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NEWS 2.28.23

A new poll conducted by students at Morningside University shows the number one concern among Iowans is inflation. Fifteen percent say it’s the most important problems facing the U.S. today, followed by political polarization, elected officials and then immigration with eight percent. No elected official in Iowa on the state or national level received more than 50% of support. This was the 6th annual Colonel Bud Day Center for Civic Engagement Morningside Poll that surveyed 600 Iowans from February 13th through the 20th.

Morningside University Video Feed

Results of the survey can be found here.

Morningside Poll 2023: Data & Methods

The 2023 Morningside Poll was conducted from February 13 through February 20, 2023. It includes responses from 600 adults (age 18 or older) throughout the state of Iowa with a margin of sampling error of ± 4 percentage points (95 percent confidence level). Margins of sampling error for subgroups of respondents are available by request.

Surveys were conducted in English via computer-assisted telephone interviews with live interviewers calling landlines and cell phones (240 landline interviews completed, 360 cell phone interviews completed). The average interview length was thirteen minutes.

The sample of Iowa respondents was selected using random digit dialing (RDD) procedures by the polling firm Dynata (formerly Research Now/Survey Sampling International). The samples of landline and cell phone respondents are stratified by Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS), ZIP code, and telephone number area code so as to reduce sampling error that can occur using simple random samples. Metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) and non-MSAs, based on U.S. Census definitions, were also used in sample selection. This survey uses weighting procedures to account for the demographic composition of Iowa (according to U.S. Census data) by age, gender, and race.

The Morningside Poll is administered by the Colonel Bud Day Center for Civic Engagement at Morningside University. For additional information, contact the Center at civic@morningside.edu.

Committees in the Iowa House and Senate advanced bills today that would change eligibility requirements for Iowans to get food and health care assistance.

Republicans in both chambers are supporting limiting households seeking public aid to a maximum $15,000 in liquid assets and personal property, not including their home and up to two cars. The bills would direct the state to develop a new system or hire a company to conduct eligibility checks.

The bill that advanced in the House also seeks to establish work requirements for some recipients of food assistance and Medicaid. Republicans who support the bill say it’s aimed at keeping public assistance programs sustainable so they can help people who truly need it.

A bill moving to the House Judiciary Committee (HSB 208) would allow schools to prohibit a transgender student from using a bathroom or locker room that matches their gender identity.

Opponents of the bill say it sends the message that transgender students are not equal to their classmates.

The bill says if a school limits bathrooms to only one sex, it must provide an alternative such as access to a single-person bathroom.

Supporters say allowing a transgender student to use a bathroom based on their gender identity violates the privacy of cisgender students.

A related bill that requires single-sex bathrooms in schools passed on to the Senate Education Committee.

The Senate education committee killed a bill Tuesday morning that took aim at preventing events like a recent drag show hosted by a student organization at South Dakota State University from ever happening again.

House Bill 1116, which would have prohibited the use of state resources in hosting lewd or lascivious content, failed on a motion that would’ve sent the bill to the Senate with a recommendation that it pass.

The Sioux City Council approved a 10-year agreement with Gill Hauling for garbage and recycling services. Recycling will be picked up every other week. Mayor Bob Scott cast the lone “no” vote, stating that the agreement is too long and that he thinks it’s unfair to tie future councils to a 10-year contract.

For more information, check out this story from the Sioux City Journal.

Due to warmer weather, Cone Park will soon close down its sledding hill. On Facebook today, the Sioux City winter attraction ends the season on March 5th. The ice skating rink and bunny hill are already closed. The city plans to announce information on summer tubing, mountain bike trails, and more in the future.

Cone Park/Facebook

Dozens of trade union members gathered at the Iowa Statehouse Monday to protest a bill that would loosen Iowa’s child labor laws. They held signs that said “Iowa kids are not for sale.”

They’re opposing a bill that would allow teens to work longer hours and in more types of jobs. The state’s workforce development or education director could also waive prohibitions on minors working in manufacturing, mining and food processing in some cases.

Sandy Conway is a member of United Steelworkers Local 105. She says the bill would put kids in danger.

“Everything in our plant gets moved either by a fork truck, a crane, a vacuum or hooks. It’s no place for 14 or 15 year old kids to be.”

The Republican chair of the Senate Workforce Committee says he expects to get the bill approved by the committee ahead of this week’s funnel deadline.

Egg prices are still high at the supermarket. And a new report on Iowa egg production shows one reason why.

According to the USDA and a report from KCCI Television in Des Moines, Iowa produced over 1 billion eggs last month. That's an increase of 1% over December.

However, that's 15% fewer eggs than were produced in January 2022.

The USDA report says the number of hens laying eggs is also down 13% from a year ago.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments today over President Biden’s plan to forgive student loans, a plan Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley tells Radio Iowa is “reckless” and which would cost the federal government nearly one-trillion dollars.

Grassley, a Republican, says the student loan system is deeply flawed and students and families need help in making better informed decisions about borrowing for college. Grassley says debt forgiveness would “only shift the responsibility for repaying loans away from the original borrower and force it upon the American taxpayers.”

