Iowa State News http://feed.informer.com/digests/IPUMUL2I2B/feeder Iowa State News Respective post owners and feed distributors Sat, 05 Sep 2020 12:59:19 +0000 Feed Informer http://feed.informer.com/ Iowa’s public universities see improved graduation and retention rates despite COVID-19 https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/iowas-public-universities-see-improved-graduation-and-retention-rates-despite-covid-19/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:65351678-7827-5f25-e22d-ade35a46ce7a Thu, 25 Feb 2021 00:19:48 +0000 <p>The three regent-governed universities in Iowa have each seen improvement in retention for the 2020-21 academic year despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing financial hardships for students and their families.  Overall, the state Board of Regent universities saw a 2 percentage point increase in undergraduate second-year retention, rising from 86 percent to 88 percent, the highest...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/iowas-public-universities-see-improved-graduation-and-retention-rates-despite-covid-19/">Iowa’s public universities see improved graduation and retention rates despite COVID-19</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The three regent-governed universities in Iowa have each seen improvement in retention for the 2020-21 academic year despite the COVID-19 pandemic causing financial hardships for students and their families. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Overall, the state Board of Regent universities saw a 2 percentage point increase in undergraduate second-year retention, rising from 86 percent to 88 percent, the highest it has ever been, for fall 2020, according to regent documents presented on Wednesday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The University of Iowa’s second-year retention rate increased to 88 percent, Iowa State University’s increased to 89 percent, and the University of Northern Iowa’s increased to 86 percent. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">For third-year retention, the UI’s rate improved to 79 percent, ISU’s rose to 82 percent, and UNI’s decreased from 75 percent to 74 percent, according to the documents. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Board of Regents Associate Chief Academic Officer Jason Pontius told the regents on Wednesday this year’s graduation and retention rates are a story of improvement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It’s very difficult to move the needle for retention numbers,” Pointus said. “This is in part because there are many factors that influence a student’s decision to leave college, and many have nothing at all to do with academic ability, and yet we are seeing improvement in retention.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Academic Support and Retention Director Mirra Anson said in an interview with </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Daily Iowan</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;"> there were many factors that influenced whether students returned to campus this academic year.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It was surprising to see the rates trend that way,” Anson said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said funding from the CARES Act could have been a factor that influenced students’ return for classes this year. Her office moved some of the programs, such as supplemental instruction, online to accommodate for courses moving to virtual and hybrid formats, Anson said. The office also added a section to Success at Iowa, a first-year orientation virtual course, about how to succeed in a virtual learning environment, which included strategies for taking online courses, she said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The regent universities have seen the “achievement gap” between white students and students who identify as an underrepresented minority narrow over time. According to the documents, the second-year retention rate for students who identify as racial/ethnic minorities has increased from 83 percent to 87 percent, 1 percentage point below the second-year retention rate for white students. The second-year retention rate for students who identify as underrepresented minorities rose from 82 percent to 85 percent, according to the documents. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Regarding four-year and six-year graduation rates for students who identify as a racial/ethinic minority or an underrepresented minority, a larger “achievement gap” exists. Four-year graduation rates for racial/ethnic minorities and underrepresented minorities are 42 percent and 41 percent, respectively, the graduation rate for white students is 54 percent, according to the documents. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The four-year and six-year graduation rates for the regent universities remained unchanged at 52 percent and 72 percent, respectively. According to the documents, the three-year graduation rate increased to 4 percent and the five-year graduation rate increased to 72 percent. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At the UI specifically, the four-year graduation rate stayed unchanged at 55 percent, the highest of all the universities, and the six-year graduation rate stayed at 72 percent, according to the documents. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">ISU had a four-year graduation rate of 51 percent and a six-year graduation rate of 75 percent. UNI’s four-year rate decreased from 44 percent to 43 percent, and the six-year graduation rate dropped from 67 percent to 63 percent. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anson said it’s unclear how the pandemic will impact the four-year and six-year graduation rates in the future. A concern is that students coming to college now or who came in during the fall who have had mainly virtual or hybrid instruction aren’t making connections with faculty and students to build support systems, she said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Based on six-year graduation rate data, Pointus said it should be expected that the regent institutions will continue to see growth. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Everything has been shaken now, I feel like, with COVID,” Anson said. “We know how important relationships are, how important engagement with faculty is, that belonging is important, and finding a community.”</span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/iowas-public-universities-see-improved-graduation-and-retention-rates-despite-covid-19/">Iowa’s public universities see improved graduation and retention rates despite COVID-19</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Housing and Dining faces financial toll after offering a ‘compassionate’ approach with student contract cancellations https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/university-of-iowa-housing-and-dining-faces-financial-toll-after-offering-a-compassionate-approach-with-student-contract-cancellations/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:649efbf7-99c6-83dd-a0b8-098f465636bb Wed, 24 Feb 2021 23:54:13 +0000 <p>Occupancy at Iowa’s public universities’ residence housing significantly dropped in fiscal 2021 because of the pandemic, causing millions of dollars in financial losses, but university leaders expect numbers to rebound next fall.   The COVID-19 pandemic had a large impact on the state Board of Regents-governed institutions’ residence systems, causing 80 percent fewer residents since July...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/university-of-iowa-housing-and-dining-faces-financial-toll-after-offering-a-compassionate-approach-with-student-contract-cancellations/">Housing and Dining faces financial toll after offering a ‘compassionate’ approach with student contract cancellations</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Occupancy at Iowa’s public universities’ residence housing significantly dropped in fiscal 2021 because of the pandemic, causing millions of dollars in financial losses, but university leaders expect numbers to rebound next fall.  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The COVID-19 pandemic had a large impact on the state Board of Regents-governed institutions’ residence systems, causing 80 percent fewer residents since July 1, 2020, according to the </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Re</span><a href="https://www.iowaregents.edu/media/cms/0221_ITEM_7__Residence_System_F58E52298445A.pdf"><span style="font-weight: 400;">sidence System Governance report</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The University of Iowa residence system followed trends similar to the two other regents-governed intuitions, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Contract revenues, canceled conferences and camps, retail sales, and catering revenues had a negative financial impact on all regents’ universities, the report stated. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Von Stange, assistant vice president for student life and senior director of UI Housing and Dining, told the regents on Wednesday that holding UI students to their housing and dining contracts during the academic year at the beginning of the pandemic would have been a better decision for business. The UI lost an estimated $15.85 million from giving student refunds for housing contracts and meal plans after universities sent students home and transitioned classes online in March last year. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">But, Stange said, the pandemic requires a more compassionate approach. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Everyone has been impacted by the pandemic,” Stange said during the meeting. “Parents may have lost jobs, savings from college may have had to be used for other purposes. </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Housing and Dining</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will suffer financially, but we&#8217;ll be okay.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Like the UI, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa also canceled student residence hall and dining contracts and made refunds last spring because of COVID-19, Associate Vice President Campus Life at ISU Pete Englin said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The state and regional travel restrictions kept changing and it just wasn’t fair to require students to come back [to campus],” Englin said </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a decrease of student residence housing occupancy compared to previous years at the UI, the report stated.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Fall 2021 admissions to date indicate a positive rise of first-time students at the UI for residence housing, the report said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Our plan for next year is dependent on our first year class size. We expect the first year class to be larger than fall of 2020, but less than 2019 because of pandemic levels,” Stange said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">As previously </span><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2020/09/09/university-of-iowa-housing-dining-extends-deadline-to-cancel-housing-contracts-as-students-leave-dorms/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">reported</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> by <em>The Daily Iowan</em>, UI students were refunded their housing and meal plans after the UI transitioned to virtual instruction in the fall. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“To help reduce operating costs, UH&amp;D required temporary furloughs of up to 200 hours for members of the dining merit staff,” the report said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The regents and the UI reported financial losses from the residence systems in several areas.</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">An estimated $15.85 million lost to student refunds in housing and meal plans for the spring semester. </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">An estimated $1.5 million of lost income because of the cancellation of summer camps and conferences hosted in residence halls in the spring semester.</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">An estimated $3.67 million of semester revenue loss because of 702 UI student housing and dining contract cancellations for the fall semester. </span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">An additional estimated $3 million loss of revenue after students with canceled housing and dining contracts did not return in spring 2021. This financial loss was also made up by temporary furloughs of 40 to 80 hours for professional &amp; scientific and merit staff not furloughed in the summer. </span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">UI Housing and Dining received federal funds to “offset a portion of the revenue decline,” the report said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This fiscal year, the UI’s residence and dining hall system is expected to be under budget because of staff reduction, rescheduling retail and catering operations, decrease of food costs, and decreases in utility and other operating expenses, the report said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A few more than 700 UI students were released from their housing and dining contracts during the fall semester. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The report said that only 120 of those students with canceled contracts returned to UI residence housing for the current semester. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Stange said this year has been difficult for UI Housing and Dining. Projects to improve the residence hall system and dining operations will be postponed for years in the future, he said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Once COVID-19 has passed, it will take some time to fully recover and replenish the system reserves to allow for the appropriate level of capital project funding,” Stange said. </span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/university-of-iowa-housing-and-dining-faces-financial-toll-after-offering-a-compassionate-approach-with-student-contract-cancellations/">Housing and Dining faces financial toll after offering a ‘compassionate’ approach with student contract cancellations</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Iowa Senate Education Committee advances bill to regulate DEI training at public universities https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/iowa-senate-education-committee-advances-bill-to-regulate-dei-training-at-public-universities/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:ec4d1ccc-427f-f186-32fe-bdabf611cbae Wed, 24 Feb 2021 22:25:49 +0000 <p>The Iowa Senate Education Committee advanced a bill 11-4 on Wednesday regarding First Amendment rights and diversity, equity, and inclusion training at public colleges and universities and postsecondary institutions.  SSB1205, introduced by Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, would require higher education institutions to establish and publicize policies that prohibit the college from restricting free speech and...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/iowa-senate-education-committee-advances-bill-to-regulate-dei-training-at-public-universities/">Iowa Senate Education Committee advances bill to regulate DEI training at public universities</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Iowa Senate Education Committee advanced a bill 11-4 on Wednesday regarding First Amendment rights and diversity, equity, and inclusion training at public colleges and universities and postsecondary institutions. </span></p> <p><a href="https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&amp;ba=SSB1205"><span style="font-weight: 400;">SSB1205</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, introduced by Sen. Amy Sinclair, R-Allerton, would require higher education institutions to establish and publicize policies that prohibit the college from restricting free speech and penalties on protected speech.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The bill also states that if a faculty member at an institution is knowingly and intentionally restricting protected speech or penalizes a student, then that faculty member would be subject to disciplinary action by the institution.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">SSB1205 has similar language to </span><a href="https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/presidential-actions/executive-order-combating-race-sex-stereotyping/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">an executive order from former President Donald Trump</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that aimed “to combat race and sex stereotyping” and scapegoating. Trump’s order sparked controversy for wanting to make more “patriotic” learning and work environments by promoting DEI training that would not acknowledge systemic racism. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This order prompted the UI to pause DEI training for two weeks while the university ensured their training was in compliance with this order. If it wasn’t, then the UI could have risked losing federal funds.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The bill currently in the Senate says that superintendents of public school districts and presidents of public universities must ensure that any DEI training fosters a “respectful workplace.” It says that a school or outside contractors cannot provide training that promotes divisive concepts, which the bill defines as the following:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">One race or sex is inherently superior to another</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Iowa is fundamentally racist or sexist</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">An individual by virtue of their race or sex is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">An individual’s moral character is determined by their race or sex</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">An individual bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by members of their same race or sex</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;" aria-level="1"><span style="font-weight: 400;">One should feel psychological distress on account of one’s race or sex</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The bill also says that an institution must provide its student government instruction and training on First Amendment rights, and that each regents institution will make any funds disbursed to a student government organization contingent on their compliance with the First Amendment. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This bill comes after a University of Iowa College of Dentistry student, Michael Brase, claimed the college was suppressing his conservative viewpoints after he hit ‘reply all’ on an email from the college that condemned the Trump administration’s executive order.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“At the college level, maybe a student is in the minority, as somebody who&#8217;s a conservative Republican, and the teacher in the classroom is coming from a more progressive point of view,” said Sen. Jeff Taylor, R-Sioux Center. “There&#8217;s a very large power differential between teachers who have the power of assigning grades, and the students.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Taylor said that First Amendment rights should not disappear when a student is in a classroom.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, the ranking member of the Senate Education Committee, was the only Democrat on the committee to vote in favor of the bill. He said that this bill does not regulate what can be taught in the classroom and that it “protects freedom of inquiry.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don&#8217;t want the training of these people to involve any kind of notion that one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex,” Quirmbach said Wednesday. “That is absolutely abhorrent to me, always is, always will be.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sen. Sarah Trone Garriott, D-Windsor Heights, said she had concerns with the provision that would discipline educators if they were found to be violating this law. Sinclair said it would be up to the school’s board and, in some cases, the Iowa Department of Education, as to what disciplinary measures should be taken.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“That&#8217;s a concern for me in this piece of legislation, is how do you determine intent of an individual through a process like that?” Garriott said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The bill will now go to the full Senate for a vote.</span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/iowa-senate-education-committee-advances-bill-to-regulate-dei-training-at-public-universities/">Iowa Senate Education Committee advances bill to regulate DEI training at public universities</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> State Board of Regents recommend changes to syllabi, campus policies regarding free speech https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/state-board-of-regents-recommend-changes-to-syllabi-campus-policies-regarding-free-speech/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:1bdfa5d7-07a2-fd88-316e-aed07b1076f6 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 20:50:43 +0000 <p>The state Board of Regents’ free speech committee suggested several recommendations for Iowa’s regents institutions at its meeting Wednesday including requiring a free speech clause in all classes’ syllabi.  Board President Mike Richards announced the creation of the free speech committee at the board’s November 2020 meeting. He appointed regents David Barker, Nancy Boettger, and...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/state-board-of-regents-recommend-changes-to-syllabi-campus-policies-regarding-free-speech/">State Board of Regents recommend changes to syllabi, campus policies regarding free speech</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The state Board of Regents’ free speech committee suggested several recommendations for Iowa’s regents institutions at its meeting Wednesday including requiring a free speech clause in all classes’ syllabi. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Board President Mike Richards announced the creation of the free speech committee at the board’s November 2020 meeting. He appointed regents David Barker, Nancy Boettger, and student regent Zach Leist to evaluate the implementations of the regents’ 2019 </span><a href="https://www.iowaregents.edu/plans-and-policies/board-policy-manual/42-freedom-of-expression"><span style="font-weight: 400;">free speech policy</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At Wednesday’s meeting, Richards said the regents will not tolerate any violations of the First Amendment on its campuses across the state.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“[Freedom of speech] is, as a constitutional right, must be preserved and is sacred on our campuses,” he said. “The Board of Regents and our universities absolutely support free speech and open dialogue. Every faculty, staff, and student must feel confident that their constitutional rights are protected on our campuses, and that they will not face retribution for exercising their rights.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said there have been several recent events on campuses where this expectation has not been met. He said the board will continue to react quickly to freedom of speech violations on campuses and will take corrective action. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Four months after the committee formed, regents Barker, Boettger, and Leist recommended universities revise policies regarding free speech. They also suggested the board revise some of its policies. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Leist said he hopes the recommendations will receive action soon to minimize any further incidences of freedom of speech violations on campuses. He said that while it may not be perfect, addressing freedom of speech issues is the best way to create a beneficial learning environment. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I do know that even with our recommendations we will not ever completely eliminate freedom of expression issues,” he said. “We all have the right not to agree with each other&#8230;however, something we should expect is respect.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Barker said the regents will review and compile data from the most recent campus climate surveys to better understand freedom of speech issues on campus. He said the committee will determine if another survey is warranted in fall 2021. Later on in the presentation, the committee said it will conduct a freedom of expression survey every two years regardless of its findings.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While conducting those surveys, Boettger said the committee is also recommending that all regents universities be required to provide free training on freedom of speech to all students, faculty and staff members.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The [institutions’] presidents will appoint the appropriate campus members to assist the free speech committee to develop a common model for free speech at all three universities,” she said. “[Also] each syllabus for each course at all regents universities [must] have a statement comparable to the ISU statement.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Iowa State University adopted</span><a href="https://www.provost.iastate.edu/policies/syllabus-statement-faq"><span style="font-weight: 400;"> a freedom of speech statement</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> that is required to be used in all university courses. The other regents universities do not have a similar statement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The committee also recommends that universities adopt policies and procedures – including penalties – for violations of freedom of expression to the current processes there are in place for such infringements. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Barker said the board also needs to reaffirm that university resources will not be used for partisan activities. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We [need to] establish a policy that universities may only take institutional positions on policy matters in conjunction with the board,” he said. “This includes presidents, vice presidents, deans, and department directors.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In his institutional head presentation to the board, UI President Bruce Harreld said he supports the committee’s recommendations. He said the UI has already implemented many of the recommendations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Free speech and free expression are the cornerstones of our campus and our academic community,” he said. “As such, we rely on those fundamental principles both in and out of the classroom … Each and every member of our community must have the ability to have their voice heard, otherwise we are not fulfilling our core mission in education.”</span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/state-board-of-regents-recommend-changes-to-syllabi-campus-policies-regarding-free-speech/">State Board of Regents recommend changes to syllabi, campus policies regarding free speech</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> UI students who are fully vaccinated may not have to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/ui-students-who-are-fully-vaccinated-may-not-have-to-quarantine-after-covid-19-exposure/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:125d4261-9744-92fb-d522-af9e017e279f Wed, 24 Feb 2021 18:58:28 +0000 <p>Staff and students who have been fully vaccinated and are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 may no longer need to quarantine after exposure to the coronavirus, the university announced in a campus-wide email on Wednesday.  