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PM Newscasts 5.27.19

Iowa De

While the school year is winding down, food insecure kids who normally rely on school lunches have some options.

There will be hundreds of meal sites across the state this summer where children can go to eat at no charge. 

The Department of Education’s Stephanie Dross coordinates the program, which she says strives to meet kids where they are.

“And so we have more and more sponsors trying to go out into the community, right where the kids are in their home environment. So we’re seeing apartment complexes, trailer parks. We also have some sponsors that actually have a renovated school bus or a food truck.”

Some 195,000 Iowa kids are eligible for free and reduced lunch, but just 10 to 15 percent of them take advantage of the summer program.

Dross is hoping the effort will reach more children this year. Families can get more information by texting FOOD to 8-7-7-8-7-7.

As the holiday weekend winds down, State Department of Natural Resources officials are encouraging boaters to clean, dry and drain their equipment once they leave the lake.

Failure to follow the rules can result in fines from 75 to 500 dollars.  Most Iowa lakes are not infested, so they’re working to keep it that way.

Over the past three decades, federal and local governments have poured more than $5 billion into buying tens of thousands of properties that are susceptible to flooding.

An analysis of federal data by The Associated Press shows those buyouts have been getting more expensive.

Many of the costliest have come during the last decade after strong storms pounded heavily populated coastal states such as Texas, New York and New Jersey.

Woodbury and Monona counties in northwest, Iowa were declared Federal Disaster areas after devasting flooding in March.

Republican Governor Kim Reynolds has vetoed a bipartisan bill that would have expanded Iowa’s medical marijuana program.

It would’ve allowed for more potent medical marijuana products than the ones currently available at the state’s five dispensaries.

In a statement, Reynolds says she hasn’t found a, quote, “evidence-based justification” for allowing patients to obtain up to 25 grams of THC in a 90-day period. 

The Iowa Supreme Court is tweaking how courts decide whether jury selection is fair to minority defendants.

In three separate cases, African American defendants argued their convictions were unconstitutional because there were there were no African Americans on their juries. They claim they were underrepresented in jury selection.

The court ruled that it’s not enough just to show a disparity between jury pools and local demographics.

It must also be significantly different from what you would get by taking a random sample of the local population.

On top of that, if there is a disparity it’s up to the defendants to prove it was caused by the jury selection system.

The Supreme Court sent the cases back to the lower courts to revisit the jury fairness question.

A judge is expected to rule this week on a request by Planned Parenthood to stop a new Iowa law.

The law blocks federal sex education funding to Planned Parenthood of the Heartland.

That's why the ACLU, on behalf of Planned Parenthood, asked the court for a temporary injection.

They say it would de-fund the agency from providing critical programming to Iowans and teen pregnancy rates have fallen dramatically in counties where Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has been providing services.

The judge is moving quickly and hopes to render a decision this week before the state takes final action.

The Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux City was closed almost two years ago impacting about 5,000 clients.

Authorities in Des Moines says it appears a mountain lion visiting the city could be back.

Over the weekend police investigated another sighting of a mountain lion they thought left a couple of weeks ago.

Someone took a picture of the big cat on the south side of Des Moines.

So, far Animal Control and local authorities haven’t been able to find the animal.  However, a spokesperson with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is closely looking over this later photo.  

They say it’s too blurry to see if the latest image is actually a mountain lion or some other creature.

Downtown Partners plans to hold a news conference tomorrow morning to announce the bands taking part in this year’s Downtown LIVE! outdoor concert series. 

The first show takes place Friday, June 14th on the lawn of the Sioux City Public Museum.

Sheila Brummer returns to her radio roots as a Reporter/Special Projects Producer for Siouxland Public Media KWIT-KOJI.