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Iowa and Nebraska See High Level of Flu Activity, State Sup. Court Justice Wiggins to Resign


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According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 34 states are now reporting high flu activity. 

That is an increase from 25 states last week.  Iowa and Nebraska are two of the 34 states experiencing high flu activity. 

In Iowa, the Department of Public Health lists influenza as "widespread" throughout the state.  The IDPH says this season there's been over 6,000 Iowans hospitalized for the flu and 11 people have reportedly died due to flu-related symptoms. 

While in Nebraska, the Department of Health and Human Services says almost 4,000 people in the state have been hospitalized with the flu and there have been at least five deaths.

Iowa Supreme Court Acting Chief Justice David Wiggins says he's retiring. The 69-year-old Wiggins says today he will retire March 13. He was named acting chief justice in November after the unexpected death of Chief Justice Mark Cady. 

Wiggins' departure will give Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds an opportunity to replace one of the two remaining Democratic appointees on the seven-member court. She just received the names of three nominees to fill Cady's vacant seat.

The  Judicial Nominating Commission yesterday finalists Joel Barrows, a district court judge out of Bettendorf; Matt McDermott, a Des Moines attorney; and Dana Oxley, a Cedar Rapids attorney.  Reynolds will have 30 days to make the appointment.

A civil engineer who has worked at the Iowa Department of Transportation for 28 years has been chosen as the agency's interim director. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced today that Stuart Anderson has begun his new duties and will lead the department until a permanent director is appointed. He replaces former Iowa DOT Director Mark Lowe, who was asked by Reynolds to resign last month. 

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