DNR expects 50,000 licenses for deer hunters; more
DNR expects 50,000 licenses for deer hunters
IOWA CITY (AP) — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is warning deer hunters they may see long lines to get licenses but fewer deer.
The DNR said it expects to sell more than 50,000 licenses between Wednesday and Saturday morning, the opening day of Iowa’s shotgun deer season.
The agency says licenses will be sold at more than 900 locations statewide. Hunters are encouraged not to wait until the final minute to purchase them to avoid a last-minute rush.
The first season lasts Saturday through Wednesday and a second spans from Dec. 8-16.
DNR experts say that deer numbers could drop by at least 10 percent from last year as a result of longstanding strategy to cut the population.
Branstad hints at seeking re-election
DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is sending signals he expects to seek re-election in 2014.
The Republican says in an Associated Press interview that “I love what I’m doing. So that should be an indication.”
Branstad also raised about $600,000 this month for his campaign at an event headlined by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
But Branstad said he plans to keep his options open until 2014.
Branstad is Iowa’s longest-serving governor, having served four consecutive terms in the 1980s and 1990s. He came out of political retirement to run and win in 2010.
The names of several Democrats have circulated as potential candidates, including former Gov. Chet Culver and state Sen. Jack Hatch of Des Moines, although no one has publicly announced plans to run.
Cedar Falls cuts worker hours to avoid insurance
CEDAR FALLS (AP) — Cedar Falls plans to reduce dozens of part-time public employees’ hours in order to avoid having to offer them insurance under a requirement of the federal health care overhaul set to take effect in 2014.
Cedar Falls Administrative Services Director Richard McAlister said the reduction in hours for 59 workers is necessary because if all of them opted for insurance that must be offered under the federal law, the city could face an additional $855,000 annual cost, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Wednesday. McAlister said that would require employee layoffs.
The part-time employees aren’t currently eligible for health insurance, but the new federal law will require employers to offer insurance to those who work 30 or more hours per week. The city can avoid the requirement by cutting part-timers’ hours from 32 to 29 hours a week.
The city of 40,000 residents probably will hire more part-time employees to make up for the decline in hours by other workers, McAlister said. Before the law, Cedar Falls had been relying more on part-timers in an effort to avoid increases in employee benefits, such as health insurance and pensions.
The federal law doesn’t take effect until January2014, but McAlister said action is required now because the law has a look-back period that determines who is eligible.
Most of the employees whose hours will be reduced work in the public works department and human and leisure services, which includes parks, recreation and the library.