People who are fully vaccinated — meaning at least two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccination...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/ui-students-who-are-fully-vaccinated-may-not-have-to-quarantine-after-covid-19-exposure/">UI students who are fully vaccinated may not have to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Staff and students who have been fully vaccinated and are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 may no longer need to quarantine after exposure to the coronavirus, the university announced in a campus-wide email on Wednesday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">People who are fully vaccinated — meaning at least two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose vaccination series or two weeks after receiving their dose of a single-dose vaccination series — and have remained asymptomatic following their exposure are not required to quarantine, the email stated.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Students, faculty, and staff who have been fully vaccinated also no longer need to fill out the university’s COVID-19 self-reporting form after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive unless they themselves become symptomatic, the email said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Vaccinated individuals still must follow all safety precautions including wearing a face mask and social distancing, regardless of exposure,” the email said. “If symptoms develop, vaccinated individuals must follow the isolation protocols outlined in the </span><a href="https://link.uiowa.edu/l/8fd05290-fc06-4c6f-a111-3d60ccb63b8b?m=3488d552-8dac-4ef1-bef9-256e9f9e2459&amp;c=d.vpsc&amp;i=202102"><span style="font-weight: 400;">“What to do if you’re sick” section of the UI’s COVID-19 website</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Johnson County is currently vaccinating residents who fall under Phase 1B but the Johnson County Department of Public Health warns that limited vaccine supply means that vaccinating everyone in this phase could take weeks or even months. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The university reported four new student cases and three new staff cases of COVID-19 since Feb. 22. This brings the total number of cases since the start of the academic year to 3,001 student cases and 441 staff cases. </span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/ui-students-who-are-fully-vaccinated-may-not-have-to-quarantine-after-covid-19-exposure/">UI students who are fully vaccinated may not have to quarantine after COVID-19 exposure</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> ‘I got up at four o’clock like I do six times a week and jogged two miles:’ Chuck Grassley to announce potential Senate run by this fall https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/i-got-up-at-four-oclock-like-i-do-six-times-a-week-and-jogged-two-miles-chuck-grassley-to-announce-potential-senate-run-by-this-fall/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:7a35bfc7-9220-8c6f-063c-0f6434d76560 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 18:41:22 +0000 <p>Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he will announce his decision on whether he will pursue an eighth term in the U.S. Senate by this fall, adding that he hopes his age will not impact if people believe he is fit to run a campaign.  “My age comes up, and this morning I got up at...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/i-got-up-at-four-oclock-like-i-do-six-times-a-week-and-jogged-two-miles-chuck-grassley-to-announce-potential-senate-run-by-this-fall/">‘I got up at four o&#8217;clock like I do six times a week and jogged two miles:’ Chuck Grassley to announce potential Senate run by this fall</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he will announce his decision on whether he will pursue an eighth term in the U.S. Senate by this fall, adding that he hopes his age will not impact if people believe he is fit to run a campaign. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“My age comes up, and this morning I got up at four o&#8217;clock like I do six times a week and jogged two miles,” Grassley, 87, said during a Wednesday conference call with reporters. “If I can do that every day, I hope nobody has any questions about my ability to conduct a campaign. It&#8217;ll be up to the voters to decide whether or not I should be re-elected, but I hope they won&#8217;t say I can’t conduct a campaign.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said he will make up his mind about the election sometime in September, October or November. Grassley’s seventh senate term will end Jan. 3, 2023.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Of current senators, Grassley is the </span><a href="https://www.senate.gov/senators/longest_serving_senators.htm"><span style="font-weight: 400;">second longest serving</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. During the Trump administration, he was president pro tempore from 2019-2021. Grassley began in the Senate in 1981, after serving three terms in the U.S. House. He has represented Iowa in </span><a href="https://bioguide.congress.gov/search/bio/G000386"><span style="font-weight: 400;">24 consecutive </span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">U.S. Congresses. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Before his career in Washington began, Grassley served in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1959-1974. Now, a state senator is bidding for his seat.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, announced on Feb. 15 he will be running for Grassley’s seat, which could mean challenging Grassley in a Republican primary. While announcing his candidacy, Carlin criticized the U.S. Congress for not investigating former President Donald Trump’s baseless voter fraud claims before certifying President Joe Biden’s victory. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Grassley voted to certify Biden’s electoral college win and told reporters on Wednesday that he was clear about Biden winning the election. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I’ve got no comment on anybody who’s running for any office,” Grassley said. “Everybody&#8217;s got the right to run for any office they want to run for as long as they meet the constitutional requirements.”  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He was also questioned about an elections bill in the Iowa Legislature that was </span><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/senate-approves-bill-to-change-iowas-election-laws/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">approved in the state Senate</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Tuesday night and will be up for debate in the House on Wednesday. </span><a href="https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&amp;ba=SF413"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Senate File 143</span></a> <span style="font-weight: 400;">would shorten the absentee voting period from 29 days to 18 days, limit ballot collection, and penalize county auditors who don’t follow state laws regarding the voting process. It passed along party lines despite nearly 1,000 Iowans registering for a public hearing in opposition to the bill. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Grassley said he didn’t want to comment on the specific bill, but said state legislatures should be working to enhance protection of mail-in ballots. </span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/24/i-got-up-at-four-oclock-like-i-do-six-times-a-week-and-jogged-two-miles-chuck-grassley-to-announce-potential-senate-run-by-this-fall/">‘I got up at four o&#8217;clock like I do six times a week and jogged two miles:’ Chuck Grassley to announce potential Senate run by this fall</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> University of Iowa Student Government resolution to encourage sustainable housing development in Iowa City https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/university-of-iowa-student-government-resolution-to-encourage-sustainable-housing-development-in-iowa-city/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:f177bada-aba0-d837-8203-6a3c6da59cfe Wed, 24 Feb 2021 04:19:54 +0000 <p>Prompted by many upscale housing units set to be developed in Iowa City, several members of the University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government are currently working on a resolution to advocate that new housing in Iowa City meets sufficient sustainability requirements. With a recent push to achieve a higher level of Leadership in Energy and...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/university-of-iowa-student-government-resolution-to-encourage-sustainable-housing-development-in-iowa-city/">University of Iowa Student Government resolution to encourage sustainable housing development in Iowa City</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>Prompted by many upscale housing units set to be developed in Iowa City, several members of the University of Iowa Undergraduate Student Government are currently working on a resolution to advocate that new housing in Iowa City meets sufficient sustainability requirements.</p> <p>With a recent push to achieve a higher level of <a href="https://www.usgbc.org/help/what-leed">Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification,</a> many newly developed buildings across Iowa City have incorporated sustainable and energy efficient features, such as the new <a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2020/10/19/iowa-city-public-works-receives-efficiency-energy-efficiency-design-award/">Public Works building, which won the Excellence in Energy Efficiency Design award</a> for this accomplishment.</p> <p>The upcoming <a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/01/19/ped-mall-redevelopment-plan-costing-over-56-million-passed-unanimously-by-city-council/">Tailwind Group development project</a> on the Pedestrian Mall is aiming to achieve LEED Gold Certification, and is one of the recent development projects that prompted UI sophomore and USG City Liaison Ryan Longenecker to propose the idea of this resolution to other student government members.</p> <p>Longenecker said he learned that prospective developers are not required to explicitly meet any set of sustainability or energy efficiency standards proposed by the city.</p> <p>He said this motivated him to propose a resolution that would encourage and hopefully end up requiring this.</p> <p>“The city staff pushes developers to be as compliant with the city&#8217;s 2030 sustainability goals, et cetera, but there&#8217;s no set standard, so it&#8217;s really by developer,” Longenecker said. “After [discovering] that, we started thinking like, ‘Hey, maybe we can put together a resolution, saying that, as students who are going to be the most affected generation by climate change, we want to see new buildings, especially those that are going to be marketed toward students, be held to the highest possible levels of sustainability.’”</p> <p><b>RELATED: </b><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/01/19/ped-mall-redevelopment-plan-costing-over-56-million-passed-unanimously-by-city-council/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">City council approves $12 million financing for Ped Mall project</span></a></p> <p>Longenecker said he would like to see new developments reach LEED Platinum Certification, which is the highest level of LEED certification, and something that he thinks is easier to incorporate into newer buildings.</p> <p>Iowa City Climate Action and Engagement Specialist Sarah Gardner wrote in an email to <em>The Daily Iowan</em> that Iowa City has recently prioritized focusing on increasing the number of city buildings being renovated or built to match LEED standards.</p> <p>Gardner wrote that this matches the city’s 2030 Climate Action and Adaptation goals.</p> <p>“The City is very interested in the sustainable design principles and energy efficiency measures incorporated into LEED certified buildings, which align with many of the goals in Iowa City&#8217;s Climate Action and Adaptation Plan,” Gardner wrote. “Some of the LEED principles have been adopted into the City building codes for that reason.”</p> <p>Gardner added that a large portion of rental properties within Iowa City are older buildings, which has encouraged the city to work with those owners and find ways in which newer, sustainable practices can be incorporated into this older architecture.</p> <p>“The city is always exploring ideas with builders and property owners as to how we can make both new construction and existing housing stock more sustainable for the renters who occupy them,” Gardner wrote.</p> <p>Already five weeks into the semester, Longenecker said he would like to see this resolution completed fairly quickly, with a resolution drafted and reviewed by individual committees, and presented on the senate floor within the next few weeks.</p> <p><b>RELATED: </b><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2020/09/23/undergraduate-student-government-passes-resolution-supporting-sustainability-affordability-covid-19-mitigation-on-campus/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">USG passes resolution supporting sustainability, affordability, COVID-19 mitigation on campus</span></a></p> <p>Longenecker said if USG passes this resolution, he will go to the Iowa City City Council and present the resolution on behalf of students.</p> <p>Longenecker said he thinks with younger generations being more inclined to support sustainable and environmentally conscious policies, he would not be surprised to see a large majority of the Senate support this resolution.</p> <p>UI junior and USG Director of Sustainability Joseph Haggerty said Iowa City has always ensured that sustainability is a priority and at the forefront of all developments, but that student senators wanted to continue advocating for accountability among and resources for entities the city works with.</p> <p>“What we kind of want to do as an undergraduate student government is to push for the continuation of a lot of their resources and a lot of their initiatives that they&#8217;ve been going through,” Haggerty said. “We&#8217;re hoping to make sure that the city knows that students, especially at the University of Iowa, are encouraging the continuation of new stages of their huge sustainability plan.”</p> <p>Haggerty said he is hoping to see the city accept development projects that will bring economic growth without jeopardizing the health and security of the community, especially marginalized populations.</p> <p>“There&#8217;s just so many programs that the city has already that we&#8217;re hoping to not only continue, but with the new developments, to make sure that there are actually tangible differences that are being made,” Haggerty said. “And that the city isn&#8217;t just approving the development of even more buildings that are going to not only hurt the economic interests of a lot of marginalized populations here in Iowa City, but also to make it so that we&#8217;re actually caring about the environment.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/university-of-iowa-student-government-resolution-to-encourage-sustainable-housing-development-in-iowa-city/">University of Iowa Student Government resolution to encourage sustainable housing development in Iowa City</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> University of Iowa law student receives kidney from his mother after kidney failure https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/university-of-iowa-law-student-receives-kidney-from-his-mother-after-kidney-failure/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:3fc062ed-96ec-4c8e-55a8-3020c3a402c5 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 02:23:50 +0000 <p>University of Iowa law student Austin Maas called his mother in September two years ago to tell her that he was going into kidney failure. His mother, Gina Maas, told him he could have one of hers. “You can have my kidney,” Gina said. “I only need one.” When Austin first found out about his kidney...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/university-of-iowa-law-student-receives-kidney-from-his-mother-after-kidney-failure/">University of Iowa law student receives kidney from his mother after kidney failure</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>University of Iowa law student Austin Maas called his mother in September two years ago to tell her that he was going into kidney failure.</p> <p>His mother, Gina Maas, told him he could have one of hers.</p> <p>“You can have my kidney,” Gina said. “I only need one.”</p> <p>When Austin first found out about his kidney failure, he said a multitude of donors stepped forward, from classmates to family members.</p> <p>“It was shocking how many people signed up to be a donor for me,” Austin said. “It was very humbling to have that.”</p> <p>Gina moved to Oregon to be a dialysis nurse in 2018 and has worked with people experiencing kidney failure. She said this made the whole process more challenging for her, knowing what her son could go through. Kidneys are about the size of a computer mouse, according to the <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/basics.html#:~:text=About%20Chronic%20Kidney%20Disease,-More%20than%201&amp;text=15%25%20of%20US%20adults%20are,as%20well%20as%20they%20should.">Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,</a> and they filter all the blood in the body every 30 minutes. They filter wastes, toxins, excess fluid and control blood pressure and stimulate red blood cell production. An estimated one in seven Americans have chronic kidney disease, the CDC reports, which happens when the kidneys can’t filter blood properly.</p> <p>Gina said she was all but ready to donate as soon as she found out about Austin’s kidney failure, but when she got her tests back to see if she was a match, Gina was hit with bad news — her blood sugar levels were too high.</p> <p>“Here I am, a nurse, his mom. Of course, I wasn&#8217;t living with him or near him,” Gina said. “It&#8217;s like — why couldn&#8217;t I have caught this before it got this bad? But things happen. We don&#8217;t know why, but they do.”</p> <p>Living Donor Transplant Coordinator at UIHC Ciera Gibbs said blood sugar is important when looking for kidney donors, because if the levels are off, it could cause diabetes or other health problems for donors later in life.</p> <p>“The donors are going into an elective procedure and coming out with one kidney,” Gibbs said. “When potential donors have either an elevated body mass index or some of their numbers indicate that they might have a higher risk of developing diabetes down the road, we want to identify that early on.”</p> <p>Gina said doctors recommended that she cut all simple sugars out of her diet for three months, and she followed suit.</p> <p>“I literally did not cheat once in three months, and it was very easy to do because my son’s life was at stake,” Gina said.</p> <p>After the strict no-sugar diet, Gina said she was ready to donate. She flew to Iowa City and quarantined for 10 days upon arrival. She said the risk of traveling during the pandemic was well worth it for her son.</p> <p>“Traveling to Iowa and figuring out that whole scenario was a little concerning, but on the other hand, I just knew this was all going to work and it would be ok,” Gina said.</p> <p>The two underwent the procedure in July of 2020. After the surgery, both Austin and Gina said they recovered well and are in good health.</p> <p>“The hospital handled everything so well,” Austin said. “Everyone there at the hospital is a professional, and they want to help you as much as they can. I had the best experience at the hospital and the law school. Everyone at the university has been great throughout the whole process.”</p> <p>While the experience was a tough one, Gina said she hopes her story shows people that being a donor is important, especially when it comes to loved ones.</p> <p>“I did it, and hopefully it inspires other people to do it as well,” Gina said.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/university-of-iowa-law-student-receives-kidney-from-his-mother-after-kidney-failure/">University of Iowa law student receives kidney from his mother after kidney failure</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Iowa City Bike Library looks to a new frontier https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/iowa-city-bike-library-looks-to-a-new-frontier/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:f9fe6410-a383-3236-44f4-d9f4b094d081 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 01:42:34 +0000 <p>For Iowa City&#8217;s Bike Library, the month of February has been the “final drag” to finally find a place to call home. &#8220;We are calling the whole month of February ‘The Final Drag; A New Bicycling Frontier,’&#8221; said Bike Library Executive Director Audrey Wiedemeier. &#8220;In the last 16 years, the Bike Library has taken refuge...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/iowa-city-bike-library-looks-to-a-new-frontier/">Iowa City Bike Library looks to a new frontier</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>For Iowa City&#8217;s Bike Library, the month of February has been the “final drag” to finally find a place to call home.</p> <p>&#8220;We are calling the whole month of February ‘The Final Drag; A New Bicycling Frontier,’&#8221; said Bike Library Executive Director Audrey Wiedemeier. &#8220;In the last 16 years, the Bike Library has taken refuge in a lot of different locations, but we&#8217;ve purchased our own building and can now put down some roots.&#8221;</p> <p>Wiedemeier said the Bike Library will open up in a new location at 1222 S. Gilbert Court on March 1.</p> <p>The Bike Library&#8217;s current location was bought by developers, she said, causing the nonprofit to search for a new place to continue its mission of refurbishing bikes.</p> <p>Wiedemeier said the Bike Library&#8217;s new home is located in an ideal place to meet Iowa City&#8217;s bicycling needs.</p> <p>&#8220;We&#8217;re excited about the location,” she said. “It&#8217;s still within walking distance of the campus. It&#8217;s closer to the south district, where we have many partnerships, and it&#8217;s pretty close to the riverfront crossing trails. Our new location is nestled in this triangle between a lot of people we serve.”</p> <p>Bike Library Board Member Mike Haverkamp said the Bike Library&#8217;s current relocation marks the organization&#8217;s fourth move since its 2004 opening.</p> <p>&#8220;It&#8217;s a big jump, especially for a nonprofit organization, but it&#8217;s a necessary one,&#8221; Haverkamp said. &#8220;In our current location, you carry the bikes down a winding staircase to get to the basement. The new location is much more convenient, but I won&#8217;t be in as good of shape.&#8221;</p> <p>Although the Bike Library is upgrading to a one-story building with 7,000 square feet, Haverkamp said the building will soon become crowded with more bikes.</p> <p>&#8220;The Bike Library is a gas, and we expand to the volume of our container,&#8221; he said. &#8220;What we&#8217;ve continued to see and what we are so dependent on are those people who make donations of bicycles and bicycle parts to us. Between COVID-19 and Marie Kondo, we&#8217;ve seen a good supply of donations coming in through the pandemic.&#8221;</p> <p>Interest in biking nationwide skyrocketed as Americans looked for outdoor forms of leisure and transportation during a global pandemic. During March, 2020 nationwide sales of bike equipment and repair doubled compared to the previous year, <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/18/nyregion/bike-shortage-coronavirus.html">according to N.P.D. Group, a market research company</a>. The Iowa City Bike Library was no exception, Bike Library board member Karen Stierler said.</p> <p>&#8220;With COVID-19, I think the whole biking thing has gotten bigger,” Stierler said. “Just getting outside for sanity&#8217;s sake has been so popular, so I think we&#8217;ve been able to send a lot of bikes out the door.”</p> <p>At the end of the month, the organization is bringing the final drag to life.</p> <p>&#8220;On February 28 at 5:00, we are inviting our volunteers, donors, and anyone who wants to dress in drag and meet at 700 South Dubuque Street to ride to our new location,&#8221; Wiedemeier said.</p> <p>Wiedemeier added that the Bike Library team plans to brave the cold in drag to celebrate settling into a location they can now call home.</p> <p>&#8220;When you are riding a bike, there&#8217;s a feeling of freedom,&#8221; she said. &#8220;And in performing — not just in drag, but in any art — there is a sense of freedom in how you express yourself. We are leaning into those parallels.&#8221;</p> <div class="photowrap"><div class='sfiphotowrap sfiphotowrap modal-photo' data-photo-ids='182091,182092,182086,182087,182088,182089,182090' data-story-id='181947'><div id='storypageslideshow' style=''><div class="slideshowwrap"><img src="https://dailyiowan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/BikeLibrarySlideshow001-900x600.jpg" style="width:100%;" class="catboxphoto slideshow-photo" alt="BikeLibrarySlideshow001" /><a class='modal-photo' href='#slideshow'><div class='slideshow-enlarge'><div class="fa fa-clone slideshow-icon"></div><div class='slideshow-title'>Gallery<span class='v-divider'>|</span>7 Photos</div></div></a></div><div class="captionboxmittop"><div class="photocredit"><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/staff_name/ryan-adams/">Ryan Adams</a></div><div class="photocaption">Bike Library Executive Director Audrey Wiedemeier poses for a portrait at the new Gilbert St. location in Iowa City on Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Bike Library Inc. is a volunteer-run project in Iowa City that allows community members to check out and buy restored bicycles. </div></div></div></div></div><div class="photobottom"></div><div class="clear"></div><div class="newssourcephotos" data-photoids="182091,182092,182086,182087,182088,182089,182090"></div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/iowa-city-bike-library-looks-to-a-new-frontier/">Iowa City Bike Library looks to a new frontier</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Increase in total property tax levy will fund Iowa City employee minimum wage https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/increase-in-total-property-tax-levy-will-fund-iowa-city-employee-minimum-wage/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:14eccc1f-b6be-3468-e8e1-c9fc233dedf8 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 01:28:12 +0000 <p>Iowa City’s maximum property tax base will increase for fiscal 2022, funding an increase in the minimum wage of city employees. The minimum wage for city employees will increase to $15 an hour, effective in July of this year. City Finance Director Dennis Bockenstedt said that, with Iowa City expanding and growing, property values have...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/increase-in-total-property-tax-levy-will-fund-iowa-city-employee-minimum-wage/">Increase in total property tax levy will fund Iowa City employee minimum wage</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>Iowa City’s maximum property tax base will increase for fiscal 2022, funding an increase in the minimum wage of city employees.</p> <p>The minimum wage for city employees will increase to $15 an hour, effective in July of this year.</p> <p>City Finance Director Dennis Bockenstedt said that, with Iowa City expanding and growing, property values have gone up and increased the tax base.</p> <p>He said increasing the minimum wage for city employees from $13.25 to $15 is a rather low percentage, but when applied to the thousands of hours worked by the city’s temporary and seasonal workers, it adds up to be quite the cost.</p> <p>Despite the raise of the maximum property tax levy, Bockenstedt said the tax rate is actually going down by 10 cents, from $15.77 to $15.67.