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In the news
SIX-WEEK ABORTION BAN: Abortion would be illegal in Iowa after six weeks of pregnancy — often before the woman knows she is pregnant — if Gov. Kim Reynolds’ request to the Iowa courts is granted.
Reynolds filed a motion Thursday asking a state court to lift an injunction on legislation passed in 2018 that would have banned abortions in Iowa at six weeks.
That bill, passed by the Republican-led Iowa Legislature and signed into law by Reynolds, was halted at the time by a district judge who cited a previous Iowa Supreme Court ruling that negated a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion
But since the U.S. Supreme Court and Iowa Supreme Court earlier this year issued rulings that effectively repealed a pregnant woman’s right to abortion access, Reynolds is asking the state courts to now lift the injunction on the six-week ban.
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have said they will fight the challenge in court. The groups dropped their court challenge of a 24-hour waiting period for an abortion in the state last week and said they would focus their attention on fighting the six-week abortion ban.
FIELD OF DREAMS: Dyersville on Thursday hosted a major league baseball game between the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds on the “Field of Dreams” movie site.
Among the baseball royalty on hand for the game were Ken Griffey Jr., Ken Griffey Sr., Johnny Bench, George Foster, Dave Concepcion, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Ferguson Jenkins and Barry Larkin.
The city of Dyersville also celebrated landing a $12.5 million Destination Iowa grant that will go toward building a stadium on the “Field of Dreams” movie site. The grant is 25 percent of the $50 million estimated cost.
STATE FAIR KICKS OFF: The Iowa State Fair kicked off Thursday with new foods, old traditions, musical guests and politicians.
Agriculture and livestock displays began on Thursday, and spectacles from twin contests to Irish dancing went through the weekend. Candidates seeking state and federal office gave their pitches to Iowans at the Des Moines Register’s annual Soap Box.
They said …
“Transparency brings accountability & if the FBI & DOJ aren’t transparent about raiding a former presidents home, they risk further damaging their credibility.” — U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, on Twitter after FBI agents raided former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago home
“Our main differences on reproductive health are that I will be a governor who supports the will of the people. A majority of Iowans are pro-choice and I stand with them." — Democratic candidate for governor Deidre DeJear in response to Gov. Kim Reynolds seeking to bring back a ban on abortions after six weeks
Odds and ends
TWO YEARS AFTER: Wednesday marked two years since the Aug. 10, 2020, derecho.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported it had provided about $6.2 billion to farmers to cover crop losses from natural disasters in 2020 and 2021. That includes more than 20,000 applications from Iowa totaling more than $381 million.
In the Cedar-Rapids area, more than $48 million has been provided in additional relief for crop losses from the 2020 derecho in Linn, Benton, Iowa, Johnson, Cedar and Jones counties, the USDA said.
And federal crop insurance covered more than $343 million of the nearly $491 million in losses that Iowa farmers faced from the derecho, with farmers paying $147.5 million out of pocket, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
MICHIGAN STATE SENATOR TO HEADLINE WING DING: A Michigan state senator seen as a rising star in the party headlined Friday’s Iowa Democratic Wing Ding, an annual fundraiser held by seven county parties.
Mallory McMorrow’s speech earlier this year went viral when she responded to accusations that she was “grooming” children. McMorrow said Democrats are feeling “deflated” right now around the country, and she hopes to energize Democrats in the state.
HONORING A HERO: City High School in Iowa City will honor a 17-year employee and “wonderful human being” who drowned Aug. 5 while trying to save a child from the Iowa River in southern Johnson County.
Wegayewu Faris, 42, of Coralville, had been a custodian at City High since 2005. The school will honor him with a plaque highlighting his story.
Faris was fishing near Lone Tree when an 8-year-old boy, who was not related to Faris but was fishing with the family, went into the river and began struggling. Faris entered the river to try to save the child. The child survived after being rescued by kayakers.
“Mr. Faris died a hero and will forever be remembered for his brave and selfless actions. We will miss him deeply,” Superintendent Matt Degner said.
A native of Ethiopia, Faris is survived by his wife and three children. A GoFundMe created for the family had raised more than $65,000 by Thursday.
NEW BROADBAND MAP: Iowa officials and broadband experts are urging Iowans to check the accuracy of a new map that is designed to show where high-speed internet is available in the state.
Officials said people can find their address on the map and make sure the speeds reported match the speeds available to them to ensure future state and federal grants go to the right places.
More in the news
KIRKWOOD TUITION: The tuition at Kirkwood Community College is increasing about 7.6 percent this fall, pushing the cost per semester credit hour from $185 to $200 on in-state students.
The estimated cost of a full course load of 15 credit hours for an academic year will become $6,000 for in-state students and $8,040 for out-of-state students.
Looking at tuition alone, Kirkwood’s in-state rate ties for third highest in the state despite the large increase. Because Kirkwood doesn’t impose student fees like other colleges, its tuition-plus-fees rate ranks fifth from the lowest.
Officials pointed out Kirkwood’s tuition hike is below the U.S. inflation rate of 9.06 percent.
NATIONAL GOP CHAIR CELEBRATES: National Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel at an Iowa fundraiser that she always intended to keep Iowa first in the party’s presidential nominating calendar.
McDaniel said she put Iowa GOP Chair Jeff Kaufmann in charge of the national committee that determined the order of states indicating their presidential preferences in 2024. The committee earlier this year kept Iowa in the lead-off position.
National Democrats are considering whether to remove Iowa from the first-in-the-nation position it's held since 1972. The party’s rules committee will meet in November to determine the calendar for future Democratic presidential primaries and caucuses.
COVID-19 UPDATE: The number of new COVID-19 cases in Iowa fell while hospitalizations rose for the second straight week in the seven-day period ending Wednesday.
The state reported 5,660 new COVID-19 cases during that period, compared to 5,768 the previous week. Over that time, 323 patients were in the hospital with COVID-19, up from 309 patients the week before.
Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau and Gazette staff