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Wednesday’s scattered storms will give way to extreme heat for the weekend

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Wednesday’s scattered storms will give way to extreme heat for the weekend


You may see scattered storms on Wednesday, but sunshine and warm temperatures are returning for the end of the week.

When will temperatures start to rise in Iowa?

Storm systems will begin to depart Iowa on Thursday morning, allowing some sunshine to come in, the National Weather Service’s Des Moines office wrote posted on social media.

Temperatures will begin to rise on Thursday, with highs across the state varying from 81 to 86 degrees, and 83 to 88 degrees on Friday. NWS warned outdoor conditions may be uncomfortable, as humidity will be high as well.

What’s the weekend heat index forecast in Des Moines?

The heat will push the heat index back into the 100s across Iowa through the weekend.

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In Des Moines, the heat index forecast is 92 degrees on Friday, 99 on Saturday and as high as 104 degrees on Sunday.

Most of Iowa is expected to see a heat index in the high 90s to low triple digits throughout the weekend as temperatures rise.

How to stay safe during extreme heat in Iowa

The National Weather Service says that excessive heat can be taxing to the body and cause various heat-related illnesses. Here are tips from NWS on how to stay safe during a heat wave:

Outdoor Activities

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  • Reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Those particularly vulnerable to heat such as children, infants, older adults, those with chronic medical conditions and those pregnant should stay in the coolest available place.
  • Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
  • Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.

Eating and Drinking

  • Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads. If you pack food, put it in a cooler or carry an ice pack. Don’t leave it sitting in the sun. Meats and dairy products can spoil quickly in hot weather.
  • Drink plenty of water, non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty.

Cooling Down

  • Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries.
  • Use portable fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air.
  • Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90°F. The dry blowing air will dehydrate you faster, endangering your health.
  • Take a cool bath or shower.

Victoria Reyna-Rodriguez is a general assignment reporter for the Register. Reach her at vreynarodriguez@registermedia.com or follow her on Twitter @VictoriaReynaR.





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Iowa

Psst! Iowa's conservative economic development doctrine is not working • Iowa Capital Dispatch

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Psst! Iowa's conservative economic development doctrine is not working • Iowa Capital Dispatch


We should talk.

Please go to a quiet corner of the room, away from prying eyes and ears, and then read this column. If you tell anyone what I wrote here, I will deny it and claim an imposter posted under my name.  Here is what you need to know: It is not working.

The cold, stark reality of this came to me when two events took place. The first was when I watched the conclusion of the Indianapolis 500 and observed the winning car drive over the black and white checkered tile to the winner’s circle sponsored by Hy-Vee. Hy-Vee, which closed three stores serving middle-income Iowans and cut the hours on another, could afford the pretty penny it took to land that advertising spot.

If that wasn’t enough, just this past month the darling of Iowa manufacturing, John Deere, started announcing layoffs a few at a time, but the total is now approaching 2, 000. The blame lay on the fact that the price of corn was falling, down under $5 a bushel.

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The company, which recently drew its own national television audiences last weekend with the annual John Deere Classic golf tournament, had assets last year of $104 billion, up 15% from the previous year. Even with lower farm income projections for this year, Deere expects profits this year to exceed $7 billion.

Then came the kicker, the cold glass of water thrown in your face: Deere will move further operations to Mexico in 2025-2026.

It raises the question: What more can we give them and other large corporations so that they will come and stay in Iowa? That is the challenge when you consider all our state government has done since 2012:

  • Under Gov. Terry Branstad, we cut taxes on business equipment and commercial property.
  • We reduced the required contributions employers must make to the unemployed insurance fund and lowered and delayed benefits to those out of work.
  • We have expanded the labor force by allowing children 14 years old to work in factories, removed any restrictions on those 16- or 17-year-olds who are now permitted to work the same hours as an adult. This expanded the labor source in Iowa and reduced costs.
  • Iowa has given outright $30 million for manufacturers’ plant modernization.
  • Most recently, $93 million was made available to any two businesses that would create a mega site for future commercial enterprises to locate.
  • We crippled labor unions by basically abrogating the collective bargaining act for public employees. We require unions to certify their right to bargain for their members by mandating annual votes of approval of the membership.
  • We reduced and will eliminate income taxes on businesses’ highest-paid executives while cutting lower wage earners’ taxes only slightly.
  • We have lost count of how much cash and land we have given away to the titans of capitalism under the promise that it would create “good jobs.”

