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PM Newscasts 9.26.19


A fourth Republican challenger has thrown his hat into the ring to unseat Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King from Iowa’s 4th Congressional District.

Steve Reeder is a commercial real estate broker from Arnolds Park. In a news release, Reeder said he wants to “provide transparent dialogue to restore trust and confidence in representation in Washington.”

Reeder’s priorities include balancing the budget, improving health care, and revitalizing rural areas.

King is seeking a tenth term in Congress. He is set to face four Republican challengers in a primary election next June.

There are three other candidates in the race.  They are Woodbury County Supervisor Jeremy Taylor, State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull and the former mayor of Irwin, Bret Richards.

Farmers and biofuel industry leaders in the Midwest are calling on the Trump administration to restore demand for renewable fuels.

They say the EPA’s decision to grant many oil refineries exemptions from blending four billion gallons of ethanol is causing widespread harm to many sectors of agriculture. Some renewable fuels plants have stopped production.

Ron Heck is a soybean farmer and on the National Biodiesel Board. He says farmers are urging Trump to restore those lost gallons.

“Many farmers are losing patience with the president. And he has to rein in his EPA right now or there will be political consequences to that because of the economic damage we’re suffering right now.”

Another Iowa farmer said the latest 31 exemptions announced in August caused ethanol prices to drop 18 to 20 cents over two days.

Emergency planners and agriculture officials  are wrapping up a four-day exercise to test their preparedness for a deadly pig disease outbreak.

Iowa and 13 other top pork-producing states have been exploring what would happen if the deadly African swine fever virus were found in this country.

The state emergency operations center in Des Moines hosted farmers, law enforcement officers, state lawmakers and others for the simulation.

Iowa secretary of agriculture Mike Naig says the simulation poked some holes in existing plans.

“We are absolutely finding things that need to be addressed, both here in our planning but also at the national level as well and that’s exactly what this is supposed to do.”

Naig says a fast and aggressive response to an outbreak would be necessary to contain it.

African swine fever poses no threat to humans but could be economically devastating for Iowa’s pork sector.

The Iowa Court of Appeals will decide whether a lawsuit against the governor challenging a new law that changed the way Iowa picks some judges can move forward.

The Iowa Supreme Court today issued an order sending the case filed in May by a group of Democratic lawmakers and lawyers against Gov. Kim Reynolds to the appeals court.

The case had been dismissed in June by a judge who said the lawmakers and other plaintiffs don't have legal standing to challenge the law.

The new law signed by Reynolds in May gave the governor an additional appointment to the 17-member state judicial nominating commission, resulting in the governor having a majority of nine appointees.

The commission nominates justices for the Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals.

The gap between the haves and have-nots in the United States grew last year to its highest level in more than 50 years of tracking income inequality, according to U.S. Census Bureau figures released today.

Income inequality in the United States expanded from 2017 to 2018, with several heartland states among the leaders of the increase.

The median household income in the U.S. is almost $62,000.

Even though household income increased, it was distributed unevenly according to economists who say the tax cut passed by Congress in 2017 helped the wealthiest in the country.

South Dakota was one of the states with the most economic equality, Nebraska was one of the states with the biggest increases in inequality, due in part to a slowdown in agricultural.

Support for an Iowa man who gained nation-wide attention in raising money for a children’s hospital in Iowa continues to grow.

Carson King told television station WHO in Des Moines as of eleven this morning so far $1.7 million has been raised.

King held up a sign at the ISU/Iowa game asking for beer money.  Anheuser-Bush and Venmo offered to match the donations. 

On Tuesday, King held a news conference apologizing for racially-insensitive tweets posted eight-years ago when he was 16.  A reporter from the Des Moines Register uncovered the tweets sparking backlash for the newspaper.  The Register is also looking into questionable posts of the reporter.  Anheuser-Bush severed ties to King after becoming aware of the tweets.

Also, Iowa Governor signed a declaration making Saturday “Carson King Day” in Iowa. Donations to King’s Venmo account will continue through the end of the month.

King released a statement this afternoon saying he is overwhelmed that a sign that started as a joke will end up making such a meaningful impact for years to come. 

He also said, “Our society can be so divisive at times.  But these two weeks have shown we have the power to come together and make a difference.  I hope this can be an inspiration for all of us going forward.

King expects to release the final amount of the donations on Tuesday afternoon.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers will be in the spotlight this weekend. They take on Number 5 Ohio State on Saturday night in Lincoln.  Plus, ESPN’s “College Game Day” will be in town!

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