</p> <p>According to the <a href="https://homeguides.sfgate.com/types-homeowners-taxes-7927.html">publication SFGATE</a>, a tax levy sets a percentage rate for imposing taxes, which is then calculated against the assessed value of each homeowner’s property according to its value.</p> <p>With the maximum property tax levy, the city is looking to collect as much funding in property taxes as possible to redistribute to the city’s budget and fund public services.</p> <p>Bockenstedt said the levy serves to inform Iowa City residents about how these additional dollars are being used within the city’s budget.</p> <p>“The property values went up, and even though we lowered our rate, the actual dollars we were collecting still went up,” Bockenstedt said. “That&#8217;s kind of what that tax levy identifies — that we lowered our tax rate, but we&#8217;re still collecting more taxes, and that&#8217;s what they want people to be aware of.”</p> <p>Bockenstedt said the council is responsible for recognizing and setting priorities as to how the city spends its funding — within the past three years, the city council has made it a priority to raise city employees’ minimum wage to $15 an hour.</p> <p>“The council set this as their goal several years ago so it would be phased in over three years to kind of mitigate the big impact,” Assistant to the City Manager Rachel Kilburg said. “They felt that it was a big priority for them; something that was important for them to have the city employees be earning a livable wage in the community.”</p> <p>This recent push by city officials to set the minimum wage for city employees at $15 comes as some Democrats<a href="https://www.npr.org/2021/02/05/964020654/senate-says-no-to-15-minimum-wage-for-now-but-democrats-vow-to-push-on"> in Congress are pushing for a $15 minimum wage nationwide</a>. Johnson County used to set its own minimum wage until a law passed in Des Moines took away the power for local municipalities to set a minimum wage that is different from the state’s $7.25. Then, more than 100 area businesses joined a pledge to pay workers a minimum of <a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2019/04/10/johnson-countys-symbolic-minimum-wage-to-increase-in-july/">$10.10 an hour, a symbolic minimum wage that has continued to increase.</a></p> <p>Kilburg said she believes the city council is following this national push for $15 an hour minimum wage to be a driving force within the local, state, and national community, and wants other governments and businesses to follow in their footsteps.</p> <p>“I think obviously businesses are facing a little more stress than usual, due to COVID-19,” Kilburg said. “But, as these conditions stabilize and we&#8217;re continuing to have this priority placed on social justice and racial equity, then the hope is that other local businesses in the community can kind of see what City Council has done and use that as a model to implement it in their own businesses when they&#8217;re in a position to do so.</p> <p>City Councilor Laura Bergus said by raising the minimum wage by utilizing increased tax dollars, the City Council wants to show that city employees are valued and important workers, and that they are being treated fairly and compensated with a livable wage and necessary benefits.</p> <p>“Even though the state of Iowa has prohibited us from mandating increases in the minimum wage and also has prohibited Johnson County from doing that, we want to kind of lead by example,” Bergus said. “It&#8217;s one of many ways in which we show our values through our expenditures of public funds.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/increase-in-total-property-tax-levy-will-fund-iowa-city-employee-minimum-wage/">Increase in total property tax levy will fund Iowa City employee minimum wage</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Graduate student workers asking university for more transparency on graduate student COVID-19 cases in classroom https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/graduate-students-workers-asking-university-for-more-transparency-on-graduate-student-covid-19-cases-in-classroom/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:c974bcbf-da1c-9327-f493-f36d38796c18 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 01:22:48 +0000 <p>The Campaign to Organize Graduate Students is requesting more transparency in COVID-19 case reporting from the University of Iowa as COVID-19 cases on campus have declined for months after spikes early in the fall semester. At the union’s bargaining session with the state Board of Regents on Feb. 9, members of COGS disagreed with the...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/graduate-students-workers-asking-university-for-more-transparency-on-graduate-student-covid-19-cases-in-classroom/">Graduate student workers asking university for more transparency on graduate student COVID-19 cases in classroom</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>The Campaign to Organize Graduate Students is requesting more transparency in COVID-19 case reporting from the University of Iowa as COVID-19 cases on campus have declined for months after spikes early in the fall semester.</p> <p>At the union’s bargaining session with the state Board of Regents on Feb. 9, members of COGS disagreed with the university’s decision to list graduate student workers strictly as students, despite some working as instructors. Graduate student workers say grouping the numbers of graduate workers who’ve tested positive in its own category or with faculty would be a more complete reflection of possible COVID-19 spread in classrooms. The UI points to low case numbers possibly leading to identifying students as the reason for not separating graduate student workers into their own category in three-times a week COVID-19 self-reported case counts.</p> <p>COGS’s Chief Campus Steward and Ph.D. student Kezia Walker-Cecil helped present the union’s proposal to the board.</p> <p>In an interview with <em>The Daily Iowan</em>, she said the UI’s decision to not create a separate section for student workers takes the majority of in-person instructors and categorizes them as students instead of teachers.</p> <p>“The university has said students are making bad decisions and that’s why numbers were so high,” she said. “There is no way for us to know how many students who test positive are graduate students and how many of them are teaching assistants.”</p> <p>Graduate-student workers may only have classes with less than 50 people, she said, but some teach several classes a day and interact with up to 100 people in a day. It would be easier to tell if there was COVID-19 spread in classrooms if teaching assistants were placed in a separate category, Walker-Cecil said.</p> <p>“Statistically, the chances of a graduate student who’s teaching in person of being exposed and possibly getting COVID are pretty much guaranteed because of their work assignment,” Walker-Cecil said. “A lot of graduate student workers were not able to choose if they taught in person or not.”</p> <p>Iowa State University keeps track of graduate assistants who’ve tested positive as part of <a href="https://asqk.ehs.iastate.edu/coviddashboard">a COVID-19 dashboard</a>. The dashboard separates between faculty, staff, graduate assistants, and students since the start of the year, and tallies totals since the pandemic began. Since Jan. 1, 171 students, 16 graduate assistants, 33 staff, and seven faculty have tested positive for the virus. Iowa State also logs a more general weekly update that reports just the total number of cases reported for the week and the positivity rate.</p> <p><strong>RELATED: <a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/09/cogs-state-board-of-regents-propose-different-wage-increases-as-contract-negotiations-begin/">COGS, state Board of Regents propose different wage increases as contract negotiations begin</a> </strong></p> <p>COGS member Blake Monroe, a graduate pharmacy student, said he’s frustrated with the university saying there is no spread of COVID-19 in classrooms when the numbers are only divided into <a href="https://coronavirus.uiowa.edu/covid-19-numbers">two sections: students and employees.</a></p> <p>“Graduate students, who aren&#8217;t considered faculty members, are oftentimes the ones delivering in-person instruction,” he said. “Keeping graduate students numbers separate made it on to our demands in contract negotiations because it’s an acknowledgement that the university is attentive to the risks that graduate students are incurring.”</p> <p>The UI said <a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2020/09/09/university-of-iowa-reports-53-new-positive-covid-19-cases/">in a campus-wide COVID-19 update in September 2020</a>  and again on Monday that there is no evidence of the virus spreading in classrooms. The university cited the low infection rate of faculty and staff members who had tested positive as evidence there was little transmission during in-person instruction.</p> <p>Monroe said data transparency lets graduate students trust these COVID-19 systems. Separating numbers is an easy process, he said, because there is no additional cost while allowing graduate students to be seen and heard.</p> <p>“It makes us feel valuable and like our work to keep the university going is valued,” he said. “We want a different category &#8230; because we have different risks.”</p> <p>UI Assistant Director of Media Relations Hayley Bruce wrote in a statement to the <em>DI</em> that splitting up the numbers any further would result in small groups that could allow someone to narrow down and identify a student who tested positive, which go against the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.</p> <p>“[We followed] guidance from the Office of General Counsel. We cannot disclose FERPA or HIPAA protected health information about students if doing so will allow someone to identify particular individuals, as would be the case if the numbers are very low,” she wrote. “Accordingly, we do not provide the information if the number is smaller than six. We are applying the same standard for Faculty and staff for consistency.”</p> <p>She wrote that HIPPA violations continue to be a concern, especially with the current low rates of cases that would potentially make it easier for members of campus to be identified. The university is continuing to monitor their metrics and policies, however, she wrote.</p> <p>Cecil-Walker said graduate-student workers were not asked if they wanted to be represented in COVID-19 case reports differently than other students. COGS is taking the issue directly to the regents because it is one of the ways she said graduate-student workers have been let down this semester.</p> <p>While negotiations continue with the regents, there is no guarantee the reporting of numbers will change. Regardless, Cecil-Walker said graduate-student workers need to be heard because they are the reason the university has in-person classes.</p> <p>“Graduate students deserve to be listened to,” she said. “We do a lot of work and research for the university. We should be believed and our concerns about safety and the university’s reporting systems accuracy should be validated.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/graduate-students-workers-asking-university-for-more-transparency-on-graduate-student-covid-19-cases-in-classroom/">Graduate student workers asking university for more transparency on graduate student COVID-19 cases in classroom</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Senate approves bill to change Iowa’s election laws https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/senate-approves-bill-to-change-iowas-election-laws/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:82d77274-ff78-a13a-79da-7831914d6a51 Wed, 24 Feb 2021 00:56:01 +0000 <p>An elections bill facing fierce opposition from some Iowans and Democratic legislators was approved by the state Senate on Tuesday. Senate File 413 passed on party lines with a vote of 30-18. It’s companion bill, HF590, will be debated in the House Wednesday.  Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, introduced the bill in the House and said...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/senate-approves-bill-to-change-iowas-election-laws/">Senate approves bill to change Iowa’s election laws</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">An elections bill facing fierce opposition from some Iowans and Democratic legislators was approved by the state Senate on Tuesday.</span></p> <p><a href="https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&amp;ba=SF413"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Senate File 413</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> passed on party lines with a vote of 30-18. It’s companion bill, HF590, will be debated in the House Wednesday.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;"> Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, introduced the bill in the House and said on Monday that he intends to send the bill to the governor by Wednesday, despite nearly 1,000 Iowans registering for a public hearing in opposition to the bill.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">SF413 would shorten the absentee voting period from 29 days to 18 days , limit ballot collection, and penalize county auditors that don’t follow state laws regarding the voting process. Proponents of the bill say that it will provide the necessary precautions to avoid election fraud. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, said many Iowans believe the 2020 election was stolen. He said many polling locations shortcut election rules such as the signature verification and lowered security making them susceptible to tampering. </span><a href="https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/nov/06/kevin-mccarthy/claim-about-people-re-voting-iowa-2020-election-wr/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">No evidence of voter fraud</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> was found in the state of Iowa.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Carlin, who announced he is running in the Republican primary for Chuck Grassley’s U.S. Senate seat in 2022, said it is hard for him and many other Americans to believe that Joe Biden got as many votes as he did and compared him to former president Barack Obama. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Fraud is voter suppression. When you have candidates who harvest ballots by paying hundreds of dollars for people who can harvest a ballot and turn them in, that to me is fraud. When you have drop boxes that have no security and can easily be tampered with, that facilitates fraud,” Carlin said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Carlin’s county, Woodbury, was one of three Iowa Counties that got involved in a legal battle due to pre-populated absentee ballot request forms, and with this bill, he said instances like that would not happen again. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Some Iowa Democrats say the bill acts as a form of voter suppression, including Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Des Moines. Reducing the absentee voting period and limiting how and what individuals can participate in ballot collecting makes voting more difficult for people with disabilities and those who have complicated schedules. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This bill makes it harder to vote. Period. This is a voter suppression bill. We should be doing more to open the doors of democracy, not chopping early voting in half from where it was just a few short years ago,” Petersen said. </span></p> <p><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/legislation-that-could-change-how-iowans-vote-is-largely-opposed-in-public-hearing/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">A public hearing for the bill</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> was held Monday where only 23 out of the nearly 1,000 signatures were in favor of the bill. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Senate Minority Leader Zach Wahls, D-Coralville, said on the Senate floor that the Republicans are correct about the fact that many Iowans are concerned about the security of elections, but he is disappointed by this bill because all Democratic-proposed amendments to the bill were denied by the majority party. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wahls said this should be a nonpartisan issue, yet Republicans are fast tracking it. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It&#8217;s been said that it wants to be on the governor’s desk tomorrow. What’s the rush?” Wahls said. “&#8230;Why aren’t we taking the time to forge a bipartisan compromise that will show the people of the state, that Democrats and Republicans can agree when it comes to election security?” </span></p> <hr /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/23/senate-approves-bill-to-change-iowas-election-laws/">Senate approves bill to change Iowa’s election laws</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> New student organization aims to make STEM more inclusive to students of Hispanic, Native American descent https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/new-student-organization-aims-to-make-stem-more-inclusive-to-students-of-hispanic-native-american-descent/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:ff93e18e-ed74-2f3e-2e3a-5379e92c24ed Tue, 23 Feb 2021 03:11:00 +0000 <p>A new student organization at the University of Iowa is trying to make STEM programs more inclusive and welcoming to students of Hispanic and Native American descent. The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science wants to help diversify the different STEM programs at the UI. The program is geared toward building...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/new-student-organization-aims-to-make-stem-more-inclusive-to-students-of-hispanic-native-american-descent/">New student organization aims to make STEM more inclusive to students of Hispanic, Native American descent</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>A new student organization at the University of Iowa is trying to make STEM programs more inclusive and welcoming to students of Hispanic and Native American descent.</p> <p>The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science wants to help diversify the different STEM programs at the UI. The program is geared toward building a community where underrepresented students in STEM can feel welcome and accepted.</p> <p>Both undergraduate and postgraduate students who identify as Hispanic or Native American will be able to join and use the resources the club has to offer, including providing students with mentorship and career advice.</p> <p>UI Associate Professor of Environmental Science Bradley Cramer, the provost’s faculty fellow for diversity, equity, and inclusion, said when it comes to representation, STEM fields have room for improvement.</p> <p>“One of the biggest challenges is lack of representation as teachers in the classroom,” Cramer said. “Being able to find a way to help build a sense of belonging and a sense of community is a wonderfully important opportunity.”</p> <p>Cramer added that this representation problem is not just at the UI, but within STEM programs all across the country.</p> <p><strong>RELATED: </strong><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/04/university-of-iowa-college-of-engineering-receives-diversity-recognition-but-still-has-work-to-do/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">University of Iowa College of Engineering receives diversity recognition, but still has work to do</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p> <p>“This is not unique to Iowa. This is a STEM problem nationwide,” Cramer said. “STEM disciplines tend to have the lowest diversity of both faculty and students.”</p> <p>Programs like the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science are attempting to make STEM a place where people of marginalized communities can feel at home, and comfortable, Cramer said.</p> <p>UI senior Madison Anae, who is studying geoscience, said she believes that representation gives hope to students of marginalized communities that they can be accepted and welcomed.</p> <p>“To me, it means hope for the future of STEM,” Anae said. “To make it more inclusive, to make academia a better place for people of color and other marginalized identities as well.”</p> <p>Cramer said Hispanics and Native American students are very underrepresented in student bodies across the country, particularly in STEM programs. At the UI, <a href="https://admissions.uiowa.edu/future-students/university-iowa-student-profile">Hispanic people make up 7.4 percent of the student body overall, while Native Americans make up 0.2 percent</a>.</p> <p>Anae said promoting diversity is not only beneficial for representation on campus, but could also be beneficial in the work that STEM programs do.</p> <p>“Diversity has actually been shown in a lot of studies to generate more creative thinking. So, as we diversify STEM, that creativity is important,” Anae said. “That creativity is what generates those great ideas that we have that can solve enormous problems.”</p> <p>The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science has been working on the national level to promote the inclusion of Hispanics and Native Americans into STEM programs, with 118 chapters nationwide.</p> <p>To UI second-year graduate student Cody Poe, who is studying biomedical science, the organization means that marginalized voices will finally be heard in a field where they have been shut out for years.</p> <p>“I’ve seen from my friends on Facebook things like ‘Only white people can do science.’ Well, that&#8217;s not true,” Poe said. “It&#8217;s an uphill battle for sure, but we can keep our voices heard and keep pushing, it can be good overall.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/new-student-organization-aims-to-make-stem-more-inclusive-to-students-of-hispanic-native-american-descent/">New student organization aims to make STEM more inclusive to students of Hispanic, Native American descent</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Legislation that could change how Iowans vote is largely opposed in public hearing https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/legislation-that-could-change-how-iowans-vote-is-largely-opposed-in-public-hearing/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:76f8e835-8891-384c-36ea-ea75eb8aa95a Tue, 23 Feb 2021 02:03:18 +0000 <p>Iowans shared their opinions Monday on a recently introduced elections bill that would shorten the early voting period, reduce the number of ballot drop boxes, and set criminal boundaries for auditors — and out of the nearly 1,000 people who signed up for the public hearing, only 23 people were in favor of the bill....</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/legislation-that-could-change-how-iowans-vote-is-largely-opposed-in-public-hearing/">Legislation that could change how Iowans vote is largely opposed in public hearing</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Iowans shared their opinions Monday on a recently introduced elections bill that would shorten the early voting period, reduce the number of ballot drop boxes, and set criminal boundaries for auditors — </span><a href="https://www.legis.iowa.gov/committees/publicHearings?action=viewMeetingSignups&amp;meetingID=33202"><span style="font-weight: 400;">and out of the nearly 1,000 people who signed up for the public hearing,</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> only 23 people were in favor of the bill.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rep. Bobby Kaufmann, R-Wilton, introduced </span><a href="https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&amp;ba=HF%20590"><span style="font-weight: 400;">House File 590</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> in the House State Government Committee on Feb. 18. As a proponent of the bill, he said it is designed to ensure that Iowans will have faith in Iowa’s voting process. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kaufmann said during the Monday hearing that the Legislature intends to send the elections bill to Gov. Kim Reynolds’ desk by Wednesday night.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This bill is about election integrity,” Kaufmann. “The biggest form of voter suppression is a very large swath of the electorate not having faith in our election system. For whatever reason, political or not, thousands of Iowans do not have faith.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Members of the public who support the bill say the discussion surrounding the bill is important for fixing any flaws in the voting system. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This legislation aims to shorten Iowa’s early voting period to 18 days instead of the previous 29 days, limit absentee ballot collection, and set criminal boundaries for state auditors who fail to follow state rules regarding their counties voting process. At the end of the hearing on Monday, Kaufmann said he will amend the bill so that the early voting period would be 21 days.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">House File 590 is in conjunction with Senate File 413 and both will be debated on the floor this week, in the Senate on Tuesday, Feb. 23, and in the House on Wednesday, Feb 24. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Janice Weiner, Iowa City City Council member, said that auditors need adequate time to react and process incoming votes. The bill would also affect individuals in assisted living communities who typically rely on ballot collection to return their ballots, because sometimes they have no other way to vote, she said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Roughly 1.7 million Iowans voted in the 2020 election which broke the state’s previous voting records. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Shortening the absentee window will disadvantage shut-ins, snow birds, domestic violence victims, the elderly, and many in rural areas,” Weiner said at the hearing. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Opponents of the law also worry about the effect the legislation will have on disabled Iowans. Members of the forum said the bill will affect how people can be helped and where ballot drop boxes are. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We know that people with disabilities are voting more than ever, and we think that this bill should focus on accessible ways one can exercise their vote rather than limitations,” said Bill Kallestad, the Iowa Development Disability Council Public Policy Manager. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Emily Russell, a first-year law student at Drake University, spoke in favor of the bill during the public hearing. She said that instances of election misconduct are a very serious matter, which is why this bill would be effective in preventing such issues. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Debate over a fraudulent election has occurred since Nov. 3, 2020 when a record number of votes were cast using absentee and mail-in ballots. Claims of Iowans voting twice, both in person and through absentee, sparked debates. However, </span><a href="https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/nov/06/kevin-mccarthy/claim-about-people-re-voting-iowa-2020-election-wr/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">no evidence of voter fraud</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> has been found in Iowa. </span></p> <p><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2020/09/08/thousands-of-ballot-request-forms-on-the-line-in-johnson-county-district-court-hearing-wednesday/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">As previously reported by </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Daily Iowan</span></i></a><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">three counties in Iowa faced legal action for pre populating absentee request forms. The auditors of those counties then invalidated the request forms and re-sent the proper forms to Iowans who may have used the pre populated ones. