Clarification: Johnson explains library figures; more
Clarification: Johnson explains library figures
Fairfield Public Library director Rebecca Johnson has clarified figures in the “Library asks for funds” article on the front page of Monday’s Ledger.
Johnson said she was quoted as saying the library’s volume in e-library services is about double the volume of other Iowa libraries of the same size, but “I was not comparing this library’s e-statistics with others because they represent only 2.3 percent of the picture last year.
“Instead,” she continued, “I was comparing total circulation. Year after year, our total circulation is roughly double that of … other size E libraries in similar-size towns. During 2011-2012, people borrowed things from us 186,406 times. Our downloadable books represented only 4,294 of last year’s total, or 2.3 percent.”
Johnson added people searched the library’s online databases 9,744 times last year, but she did not include that figure in total circulation.
“In other words, database usage was over and above the 186,406 circs,” Johnson said.
Iowa offers tax credit program to home buyers
DES MOINES (AP) — Some Iowa home buyers may be eligible for a program that will reduce their federal tax burden.
Gov. Terry Branstad announced Monday the state is offering a mortgage credit certificate program that will reduce federal income taxes for qualifying home buyers. The relief could be as much as $2,000 a year for the duration of the mortgage.
The program is available to first time homebuyers, those buying in certain targeted areas and some military veterans. It is funded through federal bonds and the state expects to provide relief to about 1,000 home buyers.
A spokeswoman for the Iowa Finance Authority, which is administering the program, says this tax program has not been offered to Iowans since the mid-1990s.
Latest Iowa figures point to bad flu season
DES MOINES (AP) — More and more Iowa flu cases have been reported, and officials say the seasonal outbreak could get even worse now that children are back in school.
The Des Moines Register reports at least 151 people were hospitalized for flu complications in Iowa during the last week of December. The Iowa Department of Public Health says that during the last week of December 2011, public health officials didn’t record any flu hospitalizations.
Department medical director Patricia Quinlisk said she doubts the tide of illnesses will ebb soon. Quinlisk says the flu incidences show “all the hallmarks of a relatively bad and prolonged flu season.”
She says people who traveled during the holidays were exposed to viruses that could be spread by children who have resumed classes.
Police union, Iowa reach agreement
DES MOINES (AP) — One of three Iowa unions representing state workers has reached a tentative deal on a two-year bargaining agreement.
The Gazette reports a leader for the State Police Officers Council confirmed Monday that workers have reached an agreement with state negotiators. Iowa state trooper Mark Bowlin declined to discuss details about the deal.
State officials are in the middle of negotiations with SPOC and two other unions ‚Äî American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Iowa United Professionals.
State officials last fall proposed freezing wages and increasing health insurance costs. SPOC instead requested a four percent salary increase.
Roughly 600 SPOC members are scheduled to hold ratification votes Tuesday and Wednesday.
The new contract would run from July through the end of June 2015.