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Messages - Iowa

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1
Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible. According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses. Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have […]

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible.


According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses.


Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have spent a lot of time planning virtual caucuses, so he questions why the DNC is just now raising concerns.


"Yes, there are some concerns at the DNC about the ability to hack, but they haven't really tested that yet but it's something our party, and the other states that do caucuses and are considering, are looking carefully at," Brauch said.


The idea of offering an alternate way to caucus is so those who might be unable to physically attend can still participate. State Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Polk County, said it will make the caucuses more accessible to shift-workers, the elderly, people who are disabled and others who have difficulty attending.


Some are suggesting Iowa switches to a primary and completely drops the virtual caucus idea.




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But Petersen said Iowans want to maintain the caucus tradition.


"I think Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance of the Iowa caucuses and making sure they're successful," she said.


Back in the first week of the fair, DNC chair Tom Perez talked with Channel 13's political director Dave Price, and didn't voice any concern when asked about the virtual caucuses.


"I think we'll make it work. I know we've got some more work to do, but I'm confident it will work," Perez said.


Brauch said those kinks in the system are what they're working out right now. He said Iowa Democrats are working with different vendors to see which system is the most secure. The details too are being worked out, but he said the general concept is Democrats who want to "virtually" caucus will have to register in advance. They will then dial in to a number during one of the six time slots and enter in secure information before ranking their top candidates.


"It's not at all likely that somebody can get through this multi-layered security and break in and cast a false ballot shall we say," Brauch said.


Both Brauch and Petersen said ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.



Source: Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

2
Family Flutters in Memory of Daughter to Raise Money for Childhood Cancer Research

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa –It’s been a little more than a year since a West Des Moines couple lost their only child to cancer. Now, they’re trying to make sure other families don’t feel the heartbreaking pain. Elayna Sandeen loved princesses when she was little. “She was all bows and dresses,” said Mom Lucy Sandeen. Then it was Pokemon and Harry Potter. Lucy said, “Elayna was amazing. She was beautiful, smart, and funny. She was our little soulmate.” She was […]

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa –It's been a little more than a year since a West Des Moines couple lost their only child to cancer. Now, they're trying to make sure other families don't feel the heartbreaking pain.


Elayna Sandeen loved princesses when she was little. "She was all bows and dresses,” said Mom Lucy Sandeen.


Then it was Pokemon and Harry Potter. Lucy said, “Elayna was amazing. She was beautiful, smart, and funny. She was our little soulmate.”


She was healthy too, until one day she wasn't. “We thought a UTI or appendicitis would be the worst thing,” said Dad Jake Sandeen.


“I remember telling him, be prepared because they may need to put in an IV. It will be really traumatic for her,” added Lucy. “And then to find out what was coming was so much worse."


Elayna was diagnosed with cancer, she had a Wilms tumor, when she was five. Her prognosis looked good. Jake said, “I remember the doctor telling me, you have every reason to believe that you`re going to walk her down the wedding aisle someday. I took a lot of comfort in that.”


They enjoyed nine months of remission, but the cancer returned. “The sad part is, once we relapsed, our treatment path wasn`t clear anymore. There was no obvious protocol to follow. That`s directly because of a lack of funding for pediatric cancer research,” said Lucy.


That's why the family started fluttering. It was something Elayna enjoyed doing to raise money for Unravel Pediatric Cancer. Lucy explained the process saying, “They move a set of dragonflies and stakes from house to house. So, you start with one house and they are given information in an envelope, and if they choose to make a donation to Unravel, they choose the next house that the dragonflies will flutter to.”


In a video, Elayna explained, "To help raise money to help scientists fund research to a cure and someday there will be a cure!"


Elayna died in August of 2018 at the age of nine. We weren`t parents of a child with cancer, until the moment that she did, obviously, but I mean, we were a very happy, normal family. She was so healthy. And, it can just happen to any child, and that is something we didn`t really, completely understand,” said Lucy.


