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NEWS 8.1.22: Plane Crash Investigation, Nebraska Wildfire, Heat Advisory, Iowa Caucus Decision Delayed, and More

The FAA is investigating a deadly plane crash over the weekend in Monona County. It happened Saturday afternoon south of Ute when a witness says a small plane used for spraying fields hit electrical lines. The pilot died.

The Iowa National Guard is having trouble recruiting new people into the armed forces. Numbers for both the Air and Army National Guards are declining, according to WHO-TV in Des Moines.

A large part of the decline is due to factors stemming from the pandemic, including access to recruiting in schools.

Recruiters are also finding there are fewer people willing and able to serve.

An official with Iowa Air National Guard says to try to boost recruitment, they have started offering a $20,000 signing bonus to new recruits.

National party leaders will decide the fate of the Iowa Democratic Party’s 2024 Caucuses after the November election.

The Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws Committee was to meet this week and recommend which five states should get to host the early voting contests in the next presidential election. That decision is now delayed.

Democrats from Iowa, along with 15 states and Puerto Rico, are vying to host the opening voting in the party’s next presidential nominating process. Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn says it’s important for small rural states like Iowa to have a voice in picking the party’s next nominee.

Some national party leaders say Iowa lacks the kind of diversity and General Election competitiveness that early voting states should have. The complexity of figuring out which Democratic candidate has won past Iowa Caucuses is also an issue. Iowa Democrats have proposed dramatic changes to simplify their Caucus process.

The Republican National Committee has already decided the Iowa GOP’s Caucuses will remain first in 2024. Iowa Republicans take a straw poll at the start of their Caucus meetings to determine a winner. Democrats have required participants to openly declare which candidates they support, with a potential for two rounds of voting if certain candidates lack enough support in a precinct meeting.



Iowa State University will launch a new major this fall focusing on climate science.

The bachelor of science degree will allow students to choose their own focus.

Chair of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences Kristie Franz says it can prepare them for careers in everything from sustainable design planning to advising private industries, like insurance.

But, all pathways will give students the knowledge to strategize against climate change.

The current generation is recognizing that the legitimacy of science and observing it as well, just along with the rest of us. And really want to do something about it, because it's their future. And so they want to be a part of the solution.

She says the coursework will consist of many classes within the university’s earth science department. It will also integrate economic and communications courses.

A wildfire raging in the Nebraska Panhandle has led to evacuations and destroyed or damaged several homes just south of Gering. Fire and emergency management officials say the blaze, dubbed the Carter Canyon Fire, was reported Saturday evening and began as two separate fires in heavily treed areas of the Cedar Canyon Wildlife Management Area and Carter Canyon Public Land. Officials say tinder-dry conditions, rough terrain and 20 mph winds hampered efforts to control the fires, which merged over the weekend into one fire. Officials say the fire has burned about 20 square miles and destroyed three homes and damaged several more in the Carter Canyon community that was evacuated Sunday. No injuries were immediately reported.

Local news reports say lightning likely caused the blaze. Only about a 1/3 of the fire was contained earlier today. Firefighters on the scene say drought conditions helped fuel the fire. Officials say it could take another week to contain the fire.

The National Weather Service issued a Heat Advisory for tomorrow from noon until 8. The temperature is forecasted to top 100 in Sioux City with a heat index as high as 106.