Joyce Russell http://iowapublicradio.org en Nine Counties See Shipments of Bakken Crude http://iowapublicradio.org/post/nine-counties-see-shipments-bakken-crude <p>Officials with the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency &nbsp;released to the general public the routes rail lines take to haul crude oil through the state from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The rail lines are complying with a new federal mandate to report shipments of more than a million gallons. &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 20:57:11 +0000 Joyce Russell 43356 at http://iowapublicradio.org Nine Counties See Shipments of Bakken Crude Bakken Crude Routes Revealed http://iowapublicradio.org/post/bakken-crude-routes-revealed <p>The United States Department of Transportation &nbsp;has ordered the nation’s rail lines to let states know how much crude oil is coming through from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota.&nbsp; The &nbsp;Bakken crude is especially &nbsp;flammable and a number of derailments have resulted in disastrous fires.&nbsp;&nbsp; Iowa officials are &nbsp;in dispute with the rail lines about whether to release &nbsp;the information to the general &nbsp;public. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 03:49:24 +0000 Joyce Russell 42811 at http://iowapublicradio.org Bakken Crude Routes Revealed Controversial Hamburger Product Returns http://iowapublicradio.org/post/controversial-hamburger-product-returns-0 <p>A much-maligned beef product that’s sometimes added to&nbsp; hamburger is making a comeback after a sharp decline&nbsp; two years ago.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Processors cut back&nbsp; on the production of&nbsp; what they call finely textured beef when a nasty&nbsp; nickname “pink slime” caught on in the media.&nbsp;&nbsp; Now&nbsp; demand for the product is on the rise because of high beef prices. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 06:10:15 +0000 Joyce Russell 42326 at http://iowapublicradio.org Controversial Hamburger Product Returns Ernst Wins Republican Nomination http://iowapublicradio.org/post/ernst-wins-republican-nomination <p>After pulling ahead late in a crowded field, State Senator Joni Ernst won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate &nbsp;to replace retiring Democrat Tom Harkin. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Joyce Russell 41675 at http://iowapublicradio.org Ernst Wins Republican Nomination Nuclear Plant Economic Impact Touted http://iowapublicradio.org/post/nuclear-plant-economic-impact-touted <p>Iowa’s only nuclear power plant, the Duane Arnold Energy Center, &nbsp;is observing its fortieth year in operation with the release of a report showing its economic impact in &nbsp;the state.&nbsp;&nbsp; Governor Branstad joined company officials for a celebration at the plant outside Palo. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 15 May 2014 13:06:12 +0000 Joyce Russell 40661 at http://iowapublicradio.org Nuclear Plant Economic Impact Touted What Got Done in the 2014 Iowa Legislative Session? http://iowapublicradio.org/post/what-got-done-2014-iowa-legislative-session <p></p><p></p><p>The Iowa Legislature adjourned last week. Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse&nbsp;Correspondent Joyce Russell to discuss what got done this legislative year.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 05 May 2014 12:33:10 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 40154 at http://iowapublicradio.org What Got Done in the 2014 Iowa Legislative Session? Juvenile Home Reopening Nixed http://iowapublicradio.org/post/juvenile-home-reopening-nixed <p>A compromise budget bill &nbsp;means the Iowa Juvenile Home in Toledo will not reopen next year.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Democrats say the&nbsp; home will remain closed for the time being, regardless of the outcome of their lawsuit against the governor. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Tue, 29 Apr 2014 12:55:07 +0000 Joyce Russell 39866 at http://iowapublicradio.org Juvenile Home Reopening Nixed Four Iowa Sites Deemed Project Ready http://iowapublicradio.org/post/four-iowa-sites-deemed-project-ready <p>The Branstad administration has spent close to half a million dollars on an initiative &nbsp;designed to convince more companies to locate here rather than in another state.&nbsp;&nbsp; Four industrial sites have been designated as project ready, a trend officials say is catching on around the country. &nbsp;</p><p></p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 18:51:54 +0000 Joyce Russell 39827 at http://iowapublicradio.org Four Iowa Sites Deemed Project Ready Iowa Lawmakers Expect to Adjourn this Week http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-lawmakers-expect-adjourn-week <p></p><p>The predictions are out there that Iowa's legislative session will wrap up early this week. On Mondays we check in with IPR Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to make sense of everything going on up at the capitol.