NEWS

 


Bird flu update

The federal government has announced plans to step up monitoring of wild birds for avian influenza this fall to provide an early warning of any resurgence of a disease that devastated poultry farms in the Upper Midwest.The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued plans Thursday aimed at minimizing the impacts on domestic poultry flocks if any bird flu viruses return or mutate in migrating waterfowl and other wild birds.
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Govenor uses veto power

Governor Terry Branstad has vetoed $55.7 million in one-time education funding as well as a bipartisan deal to keep two state mental health institutes open. Branstad announced the vetoes late yesterday afternoon, as he approved a slew of budget bills. The fate of the two mental health institutes — in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda — was hotly debated. After Branstad sought to end funding for the facilities, lawmakers reached a deal to keep the Mount Pleasant center open and to seek a private provider to run the other.
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People : Terry Branstad




 

Audited!

A state audit has found major problems with how some Iowa state agencies spent millions of dollars on information technology contractors. The report has uncovered cost overruns, a no-bid contract and questionable relationships between agencies and IT firms. In one case, two top Revenue Department officials went to work for a state contractor before a mandatory two-year waiting period was up.
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Topics : EnvironmentLaw_Crime
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Locations : Iowa




 

Mental health facilities clse down

Two Iowa mental health institutes have been closed and about 80 workers have gotten layoff notices. Governor Terry Branstad is still reviewing whether to approve a legislative compromise to continue funding the facilities in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda. There are no patients at either one.
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Topics : Health_Medical_Pharma
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Locations : Iowa
People : Terry Branstad




 

Business news about JBS

The U.S. subsidiary of a Brazilian-based international meat processor is buying the pork division of Cargill Incorporated. JBS USA, a division of Sao Paulo, Brazil-based JBS, and Cargill said yesterday they have signed an agreement for the $1.45 billion transaction. JBS entered the U.S. pork market in 2007 and sells products under the Swift brand names.
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Topics : Business_Finance
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Locations : Sao Paulo




 

News from the Governors office

The former police chief in Des Moines has been named the new director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Judy Bradshaw has been assistant director since she retired from the Des Moines Police Department last year. Governor Terry Branstad says Bradshaw has the "leadership, knowledge, temperament and communications skills" to lead the academy.
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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : Des Moines
People : Judy BradshawTerry Branstad




 

News from the State Fair

Organizers of the Iowa State Fair are pairing the event's famous butter cow sculpture with another butter piece celebrating the Monopoly board game. Officials say the accompanying piece, which changes every year, will this summer celebrate the game's 80th anniversary. The Iowa Star Fair is scheduled Aug. 13-23 in Des Moines.
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Locations : Des Moines




 

Weather news

A disaster proclamation has been issued for 18 Iowa counties affected by recent severe weather. The proclamation allows the state to help residents impacted by a tornado that hit parts of Wapello County on June 20. The proclamation also helps residents affected by other severe weather and flooding in Iowa in late June.
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The crime beat

Two Kansas men have been charged in the fatal shooting of a man in Nodaway earlier this month. Jon Rubendall and James Bost are in jail on $1 million bond in the death of Allen Pafford. A court document says of the men has told investigators Pafford was shot over a drug debt.
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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : Kansas
People : Allen PaffordJames BostJon Rubendall




 

Fleur Drive reopens after the flood

Authorities have reopened a major street near downtown Des Moines that was affected by flooding from the nearby Raccoon River. A portion of Fleur Drive along Gray's Lake Park reopened Monday afternoon. The current level of the Raccoon River along thestreet continues to recede. The current level of the nearby Des Moines River is also receding.
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Court news

A jury has ruled that the former dean of the University of Iowa law school didn't commit political discrimination when she passed over a conservative lawyer for teaching jobs. The federal jury in Davenport rejected Teresa Manning's claims that Dean Carolyn Jones rejected her because of Manning's political beliefs and associations. The verdict is a victory for the university in a long-running case that has been closely watched in higher education. It came after a six-day trial, which was the second in the case after an unusual mistrial in 2012.
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Topics : EducationLaw_Crime
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Locations : DavenportIowa
People : Dean Carolyn JonesTeresa Manning




 

BREAKING: Travis Bunn to be sentenced in late July

  A Marshalltown teen accused of sexually abusing a girl has received a second sentencing hearing date.
 
