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Iowa state parks to host cleanup events in April, first monthly decline for Iowa Leading Indicators Index since April 2017, Board of Pharmacy accepting 2018 pharmacist state license renewals in May : Iowa Capitol Digest, April 3

Sen. Wally Horn (right), D-Cedar Rapids, visits with Rich Byerly, an Ankeny Democrat who was elected to the Iowa House in 1973, the same year Horn was first elected, during a Tuesday reception at the Capitol. Horn was honored along with two other senators — Sen. Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville, and Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines — who are retiring at the end of their current terms. Horn, 84, is the longest-serving member of the Iowa Legislature, with 46 years of experience. (James Q. Lynch/Gazette Des Moines Bureau)
Sen. Wally Horn (right), D-Cedar Rapids, visits with Rich Byerly, an Ankeny Democrat who was elected to the Iowa House in 1973, the same year Horn was first elected, during a Tuesday reception at the Capitol. Horn was honored along with two other senators — Sen. Bob Dvorsky, D-Coralville, and Sen. Matt McCoy, D-Des Moines — who are retiring at the end of their current terms. Horn, 84, is the longest-serving member of the Iowa Legislature, with 46 years of experience. (James Q. Lynch/Gazette Des Moines Bureau)

PARK CLEANUP EVENTS: State Department of Natural Resources officials say several Iowa state parks are hosting spring cleanup events in April and May to get ready for the summer season.

Events will be tailored to each park’s needs and could include activities such as picking up litter and branches, painting, working on trails and clipping limbs and plants.

“We greatly appreciate the time and energy our volunteers provide to help take care of Iowa’s parks,” said Todd Coffelt, DNR state parks bureau chief. “Even if you haven’t visited one of these parks, we invite you to come out for an event and spend time outdoors lending a hand.”

Events are slated May 12 at Palisades-Kepler State Park in Linn County; April 21 and May 19 at Bellevue State Park in Jackson County; Saturday and April 22 at Walnut Woods State Park in Polk County; April 20 at Lake Anita State Park in Cass County; April 21 at Springbrook State Park in Guthrie County; April 21 at Elk Rock State Park in Jasper County; and April 28 at Brushy Creek State Recreation Area in Webster County.

IOWA INDICATORS DOWN: The Iowa Leading Indicators Index decreased 0.1 percentage points to 108.8 in February, marking the first monthly decline since April 2017, according to the state Department of Revenue.

The eight monthly components were evenly split, with four reporting positive contributions and four posting negative numbers.

State officials said the sectors posting gains were diesel fuel consumption, the national yield spread, average manufacturing hours and average weekly unemployment claims (inverted).

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Posting negative numbers were Pall the Iowa stock market index, residential building permits, the agricultural futures profit index, and the new orders index.

The annualized six-month change decreased to 2.9 percent in February from 3.2 percent in January.

Six of the eight indicators — average manufacturing hours, inverted average weekly unemployment claims, diesel fuel consumption, the Iowa stock market index, the national yield spread and new orders index — experienced an increase of greater than 0.05 percent over the last half-year.

Also, Iowa’s non-farm employment index has experienced four consecutive months of positive growth.

The report is available on the Department of Revenue’s website.

ELECTRONIC LICENSE RENEWAL: Officials with the Iowa Board of Pharmacy say 2018 pharmacist state license renewals, applications and payments for renewals may be submitted to the board beginning in May through an online portal.

In addition to renewing licenses online, pharmacists also will be able notify the board of an address or employment change through an online profile.

The board — comprised of five pharmacists and two members of the public — anticipates having the electronic filing capability available by May 1.

Additional license and registration categories for online renewal will be implemented throughout 2018, according to officials with the state board that is responsible for regulating the practice of pharmacy and the legal distribution and dispensing of prescription drugs and precursors throughout Iowa.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Many people here, frankly, think western Iowa ends at West Des Moines.” — Rep. Jim Jacobsen, R-Council Bluffs.

Gazette Des Moines Bureau

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