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Due to the mistakes made by the Iowa auditors who sent the incorrect forms, Russell said she hopes the bill would keep things uniform across the state and prevent future similar issues. She added that the divisiveness in the state and country caused by arguments over whether or not the election can be mended by this bill. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We have been more divided than ever before which has been fueled by these instances of potential voter fraud. I do expect to see people regaining that confidence in our elections again with this bill and it will help strengthen confidence in the state,” Russell said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While there was no evidence of voter fraud in the state, Iowans are divided by the issue. Weiner said that no laws were broken and no fraud was present. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The remedy for the big lie of a stolen election is not to take an axe to election laws that work exceedingly well, it&#8217;s simply to tell the truth” Weiner said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Deidre DeJear, 2018 Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of State and the Iowa campaign chair for now-Vice President Kamala Harris, said that Iowa has a long, rich history of standing up on behalf of all people and that this bill would push the state back. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The 1.7 million voters all across the state, DeJear said, were paramount in showing everyone what democracy is about. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The first election in this country was limited to male, white homeowners and look at how far we&#8217;ve come,” DeJear said. “Let us not restrict democracy but allow democracy to simply exist. This bill does not do that.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rep. Mary Mascher, D-Iowa City, said that no Iowans have asked for these changes to Iowa’s voting laws and that the majority of the hearing testimonials were from people who opposed the bill. Kaufmann disagreed with this statement.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The bill has been fast tracked and usually that occurs when a majority party decides that they want to push something through quickly without people being able to fully understand what’s actually in the bill.  I don’t even think the public really knows right now what is or isn’t in the bill,” Mascher said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kaufmann said Republicans believe that some auditors knowingly broke the law and that in the future they would need to face repercussion. Three weeks is how much time Iowans will have to vote absentee, and he said that is plenty of time. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“This is not about voter suppression and not a single vote will be suppressed. It is easy to vote absentee now and it will be after the bill goes into effect,” Kaufmann said.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/legislation-that-could-change-how-iowans-vote-is-largely-opposed-in-public-hearing/">Legislation that could change how Iowans vote is largely opposed in public hearing</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> University of Iowa custodial team updates cleaning practices https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/university-of-iowa-custodial-team-updates-cleaning-practices/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:7a77e8db-ea0b-b578-1eed-3228feee4804 Mon, 22 Feb 2021 18:12:12 +0000 <p>The University of Iowa custodial team is helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through updated cleaning practices. According to a campus-wide email sent on Monday, the team will be disinfecting high touch surfaces, cleaning restrooms, restocking health station and restroom supplies, and providing customer service throughout each day. In a YouTube video, UI Associate Director...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/university-of-iowa-custodial-team-updates-cleaning-practices/">University of Iowa custodial team updates cleaning practices</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The University of Iowa custodial team is helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 through updated cleaning practices.</span></p> <p>According to a campus-wide email sent on Monday, the team will be disinfecting high touch surfaces, cleaning restrooms, restocking health station and restroom supplies, and providing customer service throughout each day.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In a YouTube video, UI Associate Director of Custodial Services Andy Bruckner said the university has not traced the virus back to UI classrooms, which he contributes to the work of the custodial staff and the Hawkeye community.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In August, 21 custodial members switched from nights to days to implement the Building Attendant Program, a mitigation effort that facilitates the cleaning, disinfecting, and restocking of buildings across campus, Bruckner said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said the attendants are available from 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. during the week.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Bruckner said the program is designed to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and provide a visible reminder of the safety support the UI is providing for students and employees. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Another change the UI has made is prioritizing cleaning for high traffic areas, including classrooms, rather than office spaces, he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In order to minimize the risk of COVID-19, Bruckner said it’s important for everyone to continue to wear masks, practice good hand hygiene, and clean high touch surfaces after use.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The university said there are four reasons why people need to wear masks after getting vaccinated:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">There aren’t enough people vaccinated</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Public experts don’t know if vaccination stops asymptomatic spread</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Current vaccines may not fully protect new variants</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">And people must continue to model good safety behaviors in the community. </span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The university also reported six new cases of COVID-19 among students and one among employees since Feb. 19. There are two residence hall students in quarantine and two in self-isolation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since Aug. 18, there have been a total of 2,997 cases among students and 438 among employees.</span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/university-of-iowa-custodial-team-updates-cleaning-practices/">University of Iowa custodial team updates cleaning practices</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> University of Iowa: mask up even after getting the vaccine https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/university-of-iowa-custodial-team-updates-cleaning-practices/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:d907a392-1edc-dee6-def4-0f8f5acab016 Mon, 22 Feb 2021 18:12:12 +0000 <p>As the vaccine rollout continues and more students and staff in priority groups receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the University of Iowa issued an email Monday emphasizing that even those who are vaccinated against the virus should continue to wear masks. &#8220;If you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, you might feel like you can do away with...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/university-of-iowa-custodial-team-updates-cleaning-practices/">University of Iowa: mask up even after getting the vaccine</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>As the vaccine rollout continues and more students and staff in priority groups receive the COVID-19 vaccine, the University of Iowa issued an email Monday emphasizing that even those who are vaccinated against the virus should continue to wear masks.</p> <p>&#8220;If you’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19, you might feel like you can do away with the face mask and face shield that have become our constant companions over the past 10 months,&#8221; the email update stated. &#8220;However, wearing protective equipment after vaccination is still just as important as ever.&#8221;</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In the email, the university listed four reasons why people need to wear masks after getting vaccinated:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">There aren’t currently enough people vaccinated to relax precautions</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Public health experts don’t know if vaccination stops asymptomatic spread</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Current vaccines may not fully protect people against new variants of the virus</span></li> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">And people must continue to model good safety behaviors in the community. </span></li> </ul> <p>This echoes what Pat Winokur, vaccine lead researcher and executive dean of the Carver College of Medicine, told <a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/vaccines-still-effective-against-different-covid19-strains-qa/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Daily Iowan</em> </a>in an interview. The vaccines with current FDA emergency-use authorization were created to combat the original strain of COVID-19, and vaccines have shown to be less effective against at least one variant prominent in South Africa. A study of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine found that the effectives dropped from about 72 percent efficacy range to a low 60-percent range in South Africa. However, Winokur said the vaccine still does a good job at preventing serious illness from any strain of COVID-19.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since August, the UI custodial team has continued heightened cleaning practices in campus buildings, which UI Associate Director of Custodial Services Andy Bruckner said in a video released in December has led to no COVID-19 spread linked to UI classrooms. </span></p> <p>According to a campus-wide email sent on Monday, the team has been disinfecting high touch surfaces, cleaning restrooms, restocking health station and restroom supplies, and providing customer service throughout each day.</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In August, 21 custodial members switched from nights to days to implement the Building Attendant Program, a mitigation effort that facilitates the cleaning, disinfecting, and restocking of buildings across campus, Bruckner said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said the attendants are available from 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. during the week.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In order to minimize the risk of COVID-19, Bruckner said it’s important for everyone to continue to wear masks, practice good hand hygiene, and clean high touch surfaces after use.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The university also reported six new cases of COVID-19 among students and one among employees since Feb. 19. There are two residence hall students in quarantine and two in self-isolation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since Aug. 18, there have been a total of 2,997 cases among students and 438 among employees.</span></p> <p><em>Editor&#8217;s note: this story has been updated to reflect that custodial cleaning practices have been in place since August. </em></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/university-of-iowa-custodial-team-updates-cleaning-practices/">University of Iowa: mask up even after getting the vaccine</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Iowa athletics reports nine positive COVID-19 tests out of 550 tests conducted https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/iowa-athletics-reports-nine-positive-covid-19-tests-out-of-550-tests-conducted/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:f1d1f9ca-9daf-4527-5375-d6cbbc2e7ef6 Mon, 22 Feb 2021 16:42:34 +0000 <p>The University of Iowa athletics department conducted 550 COVID-19 PCR tests for the week of Feb. 15-21 and received nine positive tests and 541 negative tests. As part of Iowa’s return to campus protocol, testing began on May 29 and includes athletes, coaches, and other staff members. A total of 411 positive tests, 15,776 negative...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/iowa-athletics-reports-nine-positive-covid-19-tests-out-of-550-tests-conducted/">Iowa athletics reports nine positive COVID-19 tests out of 550 tests conducted</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>The University of Iowa athletics department conducted 550 COVID-19 PCR tests for the week of Feb. 15-21 and received nine positive tests and 541 negative tests.</p> <p>As part of Iowa’s return to campus protocol, testing began on May 29 and includes athletes, coaches, and other staff members. A total of 411 positive tests, 15,776 negative tests, and one inconclusive test have been received.</p> <p>According to a release, following a positive test result, protocol established by<span class="x_apple-converted-space"> </span>UI Athletics and medical staff, including contact tracing procedures,<span class="x_apple-converted-space"> </span>is being followed to ensure the safety of all UI Athletics student-athletes and staff. This mandatory protocol also includes isolation for the individuals who test positive, and quarantine for those individuals who might have been exposed to someone with the virus.</p> <p><span class="x_apple-converted-space">The Big Ten Conference began daily </span>rapid antigen surveillance testing on Sept. 30. Any positive tests identified through the surveillance testing process would be confirmed through a PCR test and reflected in the numbers listed above.</p> <p>The department does not provide a testing breakdown by sport or specify if an athlete or staff member has tested positive.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/22/iowa-athletics-reports-nine-positive-covid-19-tests-out-of-550-tests-conducted/">Iowa athletics reports nine positive COVID-19 tests out of 550 tests conducted</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> University of Iowa to receive extra light therapy boxes to help seasonal affective disorder https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-to-receive-extra-light-therapy-boxes-to-help-seasonal-affective-disorder/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:f3c1500a-e169-6f28-888b-401315f27835 Mon, 22 Feb 2021 05:40:41 +0000 <p>The University of Iowa will provide more light boxes to help alleviate the symptoms of students who are dealing with seasonal affective disorder. Through funding from the Undergraduate Student Government, 50 more light boxes will be available from Student Wellness. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, seasonal affective disorder is a depressive disorder...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-to-receive-extra-light-therapy-boxes-to-help-seasonal-affective-disorder/">University of Iowa to receive extra light therapy boxes to help seasonal affective disorder</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>The University of Iowa will provide more light boxes to help alleviate the symptoms of students who are dealing with seasonal affective disorder.</p> <p>Through funding from the Undergraduate Student Government, 50 more light boxes will be available from Student Wellness.</p> <p><a href="https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/seasonal-affective-disorder/index.shtml">According to the National Institute of Mental Health</a>, seasonal affective disorder is a depressive disorder brought on by changes in the seasons. Those who live in areas that receive less sunlight in the fall and winter months, including Iowans, are most often at risk for developing seasonal affective disorder.</p> <p>Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include depression, hopelessness, and a lack of energy, the institute’s website said.</p> <p>“Many people are impacted by changes in the weather and layered on top of all this, there is a pandemic going on,” UI Student Wellness Behavioral Health Consultant Patrick Rossmann said.</p> <p>Rossmann said certain populations have an increased chance of developing seasonal affective disorder.</p> <p>“Those who are already being impacted by depression have a higher rate of seasonal affective disorder,” he said. “There are also differences based on age groups. College students who have a lot of stress, are not getting enough sleep, or maybe are not getting as much physical activity can be impacted at a greater rate.”</p> <p>Light therapy is often used to treat seasonal affective disorder, he said. Light therapy is conducted through the use of a light box that releases a very bright, artificial light that mimics natural outdoor light, he said.</p> <p>Rossmann said lighting entering the eyes tricks the brain into thinking it is lighter outside. As a result, he said the chemicals that affect mood and sleep cycle — melatonin and serotonin — are impacted to counteract the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.</p> <p>The UI has offered light therapy boxes to students since 2018, he said. With the particularly harsh winter this year, coupled with COVID-19, there has been an increase in requests to check out light boxes, Rossman said.</p> <p>After an increase in demand from students, legislation was passed by USG to fund the additional 50 light boxes.</p> <p>USG Sens. Omar Mustafa and Shalini Birari, who both crafted the legislation, said they were motivated to pass it so that students dealing with seasonal affective disorder would have an opportunity to receive treatment.</p> <p>“We want more students to have access to this treatment,” Mustafa said. “We look forward to giving more students the opportunity to decrease seasonal affective disorder symptoms that have been amplified because of COVID-19 and the lack of a spring break.”</p> <p><strong>RELATED: </strong><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2018/11/06/student-health-offers-new-solution-for-students-with-seasonal-affective-disorder/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Student Health offers new solution for students with seasonal affective disorder</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> </span></p> <p>Birari wrote in an email to *The Daily Iowan* that the light boxes have been shown to be well used and helpful for many students on campus, and Student Wellness informed USG last fall that there was a waiting list for them.</p> <p>“We hope that by getting more light boxes, we can expand the number of students who are able to check them out,” Birari wrote.</p> <p>Rossman said he often hears from students who have tried the lightboxes say they went out and bought their own.</p> <p>“It is something that anyone can use, you do not need a prescription to use a light box,” Rossman said. “It is worth trying out. It is free and available for students so if you are curious, try it out.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-to-receive-extra-light-therapy-boxes-to-help-seasonal-affective-disorder/">University of Iowa to receive extra light therapy boxes to help seasonal affective disorder</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Vaccines still effective against different COVID-19 strains https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/vaccines-still-effective-against-different-covid19-strains/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:1258da4f-12d9-09e5-5720-53682d5ca29d Mon, 22 Feb 2021 05:32:34 +0000 <p>As Iowa ramps up its distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, The Daily Iowan sat down with vaccine trial lead and Executive Dean of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Patricia Winokur to answer questions about the vaccines available, their effectiveness, and new strains of COVID-19. Iowa ranks near the middle of all other...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/vaccines-still-effective-against-different-covid19-strains/">Vaccines still effective against different COVID-19 strains</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>As Iowa ramps up its distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, <em>The Daily Iowan</em> sat down with vaccine trial lead and Executive Dean of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Patricia Winokur to answer questions about the vaccines available, their effectiveness, and new strains of COVID-19.</p> <p>Iowa ranks near the middle of all other states for percent of population with the first dose administered, with 13.6 percent of the state receiving the first dose, according to the <em>Washington Post</em>’s vaccine tracker, but fourth from last in completed vaccination, at 4.5 percent of the state’s population.</p> <p>Iowa has two vaccines available — Moderna and Pfizer — to people ages 65 and older and in addition to people in high-risk professions. The Iowa Department of Public Health put together a priority group recommendation for people to receive the vaccine.</p> <p>Currently health care workers, first responders, K-12 education staffers, agriculture distribution and manufacturing workers, individuals with disabilities in group home settings, those living in congregate settings (not including college residence halls), government officials, health- and child-safety inspectors and correctional facility staff, and individuals incarcerated are eligible for the vaccine in a five-tiered system of priority.</p> <p>Iowa is delivered an allotment of vaccines from the federal government, Winokur said, which is then distributed to county public health departments and allocated to health care facilities and other vaccine distributors in the county. In Johnson County, UI Health Care, Mercy Iowa City, and some area pharmacies are offering appointments for the vaccine, though a decentralized process has meant difficult planning and spurious appointments for Iowans. Iowa City Veterans Affairs hospital doles out a separate federal allotment of the vaccine to area veterans.</p> <p><strong>How does the vaccine work?</strong></p> <p>The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the two approved for emergency authorization by the FDA as of now, are called mRNA vaccines. Explained in basic terms by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mRNA is instructions for the cell on how to make part of the spike protein that prompts the immune system to make antibodies that fight against a future coronavirus infection.</p> <p>“So, the vaccines that we have that we’re evaluating in the United States and those that we have emergency-use authorization — all are based off of showing your immune system the spike protein,” Winokur said. “And the spike protein is that protein that sits on the outside of the coronavirus, and that’s the main protein that your immune system recognizes to develop antibodies and other cells that protect you from future infections.”</p> <p>Winokur said one myth about the COVID-19 vaccine is that the vaccine changes your DNA — it doesn’t. After the spike protein is made, the cell breaks down and disposes of the mRNA strand, and never enters the cell’s nucleus or affects genetic material.</p> <p><strong>Could I still be infected by COVID-19 if I’ve had one or both doses of a vaccine?</strong></p> <p>The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both near 95-percent effectiveness in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, Winokur said, and there are early indications that the vaccines also prevent transmission.</p> <p>“It [the vaccine] is probably preventing infections completely,” Winokur said. “The data is still being worked out. We know it prevents people from getting symptomatic COVID-19 — that was the primary endpoint that the FDA wanted the companies to show. That’s where the 95-percent efficacy is. But we’re starting to get inklings of different ways that we are seeing that it reduces infections as well.”</p> <p>About two weeks after the first dose, the vaccine is between 60-80 percent effective, Winokur said. But the second dose seals the 95 percent effectiveness.</p> <p><strong>What about with the COVID-19 variants, such as ones prominent in the U.K. or South Africa?</strong></p> <p>Iowa confirmed cases of a more easily transmissible variant of the coronavirus from the U.K. earlier this month. Winokur said, as researchers have gathered preliminary data from vaccine distribution in South Africa, where another variant is prominent, vaccines seem to be less effective.</p> <p>For example, Winokur said, researchers found one vaccine from Johnson and Johnson that is expected to receive emergency authorization in the coming weeks to be in the 72-percent efficacy range when tested in the U.S. That efficacy dropped into the low 60-percent range in South Africa, however.</p> <p>“The vaccines have less efficacy in the South African region where this variant is prominent,” Winokur said. “It is not complete — they still have some efficacy, but it is not as good as against the original strains that were the targets for those vaccines.”</p> <p>She emphasized, though, that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine still did a good job of preventing severe illness from COVID-19. During surges of severe COVID-19 cases, hospitals have warned that too many patients in the ICU can overwhelm health care facilities and result in preventable deaths.</p> <p><strong>When will I be able to hug my loved ones who are at risk?</strong></p> <p>The date of returning to “normalcy” is elusive, Winokur said. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, told CNN to expect a “significant degree of normality” by fall, but that people could still be expected to wear face masks in public as long as a year from now.</p> <p>Public health experts have said that, to squelch the pandemic, the country would need to reach herd immunity, which is when a large enough share of the population is immune to the virus to prevent transmission.</p> <p>For people who have been vaccinated, Winokur said public health experts are recommending the continuation of wearing masks to curb the spread of variants and normalization of masking.</p> <p>“What we are telling people who have been vaccinated is don’t let your guard down,” she said. “Remember, not everybody is vaccinated, you are setting yourself up as a role model.”</p> <p><strong>Where can I get the vaccine?</strong></p> <p>Iowa health officials have warned that there is not enough vaccine for everyone eligible to be vaccinated in priority group 1B right now. Anyone in Iowa can fill out a form on the UIHC website to express interest in receiving the vaccine. Mercy Iowa City is distributing the vaccine to those eligible by contacting eligible patients.</p> <p>According to the Iowa Department of Public Health website, there are eight locations not including UIHC or Mercy that offer the vaccine. Six are area Hy-Vees and two — North Liberty Pharmacy and Towncrest Pharmacy — are local pharmacies.</p> <p>As of Sunday afternoon, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids Hy-Vee locations had no appointments available online. CVS pharmacy, too, offers but did not have any appointments available for COVID-19 vaccines at its Cedar Rapids location.</p> <p><strong>Debunking COVID-19 vaccine myths</strong></p> <p>No, the vaccine does not cause fertility issues and no, the vaccine does not change your DNA, Winokur said of two vaccine myths she’s seen circling the internet.</p> <p>“We have done animal studies looking at fertility, and we now have vaccines that have gone out into the population,” Winokur said. “About 20,000 women who are pregnant have gotten the vaccine, and we have not seen any problems with those pregnancies.”</p> <p>She added, as for the DNA-changing myth, the mRNA is broken down so quickly it won’t get into any coding areas of the body.