NEWS

 


Commission wants former Iowa prosecutor punished

WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) — A commission has recommended to the Iowa Supreme Court that a former prosecutor who beat a client that he'd had a sexual relationship with should be barred from practicing law for at least four years.

The Iowa Supreme Court's Grievance Commission also criticized Anthony Zane Blessum for his lack of remorse. Among other findings, the commission said in its recommendation to the Supreme Court that Blessum had neglected his duties for the client.

In March 2013 Blessum pleaded guilty to assaulting the woman on June 11, 2012. He was given seven days in jail, probation and was told to pay her nearly $7,000 in restitution. Blessum was Madison County attorney from 1987 through 1997.

Blessum's lawyer says Blessum was disappointed by the commission's findings.

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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : IowaMadison CountyWinterset
People : Anthony Zane Blessum




 

Iowa sex offender facing commitment proceedings

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Iowa prosecutors want to keep custody of a 53-year-old inmate so he can be committed for treatment of a sex disorder.

Bruce Baker, formerly of Waterloo, is being held pending a Sept. 23 trial date on the state's commitment proposal. The state says Baker suffers from sexual sadism and a personality disorder that makes him likely to commit more sex offenses.

Baker has remained in custody since he finished his prison sentence on July 14. He'd been imprisoned on kidnapping and sex abuse charges. Prosecutors say that in February 1991, while on parole for previous crime, Baker took a woman to his home in Waterloo, bound her with duct tape and raped her while displaying a knife.

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Locations : IowaWaterloo
People : Bruce Baker




 

New attractions planned for Hoover library in Iowa

WEST BRANCH, Iowa (AP) — The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is getting a temporary $600,000 exhibit that will include a simulation of a World War I trench.

The exhibit will open in April 2015. It will be the largest temporary exhibit the West Branch museum has hosted.

The exhibit will span 3,100 square feet and will use outdoor space.

The Hoover Presidential Foundation director said Wednesday he hopes visitors will gain a better understanding of war history and the president's humanitarian work.

The exhibit will also house a replica food relief ship that the staff plans to debut at the Iowa State Fair next week.

Officials say the new attractions will run through October 2015 or longer.

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Locations : Iowa




 

Iowa official: Goat grazing plan is working

STRAWBERRY POINT, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa government official says the state's plan to use goats to clear away vegetation is an initial success.

Iowa Department of Natural Resources supervisor Mike Steuck says the 60 goats have been munching away for two weeks at the Ensign Hollow state wildlife area near Strawberry Point. He said Wednesday that the goats have cleared more than three acres of giant ragweed, stinging nettles, wild parsnip, poison ivy and other undesirable species.

The animals were enlisted to graze seven of the 40 acres in the area. The DNR is paying the goat's owner $2,000 for the trail project, which includes the goats' return visit this fall.

Steuck says the success of the state's goat plan hinges on how much vegetation grows back by next year.

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Topics : Environment
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Locations : IowaStrawberry Point
People : Mike Steuck




 

State urges action to avoid West Nile virus

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Public Health says there have already been three reported cases of West Nile virus in the state, even though the disease usually is seen in early autumn.

The agency says cases have been reported in Clay, Monona and Woodbury counties. Mosquitoes carrying the virus also have been detected in central Iowa.

Officials say the best way to avoid the disease is to avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, use insect repellent and wear long-sleeve shirts and pants. They also encourage people to eliminate standing water, where mosquitoes lay eggs.

About 20 percent of infected people suffer mild to moderate symptoms, including fever, headache and vomiting.

Less than 1 percent become seriously ill, and people can die of the disease.

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Topics : Environment
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Locations : Central IowaClayDes MoinesIowaMononaWest NileWoodbury




 

Iowa halts free tuition offer

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Legal concerns have forced the University of Iowa to suspend a promotion offering free tuition to five randomly selected students who purchased football season tickets.

Athletic director Gary Barta says he has decided to temporarily shutter the offer after questions were raised about whether it complies with state raffle laws.

Iowa says the free tuition package is worth roughly $8,000. The award also can be used to cover fees, books and related supplies for the upcoming fall and spring semesters.

The Hawkeyes also were planning prizes such as $500 in school supplies and $1,000 gift cards to a local grocery store chain in an effort to boost lagging student ticket sales.

Iowa has seen those numbers drop from 10,000 to roughly 7,000 in less than two years.

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Topics : Education
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Locations : IowaIowa City
People : Gary Barta




 

Officers remove 46 pet rats from Des Moines home

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Animal control officers removed 46 pet rats from a Des Moines homes but didn't charge the homeowners and let them keep a few of the rodents.