  According to online court records, Travis James Bunn of Marshalltown will receive a sentence on July 27th at 1:30pm. Bunn, along with his attorney Aaron Siebrecht and Iowa Attorney General’s Office lawyer Andy Prosser, met one week ago for sentencing, before the assigned judge decided to continue the hearing.
 
  Bunn is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Marshalltown back in January. He is charged with 3rd Degree Sexual Abuse, Indecent Contact With A Child, and Lascivious Acts With A Child.
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Ames ISU stadium getting bigger!

Iowa State is in the final stages of a major renovation to the south end zone at Jack Trice Stadium, highlighting a $60 million expansion that's set to be completed in late August. It's arguably the most ambitious renovation in the 40-year life of the stadium, which will soon be the third-largest in the Big 12 with a capacity of 61,000.
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Business a flash flood victim

A Clive auto repair business reports that 90 percent of the vehicles on its property have been ruined by a flash flood. Acheson Auto Works, which backs up to the Walnut Creek, was flooded early Friday, destroying about 40 vehicles. Workers plan to continue the cleanup throughout the weekend in hopes of opening on Monday.
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Handling birds with kid gloves

The ongoing bird flu outbreak has forced competitors at the Linn County Fair and other poultry events in the state to prepare educational displays and leave their birds at home. But the 79 participants in this weekend's Linn County competition got tomeet Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey. He visited the fair Saturday to speak about poultry health and the bird flu.
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Topics : Environment
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Locations : IowaLinn County
People : Bill Northey




 

DEVELOPING STORY: Marshalltown Dollar Tree to move to old Long John Silver's pro

  A vacant building on the south side of Marshalltown will soon be demolished, and a major dollar store chain is planning a build on the property.
 
  Dollar Tree, which currently has a Marshalltown location next door to what used to be an EconoFoods grocery store on Iowa Avenue West, will be making the big move this year, according to store management. The new location for the dollar store outlet will be a space on the corner of E. Southridge Road and S. Center Street. The old Long John Silver’s building currently located on the property is to be destroyed, and a new building, which will house Dollar Tree, will be developed.
 
  Specific details on the project have not been made public. Also, no set completion date has been released, as of yet. However, Dollar Tree management noted that the company is aiming for a November opening.
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Topics : Business_Finance
Locations : Marshalltown




 

Produce for the needy

University of Northern Iowa students are working to bring fresh produce to low-income neighborhoods in Waterloo. Students established the Waterloo Mobile Produce Stand this summer so families could have access to fresh vegetables that they normally wouldn't have due to costs.
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State trooper reassigned

One of three veteran Iowa State Patrol officials who were on leave during an internal investigation has been transferred to a new job. The Iowa Department of Public Safety says Major Todd Misel is no longer in charge of field operations for the patrol. Misel and two other patrol officials were placed on paid leave in April while the department investigated whether they mishandled a state contract to purchase handguns.
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Topics : Disaster_Accident
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People : Todd Misel




 

House explosion in Jackson County

One man has died in an apparent explosion of a house in rural Jackson County in eastern Iowa. 73-year-old Stephen W. Brandenburg was found early Thursday in the basement of a house near U.S. Highway 64 between Miles and Preston. Emergency responders were called to the home about 4:40 a.m. yesterday after reports of an explosion.
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Construction accident

Two construction workers were hospitalized after a building site collapsed in eastern Iowa. Evansdale emergency officials say the two were being treated for non-life threatening injuries after the collapse at a planned Kwik Star convenience store on Wednesday afternoon. Authorities are investigating the cause.
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Topics : Disaster_AccidentLaw_Crime
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Locations : Eastern IowaIowa




 

Political news

Ohio Governor John Kasich is making his first trip to Iowa as he considers whether to run for president next year. The Republican said Wednesday in Des Moines that it's not practical or humane to deport millions of immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally. In the past, he's expressed reservations about creating a path to citizenship.
 