This April, the family started an Iowa chapter of Unravel in Elayna’s memory. More than thirty families are fluttering in the area, raising money for scientists to find a cure. Lucy said, “We miss Elayna so much. She was our everything, and so we just to keep going in her memory now and in honor of all the other kids we know who are fighting and still have a chance at beating this.”


The second annual Childhood Cancer Awareness and Fundraiser Walk to benefit Unravel Iowa is Sunday, September 29th from 4 to 6 p.m. It's at Banner Lakes at Summerset State Park in Carlisle. There will be a family friendly walk, mini golf, face painting, henna art, and superheroes. The event is a free-will donation.


The first Unravel Iowa Gala will take place in April at the venue Bash in downtown Des Moines.


You can find more information on the group’s Facebook Page. You can donate to pediatric cancer research on Unravel Pediatric Cancer’s website.


Source: Family Flutters in Memory of Daughter to Raise Money for Childhood Cancer Research

3
Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible. According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses. Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have […]

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible.


According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses.


Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have spent a lot of time planning virtual caucuses, so he questions why the DNC is just now raising concerns.


"Yes, there are some concerns at the DNC about the ability to hack, but they haven't really tested that yet but it's something our party, and the other states that do caucuses and are considering, are looking carefully at," Brauch said.


The idea of offering an alternate way to caucus is so those who might be unable to physically attend can still participate. State Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Polk County, said it will make the caucuses more accessible to shift-workers, the elderly, people who are disabled and others who have difficulty attending.


Some are suggesting Iowa switches to a primary and completely drops the virtual caucus idea.




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But Petersen said Iowans want to maintain the caucus tradition.


"I think Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance of the Iowa caucuses and making sure they're successful," she said.


Back in the first week of the fair, DNC chair Tom Perez talked with Channel 13's political director Dave Price, and didn't voice any concern when asked about the virtual caucuses.


"I think we'll make it work. I know we've got some more work to do, but I'm confident it will work," Perez said.


Brauch said those kinks in the system are what they're working out right now. He said Iowa Democrats are working with different vendors to see which system is the most secure. The details too are being worked out, but he said the general concept is Democrats who want to "virtually" caucus will have to register in advance. They will then dial in to a number during one of the six time slots and enter in secure information before ranking their top candidates.


"It's not at all likely that somebody can get through this multi-layered security and break in and cast a false ballot shall we say," Brauch said.


Both Brauch and Petersen said ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.



Source: Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

4
Iowa / Blackout License Plates are Sold Out in Some Counties
« on: September 14, 2019, 06:28:02 AM »
Blackout License Plates are Sold Out in Some Counties

AMES, Iowa  —  Blackouts are a sellout … but the Iowa DOT says more are on the way. More than 17,500 of the license plates, featuring white lettering over a plain black background, have been issued since they first became available on July 1st.  The DOT now says multiple counties have run out of the plates.  A new shipment is expected next week for those counties. The Iowa DOT recommends checking with your county Treasurer before heading in for new […]

AMES, Iowa  --  Blackouts are a sellout ... but the Iowa DOT says more are on the way.


More than 17,500 of the license plates, featuring white lettering over a plain black background, have been issued since they first became available on July 1st.  The DOT now says multiple counties have run out of the plates.  A new shipment is expected next week for those counties.


The Iowa DOT recommends checking with your county Treasurer before heading in for new plates.  You can still order them at your Treasurer's office and pick them up later.  You can also order them online.


The plates carry an extra charge on your vehicle registration, $10 for regular plates and $15 for personalized, that goes towards the state's Road Use Tax Fund to pay for road repairs.


Source: Blackout License Plates are Sold Out in Some Counties

5
Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible. According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses. Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have […]

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible.


According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses.


Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have spent a lot of time planning virtual caucuses, so he questions why the DNC is just now raising concerns.


"Yes, there are some concerns at the DNC about the ability to hack, but they haven't really tested that yet but it's something our party, and the other states that do caucuses and are considering, are looking carefully at," Brauch said.


The idea of offering an alternate way to caucus is so those who might be unable to physically attend can still participate. State Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Polk County, said it will make the caucuses more accessible to shift-workers, the elderly, people who are disabled and others who have difficulty attending.