Des Moines Police Sgt. James Butler says the homeowners cooperated with authorities.

Animal control officers went to the southeast Des Moines home Monday after receiving an email tip.

Conditions in the home were poor and officers had to wear respirators, but the rats appeared well cared for.

The homeowners told police they started with a few rats but the rodents kept breeding.

Butler says city code doesn't limit the number of rats people can keep, so the homeowners weren't charged.

Officers took 46 rats and left five others behind. They encouraged the residents to separate the males and females.

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UNI official calls for UNI-Dome improvements

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The University of Northern Iowa's athletic director says the school needs to make improvements to the UNI-Dome in Cedar Falls.

Troy Dannen says the renovations to the stadium will be part of a broader campaign that is "a couple of years" away.

Although it's too early to talk about costs, Dannen says renovations to the dome, opened in 1976, would be a "low eight-figure project."

Dannen says the stadium needs wider concourse areas, premium seating and larger restrooms. He noted there have been few changes to the dome since it opened, though $1.2 million is being spent on a scoreboard upgrade in the stadium and in the neighboring McCloud Center.

The dome's current seating capacity of 16,300 likely wouldn't change much.

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Locations : Des MoinesIowaNorthern Iowa
People : Troy Dannen




 

Divers find long-submerged Jeep in Des Moines lake

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Member of a police dive team have discovered a stolen vehicle apparently submerged in a Des Moines lake for 16 years.

The Metro Area Dive Team was practicing Wednesday at Easter Lake when they found the submerged Jeep.

Officer David Chiodo says the vehicle clearly had been in the lake a long time. It was covered in grime and had lots of fishing lines and sinkers attached to it.

Police traced the vehicle to Carlisle, where a 1998 police report showed the vehicle had been stolen.

Police think it likely had been in the lake since then.

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Locations : Des MoinesIowa
People : David Chiodo




 

Few applying for insurance acknowledge smoking

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Surveys show about 18 percent of adults in Iowa smoke regularly, but less than half that percentage acknowledge smoking when signing up for insurance with federally mandated forms.

Reports say when Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield used federally required language to ask applicants about their tobacco use, only 7 percent acknowledged smoking.

The Affordable Care Act doesn't allow insurers to charge more for customers with many health problems, but it allows higher fees for regular tobacco users.

CoOportunity Health, which also uses the tobacco language on its application forms, imposes a 49 percent surcharge on smokers in its individual insurance policies.

Only 5 percent of applicants acknowledge smoking, and CoOportunity chief operating office Cliff Gold says he's surprised the percentage isn't lower, given the charge.

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Topics : Health_Medical_Pharma
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Locations : Des MoinesIowa
People : Cliff Gold




 

Store's interest in buying land stirs opposition

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) — Some preservationists plan to oppose plans to build a Dollar General store in Fort Madison near where a battle occurred in the War of 1812.

The national chain store wants to buy the property known as the old Sheaffer Pen Co. parking lot. It's been for sale for seven years.

State archeologists say they've found remains where a native American chief would have been on the lot's eastern side. They say more battlefield evidence has been found on the lot's eastern half.

The city's planning and zoning commission has approved dividing the lot into two, so Dollar General can build on the western half and leave the east side alone.

The city council will review the division next week.

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Locations : Iowa




 

Third party candidate on ballot for Iowa governor

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Des Moines school board member will be on the ballot for governor as a third-party candidate.

Jonathan Narcisse announced Tuesday he had been certified by the Iowa secretary of state's office to run as the Iowa Party candidate.

Narcisse attempted to run as a Democrat in the primary election, but the secretary of state's office ruled his nomination petitions were incomplete. His attempts to overturn the ruling in the courts were unsuccessful. That meant that state Sen. Jack Hatch was the only Democrat running for governor.

Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is running for an unprecedented sixth non-consecutive term.

Narcisse has owned a number of publications, including the Iowa Bystander. He served on the Des Moines School Board for two years. He also ran for governor in 2010.

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Topics : Politics
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Locations : Des MoinesIowa
People : Jack HatchTerry Branstad




 

Owner needs help keeping Clear Lake drive-in open

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) — The owner of a drive-in restaurant that's been in business for decades in northern Iowa says he's looking for help to keep it open.

The Barrel Drive-In in Clear Lake needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs. There's only half an ice cream machine and one of the chicken broasters hasn't worked in years.

Owner Seth Thackery says that's money he doesn't have and he has considered selling the business. Recent media coverage has brought emails and phone calls from people who want to help and Thackery says he's weighing his options.

