(Des Moines, IA) — Several Republicans with high national profiles will speak today (Friday) at the Family Leader’s annual summit. Some of those speakers could wind up running for president. Taking the podium will be former Vice President Mike Pence and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, along with South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. Family Leader president Bob Vander Plaats says Pence, Pompeo and Noem were invited because they have spent less time communicating with Iowa evangelical voters. The Family Leader conservative Christian group plays an important role in Republican presidential politics.
(Des Moines, IA) — The Adventureland Raft involved in a fatal accident two weeks ago had reportedly been pulled from service earlier the same day. The Des Moines Register reports it was one of several rafts that had been pulled because the bladders that kept them afloat had deflated. An accident involving that raft cost 11-year-old Michael Jaramillo his life. Records show the raft was repaired and put back into service about an hour and 45 minutes before the fatal accident. An attorney for the amusement park, Guy Cook, says Adventureland wants to get to the bottom of what happened, but the problems that took the raft out of service wouldn’t explain why it capsized. Cook says it almost 40 years of launching tens of thousands of the boat, not one had ever capsized before.
(Des Moines, IA) — Data from the Iowa Department of Public Health shows the number of abortions in the state increased by almost 14 percent last year. Iowa had experienced years of steady declines in abortions before 2019. That year they were up by 25 percent. The numbers were shared with legislative staff members Thursday by the state health department. The reversal in abortion numbers came after Iowa withdrew from a federally-funded family planning program in 2017. It also comes as the Legislature has passed a series of laws aimed at limiting abortions in the state.
(Chillicothe, IA) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has found black water entering a creek in Wapello County. Staff members traced the contamination to a trucking operation in Chillicothe. The company’s owner told the D-N-R he was land-applying wastewater from the city of Osceola’s treatment plant. The company was told to stop the operation. Water samples from the creek will be analyzed, but state investigators said they didn’t see any dead fish in the creek. People are being advised to keep children, pets, and livestock away from the creek for 24-to-48 hours after the discharge stops.
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