Some are suggesting Iowa switches to a primary and completely drops the virtual caucus idea.




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But Petersen said Iowans want to maintain the caucus tradition.


"I think Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance of the Iowa caucuses and making sure they're successful," she said.


Back in the first week of the fair, DNC chair Tom Perez talked with Channel 13's political director Dave Price, and didn't voice any concern when asked about the virtual caucuses.


"I think we'll make it work. I know we've got some more work to do, but I'm confident it will work," Perez said.


Brauch said those kinks in the system are what they're working out right now. He said Iowa Democrats are working with different vendors to see which system is the most secure. The details too are being worked out, but he said the general concept is Democrats who want to "virtually" caucus will have to register in advance. They will then dial in to a number during one of the six time slots and enter in secure information before ranking their top candidates.


"It's not at all likely that somebody can get through this multi-layered security and break in and cast a false ballot shall we say," Brauch said.


Both Brauch and Petersen said ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.



Source: Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

6
Iowa / Des Moines Schools Experiencing Overcrowded Class Sizes
« on: September 13, 2019, 10:15:40 AM »
Des Moines Schools Experiencing Overcrowded Class Sizes

DES MOINES, Iowa –Des Moines Public Schools are experiencing overcrowded class sizes district-wide, with the worst being at Roosevelt High School. DMPS Communications Director Phil Roeder said a large factor in these overcrowded classes has been an ongoing problem with the state underfunding public education for the last decade. “There is only so much that can be done by a school district when we still have to serve the same number or more of students with fewer resources and that […]

DES MOINES, Iowa –Des Moines Public Schools are experiencing overcrowded class sizes district-wide, with the worst being at Roosevelt High School.


DMPS Communications Director Phil Roeder said a large factor in these overcrowded classes has been an ongoing problem with the state underfunding public education for the last decade.


“There is only so much that can be done by a school district when we still have to serve the same number or more of students with fewer resources and that includes fewer teachers,” Roeder said.


According to the district’s 2019 budget, there are 20 fewer teachers this year compared to last year.


“There is a lot of positions that aren’t being filled. We, unfortunately, had to lay off people at the district for many years. A lot of people whether they are retiring, whether they resign to go somewhere else those positions are being held open,” Roeder said.


Roosevelt High School English Teacher Andy Sutton said her class sizes have 35 to 40 students, the largest she has seen in her 13-year career.


“It feels chaotic. A lot of students, a lot of talking, it’s really hard to move around because students are back to back and their backpacks are on the floor,” Sutton said.


Roosevelt High School Social Studies Teacher Michael Shaw said the large numbers are affecting students' education.


“Just by the sheer numbers, the individual help that they are going to be able to receive is diminished from a classroom of 25 to a classroom of 35. It’s about a third less attention per kid. Even getting to know names at the beginning of the year,” Shaw said.


As of Wednesday, Roosevelt has seen an additional 126 students that were not anticipated this school year.


Class size averages for each of the high school’s include:



  • East High School: 22.72

  • Hoover High School: 18.44

  • Lincoln High School: 22.18

  • North High School: 24.14

  • Roosevelt High School: 27.62


Roeder said the numbers reflect a wide range of all classes.


“When you have some classes, for example, band is a class, band might have 150 people in it. You might have other classes that technically have only one or two students in it,” Roeder said.


Roeder said the district is working with school counselors to help switch students' schedules around to help with the overcrowding.


“We have some students that will be able to take some of the classes that they are currently in online, so that will help to bring some of the numbers down as well,” Roeder said.


Des Moines Public Schools cut $24 million from its budget this year and estimates to cut another $24 million next year.


Roeder said one way the district saved money this year was ending its adult education program and using the money for its middle school students.


State legislators increased public education’s general funding by two percent, for a total of $78.6 million in new money. Roeder said, that isn’t enough.


“In a lot of ways, it is treading water. I mean if you see cost increase three percent of four percent than two percent is better than nothing but it also means you have a gap still to fill,” Roeder said.