</p> Mon, 28 Apr 2014 13:04:10 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 39809 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa Lawmakers Expect to Adjourn this Week Medical Marijuana Bill Advances http://iowapublicradio.org/post/medical-marijuana-bill-advances <p>A bill to allow Iowa families to travel to other states and bring back a form of medical marijuana advanced &nbsp; in the Iowa Senate. &nbsp; Mo<span style="line-height: 1.5;">thers of epileptic kids pushed &nbsp;hard for the legislation, saying &nbsp;cannabis oil can help relieve &nbsp;their children’s seizures.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> Thu, 24 Apr 2014 00:43:20 +0000 Joyce Russell 39610 at http://iowapublicradio.org Medical Marijuana Bill Advances Tax Hike for Environment Advances http://iowapublicradio.org/post/tax-hike-environment-advances <p>Democrats in the Iowa Senate &nbsp;got the ball rolling on a bill that’s a dream come true for&nbsp; environmentalists&nbsp; and natural resource advocates.&nbsp;&nbsp; The bill raises the state&nbsp; sales tax for a natural resources trust fund that voters approved by constitutional amendment two years ago. &nbsp;Backers added a tax <u>cut</u>​&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">to the bill to soften the blow. &nbsp; &nbsp;</span></p><p></p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:23:15 +0000 Joyce Russell 39200 at http://iowapublicradio.org Tax Hike for Environment Advances Administrators Grilled Over Secret Payments http://iowapublicradio.org/post/administrators-grilled-over-secret-payments <p>The Iowa legislature’s oversight committee questioned top administrators at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services over payments made to laid-off state workers for keeping their settlements with the state confidential.&nbsp;&nbsp; But lawmakers still don't know where the authorization for the so-called hush money came from.</p><p></p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 12:02:39 +0000 Joyce Russell 39149 at http://iowapublicradio.org Administrators Grilled Over Secret Payments The Week Ahead at the Statehouse http://iowapublicradio.org/post/week-ahead-statehouse <p>Calls for further hearings regarding secret settlements, funding for Iowa's three Regent universities and an uncertain future for anti-bullying legislation.</p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Statehouse correspondent Joyce Russell speaks with </span>IPR’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Morning Edition Host Clay Masters.&nbsp;</span></p> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:30:56 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 39094 at http://iowapublicradio.org The Week Ahead at the Statehouse Food Aid Turned Down by Legislature http://iowapublicradio.org/post/food-aid-turned-down-legislature <p>In a procedural vote, the Iowa House <u>turned down</u> a million dollar appropriation to match private donations to Iowa’s food banks.&nbsp;&nbsp; The legislature <u>passed</u> a similar measure last year, but Governor Branstad vetoed it.&nbsp;&nbsp; One House Democrat spoke with unusual authority.&nbsp;&nbsp; Representative Ako&nbsp;Abdul-Samaad&nbsp; of Des Moines runs a soup kitchen as part of the Creative Visions social service agency he heads.&nbsp; Here are some of his remarks.</p><p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:18:40 +0000 Joyce Russell 38960 at http://iowapublicradio.org Food Aid Turned Down by Legislature Tuition Freeze Deal Threatened http://iowapublicradio.org/post/tuition-freeze-deal-threatened <p>In the Iowa House, the wheels fell off an agreement to <u>freeze tuition</u> for another year at Iowa’s Regents Universities, but only if all three schools get&nbsp; a 4% increase in state funds.&nbsp;&nbsp; Republicans have agreed to mandate the&nbsp; freeze,&nbsp; but not all the schools will get their promised raise. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:09:56 +0000 Joyce Russell 38959 at http://iowapublicradio.org Tuition Freeze Deal Threatened Administrative Services Director Carroll Fired Amid Hush Money Revelations http://iowapublicradio.org/post/administrative-services-director-carroll-fired-amid-hush-money-revelations <p>The embattled head of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services was fired today by Governor Branstad, after new evidence surfaced about confidential payments to&nbsp; laid-off state workers.