</p> <p>“One of the nice things about these messenger RNA vaccines is the messenger RNA is very transient. It is destroyed very quickly.”</p> <p><strong>What if I have a pollen allergy? Should I still get the vaccine?</strong></p> <p>Allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine is very rare, Winokur said, and the few recorded cases have been in people who had a history of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. About 60 cases have been reported in the U.S., and there’s not a risk to people with pollen or ragweed allergies.</p> <p>“Seasonal allergies to ragweed or pollen — those are not the types of allergic histories that make us most worried,” Winokur said. “It’s really people who’ve had anaphylaxis to different compounds — and especially if you’ve had anaphylaxis to a previous vaccine.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/vaccines-still-effective-against-different-covid19-strains/">Vaccines still effective against different COVID-19 strains</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Vaccine experts say ‘don’t let guard down’ after getting COVID-19 vaccine https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/vaccines-still-effective-against-different-covid19-strains-qa/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:6f4dd74d-9086-d0b1-3741-16547b417a30 Mon, 22 Feb 2021 05:32:34 +0000 <p>As Iowa ramps up its distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, The Daily Iowan sat down with vaccine trial lead and Executive Dean of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Patricia Winokur to answer questions about the vaccines available, their effectiveness, and new strains of COVID-19. Iowa ranks near the middle of all other...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/vaccines-still-effective-against-different-covid19-strains-qa/">Vaccine experts say &#8216;don&#8217;t let guard down&#8217; after getting COVID-19 vaccine</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>As Iowa ramps up its distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine, <em>The Daily Iowan</em> sat down with vaccine trial lead and Executive Dean of the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine Patricia Winokur to answer questions about the vaccines available, their effectiveness, and new strains of COVID-19.</p> <p>Iowa ranks near the middle of all other states for percent of population with the first dose administered, with 13.6 percent of the state receiving the first dose, according to the <em>Washington Post</em>’s vaccine tracker, but fourth from last in completed vaccination, at 4.5 percent of the state’s population.</p> <p>Iowa has two vaccines available — Moderna and Pfizer — to people ages 65 and older and in addition to people in high-risk professions. The Iowa Department of Public Health put together a priority group recommendation for people to receive the vaccine.</p> <p>Currently health care workers, first responders, K-12 education staffers, agriculture distribution and manufacturing workers, individuals with disabilities in group home settings, those living in congregate settings (not including college residence halls), government officials, health- and child-safety inspectors and correctional facility staff, and individuals incarcerated are eligible for the vaccine in a five-tiered system of priority.</p> <p>Iowa is delivered an allotment of vaccines from the federal government, Winokur said, which is then distributed to county public health departments and allocated to health care facilities and other vaccine distributors in the county. In Johnson County, UI Health Care, Mercy Iowa City, and some area pharmacies are offering appointments for the vaccine, though a decentralized process has meant difficult planning and spurious appointments for Iowans. Iowa City Veterans Affairs hospital doles out a separate federal allotment of the vaccine to area veterans.</p> <p><strong>How does the vaccine work?</strong></p> <p>The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the two approved for emergency authorization by the FDA as of now, are called mRNA vaccines. Explained in basic terms by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mRNA is instructions for the cell on how to make part of the spike protein that prompts the immune system to make antibodies that fight against a future coronavirus infection.</p> <p>“So, the vaccines that we have that we’re evaluating in the United States and those that we have emergency-use authorization — all are based off of showing your immune system the spike protein,” Winokur said. “And the spike protein is that protein that sits on the outside of the coronavirus, and that’s the main protein that your immune system recognizes to develop antibodies and other cells that protect you from future infections.”</p> <p>Winokur said one myth about the COVID-19 vaccine is that the vaccine changes your DNA — it doesn’t. After the spike protein is made, the cell breaks down and disposes of the mRNA strand, and never enters the cell’s nucleus or affects genetic material.</p> <p><strong>Could I still be infected by COVID-19 if I’ve had one or both doses of a vaccine?</strong></p> <p>The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both near 95-percent effectiveness in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, Winokur said, and there are early indications that the vaccines also prevent transmission.</p> <p>“It [the vaccine] is probably preventing infections completely,” Winokur said. “The data is still being worked out. We know it prevents people from getting symptomatic COVID-19 — that was the primary endpoint that the FDA wanted the companies to show. That’s where the 95-percent efficacy is. But we’re starting to get inklings of different ways that we are seeing that it reduces infections as well.”</p> <p>About two weeks after the first dose, the vaccine is between 60-80 percent effective, Winokur said. But the second dose seals the 95 percent effectiveness.</p> <p><strong>What about with the COVID-19 variants, such as ones prominent in the U.K. or South Africa?</strong></p> <p>Iowa confirmed cases of a more easily transmissible variant of the coronavirus from the U.K. earlier this month. Winokur said, as researchers have gathered preliminary data from vaccine distribution in South Africa, where another variant is prominent, vaccines seem to be less effective.</p> <p>For example, Winokur said, researchers found one vaccine from Johnson and Johnson that is expected to receive emergency authorization in the coming weeks to be in the 72-percent efficacy range when tested in the U.S. That efficacy dropped into the low 60-percent range in South Africa, however.</p> <p>“The vaccines have less efficacy in the South African region where this variant is prominent,” Winokur said. “It is not complete — they still have some efficacy, but it is not as good as against the original strains that were the targets for those vaccines.”</p> <p>She emphasized, though, that the Johnson and Johnson vaccine still did a good job of preventing severe illness from COVID-19. During surges of severe COVID-19 cases, hospitals have warned that too many patients in the ICU can overwhelm health care facilities and result in preventable deaths.</p> <p><strong>When will I be able to hug my loved ones who are at risk?</strong></p> <p>The date of returning to “normalcy” is elusive, Winokur said. Anthony Fauci, Biden’s chief medical adviser, told CNN to expect a “significant degree of normality” by fall, but that people could still be expected to wear face masks in public as long as a year from now.</p> <p>Public health experts have said that, to squelch the pandemic, the country would need to reach herd immunity, which is when a large enough share of the population is immune to the virus to prevent transmission.</p> <p>For people who have been vaccinated, Winokur said public health experts are recommending the continuation of wearing masks to curb the spread of variants and normalization of masking.</p> <p>“What we are telling people who have been vaccinated is don’t let your guard down,” she said. “Remember, not everybody is vaccinated, you are setting yourself up as a role model.”</p> <p><strong>Where can I get the vaccine?</strong></p> <p>Iowa health officials have warned that there is not enough vaccine for everyone eligible to be vaccinated in priority group 1B right now. Anyone in Iowa can fill out a form on the UIHC website to express interest in receiving the vaccine. Mercy Iowa City is distributing the vaccine to those eligible by contacting eligible patients.</p> <p>According to the Iowa Department of Public Health website, there are eight locations not including UIHC or Mercy that offer the vaccine. Six are area Hy-Vees and two — North Liberty Pharmacy and Towncrest Pharmacy — are local pharmacies.</p> <p>As of Sunday afternoon, Iowa City and Cedar Rapids Hy-Vee locations had no appointments available online. CVS pharmacy, too, offers but did not have any appointments available for COVID-19 vaccines at its Cedar Rapids location.</p> <p><strong>Debunking COVID-19 vaccine myths</strong></p> <p>No, the vaccine does not cause fertility issues and no, the vaccine does not change your DNA, Winokur said of two vaccine myths she’s seen circling the internet.</p> <p>“We have done animal studies looking at fertility, and we now have vaccines that have gone out into the population,” Winokur said. “About 20,000 women who are pregnant have gotten the vaccine, and we have not seen any problems with those pregnancies.”</p> <p>She added, as for the DNA-changing myth, the mRNA is broken down so quickly it won’t get into any coding areas of the body.</p> <p>“One of the nice things about these messenger RNA vaccines is the messenger RNA is very transient. It is destroyed very quickly.”</p> <p><strong>What if I have a pollen allergy? Should I still get the vaccine?</strong></p> <p>Allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine is very rare, Winokur said, and the few recorded cases have been in people who had a history of anaphylaxis, a severe allergic reaction. About 60 cases have been reported in the U.S., and there’s not a risk to people with pollen or ragweed allergies.</p> <p>“Seasonal allergies to ragweed or pollen — those are not the types of allergic histories that make us most worried,” Winokur said. “It’s really people who’ve had anaphylaxis to different compounds — and especially if you’ve had anaphylaxis to a previous vaccine.”</p> <div class='related relatedcenter background-white borderbottom sno-animate' style='border-color: #888888;'><h5>More in News</h5><div class='relatedrow sno-animate related-1'><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-office-of-sustainability-to-expand-prairie-research-area/" title="Office of Sustainability to expand prairie research area"><img src="https://dailyiowan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/officeofsustainability-240x150.jpg" style="width:100%" class="catboxphoto" alt="The sign for the Office of Sustainability sits outside its new location on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019. The office recently moved to communications building." /></a><h5 class="relatedtitle"><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-office-of-sustainability-to-expand-prairie-research-area/">Office of Sustainability to expand prairie research area</a></h5></div><div class='relateddividervert sno-animate related-2'></div><div class='relatedrow sno-animate related-2'><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-to-receive-extra-light-therapy-boxes-to-help-seasonal-affective-disorder/" title="University of Iowa to receive extra light therapy boxes to help seasonal affective disorder"><img src="https://dailyiowan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/sadlamp-240x150.jpg" style="width:100%" class="catboxphoto" alt="Photo Illustration by Ryan Adams." /></a><h5 class="relatedtitle"><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-to-receive-extra-light-therapy-boxes-to-help-seasonal-affective-disorder/">University of Iowa to receive extra light therapy boxes to help seasonal affective disorder</a></h5></div><div class='relateddividervert sno-animate related-3'></div><div class='relatedrow sno-animate related-3'><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/local-therapy-dogs-serve-at-a-distance/" title="Local therapy dogs serve at a distance"><img src="https://dailyiowan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/therapydog-240x150.jpg" style="width:100%" class="catboxphoto" alt="Photo of Joy Miller and her therapy dog Milo. Contributed." /></a><h5 class="relatedtitle"><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/local-therapy-dogs-serve-at-a-distance/">Local therapy dogs serve at a distance</a></h5></div><div class="clear"></div></div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/vaccines-still-effective-against-different-covid19-strains-qa/">Vaccine experts say &#8216;don&#8217;t let guard down&#8217; after getting COVID-19 vaccine</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Office of Sustainability to expand prairie research area https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-office-of-sustainability-to-expand-prairie-research-area/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:dd6a1425-ec08-62bc-8842-d69db57ec17d Mon, 22 Feb 2021 04:44:46 +0000 <p>The Ashton Research Prairie will undergo a six-acre expansion this spring, with new funding from the Environmental Protection Agency. Located on the Ashton Cross Country Course, the Ashton Research Prairie was originally created as a part of a larger effort to restore Iowa’s prairieland, which once thrived in the state.  Now, Iowa has less than...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-office-of-sustainability-to-expand-prairie-research-area/">Office of Sustainability to expand prairie research area</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>The Ashton Research Prairie will undergo a six-acre expansion this spring, with new funding from the Environmental Protection Agency.</p> <p>Located on the Ashton Cross Country Course, the Ashton Research Prairie was originally created as a part of a larger effort to restore Iowa’s prairieland, <a href="https://clas.uiowa.edu/ashton-research-prairie-living-classroom-and-lab">which once thrived in the state. </a></p> <p>Now, Iowa has less than 0.01 percent of its native Tallgrass Prairie pre-1840.</p> <p>University of Iowa Director of the Office of Sustainability and the Environment Stratis Giannakouros said the intention was always to expand the prairie after launching an initial test run planting on a smaller plot of land.</p> <p>“In order for it to be a research-valuable parcel of land, it always had to be at least five acres,” Giannakouros said. “So that first little bit we started a year ago was really for us to test the physical planting.”</p> <p>Giannakouros said the expansion, which will increase the size of the one-acre prairieland by five acres, will provide greater opportunity for the community to connect with the state’s native environment and for UI students to directly study wildlife.</p> <p>Giannakouros <a href="https://clas.uiowa.edu/ashton-research-prairie-living-classroom-and-lab">said that, while the EPA is funding much of the project’s expansion</a>, the UI Athletics Department has also played a vital role in making the plan a reality by providing additional funding and land for the prairie to be planted.</p> <p>“When you have labor that’s out there mowing, or you know, putting down some weed killer, things like that cost money that athletics is just paying,” Giannakorous said. “The project wouldn’t work unless they were putting in time and effort.”</p> <p>Brad Cramer, an associate professor in the UI Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, said his department also recently got involved with the expansion, seeing the prairie as an opportunity to strengthen academic programs currently offered at the university.</p> <p>“The question recently was, how can we turn the entire prairie project into a living laboratory for courses across campus?” Cramer said.</p> <p>Cramer said the expansion of the prairieland will benefit many departments and programs throughout campus, including his own.</p> <p>The Prairie Project Intern at the Office of Sustainability said she is excited about the academic opportunities the prairie will provide for students with less access to the rare resource.</p> <p>“Fieldwork is something that is inaccessible, because it’s expensive and you have to travel,” Lenss said. “[With the prairie], we can do fieldwork and physical research locally, and you don’t have to buy fancy gear, and you don’t have to travel far.”</p> <p>Cramer added that he is hopeful about the new opportunities that the prairie expansion will create for students.</p> <p><strong>RELATED: </strong><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2019/11/12/university-of-iowa-student-government-funds-prairie-restoration-project/">UISG funds prairie restoration projec</a><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2019/11/12/university-of-iowa-student-government-funds-prairie-restoration-project/">t</a></p> <p>“Instead of talking about things in principle, we can actually have students go and do it for real, out on the prairie,” he said.</p> <p>Lenss said the prairie also importantly provides the community with the chance to connect with a biologically diverse terrain that has virtually disappeared.</p> <p>“It is incredible and unrecognized, and people don’t know what they&#8217;re missing because it’s been wiped out,” Lenss said. “We’re putting this in student and community spaces so that we can all interact with it, and I think that is amazing.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/university-of-iowa-office-of-sustainability-to-expand-prairie-research-area/">Office of Sustainability to expand prairie research area</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Local therapy dogs serve at a distance https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/local-therapy-dogs-serve-at-a-distance/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:17740a49-0d60-36c1-3817-ec29a02ef50a Mon, 22 Feb 2021 02:16:42 +0000 <p>When Joy Miller brought her therapy dog, Milo, to Oaknoll Retirement Residence on Wednesday for the first time since last February, many residents became tearful. &#8220;People were crying and asked, &#8216;Where have you and Milo been?'&#8221; Miller said. &#8220;They understand why we&#8217;ve been gone, but they consider us a part of the family.&#8221; Milo, a...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/local-therapy-dogs-serve-at-a-distance/">Local therapy dogs serve at a distance</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>When Joy Miller brought her therapy dog, Milo, to Oaknoll Retirement Residence on Wednesday for the first time since last February, many residents became tearful.</p> <p>&#8220;People were crying and asked, &#8216;Where have you and Milo been?'&#8221; Miller said. &#8220;They understand why we&#8217;ve been gone, but they consider us a part of the family.&#8221;</p> <p>Milo, a mini goldendoodle, has served alongside Miller as a therapy dog for four years. Miller said she and Milo have visited students at Iowa City elementary schools and the University of Iowa, and residents at Oaknoll Retirement Residence.</p> <p>COVID-19 has put therapy dogs out of work, however, due to safety restrictions in facilities they routinely visit.</p> <p>Before Milo&#8217;s first in-person visit at Oaknoll on Wednesday, Miller and Milo brought joy to Oaknoll residents while maintaining social distance.</p> <p>Oaknoll Administratrator Kim Bergen-Jackson said the facility used a Chatterbox contraption that allowed residents to greet Milo safely.</p> <p>&#8220;The chatterbox is a three-sided wood structure with Plexiglas for walls,” Bergen-Jackson said. “The resident is in the chatterbox and their visitors on the other side of the Plexiglas. It was something I saw on Facebook, and our maintenance department built us two of them.”</p> <p>Miller said Milo had the opportunity to greet residents using the chatterbox and other socially distanced approaches.</p> <p>&#8220;Earlier in the winter, I would go to a window, and they would bring wheelchairs and line them up next to a picture window,” Miller said. “We smeared peanut butter on the glass. Milo would be licking the glass, and the residents thought that was hilarious.”</p> <p>Bergen-Jackson said Milo spent a lot of time greeting residents from outside windows.</p> <p>&#8220;Dogs just love everybody, and Milo is good in a crowd or one-on-one,” she said. “The residents are socially isolated during this pandemic, so it&#8217;s nice to see them interact with Milo and have personal contact.&#8221;</p> <p>Similar to Oaknoll, UI Hospital and Clinics have found ways to offer therapy-dog services safely.</p> <p>Director of Volunteer Services at UIHC Jean Reed said the pandemic has sidelined therapy dogs&#8217; on-site service at the hospital. Patients and healthcare workers cannot come in contact with therapy dogs, Reed said, so they are recorded instead.</p> <p>Reed said UIHC broadcasts therapy dog visits from the patients&#8217; library. Patients can tune into the hospital channel to request tricks and ask questions about the therapy dog.</p> <p>Reed said she owns a therapy dog named Skeeter that frequently visited the hospital before COVID-19 started spreading.</p> <p>&#8220;It was really sad at first because every week she would go to the hospital, and she knew her people,” she said. “She even knew when we were driving to the hospital because she could tell by the curves in the road.”</p> <p>Skeeter said she particularly misses the health care workers at the hospital.</p> <p>&#8220;I always joke that Skeeter is an equal opportunity therapist. We&#8217;ve gotten calls when it&#8217;s a hard day on the unit, and the staff needs the therapy,&#8221; Reed said. &#8220;The health care workers are the folks that know Skeeter by name. When they see my face here without the dog there, they don&#8217;t remember my name, but they remember to ask about the dog.&#8221;</p> <p>Reed said she is uncertain when UIHC will allow for the return of therapy-dog visits.</p> <p>Miller said Oaknoll residents are awaiting Milo&#8217;s on-site return.</p> <p>&#8220;Milo and I will be at Oaknoll weekly at least,” Miller said. &#8220;[On Wednesday], he jumped in residents&#8217; beds from the doorway. He knew they were his people, and that&#8217;s his job.&#8221;</p> <p>Bergen-Jackson said Oaknoll has had no resident COVID-19 cases, adding that 100 percent of residents and 89 percent of staff have been vaccinated against the virus.</p> <p>Because of the facility&#8217;s success in protecting residents from COVID-19, she said therapy-dog visits would remain an important priority.</p> <p>&#8220;Some people get along much better with dogs than they do people. If all of your contacts all day long have to provide a service to you, it doesn&#8217;t feel very intimate, but the dog is just there for love,&#8221; Bergen-Jackson said. &#8220;People are just so lonely, and Milo is filling a huge gap.&#8221;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/21/local-therapy-dogs-serve-at-a-distance/">Local therapy dogs serve at a distance</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> On the Record: Feb. 19, 2021 https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/19/on-the-record-feb-19-2021/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:a7bbe7ea-989a-5804-b4f7-5f3b65db6a9e Fri, 19 Feb 2021 18:40:49 +0000 <p>In this episode of “On the Record” host Eleanor Hildebrandt and co-producer Hailey Marx sat down with DI reporters to get an in-depth look at their stories and talk this week’s headlines. Natalie Dunlap, a politics reporter, discusses her story about educators in Iowa reacting to Gov. Kim Reynolds requirement that schools offer a 100 percent in-person...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/19/on-the-record-feb-19-2021/">On the Record: Feb. 19, 2021</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <p>In this episode of “On the Record” host Eleanor Hildebrandt and co-producer Hailey Marx sat down with <em>DI</em> reporters to get an in-depth look at their stories and talk this week’s headlines.</p> <p>Natalie Dunlap, a politics reporter, discusses her story about educators in Iowa reacting to Gov. Kim Reynolds requirement that schools offer a 100 percent in-person learning option. News reporter Caitlin Crome talks her story on the University of Iowa beginning to test wastewater in the residence halls for traces of COVID-19. Finally, opinions columnist Yassie Buchanan talks about her in-depth piece on how history classes in Iowa do not include the contributions of Black individuals. Buchanan spoke to <em>New York Times </em>journalist and creator of the &#8220;1619 Project&#8221; Nikole Hannah-Jones about her experience growing up in Iowa.</p> <p><iframe src="https://anchor.fm/thedailyiowan/embed/episodes/On-the-Record-Feb--19--2021-eql6n7" width="400px" height="102px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>Hosted by Eleanor Hildebrandt. Edited by Eleanor Hildebrandt and Hailey Marx.</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/19/on-the-record-feb-19-2021/">On the Record: Feb. 19, 2021</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> University of Iowa to receive additional funds from stimulus packages https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/19/university-of-iowa-to-receive-additional-funds-from-stimulus-packages/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:8d35c995-ac3c-4f46-cdc3-899296fd818c Fri, 19 Feb 2021 17:32:57 +0000 <p>The University of Iowa will receive additional funding from the most recent stimulus package that will be distributed during the spring 2021 semester. The funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief funds will be distributed to students to assist with the financial difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university said in a campus-wide update on...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/19/university-of-iowa-to-receive-additional-funds-from-stimulus-packages/">University of Iowa to receive additional funds from stimulus packages</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The University of Iowa will receive additional funding from the most recent stimulus package that will be distributed during the spring 2021 semester.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief funds will be distributed to students to assist with the financial difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, the university said in a campus-wide update on Friday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the email did not specify how much funding the UI will receive, these funds will add to the </span><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/01/27/university-of-iowa-to-receive-millions-in-federal-aid-in-the-spring-semester/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">$24.9 million the university will receive from the CARES Act.</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">  </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Due to the funding coming from a different piece of legislation, different rules apply. According to the email, the U.S. Department of Education is requiring schools who receive funding to “prioritize students with exceptional financial need.” Eligibility will be determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The application for these funds is not currently open, but the university said future campus updates will include further information on how students can receive financial assistance in March. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The UI also reported 10 new COVID-19 cases on campus. Nine students and one employee self reported testing positive for novel coronavirus since Wednesday. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Five students are in self-isolation in residence halls and none are in quarantine. Since campus opened in August, there have been 3,428 positive cases.