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DES MOINES — An Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division executive was elected to a one-year term as president of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators.
Stephanie Strauss, who is an executive officer leading the government affairs program at the Alcoholic Beverages Division, will lead the national group representing regulatory agencies in 41 states and the District of Columbia.
The National Conference of State Liquor Administrators is a 501(c)(3) corporation that “provides a forum for its members to openly communicate and learn about the creation and maintenance of successful systems of beverage alcohol regulation in service of the public interest,” according to its mission statement.
“Stephanie is a dedicated public servant and has proven her leadership in this industry over the last 12 years. I am pleased that she is being recognized with this distinguished role and am excited to see the initiatives she will roll out over the next year as she leads this organization,” Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division Administrator Stephen Larson said in a news release.
Strauss began working at the state’s Alcoholic Beverages Division in 2010, and previously worked in the State Treasurer’s Office.
DISASTER PROCLAMATIONS: Gov. Kim Reynolds issued a disaster proclamation for Emmet, Hancock, O’Brien, and Winnebago counties in response to Tuesday’s severe weather.
The proclamation makes some lower-income residents of the four counties eligible for various grants to help cover expenses related to storm damage, including home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and temporary housing.
Applications have 45 days from Wednesday to apply for assistance. The application and instructions are available at dhs.iowa.gov.
DISTRICT JUDGE APPOINTED: Robert Tiefenthaler has been appointed by Gov. Kim Reynolds as a district judge in District 3B, which includes six counties in Northwest Iowa.
Tiefenthaler, from Sergeant Bluff, currently practices law in Sioux City, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
PROJECTS FUNDED: The state transportation department awarded more than $1 million to 18 electric vehicle charging projects with funding from a government settlement with Volkswagen.
The settlement was the product of a federal lawsuit that alleged the car-maker installed devices on its vehicle that falsified emissions data. The settlement created a fund for projects that are designed to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides.
A full list of projects can be viewed at news.iowadot.gov.
$24 MILLION RETURNED: More than $24 million was returned to more than 25,000 claimants during the past state budget year as part of the Iowa Treasurer’s office program that returns missing money and abandoned property to its rightful owners, the office said in a news release.
Iowa Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald calls the program the “Great Iowa Treasurer Hunt.” Iowans can enter their name online at greatiowatreasurerhunt.gov to determine if they are owed any money or property
“Reuniting owners with their rightful property will always be one of the most rewarding aspects of my job, and I will continue to provide past and present Iowans with a free, easy and accessible way to find their treasure,” Fitzgerald said in a news release.
AG DEPARTMENT HIRE: Travis Knight, Ph.D., has been hired as the state agriculture department’s director of consumer protection and regulations, the department said in a news release. Knight will oversee the agency’s food safety, animal health, consumer protection, and industry services divisions.
Knight has been with the department since 2005. Prior to that, he was an assistant scientist in the department of animal science at Iowa State University, where he earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry, the news release said.
ASH BORER HITS KOSSUTH: Emerald ash borer was discovered in Kossuth County for the first time recently, making it the 92nd of Iowa’s 99 counties that has seen the tree-killing insect since 2010 its first detection in 2010, the state agriculture department said.
Emerald ash borer is a significant threat to native ash tree species, typically killing an infested tree within two to four years.
Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau