Iowa News Headlines Thursday, March 17, 2022 | Regional

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(Des Moines, IA) – Twelve House Republicans joined Democrats in voting against even launching a debate on a plan to ban COVID vaccine requirements in businesses, schools and government agencies . The proposal would prohibit hiring and firing decisions based on an employee’s COVID vaccination status unless required by federal regulations. And half of a $50,000 state fine for COVID-related termination would be paid to the terminated employee. A spokesman for GOP leaders said it was understood 51 Republicans would vote to start debate on the plan, but when the votes were cast there were only 48.

(Sioux City, IA) – For the second time in more than a decade, a Sioux City man is going to jail for selling unapproved versions of drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction. David Kempema, 61, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to selling mislabeled drugs with intent to defraud. Information from his plea deal showed that Kempema had ordered pills from India or Germany containing the same active ingredients as Viagra and Cialis. He placed advertisements in men’s restrooms of businesses along Interstate 29, advertising the pills as “dietary supplements” called “Supermale” and “All Natural Male”. Kempema made another plea deal for doing much the same thing in 2011 and was then sentenced to 60 days in jail.

(Sheldon, IA) — An engineering contractor working on a lift station project for the town of Sheldon has found something unexpected. It was a woolly mammoth tooth discovered after recent excavations. The tooth was on property owned by Northwest Iowa Community College near the Sheldon Rec Trail, about 800 feet west of the Floyd River. Experts say the tooth, which weighs more than eleven pounds, was likely in the ground since the last glacial maximum which is believed to have taken place more than 20 thousand years ago. Northwest Iowa Community College officials say they will retain ownership of the tooth, but put it on display at the Sheldon Prairie Museum in Sheldon.

(Fort Dodge, IA) — It’s Wear Green Day, but some Iowans will see red and blue if they don’t make wise choices. Iowa State Trooper Paul Gardner, who is based at Fort Dodge, said Iowa law enforcement officers will be focusing on U.S. Highway 20 today (Thursday) as part of a a special traffic control program. They will look for speeders, people not wearing their seatbelts, distracted drivers and, of course, drunk drivers. Gardner says they chose Highway 20 because there have been 33 deaths on that route in the past five years, and 13 of those deaths were alcohol-related. He reminds revelers not to get behind the wheel but to designate a driver first or call a taxi or a ride.

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