KXEL Midday News for Thu. Jul. 09, 2020

KXEL Midday News for Thu. Jul. 09, 2020

IOWA’S REPUBLICAN PARTY CHAIRMAN WANTS TO HEAR MORE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC SENATE NOMINEE. STATE GOP CHAIRMAN JEFF KAUFMANN HAS BEEN CRITICAL OF DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER THERESA GREENFIELD FOR NOT AGREEING TO A DEBATE SCHEDULE PROPOSED BY INCUMBENT JONI ERNST. LAST MONTH, ERNST CHALLENGED GREENFIELD TO A SEQUENCE OF SIX DEBATES. MEANWHILE, THE GREENFIELD CAMPAIGN REPORTED RAISING SIX MILLION DOLLARS IN THE MOST RECENT QUARTER.

87% OF PEOPLE INFECTED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS AT MEAT PACKING OPERATIONS WERE PART OF RACIAL OR ETHNIC MINORITY GROUPS ACORDING TO A NEW STUDY BY THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION. THE REPORT WAS RELEASED TUESDAY. IT EXAMINED MORE THAN 16,000 COVID-19 CASES AT 239 PLANTS IN 21 STATES. THE STUDY OFFERS SOME PERSPECTIVE ON HOW THE VIRUS INTERRUPTED THE U.S. PORK, BEEF AND POULTRY SUPPLY CHAINS. THE DATA SHOWS 56% OF CORONAVIRUS ILLNESSES INVOLVED HISPANIC WORKERS, 19% WERE BLACK AND 12% WERE ASIAN.

THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTHERN IOWA IS GETTING NEARLY 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS TO HELP ELIMINATE FOOD WASTE IN IOWA AND SURROUNDING STATES. THE 99 THOUSAND DOLLAR U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE GRANT WILL SUPPORT THE IOWA WASTE REDUCTION CENTER, WHICH IS BASED AT UNI. A PROJECT TO REDIRECT FOOD WASTE FROM LANDFILLS WILL BENEFIT CITIES AROUND THE STATE, AS WELL AS IN ILLINOIS, MINNESOTA, MISSOURI, AND WISCONSIN.

WORK BY SCIENTISTS ALL OVER THE WORLD MEANS THAT THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA HOSPITAL CAN NOW TEST A NEW TREATMENT FOR THE CORONAVIRUS. REGENERON IS THE NAME OF THE MEDICATION WHICH WILL BE STUDIED IN IOWA CITY. THE DRUG AFFECTS THE PART OF THE VIRUS WHICH ALLOWS IT TO ATTACK HUMAN CELLS. RESEARCHERS SAY THEY WILL BE GIVING REGENERON TO STUDY PARTICIPANTS WHO HAVE ALREADY TESTED POSITIVE FOR THE CORONAVIRUS, AND THEY ARE SEEKING VOLUNTEERS. STUDY RESULTS MAY BE KNOWN WITHIN THE NEXT SEVERAL MONTHS.

IOWA CASINO’S WERE CLOSED FOR APPROXIMATELY 20 PERCENT OF THE FISCAL YEAR. NOT SURPRISINGLY, THE SHUTDOWN FOR PART OF MARCH, PLUS ALL OF APRIL AND MAY, MEANT THAT CASINO REVENUES WERE ALSO DOWN ABOUT 20 PERCENT FROM LAST YEAR. ACCORDING TO THE IOWA RACING AND GAMING COMMISSION, THE MONEY PASSING THROUGH THE STATE’S 19 CASINOS CAME IN AT JUST OVER 1.16 BILLION DOLLARS. THE FIGURE MIGHT HAVE BEEN LOWER, EXCEPT THAT THE FIRST LEGAL SPORTS WAGERS WERE ACCEPTED LAST AUGUST. THE IOWA CASINO INDUSTRY SAYS ATTENDANCE NUMBERS HAVE YET TO REBOUND IN THE WEEKS SINCE REOPENING AT THE BEGINNING OF JUNE.

DETAILS ABOUT SEVERAL PLANS TO RE-WORK A DAM ON THE WAPSIPINICON RIVER IN CENTRAL CITY HAVE BEEN PLACED ONLINE. RYAN SCHLADER OF LINN COUNTY CONSERVATION TALKED ABOUT THE VITUAL OPEN HOUSE FOR THE PROJECT. HEAR MORE ABOUT THE PINICON RIDGE PARK DAM IN THE PODCAST SECTION AT KXEL.COM.

UNIVERSITY OF IOWA OFFICIALS SAY THE ARE STILL LEARNING ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS OF NEW RULES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS CAUSED BY COVID-19. EARLIER THIS WEEK, THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SAID ANY FOREIGN STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT ATTENDING IN-PERSON CLASSES WILL NOT BE ADMITTED TO THE UNITED STATES. THAT HAS AN IMPACT ON COLLEGES WHICH ARE PLANNING AN ONLINE-ONLY FORMAT FOR THE FALL. THE UNIVERSITY OF IOWA IS EXPECTING A HYBRID PLAN, WITH SOME IN-PERSON AND SOME ONLINE CLASSES. IN A STATEMENT RELEASED YESTERDAY, THE SCHOOL SAID THE SITUATION IS EVOLVING AND THAT IT WILL WORK WITH INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS SO THEY EXPERIENCE MINIMAL DISRUPTION.

DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC, IOWA DEMOCRATIC SENATE CANDIDATE THERESA GREENFIELD HAS LIMITED IN-PERSON APPEARANCES. HER CAMPAIGN SAYS IT IS PART OF AN EFFORT TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS WHICH ALSO INCLUDES SOCIAL DISTANCING AND HAVING CAMPAIGN STAFF WORK FROM HOME. REPUBLICAN PARTY OF IOWA CHAIRMAN JEFF KAUFMANN HAS RECENTLY CRITICIZED GREENFIELD FOR NOT BEING ACCESSIBLE. KAUFMANN WANTS GREENFIELD TO ACCEPT A DEBATE SCHEDULE THAT WOULD BEGIN IN AUGUST. THOSE DEBATES WERE PROPOSED LAST MONTH BY THE ERNST CAMPAIGN.

ZONING CHANGES ARE NEEDED FOR ABOUT A QUARTER OF THE LAND WHERE A NEW CEDAR FALLS HIGH SCHOOL WOULD BE BUILT. 20 ACRES OF PROPERTY ARE CURRENTLY LABELLED AS AGRICULTURAL. A HEARING TO DISCUSS THE CHANGES HAS BEEN SET FOR JULY 22ND BY THE CEDAR FALLS PLANNING AND ZONING COMMISSION.