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>The former employees reached&nbsp; settlements with the state through mediation. Director Mike Carroll told a legislative committee and the governor that his agency did not approve extra payments to workers who agreed to keep their settlements confidential.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:32:36 +0000 Durrie Bouscaren & Joyce Russell 38828 at http://iowapublicradio.org Administrative Services Director Carroll Fired Amid Hush Money Revelations Debate over Confidential Settlements to State Workers Continues http://iowapublicradio.org/post/debate-over-confidential-settlements-state-workers-continues <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p></p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 13:12:20 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 38724 at http://iowapublicradio.org Debate over Confidential Settlements to State Workers Continues Fired Workers Tell Their Stories http://iowapublicradio.org/post/fired-workers-tell-their-stories <p>Democrats in the Iowa Senate &nbsp;heard from four former state employees who lost their jobs in what the Branstad&nbsp; administration terms&nbsp; a reorganization of state government.&nbsp;&nbsp; Democrats object to what they call mass layoffs of so-called merit employees who were hired for their expertise, not their political connections.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; One worker&nbsp; told of receiving money for keeping her settlement private,&nbsp; a practice which&nbsp; Governor Branstad has now banned. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 14:25:10 +0000 Joyce Russell 38557 at http://iowapublicradio.org Fired Workers Tell Their Stories Price Tag for Bullying Bill Debated http://iowapublicradio.org/post/price-tag-bullying-bill-debated <p>A bill on Governor Branstad’s to-do list is sparking controversy&nbsp; at the statehouse.&nbsp; The bill addresses the problem of bullying in the schools,&nbsp; especially as it occurs on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; But how much money to spend on the&nbsp; problem remains a stumbling block.&nbsp;&nbsp; Also,&nbsp; a coalition of&nbsp; conservative House Republicans has its&nbsp; own ideas. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p></p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:26:06 +0000 Joyce Russell 38475 at http://iowapublicradio.org Price Tag for Bullying Bill Debated Confidential Settlements Still Front and Center at Iowa Statehouse http://iowapublicradio.org/post/confidential-settlements-still-front-and-center-iowa-statehouse <p></p><p></p><p></p><p>The issue of the Branstad&nbsp;administration's confidential settlements with laid-off state workers still seems to be front and center at the capitol. As much as $400,000 &nbsp;was given out to fired workers. That doesn't show up on any budgets or balance sheets. The governor for his part has outlawed such settlements. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to discuss where things stand with the settlements and other issues up for discussion in the legislature this week.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 31 Mar 2014 13:53:11 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 38372 at http://iowapublicradio.org Confidential Settlements Still Front and Center at Iowa Statehouse Senator McCaskill is ISU’s Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics http://iowapublicradio.org/post/senator-mccaskill-isu-s-mary-louise-smith-chair-women-and-politics <p>There are 20 women now serving in the U.S. Senate including Senator Claire McCaskill from Missouri. She is this semester’s Iowa State University Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics where Friday she delivered a lecture on the Ames campus. Fri, 28 Mar 2014 22:36:14 +0000 Joyce Russell 38293 at http://iowapublicradio.org Senator McCaskill is ISU’s Mary Louise Smith Chair in Women and Politics Greyhound Industry Fights Racetrack Bill http://iowapublicradio.org/post/greyhound-industry-fights-racetrack-bill <p>A three-member panel at the statehouse signed off on a &nbsp;bill to end greyhound racing at casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The casinos and the communities where they’re located say dog racing is a dying sport.&nbsp; But the greyhound industry is putting up a good fight. &nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 26 Mar 2014 21:51:38 +0000 Joyce Russell 38172 at http://iowapublicradio.org Greyhound Industry Fights Racetrack Bill Appropriations to Address Shortage of State Troopers http://iowapublicradio.org/post/appropriations-address-shortage-state-troopers <p>Cuts to the Department of Public Safety during the recession have left some Iowa counties without a single state trooper in residence. Now, the shortage may be alleviated under a justice system budget bill at the Statehouse.