(Des Moines) – Former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is the new head of the Des Moines-based foundation that awards the annual World Food Prize. Branstad, who is 76, says he doesn’t plan on staying in the role for long — but at least a year. Each October, the foundation presents the World Food Prize and its $250,000 award to people who are on the front lines of improving the quality, quantity and availability of food. Branstad, who served as US Ambassador to China, will be a leading fundraiser and host of the annual World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, which attracts world leaders in research, government and commerce. Barbara Stinson, who has 30 years of environmental policy and corporate governance experience, stepped down last week after three years as President of the World Food Prize Foundation.
(Washington) – The DCI has indicted the mayor of the city of Washington, southeast Iowa, following an investigation into third-degree sexual abuse. According to DCI, a 27-year-old man reported that Washington Mayor Jaron Rosien (Roh-zeen) inappropriately touched him early in the morning on January 8 at the bar owned by the mayor. Investigators say a review of surveillance video from the bar appears to show Rosien kissed the man on the cheek and placed his hand between the man’s legs. Investigators say the mayor admitted to being in the bar at the time – but neither admitted nor denied the touch – as he was drunk and couldn’t remember. Rosien served on the Washington City Council from 2014 to 2018 before becoming mayor.
(Nationwide) – The state is launching an advertising campaign targeting children, teens and parents to educate them about the dangers of counterfeit pills and fentanyl. According to state doctor Dr. Robert Kruse wants the dual message to reach children as young as five, middle and high school students through YouTube and other mobile applications, and adults through Facebook and Instagram. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin, and he says it only takes two milligrams of fentanyl to be fatal. Kruse says it’s “essential” that parents talk to their children about these potential killers. He says the fake prescription pills are easily accessible and sold through popular social media platforms. The campaign features a central Iowa couple whose 17-year-old son died of a fake pill overdose in 2021.
(Nationwide) – It’s officially tax season as the Internal Revenue Service is now accepting digital tax returns. Christopher Miller, the IRS spokesman for Iowa, says most Americans are eligible to file their taxes online for free. According to Miller, each software vendor sets eligibility requirements in the Free File program, and the agency has a dedicated tool online to help you decide which one to use. According to Miller, filing your taxes electronically is the safest, easiest and fastest method to use, and it also means faster refund verification if one is due. He says Free File allows anyone who made $73,000 or less in 2022 to use branded tax software to file their taxes online for free. Learn more at IRS-dot-gov. This year’s tax return deadline is April 18th.