officially begins

An event Thursday will raise money for more than 100 Afghan refugees expected to resettle in Iowa. “Welcoming Iowa” has already broken a record in its fundraising efforts.

The Des Moines field office for the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants is hosting its “Welcoming Iowa” event for the third year. And this year’s fundraising will benefit at least 125 Afghan refugees, along with more than 300 individuals from other countries, expected to resettle in the state.

Director Kerri True-Funk says they’ve already raised more than $43,000 of their $50,000 goal.

“We call it Welcoming Iowa because we are really interested in making our newest Island neighbors feel welcome, feel part of the community.”

The funds will go toward legal services, health care, education and other living expenses.

The event starts at 5 p.m. Thursday in Valley Junction. Registration is available online or at the door.

7 a.m. - Republican Jon Dunwell wins District 29 special election

Republican Jon Dunwell won a special election Tuseday night for the Iowa House of Representatives district that covers Newton and other parts of Jasper County. The district was previously held by Democrats.

Unofficial results show Dunwell got about 60 percent of the votes and Democrat Steve Mullan got 40 percent. Dunwell is a pastor and works in the financial services industry. He lost a run for this seat in 2020.

The House District 29 seat was left open after Democratic Rep. Wes Breckenridge stepped down to work at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

Republicans now hold 60 of the 100 House seats and Democrats have 40. The boundaries of all statehouse districts will change next year as lawmakers continue to work on redistricting.

7 a.m. - Iowa farmers and environmentalists speak out against proposed carbon dioxide pipeline

A proposal to build a carbon dioxide pipeline marketed as “the world’s largest” is drawing opposition from Iowa farmers and environmentalists alike.

The company Summit Carbon Solutions plans to build 700 miles of pipe in Iowa to capture carbon from ethanol plants and bury it deep underground in North Dakota.

Beth Richards’ family farm is in Hardin County, which is in the proposed path. She questions how landowners would benefit from the project. “Why should landowners welcome encroachment on their land for a project that doesn’t pay direct dividends to them, other than a vague promise that ethanol is good for corn prices. And…why isn’t rent going to be paid for the land or profits shared with farmers?”

In a public meeting Tuesday, resident John Norris said the project is a false solution to climate change. “As much as the ethanol industry is important to Iowa, it is an industry that’s on the decline. The next two decades we will see continued decrease in demand for ethanol. We need to start planning for what’s next.”

Summit is in the process of holding public meetings in the 30 Iowa counties that the pipeline would pass through. After the meetings are held, the company can petition state regulators for a permit.

Tuesday, October 12

3:35 p.m. - Iowa Latino Heritage Festival 2021 sees record number of attendees

A record number of people attended Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival last month.

The organizers say nearly 19,000 people came to the two-day event. The festival’s executive director says he didn’t expect that, especially after last year’s festival was canceled.

Along with breaking attendance records, the 2021 festival handed out a record 23 college scholarships to Latino students.

The 2022 Latino Heritage festival is scheduled for Sept. 24 and 25 in downtown Des Moines.

3:19 p.m. - John Deere union members have leverage, Iowa economists say

John Deere workers are preparing to strike if the company does not improve its offer to union negotiators by midnight Wednesday.

Members of the United Auto Workers in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas voted down a proposed contract that included 5 or 6 percent raises for factory workers.

ISU economist Peter Orazem says John Deere’s stock price has doubled in the last two years, but factories are struggling to fill jobs. He says that gives the union leverage to demand more.

“The company itself is doing quite well and is in a position to expand, and that’s a very good time for labor to press for wage increases, and that hasn’t been true for many years.”

Orazem says if workers do strike he expects it to be short, since John Deere has an interest in capitalizing on the current strong demand for farming and construction equipment.

Paul Iversen of the University of Iowa Labor Center says the dispute ties into the trend of people reexamining work relationships during the pandemic. “You know there’re companies, Deere included, that are having record profits and I think that a lot of workers are saying that ‘we deserve a share of that.’”

