KXEL Midday News for Mon. Apr. 06, 2020

KXEL Midday News for Mon. Apr. 06, 2020

HOLY WEEK BEGAN YESTERDAY WITH PALM SUNDAY. MANY NORTHEAST IOWA CATHOLICS IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DUBUQUE CELEBRATED MASS REMOTELY WITH BISHOP MICHAEL JACKELS DUE TO CORONAVIRUS. JACKEL’S MESSAGE VIA A LIVE STEAM MENTIONED MANY OF THE PALM SUNDAY SYMBOLS THAT PARISHONERS MIGHT BE MISSING. BISHOP JACKELS USED THE EXPRESSION “PAYING IT FORWARD” WHEN TALKING ABOUT FORGIVENESS, WHICH HE NOTED WAS AT THE CENTER OF THE EASTER STORY. THE ARCHDIOCESE IS PLANNING ADDITIONAL LIVE-STREAMED MASSES THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, AND EASTER SUNDAY.

THE RABBI WHO FOUNDED A KOSHER MEAT-PACKING BUSINESS AND AN ORTHODOX JEWISH ENCLAVE IN POSTVILLE HAS DIED. ABRAHAM RUBASHKIN WAS 92. ACCORDING TO REPORTS FROM NEW YORK, HE PASSED AWAY LATE LAST WEEK FROM COMPLICATIONS RELATED TO COVID-19. UNDER RUBASHKIN’S GUIDENCE, AGRIPROCESSORS OPENED IN POSTVILLE IN 1987 AND WAS THE SITE OF AN IMMIGRATION RAID IN 2008. THE AFTERMATH LED TO A FEDERAL CHARGES AND A PRISON SENTENCE FOR RUBASHKIN’S SON, SHOLOM.

A MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT NEAR U.S. HIGHWAY 151 EAST OF CEDAR RAPIDS SENT A 51-YEAR-OLD MARION WOMAN TO THE HOSPITAL SUNDAY AFTERNOON. THE LINN COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE SAYS CHRISTINE FIEBELKORN LOST CONTROL AND PUT HER MOTORCYCLE ON ITS SIDE AFTER DRIVING OVER LOOSE SAND. SHE WAS TRANSPORTED FROM THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT BY A MEDICAL HELICOPTER, BUT HER INJURIES WERE CHARACTERIZED AS NOT LIFETHREATENING.

EASTER IS THIS COMING SUNDAY, AND A VERY DIFFERENT KIND OF HOLY WEEK STARTED YESTERDAY WITH MANY CHURCH SANCTUARIES SILENT AND DARK. SOCIAL DISTANCING DUE TO COVID-19 HAS MEANT THAT CHURCH CONGREGATIONS HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO GATHER TOGETHER IN PERSON. PASTOR STEVEN BRACKETT WORKS WITHIN THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCHES OF AMERICA’S NORTHEAST IOWA SYNOD OFFICE. HE WAS A GUEST OVER THE WEEKEND DURING KXEL’S IOWA THIS WEEK PROGRAM. BRACKETT NOTED THAT LUTHERAN CHURCHES HAVE ACTIVELY BEEN REACHING OUT TO MEMBERS OF THEIR CONGREGATIONS WHO MIGHT BE EXPERIENCING ALL MANNER OF DIFFICULTIES DUE TO THE CORONAVIRUS AND ITS SOCIAL EFFECTS.

MANY IOWA RETAILERS HAVE STOPPED ACCEPTING CANS AND BOTTLES FOR REDEMPTION DURING THE COVID-19 OUTBREAK. THE STATE HAS SUSPENDED THE REQUIREMENT THAT BOTTLES AND CANS BE REDEEMABLE WHERE THEY WERE SOLD. GROCERS HAVE GENERALLY WANTED TO ELIMINATE OR CHANGE RULES WHICH HAVE REQUIRED THEM TO ACCEPT CUSTOMERS’ “EMPTIES” SINCE 1979. OPPONENTS AND SUPPORTERS OF THE SO-CALLED “BOTTLE BILL” EXPECT THAT THE CURRENT DISRUPTION IN THE REDEMPTION PROCESS MAY JOSTLE THE ISSUE BACK INTO THE LEGISLATIVE SPOTLIGHT.

THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS GIVING PESTACIDE APPLICATORS A GRACE PERIOD FOR RECERTIFICATIONS. PESTACIDE APPLICATORS CERTIFIED BEFORE THE END OF LAST YEAR WILL BE ABLE TO CONTINUE OPERATING THROUGH THE END OF 2020 WITHOUT CONTINUING EDUCATION OR TESTING. IOWA STATE EXTENSION SAYS PRIVATE APPLICATORS WILL BE ABLE TO WORK COMMERCIALLY, WITH SUPERVISION. NORMALLY PRIVATE AND COMMERCIAL CERTIFICATIONS ARE THROUGH A SEPARATE PROCESS.

IOWA’S JUNE 2ND PRIMARY ELECTION MAY LOOK DIFFERENT THAN A TYPICAL ROUND OF PARTY VOTING. THE IOWA SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE IS STILL PLANNING TO HAVE IN-PERSON VOTING BUT EVERY VOTER IN IOWA WILL RECEIVE AN ABSENTEE BALLOT REQUEST FORM, AND THE EXPECTATION IS THAT MANY WILL CHOOSE TO VOTE IN ADVANCE. THE IOWA PRIMARY WILL DETERMINE WHICH DEMOCRAT CHALLENGES SENATOR JONI ERNST, AS WELL AS WHETHER 4TH DISTRICT CONGRESSMAN STEVE KING WILL KEEP THE BACKING OF REPUBLICANS IN NORTHWEST AND NORTHCENTRAL IOWA AS HE SEEKS ANOTHER TERM. REPUBLICAN CHALLENGERS WILL ALSO BE SELECTED FOR THREE OTHER CONGRESSIONAL SEATS CURRENTLY HELD BY DEMOCRATS.

AS SOON AS CONCERNS ABOUT COVID-19 BECAME A WIDESPEAD TOPIC IN THE NATIONAL CONVERSATION, CRIMINALS WERE ROLLING OUT SCAMS TO CAPITALIZE ON BOTH FEAR AND THE CHARITABLE NATURE OF AMERICANS. SPECIAL AGENT NATHANIEL MCLAREN OF THE IOWA DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY TALKED WITH JEFF STEIN EARLIER ABOUT HOW TO AVOID GIVING MONEY TO CAUSES THAT SOUND LEGITIMATE, BUT REALLY AREN’T. FIND THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH NATHANIEL MCLAREN ONLINE AT KXEL.COM.

THE WORKFORCE AT CEDAR RAPIDS SPORTSWEAR COMPANY BIMM RIDDER HAS BEEN FURLOUGHED AS OF TODAY. THIRTY-FOUR EMPLOYEES WORK FOR THE BUSINESS WHICH DOES SCREEN-PRINTING AND EMBROIDERY WORK FOR ATHLETIC TEAMS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. BIMM RIDDER WAS ALSO SHUTDOWN FOR THE 2008 FLOODING IN CEDAR RAPIDS. COMPANY LEADERS SAY, THE CURRENT SITUATION IS EVEN MORE DAUNTING.