A Station for Everyone
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

NEWS 6.7.23: Iowa Governor asks for Federal assistance for Davenport, GOP Presidential field grows, Willa Cather honored, and more

Twitter/Sen. Deb Fischer

Gov. Kim Reynolds says the State of Iowa doesn’t have the capability to respond to the building that caved-in in downtown Davenport without federal help. She is calling on President Joe Biden to issue an emergency declaration.

According to a letter to Biden, the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management reached out to FEMA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology as well the Army Corps of Engineers for assistance. But without a declaration of emergency from the president, the agencies are unable to render assistance.

The emergency protective measures already in place are estimated to cost between $5 and $6 million dollars.

Reynolds visited the site of the collapse and was briefed by city staff on Monday.

Mike Pence has opened his presidential bid with an unusually forceful critique of former President Donald Trump over Jan. 6, his temperament and abortion. Pence told an audience in the Des Moines, Iowa, suburbs on Wednesday that, “Anyone who puts themselves over the Constitution should never be president of the United States, and anyone who asks someone else to put them over the Constitution should never be president again.” Pence is the first vice president in modern history to challenge his former running mate. Trump leads the GOP 2024 presidential field in early polls.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, announced his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday. Burgum is a former software entrepreneur who enacted a slate of laws this year advancing conservative policies on culture war issues.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has appointed a former Iowa Democratic congresswoman to a key staff position.

Cindy Axne will serve as the U-S-D-A’s Senior Adviser for Rural Engagement, Delivery and Prosperity. Axne represented Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District in the U.S. House for two terms. She ran for reelection last year but lost to Republican Zach Nunn, a former Iowa state senator.

In a news release, the USDA touted some of Axne’s accomplishments - including a bill she introduced to expand mental health care access to care for rural veterans - which became law.

An Iowa company that bid $13 million to buy a bankrupt slaughterhouse in Minnesota says it will not retain nearly 1,000 workers if a court approves the auction sale. Premium Iowa Pork, based in Hospers, Iowa, made the winning bid for a plant in Windom, Minnesota. The plant, currently owned by HyLife Foods, is the largest employer in Windom. Many of the workers are immigrants who have been in the U.S. on worker visas. An attorney for HyLife says the deal is subject to court approval. Premium Pork did not say in court filings what it plans to do with the plant.

The state is launching a website designed to inform Iowans about new and emerging drugs and other products, both legal and illegal, many of which can be deadly.

A bronze statue of renowned American author Willa Cather has been unveiled in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol.

Political leaders from Nebraska and Washington noted the author's reputation as a writer who captured the pioneer spirit of those who lived on the open plains of the Heartland.

The statue was created by Littleton Alston, a professor of sculpture at Creighton University, the first Black artist to have a statue in the collection. The statue shows the author holding a walking stick in one hand and writing paper in another, while taking a step forward. Cather's most popular works include “My Antonia” and “O Pioneers.” She died in 1947.

This statue of Chief Standing Bear was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection by Nebraska in 2019.