2:20 p.m. - MidAmerican warns natural gas prices will create higher heating bills

MidAmerican Energy is warning natural gas customers that the cost of heating is going to be a lot more this winter.

MidAmerican spokesperson Geoff Greenwood says the cost for the company to acquire natural gas has changed dramatically.
“Last year gas prices on the open market were really low. This year they have whipsawed, and they are really high. Global demand is up, production here the U.S. and storage are down, and that all translates into higher market prices for that commodity,” he says.

Greenwood says the cost for the company to buy the natural gas is the same cost that customers are charged. “Based on the market prices for natural gas over the last month alone, our residential customers throughout our service area can likely expect their total bills to increase anywhere from 46 to 96 percent,” according to Greenwood. “And that’s throughout the heating season which begins in November and runs through March.”

Greenwood says there are some other factors outside the price of natural gas that can impact your bill. “Such as, what the temperature will be and how much natural gas you use — and also future market prices,” Greenwood says. He says MidAmerican takes some steps to try and mitigate the price of natural gas.

“And that includes locking in purchase contracts before prices go up. So we try to get the gas at the best possible price and lock in that contract and then it is ready at a lower price during the winter heating season,” Greenwood says. “Additionally, we store natural gas, we purchase it during the summer months and store it and then release it during the winter months, again to try and minimize the price hikes that our customers will see.”

Greenwood says you can look for ways to winterize your home to save on heating bills. And he says they want to help you. “If any customer believes they are going to struggle to pay their utility bill — give us a call — we will work with you as much as we can to try and work together through this heating season,” Greenwood says.

There is state heating assistance available through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

Entry via Radio Iowa

2 p.m. - Senate field hearing in Cedar Rapids to focus on drug epidemic

A congressional field hearing on drug misuse in Iowa will be held in Cedar Rapids on Thursday, hosted by U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley.

The hearing will offer testimony to the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Grassley, a Republican, says one focus will be on opioids, which are responsible for a rising number of overdose deaths in Iowa in recent years. Grassley says, “We have tremendous problems with opioids generally, but an increasing problem because of fentanyl.”

According to Grassley, the field hearing will provide insight and information on the needs of Iowa and local communities when it comes to federal drug control policy. “I think the problem is worse in eastern Iowa than in other parts of the state,” Grassley says, “but don’t let me downgrade any discussion of the problem by saying it’s not only in Iowa but it’s throughout the country and in some parts of the country, even worse than Iowa.”

The list of witnesses includes experts and professionals from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, Iowa Alliance of Coalitions for Change and Community Resources United to Stop Heroin (CRUSH) of Iowa. In a statement, Grassley says, “The testimony we hear will provide important insight on Iowa’s drug control efforts, and how Congress can work to support Iowans as both legislative and executive branches develop a comprehensive approach to an ongoing and ever-changing problem.”

“It’s very important that we prioritize the safety and wellbeing of Iowa families,” Grassley says, “and that’s doing it through enhancing drug control, prevention, education, law enforcement and international interdiction.”

The hearing is scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. at the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Iowa in Cedar Rapids.

Entry via Radio Iowa

Updated 3:27 p.m.

1:30 p.m. - Des Moines activist guilty of theft for taking police flyer

A judge has found a Des Moines activist guilty of a felony theft count for taking a police flyer used to identify protesters from an officer’s back pocket during a protest last year.

Alexandria Dea, 27, was found guilty of first-degree theft Monday by Judge David Porter after she waived her right to a jury trial and consented to allow the judge to base his decision on facts already on the record, the Des Moines Register reported.

Dea is expected to seek a deferred judgment when she is sentenced Dec. 7.

Prosecutors have said Dea picked up and threw a police radio that fell to the ground as the officer scuffled with a protester on July 1, 2020. She was also accused of taking the intelligence bulletin from an officer’s back pocket during the confrontation, then gave it to another Black Lives Matter activist who gave it to a television reporter.

