KXEL Midday News for Fri. Oct. 16, 2020

KXEL Midday News for Fri. Oct. 16, 2020

REPUBLICAN SENATOR JONI ERNST AND DEMOCRAT CHALLENGER THERESA GREENFIELD MET IN A DEBATE ON THURSDAY NIGHT. SPEAKING FROM REMOTE LOCATIONS, BOTH SPENT TIME TALKING ABOUT STIMULUS TO HELP PEOPLE THROUGH THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. GREENFIELD SAYS SHE WANTS ANOTHER ROUND OF FEDERAL AID SIMILAR TO THE CARES ACT, WHICH CREATED THE PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAM. ERNST TALKED ABOUT WORKING ON FEDERAL STIMULUS PROGRAMS IN THE SENATE EARLIER THIS SUMMER. DURING THE DEBATE, GREENFIELD AND ERNST DIFFERED SHARPLY ABOUT WHETHER SYSTEMATIC RACISM EXISTS AND ALSO ABOUT HOW TO OFFER HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR PATIENTS WITH PRE-EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS.

CEDAR RAPIDS POLICE HAVE ARRESTED A SUSPECT THEY ALLEGE WAS INVOLVED IN A SHOOTING EARLIER THIS MONTH. NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED FROM THE LATE OCTOBER 2ND INCIDENT AT CEDAR RIVER LANDING. AUTHORITIES HAVE CHARGED JOHNNY HILL JR. WITH FIRING INTO THE ESTABLISHMENT BEFORE LEAVING THE SCENE. HILL WAS ARRESTED LATE ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT. IN ADDITION TO GUN CHARGES, HILL ALSO FACES AN ARRAY OF DRUG COUNTS RELATED TO SUBSTANCES AUTHORITIES ALLEGEDLY FOUND IN THE HOME WHERE HE WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY.

IOWA GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS WOULD LIKE TO TRADE A REDUCTION IN STATE INCOME TAX FOR AN INCREASE IN SALES TAX. THE SO-CALLED TAX SWAP PROJECT HAS BEEN LABELED THE “INVEST IN IOWA” PROGRAM. NEW MONEY FROM THE TAX CHANGES WOULD BE PUT TOWARD A NUMBER OF PROBLEMS VEXING THE STATE LIKE MENTAL HEALTH CARE AND WATER QUALITY. IT LOOKED LIKE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC MIGHT STALL THE “INVEST IN IOWA” PACKAGE. HOWEVER, THIS WEEK, THE GOVERNOR SAYS SHE WOULD LIKE STATE LEGISLATORS TO TAKE UP THE IDEAS DURING THE SESSION WHICH BEGINS THIS WINTER.

A FORMER CEDAR FALLS TIGERS GIRLS WRESTLER IS AMONG A GROUP OF STUDENTS SUING THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA, SEEKING MORE ATHLETIC OPPORTUNITIES FOR WOMEN. ABBIE LYMAN IS A FRESHMAN IN IOWA CITY. SHE AND OTHER UNIVERSITY OF IOWA STUDENTS WHO WANT TO CREATE VARSITY WOMEN’S WRESTLING AND RUGBY PROGRAMS AND ARE NOW INCLUDED AS PLAINTIFFS IN A LEGAL ACTION THAT HAD BEEN OPENED EARLIER THIS FALL. THE SUIT WAS ORIGINALLY FILED BY MEMBERS OF THE IOWA WOMEN’S SWIMMING AND DIVING TEAM TO STOP THE UNIVERSITY FROM ELIMINATING THEIR PROGRAM AFTER THIS SEASON. THE GROWING GROUP ARGUES THAT IOWA DOESN’T COMPLY WITH A FEDERAL LAW THAT REQUIRES COLLEGES TO OFFER EQUAL ATHLETICS OPPORTUNITIES TO MALE AND FEMALE STUDENTS.

THE NORTHEAST IOWA FOOD BANK’S ANNUAL STUDENT FOOD DRIVE IS UNDERWAY. FOOD BANK EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BARB PRATHER WAS A GUEST ON KXEL LIVE AND LOCAL THIS MORNING. THE STUDENT FOOD DRIVE WRAPS UP NOVEMBER 6TH.

A SCARY MOMENT IN MARION ON THURSDAY MORNING. A MEDICAL EMERGENCY CAUSED A MINIVAN DRIVER TO LOSE CONTROL OF THAT VEHICLE. IT WENT OFF THE ROAD, THROUGH A YARD, AND INTO THE SIDE OF A HOUSE. THE VAN PUNCHED A HOLE IN THE HOME’S SIDING AND BLOCK FOUNDATION, SCATTERING DEBRIS INSIDE THE STRUCTURE, WHILE THE FRONT OF THE VEHICLE WAS CRUMPLED. ONE MAN WAS IN THE HOUSE AT THE TIME BUT WAS UNINJURED.

FORMER ACTING U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL MATTHEW WHITAKER WAS A GUEST DURING KXEL LIVE AND LOCAL MORNING. WHITAKER SHARED HIS OBSERVATIONS ABOUT THE TONE OF SENATE CONFIRMATION HEARINGS FOR SUPREME COURT NOMINEE AMY CONEY BARRETT. A COMMITTEE VOTE ON THE BARRETT NOMINATION IS EXPECTED DURING THE LATTER PART OF NEXT WEEK. HEAR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH MATTHEW WHITAKER ONLINE AT KXEL.COM.

A MAJORITY OF BANKERS SURVEYED IN RURAL PARTS OF 10 PLAINS AND MIDWESTERN STATES ARE SHOWING MORE ENTHUSIASM FOR THE STATE OF THEIR LOCAL ECONOMIES. THE RURAL MAINSTREET SURVEY’S OVERALL INDEX SURGED TO ITS HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC BEGAN. ANY SCORE ABOVE 50 SUGGESTS AN OUTLOOK FOR GROWTH; THE NUMBER WAS 53.2 THIS MONTH. BANKERS FROM IOWA WERE AMONG THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN THE SURVEY.