Grassley is introducing three bipartisan bills with Senator Tina Smith, a Democrat from Minnesota, which he says would offer more counseling, resources, and clarity to the student loan process. Grassley says Biden’s plan would erase ten to 20,000 dollars in debt for each student who qualifies, and millions may qualify. But, Iowa’s senior senator says “it’s not fair to force the cost of the plan on taxpayers who didn’t seek an advanced degree, or who already paid off their loans.”

The latest annual report from the Iowa Cancer Registry has found Iowa has the second highest incidence rate of cancer cases in the country.

Iowa is second to only Kentucky when it comes to incidence rates of cancer and was the only state with a significant increase in cancer cases from 2015 to 2019.

The report found the rate of new cancer cases in Iowa is expected to double this year as compared to cases fifty years ago. However, cancer mortality rates have significantly improved since then.

Surviving the widow maker heart attack

Sioux City, Iowa; Feb. 28, 2023 – With a 12 percent survival rate, experiencing a widow maker heart attack can be terrifying and, with time playing a huge role in the survival rate, ensuring you get medical attention can be lifesaving. Dr. Gary Chan, general cardiologist at MercyOne Siouxland Heart and Vascular Center, shares the role a bystander plays in the response rate and how early heart attack care saves lives.

What is the widow maker heart attack?

“There are three arteries in the heart; one feeds the front wall, one feeds the left wall, and one that feeds the right wall. A widow maker heart attack happens when you have a full blockage in the biggest artery in your heart, the block prevents blood from moving through your left artery, which provides about 66 percent of your heart muscle's blood supply,” he said.

What are the symptoms?

A heart attack and a widow maker heart attack have very similar symptoms:

  • Chest pain,
  • Dizziness, and
  • Shortness of breath.

“If you are experiencing sudden chest pain that you didn't notice before, shortness of breath or if you were previously able to do physical activities and suddenly it's more difficult, those are cause for concern and you should see your cardiologist to investigate further. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, call 911 and wait for the ambulance. Don’t wait to see if the pain goes away. That's not a great idea because you’re having acute heart attack, call 911 and let the paramedics on the scene start providing care for you,” he said.
A bystander’s role

“If you see someone, and it seems that they are having a heart attack, the first thing you should do is call 911 to get them medical attention as soon as possible. If you can, lay them down, make sure they are breathing and feeling well, at least as much as they can be. You're not going to be able to help them very much by giving them aspirin, so your best bet is calling 911,” he said.

Early heart attack care

“You can experience heart attack symptoms days and weeks before the actual attack so the primary goal of early heart attack care is to recognize the early signs of a heart attack so that you can act quickly and get treated before the heart is damaged.

“Do as much as you can to modify your risk factors before you have a heart attack. We want to make sure you know your numbers, keep your blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol regulated. Monitoring your weight is also something you can do to reduce your risk factors along with quitting smoking, eating right and working out,” he said.

State of Iowa selects Odyssey to administer ESA program, begins contract negotiations

DES MOINES – The state of Iowa has selected Odyssey to administer its new Students First education savings accounts (ESAs).

Governor Reynolds signed the Students First Act into law on January 24, 2023. The program will provide K-12 students who attend accredited private (nonpublic) schools in Iowa with educational funding equal to “per pupil” funds allocated annually to Iowa’s public schools. It goes into effect for the 2023-2024 school year.

The state issued a request for proposal (RFP) on January 26, 2023, and selected Odyssey through a competitive solicitation process that generated four applicants.

Odyssey was chosen based on its ability to manage all aspects of program administration, including applications, financial transactions, compliance, fraud prevention, and customer service. Odyssey currently manages ESA programs in two states.

The state of Iowa will now begin the contract negotiation process with Odyssey. Once a contract is finalized, a team including staff from the Office of the Governor, Department of Education, Department of Management, and Office of the Chief Information Officer, will work with Odyssey to implement the application process and technology platform.

Details about the application process, including when it will begin and how families will verify school enrollment and/or income eligibility, will be provided in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, families interested in the Students First ESA program can find information about eligibility and answers to frequently asked questions on the Iowa Department of Education website. The webpage is updated regularly, and families are encouraged to sign up to receive notifications when new information is posted.

Spring Career Fairs at Western Iowa Tech

Western Iowa Tech Community College and IowaWORKS are hosting five industry-specific Career Fairs in March and April. The career fairs will take place at the WITCC Sioux City campus from 10:00 am –2:00 pm (4647 Stone Ave. Sioux City, Parking Lot 3, Entrance 12). Attendees will have the opportunity to explore employment opportunities and industry information from various Siouxland employers. Employers will be available to interview qualified applicants for open positions and provide information about their companies. Career Fairs are free and open to the public.

The Career Fairs will be held on the following dates:

March 21 - 22: Health Administration and Health Science

April 11: Agriculture, Animal Science, Automotive Technology, Building Trades Business, Culinary Arts, Education, Finance, Hospitality, and Training

April 12: Engineering, Manufacturing, and Robotics and Automation

April 26: Art, Computers/Information Technology, Design, Law, Police Science, Emergency Services, Mass Communications, and Music

For more information about the event, contact Kristy Bowman at Kristy.bowman@witcc.edu.

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