Dea and the other activist had also initially been charged with a rarely-used count of leaking intelligence data, but the charge was dismissed in July after a judge ruled that the bulletin did not count as “intelligence data.”

Entry via the Associated Press

10 a.m. - Central Iowa voters will fill House seat in special election

Voters in a central Iowa legislative district will chose a new representative Tuesday in a special election to replace a lawmaker who resigned.

Republican Jon Dunwell and Democrat Steve Mullan are seeking election to the House District 29 seat, which represents Newton and other smaller communities in Jasper County.

The seat became open when Democratic incumbent Wes Breckenridge resigned after accepting a job at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

Dunwell, 55, ran for the seat in 2020 and lost to Breckenridge. He is a pastor and works as a financial services representative.

Mullan, 82, is a retired teacher who serves on the Newton City Council.

Republicans hold a 59 to 40 majority in the House.

Entry via the Associated Press

Monday, October 11

2:52 p.m. - Cedar Rapids to use $10 million in pandemic relief for flood control

The city of Cedar Rapids is allocating $10 million in federal pandemic relief funds to help pay for its Flood Control System. The city is in the process of building a sprawling network of flood gates and levees that will also serve as a riverfront park and trail system.

Flood control program manager Rob Davis says the federal funds will help speed up construction on the west side of the river, providing more protection sooner.

“This $10 million basically will allow us to accelerate those projects. We are looking, with the Army Corps of Engineers, where the east side will be done later this decade. So this…this is a big deal because it can…really helps make sure we’re on schedule for completing this.”

The city has worked for years to secure funding for projects on the west side, which the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers declined to fund. Construction on the system is expected to cost $750 million and run through 2035.

2:10 p.m. - John Deere faces strike after union rejects contract

Unionized John Deere workers voted Sunday night to reject the company’s latest contract offer. The unions say 90 percent of members voted against the six-year offer, which was for more than 10,000 workers at 14 Deere factories, including those in Davenport, Des Moines, Dubuque, Ottumwa and Waterloo.

A news release from the Quad Cities-based Deere says the offer “would have made the best wages and most comprehensive benefits significantly better for our employees.” The deadline to reach a new accord and avoid a strike is midnight Wednesday.

Entry via Radio Iowa

12:22 p.m. - State health officials report 9.5% 14-day test positivity rate

7 a.m. - Trump endorses Grassley for Senate at Des Moines rally

Former President Donald Trump held a campaign-style rally at the Iowa state fairgrounds in Des Moines over the weekend.

Trump continued to falsely claim the 2020 election was rigged and said Iowa should continue to lead off the presidential nominating calendar with its caucuses. Trump stopped short of saying he would run again in 2024.

The former president also endorsed U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley in his race next year and invited him on stage.

“I was born at night, but not last night so if I didn’t accept the endorsement of a person that’s got 91 percent of Republican voters in Iowa, I wouldn’t be that smart,” said Grassley. “I’m smart enough to accept that endorsement.”

Grassley is referring to the latest Iowa poll published in the Des Moines Register.

State Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, has also announced he’s running for Grassley’s seat in 2022.

Gov. Kim Reynolds and U.S. Representatives Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Ashley Hinson spoke ahead of Trump’s remarks on Saturday.

7 a.m. - USDA invests more in meat and poultry processing in attempt to repair damage from the pandemic

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is putting another $100 million into a program designed to improve supply chains for meat and poultry processing. The agency wants to repair the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, labor shortages and plant shutdowns have led to less meat and higher prices at grocery stores.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says his agency will back loans to both build new and expand existing meat processing facilities and cold storage warehouses. “So we are going to continue to press forward on all of these issues because we think it will have an impact and an effect on improving farmer income, which is important, and also making sure consumers are paying a fair price at the checkout counter.”

Rules on eligibility and how to apply for part of the $100 million will be released by the end of October.