The drive-in opened in 1958 and Thackery started working there when he was 14. He says he's considering applying for a spot on the National Register of Historic Places or starting an internet fundraising campaign.

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Topics : Hospitality_Recreation
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Locations : IowaNorthern Iowa
People : Seth Thackery




 

Norwalk murder, woman's disappearance unsolved

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — It's been three years since 79-year-old Bill Wood of Norwalk was found dead in his burned home and his 72-year-old wife, Kay Wood, couldn't be found but investigators and family members remain determined to find who's responsible.

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Agent Michael Motsinger says leads have slowed but he's hoping that letting the public know the crime remains unsolved may help uncover important information.

Bill Wood's body was found inside the couple's burned out home on July 30, 2011. He had been shot.

Kay has never been found. Their red Chevrolet Silverado pickup was located at a Kansas City apartment complex.

Motsinger says a man seen walking away from the truck has never been identified and remains of interest.

An $8,000 reward for information remains in place.

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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : Des MoinesIowa
People : Bill WoodKay WoodMichael Motsinger




 

Hot air balloon brushes power line at Iowa event

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) — A hot air balloon brushed a power line and caused an outage at the National Balloon Classic near Indianola.

An event official, Bill Clemons, says the balloon was on the ground Tuesday night when it touched the wire and then draped over the wire. No injuries have been reported.

The event website says the 2014 National Balloon Classic features almost 100 hot air balloons from across the country. The event is scheduled to end Saturday.

Indianola is 18 miles south of Des Moines.

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Topics : Disaster_Accident
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Locations : Des MoinesIndianolaIowa
People : Bill Clemons




 

Wilson Island State Recreation Area set to reopen

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A state recreation area near Council Bluffs is scheduled to reopen soon.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the Wilson Island State Recreation Area will open its gates Monday. Workers are currently adding fire rings and picnic tables.

The park was originally scheduled to reopen more than a month ago. It was delayed by storms and flooding in June that caused damage to the area.

The park has been under cleanup and restoration for several years. Its campground has been closed since it was flooded in 2011.

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Iowa parents speak out against school changes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Students at Des Moines middle schools no longer have the option to take advanced English and science classes.

The change comes after some parents expressed concern that top performers won't be challenged.

Students instead will have the option to complete honors-level assignments in all subjects within general education classrooms. Accelerated math classes will remain and some students will have access to advanced courses at a magnet school. The change coincides with the implementation of a new grading system.

Parent Natasha Newcomb tells the paper that people are concerned teachers will focus more on struggling students than those who are ahead. She started an online petition urging the district to return advanced classes to the middle schools.

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Topics : Education
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Locations : Des MoinesIowa
People : Natasha Newcomb




 

Officials: Teen fell about 80 feet from Iowa cliff

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 17-year-old boy fell about 80 feet from a cliff at an eastern Iowa park.

The Clinton Fire Department says the teen fell from a bluff Monday afternoon at Eagle Point Park. The teen was airlifted to University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics. His condition has not been released.

The fire department says the boy, whose name has not been released, was located along railroad tracks. He was stabilized and sent to the hospital.

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Topics : Law_Crime
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Locations : ClintonEastern IowaIowa




 

Business news from Hy Vee.

Business news:
 
There is news from the Hy Vee Corporation of which we have two stores in Marshalltown a drug store and a grocery store:
 
Company officials say Hy Vee is poised to build a second store in the Twin Cities area.
 
The store would be located in the suburb of Oakdale Minnesota.
 
Hy Vee over the years now has 237 stores, 17 in Minnesota and in 7 other states in the Midwest.
 
 
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Locations : Minnesota




 

Crop report is out.

The latest crop report for last week is out by the USDA.
 
The report indicates that 78 percent of the corn and 74 percent of the beans remain in good to excellent condition.
 
Topsoil moisture levels are 81 percent adequate and subsoil moisture levels are 84 percent adequate.
 
85 percent of the corn is at or beyond the silking stage, 82 percent of the beans are blooming and beyond.
 
During a warm stretch heat indexes of 117 degrees were reported at Shenandoah and Audubon, during a cooler part of the week, Mason City and Elkader had low temperatures of 51.
 
The most rainfall reported last week was at Fairfield at the airport where they reported 4.28 inches of rain.
 
 
 
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Locations : Mason City




 

Two vehicle accident in Story County.

A Huxley man was hurt in a two vehicle accident in Story County.
 