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The UI reminded students that there are two instructional breaks, one in March and one in April. </span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/19/university-of-iowa-to-receive-additional-funds-from-stimulus-packages/">University of Iowa to receive additional funds from stimulus packages</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Students continue to go out despite dangerous weather https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/students-continue-to-go-out-despite-dangerous-weather/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:8e086a15-328c-04d8-7ad4-1ad8a1af592e Fri, 19 Feb 2021 03:12:04 +0000 <p>Despite Iowa City experiencing freezing temperatures and winter weather advisories—with the wind chill making it feel close to 35 degrees below zero outdoors in recent days—some students continue to attend downtown bars and restaurants. The National Weather Service has released several warnings urging people to stay inside as much as possible, citing that being outdoors...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/students-continue-to-go-out-despite-dangerous-weather/">Students continue to go out despite dangerous weather</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>Despite Iowa City experiencing freezing temperatures and winter weather advisories—with the wind chill making it feel close to 35 degrees below zero outdoors in recent days—some students continue to attend downtown bars and restaurants.</p> <p>The <a href="https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?CityName=Iowa+City&amp;state=IA&amp;site=DVN&amp;textField1=41.6583&amp;textField2=-91.5351&amp;e=0#.YC3aVhNKhb9">National Weather Service</a> has released several warnings urging people to stay inside as much as possible, citing that being outdoors for more than 10 minutes could result in frostbite and even hypothermia.</p> <p>The University of Iowa has released several <a href="https://emergency.uiowa.edu/">Hawk Alerts</a> in addition to a campus-wide email sent by Associate Vice President and Dean of Students Angie Reams, emphasizing the recommendations from the National Weather Service.</p> <p>“When it is this cold, it is important to limit time outdoors, dress in layers, and stay dry to keep yourself warm,” Reams said. “All students are encouraged to use good judgment and avoid unnecessary travel during this time.”</p> <p>Two of the Hawk Alerts fell on Saturdays, Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, and despite these warnings, there were still many students that went out and visited downtown bars and restaurants.</p> <p>UI first-year student Stephanie Schmidt said she has gone out these past few weekends, and although she would rather be out with friends than alone in her dorm room, she said she regretted her decision.</p> <p>While Iowa no longer has capacity restrictions on bars and restaurants, areas with large numbers of people in close proximity, like bars, are at a high risk for COVID-19 spread.</p> <p><b>RELATED: </b><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/15/the-university-of-iowa-to-continue-in-person-learning-despite-negative-windchill/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The University of Iowa to continue in-person learning despite below zero windchill</span></a></p> <p>“To be honest, it was just freezing,” Schmidt said. “I kept worrying about getting frostbite or hypothermia on my way back. And then, after the first night, I started telling people ‘no way.’ I started canceling going all the way to the recreational center because I didn&#8217;t want to deal with the cold.”</p> <p>Being a UI alum himself, Iowa City Nighttime Mayor Joe Reilly said he remembers students going out to bars and restaurants during freezing temperatures without adequate winter clothing to protect them from frostbite.</p> <p>Reilly said he thinks this issue has improved in recent years, which is important now especially with COVID-19 precautions limiting seating inside restaurants and bars.</p> <p>Reilly said with many downtown bars reaching their capacity sooner than usual due to COVID-19 restrictions, this has caused lines to form outside establishments, exposing students and patrons to the dangerous temperatures while they wait.</p> <p><b>RELATED: </b><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/06/wind-chill-warning-in-effect-as-temperatures-dip-well-below-zero/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Wind Chill Warning in effect as temperatures dip well below zero</span></a></p> <p>“We have had frostbite conditions where if you&#8217;re 10 minutes exposed, you have frostbite,” Reilly said. “That was definitely longer than the wait at some lines. So, students need to do their due diligence, and these people going out need to weigh the options and say ‘hey, do I want to have to go seek medical attention while I&#8217;m out with my friends or would I rather enjoy my evening out?’”</p> <p>Schmidt said although the recent sub-zero temperatures have made going out less enjoyable, it’ll start to warm up soon.</p> <p>“I think I&#8217;ll continue to go out,” Schmidt said. “I&#8217;m just really trying to get as much of the college experience as possible with COVID and the pandemic and everything, and it&#8217;s hard to do that when I&#8217;m just confined to my room all the time.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/students-continue-to-go-out-despite-dangerous-weather/">Students continue to go out despite dangerous weather</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> University of Iowa environmental health expert says climate change could affect future infectious diseases https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/university-of-iowa-environmental-health-expert-says-climate-change-could-affect-future-infectious-diseases/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:a9726ad4-98d1-4434-8bc8-e48e1510a100 Fri, 19 Feb 2021 02:52:03 +0000 <p>University of Iowa environmental health experts say climate change could advance the spread of future infectious diseases and frequency of global health disasters. Peter Thorne, Head of the UI College of Public Health’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, said the typical time span between pandemics—such as the Spanish Flu of 1919 and the COVID-19...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/university-of-iowa-environmental-health-expert-says-climate-change-could-affect-future-infectious-diseases/">University of Iowa environmental health expert says climate change could affect future infectious diseases</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>University of Iowa environmental health experts say climate change could advance the spread of future infectious diseases and frequency of global health disasters.</p> <p>Peter Thorne, Head of the UI College of Public Health’s Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, said the typical time span between pandemics—such as the Spanish Flu of 1919 and the COVID-19 pandemic—is 100 years, but the next pandemic could be sooner.</p> <p>“The question is, will we wait 100 years for the next one?” Thorne said. “When it does happen, we have to have leaders that embrace the science fully because part of our problem this time was a lot of mixed messaging with regard to how significant a threat this was to our country.”</p> <p>According to a 2020 <a href="https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(20)31012-6#%20">study</a> by the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci said we can conclude from COVID-19 that we have entered a “pandemic era.”</p> <p><a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/science/2020/05/21/trust-in-medical-scientists-has-grown-in-u-s-but-mainly-among-democrats/">According to the Pew Research Center</a>, trust in science and medical scientists has grown in Democrats since the start of COVID-19. Just over half of Democrats have a great deal of confidence in medical scientists to act in the public interest, while 31 percent of Republicans expressed the same level of confidence in medical scientists.</p> <p>Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases Jack Stapleton said there have always been global pandemics, such as the Russian flu in 1890, and there are a lot of things that will contribute to disease transmission in the future.</p> <p>He said if overcrowding occurs, people can be exposed to animal pathogens, which can cross over to the human species.</p> <p><b>RELATED</b><span style="font-weight: 400;">: </span><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2020/10/07/climate-activists-react-with-skepticism-to-annual-climate-statement/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Climate activists react with skepticism to annual climate statement</span></a></p> <p>President of the UI Global Health Club Hallie Lartius wrote in an email to<em> the DI </em>that the effects of climate change have potentially become even more dangerous to our health during the COVID-19 pandemic while people are more isolated, face more work and housing instability, and experience pandemic-related stress.</p> <p>“There are also the root causes of climate change that impact disease, like pollution and poor farming practices,” Lartius wrote. “Unsustainable practices like these are unfortunately common in Iowa, harming our environment and our health at the same time.”</p> <p>Thorne said we need to worry about “billion-dollar disasters,” like droughts, extreme heat events, and extreme flooding. These environmental impacts could advance an infectious disease involving mosquitoes and ticks, he said.</p> <p>Johnson County Community Health Manager Sam Jarvis said after the COVID-19 pandemic, Johnson County Public Health will look back and discuss what worked well in mitigating COVID-19 to prepare for future public health crises.</p> <p>“We are always looking at how we can do better,” Jarvis said. “How we can mitigate better, how we can get information to the public better because that&#8217;s ultimately what it’s about. We really want everyone to be informed.”</p> <p>People who live in warm areas build up immunity from diseases that come from mosquitoes, Thorne said. He said if a disease is introduced in places where inhabitants don’t have immunity, the disease will spread very rapidly.</p> <p>“We know that as certain places get wetter and warmer, they&#8217;re better able to support the life cycle of these mosquitoes and ticks,” Thorne said. “The diseases that they carry then will become common to places where they haven&#8217;t been before… you&#8217;ll suddenly have mosquitoes of the type that carry diseases like Dengue fever or chikungunya.”</p> <p>Thorne said the spread of COVID-19 from the east to the United States is something to notice.</p> <p>“We saw how fast COVID-19 and the SARS COVID virus moved around the world from its apparent origin to all over the world,” Thorne said. “That&#8217;s a product of how quickly diseases can move in this period of time.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/university-of-iowa-environmental-health-expert-says-climate-change-could-affect-future-infectious-diseases/">University of Iowa environmental health expert says climate change could affect future infectious diseases</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Warning from legal experts: posting COVID-19 vaccine cards on social media creates risk for identity theft https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/warning-from-legal-experts-posting-covid-19-vaccine-cards-on-social-media-creates-risk-for-identity-theft/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:03959228-de14-0931-ae74-55a13feeab37 Fri, 19 Feb 2021 02:47:00 +0000 <p>The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and legal experts are warning Iowans that posting pictures of COVID-19 vaccination cards could put patients at risk for identity theft. The cards contain sensitive details, such as a patient’s name, date of birth, vaccination site location, and occasionally, medical ID number. Assistant Professor of Law Anya...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/warning-from-legal-experts-posting-covid-19-vaccine-cards-on-social-media-creates-risk-for-identity-theft/">Warning from legal experts: posting COVID-19 vaccine cards on social media creates risk for identity theft</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CLFc2FBH5oq/">The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine</a> and legal experts are warning Iowans that posting pictures of COVID-19 vaccination cards could put patients at risk for identity theft.</p> <p>The cards contain sensitive details, such as a patient’s name, date of birth, vaccination site location, and occasionally, medical ID number. Assistant Professor of Law Anya Prince said all this data taken together could provide important information to nefarious actors.</p> <p>When sharing potentially sensitive medical information on social media, Prince said it’s important to consider who you’re sharing it with and how long it stays on your page.</p> <p>“If I have four Instagram followers and my account setting is all on private, then there are fewer people who get that information versus if I have a public account,” Prince said. “If it’s not broadcast widely then maybe that’s more protected than if it’s on a public Facebook post. However, for a lot of social media, even something that’s taken down right away will always have some record somewhere.”</p> <p>Patient Access Specialist at the UI Hospitals and Clinics Sam Billingsley said he was aware of the privacy concerns when he shared a picture of his vaccine card on his Instagram and Facebook accounts.</p> <p>Although he considered blocking out the information before posting, Billingsley said the handwriting on his card was so messy that he wasn’t really worried about someone using it to obtain his personal information.</p> <p>He added that he received positive responses on both his Facebook and Instagram accounts after sharing the photo and was able to be a resource for friends who reached out with questions.</p> <p><b>RELATED:</b> <a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/11/health-care-workers-delighted-to-receive-the-second-dose-of-the-covid-19-vaccine/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Health care workers ‘delighted’ to receive the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine</span></a></p> <p>“I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about how [the vaccine] impacted me and if that’s something that somebody else would be able to handle,” Billingsley said. “I’ve always loved being somebody that people can come to for questions or help. That’s just what I like to do so it’s nice.”</p> <p>After getting her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, UI junior Josi Gilbertson said she wanted to post on her Facebook account so that her older relatives could hear about her experience. She uploaded a photo of a nurse administering her vaccine, along with a brief message about the importance of doing her part to stop the spread of the virus.</p> <p>Much like Billingsley, Gilbertson said she wanted to share on Facebook so that her family could learn more about the vaccination process.</p> <p>“I just wanted to reach out on a bigger platform where older people would see,” Gilbertson said. “It looks like people in our generation, who I have on more intimate socials like Twitter and Instagram, are already on the same page [about the vaccine] as I am.”</p> <p>Prince said she recognizes the potential public health benefits of people sharing their positive experiences with the COVID-19 vaccine, but emphasized that some posts may be more secure than others.</p> <p>“Maybe you don’t share a picture of the vaccine card itself, but you share a picture of your band-aid from the shot,” she said. “There can be other ways of showing excitement without sharing that personal identifying information.”</p> <p>If people are looking for more ideas on how to securely share their vaccine status, <a href="https://www.bbb.org/article/news-releases/23675-bbb-tip-dont-share-your-vaccine-card-on-social-media">the Better Business Bureau</a> suggests patients post pictures of their official COVID-19 vaccine sticker or use a profile frame to tell their followers about their experience, according to their website.</p> <p>For those considering getting the vaccine, Billingsley said they shouldn’t feel like they have to share their experience on social media.</p> <p>“It’s a very common thing right now for everybody to be posting ‘oh here’s my vaccine card’ but you also don’t have to,” Billingsley said. “You can just write a note on Facebook, you don’t have to post a picture. Don’t feel like you have to do that. But please get your vaccine, whether you post about it or not.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/warning-from-legal-experts-posting-covid-19-vaccine-cards-on-social-media-creates-risk-for-identity-theft/">Warning from legal experts: posting COVID-19 vaccine cards on social media creates risk for identity theft</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Catlett Residence Hall evacuated last night after gas leak false alarm, equipment found putting off gas-like odor https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/catlett-residence-hall-evacuated-last-night-after-gas-leak-false-alarm-equipment-found-putting-off-gas-like-odor/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:c5207156-270b-5b2a-8f31-0617994f2a08 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 22:34:35 +0000 <p>During the winter months where temperatures reach below zero, hearing alarms go off late at night is the last thing most students want to hear. At around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, alarms went off in Catlett Residence Hall because of a suspected gas leak in the building. Students were told to evacuate the building and...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/catlett-residence-hall-evacuated-last-night-after-gas-leak-false-alarm-equipment-found-putting-off-gas-like-odor/">Catlett Residence Hall evacuated last night after gas leak false alarm, equipment found putting off gas-like odor</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">During the winter months where temperatures reach below zero, hearing alarms go off late at night is the last thing most students want to hear.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">At around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, alarms went off in Catlett Residence Hall because of a suspected gas leak in the building. Students were told to evacuate the building and go outside, with temperatures reaching below zero.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Many students were left wondering what the procedure was during the winter and where they should go, and had to wait while the building was being cleared out.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Building occupants were evacuated and directed to shelter at Currier and Burge until the situation was resolved,” University of Iowa Media Relations Manager Haley Bruce wrote in an email to <em>The Daily Iowan</em>. &#8221; Protocol during the winter months is that if students need to be evacuated due to an emergency, they will be directed to shelter in the nearest residence hall(s) or building(s).&#8221;</span></p> <p>However, the suspected leak was a false alarm — the source of the gas-like smell came from a piece of equipment, Bruce said.</p> <p>&#8220;Though a gas leak was originally suspected, the issue was actually related to a piece of equipment putting off a gas-like odor,&#8221; Bruce said. &#8220;Students were instructed to return to the building as soon as it was confirmed that it was safe to do so.&#8221;</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/catlett-residence-hall-evacuated-last-night-after-gas-leak-false-alarm-equipment-found-putting-off-gas-like-odor/">Catlett Residence Hall evacuated last night after gas leak false alarm, equipment found putting off gas-like odor</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Iowa lawmaker says bill to poll university professors on political affiliation won’t advance this session https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/iowa-lawmaker-says-bill-to-poll-university-professors-on-political-affiliation-wont-advance-this-session-2021/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:912ef25e-d71c-8029-71ef-7918cec71e21 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 22:17:26 +0000 <p>State Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, introduced a new bill to poll regent university employees on their political affiliations and submit the results to the General Assembly, but now says he wants to keep the bill in subcommittee until at least 2022 before continuing to advocate for it. The bill, Senate File 292, says the...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/iowa-lawmaker-says-bill-to-poll-university-professors-on-political-affiliation-wont-advance-this-session-2021/">Iowa lawmaker says bill to poll university professors on political affiliation won’t advance this session</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">State Sen. Jim Carlin, R-Sioux City, introduced a new bill to poll regent university employees on their political affiliations and submit the results to the General Assembly, but now says he wants to keep the bill in subcommittee until at least 2022 before continuing to advocate for it.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The bill, </span><a href="https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&amp;ba=SF%20292"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Senate File 292</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, says the survey would distinguish between job positions, but keep individual employee names private and would only be a one-time poll as opposed to an annual survey.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Currently the bill has not progressed past a Senate education subcommittee and likely won’t until Carlin promotes further action on it in upcoming years.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“The intent was to have an anonymous study to try to define the political composition or proportionality of our regents’ professors,” Carlin said. “I can’t think of a more important place to have freedom of expression than on a college campus because ideas are discussed, shared, and debated, and if you have a culture that discourages debate, or worse yet, silences it, you’re attempting to define the people that attend your university.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Carlin said there are many college students who believe they can’t speak freely, and are concerned about making sure they behave in a way that ensures they have the opportunity to get good grades and put themselves in a good position for graduate school or employment.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">He said he was holding off on advocating for the bill until the plausibility of the bill passing was less questionable and he had time to workshop the phrasing of the legislation.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I don’t believe in wasting time,” Carlin said. “I don’t want to waste the time of the staff that works as hard as they do for me and for my entire Senate caucus. So rather than take up their time needlessly to try to make some political points, I just decided I’m going to run a subcommittee on this until I have framed it in a meaningful way that’s not going to offend people’s sensibilities still try to define in some measure what the political proportionality of regents professors are.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">State Sen. Claire Celsi, D-West Des Moines, said the bill reminded her of McCarthyism, a 1950’s campaign on behalf of U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, R-Wisconsin, to root out government employees who allegedly subscribed to the ideology of communism.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said she doesn’t think the bill has any chance of passing and that the premise of the bill’s inception, the notion that liberal university professors are indoctrinating students under their political beliefs, is “patently false.” </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">She said the bill is only going to encourage people to register as a no-party voter and will subsequently make the information they receive from the survey irrelevant.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“I think it’s unconstitutional to do this, and illegal,” Celsi said. “I don’t think Senator Carlin really consults the constitution, or common sense before he makes these bills.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Celsi said there’s already diversity of thought among Iowa’s universities and that students don’t often spend much time talking with their professors about subjects aside from class topics.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It really doesn’t matter what political affiliation their professor is,” Celsi said. “People from different backgrounds are all thrown in together at a university to learn and they actually learn from each other quite a bit, so the learning goes both ways and people meet people who are not like them and that’s really what the college experience is all about.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In addition to SF 292, the Iowa House of Representatives is reviewing other legislation related to regulating education. Among them include </span><a href="https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=HF153&amp;ga=89"><span style="font-weight: 400;">House File 153</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> to appoint a public policy director at regent universities and </span><a href="https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ga=89&amp;ba=HF415"><span style="font-weight: 400;">House File 415</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> requiring all public school districts and some nonpublic school districts to give the pledge of allegiance to all K-12 students every school day. The latter bill passed the House on Feb. 17 with a 91 to 3 vote and the former was recommended to pass out of subcommittee on Feb. 16.</span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/iowa-lawmaker-says-bill-to-poll-university-professors-on-political-affiliation-wont-advance-this-session-2021/">Iowa lawmaker says bill to poll university professors on political affiliation won’t advance this session</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> University of Iowa accepts letters of intent for P3 year 1 funding initiatives https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/university-of-iowa-accepts-letters-of-intent-for-p3-year-1-funding-initiatives/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:0a494c95-6c17-6d9d-c866-7fcdfa0c8685 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 22:10:10 +0000 <p>The University of Iowa is now accepting letters of intent from faculty and staff who plan to submit proposals for P3 Year 1 funding for initiatives that support the university’s strategic priorities until March 12. The university’s strategic priorities include student, faculty, and staff success; research and discovery; and diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement. According...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/university-of-iowa-accepts-letters-of-intent-for-p3-year-1-funding-initiatives/">University of Iowa accepts letters of intent for P3 year 1 funding initiatives</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The University of Iowa is now accepting </span><a href="https://strategicplan.sites.uiowa.edu/public-private-partnership-p3/p3-program-support-strategic-priorities/p3-proposals-fy-2022-loi"><span style="font-weight: 400;">letters of intent</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> from faculty and staff who plan to submit proposals for P3 Year 1 funding for initiatives that support the university’s strategic priorities until March 12.