KXEL Midday News for Tue. Sep. 15, 2020

KXEL Midday News for Tue. Sep. 15, 2020

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S NEW FISCAL YEAR IS 15 DAYS AWAY. IOWA SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY RECENTLY TALKED ABOUT WHETHER A BUDGET PLAN WILL BE READY IN TIME FOR OCTOBER 1ST. ANOTHER LEGISLATIVE ISSUE LIKELY TO BE AT THE FOREFRONT IN THE COMING WEEKS IS A NEW CORONAVIRUS RELIEF PACKAGE. GRASSLEY CRITICIZED SENATE DEMOCRATS FOR VOTING DOWN THE LAST COVID BILL AT A PRELIMINARY STAGE LAST WEEK.

NEW DETAILS HAVE BEEN REVEALED ABOUT A CAR CHASE IN LINN COUNTY LAST WEEK. AUTHORITIES SAY 56-YEAR-OLD RUDOLPH WILLIAMS WAS ALREADY BEING SOUGHT FOR ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT CHARGES. THEY ALEDGE THAT WILLIAMS HAD BEEN DRINKING WHEN CEDAR RAPIDS POLICE TRIED TO PULL HIM OVER AFTER MIDNIGHT ON THURSDAY MORNING. A PURSUIT THROUGH THE CITY AND INTO RURAL PARTS OF THE COUNTY REACHED SPEEDS OVER 100 MILES PER HOUR AND ENDED WHEN WILLIAMS LOST CONTROL OF HIS CAR NEAR MT. VERNON. WILLIAMS WAS ARRESTED AFTER BEING TREATED FOR MINOR INJURIES.

CEDAR VALLEY OFFICIALS FROM THE SALVATION ARMY SAY THEY ARE STARTING THEIR HOLIDAY RED KETTLE CAMPAIGN…NOW. THE CHARITY SITED THE ADDITIONAL NEED CREATED BY THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. THE SALVATION ARMY OF WATERLOO/CEDAR FALLS SAID IN A STATEMENT MONDAY THAT THEY EXPECT DONATIONS AT RETAIL STORES TO BE IMPACTED BY CORONAVIRUS. ALTHOUGH THE FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN IS UNDERWAY, BELL RINGERS WILL NOT BEGIN TO APPEAR AT STORES UNTIL NOVEMBER 9TH.

UP TO FIVE INCHES OF RAIN FELL IN PARTS OF IOWA LAST WEEK. STATE AGRICULTURE OFFICIALS SITED THE WETTER WEATHER AS A POSITIVE WHEN THE WEEKLY USDA CROP REPORT WAS RELEASED ON MONDAY. MUCH OF IOWA HAD BEEN PUSHED INTO DROUGHT DURING AN UNSEASONABLY DRY AUGUST. NOW, TWO-THIRDS OF THE STATE’S TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS CATEGORIEZED AS ADEQUATE OR BETTER. JUST 42 PERCENT OF CORN IS RATED AS GOOD OR EXCELLENT, WHILE 48 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE IN THAT CATEGORY AT THIS POINT.

CEDAR VALLEY POLICE USED DNA TO MATCH A SUSPECT TO A ROBBERY FROM EARLIER THIS YEAR. MELVIN MANNING OF WATERLOO ALLEGEDLY TOOK ITEMS FROM THE COMMUNITY OF CHRIST CHURCH IN CEDAR FALLS IN APRIL. AUTHORITIES CLAIM HIS DNA WAS FOUND ON CIGARETTE BUTTS RECOVERED THERE. MANNING WAS ARRESTED LAST WEEK. HE HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN GIVEN PROBATION IN A PRIOR THEFT CASE.

STARTING TODAY, THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY WILL NOT BE COVERING THE COSTS FOR SCHOOLS TO BUY PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO SLOW THE SPREAD OF THE CORONAVIRUS. THAT LEAVES SCHOOL OFFICIALS IN CEDAR RAPIDS WONDERING ABOUT THE STATUS OF THEIR EARLIER CLAIMS. EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS SERVICES DAVID NICHOLSON TALKED WITH OUR COVERAGE PARTNERS AT TV-9. CEDAR RAPIDS SCHOOLS WILL ALSO LIKELY SEEK FEMA ASSISTANCE FOR BUILDING DAMAGE CAUSE BY THE AUGUST DERECHO.

MASKS AND OTHER TYPES OF FACE COVERINGS WILL BE REQUIRED IN IOWA CITY THROUGH AT LEAST NOVEMBER 13TH. THE CITY’S MANDATE WAS EXTENDED THAT FAR ON MONDAY AFTER ORIGINALLY BEING ENACTED IN LATE JULY. THE IOWA CITY RULE OBLIDGES PEOPLE TO WEAR MASKS IN PUBLIC PLACES WITH A FEW EXCEPTIONS THAT INCLUDE EATING, DRINKING, AND EXERCISING. FINES STARTING AT MORE THAN 100 DOLLARS PER CITATION CAN BE ISSUED TO PEOPLE WHO VIOLATE THE ORDER.

LAST WEEK, IOWA SENATOR CHUCK GRASSLEY SENT A LETTER TO THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND THE FBI. GRASSLEY ASKED THOSE AGENCIES TO LOOK INTO WHETHER DATA WAS WIPED FROM CELL PHONES USED BY MEMBERS OF SPECIAL COUNCIL ROBERT MUELLER’S TEAM INVSTIGATING FOREIGN INTERFERENCE IN THE 2016 ELECTION. THIS MORNING DURING KXEL LIVE AND LOCAL, GRASSLEY TALKED ABOUT HIS REQUEST. GRASSLEY’S LETTER SAYS THE INFORMATION IS NEEDED SO LEGISLATORS WILL HAVE A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF DECISION-MAKING PROCESSES DURING THE MUELLER INVESTIGATION.

THE SHARE OF HEALTH INSURANCE PAID BY STATE EMPLOYEES IS GOING UP. INCREASES WILL VARY BASED ON THE PLAN SELECTED BY STATE WORKERS. THE ANNUAL ENROLLMENT PERIOD FOR HEALTH PLANS WILL OPEN LATER THIS MONTH, WITH MORE THAN 53 THOUSAND STATE EMPLOYEES EXPECTED TO SIGN UP FOR COVERAGE. THE WORKER PORTION OF INSURANCE PREMIUMS HAD ALREADY MORE THAN DOUBLED SINCE 2016 WHEN COLLECTIVE BARGAINING CHANGES FOR UNION CONTRACTS WERE PUT IN PLACE IN IOWA.