Leader of Planned Parenthood in upper Midwest stepping down
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The president of Planned Parenthood’s affiliate in the upper Midwest says she is stepping down from her position next year. Sarah Stoesz oversaw the organization for nearly 20 years and grew it into one of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country as it expanded from Minnesota and South Dakota to incorporate North Dakota, Iowa and Nebraska, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported. The five-state organization provides health care to more than 100,000 patients each year. Stoesz does not plan to step down until October while the organization searches for her replacement.
At least 24 tornadoes confirmed this week in Nebraska, Iowa
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — At least two dozen tornadoes tore through parts of Nebraska and Iowa earlier this week as part of a powerful storm system that swept across the Great Plains and Midwest earlier this week. The National Weather Service on Friday confirmed tornadoes that stretched across a swath from south-central Nebraska to northeastern Iowa. The service says more tornadoes in those states are likely to be confirmed as storm teams continued to assess damage on the ground Friday. The service says nine of those tornadoes rated an EF2, with wind speeds of 111-135 mph. The others were moderate EF1 or weak EF0 tornadoes.
OPEN RECORDS-IOWA PROPERTY OWNERS
Court keeps private property owners removed from web search
Property owners who ask to remove their names from online property searches to make finding their address more difficult may keep their names confidential under a ruling published by the Iowa Supreme Court on Friday. The case stems from a 2017 request by a Des Moines Register reporter for the Polk County assessor to release the names of people who wanted to disable the search-by-name function in property records online searches. The Iowa Public Information Board and a state judge concluded that the list of names was public record. A majority of justices on the high court, however, said the list falls under an exception to the public records law and should remain confidential.
IOWA GOVERNOR-OPEN RECORDS LAWSUIT
Iowa governor unveils public records process after lawsuit
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office has announced a new system for handling open record requests, a day after three media organizations sued her, alleging she has repeatedly violated the state’s open records laws by ignoring requests for government records. Reynolds’ spokesman Alex Murphy says in an email Friday that the coronavirus pandemic created increased records requests and they are still being processed. He says reporters with outstanding requests will be notified of their status. The change comes after the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa filed a lawsuit claiming groups they represent have not received requested documents months after requests and in some cases after more than a year.
Iowa unemployment rate improves to 3.7%, ranks 19th in US
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The unemployment rate in Iowa fell sightly to 3.7% in November from 3.9% in October as jobs were added in food service, professional and business services, health care and construction. A strike at major employer John Deere affected unemployment statistics for the month but workers approved a third contract offer on Nov. 17 and returned to work. Iowa Workforce Development officials said manufacturing shed 5,500 jobs in November during the labor disruptions but it was a temporary reduction and manufacturing job totals are expected to return to normal for December. The total number of working Iowans increased to nearly 1.6 million in November, about 3,100 workers higher than October and 38,400 higher than one year ago.
Since 1980s US chances of a white Christmas melt a bit
A white Christmas is going from reality to more of a dream for chunks of the United States. Analysis of 40 years worth of United States snow measurements shows less of the country now has snow on the ground on Christmas than it did in the 1980s. It’s especially noticeable in a large swath in the east-west middle belt of the country. But the data is complex and some scientists caution against drawing conclusions about trends and the role of global warming. Places such as Iowa, much of the Rockies and eastern Washington have lower chances for a white Christmas.
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