Noon Newscast 9.6.19

Sep 6, 2019

Authorities say a Sioux City man looted the checking account of a nursing home resident.  

RONALD TAYLOR
Credit Woodbury County Jail

Woodbury County court records say 52-year-old Ronald Taylor is charged with dependent adult abuse. His attorney didn't immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press.

Taylor's next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 13.

Court records say Taylor held a power attorney for the man, who has dementia and can't handle his finances.

The records say Taylor spent nearly $23,000 of the man's money since July 28, 2017, wiping out the man's account.

Iowa officers are clearing the air on gun laws after Walmart asked customers to no longer openly carry firearms in its stores. 

Law enforcement officials tell KCCI Television in Des Moines, if a business owner doesn't want customers to openly bring firearms into their store, gun owners have to respect their rules.

Congressman Steve King held a townhall meeting in the Monona County community of Onawa this morning. 

King addressed waivers given to oil refineries that caused outrage with ethanol producers in Iowa. 

He also says talked about the need to move a trade deal with China along more quickly.

A Texas health and human services official has been named the new director of the Iowa Department of Human Services.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds appointed Kelly Kennedy Garcia to head the department that oversees the state's Medicaid program, mental health centers and child welfare services.   

KELLY KENNEDY GARCIA

Garcia is now the deputy executive commissioner at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She oversees programs with more than 700 employees and a $1.4 billion budget.

Democratic lawmakers are calling on Reynolds and Garcia to improve Iowa’s privatized Medicaid management system.

Reynolds says she’s not concerned that Garcia is coming from a state that has also had problems with Medicaid managed care. 

Iowa DHS has more than 4,000 employees and a $7 billion budget.

Vietnam's prime minister has agreed to visit Nebraska to learn more about the state's farms and food processing after meeting with Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Ricketts met Friday with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc to promote Nebraska's agricultural products and investment opportunities.

The governor says he offered the prime minister a chance to visit Nebraska to learn about the state firsthand, and the prime minister accepted the invitation.

Ricketts says there's no immediate date for when the prime minister will visit.

Ricketts says he'd like to show him Nebraska farms and ranches and possibly a food processing facility to assure him that the food produced in the state is safe and of high quality.

The U.S. Agriculture Department has announced the award of $36 million to buy conservation easements on Iowa agriculture land damaged by flooding this year.

The funds are available through the flood plain easement component of the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. Iowa Natural Resources.  Conservation Service field offices are accepting applications through Oct. 18.

Under the program, eligible applicants voluntarily agree to sell a permanent conservation easement to the federal government.

Compensation is based on the value of the easement rights acquired based on rate caps and market analysis.

The conservation service will work with landowners to restore easements to their natural flood plain condition.

Students at West High School are rallying together to help a teacher in need.   

KENT MARTIN
Credit Facebook

Biology teacher Kent Martin is battling cancer and is out on medical leave.

“And, he is someone has made an impact on the students here.  He’s very creative and generous and has a lively classroom.”

That’s West High Teacher Shelly Nash.

Nash says Mr. Martin taught the community to share and now students are returning the favor.

Students are planning a tailgate feed and silent auction to raise money for Martin before tonight’s East verses West football game at Olsen Stadium.