(Cedar Rapids, IA) -- Former Vice President Joe Biden is urging Iowans to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in next week's general election. Biden appeared at a rally last night (Tuesday) in Cedar Rapids to campaign for the Fred Hubbell ticket in the Iowa governor's race and First District Congressional candidate Abby Finkenauer. Biden told the crowd, "We need more women and men of character, like Fred and Abby. Because what they really do have, they have character. They’re decent, they’re honorable. Folks, I think we all know there’s something different about this election.” Biden accused Republicans of dividing the nation and called on voters in Iowa "to rise about the terror and hate" he sees playing out in modern American society. The Iowa Republican Party criticized Biden's visit calling it "a rescue mission." Polls indicate the race for governor is too close to call while Iowa's First District is leaning Democratic.
(Des Moines, IA) -- Secretary of State Paul Pate is reporting Republican candidates swept this year's Iowa Youth Straw Poll. Around 40-thousand students in more than 300 schools in the state cast ballots in Tuesday's unscientific survey. The preliminary results show Governor Kim Reynolds with a 46 to 38 percent over lead over Democratic challenger Fred Hubbell. In the U-S House races, G-O-P challenger Chris Peters edged Congressman Dave Loebsack 42 to 38 percent in Iowa's Second District; Third District Representative David Young topped Democrat Cindy Axne 45 to 37 percent; Republican Steve King had a 53 to 34 percent margin over J-D Scholten in the Fourth District; and G-O-P incumbent Rod Blum narrowly beat Abby Finkenauer 47 to 44 percent in the First District.
(Washington, DC) -- Iowa Congressman Steve King is applauding President Trump's proposed effort to end birthright citizenship with an executive order. The Fourth District Republican said in a statement, "I am delighted to learn that President Trump intends to end automatic citizenship at birth for the children of illegal aliens whose parents have no ties, and owe no allegiance, to the United States." King authored a bill ending birthright citizenship and said he was very happy his legislation will soon be adopted by the White House as national policy. King claims ending birthright citizenship would not require a constitutional amendment as some legal experts are arguing.
(Clarinda, IA) -- The Iowa Department of Corrections is investigating an officer assault at the Clarinda state prison. Officials say the correctional officer was doing routine duties Monday night when confronted by an inmate. There was a verbal exchange and the offender unexpectedly began striking the officer with closed fists. The officer defending himself was able to grab his pepper spray and used it on the attacker. He gained control of the inmate until additional officers arrived to help. The corrections officer was treated at a Clarinda hospital and released. Investigators are still trying to determine what led to the attack. An inmate assault on a corrections officer at the Fort Madison prison on October 22nd prompted the union to call for increased staffing levels.
(Graettinger, IA) -- The National Transportation Safety Board (N-T-S-B) blames a broken rail, plus inadequate track maintenance and inspection for a train derailment last year in northwest Iowa. Fourteen tanker cars released more than 300-thousand gallons of ethanol when the Union Pacific train derailed in March of 2017 near the Palo Alto County town of Graettinger (GRET'-in-jur). The post-accident fire burned more than 36 hours causing about four-million dollars in damage including the destruction of 400 feet of track and a railroad bridge. No injuries were reported. The N-T-S-B says the spill could have been prevented if more robust tanker cars had been used to transport the ethanol.
(Cedar Rapids, IA) -- The Hawkeye Area Council of the Boy Scouts is facing a lawsuit for alleged sexual abuse by a volunteer leader in the 1970s. A plaintiff identified as John Doe claims they were sexually abused by a specific troop leader during car rides to scouting activities and on camping trips. The suit accuses the Boy Scouts of failing to monitor the troop leader and not contacting law enforcement about his behavior. The accuser's lawyer says he seeks justice because the organizations knew the troop leader was a danger and failed to protect him. The Hawkeye Area Council issued an apology to victims and families of scouts who were abused.