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The university’s strategic priorities include student, faculty, and staff success; research and discovery; and diversity, equity, inclusion, and engagement. According to a <a href="https://now.uiowa.edu/2021/02/campus-can-submit-letters-intent-apply-p3-year-1-funding">release from Iowa Now</a>, priority will be given to projects that focus on developing Iowa into a destination university for students, faculty, and staff. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">P3 funds are non-recurring and generated by the public-private partnership with the utility system. The funds can be requested for a one to five-year time period. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Letters of intent will be reviewed and approved by collegiate deans or central unit leaders. Faculty and staff are required to discuss their proposal with applicable leaders before submitting the intent.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">UI’s Strategy Team, led by Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Kregel and Vice President for Research Marty Scholtz, will review letters of intent and invite selected proposals to submit a full proposal by May 3.</span></p> <p>“We are eager to receive what we expect will be a wealth of ideas for innovative, collaborative projects that can make a real difference for the future of the university,” Kregel said in the Iowa Now release. “We have strong guiding principles in place to make sure we invest this important strategic funding as wisely and as effectively as possible, and we are committed to an inclusive and transparent process.”</p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Additional priority will be given to projects that have an institutional-level high impact across more than one strategic priority area, explain how the project’s activities are unable to be supported by the current budget model, have a potential to leverage additional funds to continue the project, and include cross-campus collaborations.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Earnings from a $1 billion endowment from the university’s 50-year partnership with ENGIE North America and Meridiam will allow the university to invest about $15 million per fiscal year through grants dedicated to supporting the UI’s strategic plan and core missions of teaching, research, and scholarship.</span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/18/university-of-iowa-accepts-letters-of-intent-for-p3-year-1-funding-initiatives/">University of Iowa accepts letters of intent for P3 year 1 funding initiatives</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Womxn of Colour Network continues to foster community virtually https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/womxn-of-colour-network-continues-to-foster-community-virtually/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:5d0d973e-86c8-0025-2c0a-0263311ab34d Thu, 18 Feb 2021 04:23:38 +0000 <p>Nearly 80 people jammed in tight for the first Womxn of Colour Network event in 2017,  but this year the program is refocusing efforts virtually to maintain community by bringing in speakers from across the country and promoting self-care. Programming kicked off earlier this month with a Zoom mixer on Feb. 3 with about 30...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/womxn-of-colour-network-continues-to-foster-community-virtually/">Womxn of Colour Network continues to foster community virtually</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>Nearly 80 people jammed in tight for the first Womxn of Colour Network event in 2017,  but this year the program is refocusing efforts virtually to maintain community by bringing in speakers from across the country and promoting self-care. Programming kicked off earlier this month with a Zoom mixer on Feb. 3 with about 30 people including a guest speaker from Texas.</p> <p>“It’s never been about how many people come,” Jessica Padilla, program coordinator for the Womxn of Colour Network said. “It&#8217;s about the quality of experience of those that are able to come.”</p> <p>Embracing the digital format this semester, the Womxn of Colour network is focusing on bringing in outside perspectives that encourage success and expand people’s networks.</p> <p>The program was created so women of color at the UI could have a community, Padilla said. In-person events would feature hands-on workshops and lunch meetups.</p> <p>All operations and events have been entirely online since last March when the pandemic hit, Padilla said the transition took away from some of the traditional elements of the events that are normally catered by local restaurants and involve informal networking.</p> <p>Padilla said the virtual events still foster community engagement through utilizing breakout rooms, networking rounds, giving out gift cards to local restaurants and businesses.</p> <p>“This semester is more about themes related to empowering yourself – of moving forward and self-care,” she said.</p> <p>Padilla said one thing the virtual program allows the network to do is bring in speakers outside of Iowa. Before Zoom, bringing in speakers like last week’s Kyra Seay, who lives in Texas, was not realistic.</p> <p>All of the speakers this semester are from outside of Iowa, Padilla said, made possible by the virtual format. The past few years, guests have been women of color faculty and staff. Additionally, for their March event, the network will be collaborating with Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement’s annual <a href="https://www.facebook.com/UIowa-Womxns-Summit-446683449190860/events/?ref=page_internal">womxn summit</a>.</p> <p>Padilla said it has also been an opportunity for her to make sure the program is not exhausting women of color on campus, but she worries about the network’s visibility.</p> <p>“I really hope that women of color, students, faculty and staff, remember that we&#8217;re still present,” Padilla said. “And that we can continue to take up virtual space and that we&#8217;re not alone in this community.”</p> <p>Gabriela Rivera, associate director for diversity, equity, and inclusion at the UI’s Tippie College of Business, who has been attending the network events since they started said she really appreciates that the program has continued throughout the pandemic and how accessible it is.</p> <p>“Being able to come into the Zoom and look forward to seeing some of the people that I would normally see in the space at the house,” she said. “I’m glad we have that now.”</p> <p>Rivera said anytime she attends one of the events, she feels much better when she leaves.</p> <p>“It&#8217;s just kind of self-care for me, to be honest, especially now during COVID, when I&#8217;m not physically with a lot of my colleagues and the students that I really look forward to seeing during my work hours or after work,” she said.</p> <p>The creativity behind the programming and events goes a long way, Rivera added, no matter if it is a small group or big group, the conversations are still really rich because the different features like breakout rooms and activities have a purpose.</p> <p>Kyra Seay, director of social innovation and transformative initiatives at Bumble was the first guest speaker for the network this semester.</p> <p>Seay, a UI alum who’s been involved in diversity and equity work since graduating, said has been with Bumble for about two and a half years, in a position the company created specifically for her.</p> <p>Recently, Seay started a new department within the company called the center of excellence which helps the entire global company lead and deliver on diversity and equity and inclusion values.</p> <p>Seay said she had an awesome experience speaking with the network last week.</p> <p>“I think the purpose is to create a space for dialogue, support, and empowerment for all the folks at the University of Iowa and that is exactly what it was.” Seay said.</p> <p>While women of color have always been trailblazers and innovators, Seay said, credit and gratitude are not always given where it’s due.</p> <p>“As a person of color, who has navigated primarily white spaces, it&#8217;s incredibly important that I&#8217;m visible to the other young ‘me’s in the world and empowering them to find their voice,” Seay said. “And when they have it, to never let it be silenced again because they have something unique and valuable to the world.”</p> <p>Michele Williams, University of Iowa Assistant Professor and John L. Miclot faculty fellow in entrepreneurship, said she has been involved with hands-on programs in person before the pandemic.</p> <p>Williams said the network created a warm and welcome environment, in-person, and after attending last week&#8217;s shop, she thinks they have done their best to recreate that.</p> <p>“I think that continuing to have these connections and to have this programming is really an important way for women of colour to stay connected,” Williams said. “So, I think that nothing&#8217;s the same as having a meal with someone – but they&#8217;re doing the next best thing in keeping connections.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/womxn-of-colour-network-continues-to-foster-community-virtually/">Womxn of Colour Network continues to foster community virtually</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Iowa City businesses awarded financial aid nearly one year into pandemic https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/iowa-city-businesses-awarded-financial-aid-nearly-one-year-into-pandemic/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:ed7c0640-ee0a-e97e-b5ac-67d210e93741 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 03:37:06 +0000 <p>As Iowa City nears the one-year mark of dealing with COVID-19, small, local businesses are still struggling financially, prompting them to apply for and in some cases receive financial aid through pandemic relief grants. Through CARES Act funding and the Community Development Block Grant Assistance, the City of Iowa City was able to award over...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/iowa-city-businesses-awarded-financial-aid-nearly-one-year-into-pandemic/">Iowa City businesses awarded financial aid nearly one year into pandemic</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>As Iowa City nears the one-year mark of dealing with COVID-19, small, local businesses are still struggling financially, prompting them to apply for and in some cases receive financial aid through pandemic relief grants.</p> <p>Through CARES Act funding and the Community Development Block Grant Assistance, the City of Iowa City was able to award over $360,400 to 27 eligible small businesses in Iowa City, all who have faced financial hardships because of COVID-19 imposing restrictions and limitations on their business operations.</p> <p>“The city had the option of how they were going to use it and had to basically respond to the pandemic in some way to alleviate poverty, to help businesses,” Iowa City Neighborhood and Development Services Director Tracy Hightshoe said. “So, the city allocated the money for small business assistance relief, and it was prioritized for those businesses who haven&#8217;t gotten aid.”</p> <p>Hightshoe said the priority requirements for small businesses applying to receive this grant funding included how severely COVID-19 had financially impacted the business, if these businesses had received any previous state or federal financial aid, and if the business was owned by a woman or person of color.</p> <p>Along with these staple requirements, Hightshoe said these applicable businesses had to have less than $1,000,000 in annual gross revenue, less than 25 employees, and be located in Iowa City, regardless if the business is a local franchise or single location.</p> <p>Hightshoe said from the two rounds of CARES Act funding the city has received, 60 percent of the funding has gone to direct aid for rent or utility assistance for citizens who might be at risk of eviction.The other 40 percent was prioritized to go towards nonprofit agencies that provide homeless services, childcare, mental health services, and food distribution, Hightshoe said.</p> <p>“Our first two rounds of funding are going to nonprofits for rent assistance [and other services], and then this pot of money, we dedicated to small business assistance,” she said.</p> <p>Hightshoe said approximately 60 businesses were eligible to be reviewed to receive this funding Out of the 27 selected, businesses that had at most 25 employees received $10,000 in grant funding, she said, and businesses with no employees were eligible to receive $15,000.</p> <p>In addition to the city aiding local businesses, the Iowa City Downtown District organization has introduced several gift card incentive programs to encourage community members to support downtown businesses, the <a href="https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdxMfD2k2kN6ekTdnjvr70zHtLpSeVzSyW2ozyXA7yc3fnmDQ/viewform">most recent program</a> explicitly targeting downtown restaurants during the month of February.</p> <p>Iowa City Downtown District Director of Operations Betsy Potter said for every $100 spent at downtown restaurants, community members will receive a $20 gift card to use at any downtown restaurant.</p> <p>With this, Potter said $5 will also be donated to local food distribution organization Table to Table to help combat food insecurity in Iowa City.</p> <p>With the downtown district’s board of directors approving this budget spending, Potter said the organization was able to use its own finances to support this initiative.</p> <p>“I think it&#8217;s also important to note that February is one of the toughest months for restaurants, any year, because it&#8217;s colder. It&#8217;s a short month,” Potter said. “We&#8217;re coming off the holidays, and January and February are traditionally always just a challenging time for our restaurants. Supporting local businesses now is really important to make sure that they&#8217;re there this spring or summer when you want to come back out.”</p> <p>Downtown restaurant Crepes De Luxe Owner Hicham Chehouani said his restaurant has faced many financial difficulties since March, with sales exponentially decreasing, leaving him worried about the restaurant’s financial situation.</p> <p>“It&#8217;s been really tough since March 2020,” Chehouani said. “Our sales dropped more than 50 percent for some months, even 70 percent, and after when we started doing carry out, they came to 50 percent, so a bit more. But still until this day, almost 38 percent of sales were lost and I&#8217;m still struggling.”</p> <p>Crepes De Luxe was one of the 27 small Iowa City businesses to receive pandemic relief grant funding. Chehouani said he received $5,000 to go for the business.</p> <p>Chehouani said through the pandemic relief grant from the City of Iowa City, the downtown restaurant gift card incentive program, and supportive patrons, his restaurant has received financial aid to help offset some of the revenue lost due to COVID-19.</p> <p>Although these financially supportive initiatives have helped Chehouani’s restaurant, he said he does not believe business will return to a steady pace until the COVID-19 vaccine is widely available and distributed within Iowa City.</p> <p>“These initiatives will help a little bit, encourage people to go grab things, and encourage us to keep surviving,” Chehouani said. “But really, the foot traffic and all this stuff, people are still really scared to be downtown or to be all around until this vaccine is distributed and COVID-19 is done with. So even with the gift cards, people are still scared to come out.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/iowa-city-businesses-awarded-financial-aid-nearly-one-year-into-pandemic/">Iowa City businesses awarded financial aid nearly one year into pandemic</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Retired UI professor and glaucoma specialist honored for volunteer work abroad https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/retired-ui-professor-and-glaucoma-specialist-honored-for-volunteer-work-abroad/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:6b2cd781-0962-a214-1e00-a414af8d839f Thu, 18 Feb 2021 03:08:27 +0000 <p>To recognize his achievement in volunteering, a University of Iowa professor has been named one of the Heroes of Orbis. For 33 years, Wallace Alward has taught in the UI’s ophthalmology department. The award honors distinguished volunteers within Orbis, a nonprofit which works to provide training and eye care to reduce preventable blindness. Alward started...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/retired-ui-professor-and-glaucoma-specialist-honored-for-volunteer-work-abroad/">Retired UI professor and glaucoma specialist honored for volunteer work abroad</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>To recognize his achievement in volunteering, a University of Iowa professor has been named one of the Heroes of Orbis. For 33 years, Wallace Alward has taught in the UI’s ophthalmology department.</p> <p>The award honors distinguished volunteers within Orbis, a nonprofit which works to provide training and eye care to reduce preventable blindness.</p> <p>Alward started his career in Alaska as a general physician. He said that despite his great respect for general medicine, he wanted to be a person who knew a lot about a little instead of a little about a lot.</p> <p>Alward’s main study of focus, glaucoma, came from his residency at the University of Louisville. The city lacked any glaucoma specialists, which especially posed a problem for the city’s African American population, since glaucoma is typically harder to treat in Black communities, Alward said. According to <a href="https://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/african-americans-and-glaucoma.php">Glaucoma Research Foundation</a>, glaucoma occurs about five times more often in African Americans and blindness from glaucoma occurs about six times more often than non-Hispanic whites and earlier in life. According to the foundation, the reason for the disparity isn’t known.</p> <p>The longtime professor then left Louisville to do his fellowship in glaucoma treatment in Miami. He said he always intended to come back to Louisville, but his fellowship in Miami changed his plans.</p> <p>“I kind of fell in love with academic ophthalmology and the idea of being able to do research and teaching,” Alward said.</p> <p>At the UI, Alward said that he was able to have the best of both worlds. Here, he was able to work in the clinic with real patients while teaching the students working alongside him. The Orbis hero said he enjoyed the difficult puzzles involved in both the teaching and the practice.</p> <p>During his career, Alward was able to go abroad several times with the volunteer organization Oribs. While in Orbis, the glaucoma specialist traveled to underserved countries, giving lectures on medicine, seeing patients, and mentoring local physicians.</p> <p>“[Orbis]&#8217;s a wonderful experience,” Alward said. “The other people who take part in Orbis are people who just want to help, you know. Nobody gets paid for doing this, and this just sort of attracts that kind of people you feel like hanging around all day.”</p> <p>Despite his retirement from the university last summer, Alward still works in the Iowa City Veterans Hospital every Monday, teaching residents in the hospital.</p> <p>Keith Carter is the chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Carver College of Medicine. Carter worked with Alward in the department and volunteered with Orbis as well.</p> <p>Carter said that Alward stepping down was a tremendous loss to the department with his career being centered in all things academics. Carter added that Alward’s big impact in education was putting together the website <a href="http://gonioscopy.org/">Gonioscopy</a>, a curriculum on understanding glaucoma.</p> <p>“[The website]&#8217;s been a huge hit online because one, it’s free,” Carter said. “That&#8217;s one of the things he wanted to do with all of his educational materials – to make them free.”</p> <p>Young Kwon is also a professor in the department of ophthalmology and visual science and Orbis volunteer. Kwon has worked with Alward for more than 24 years in glaucoma services.</p> <p>Kwon said that Alward is an expert clinician and surgeon, often being sought out by patients and physicians for his work, but was most known in the field as a great teacher.</p> <p>“He has dedicated his life to take care of glaucoma patients and to teach all of us the clinical science of glaucoma.,” Kwon said. “Personally, I feel so fortunate to have been his partner and friend for over 24 years – I’ve learned so much from him.”</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/retired-ui-professor-and-glaucoma-specialist-honored-for-volunteer-work-abroad/">Retired UI professor and glaucoma specialist honored for volunteer work abroad</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> Retired UI professor and glaucoma specialist honored for volunteer work abroad https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/retired-university-of-iowa-professor-and-glaucoma-specialist-honored-for-volunteer-work-abroad/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:a1e3710e-2eb3-4581-ec97-2a820347f282 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 03:08:27 +0000 <p>To recognize his achievement in volunteering, a University of Iowa professor has been named one of the Heroes of Orbis. For 33 years, Wallace Alward has taught in the UI’s ophthalmology department. The award honors distinguished volunteers within Orbis, a nonprofit which works to provide training and eye care to reduce preventable blindness. Alward started...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/retired-university-of-iowa-professor-and-glaucoma-specialist-honored-for-volunteer-work-abroad/">Retired UI professor and glaucoma specialist honored for volunteer work abroad</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p>To recognize his achievement in volunteering, a University of Iowa professor has been named one of the Heroes of Orbis. For 33 years, Wallace Alward has taught in the UI’s ophthalmology department.</p> <p>The award honors distinguished volunteers within Orbis, a nonprofit which works to provide training and eye care to reduce preventable blindness.</p> <p>Alward started his career in Alaska as a general physician. He said that despite his great respect for general medicine, he wanted to be a person who knew a lot about a little instead of a little about a lot.</p> <p>Alward’s main study of focus, glaucoma, came from his residency at the University of Louisville. The city lacked any glaucoma specialists, which especially posed a problem for the city’s African American population, since glaucoma is typically harder to treat in Black communities, Alward said. According to <a href="https://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/african-americans-and-glaucoma.php">Glaucoma Research Foundation</a>, glaucoma occurs about five times more often in African Americans and blindness from glaucoma occurs about six times more often than non-Hispanic whites and earlier in life. According to the foundation, the reason for the disparity isn’t known.</p> <p>The longtime professor then left Louisville to do his fellowship in glaucoma treatment in Miami. He said he always intended to come back to Louisville, but his fellowship in Miami changed his plans.</p> <p>“I kind of fell in love with academic ophthalmology and the idea of being able to do research and teaching,” Alward said.</p> <p>At the UI, Alward said that he was able to have the best of both worlds. Here, he was able to work in the clinic with real patients while teaching the students working alongside him. The Orbis hero said he enjoyed the difficult puzzles involved in both the teaching and the practice.</p> <p>During his career, Alward was able to go abroad several times with the volunteer organization Oribs. While in Orbis, the glaucoma specialist traveled to underserved countries, giving lectures on medicine, seeing patients, and mentoring local physicians.</p> <p>“[Orbis]&#8217;s a wonderful experience,” Alward said. “The other people who take part in Orbis are people who just want to help, you know. Nobody gets paid for doing this, and this just sort of attracts that kind of people you feel like hanging around all day.”</p> <p>Despite his retirement from the university last summer, Alward still works in the Iowa City Veterans Hospital every Monday, teaching residents in the hospital.</p> <p>Keith Carter is the chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Carver College of Medicine. Carter worked with Alward in the department and volunteered with Orbis as well.</p> <p>Carter said that Alward stepping down was a tremendous loss to the department with his career being centered in all things academics. Carter added that Alward’s big impact in education was putting together the website <a href="http://gonioscopy.org/">Gonioscopy</a>, a curriculum on understanding glaucoma.</p> <p>“[The website]&#8217;s been a huge hit online because one, it’s free,” Carter said. “That&#8217;s one of the things he wanted to do with all of his educational materials – to make them free.”</p> <p>Young Kwon is also a professor in the department of ophthalmology and visual science and Orbis volunteer. Kwon has worked with Alward for more than 24 years in glaucoma services.</p> <p>Kwon said that Alward is an expert clinician and surgeon, often being sought out by patients and physicians for his work, but was most known in the field as a great teacher.</p> <p>“He has dedicated his life to take care of glaucoma patients and to teach all of us the clinical science of glaucoma,” Kwon said. “Personally, I feel so fortunate to have been his partner and friend for over 24 years – I’ve learned so much from him.”</p> <div class='related relatedcenter background-white borderbottom sno-animate' style='border-color: #888888;'><h5>More in News</h5><div class='relatedrow sno-animate related-1'><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/state-board-denies-approval-for-230-million-uihc-facility-in-north-liberty/" title="State board denies approval for $230 million UIHC facility in North Liberty"><img src="https://dailyiowan.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Rail-UIHC-240x150.jpg" style="width:100%" class="catboxphoto" alt="University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics are seen on Tuesday, June 23, 2020." /></a><h5 class="relatedtitle"><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/state-board-denies-approval-for-230-million-uihc-facility-in-north-liberty/">State board denies approval for $230 million UIHC facility in North Liberty</a></h5></div><div class='relateddividervert sno-animate related-2'></div><div class='relatedrow sno-animate related-2'><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/iowa-city-businesses-awarded-financial-aid-nearly-one-year-into-pandemic/" title="Iowa City businesses awarded financial aid nearly one year into pandemic"><img src="https://dailyiowan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/NEWDowntown-240x150.jpg" style="width:100%" class="catboxphoto" alt="Iowa City businesses awarded financial aid nearly one year into pandemic" /></a><h5 class="relatedtitle"><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/iowa-city-businesses-awarded-financial-aid-nearly-one-year-into-pandemic/">Iowa City businesses awarded financial aid nearly one year into pandemic</a></h5></div><div class='relateddividervert sno-animate related-3'></div><div class='relatedrow sno-animate related-3'><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/womxn-of-colour-network-continues-to-foster-community-virtually/" title="Womxn of Colour Network continues to foster community virtually"><img src="https://dailyiowan.