Washington, DC (RI) — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he recently met with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who reported no progress on key issues in last week’s trade talks with China.

Three days of trade talks were held last week in Beijing. Despite the lack of progress, Grassley remains optimistic about resolving the trade war in the near future.

Grassley made his comments in a conference call with ag reporters.

Washington, D.C. — Iowa 4th District Congressman Steve King has released a statement following  remarks made by FOX News senior political  analyst Brit Hume which condemn a New York Times article, published earlier this week, as being “completely bogus.” 

The New York Times writer responsible for the article condemned by Hume is the same writer of an earlier Times article that GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy relied upon to, in King’s words, “railroad” him for a quote King has consistently disputed.

King’s statement reads as follows:

“Brit Hume, a respected journalist who admittedly is no fan of mine, has it right: the New York Times is publishing ‘completely bogus’ hit pieces about me. Republicans should note that the ‘completely bogus’ article identified by Hume is written by the same writerin the same paperon the same general topic as an earlier Times piece relied upon by Kevin McCarthy, our politically correct Minority Leader, to railroad me.  Clearly, this ‘completely bogus’ second article should call the Times’ earlier article into question. It should also make Republicans question whether our politically correct leadership intends to stand with other conservatives, including President Trump, when the liberal New York Times publishes ‘completely bogus’ stories about them.”

The following is an excerpt of Hume’s remarks Tuesday:

“And that New York Times piece was completely bogus, I mean those comments, look I don’t agree with them and I’m no fan of Steve King. Look, I’m sorry, they did not amount to racism.”

January 16, 2019 - 3:06 pm - Posted in News

Sibley, Iowa — There’s a new face around Sibley and Osceola County these days, as Stephanie Neppl settles into her new position as Osceola County Economic Development Director.

Neppl took the reins January 1st upon the retirement of former director Mike Earll who had served in the position for the previous five years. KIWA talked with Neppl, and the Estherville native told us a little about her background.

Neppl tells KIWA that she had been looking to return to northwest Iowa to get closer to family.

She says the challenges facing Osceola County are some of the same ones she encountered during her tenure in Kansas City, the only difference being the population difference. One challenge is in keeping Osceola County’s young people from leaving the area.

Neppl says attracting new companies to locate in Osceola County is an important part of her job, but so is helping the county’s existing businesses.

One of Neppl’s duties is to serve on the board of Northwest Iowa Development, an organization comprised of community development professionals from around northwest Iowa. She says one of the first things she did upon arriving in Sibley is attend an NWID meeting with former director Mike Earll.

Neppl’s been on the job in Osceola County for just a couple of weeks, but says she is happy and excited about her work in Osceola County.

Northwest Iowa — From time to time we tell you about new scams that are being perpetrated, or at least attempted, on unsuspecting victims here in northwest Iowa. But until now we haven’t had any real numbers to illustrate the impact of these schemes. Until now.

Internet Privacy Day, January 28th, and Safer Internet Day (February 6th) are just around the corner, and CenturyLink has collected data on the impact of these online scams.

According to their report, Iowans were swindled out of $4.01-MILLION by scammers last year. Iowa was fairly low on the scale of the number of people who were scammed, with 4.87 victims per 10-thousand people. The average amount of money lost by those who did fall for the scams totaled $2,618.00.

The state with the lowest average money loss was Nevada, at $6.53, while the highest was Arizona at $9,251.46.

Scammers are coming up with new ways to separate you from your hard-earned cash every day, so remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Use your common sense and avoid becoming a victim of scammers.

January 16, 2019 - 12:27 pm - Posted in News

Northwest Iowa — The Iowa Department of Human Services says they have been notified by the USDA that Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, known in Iowa as Food Assistance, will be available for the month of February, but due to the federal government shutdown, issuance of February Food Assistance benefits will be early.

According to the DHS, February benefits will be available on the recipients’ EBT cards on January 17th, instead of the regular February dates. They stress that these are normal February benefits, they are just being issued early.

The DHS says they are encouraging recipients to budget their normal benefits to ensure they last through the month of February.

The Iowa Department of Human Services say anticipates increased call volume, which, they say, may impact the time it takes for them to return calls. The DHS says contingency plans are being developed for the month of March, should they be needed, and information will be shared as it available. The DHS says they will continue to closely monitor the situation.

For more information you can contact Matt Highland at 515-281-4848 or mhighla@dhs.state.ia.us.

Visit dhs.iowa.gov for information on DHS and its programs.

January 16, 2019 - 10:42 am - Posted in News

Washington, D.C. — Facing calls for his resignation and a 2020 primary challenge from his fellow Republicans, Iowa Congressman Steve King has voted for a resolution condemning white supremacy and white nationalism — a resolution “of disapproval” drafted in response to comments from King that were published in The New York Times.

King again disputed the way his recent comments have been characterized.

Congressman James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, led the bipartisan charge to condemn King’s remarks. Clyburn said racial divisiveness is ripping the country apart.