&nbsp;</p><p>Under the bill, the Department of Public Safety would receive about $6 million to hire 33 new troopers. Representative Gary Worthan (R-Storm Lake) says in the overnight hours, there are as few as 6 patrol officers on duty in the entire state.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 14:48:21 +0000 Joyce Russell 38018 at http://iowapublicradio.org Anti-Bullying and Rural Broadband Bills on Rocky Ground http://iowapublicradio.org/post/anti-bullying-and-rural-broadband-bills-rocky-ground <p></p><p>There are a number of signs that things are wrapping up much earlier this year at the Iowa statehouse. Republican and Democratic Leaders in the House and Senate say they are well ahead of schedule and there’s a few issues shaking out that will likely be fodder in 2014 campaigns.</p> Mon, 24 Mar 2014 11:50:14 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 38014 at http://iowapublicradio.org Anti-Bullying and Rural Broadband Bills on Rocky Ground Democrats To Investigate anti-Branstad claims http://iowapublicradio.org/post/democrats-investigate-anti-branstad-claims <p>Statehouse Democrats say the legislature's oversight committee will be very busy in the coming weeks, as they look into recent allegations against &nbsp;the Terry Branstad &nbsp;administration.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; They say the panel will first look into reports of secret settlements to fired state workers. &nbsp;</p><p></p><p></p> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 20:24:12 +0000 Joyce Russell 37863 at http://iowapublicradio.org Democrats To Investigate anti-Branstad claims Lawmakers Funnel More Bills Forward with Primary Election Looming http://iowapublicradio.org/post/lawmakers-funnel-more-bills-forward-primary-election-looming <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Last week was another deadline at the Iowa statehouse for lawmakers to get more laws through committee so they can be debated on the floor.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Mon, 17 Mar 2014 13:37:57 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 37669 at http://iowapublicradio.org Lawmakers Funnel More Bills Forward with Primary Election Looming Lawmakers talk Bullying, Budgets, Minimum Wage http://iowapublicradio.org/post/lawmakers-talk-bullying-budgets-minimum-wage <p></p><p>Many were anticipating budget targets last week, Democrats who control the Senate and Republicans who control the House, have come to some kind of an agreement or a launching point. IPR's Clay Masters checks in with Statehouse Correspondent Joyce Russell to preview the week ahead at the capitol. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 10 Mar 2014 13:27:35 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 37312 at http://iowapublicradio.org Lawmakers talk Bullying, Budgets, Minimum Wage Wage Theft Crackdown Approved http://iowapublicradio.org/post/wage-theft-crackdown-approved <p>On a strict party-line vote, the Iowa Senate &nbsp;approved legislation backers &nbsp;say will help crack down on employers who stiff workers for their wages.&nbsp;&nbsp; Lawmakers say they hear often from immigrant workers in particular in construction and other industries who say they did the work for contractors but didn’t get paid.&nbsp;&nbsp; Some employers tell a different story.</p><p></p> Wed, 05 Mar 2014 15:17:50 +0000 Joyce Russell 37109 at http://iowapublicradio.org Wage Theft Crackdown Approved Iowa Lawmakers Expect Early Legislative Adjournment http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-lawmakers-expect-early-legislative-adjournment <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Iowa legislative calendar has the last day of the 2014 session falling late next month. Last week Senate Majority Leader Mike&nbsp;</span>Gronstal<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, said Iowa Republicans and Democrats have gotten better working together.</span></p> Mon, 03 Mar 2014 12:25:18 +0000 Clay Masters & Joyce Russell 36994 at http://iowapublicradio.org Iowa Lawmakers Expect Early Legislative Adjournment Parties Spar Over Juvenile Home Bill http://iowapublicradio.org/post/parties-spar-over-juvenile-home-bill <p>On a strict party line vote, the Iowa Senate &nbsp;approved a Democratic bill calling for a facility for delinquent girls in Iowa comparable to the boy’s facility in Eldora.&nbsp; But &nbsp;Republicans say a state-run institution &nbsp;isn’t necessary, and the private sector can fill the need. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p> Thu, 27 Feb 2014 23:08:01 +0000 Joyce Russell 36898 at http://iowapublicradio.org Parties Spar Over Juvenile Home Bill