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News and resources regarding COVID-19

All Travel for Regent's Unviersities in Iowa Cancelled for 30 Days Due to Coronavirus Fears

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Fears about the coronavirus have prompted the Iowa Board of Regents is immediately canceling all university-sponsored international travel for all faculty, staff, and students at Iowa, Iowa State and UNI for 30 days, including Spring Break.

The board says faculty, staff, and students who are already out of the country, are being recalled if they’re in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea.

The Iowa Senate has passed a bill to enhance criminal penalties for abuse and neglect of companion animals. 

Iowa’s animal cruelty laws have been referred to as some of the weakest in the country.

The bill doesn’t raise the most serious animal abuse charges to the level of a felony, but it imposes a mandatory minimum for sentencing.

Republican Senator Brad Zaun of Urbandale says the bill is the product of years of negotiations.

“I am sick and tired of hearing in the news on almost a daily or weekly basis of these cases where these companion animals are being abused.”

He adds the bill isn’t meant to apply to livestock. 

Tom Colvin with the Animal Rescue League of Iowa says in a statement the bill is “a huge step forward for companion animals in Iowa.”

Iowans are warned not to do any outdoor burning today as the risk of wildfires is highly elevated.

Meteorologist Craig Cogil, at the National Weather Service in Johnston, says all three tiers of counties across southern Iowa are under a Red Flag Warning, essentially everything south of Interstate 80.

Parts of southern Iowa have only gotten a quarter-inch of rain in the past month, less than 25% of average.

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