NEWS 8/16/22: Crop Report, ITT Student Loan Discounts, Dixon County Crash Update and More – KWIT | Vette Leader

A Sioux City man has been identified as the motorist killed in a two-vehicle collision in Dixon County, Nebraska, Monday morning. The Nebraska State Patrol told Siouxland Public Media that 49-year-old Anthony Amo’s Honda Civic crossed the center line on Highway 12 outside of Newcastle and was heading east. Amo was thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. The truck driver was uninjured. The crash is still under investigation.

The percentage of corn and soybeans in Iowa that are rated good or excellent fell by at least 7 points last week, the largest such drop this year amid worsening drought conditions, the USDA said.

Monday’s latest report said 66% of the state’s corn and 63% of the state’s soybeans were good or excellent, up from 73% and 71% a week ago. This is a decrease of 7 and 8 percentage points respectively.

The area of ​​the worst drought remains in northwest Iowa near Sioux City. A new report is due on Thursday.

Sioux City set a daily record for rainfall Monday at 1.94 inches at Sioux Gateway Airport. Some locations in the greater area reported even higher amounts.

The Iowa Capital Dispatch reports that widespread moderate and severe drought conditions are affecting much of southern Iowa, where available soil moisture for crops is decreasing. Less than 10% of southwest Iowa’s topsoil and subsoil are sufficiently moist.

The opposite is true in northeast Iowa, where 90% of the soil has adequate or excess water.

Although harvesting conditions have deteriorated significantly this growing season, their ratings are still better than they were a year ago, when corn set an all-time yield record.

South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem has released a revised proposal for social studies standards in public schools. They would present a largely brilliant vision of American history after a first draft of the standards was heavily criticized last year by both conservatives and Native American educators. The Republican governor claims the new standards are free of “political agendas” and include an increased focus on Native American history. The new standards emphasize the qualities of American founders. Noem selected the 15-strong working group that drafted the proposal.

Nearly one thousand Iowans have no remaining federal student loans to pay that they used to attend the ITT Technical Institute. Her debt relief was announced today as part of a nationwide action by the Department of Education.

Since 2019, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has been working to secure debt relief for ITT alumni and says that last part is long overdue. Going forward, Miller says students should consider alternatives to a for-profit school.

The total loan amount disbursed for Iowa students is $15.7 million and covers money they received from January 2005 to September 2016, the year the school closed its doors.

State Comptroller Rob Sand says the Comptroller’s Office should serve all Iowans, not just those belonging to a political party. Democrat Sand told a small gathering at the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox at the State Fair that he had arranged for his leadership team to be represented by one Democrat, one Republican and one Independent. He says all Iowans should feel properly represented.

Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds said at a campaign rally in May that she wanted her “own” auditor. Sand says his office has issued reports critical of the governor’s office as well as reports supporting its work. Sand’s Republican opponent – Todd Halbur – is scheduled to speak at the Soapbox on Saturday.

Iowa Democratic Senate candidate Mike Franken of Sioux City says his campaign is about putting the country above the political party.

In a rain-cut speech at the Iowa State Fair on Monday, Franken said he was concerned the political divide was causing neighbors with opposing beliefs to lose trust in one another.

Guys, we can’t have this future. We must have a new dawn. We have to think differently about things. There are far more things that make us the same, with the same wants and desires, than what separates us.

He challenges Republican Chuck Grassley, who is seeking his eighth term in the US Senate.

Franken spoke in the Des Moines Register Political Soapbox.

The most recent Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa poll also showed Grassley to have an 8-point lead. But that lead is much smaller than what Grassley has seen in previous elections. The last time Grassley won an election by just 8 percentage points was in 1980, his first US Senate election, and he had won over 50% against his opponents in previous Iowa polls.

The Iowa Capital Dispatch reports that Grassley was also at the state fair Monday speaking with Iowa producers about new cattle price transparency laws, and he plans to return later this week to visit former Vice President Mike Pence. But the longtime senator should not speak at the soap box.

