(DES MOINES) - Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today released the following statements after learning of the Iowa Board of Regents' selection of a new University of Iowa President.  J. Bruce Harreld was selected as the new University of Iowa president and will succeed Sally Mason who has transitioned to president emeritus.

"In recent years, the Iowa Board of Regents has conducted effective, nationwide searches for new presidents to lead Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Iowa. With each search, the Board has worked diligently to find a president that fits each institution's unique challenges and characteristics," said Branstad. "I congratulate Bruce Harreld on becoming the new president of the University of Iowa and look forward to working with him to ensure Iowa students have access to high-quality, affordable higher education while ensuring that our colleges and universities play a key role in by converting university research into career opportunities for our graduates. "

"Leading a search for a new university president is just one of the critically important roles of the Iowa Board of Regents. I commend the Board for their thorough and deliberative search for a new University of Iowa President that allowed for the public to share their input and meet the finalists," said Reynolds. "I look forward to the opportunity to meet Bruce Harreld and learn more about his vision for the University of Iowa as we continue to work to keep the cost of college education in Iowa low while simultaneously ensuring that each of our students are prepared with an education that allows them to compete for a career in the global economy."


GRAND RAPIDS, MI (09/03/2015)(readMedia)-- Davenport University has announced that Sandra Wohlford of Eldridge has been named to the President's List for the Spring/Summer 2015 Semester. The President's List recognizes top students who excel with outstanding academic performance. To achieve recognition, a student must maintain a minimum 3.8 grade point average while enrolled in at least nine credits of regular coursework.

About Davenport University

Founded in 1866, Davenport is a private, non-profit university serving nearly 9,000 students at campuses across Michigan and online. With tuition among the lowest of all private universities in the state, Davenport provides high academic quality, small class sizes, conveniently located campuses, faculty with real-world experience and more than 50 dynamic undergraduate and graduate programs addressing in-demand careers in business, technology, health professions and urban education. More information is available at www.davenport.edu.

Iowa Biodiesel Board releases data showing 76 percent of voters support expanding biodiesel in Renewable Fuel Standard

ANKENY, Iowa - As the parade of presidential hopefuls continues at the Iowa State Fair this week, the Iowa Biodiesel Board reminds them just how important biodiesel is to the state's voters.

According to the group's annual independent public opinion research, the state trade association said today 76 percent of voters in Iowa widely support expanding the Renewable Fuel Standard to increase biodiesel use in the United States.

The majority of voters surveyed also said a presidential candidate's view on the RFS is important to their vote.

Grant Kimberley, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, said a candidate's support for renewable fuels should be a central campaign issue, both in Iowa and beyond.

"Growing a diverse, domestic energy supply is one of the most critical challenges our nation faces," Kimberley said. "There are many foreign security threats today, which only strengthen the argument for domestic fuel production. The RFS has helped us move in that direction, but it's a policy constantly under threat. Where the next president stands on this matters to voters."

The IBB has reached out to several campaign leaders, inviting candidates from both parties to tour one of the state's 12 biodiesel plants. The group plans to share the voter data with the campaigns.

"As a sustainable, commercially available advanced biofuel with economic and environmental benefits, biodiesel is a shining success in what America's innovative farmers and small business community can achieve in energy production," Kimberley said.

Iowa is the top biodiesel-producing state, supporting 4,376 full-time equivalent jobs.

A professional public opinion research firm, Moore Information, conducted the online survey of 500 Iowans in late July.

Biodiesel is made from a variety of resources including soybean oil, recycled cooking oil and animal fats. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a nonpartisan state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.

The Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston will release results of a Suffolk University poll of the 2016 Iowa Republican presidential caucus.

The poll surveys potential Republican caucus-goers on their reaction to the recent Fox News Republican presidential primary debate and their candidate preferences in the 2016 presidential race.

Poll results will be available at noon EST Tuesday, August 11, on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. The poll is being conducted using live telephone interviews of landline and cell phone users.