Sutton and Shaw both agree having more teachers would help the larger classes at Roosevelt.


“I think having more teachers would be a benefit of that. Unfortunately, our legislature keeps cutting and cutting and cutting our budget and that means more cuts in the district and a lot of times that means more cuts with teachers,” Sutton said.


The DMPS School Board will vote Tuesday to add an item to the November ballot. If passed, voters will be able to vote on increasing the Physical Plant and Equipment Property Tax and lower other levies. It would not increase taxes, just change where the money is earmarked for.


If passed by voters, it will give the district $6.5 million to purchase new classroom technology for students.


Source: Des Moines Schools Experiencing Overcrowded Class Sizes

7
Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible. According to Bloomberg,?  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses. Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have […]

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible.


According to Bloomberg,?  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses.


Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have spent a lot of time planning virtual caucuses, so he questions why the DNC is just now raising concerns.


"Yes, there are some concerns at the DNC about the ability to hack, but they haven't really tested that yet but it's something our party, and the other states that do caucuses and are considering, are looking carefully at," Brauch said.


The idea of offering an alternate way to caucus is so those who might be unable to physically attend can still participate. State Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Polk County, said it will make the caucuses more accessible to shift-workers, the elderly, people who are disabled and others who have difficulty attending.


Some are suggesting Iowa switches to a primary and completely drops the virtual caucus idea.




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But Petersen said Iowans want to maintain the caucus tradition.


"I think Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance of the Iowa caucuses and making sure they're successful," she said.


Back in the first week of the fair, DNC chair Tom Perez talked with Channel 13's political director Dave Price, and didn't voice any concern when asked about the virtual caucuses.


"I think we'll make it work. I know we've got some more work to do, but I'm confident it will work," Perez said.


Brauch said those kinks in the system are what they're working out right now. He said Iowa Democrats are working with different vendors to see which system is the most secure. The details too are being worked out, but he said the general concept is Democrats who want to "virtually" caucus will have to register in advance. They will then dial in to a number during one of the six time slots and enter in secure information before ranking their top candidates.


"It's not at all likely that somebody can get through this multi-layered security and break in and cast a false ballot shall we say," Brauch said.


Both Brauch and Petersen said ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.



Source: Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

8
Iowa / Trump Administration Plans to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes
« on: September 12, 2019, 04:25:09 PM »
Trump Administration Plans to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

WASHINGTON, DC?  —? President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the US Food and Drug Administration would be putting out “some very strong recommendations”? regarding the use of flavored e-cigarettes in “a couple of weeks.” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, seated in the Oval Office with the President, first lady Melania Trump and the acting commissioner of the FDA, announced that newly proposed enforcement policy would require flavored e-cigarette companies to take their products off the market. “It’ll take several weeks […]

WASHINGTON, DC?  —? President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the US Food and Drug Administration would be putting out “some very strong recommendations”? regarding the use of flavored e-cigarettes in “a couple of weeks.”


Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, seated in the Oval Office with the President, first lady Melania Trump and the acting commissioner of the FDA, announced that newly proposed enforcement policy would require flavored e-cigarette companies to take their products off the market.


“It’ll take several weeks for us to put out the final guidance that will announce all the parameters around the enforcement policy, and then there will likely be about a 30-day delay to effective date, as is customary,” Azar said. But “at that point all flavored e-cigarettes other than tobacco flavor would have to be removed from the market.”


By May 20, he said, e-cigarette companies making tobacco-flavored products would have the chance to file for approval by the FDA. At that time, flavored-product manufacturers would also have the opportunity to file, but their products would be off the market until approved.


A? sixth person? in the United States has died from lung disease related to vaping,? Kansas health officials said Tuesday.


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA and state health departments have been investigating this outbreak. Health officials say they haven’t found a definitive cause or a clear connection between cases, but some are zeroing in on potential clues.


As of Friday,? there have been more than 450 possible cases? of lung illness associated with using e-cigarettes reported to the CDC across 33 states and the US Virgin Islands. The numbers have been changing frequently.