Entry via Harvest Public Media

Saturday, October 9

7 a.m. - Following ethics report, Axne files amendments to financial disclosures

A spokesperson for Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne says she has filed amendments to her financial disclosure reports, after an ethics group filed a complaint against her and other lawmakers.

According to the Campaign Legal Center, Axne and six other members of Congress failed to report stock trades which totaled tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A spokesperson for Axne said she did not personally direct any of the trades and described the failure to report as a “clerical issue”.

According to her staff, Axne filed the documents needed Friday and has taken steps to ensure the issue doesn’t happen again.

7 a.m. - Trump returns to Iowa for the first time since leaving office

Former President Donald Trump is back in Iowa Saturday for the first time since leaving office. Thousands are expected to attend the rally at the Iowa state fairgrounds.

Trump’s last trip to Iowa came a year ago - right before he won the state but lost the general election to Joe Biden.

This trip raises speculation that he may run again in 2024 since the Iowa caucuses are still at the beginning of the presidential nominating calendar.

Several fellow Republican leaders in Iowa who are up for re-election next year will join him, including Gov. Kim Reynolds, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley and U.S. House Representatives Ashley Hinson and Marianette Miller Meeks.

Doors open at 2 p.m. Trump speaks around 7 p.m.

The former president continues to push falsehoods that the 2020 election was rigged, despite no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Friday, October 8

3:16 p.m. - Top Republican in the Iowa Senate says he hopes the legislature can agree on the second set of redistricting maps

A top Republican in the Iowa statehouse says he hopes lawmakers can agree on the second set of redistricting maps.

Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver, R-Ankeny, says time is of the essence on approving new maps that outline Iowa legislative and congressional districts. Lawmakers face a deadline of Dec. 1.

“I would hope, for the sake of the process, that it's a plan that we get to caucus. Everyone likes it, and we just approve it because that's a lot easier, and then we can move on with the election cycle that is approaching very quickly.”

The Republican-controlled Senate voted down the first set of maps made by the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency. The LSA says it will have the second set of maps ready by Oct. 21. Gov. Kim Reynolds has set Oct. 28 as the date lawmakers will meet in special session to vote on the second set of maps.

Iowa Democrats have raised concerns about Republicans amending the maps in their favor if lawmakers have to go to a third set of maps.

Whitver made his comments in a taping of Iowa PBS’ “Iowa Press.”

2:31 p.m. – Iowa environmental groups say state utility board shouldn’t have approved MidAmerican’s emissions plan and budget

A group of Iowa environmental organizations argue the Iowa Utilities Board didn’t do its job in determining if MidAmerican Energy Company met all the requirements for its emissions plan and budget.

Iowa Code requires public utility companies that own coal plants turn in a plan every two years to analyze their pollution emissions and cost-effectiveness. In the court hearing to determine whether MidAmerican’s approved plan should be reviewed, environmental groups argued the Iowa Utilities Board — which approved the plan — didn’t consider all of the evidence, such as looking at the cost of retiring coal plants in Sioux City.

Josh Mandelbaum represented the environmental parties. He says the board couldn’t make a decision without weighing all evidence. “It has gone beyond that and created an arbitrary gatekeeping and excluded evidence from consideration all together.”

The Iowa Utilities Board and MidAmerican Energy say they followed state law, and that there was enough substantial evidence in their emissions plan to approve it.

Bret Dublinske represented MidAmerican. “Interveners want more — more from MidAmerican, more from the board, ultimately more from the statute. More as a policy matter. That’s a discussion that needs to be had at the legislature, not with this court.”

1:51 p.m. – Federal judge says Iowa schools can keep mandating masks

Iowa school districts can keep mandating masks after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by parents and disability rights advocates.

Judge Robert Pratt had temporarily blocked the state law that prohibits schools from mandating masks. His ruling released Friday will halt enforcement of the law until the suit is resolved.

Pratt cited the explosive growth of pediatric COVID-19 cases in his ruling, saying children could face “irreparable harm” if the law was allowed to stay in effect.

