Federal authorities will be visiting Northeast Iowa, to look into a helicopter accident.

It happened shortly after 8am Wednesday (Aug. 4) in rural Allamakee County, near the intersection of Elon Drive and Scenic Valley Road, east of Waukon.

The chopper, piloted by Kurt Lepping, of Wasilla, Alaska, was in the process of crop dusting a corn field, when it snagged some power lines. The helicopter then went down in the corn field, injuring Lepping.

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He was taken to Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon, treated for non-life threatening injuries, and released.

The Waukon Police Department, Waukon Fire Department, and the hospital ambulance assisted at the scene.

The crash is now under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.


(info from Radio Iowa):

The pace of vaccinations appears to be trending up slightly in Iowa as the number of patients hospitalized in Iowa for treatment of Covid grows.

In the past 40 days, the number of Covid patients in Iowa hospitals has grown from 46 to more than 200 -- a 77 percent increase. The Iowa Department of Public Health's weekly report shows the state averaged about 500 new cases of Covid in each of the past seven days. That's about seven percent higher than daily case counts a year ago.

The state website shows just over 47 percent of Iowans are fully vaccinated -- a three-tenths of a percent increase from the previous week.

Students will be heading back to school across the state soon -- and Governor Kim Reynolds says she hopes the school year will be fairly normal despite COVID-19.

[We absolutely do, we have to learn to live with that, with this, we can do it safely and responsibly. It's slowed a little bit, but we are in a pretty good place. Our vaccination rates continue to increase," Reynolds says. Reynolds says the vaccination rate is at 62 percent for Iowans and 66 percent for the same group that has had at least had one single dose. The governor says there's some encouraging news too for younger Iowans.

She says she just learned that 13 to 81-year-olds are at 57 percent for being fully vaccinated. "So, we are seeing the numbers move in the right direction," she says. Reynolds says the whole COVID picture should include more than vaccination numbers.

There's a natural immunity when you have COVID-19, and that should be a part of the narrative, and so I've asked them to run those numbers. And let's take a look at what that looks like in addition to those who have already been vaccinated as well," Reynolds says. Reynolds says the vaccine will be available at the Iowa State Fair, and the state is continuing to work with communities to provide them vaccines.

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