The first lady, whose “Be Best” platform focuses in part on children’s health and combating addiction, has spoken out more than once over her concerns over e-cigarette use by children.


“I am deeply concerned about the growing epidemic of e-cigarette use in our children. We need to do all we can to protect the public from tobacco-related disease and death, and prevent e-cigarettes from becoming an on-ramp to nicotine addiction for a generation of youth,” she? tweeted earlier this week.


Source: Trump Administration Plans to Ban Flavored E-Cigarettes

9
Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible. According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses. Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have […]

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible.


According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses.


Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have spent a lot of time planning virtual caucuses, so he questions why the DNC is just now raising concerns.


"Yes, there are some concerns at the DNC about the ability to hack, but they haven't really tested that yet but it's something our party, and the other states that do caucuses and are considering, are looking carefully at," Brauch said.


The idea of offering an alternate way to caucus is so those who might be unable to physically attend can still participate. State Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Polk County, said it will make the caucuses more accessible to shift-workers, the elderly, people who are disabled and others who have difficulty attending.


Some are suggesting Iowa switches to a primary and completely drops the virtual caucus idea.




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But Petersen said Iowans want to maintain the caucus tradition.


"I think Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance of the Iowa caucuses and making sure they're successful," she said.


Back in the first week of the fair, DNC chair Tom Perez talked with Channel 13's political director Dave Price, and didn't voice any concern when asked about the virtual caucuses.


"I think we'll make it work. I know we've got some more work to do, but I'm confident it will work," Perez said.


Brauch said those kinks in the system are what they're working out right now. He said Iowa Democrats are working with different vendors to see which system is the most secure. The details too are being worked out, but he said the general concept is Democrats who want to "virtually" caucus will have to register in advance. They will then dial in to a number during one of the six time slots and enter in secure information before ranking their top candidates.


"It's not at all likely that somebody can get through this multi-layered security and break in and cast a false ballot shall we say," Brauch said.


Both Brauch and Petersen said ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.



Source: Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

10
Iowa / U.S. Pork Exports Beat Records
« on: September 11, 2019, 10:36:11 PM »
U.S. Pork Exports Beat Records

U.S. pork exports reached a record high in July, while beef exports were steady according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. July pork exports surged to 233,242 metric tons, a 32% jump above what was a record in 2018. With the value now at $623.3 million, up 34%. Although U.S. pork products face large tariffs in China, American pork exports to China and Hong Kong contributed a large chunk of the volume. Beef exports, on the other hand, also went […]

U.S. pork exports reached a record high in July, while beef exports were steady according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


July pork exports surged to 233,242 metric tons, a 32% jump above what was a record in 2018. With the value now at $623.3 million, up 34%.


Although U.S. pork products face large tariffs in China, American pork exports to China and Hong Kong contributed a large chunk of the volume.


Beef exports, on the other hand, also went up but by only 1% to 117,842 metric tons.


Source: U.S. Pork Exports Beat Records

11
Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible. According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses. Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have […]

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible.


According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses.


Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have spent a lot of time planning virtual caucuses, so he questions why the DNC is just now raising concerns.


"Yes, there are some concerns at the DNC about the ability to hack, but they haven't really tested that yet but it's something our party, and the other states that do caucuses and are considering, are looking carefully at," Brauch said.


The idea of offering an alternate way to caucus is so those who might be unable to physically attend can still participate. State Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Polk County, said it will make the caucuses more accessible to shift-workers, the elderly, people who are disabled and others who have difficulty attending.


Some are suggesting Iowa switches to a primary and completely drops the virtual caucus idea.




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But Petersen said Iowans want to maintain the caucus tradition.


"I think Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance of the Iowa caucuses and making sure they're successful," she said.


Back in the first week of the fair, DNC chair Tom Perez talked with Channel 13's political director Dave Price, and didn't voice any concern when asked about the virtual caucuses.


"I think we'll make it work. I know we've got some more work to do, but I'm confident it will work," Perez said.


