News, State Feed

Iowa DNR and National Wild Turkey Federation to offer Learn to Hunt classes

POLK CITY, Iowa – As spring nears, three basic “Learn to Hunt” classes for those interested in turkey hunting will be offered at the DNR’s Butch Olofson Shooting Range in Polk City.

The free, three-part series will give participants basic knowledge needed to begin turkey hunting, knowledge on communication with turkeys and decoy setups pertaining to the phases of breeding season, and knowledge on how to pattern your shotgun before hitting the field.

“Hunting plays an important role in conservation and provides thousands of Iowans with safe, fun quality recreation each year, said Megan Wisecup, DNR hunter education administrator. “Whether you are a novice or a skilled hunter, these learn to hunt workshops will provide you with the knowledge and skills necessary to get started or to increase your confidence and success while hunting.”

Class Schedule:

Turkey Hunting Basics - March 27 - 6:00PM - 8:30PM

Turkey Calling 101/Decoy Set-Up - April 3 - 6:00PM - 8:30PM

Patterning Your Shotgun for Spring Turkey Season - April 10 - 6:00PM - 8:30PM

Registration is free and limited to 40 participants per class. Sign up is available for single sessions or all three sessions in the series, but it is not mandatory to attend all three sessions.

The DNR will be offering similar "Learn to Hunt" classes later this summer or early fall, partnering with Delta Waterfowl and Pheasants Forever.

For a list of all education opportunities through the DNR’s Hunter Education program, visit:

Iowa Senate approves online learning change: Bill expands opportunities for home-school kids

DES MOINES — The Iowa Senate passed and sent Gov. Kim Reynolds legislation Monday that would allow home-schooled students to take online courses without enrolling in a public school or an accredited private school.

Senate File 2131 was approved 50-0 after senators accepted changes made by the House, which passed the bill 60-39 last month.


Craig Lang Congratulates Bill Northey on Senate Confirmation to USDA Role

DES MOINES − Craig Lang, the first candidate to file this year to run for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, congratulated the current officer holder, Bill Northey, on his confirmation this morning to a U.S. Department of Agriculture post.


Northey's appointment as undersecretary for farm production and conservation has been on hold for months when it was blocked by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, because of Cruz's opposition to federal ethanol mandates. Lang said Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue made "an excellent decision" when he chose Northey for the position and praised Northey for remaining resolute throughout the drawn-out process.


"It's disappointing that things took so long and Bill deserves a tremendous amount of credit for standing his ground in the face of Senator Cruz's action. Bill is going to do an outstanding job in Washington, D.C., on behalf of our country's farmers and ranchers," Lang said. "He understands what it takes for farmers to be productive and profitable, he understands the need to conserve our natural resources and he understands how government works," Lang said. "When you put all that together, I know Bill will hit the ground running and make a lasting impact across our country. This is a great day for Iowa and for our nation's farmers and ranchers."

Iowa Produces Second Biggest Crop in 2017

The U.S. National Agriculture Statistics Service released the 2017 yields for Iowa in corn and beans and Iowa had the second biggest crop it's ever had.

Statewide, the corn yield average was 202 bushels an acre. Marshall County led the state with an average yield of 222.4 bushels an acre. The top five counties had yields over 220.


Lawmakers seek to change Iowa license plate law

Iowa, (WOWT) - Iowa lawmakers are looking at changing the rules regarding how license plates must be displayed in the state.

The proposed change would eliminate the law requiring a license plate on the front of a car.

The Iowa State Patrol said it was not taking a stance on the bill but that front plates do help with investigations.


Iowa man turns himself in after damaging 'Field of Dreams site'

DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) — A 20-year-old man has told authorities that he drove onto and damaged the Iowa baseball field made famous by the 1989 "Field of Dreams" movie.

Court records say Austin Pape, of Dyersville, is charged with felony criminal mischief in Dubuque County. His attorney, Todd Klapatauskas, said Thursday that Pape will plead not guilty but will work with prosecutors on resolution. He says Pape hasn't expressed any particular grudge toward the field. It sits 2 miles outside Dyersville — 142 miles northeast of Des Moines.


Proof that a forced-upon-us $10 an hour minimum wage mandate isn't needed to drive down the unemployment rate

CORALVILLE COURIER EDITOR'S NOTE:     We need to raise the minimum wage to drive down the unemployment rate, the all Democrat Johnson County Board of Supervisors told residents in 2015.....  We were fed a shovel full of horse manure... 

Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 2.8 percent for December. The state’s jobless rate was 3.5 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 4.1 percent in December for the third straight month.

"Iowa businesses finished 2017 strong, bolstering payrolls by 7,100 jobs in December. Iowa factories have added 11,700 jobs in 2017," said Beth Townsend, Iowa Workforce Development Director. "With an unemployment rate at 2.8%, Iowa must address the shortage in skilled workers. It will take all hands on deck to sustain this economic growth including support from our partners in K-12, community colleges, universities, business and industry, economic developers and non-profits - all of whom participated in writing the Future Ready Iowa strategic plan. The plan will put Iowa in a position to create and sustain the skilled workforce we need now and in the future."

The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 47,000 in December. The current estimate is 12,000 lower than the year ago level of 59,000.

The total number of working Iowans increased to 1,637,800 in December. This figure was 200 higher than November and 3,200 higher than one year ago.


Related Story:  How has the Johnson County Supervisors' minimum wage hike affected Johnson County?


Bill updates Iowa's data security protections

Data security breaches at big corporations, including Equifax and Target, spurred the Iowa Attorney General’s Office to seek changes to Iowa law to further protect consumers.

House Study Bill 526, discussed in a Judiciary subcommittee Tuesday, would update Iowa’s data breach notification act, which requires businesses, nonprofits and other entities hit by hackers to alert consumers and the state.

The update adds new categories of data, such as medical records. And although the law already requires reporting of information breaches “without reasonable delay,” the bill would add a 45-day maximum on reporting. Now, entities with encrypted data don’t have to report breaches, but HSB 526 would require higher level — 128-bit — encryption for this exemption.

“We wanted to make sure the laws on the books are protecting consumers sufficiently,” said Nathan Blake, an assistant Iowa Attorney General.


Traffic camera ban, regulation bills racing through Iowa Legislature

DES MOINES — Racing to get their legislation to the governor’s desk, an Iowa Senate subcommittee Thursday joined colleagues in the House to advance bans on traffic cameras.

The three-member Senate Judiciary subcommittee signed off on Senate Study Bill 3025 after hearing from law enforcement and cities that supported the continued use of the speed and red light cameras as tools for traffic law enforcement, as well as from civil liberties advocates who argued the use of the cameras denies Iowans due process rights.


Minors killed half million bees in Sioux City, police say

Two juveniles have been charged with killing more than a half million bees at a honey business last month in Iowa.

The juveniles allegedly destroyed 50 hives at the Wild Hill Honey business in Sioux City, exposing the hundreds of thousands of bees to bitter cold.

“All of the beehives on the honey farm were destroyed and approximately 500,000 bees perished in the frigid temperatures,” Sioux City police said in a release.

The names of the juveniles have not been released, but they are 12 and 13 years old, the Sioux City Journal reported. They’re charged with criminal mischief, agricultural animal facilities offenses and burglary.