Latest Iowa news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT

Latest Iowa news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. CDT
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 3:23 AM CDT
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Meatpacking rebounds but high prices and backlogs to persist

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Meat production has rebounded from its low point during the coronavirus pandemic when dozens of plants were closed, but experts say consumer prices are likely to remain high. They also say it will take months to work through the backlog of millions of pigs and cattle that was created this spring, creating headaches for producers. The U.S. Agriculture Department says beef, pork and poultry plants were operating at more than 95% of last year's levels earlier this week. That was up from about 60% in April at the height of plant closures and slowdowns at the height of the plant closures and slowdowns.


Regulators back off major price increase for liquor in Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The government agency that regulates liquor sales in Iowa says it has backed off a major price increase for some products that it proposed to reduce heavy drinking.Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division spokesman Tyler Ackerson confirmed that distributors were notified last week of a price increase that was planned for July 1.But he said the notice created negative “feedback from suppliers and other stakeholders” and that the agency has dropped the plan indefinitely.Ackerson said distributors were concerned about the economic impact, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic. The planned increase had already been delayed from May 1 to July 1.


Iowa lawmakers unanimously OK bill limiting police actions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Legislature has swiftly passed a bill that responds to the demands of protesters marching against racial injustice, including restrictions on officers using choke holds and making it more difficult for problem officers to move to other departments. The bill surfaced Thursday and was debated simultaneously in the House and Senate before passing both chambers unanimously. Gov. Kim Reynolds watched the debate and vote in the House and then watched the Senate finish debate and vote.


Iowa buying 500 ventilators as second wave of virus looms

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The State of Iowa is moving ahead with a $10.3 million purchase to stockpile ventilators for coronavirus patients, even as demand for the breathing machines has dropped and 767 are currently available at hospitals statewide. The head of a distribution company hired to supply ventilators to the state says the decision to buy now is smart because new waves of the virus could still potentially overwhelm hospitals in the coming months. Records show that on March 30, Iowa's executive branch signed a contract to purchase 500 ventilators for $10.3 million. About 2 ½ months later, a spokeswoman says Iowa has only received five of them and expects to receive the rest over the next several months as production ramps up.


Republican lawmakers in Iowa push to limit absentee voting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has amended a bill sent to them by Senate Republican that would have limited the secretary of state’s ability to mail absentee ballot applications to all registered voters. The move comes barely a week after the state reported a record primary turnout largely due to such an action. Senate Republicans argue the changes are needed to fight voter fraud. The House amendment requires the secretary of state to seek permission from a legislative council before making election changes in an emergency.


Lawsuit alleges Des Moines police violated civil rights

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa woman has sued Des Moines police alleging they violated her civil rights when they sprayed her with a chemical irritant during a civil rights protest last month. The Des Moines Register reports that the lawsuit filed Wednesday by 24-year-old Essence Welch names the city of Des Moines, its police chief and an unnamed officer. It alleges she was hit with what she believes was pepper spray on May 30. The city attorney says they have had yet to review the lawsuit and would later respond to the court filings.