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Topics : Law_CrimePoliticsSocial Issues
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Locations : Des MoinesIowaOhio
People : John Kasich




 

Layoffs at Williamsburg

Iowa farm equipment maker Kinze Manufacturing says it must lay off 215 workers as business has slowed because of the impact of low grain prices on farmer purchases. The privately held company based in the eastern Iowa near Williamsburg makes planters andgrain carts. Deere and Company another major farm equipment maker laid off 910 workers in its Iowa factories and 500 in Illinois in January.
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Topics : Business_Finance
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Locations : Eastern IowaIllinoisIowa




 

Tornado hits southern Iowa

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado damaged homes and a grocery store in southern Iowa. Meteorologist Craig Cogil says the tornado received an EF-3 rating after peak winds were estimated at 142 mph near a damaged house in Lovilia on Monday night. The tornado developed in Marion County and briefly moved through Lucas County before ending in Monroe County, where the house was located. The tornado had wind speeds of 103 mph when it later ripped into a grocery store in Albia. No injuries have been reported.
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Severe weather aftermath

Gov. Terry Branstad has issued a disaster proclamation for four Iowa counties affected by recent severe weather. Branstad issued the proclamation for Davis, Humboldt, Monroe and Wright counties. The areas were affected by severe weather Monday. The proclamation allows officials to use state resources to help affected people. It includes an assistance program that provides grants of up to $5,000 for certain households needing food, clothing and temporary housing.
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Education news about STEM

A computer science committee has recommended to Gov. Terry Branstad's STEM Advisory Council that Iowa high school students should have to complete computer science coursework to graduate.

The STEM Support of Computer Science working group made the recommendation Tuesday. Group co-chairs Mark Gruwell and Ann Watts discussed a list of recommendations to integrate computer science into Iowa schools, including an endorsement to recognize teachers and technology professors qualified to teach courses.

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Court news from Davenport

After years of arguing that liberal Iowa law professors illegally derailed her career, a conservative lawyer will get a second chance to prove her claim to a jury. Jury selection started in federal court in Davenport in a lawsuit filed by anti-abortion activist Teresa Manning, who contends that the University of Iowa College of Law refused to hire her for teaching jobs because of her beliefs and associations. The long-running lawsuit has been closely watched in higher education.
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Topics : EducationLaw_CrimeSocial Issues
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Locations : DavenportIowa
People : Teresa Manning




 

Governor signs broadband bill into law

Governor Terry Branstad has signed legislation to expand high-speed Internet service in Iowa. The new law creates a property tax relief program for service providers adding broadband infrastructure. A bill with more tax incentives for service providers failed in 2014.
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Topics : Social IssuesTechnology_Internet
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Locations : Iowa
People : Terry Branstad




 

Jail time for convicted police officer

A former Des Moines police officer convicted in March of using excessive force has been sentenced to more than five years in prison. Colin Boone was sentenced to 63 months in prison. He will be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence. A jury convicted the 39-year-old Boone following allegations he kicked a man in the head during a traffic stop in 2013. The kick knocked out two of the man's front teeth.
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People : Colin Boone




 

Shooting in Ames

Police in central Iowa say a man is dead following an overnight shooting. The Ames Police Department says officers received a report of a shooting at 1 a.m. Saturday. When officers arrived, they found a man with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. The victim's name was not released yesterday.
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Topics : Disaster_AccidentLaw_Crime
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Locations : Central IowaIowa




 

Eggs are a problem

Restaurants are struggling to deal with higher egg prices and an inability to get enough eggs in the midst of a shortage brought about by a bird flu virus that has wiped out millions of chickens on commercial farms. An Omaha breakfast and lunch eatery owner says his supplier's inventory has dwindled because of demand and production is down because of federal testing.
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Topics : Environment
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Locations : Omaha