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Women-of-color-240x150.jpg" style="width:100%" class="catboxphoto" alt="Womxn of Color Network, 2019. Contributed." /></a><h5 class="relatedtitle"><a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/womxn-of-colour-network-continues-to-foster-community-virtually/">Womxn of Colour Network continues to foster community virtually</a></h5></div><div class="clear"></div></div> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/retired-university-of-iowa-professor-and-glaucoma-specialist-honored-for-volunteer-work-abroad/">Retired UI professor and glaucoma specialist honored for volunteer work abroad</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> State board denies approval for $230 million UIHC facility in North Liberty https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/state-board-denies-approval-for-230-million-uihc-facility-in-north-liberty/ News – The Daily Iowan urn:uuid:324294cb-a87e-cd11-964b-196897ac8e21 Thu, 18 Feb 2021 02:50:57 +0000 <p>A state board denied an application from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to develop a $230 million facility in North Liberty, after several local hospital representatives said it would negatively affect their business. The university hospital was seeking to expand to North Liberty to increase the bed capacity beyond its main hospital in Iowa...</p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/state-board-denies-approval-for-230-million-uihc-facility-in-north-liberty/">State board denies approval for $230 million UIHC facility in North Liberty</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> <hr /> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A state board denied an application from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics to develop a $230 million facility in North Liberty, after several local hospital representatives said it would negatively affect their business.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The university hospital was seeking to expand to North Liberty to increase the bed capacity beyond its main hospital in Iowa City. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">UIHC CEO Suresh Gunasekaran said during a meeting of the State Health Facilities Council on Wednesday that the hospital routinely has to turn away patients transferred from other hospitals because of a lack of bed space. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The hospital met with the board to seek a Certificate of Need, which hospitals are required to be granted by the Iowa Department of Public Health before beginning large developments. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Representatives from other hospitals in the area, including Mercy Iowa City, Mercy Cedar Rapids, and St. Lukes in Cedar Rapids, were at the meeting to lobby against the construction of the new facility. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">UIHC’s application was denied by a vote of 3-2 of the five-member council. The hospital can now appeal the decision.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gunasekaran presented data that showed that, on average, the hospital had to turn away around 200 transfer patients per month during 2019 because of a lack of beds. Gunasekaran said for many patients, UIHC is the only hospital in the state with the specialization to meet their needs. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“These transfers that we&#8217;re unable to take are not going to area hospitals,” Gunasekaran said. “These patients that want and need us at UI Health Care cannot find beds, their needs cannot be met at community hospitals, they need to be met at UIHC.”</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The proposed development in North Liberty would cost a total of $230 million. Construction on the site itself would cost around $150.6 million, with equipment costs coming in at $71.5 million, according to the presentation. The other costs would be in site costs and land improvements. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The North Liberty location was proposed to include 36 beds and new operating room space, as well as emergency room services. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Officials from local hospitals said that despite UIHC’s characterization of the facility as a location for specialized care, the services offered would take business away from community hospitals that don’t have the same access to resources as UIHC. </span></p> <p><strong>RELATED: <a href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/03/university-of-iowa-hospitals-and-clinics-vaccinate-1000-people-wednesday/">University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics vaccinate 1,000 people Wednesday</a></strong></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tim Charles, CEO of Mercy Cedar Rapids, said that the proposed development would harm local hospitals that are already battered from the COVID-19 pandemic. He said many of the services offered by the new facility, like an emergency room and imaging services, would encroach on the sphere of other hospitals in the area.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“It is absolutely directed toward and geared to deliver services that cut right at the heart of what’s required for all of us to continue to remain strong providers in our own communities,” Charles said. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Others said the university’s position as a top employer in the area puts other hospitals at a disadvantage, as UI and UIHC employees often have lower costs at UIHC facilities. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Under the UI’s two health care plans, UIChoice and UISelect, UIHC clinics are designated as “Level 1” providers and have lower deductibles, lower copays, and other associated costs compared to “Level 2” providers which includes Mercy Iowa City. Mental health care visits and emergency room visits have the same associated costs between the two. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“is it appropriate that as a state institution that is concerned about backlogs and overcrowding, that they are financially incentivizing, very strongly, their own employees and retirees to seek their care there?” Sean Williams, the president and CEO of Mercy Iowa City said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Gunasekaran argued that UIHC and other hospitals were not competing for the same patients. He said that 50 percent of clinic visits, and 70 percent of inpatients at UIHC came from outside the Cedar Rapids-Iowa City corridor. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“We&#8217;ve got amazing community hospitals that are not going to compete with the university’s because as you can tell for simple care in the corridor, the public does know, please go to these other excellent community hospitals,” he said.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Both Charles and Williams said they wanted UIHC to form a collaboration with area hospitals to share patients and services rather than build a new facility. Alyssa Smith, an attorney representing Mercy Iowa City said the goals of the new facility could be achieved more efficiently through agreements with area hospitals. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">“Every single person who testified in opposition today spoke to the council about their excess capacity, and that they would be happy to discuss ways to collaborate,” she said.</span></p> <p>The post <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com/2021/02/17/state-board-denies-approval-for-230-million-uihc-facility-in-north-liberty/">State board denies approval for $230 million UIHC facility in North Liberty</a> appeared first on <a rel="nofollow" href="https://dailyiowan.com">The Daily Iowan</a>.</p> 'This is historic snow': major winter storm blankets parts of US https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/26/snow-us-weather-winter-storm Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:d226a3bf-98d2-b889-1551-1f5395285424 Tue, 26 Jan 2021 13:12:57 +0000 <p>More than 10in of snow fell in parts of eastern Nebraska by Monday evening, leading to early closures of Covid testing sites</p><p>A major winter storm blanketed parts of the middle of the US with snow that was forecast into late Tuesday in some areas, disrupting traffic and closing coronavirus testing sites.</p><p>“This is historic snow,” said one National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist, based near Omaha, Nebraska.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/26/snow-us-weather-winter-storm">Continue reading...</a> Condemnation – and support: Trump's midwest base split by Capitol attack https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/10/trump-midwest-base-split-capitol-attack-condemnation-support Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:a184f585-1f1a-4ac0-f695-c8cc0f88a6c9 Sun, 10 Jan 2021 09:00:46 +0000 <p>Images of mayhem from the heart of Washington shocked many supporters but others felt extreme action was justified</p><p>Even some of Donald Trump’s enduring supporters have had enough.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/09/us-capitol-insurrection-white-supremacist-terror">Insurrection Day: when white supremacist terror came to the US Capitol</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/10/trump-midwest-base-split-capitol-attack-condemnation-support">Continue reading...</a> During this miserable lame-duck period, we must trust in a better future | Art Cullen https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/05/during-this-miserable-lame-duck-period-we-must-trust-in-a-better-future Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:e5e0705b-641d-9ebb-e77a-08a5d5f9c8bd Tue, 05 Jan 2021 11:28:57 +0000 <p>Control of the Senate hangs in the balance, and our economy and constitutional order teeter. But I have hope<br></p><p>We are stuck in this interregnum, between a maladroit trying to burn down the Republic and a Normal Joe, wondering what sort of rabbit someone might pull out of a hat, waiting on a vaccine, trusting it will pass.</p><p>Control of the US Senate hangs in the balance, as Georgia voters head to the polls this Tuesday. It took 10 days to get presidential results out of the Peach State. Now we are again awaiting word, this time of whether Chuck Schumer or Mitch McConnell will control the 2021 calendar. In the meantime, the economy teeters alongside our constitutional order.</p><p>Art Cullen is editor of The Storm Lake Times in northwest Iowa, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. He is a Guardian US columnist and author of the book Storm Lake: Change, Resilience, and Hope in America’s Heartland</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jan/05/during-this-miserable-lame-duck-period-we-must-trust-in-a-better-future">Continue reading...</a> Here's something to give thanks for this Thanksgiving: our democracy survived | Art Cullen https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/25/heres-something-to-give-thanks-for-this-thanksgiving-our-democracy-survived Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:77720da3-cee4-e479-edb1-60460feed512 Wed, 25 Nov 2020 13:48:49 +0000 <p>Trump and company did everything possible to try to thwart rule of law. Americans wouldn’t stand for it<br></p><p>Going on 40 years I’ve been writing columns about giving thanks, and this year I mean it: thank God that America stood up for democracy again.</p><p>This year is among the worst. Pandemic is our parlance. Covid runs wild over Iowa while its government stands back and does little. The president thumbs his nose at the virus and at the rule of law, skirted impeachment thanks to feckless senators, and would steal a win through a faithless electoral college, if he could.</p><p>Mainly, the people demonstrated that liberty means something. They demanded their franchise as citizens. It could not be denied</p><p>Art Cullen is editor of The Storm Lake Times in north-west Iowa, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. He is a Guardian US columnist and author of the book Storm Lake: Change, Resilience, and Hope in America’s Heartland</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/25/heres-something-to-give-thanks-for-this-thanksgiving-our-democracy-survived">Continue reading...</a> Republican officials finally forced into action on Covid-19 as reality bites https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/20/republicans-coronavirus-covid-19-governors-mask-mandates Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:3485fcba-249b-5f75-2497-cc36b30938ea Fri, 20 Nov 2020 13:52:26 +0000 <p>Some GOP governors who for months toed Trump’s line on coronavirus, are performing U-turns on mask-wearing</p><p>After Republicans won big on election night in the state of Iowa, in America’s heartland, Governor Kim Reynolds claimed vindication for her light-handed approach to the coronavirus pandemic.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/17/republican-senator-chuck-grassley-tests-positive-coronavirus">Republican senator Chuck Grassley tests positive for coronavirus</a> </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/18/us-coronavirus-death-toll-250000-analysis">US engulfed in crisis as Covid death toll hits 250,000 – but there are signs of hope</a> </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/18/more-than-250000-americans-have-died-from-covid-19-the-tragic-story-in-numbers">More than 250,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. The tragic story in numbers</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/20/republicans-coronavirus-covid-19-governors-mask-mandates">Continue reading...</a> ‘He made a connection’: how did Trump manage to boost his support among rural Americans? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/20/trump-made-a-connection-here-rural-supporters-iowa Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:68c90e0c-29af-b439-df21-3c991923e1e7 Fri, 20 Nov 2020 11:00:27 +0000 <p>Despite overall defeat, Trump boosted his support in the Iowa heartland and some say sounded the death knell for the ‘country club Republican’ party there</p><p>Just a few months ago, Neil Shaffer thought Iowa was lost to Donald Trump.</p><p>“I was worried. We were in the midst of Covid and the economy wasn’t doing so good and Trump wasn’t handling the Covid interviews very well, and I was thinking this is gonna be a bloodbath,” said the farmer and chair of a county Republican party in the north-east of the state.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/04/democrats-fail-persuade-rural-america-heartlands-us-election-2020-trump">Democrats fail to persuade swaths of rural America's heartlands</a> </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/aug/21/iowa-us-election-trump-biden-voters">'I’m more for Trump than I was before': president clings to narrow lead in Iowa as Biden closes in</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/20/trump-made-a-connection-here-rural-supporters-iowa">Continue reading...</a> Tyson Foods managers bet on how many workers would get Covid, lawsuit alleges https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/19/tyson-foods-workers-covid-coronavirus-lawsuit Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:b14b392c-2a09-06fd-516e-92d584535000 Thu, 19 Nov 2020 19:58:20 +0000 <ul><li>Allegation made in wrongful death lawsuit against firm</li><li>Lawsuit claims company did not provide adequate PPE</li></ul><p>As hundreds of its employees were falling ill to Covid-19, managers and supervisors at a Tyson Foods pork processing plant in Waterloo, Iowa were placing bets on how many of their employees would contract the virus, alleges a <a href="https://htv-prod-media.s3.amazonaws.com/files/amended-complaint-tyson-1605748137.pdf">lawsuit</a> filed against one of America’s largest meat producers.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2020/nov/19/coronavirus-live-news-us-hospitals-stretched-to-limits-pfizer-seeks-vaccine-approval-in-days">Coronavirus live news: Italy reports 653 new deaths; French death toll increases by 429</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/19/tyson-foods-workers-covid-coronavirus-lawsuit">Continue reading...</a> New restrictions announced in US states seeing Covid-19 surges https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/09/covid-19-restrictions-new-york-oregon-new-jersey Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:a352a2bc-7827-3870-7aaf-c0a3f595af76 Mon, 09 Nov 2020 08:00:04 +0000 <p>Residents in Oregon are being asked to limit gatherings to six people while New York implements rules for out-of-state visitors</p><p>As America grapples with record-breaking surges in <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/coronavirus-outbreak">Covid-19</a> infections and no meaningful federal response, some state and local governments are implementing new restrictions to combat the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/06/us-coronavirus-record-daily-cases-thursday">surging </a>virus.</p><p>Other hard-hit areas, however, are taking little to no action against a pandemic that has claimed more than 200,000 lives and sent the US economy into a tailspin.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/07/us-covid-cases-friday-daily-record">US confirms over 126,000 Covid cases on Friday, third daily record in a row</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/09/covid-19-restrictions-new-york-oregon-new-jersey">Continue reading...</a> Democrats fail to persuade swaths of rural America's heartlands https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/04/democrats-fail-persuade-rural-america-heartlands-us-election-2020-trump Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:9edcf3d5-af37-9665-fbde-bbba87f68fc0 Wed, 04 Nov 2020 19:19:33 +0000 <p>Results across the midwest showed the US still divided as Trump again won Iowa and Republicans held on to crucial Senate seats</p><p>America’s rural heartland stuck firmly with Donald Trump on Tuesday, dashing Joe Biden’s hope of a decisive victory that would have allowed him to claim he had reunited the country, as well as undercutting Democratic expectations of winning the US Senate.</p><p>Results across the midwest showed the US still firmly divided as Trump again won a solid victory in Iowa, a state that twice voted for Barack Obama, and the Republicans held on to crucial Senate seats targeted by the Democrats.</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/04/democrats-fail-persuade-rural-america-heartlands-us-election-2020-trump">Continue reading...</a> It's been a strange trip. Four years ago, who would've thought Biden might win? | Art Cullen https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/02/its-been-a-strange-trip-four-years-ago-who-wouldve-thought-biden-might-win-iowa Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:a60685fd-2c6b-ddba-208e-10f5637ba4a6 Mon, 02 Nov 2020 11:38:40 +0000 <p>In 2016, Trump won the state by nine percentage points. Now it is in play - and a bellwether for the country<br></p><p>Nearly a year ago, at the side of a snowy and windswept county road in northwest Iowa, I climbed the steps on to the “No Malarkey” campaign bus. Joe Biden rose to greet me. “Where have I been? In South Carolina, that’s where!”</p><p>We had seen all the candidates but him – Pete Buttigieg was practically a next-door neighbor. The week before, we had asked in a headline in <a href="https://www.stormlake.com/">our little country paper</a>: “Where’s Joe?”</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/16/manufacturing-jobs-trump-promises-midwest">'It's all fake': Trump's manufacturing jobs promises ring hollow in midwest</a> </p><p>Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in northwest Iowa, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. He is a Guardian US columnist and author of the book Storm Lake: Change, Resilience, and Hope from America’s Heartland</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/nov/02/its-been-a-strange-trip-four-years-ago-who-wouldve-thought-biden-might-win-iowa">Continue reading...</a> Trump lead in Iowa poll rattles Democrats – but Biden still leads nationally https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/01/donald-trump-joe-biden-iowa-poll Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:a9ffa6bb-8b37-423d-d6bf-0bd91497bf05 Sun, 01 Nov 2020 17:13:01 +0000 <ul><li>Candidates compete for Iowa but other states offer big prizes</li><li><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/01/democracy-fascism-global-trump-biden-election">Scholars warn of collapse of democracy as election looms</a></li><li><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2020/nov/01/us-election-2020-donald-trump-joe-biden-mike-pence-kamala-harris-coronavirus-covid-19-live-updates">US politics – live coverage</a></li></ul><p>While Joe Biden is handily beating Donald Trump in national polls, two days out from election day, a <a href="https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/iowa-poll/2020/10/31/election-2020-iowa-poll-president-donald-trump-leads-joe-biden/6061937002/">new poll </a>from Iowa on Saturday night showed the president up by seven points.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/01/joe-biden-campaign-us-election">Joe Biden: from a campaign that almost collapsed to fighting Trump for the presidency</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/nov/01/donald-trump-joe-biden-iowa-poll">Continue reading...</a> US election roundup: Trump and Biden swing through battleground states https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/30/us-election-roundup-trump-biden-battleground-states-pandemic Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:9b5b60b6-ef93-ef48-0146-4c89dbf693d2 Fri, 30 Oct 2020 18:34:08 +0000 <p>Both candidates to campaign in Minnesota and Wisconsin while president rails against supreme court over North Carolina ruling</p><ul><li><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/series/us-politics-live/latest">US politics – live updates</a></li></ul><p>The two US presidential candidates swung through northern battleground states on Friday amid signs that the coronavirus pandemic was once more threatening to overcome hospital capacity in several US regions.</p><p>Donald Trump was due to hold a succession of airport rallies in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, while Joe Biden was scheduled to have drive-in rallies in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/30/is-america-a-democracy-us-election-fight-to-vote">Why this election calls into question whether America is a democracy</a> </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/30/donald-trump-coronavirus-deaths-don-jr">Donald Trump Jr and father play down Covid deaths as daily toll nears 1,000</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/30/us-election-roundup-trump-biden-battleground-states-pandemic">Continue reading...</a> Australians ask me what the mood is in the US. I say optimism, quickly smothered by dread | Chloe Angyal https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/30/australians-ask-me-what-the-mood-is-in-the-us-i-say-optimism-quickly-smothered-by-dread Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:3af85a14-b689-a45d-6836-63a0e33f3dfc Fri, 30 Oct 2020 01:51:41 +0000 <p>The contrast between America and Australia, where I grew up, is stark. I just hope the election brings relief</p><p>In Iowa, lawn signs keep vanishing. They’ll be there in the front garden one night, red white and blue against the unnaturally lush suburban American green grass, advertising to drivers and dog walkers alike that the people inside want Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States. “Joe 2020.” “Unity over division, Biden-Harris 2020.” “Bye-Don.” And the next morning, they’re gone. One man <a href="https://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2020/10/08/man-caught-stealing-yard-signs-caught-again-stealing-newspapers-spirit-lake-hull-iowa/5922956002/">got caught stealing a sign</a>, and then got caught stealing the newspapers reporting what he’d done. (Trump signs have been stolen and vandalised too).</p><p>Iowa, where the presidential primaries began with the shambolic caucuses in February, has become one of the most expensive electoral battlegrounds in the nation. In 2016, the state went for Trump by a massive 10 points after voting for Obama by two in 2012; the 12-point swing was the largest of any state in the nation. Now, the swing state is living up to that label: FiveThirtyEight has <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/president-general/iowa/">Biden slightly ahead</a>. But it’s not only the presidential race on the line: the incumbent Republican senator Joni Ernst is <a href="https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/senate/iowa/">neck-and-neck</a> with her Democratic challenger, Theresa Greenfield, who has raked in <a href="https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/520170-greenfield-raises-287-million-for-iowa-senate-bid">a staggering amount of money – $28.7m</a> in the third quarter of this year alone – to try to flip one of Iowa’s two red Senate seats to blue.</p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/28/us-election-polls-tracker-swing-states-donald-trump-joe-biden">US election polls tracker: who is leading in swing states, Trump or Biden?</a> </p><p> <span>Related: </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/29/the-us-electoral-system-is-a-shambles-they-could-learn-a-lot-from-australia">The US electoral system is a shambles. They could learn a lot from Australia | Bob Carr</a> </p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/30/australians-ask-me-what-the-mood-is-in-the-us-i-say-optimism-quickly-smothered-by-dread">Continue reading...</a> Feeling down about the state of America? Me too. But good news may be coming | Art Cullen https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/20/feeling-down-about-the-state-of-america-me-too-but-good-news-may-be-coming Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:8a6faa0a-98b1-0181-70e3-b5d6fb95a888 Tue, 20 Oct 2020 10:31:04 +0000 <p>Michelle Obama recently admitted she’s feeling depressed. It’s understandable - but there are reasons to feel hopeful<br></p><p>Leaves fall, blue turns to gray, snow covers the ground, and I should not write bad poetry. These are things you think when you go to the doctor at my age (63) to get blood drawn. It’s enough to give you a temporary hypertensive alarm. I was presented a mental health survey to complete while waiting for results, where I intimated that I may be a desperate man.</p><p>Irritable? Every day. Forlorn at least half the time. Sometimes close to despondent.</p><p>Everything I was taught in school about America has been turned on its head</p><p>Legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward will discuss the Trump presidency at a Guardian Live online event on Tuesday 27 October, 7pm GMT. <a href="https://membership.theguardian.com/event/bob-woodward-the-trump-presidency-124672706421">Book tickets here</a></p><p>Art Cullen is editor of the Storm Lake Times in north-west Iowa, where he won the Pulitzer prize for editorial writing. He is a Guardian US columnist and author of the book Storm Lake: Change, Resilience, and Hope in America’s Heartland</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/20/feeling-down-about-the-state-of-america-me-too-but-good-news-may-be-coming">Continue reading...</a> 'It's all fake': Trump's manufacturing jobs promises ring hollow in midwest https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/16/manufacturing-jobs-trump-promises-midwest Iowa | The Guardian urn:uuid:321d5d0d-cc88-a02c-3af3-18f557080f19 Fri, 16 Oct 2020 10:00:08 +0000 <p>Workers are feeling abandoned and betrayed after promises on the campaign trail to boost factory jobs fell woefully short </p><p>“I didn’t back down from my promises – and I’ve kept every single one,” Donald Trump told the Republican national convention in August as he campaigned for a second term. As the election nears, some of America’s hard-hit manufacturing workers are not convinced.</p><p>Shannon Mulcahy of Whitestown, Indiana, voted for Trump in the last election. This time his rival Joe Biden will get her vote. For 18 years she worked at the Rexnord steel bearings plant in Indianapolis before it <a href="https://www.wrtv.com/news/local-news/indianapolis/end-of-an-era-rexnord-closes-the-doors-of-its-indy-plant-for-good">shut down</a> in 2017, moving operations to Mexico. Mulcahy was one of 300 workers who lost their jobs.</p><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!</p><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!</p> <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/oct/16/manufacturing-jobs-trump-promises-midwest">Continue reading...</a>