He’s one of many Republicans skipping the soapbox this year. Only three Republican candidates are scheduled to speak: Iowa Senator Zach Nunn, who is running against US Rep. Cindy Axne in the 3rd Circuit, and candidates for Iowa Attorney General and Certified Public Accountant. All three will face Democratic incumbents in November’s elections.

Franken challenged Grassley to a series of four debates in late July. So far no debates are planned.

Whether debates happen or not, Franken said he plans to use the last few months before the election to focus on rural and suburban areas where he hopes to win Republicans and independents. He’s nearing the goal of speaking in all 99 counties of Iowa and plans to return to places where he can feel an “ocean change.”

Democratic congressional candidate Ryan Melton says he wants to solve the problems contributing to rural population loss.

Melton challenges Republican incumbent Randy Feenstra to represent the 4th congressional district. He says his opponent didn’t do enough to improve the quality of life. Melton believes rural America can attract more young residents by investing in health care, education and raising the minimum wage.

Melton also says he opposes the proposed construction of carbon capture and sequestration pipelines across Iowa. He says he doesn’t think companies should be given significant domain to build a pipeline.

A state-funded program that has helped about 17,000 Iowans stay indoors with their lights on is ending soon.

In addition to paying arrears in rent, the Iowa Finance Authority’s Rent and Utility Assistance Program has higher income barriers, making it open to many more Iowans than comparable rent assistance programs.

Social service officials told Radio Iowa that the challenge will be finding programs that can fill the void.

The Iowa Finance Authority says the program will stop accepting new applicants by the end of August, following a national trend of recalling COVID-era aid programs.

A bee survey around the Luther College campus in Decorah has found some species not previously found there.

The students checked around 1,500 bees in the survey this summer. They identified 55 different species with seven new ones typically found in surrounding states.

Once they complete the survey, it will provide a good baseline for the bee population.

A researcher was stung once during the survey and says it was her fault. She says bees are pretty docile, but wasps and hornets are a different story. They are more aggressive.

Iowa Attorney General News Director Tom Miller:

Alumni of Iowa ITT Students Receive $15.7 Million in Replaced Loans

Miller: For-profit schools have misled students

DES MOINES — Attorney General Tom Miller welcomes Tuesday’s announcement by the US Department of Education that it would repay all remaining state student loans for alumni of the ITT Technical Institute. The decision means 900 Iowa borrowers will be forgiven $15.7 million of their debt.

Nationwide, 208,000 borrowers will receive $3.9 billion in full loan relief. The lawsuit covers all remaining federal student loans borrowers received to attend the nonprofit school from January 1, 2005 until it closed in September 2016. This includes borrowers who have not yet applied for a repayment relief borrower defense attorney.

“This is great news and it’s long overdue,” Miller said. “Our office has worked hard to help students who have been deceived and incurred debt for questionable training at ITT Tech.”

Richard Cordray, Chief Operating Officer of Federal Student Aid, said, “Today I am pleased to announce the results of our work with Attorney General Miller to hold ITT Technical Institute accountable for causing so many students to lose their time and money were cheated. Students who put their trust in ITT were lured by lies about their career prospects and did not receive the quality education they were promised. These students will now be cleared of their remaining federal student loan debt with no further action required.”

The Department of Education also announced that it has officially notified DeVry University that it is required to pay millions of dollars for approved borrower defense applications.

In September 2020, the AG office secured a $1.3 million debt relief agreement for former ITT tech students in Iowa as part of a settlement involving 48 attorneys general and the Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau were. This settlement was made with PEAKS Trust, a private lending program operated by the non-profit school and affiliated with Deutsche Bank companies.

In June 2019, Attorney General Miller was part of a $168 million settlement that resulted in debt relief for 18,664 former ITT students. This agreement was made with Student CU Connect CUSO, LLC, which also offered loans to fund tuition at ITT Tech.

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