The resolution denouncing white nationalism and white supremacy as “hateful” passed on a vote of 424 to one. The one “no” vote came from a congressman who said he would only support a resolution that directly censures King. On Monday night, the Republican leader in the House said King’s New York Times quote was “not the first time” King used such language and GOP leaders stripped King of his committee assignments. King calls that an unprecedented assault on his freedom of speech.

During his House floor speech, King told his colleagues he “came from a family of abolitionists” who had served in the Union army during the Civil War.

Hull Senator Randy Feenstra is poised to run against King in a Republican primary in 2020. Feenstra says since King lost his seat on the House Agriculture Committee, “Iowa farmers are left without a vote on the important committee for the first time in 120 years.”

Kings complete comments on the House floor may be viewed below………….

January 15, 2019 - 1:40 pm - Posted in News

Washington, D.C. — (RI) — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it’s no surprise fellow Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King is being punished for his comments about white supremacy.

Grassley notes Republican House leaders have stripped King of his committee assignments and some Democrats are calling for King’s censure.

On Monday, King was removed from three panels, the Agriculture and Small Business committees as well as the powerful Judiciary Committee. Grassley says he understands the actions of House GOP leaders who say King’s remarks won’t be tolerated.

King says his comments were “completely mischaracterized” and that booting him from the committees is “a political decision that ignores the truth,” yet Grassley and other Republicans are distancing themselves from King.

Grassley says while King won’t be able to represent the people of Iowa’s Fourth District in committee action, he’ll still be able to voice opinions on any issues that comes from those committees when they go before the full House for a vote.

January 15, 2019 - 10:02 am - Posted in News

Ellsworth, Minnesota — Fire crews were summoned to the City Hall building in Ellsworth, Minnesota this (Tuesday) morning.

A source tells KIWA that fire crews from several area communities were called upon to assist the Ellsworth Fire Department in battling the blaze in the hundred-year-old structure.

No other information is available at this time.

January 15, 2019 - 10:02 am - Posted in News

Washington, D.C. — (RI) — Republican leaders in the U.S. House have unanimously voted to remove Iowa Congressman Steve King from House committees — a decision King immediately denounced.

King had been a member of the Agriculture and Small Business Committees as well as the powerful House Judiciary Committee. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said stripping King of his committee assignments shows King’s remarks about white supremacy “will not be tolerated” in the GOP. King, in a written statement, said removing him from committees was “a political decision that ignores the truth.” King says the remark he made to The New York Times has been mischaracterized. McCarthy told reporters it was “not the first time” King has made such comments. Congressman King concluded his written statement by saying he “will continue to point out the truth” and vigorously represent Iowa’s fourth congressional district “for at least the next two years.” That’s a strong hint he will run for reeleciton in 2020.

Republican State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull announced last week he’ll run for King’s seat in congress in 2020. Feenstra says it’s sad that voters and conservative values in the district “have lost their seat at the table” because of what he called King’s “caustic behavior.”

At least three DEMOCRATS in the U.S. House have drafted resolutions to have the House censure or reprimand King. The REPUBLICAN leader in the U.S. Senate also weighed in yesterday. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said if King doesn’t understand why white supremacy is offensive, “he should find another line of work.”

January 11, 2019 - 3:02 pm - Posted in News

Des Moines, Iowa — Fourteen tissue samples from wild Iowa deer tested positive for chronic wasting disease, bringing the total deer testing positive to chronic wasting disease in Iowa to 44. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is waiting for results on follow up tests for two suspect samples that could raise the total positives for the year to 16.  The deer tissue was collected primarily during the fall from hunter harvested and road killed deer.

The way that this disease moves, these results were not unexpected,according to  Todd Bishop, chief of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Bureau.

Eight positive deer were confirmed in Allamakee County, four in Clayton County, one (plus two suspects) in Wayne County and, for the first time, one in Dubuque County. The Dubuque County deer was a roadkill, 2-1/2 miles southeast of the city limits.

Bishop says hunters are doing an excellent job harvesting deer and providing samples in DNR’s priority areas, areas where the disease had been confirmed before. The DNR wants to slow this down as best they can while still having high quality deer hunting, hoping science can provide some solutions down the road, according to Bishop

More than 6,800 tissue samples have been collected during the 2018 deer season. The DNR contacted each hunter whose deer tested positive and offered to collect the meat and any remaining bones and tissue. Hunters turned over the meat in every case. The collected material was bagged, sealed, then disposed in a local landfill.

Chronic wasting disease was first confirmed in the Midwest in Wisconsin in 2001 about 75 miles from the Iowa state line, and has since been confirmed in every other state bordering Iowa. The Iowa DNR began monitoring for the disease in 2002 with an emphasis on counties nearest where it was confirmed in the wild and has tested more than 74,000 deer since. The disease was first confirmed in Iowa near Harpers Ferry in Allamakee County in 2013.

CWD is a neurological disease belonging to the family of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases.  It attacks the brain of infected deer causing the animal to lose weight, display abnormal behavior, lose body functions and die. It is always fatal to the infected animal.

The Iowa DNR has more information about CWD and other infectious disease online at www.iowadnr.gov/cwd.