Friday Morning Read: Wellmark to return to Iowa exchange, Honey Creek resort still struggling, Tyson under pressure for Iowa water quality

Wellmark's Cedar Rapids office, 600 Third Ave. SE, on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Wellmark's Cedar Rapids office, 600 Third Ave. SE, on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Wellmark to return to Iowa exchange, sell ACA-compliant plans- Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield is back.

A little more than a month after the Des Moines-based insurer left the state’s insurance exchange, Wellmark will return in 2019 to sell Affordable Care Act-compliant plans on and off the exchange, the company announced Thursday.

“We are predisposed to want to be in this market, so we need just enough certainty to allow us to be there and we think we now have that,” Cory Harris, executive vice president and chief administrative and legal officer, told The Gazette Thursday. Read more...

Honey Creek resort still struggling to lure visitors- A New York-based management company that took over operation of Honey Creek Resort in June 2016 is struggling to get enough visitors to the state-owned resort in southeast Iowa to meet budget expectations.

Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, of Buffalo, N.Y., reported Honey Creek’s total revenue for 2017 was $6.23 million, well over the fiscal 2016 revenue of $5.4 million, but short of the $6.71 million budget planned for 2017, according to a report presented Thursday to the Natural Resource Commission, a seven-member board that provides oversight to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Read more...


Iowa water quality advocates press Tyson- Water quality advocates on Thursday called on Tyson Foods to enact more conservation practices to help make Iowa’s impaired waterways cleaner.

During a news conference held in Des Moines Water Works Park on the Raccoon River, the advocates expressed hope the meat producer’s shareholders would approve a resolution urging the same at its shareholders meeting on Thursday in Arkansas.

“Tyson has a chance to make the meat industry less polluting and better for the communities in and downstream from where they operate,” said Jessye Waxman, the lead organizer for the Clean it Up Tyson advocacy campaign. Read more...

Proposals would further expand Iowa gun rights- Expanded last year, Iowa gun laws would undergo more significant changes — including doing away with government permits to carry a weapon — under proposals that won support Thursday from Senate Republicans.

Senate File 2106, which passed a Senate Judiciary subcommittee 2-1, would remove the general prohibition on carrying weapons without a permit as well as repealing the duty to carry a permit.

The legislation also repeals Iowa’s permit to acquire handguns and replaces it with a duty to comply with federal law for the acquisition of weapons, which includes a background check. A person still would be allowed to use a carry permit to acquire a gun. Read more...

Boys' basketball notebook: Diverse coaching staff buoys Solon- Jason Pershing filled out his preseason questionnaire perfectly. He provided his career record, names of his returning starters and letterwinners at Solon High School and comments about his team and the conference in which it plays.

Then in the “additional comments” section, he wrote something that caught your eye.

“Potentially the most diverse staff in Iowa.”


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