David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, will be available for interviews and on-air analysis. Paleologos and Suffolk University's Political Research Center have a track record of precise and timely analysis based on live telephone interviews.

News organizations and working journalists who wish to be added to the distribution of the news release, marginals and cross-tabulation data should email: ggatlin@suffolk.edu or mnorris@suffolk.edu.

Governor Branstad issues disaster proclamation for four counties


(DES MOINES) - Governor Terry E. Branstad has received word that FEMA has approved his request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 19 counties impacted by severe weather in June.

The counties included in the declaration are: Allamakee, Appanoose, Butler, Clayton, Dallas, Davis, Des Moines, Guthrie, Howard, Jefferson, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Mitchell, Monroe, Warren, Wayne, Winneshiek and Wright.

The governor sent the request for a declaration on July 22, 2015, in response to significant damage that was caused by damaging winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, hail and thunderstorms from June 20-25, 2015.

The declaration by the President will provide federal funding to the declared counties under the Public Assistance Program. A Presidential Disaster Declaration for Public Assistance puts into motion long-term federal recovery programs, some of which are matched by state programs, and designed to help public entities and select non-profits. Public Assistance funds may be used for emergency work and the repair or replacement of disaster-damaged facilities and may include debris removal, emergency protective measures, repair of damaged public property, loans needed by communities for essential government functions and grants for public schools.

The Governor also received notification that the Presidential Disaster Declaration includes funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state. With this funding, Iowa will be able to minimize the impact of future disasters by taking steps now to strengthen existing infrastructure.

This is Iowa's first Presidential Disaster Declaration in 2015, and the 22nd Presidential Disaster Declaration Iowa has received since March 2007.

In addition, today Gov. Branstad issued a proclamation of disaster emergency for Guthrie, Marion, Union and Warren counties. This is in response to the ongoing flooding and severe weather beginning July 26, 2015.

The governor's proclamation allows State resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of these storms. Today's proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Program for all four counties.

The Iowa Individual Assistance Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level, or a maximum annual income of $40,180, for a family of three. Grants are available for home or car repairs, replacement of clothing or food, and for the expense of temporary housing. Original receipts are required for those seeking reimbursement for actual expenses related to storm recovery. The grant application and instructions are available on the Iowa Department of Human Services website. Potential applicants have 45 days from the date of the proclamation to submit a claim.


IOWA CITY, IA (07/29/2015)(readMedia)-- University of Iowa students from your area have been named to the President's List for the spring 2015 semester. These students include :

Elizabeth Ann Berger, Bettendorf, IA 52722

Nicholas Gerwe, Bettendorf, IA 52722

Ava Lynn, Bettendorf, IA 52722

Victoria Nelson, Bettendorf, IA 52722

Emily Speer, Bettendorf, IA 52722

Akshaya Warrier, Bettendorf, IA 52722

Anthony Yang, Bettendorf, IA 52722

Jacob Behrendt, Davenport, IA 52807

Collin Belk, Davenport, IA 52806

Courtney Brokloff, Davenport, IA 52807

Makayla Farnsworth, Davenport, IA 52806

Michael Garneau, Davenport, IA 52803

Matthew Keck, Davenport, IA 52807

Allison Lienen, Davenport, IA 52807

Matthew Moran, Davenport, IA 52803

Michael Hackbarth, Eldridge, IA 52748

Alexander McCammant, Eldridge, IA 52748

Benjamin Donovan, Le Claire, IA 52753

Steven Bieber, Muscatine, IA 52761

Alexandra Chamberlain, Muscatine, IA 52761

Michael Davis, Muscatine, IA 52761

Jenny Juehring, Muscatine, IA 52761

Natalie Sturms, Muscatine, IA 52761

Emily Ford, Geneseo, IL 61254

Eugene Pavinato, Moline, IL 61265

Olivia Ray, Moline, IL 61265

The President's List was established in the fall of 1983 to recognize academic excellence. In order to be included on the list, a student must have a minimum 4.0 grade point average (4.0 is an A) in all academic subjects for the preceding two semesters, with a total of at least 12 semester hours of credit per semester during that period.

