Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa health officials say half of all potential contracts for Medicaid services have been signed ahead of the state’s switch to privatized care on Jan. 1. The Iowa Department of Human Services says the four private companies taking over the state’s Medicaid program have signed a total of more than 62,000 contracts with medical providers.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say they’re trying to figure out how to respond to excessive alcohol consumption at multiple state beaches. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources said it’s collecting informal public comments on ways to reduce alcohol-related incidents on beaches at state parks and state recreation areas. Iowa State Parks Bureau Chief Todd Coffelt says the inquiry is in response to reported cases of excessive alcohol consumption at multiple state beaches.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Federal education officials say Iowa and Nebraska have the top high school graduation rates in the country. Data released by the Education Department show Iowa ranked first among all states with a graduation rate of 90.5 percent for the 2013-2014 school year. Nebraska came in second with a graduation rate of 89.7 percent for the same period.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The value of Iowa farmland has declined for the second year in a row. An Iowa State University survey says the statewide average is about $7,600 an acre, compared to $8,700 two years ago. Researchers say they’re not expecting a rebound soon because of falling farm income and stagnant commodity prices.