News, State Feed

IA Consumer Advocate Opposes Alliant Energy Smart Meters - Nov 5 IUB Hearing

Iowa Consumer Advocate, Mark Schuling is opposing Alliant Energy’s smart meter rollout at an Iowa Utility Board hearing Nov. 5 in Des Moines. Attorneys General and state utility boards around the country have opposed smart meters due to many studies showing no cost benefit. Smart meters average millions of dollars more every year that would come from customer rate hikes.

Smart meters cost about six times more than current analog meters, with one third the lifetime, plus the multimillion dollar initial expense to replace 481,000 working analog meters.

Studies show that the faster outage reporting Alliant claims doesn’t result in faster service restoration.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has warned about serious dangers to America’s security from the smart grid and smart meters. So has former CIA Director James Woolsey calling the smart grids “stupid” on national TV (along with many other cyber security experts and institutions).

The ACLU and many others oppose smart meters for privacy violation. A $2.2 trillion /year data market is expected, with utility companies making even more profits from selling detailed customer personal lifestyle data, Alliant says it will not sell data, but Alliant reps repeat, “We may change any policy at any time without notice.”

Although Alliant’s planned opt out meter has been proven acceptable for health, Alliant’s proposed opt out proposal has multiple severe requirements.

Oppose Alliant’s smart meters by emailing or use IUB’s form:

Iowa’s Move Over law expanding to include all vehicles with flashing lights

Starting July 1, drivers in Iowa are required to change lanes if possible or slow down when they approach any vehicle with flashing lights.

All 50 states have versions of this type of law commonly referred to as a “Move over” law. The laws are meant to protect workers and others who are along the side of the road from being hit by passing motorists. Iowa first put the law (Iowa Code 321.323) into effect in 2002. At that time it included only certain emergency and maintenance vehicles. Last year the law was expanded to include utility vehicles and others working alongside the roadway. The 2018 version now includes all vehicles displaying flashing or hazard lights, including private vehicles who may be stopped due to vehicle trouble or emergencies.



BROOKLYN, Iowa – Republican candidate for Iowa secretary of agriculture Craig Lang said the inability of any candidate to surpass 35 percent in Tuesday's five-way primary election is "no surprise" and he looks forward to stating his case to delegates who will select the nominee at the party's June 16 state convention. 


"With five candidates in the race, we all knew it would be difficult to win outright by reaching the 35-percent threshold. I'm pleased to have had broad support across the entire state and I think that makes a strong case for the nomination," said Lang, who raises dairy and beef livestock and grows grain crops on his sixth-generation family farm. "The decision will be in the hands of delegates at the state convention and Iowans can rest assured that decision is in good hands."


Lang, who was the first candidate to enter the race last year, said he will continue to emphasize his commitment to improving Iowa's soil health, making the state's water cleaner and re-energizing the rural economy. He will also tout the strength he would bring to the party's statewide ticket this fall. 


Lang thanked his wife, Mary, and four adult children for their support during the campaign. "Family is the most important of all of God's gifts.  I'm blessed to be where I am at now, and equally excited about where this journey will lead," he said. "I look forward to making my case to convention delegates that I will be the best candidate for the position this fall."

Threats of retaliatory tariffs prompted by Trump have cost Iowa pork industry $560M: report

Concerns over retaliatory tariffs from Mexico have cost Iowa pork producers roughly $560 million, the Des Moines Register reported Friday.

According to the newspaper, Iowa pork producers could take another hit if Mexico follows through on its threat to impose a 20 percent tariff on hams and pork shoulders from the U.S.

Producers in the state already face a 25 percent tariff on pork exports to China. But duties from Mexico — the largest export market for American pork by volume — could put further strain on producers. 


Art Van Furniture Extends Free American Flag Exchange Program to All Midwest Locations Memorial Day Weekend, May 25 through May 28

WARREN, Mich. –  Art Van Furniture is exhibiting its patriotic spirit, inviting the public to bring their worn American Flags to any of its stores from Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28, and trade them in for a complimentary, new 3-foot by 5-foot American flag. The Midwest’s No. 1 furniture and mattress retailer has experienced enormous customer response to its flag exchange program, collecting 4,000 used, faded flags during the program’s inaugural year in 2017. The retired Stars and Stripes are respectfully disposed of in accordance with the US Flag Code.

“The public has embraced the free flag exchange program and we are proud to continue the tradition as well as introduce it in our newest markets,” said Ron Boire, Art Van Furniture’s president and CEO.

American flags can be exchanged at all store Art Van Furniture showrooms in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Iowa and Missouri on Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Monday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

For a complete review of the US Flag Code, including the proper position and manner of display for the American flag, click here. For additional information, visit 

About Art Van Furniture, LLC. Art Van Furniture, LLC is the Midwest's No. 1 furniture and mattress retailer with 187 stores in nine states operating under the following brands; Art Van Furniture, Art Van PureSleep, Art Van Flooring, Scott Shuptrine Interiors, Levin Furniture, Levin Mattress, Wolf Furniture and Gardiner Wolf Furniture. Founded in 1959, the company is headquartered in Warren, Mich. Art Van Furniture owned by Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P. of Boston. Visit for more information.

Wapsi, Iowa rivers now under flood watches

A Flood Warning continues for the Cedar River near Conesville until Saturday morning. Earlier today the river was at 12.2 feet and rising. Flood stage is 13 feet.  No flooding is occurring with minor flooding expected. The Cedar is expected to rise above flood stage Wednesday morning and continue rising to 14 feet Thursday night. The river will fall below flood stage Saturday morning.


Lang: President Trump Should Tell EPA's Pruitt, "You're Fired!"

BROOKLYN, Iowa – Iowa secretary of agriculture candidate Craig Lang today called for the dismissal of Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, saying the former Oklahoma attorney general is too beholden to oil interests to make fair and impartial decisions about the Renewable Fuel Standard and the future of America’s ethanol production.


Lang, a dairy and beef farmer who raises corn, soybeans and alfalfa is a former Iowa Farm Bureau Federation president, said Pruitt’s role in encouraging President Trump to curtail proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) guidelines last year was a welcome action that spared the nation’s farmers from over-regulation. However, Pruitt’s long-time relationship with oil-industry interests has proven to be a threat to farm income, the ethanol industry and Midwest economy.


“Scott Pruitt was deservedly praised for his action on WOTUS, but it didn’t take an oil man to do that,” Lang said. “Sadly, Scott Pruitt has demonstrated that he’s an oil man, not by profession but in his heart and through his actions. It’s for President Trump to say, ‘Scott Pruitt, you’re fired!’”


The Renewable Fuel Standard requires renewable fuel to be blended into transportation fuel in increasing amounts each year, reaching 36 billion gallons by 2022 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases. Pruitt has shown an inclination to weaken the RFS in response to efforts by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and oil interests to contain compliance costs.


Meanwhile, Pruitt is the subject of no less than 10 open investigations into his leadership and spending decisions and ethics. Four top EPA administrators have resigned in the past week.


“Clearly, there are other issues that raise red flags about Mr. Pruitt’s continued service. I’m confident they will be sorted out, but the farm economy is in a precarious position. Another bad decision by Scott Pruitt could push us over the edge and, unfortunately, has a well-documented track record of bad decisions,” Lang said. “We can’t afford to leave the fate of the Midwest economy in the hands of anyone so clearly in the Big Oil’s corner that he seems determined to put its profits ahead of the nation’s best interests.”