Brauch said those kinks in the system are what they're working out right now. He said Iowa Democrats are working with different vendors to see which system is the most secure. The details too are being worked out, but he said the general concept is Democrats who want to "virtually" caucus will have to register in advance. They will then dial in to a number during one of the six time slots and enter in secure information before ranking their top candidates.


"It's not at all likely that somebody can get through this multi-layered security and break in and cast a false ballot shall we say," Brauch said.


Both Brauch and Petersen said ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.



Source: Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

12
Iowa / Massive Fire in Ellsworth Destroys Building Housing Antique Cars
« on: September 10, 2019, 11:40:11 PM »
Massive Fire in Ellsworth Destroys Building Housing Antique Cars

ELLSWORTH, Iowa — A massive fire in Ellsworth completely destroyed a building and kept firefighters busy Monday night. Firefighters were called to QC Supply in the 1500 block of Desota Street just after 6 p.m. Flames and thick, black smoke were pouring out of the building when they arrived. Firefighters said the doors and windows of the building were all blown out. Several antique cars inside the building are all destroyed. No one was injured in the fire. Firefighters are […]

ELLSWORTH, Iowa -- A massive fire in Ellsworth completely destroyed a building and kept firefighters busy Monday night.


Firefighters were called to QC Supply in the 1500 block of Desota Street just after 6 p.m. Flames and thick, black smoke were pouring out of the building when they arrived. Firefighters said the doors and windows of the building were all blown out. Several antique cars inside the building are all destroyed. No one was injured in the fire.


A fire completely destroyed a building in the 1500 block of Desota Street in Ellsworth on Sept. 9, 2019.


Firefighters are investigating the cause of the fire but said it could be the result of an explosion because the windows are all blown out.


Source: Massive Fire in Ellsworth Destroys Building Housing Antique Cars

13
Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible. According to Bloomberg,?  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses. Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have […]

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible.


According to Bloomberg,?  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses.


Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have spent a lot of time planning virtual caucuses, so he questions why the DNC is just now raising concerns.


"Yes, there are some concerns at the DNC about the ability to hack, but they haven't really tested that yet but it's something our party, and the other states that do caucuses and are considering, are looking carefully at," Brauch said.


The idea of offering an alternate way to caucus is so those who might be unable to physically attend can still participate. State Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Polk County, said it will make the caucuses more accessible to shift-workers, the elderly, people who are disabled and others who have difficulty attending.


Some are suggesting Iowa switches to a primary and completely drops the virtual caucus idea.




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But Petersen said Iowans want to maintain the caucus tradition.


"I think Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance of the Iowa caucuses and making sure they're successful," she said.


Back in the first week of the fair, DNC chair Tom Perez talked with Channel 13's political director Dave Price, and didn't voice any concern when asked about the virtual caucuses.


"I think we'll make it work. I know we've got some more work to do, but I'm confident it will work," Perez said.


Brauch said those kinks in the system are what they're working out right now. He said Iowa Democrats are working with different vendors to see which system is the most secure. The details too are being worked out, but he said the general concept is Democrats who want to "virtually" caucus will have to register in advance. They will then dial in to a number during one of the six time slots and enter in secure information before ranking their top candidates.


"It's not at all likely that somebody can get through this multi-layered security and break in and cast a false ballot shall we say," Brauch said.


Both Brauch and Petersen said ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.



Source: Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

14
Iowa / New Technology Hub Offers a Unique Opportunity to Rural Students
« on: September 09, 2019, 10:02:16 PM »
New Technology Hub Offers a Unique Opportunity to Rural Students

JEFFERSON, Iowa — A new rural Iowa scholarship program will allow students to be a part of a pilot program to train rural-based students in high-value, high demand software development and technology skills. The Forge, located in Jefferson, will serve as a learning hub for students awarded this scholarship opportunity through Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). Students will be enrolled in a fourth-month, tuition-free software development training provided by Accenture and designed to prepare rural area students for high-demand, […]

JEFFERSON, Iowa -- A new rural Iowa scholarship program will allow students to be a part of a pilot program to train rural-based students in high-value, high demand software development and technology skills.