Approximately 340 students were named to the President's List in the spring 2015 semester.

Comments are sent ahead of the comment deadline tonight

(DES MOINES) - Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey, Director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority Debi Durham, Director of the Iowa Department of Transportation Paul Trombino and Director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources Chuck Gipp today sent a letter to President Obama and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy encouraging the administration to revise their ill-advised proposed rule on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and submitted comments to the EPA in support of a robust RFS. The comments were sent today, July 27, 2015, the final day the EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule regarding the RFS volume obligation levels. The comment period ends at 11:59 p.m. ET tonight. Iowans interested in commenting on the proposed rule can do so here.

In the letter to Obama and McCarthy, Iowa leaders write, "As state leaders, we are keenly focused on helping create a business and public policy environment that drives job growth throughout the State - in communities both large and small, urban and rural. We share the concerns of many Iowans and citizens throughout the Midwest that the EPA's current proposal will undermine our shared goal of a healthy economy in rural America and abandon the various public policy benefits that flow from the RFS. For decades, the agricultural economy lurched from crisis to crisis and farmers often depended on government subsidies to stay afloat. The RFS helped brighten the future of the agricultural and biosciences sectors by providing a stable policy framework that gives value-add opportunities for various agricultural commodities, while helping reduce transportation emissions - a true win-win."


"If the EPA's proposed rule stands, consumers across America would be limited in their choices at the pump. When consumers have choices, like they do in Iowa, they choose ethanol and other biofuels. The oil companies are preventing fuel choice in other parts of the country and consumers lose, paying much more for fuel. The Iowa Department of Revenue tracks biofuels sales and the data is clear - when given the choice, Iowans choose biofuels. Consumer purchases of E85 (85 percent denatured ethanol fuel and 15 percent gasoline) in Iowa continue to increase - growing from 9.12 million gallons in 2012 to 11.15 million gallons in 2013, to 12.08 million gallons in 2014 - a growth of nearly 33% in that period according to Iowa Department of Revenue data. Total B100 (100 percent biodiesel) sales in Iowa have expanded from 7.4 million gallons in 2010 to 33.3 million gallons in 2014. In 2010, the average blend level of biodiesel-blended gallons sold in Iowa was 3.1 percent and by 2014, the average blend level had more than tripled to 9.4 percent. Big Oil does not like competition - but American consumers deserve and demand choices at the fuel pump."

The full letter to President Obama and Administrator McCarthy can be read here.

Highlights of Iowa leaders' engagement on the RFS include :

  • State and Federal elected officials, including Gov. Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds, participated in a "Defend the RFS" event.
  • Gov. Branstad traveled to Washington, DC, joining a group of Iowa farmers and biofuels producers, to testify at the Federal government's only public hearing and met with EPA Administrator McCarthy.
  • Gov. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Secretary Bill Northey and the entire Iowa congressional delegation sent a joint letter to Federal leaders advocating for the many benefits that flow from the RFS.
  • Gov. Terry Branstad and Gov. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) penned an op-ed in support of a strong Renewable Fuel Standard.
  • Gov. Terry Branstad brought together a bipartisan group of six governors to sign on to a letter to President Barack Obama, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack expressing their support for a strong RFS.
  • Leaders from across the Midwest joined Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds for their "Hearing in Heartland," which was open to all interested citizens; 83 panelists from across the Midwest Region spoke from the heart about the importance of the RFS to their livelihoods and a healthy rural economy while only two individuals expressed opposition to a robust RFS.
  • Gov. Branstad, in his Condition of the State address, called on the Iowa Legislature to pass a resolution in support of a robust RFS. The Legislature unanimously passed bicameral, bipartisan resolutions calling for the EPA to reverse course and support a strong RFS. View the resolutions: House Resolution 101 | Senate Resolution 101
  • State of Iowa leaders submitted formal comments to the EPA with current data and analysis that provides Federal leaders the opportunity and obligation to revise their initial volume obligations upward.
  • Gov. Branstad and Sec. Northey testify in support of a robust RFS before the EPA's hearing in Kansas City.
  • Lt. Gov. Reynolds submits written testimony to the EPA in support of a robust RFS.
  • Lt. Gov. Reynolds rallies for a robust RFS with Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts in Blair, Neb.

