Noon Newscast 5.15.19

May 15, 2019

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
Credit State of Iowa

Current and past attorneys general from both major political parties from several states are asking Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds to veto a measure that would force Iowa's attorney general to seek permission to file out-of-state lawsuits.

They think the move designed by Republicans to keep Democratic Attorney General Tom Miller from joining lawsuits against the Donald Trump administration violates basic checks and balances.

Iowa would be the only state with such limits on an attorney general.

Reynolds is considering the measure passed in the final days of the legislative session.

It would require the attorney general to get the permission of the governor, the Legislature or the state executive council, which includes the governor and other statewide elected officials, to file any out-of-state court action.

Soybean prices plunged early this week to a 10-year low after President Trump imposed more tariffs on imports from China late last week. 

China retaliated with more hikes on Monday on U.S. goods.

The trade war that began last summer has already hurt farmers, despite $11 billion in relief payments that were doled out last year by the federal government. 

The personal income of farmers declined by about $12 billion through the first three months of 2019, according to the U.S. Commerce Department. 

A similar pace of decline is expected in the coming months, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

We’ll have more on the impact of tariffs on soybean farmers during The Exchange next with Mary Hartnett.

A northeastern Nebraska farmer is recovering after cutting off his own leg with a pocket knife to save himself from a piece of farm equipment he had become caught in.

“It is what it is. You have to stay positive because it could always be worse.”

That’s Kurt Kaser talking to Omaha television station KETV.  The 63-year-old farmer from Pender was unloading corn last month when he got out of his truck and accidentally stepped on the grain hopper opening. 

An auger in the hopper caught Kaser's leg, pulling it in.

Kaser said he couldn't pull his leg out and didn't have his cellphone. There was no one around to help.

So, he took his pocket knife out and sawed off his leg below the knee.

After he was freed, he crawled 150 feet to the nearest phone and was flown to a hospital. 

Kaser says he never lost consciousness.

On Friday, Kaser was released from a rehabilitation center. He will have to wait for the injury to fully heal before getting a prosthetic limb.

Iowa ranks second in the country when it comes to issues with puppy mills and dog breeders.

That’s according to a new report released by the U.S. Humane Society.

The report highlighted 100 problem puppy mills in the country five of them are located in Siouxland in the communities of Sheldon, Melvin, Sioux Center, Sioux Rapids in Iowa and Walthill in Nebraska.

The state with the most puppy mills in the report, Missouri.  Iowa has 13. 

Pennsylvania is third with a dozen.

Communities that were flooded when levees failed along the Missouri River earlier this spring will likely remain exposed to high water for months to come, leaving displaced residents wondering when — or if — they will be able to return and rebuild their homes.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers — the federal agency that regulates flood control along the waterway — has been assessing the levees that were crippled in March when heavy rain and snowmelt caused the river and its tributaries to overflow in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri and Kansas. But repairs have been hindered by the extent of the damage and lingering floodwaters.

The federal government will pay for all of the repairs to levees in the federal system and 80% of the cost to repair levees owned by cities or agricultural groups.