Even a critic would not say that our leaders have not pursued an aggressive and expensive policy of a conservative doctrine of economic development. But here is what I want you to know: It is not working.

A few factors jumped out in support of this conclusion. First, Iowa’s population grew in 2022 a reported 0.01% and of that growth, a substantial number was from immigrants.  The average state saw a population increase of 0.03% and some went as high as 5 and 6%.

More bad news was what the Bureau of Economic Analysis told us most recently. Among all states, Iowa was 48th for growth in personal income. That was second-lowest score nationally, tied with Mississippi. Upon graduation, 46% of our college graduates leave Iowa and seek employment elsewhere.  Over 300 teachers are planning to depart the state after we gutted Area Education Agencies. Nationally, our rank among those high school students taking the SAT continues to decline.

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Now a cynic would argue that this plan represents what our leaders want Iowa to become: A primarily Christian, not public, taught population, poorly educated but worker trained. But I assume the governor and her allies are working in good faith.

To be helpful, I would only make one minor suggestion. Until recently, Iowa’s motto was “Iowa A Place to Grow.” Bring it back, it’s good. But a special and specific slogan for wealthy individuals and international corporations of vast financial resources: “Come to Iowa. Get the money and run, like a Deere, to Mexico.”

We all have witnessed the governor’s capacity for retribution for those who drew her wrath.

I deny that I wrote this article.

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Over 30K Iowa students OK’d for education savings accounts

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Over 30K Iowa students OK’d for education savings accounts


From left, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and The Family Leader president and Chief Executive Officer Bob VanderPlaats sit for a discussion Friday at The Family Leadership Summit in Des Moines. Reynolds touted her education policies. (Caleb McCullough/Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau)

DES MOINES — More than 30,000 Iowa students have been approved for a state program to use state dollars to pay private school tuition in the upcoming school year, Gov. Kim Reynolds said Friday.

The numbers indicate an increase of more than 11,000 students from the 2023-24 school year. It’s about 10,000 more than the nonpartisan legislative services agency estimated would participate when the law was passed in 2023.

The Republican governor made the announcement at the annual Family Leadership Summit hosted by the conservative evangelical organization The Family Leader during a conversation with Betsy DeVos, the former U.S. secretary of education under then-President Donald Trump.

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The state received 35,417 applicants for the program before the June 30 deadline, Reynolds’ spokesperson Kollin Crompton said. Applications are still being reviewed, but more than 30,000 have been approved so far.

Approved students will be able to use their full per-pupil state funding to pay for tuition at an accredited private school. Not all of those students may end up attending a private school with the funds. If a student does not attend a private school, the account is closed and the money remains with the state.

During the conference, DeVos praised Reynolds’ push to pass the education savings account program. Reynolds endorsed primary challengers to Republicans who opposed a narrower version of the plan in 2022, many of which lost their primaries to candidates who supported the program.

“She really did set a new tone when taking on members of her party who refused to make that step to give families more power,” DeVos said. “And it was not without a lot of difficulty and a lot of political capital, shall we say. But clearly she knew where her constituents in Iowa were and are on that subject.”

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Reynolds said the COVID-19 pandemic, when instruction was moved primarily online and parents had a closer view of educational instruction, solidified her support for private school choice initiatives.

She said the program will give families who otherwise could not afford private school the opportunity to send students to a school that best fits their needs. About 60 percent of the approved applicants last year already attended private school, while 40 percent were public school students.

“We had school choice prior to this … but it was only if you had the means to do that,” Reynolds said. “And that is just not right. It’s not fair. And so I forged on a mission to get things turned around.”