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)  - Governor Terry E. Branstad today signed a letter to be delivered to President Obama requesting a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 19 Iowa counties where significant damage was sustained from damaging winds, tornadoes, heavy rains, hail and thunderstorms from June 20-25, 2015.

The counties included in this request are: Allamakee, Appanoose, Butler, Clayton, Dallas, Davis, Des Moines, Guthrie, Howard, Jefferson, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Mitchell, Monroe, Warren, Wayne, Winneshiek and Wright.

The governor requested funding under the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Public Assistance Program, which is used to rebuild damaged infrastructure that may include roads, bridges, culverts and other public facilities, or to cover costs of emergency work during, and debris removal after, the storms. A joint federal, state and local preliminary damage assessment of the 19 counties found the severe weather caused an estimated $5.1 million worth of damage that could be eligible under the Public Assistance Program.

The governor also requested funding to conduct hazard mitigation activities for the entire state.


President Obama is making history, again: On Thursday, he became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison.

Obama's visit to El Reno federal prison in Oklahoma on July 16 is part of his administration's focus on criminal justice reform. On Monday, Obama announced that he would be commuting the sentences of 46 people convicted for nonviolent drug offenses. And on Wednesday, the White House released a fact sheet detailing the various efforts that have been developed to make the United States' criminal justice system fairer and more effective.

It's clear that Obama is taking a different approach to criminal justice reform than his predecessors, as the New York Times' Peter Baker observes, and his commendable efforts should be acknowledged in their own right. But his recent focus on criminal justice also provides an invaluable window into the dire conditions of a system that continues to disenfranchise so many U.S. citizens and undocumented people ? of which too many remain unaware.

As criminal justice reform begins to take center stage, and as presidential contenders begin crafting their platforms for 2016, here are eight such issues the U.S. public needs to know.

click here for more information

DES MOINES -AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan and 20 legislators have filed suit in the Iowa District Court for Polk County regarding Governor Branstad's illegal closure of the Mt. Pleasant Mental Health Institute and Clarinda Mental Health Institute. The legislators taking part in the suit are Senator Rich Taylor, Representative Jerry Kearns, Representative Mark Smith, Senator Thomas Courtney, Senator Janet Petersen, Representative Bruce Hunter, Representative Curt Hanson, Senator Tony Bisignano, Senator Herman Quirmbach, Senator Dick Dearden, Representative Art Staed, Representative Ako Abdul-Samad, Representative Jo Oldson, Representative Ruth Ann Gaines, Representative Sharon Steckman, Representative Todd Taylor, Representative Mary Gaskill, Representative Kirsten Running-Marquardt, Representative Timi Brown-Powers, and Representative Dave Jacoby.

The lawsuit, which was filed against Governor Terry Branstad and Director Charles Palmer, seeks to compel the governor and his administration to comply with Iowa law and reopen the Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda Mental Health Institutes.

"Iowa law clearly states that the State of Iowa shall operate Mental Health Institutes in Mt. Pleasant and Clarinda. This was the law when the governor announced his decision to close these facilities. This was the law when the legislature passed, with bipartisan support, the funding to keep these facilities open. This was the law when he closed these two facilities. It is still the law today," said AFSCME Iowa Council 61 President Danny Homan.

"No one is above the law. That includes the governor. We are filing this lawsuit to hold him accountable for breaking the law," added Homan.

"I am pleased that 20 legislators are joining with me in filing this lawsuit. We are proud to stand together in support of the rule of law and mental health services," added Homan.