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Siouxland Rescue Team Deployed In SW Iowa, IA Sup Court Rules for Dakota Access Pipeline 5:04

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Ten members of Sioux City’s Urban Search and Rescue team were deployed to southwest Iowa early this morning, according to Radio Iowa.

The crew took its rescue equipment and an amphibious vehicle. Captain Ryan Collins of Sioux City Fire Rescue says the team will help FEMA make damage assessments in the Sidney area.

The unit was activated by Iowa Homeland Security. The National Weather Service warns flooding will continue in southwest Iowa along the Missouri River for several more weeks.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has filed a lawsuit challenging a new state law that prohibits the use of Medicaid funding for gender reassignment surgery.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a bill on May 3 that included language amending the state's Civil Rights Act so that government officials are not required to pay for gender reassignment surgery.

The ACLU has sued in state court to block enforcement of the law on behalf of One Iowa, a group that advocates for transgender rights, and two transgender Iowans who qualify for Medicaid and whose doctors say they need the surgery.

The Iowa Supreme Court has affirmed a state regulator’s 2016 decision to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to be built diagonally across the state. ‘Court also upheld the use of eminent domain to make way for the pipeline against the objections of landowners. 

Landowners and the Sierra Club sued the pipeline and the Iowa Utilities Board because they said the pipeline doesn’t meet the legal standard of “public convenience and necessity” and presents serious environmental risks. 

The Trump administration is following through on a plan to allow year-round sales of gasoline mixed with 15% ethanol.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced the change Friday, ending a summertime ban imposed out of concerns for increased smog from the higher ethanol blend. The agency had proposed the change in March.

The change also fulfills a pledge that President Donald Trump made to U.S. corn farmers, who see ethanol as an important driver of demand for their crops. 

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