Gov. Kim Reynolds released a statement Friday afternoon, saying the state is appealing the ruling to the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Updated 2:53 p.m.

1:30 p.m. - Trump set to return to Iowa with Saturday rally

Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at a rally on the State Fairgrounds in Des Moines Saturday, his first appearance in the state since leaving office in January.

Eric Branstad worked on Trump’s 2016 and 2020 Iowa campaigns, and he’s a senior advisor to Trump’s political action committee. “The crowd sizes in Alabama here recently and Georgia, there’s not a place that will fit us besides right here, outside,” he says.

On Thursday afternoon, the stage was being set up where the Midway operates during the Iowa State Fair. Branstad says “jumbo trons” will be in place — so the crowd can watch the Iowa-Penn State football game. Trump will not speak until the game is over.
At his September 25 rally on the Georgia National Fairgrounds, Trump criticized Georgia’s Republican governor for the certification of Joe Biden’s win in Georgia nearly a year ago.

Trump carried Iowa by eight points in 2020, and most of Iowa’s top Republicans have been invited to speak at the Des Moines rally. That includes Iowa’s Republican governor, Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley and two Republican congresswomen from Iowa — all of whom are seeking reelection.

“What we’re focused right now is making sure we win congress in 2022 and making sure that we win up and down the ballot next year,” Branstad says. Trump has made it clear he may run for president again in 2024. A recent Des Moines Register Iowa Poll found 53 percent of Iowans have a favorable view of Trump, which is higher than it was during his presidency.

“I’ve seen this from my very first rally that I was staff at in 2016, the movement has only gotten bigger,” Branstad says. Trump also appears to be the most popular Republican in Iowa, with 91 percent of Republicans surveyed for the Iowa Poll saying they have a favorable view of the former president.

Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn says that’s worrisome. “Iowa Republicans have tied themselves to a man who attacked the very foundation of our democracy throughout his time in office,” Wilburn says. Wilburn says Trump has shown a complete disregard for the rule of law as he continues to protest the 2020 election outcome.

“He’s toxic for our democracy and it’s been well established that he did nothing to stop his supporters from violently attacking our Capitol,” Wilburn says, “even while his own vice president was inside.” Wilburn made his comments during the Iowa Democratic Party’s weekly online news conference.

Entry via Radio Iowa

12:40 p.m. - State health officials report 9.5% 14-day coronavirus test positivity rate

8 a.m. - Des Moines food pantry receives national funding to continue supporting Iowa Latinos

A culturally-specific food pantry based in Des Moines has received national support to continue its service in providing nutrition to Iowa’s Latinos.

Knock and Drop Iowa started out as a temporary solution to serve Latinos hardest hit by the pandemic. “I really thought it was just going to be a project of maybe six months, right? Because of the pandemic. I didn't think that it was going to last this long,” says founder Zuli Garcia. “But then, even now when the pandemic is gone, and ends up leaving, hopefully soon, I think that this is needed. This is something that's a huge need.”

A nonprofit based in New York granted Garcia’s group $25,000. Garcia says she didn’t expect a project that started in her garage to get national attention. “It's kind of scary, to be honest with you, but kind of exciting to finally get the assistance and the help we need for our community here.”

Garcia and her team of volunteers have served more than 18,000 families, and they don’t have plans to stop.

7 a.m. - John Deere union workers to learn details of tentative contract

John Deere union workers in Iowa and other states will learn the details of a tentative contract Friday before voting on Sunday.

On its website, the United Auto Workers Local 8-65 in East Moline says an agreement summary will be available for pick up at the union hall.

Union members will get access to a special website that includes the contract summary, a copy of the agreement that highlights all the proposed changes, a video about proposed benefit changes and a benefits calculator.”

The ratification vote will be held Sunday after a presentation of the "UAW Deere Labor and Benefits Agreement."

The proposed agreement would cover 10,000 employees at 12 Deere plants in Illinois, Iowa and Kansas.