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Q: Rep. Dave Loebsack was quoted about the “dreamers” and how can we deport them including the men and women who probably served in the Armed Forces. How does an undocumented illegal alien ever get into the U.S. Armed Forces to even serve?

A: After President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in 2012, the Pentagon announced in 2014 it would allow people who had received DACA to qualify for enlistment under a longer standing program called Military Accessions Vital to National Interest, or MAVNI, that initially allowed noncitizens living in the U.S. legally to serve if they have certain skills, particularly medical expertise or knowledge of certain languages. Background on the program notes the U.S. has had a long history of allowing noncitizens to serve, and in some cases has expedited citizenship for those who serve.

Q: I know the DOT has been doing traffic counts locally lately. Is that information made public?

A: Yes. It’s available on the Iowa Department of Transportation’s website.

Q: Where is Tom Vilsack now and what is he doing? Is he interested in running for the governor spot again?

A: Tom Vilsack joined Colorado State University in April as a strategic adviser of food and water initiatives. He also is the president and chief executive officer at the nonprofit U.S. Dairy Export Council that promotes dairy products. Vilsack has said he’s happy to guide Democrats to success in the future but said as of this past spring he has no plans to run for office again.

Q: Is a registered licensed day care provider allowed to have three dogs in her home as well as her day care children?

A: There are different requirements for different kinds of day care providers but none seem to limit the number of pets that are allowed to be in a home. Parents or guardians must be informed of the presence of pets. The animals are restricted from kitchen and food prep areas.

The animals must be in good health with no evidence of disease, and documentation must be current on them. There are some exceptions to the kinds of animals allowed, but dogs are OK.

Q: What were the three Iowa DOT vehicles escorting another vehicle doing on Highway 58 near Kaplan University in Cedar Falls on Sept. 21 that held up traffic?

A: Iowa Department of Transportation spokesperson Pete Hjelmstad in Mason City replies: “What the caller saw was a high level scanning operation of the pavement condition. We provide traffic control to keep vehicles from passing the scan vehicle and interfering with the readings.”

Q: Is it against the law in Iowa to answer your cell phone in a car? I know texting is against the law.

A: According to Capt. Dave Mohlis with the Waterloo Police Department, “No, the law does not prohibit you from answering your cell phone while driving unless you are operating under a learners permit or intermediate license.”

Questions are taken on a special Courier phone line at 234-3566. Questions are answered by Courier staff and staff at the Waterloo Public Library.

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