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Newscast 03.24.22: Drought Monitor Shows Severe Drought in Parts of Western Iowa

US Drought Monitor, March 24, 2022
US Drought Monitor, March 24, 2022

The new map from the U.S. Drought Monitor shows soil conditions in Iowa are improving, slightly, thanks to rain and snow in the past week. The worst of the drought in Iowa is isolated in far west-central Iowa, and for the region, the driest areas are also to the west.

Drought conditions are expanding over much of the Northern Plains.

Siouxland area hotels, restaurants and other businesses had a big fiscal bump in sales from the thousands of visitors attracted to the 16-team NAIA women’s basketball tournament. Local officials estimated the total economic impact for the region at $3.75 million. The tournament ended March 22.

Attendance for the 15 games over five days totaled 10,000.

Iowans will soon be referring to a new state agency name: The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services.

Administrators will merge the Iowa Department of Public Health with the Iowa Department of Human Services, which already is the largest agency in state government.

The Iowa House has unanimously approved a bill that defines elder abuse as a crime and sets up enhanced penalties for assaulting or defrauding an older Iowan.

The bill applies to alleged crimes against dependent adults or individuals who are 60 or older.

The White House says local, state and federal officials must do more to ensure Native Americans have equal access to voting. Absent action from Congress, Biden is seeking changes at the local and state levels. The White House report builds on other work by Native American voting rights advocates.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will host a public meeting April 12 in Sioux City at the Betty Strong Encounter Center. The corps will provide a look at planned operations on the river this year, including updates on runoff forecasts and how they will affect the river,

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