Reynolds said she believes her education policies will improve public schools as well as private schools. She pointed to open enrollment changes, a teacher salary increase and literacy standards passed in this year’s legislative session as examples of improvements to public schools under her administration.

The education savings account program was Reynolds’ top policy priority in 2023, and one of several education changes she has pursued in recent years as governor. The program cost the state about $128 million last budget year.

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This year, Reynolds signed a bill into law that overhauls the state’s area education agencies, which provide special education support to Iowa school districts. The law also increased the minimum teacher salary to $50,000 by the 2025-26 school year.

Under the law, funding that now goes to the AEAs will eventually go directly to school districts, and they will need to contract with the AEAs to provide special education services. AEA funding for media and other education services will go directly to the school districts, which can spend it on any general fund purpose outside the AEAs.

Reynolds calls DeVos role model

DeVos served as the U.S. secretary of education under Trump from 2017 to 2021. She is a strong proponent of private school choice policies and has led several conservative education think tanks.

Reynolds said DeVos has been a role model for her and said she was inspired by DeVos’ work as secretary of education.

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“You never backed away from your beliefs or what you went there to do and I thought if she can do this at the federal level, I could do this at the state level,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds in May denied suggestions, first reported in the Daily Caller, that she was interested in serving as secretary of education in a potential second Trump administration.

The conservative outlet attributed an unnamed spokesperson who said Reynolds may be interested in the position. But Reynolds said the report “mistook the way I talk about education” as being interested in the job.

“I am passionate about education. I’m proud of what we’re doing,” Reynolds said at the time. “I mean, it started with STEM, it started with registered apprenticeship programs, literacy, parental choice. So I’ve got a lot of work to do as governor.”

Democrats have opposed many of Reynolds’ education policies, saying they will weaken public schools and funnel taxpayer dollars to unaccountable private institutions. In a statement, Iowa House Minority Leader Jennifer Konfrst, D-Windsor Heights, said the Iowa GOP has gone too far in its education policies.

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“Iowans are sick and tired of politics. Governor Reynolds celebrating her voucher bill with billionaire Betsy DeVos and the special interests today is a huge reason why,” Konfrst said in a statement. “Iowans overwhelmingly oppose vouchers because public money is for public education. They don’t want more public schools to close and they sure don’t want their kids to lose access to special education services.”





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Iowa used to have character, but now 'it's definitely changed' – Dixon

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Iowa used to have character, but now 'it's definitely changed' – Dixon


Iowa Speedway’s effort to repave a significant portion of its 0.875-mile oval is providing the NTT IndyCar Series an exceptional amount of grip in the corners. It’s also proven to be a new complication for the series’ Firestone tires, which haven’t shown the same kind of degradation that’s made many of Iowa’s recent races hard to forget.

“It’s definitely changed,” said six-time champion Scott Dixon. “From the first few races we had here, you just followed the white line, and it was a pack race. It was kind of chaotic for a short track.

“We went through a good period for the last 10 years, whether it’s multi-lane, high deg, and one of the best short track races that we have had. With the partial repave that they’ve done, it’s taken away a lot of race-ability that we had. Maybe it’s better for other categories.”

Thanks to the spike in grip, the separation in performance between new and old tires that produces passing didn’t appear during Friday’s 90-minute practice session.

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“Yeah, I miss last year’s track,” the Chip Ganassi Racing driver added. “I think drivers refer to it as ‘character.’ It had a lot of character. It had a lot of bumps. It was definitely hard work. Qualifying was very tough, then…you had the use of two, three, four lanes in the race, especially on restarts and things like that. We’ll see. I hope it gets back to that. Whether it’s this weekend…it’s going to be tough to get that second lane to come in.”

Team Penske’s Scott McLaughlin echoed Dixon’s sentiments.

“It sucks a little bit that the repave is not great for us, but it is what it is,” he said. “Everyone’s got the same track to deal with, so let’s see how we go.”



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