The Forge, located in Jefferson, will serve as a learning hub for students awarded this scholarship opportunity through Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC). Students will be enrolled in a fourth-month, tuition-free software development training provided by Accenture and designed to prepare rural area students for high-demand, software development jobs in Iowa.


"It really helps our young people start to see the cutting-edge careers that they can have right here in our communities no matter where they live,” said Gov. Kim Reynolds.


Corteva in partnership with DMACC created the Rural Scholarship program committing $187,500 to support 25 scholarships to qualifying applicants. Students will also be eligible for internships, jobs, and mentorship opportunities with partnering companies Accenture and Corteva.? 


“Rural communities like Jefferson ... this is close to us and we are not just in the community ... we Corteva are part of the communities that we are in,” said James Alcombright, executive IT digital platform leader at Corteva.


Safura Kahn, a student from Glidden, is the program’s first scholarship recipient. Kahn is hoping to learn new software and technology skills that will propel her into a career in engineering. She says a major draw to The Forge is the opportunity to learn new skills without accumulating any debt.? 


We want to keep encouraging other businesses to participate and encourage our kids to come here and take advantage of this opportunity. So they are learning a skill for a cutting-edge career with little to no debt and that is a win-win for everyone,” said Reynolds.


The Forge’s major goal is to bring top technology training to untapped talent in cities such as Jefferson.


“Iowa is the center of the country. It’s got wonderful education institutions, [Jefferson’s] proximity to Des Moines, and frankly it's a city that's hungry for future development,” said Chad Jerdee, global head of Responsible Business Corporate Sustainability in Citizenship at Accenture.


Another round of scholarship applications will be accepted until Nov. 1, 2019. For more information or to apply, visit DMACC’s website.


“If you don’t want to be in debt, you should definitely try it out. It’s been a good experience, don’t hesitate, give it a shot and you’ll love it,” said Kahn.


Source: New Technology Hub Offers a Unique Opportunity to Rural Students

15
Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible. According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses. Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have […]

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Democratic National Committee is voicing concerns over virtual caucusing, which could potentially overturn months of preparation by Iowa Democrats to make the caucuses more accessible.


According to Bloomberg,  internal experts were able to hack into a committee conference call with the Iowa and Nevada Democratic Parties at a DNC Rules and By-Laws Committee session Thursday. This raised concerns for members about call-in voting for the caucuses.


Bill Brauch, a party activist, said Iowa Democrats have spent a lot of time planning virtual caucuses, so he questions why the DNC is just now raising concerns.


"Yes, there are some concerns at the DNC about the ability to hack, but they haven't really tested that yet but it's something our party, and the other states that do caucuses and are considering, are looking carefully at," Brauch said.


The idea of offering an alternate way to caucus is so those who might be unable to physically attend can still participate. State Sen. Janet Petersen, D-Polk County, said it will make the caucuses more accessible to shift-workers, the elderly, people who are disabled and others who have difficulty attending.


Some are suggesting Iowa switches to a primary and completely drops the virtual caucus idea.




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But Petersen said Iowans want to maintain the caucus tradition.


"I think Democrats and Republicans agree on the importance of the Iowa caucuses and making sure they're successful," she said.


Back in the first week of the fair, DNC chair Tom Perez talked with Channel 13's political director Dave Price, and didn't voice any concern when asked about the virtual caucuses.


"I think we'll make it work. I know we've got some more work to do, but I'm confident it will work," Perez said.


Brauch said those kinks in the system are what they're working out right now. He said Iowa Democrats are working with different vendors to see which system is the most secure. The details too are being worked out, but he said the general concept is Democrats who want to "virtually" caucus will have to register in advance. They will then dial in to a number during one of the six time slots and enter in secure information before ranking their top candidates.


"It's not at all likely that somebody can get through this multi-layered security and break in and cast a false ballot shall we say," Brauch said.


Both Brauch and Petersen said ultimately the pros outweigh the cons.



Source: Iowa Democrats “Not Worried” Amidst DNC Concerns with Virtual Caucuses

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