Iowa News Headlines Friday November 18, 2022 | Regional

(Cedar Rapids) – Two people died in an afternoon house fire in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids Firefighters were dispatched just after noon after a 9-1-1 caller reported smoke coming from the windows of a home. Firefighters say 72-year-old Charles Osterkamp and 70-year-old and Sheri Osterkamp were found dead in the basement of the one-story home. The cause of the fire is still being determined, according to the fire department.

(Des Moines) – Governor Kim Reynolds was elected chair of the Republican Governors Association. She has been the group’s deputy chair for two years. There will be three gubernatorial elections in 2023. Today, Reynolds, as Chair of the Republican Governors Association, is a leading fundraiser and organizer of efforts in support of Republican candidates running for governor of Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi. Reynolds says Republican governors and candidates must show voters an alternative to the chaos and dysfunction in the federal government.

(Statewide) – The latest data shows that approximately 25 percent of Iowa residents have received a flu shot. During flu season three years ago, 40 percent of Iowans got a flu shot. Doctor Robert Kruse, the state’s medical director, says cases of influenza and the respiratory disease known as RSV are increasing in Iowa as people spend more time indoors. According to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, nearly 60 percent of Iowa residents are fully vaccinated against COVID. With holiday gatherings approaching, agency is urging Iowans to get vaccinated against the flu AND make sure they are up to date on COVID-19 vaccines.

(Nationwide) – The head of the state’s largest bicycle organization is calling for stricter laws on cell phone use by motorists. Iowa Bicycle Coalition executive director Mark Wyatt says they’ve had bipartisan committee-level support for tough legislation for the past two terms, but haven’t been able to get a measure to vote in any chamber. The group would like to see a requirement that your phone be in hands-free or voice-activated mode while operating a motor vehicle. The death of a Charles City woman last spring and many others prompted the launch of a campaign called Drive Safe Iowa. This is an online petition to collect names of supporters calling for an update to Iowa’s distracted driving laws.

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