The historically close race for Iowa’s 2nd Congressional District seat has gotten even closer. Democrat Rita Hart has cut Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks’ lead to eight votes out of more than 394,400 cast, with recount boards in all but one of the district’s 24 counties reporting the results of their recounts. Yesterday, Hart netted 26 votes in Scott County and another vote in Jasper County after their recount boards adjourned. Clinton County’s recount board will meet on Saturday to finish reviewing about 5,000 absentee ballots.
The Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska is creating the nation’s largest tribal national park on a forested bluff overlooking the Missouri River and a historic site of its people. The tribe says the 444-acre park will allow it to tell the story of the Ioway people and provide a rustic getaway where people can hike, camp and bird-watch. The Ioway Tribal National Park will overlook a historic trading village once used by the Ioway people to barter for buffalo hides and pipestones with other tribes. That site includes three burial mounds that date back 3,000 years.
Iowa is reporting 47 additional deaths from COVID-19, the highest single-day toll. Deaths reported on an individual day can be effected by delays in completion of death certificates and other factors, but the data from the state Department of Public Health yestersday makes clear Iowa is continuing to see an increase in deaths from the virus. Johns Hopkins University says the seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Iowa has risen over the past two weeks from nearly 16 deaths per day on Nov. 10 to 28 deaths per day on Nov. 24. In the month of November alone, 555 people in Iowa have died of COVID-19. The state data shows 3,365 additional positive cases were reported in the previous 24 hours.
A University of Iowa fraternity has been suspended for hazing, with a report citing verbal abuse and and an incident where new members were required to drink dangerously high amounts of alcohol. The university says the violations were by the Acacia Fraternity. The suspension lasts through 2024. One allegation said that in the spring semester, new members were ordered to stay in the fraternity house attic until they consumed alcohol that included 60 to 90 cans of beer, along with vodka and a gallon of a drink called Jungle Juice. Several new members got sick.
Church officials say a Roman Catholic professor will return to teaching and the ministry, with restrictions, after an inquiry found he misbehaved sexually in the 1990s but not against minors. A Diocese of Des Moines investigation found that the allegations against the Rev. Robert “Bud” Grant did not involve a minor because the complainant was “above majority age” at the time. The diocese says Grant engaged in behavior in the early 1990s that violated the 6th Commandment ban on adultery and his priestly promises. Grant is expected to return to teaching at St. Ambrose University in Davenport in the spring.