According to an accident report the victim is identified as 42 year old Leonard Keltner who was driving a 2001 Honda Civic that got rear ended and totaled in an accident on highway 210.
 
The other driver is identified as 19 year old Ashley Suntken of Maxwell who was in a 2000 GMC Envoy.
 
 
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Topics : Disaster_Accident
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Locations : Story County
People : Ashley SuntkenLeonard Keltner




 

Iowa lottery sales fall 7 percent

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Lottery sales have fallen 7.4 percent over the past year, a drop lottery officials attribute to a rough winter that altered customers' buying habits and fewer extremely high jackpots that drive up sales.

Overall lottery sales dipped to $314 million in fiscal year 2014, which ended in June from $339.3 million the year before.

Scratch tickets, the biggest income generator, fell 6.7 percent to nearly $189 million. Powerball sales fell nearly 25 percent to $61 million. The Mega Millions lottery game sales climbed nearly 64 percent to $21.8 million.

Lottery officials say Powerball sales dropped because jackpots rose above $300 million three times during the year. It had climbed above that threshold four times the year before including the game's largest jackpot of $590.5 million reached in May 2013.

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Locations : Des MoinesIowa




 

Marshalltown woman cited in accident.

A Marshalltown woman was cited for Failure to Stop in an Assured Clear Distance after a two vehicle rear ender type accident in the 800 Block of South 3rd Avenue.
 
According to a Marshalltown Police Department report the drivers are identified as 44 year old Amy Williams who was in a 2006 Ford sport utility vehicle and 46 year old Russell Matney of Liscomb in a 2002 Dodge pick up truck.
 
Two thousand dollars damage to the Williams vehicle, minor damage to the Matney vehicle, neither driver was hurt.
 
 
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Homeless shelter in Des Moines installs greenhouse

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A homeless shelter in downtown Des Moines has installed a greenhouse that will enable the organization to grow vegetables year-round.

The residents at Central Iowa Shelter & Services will be able to learn about harvesting and selling the produce grown at the greenhouse. The hope is that they will be able to use those skills to help find work.

The construction of the dome-shaped greenhouse was finished over the weekend. It has been named Mulberry Farms and Food.

Inside of the greenhouse is a 3,000-gallon water pool which shelter officials say lettuce will likely grow in.

The shelter's executive director says he hopes vegetables can be planted by the end of the summer.

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Topics : Environment
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Locations : Central IowaDes MoinesIowa




 

Iowa store owner imprisoned for machine gun sale

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — An eastern Iowa gun store owner has been given 14 months in prison for selling a machine gun.

Larry Brauer was sentenced on Monday. He owns Lone Wolf Outdoor Supplies in Calamus.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says a customer of Brauer's worked with the bureau on a sting operation and bought a machine gun from Brauer for $750 in October 2013.

The bureau says Brauer's federal firearms license doesn't allow him to sell machine guns regulated under the National Firearms Act.

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Topics : War_Conflict
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Locations : DavenportEastern IowaIowa
People : Larry Brauer




 

Iowa building renovation begins in Waterloo

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Crews are finally restoring the long vacant administration building of a shuttered company in Waterloo.

The historic building that once belonged to former giant Rath Packing Company has become an eyesore after sitting empty for decades.

Crews are working on the interior's demolition and are installing new windows on the building.

Waterloo acquired the 200,000 square-foot building after Rath closed in 1985. The city gave the property to Mako Waterloo Corporation, which was expected to finish the building's renovation in 2011.

The company says renovation delays occurred because of project financing, such as securing tax credits. Their project deadline was extended to September of this year.

Mako Waterloo says it have a property tenant lined up for when the building renovation is complete.

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Locations : IowaWaterloo




 

Police: Teen in Iowa shooting escaped facility

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Police say a 17-year-old boy who allegedly shot a weapon into the air at Iowa City's pedestrian mall had earlier escaped from a juvenile home.

Iowa City police say the teenager had escaped from the Eldora State Training School for Boys prior to the early Sunday shooting. Police say he acted alone when he fired several shots, and authorities are no longer looking for a second suspect.

The juvenile faces several charges, including reckless use of a firearm and going armed with intent. The Associated Press generally does not name minors accused of crimes.

The teen, who was wanted on a nationwide warrant, told authorities he shot his weapon because he felt threatened by another group at the pedestrian mall. No injuries were reported during the shooting.


 
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Topics : Law_CrimeWar_Conflict
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Locations : IowaIowa City




 

Lottery results for Marshall County.

Iowa Lottery officials say the Hy Vee Store in Marshalltown was the top selling lottery game retail outlet in the county during the last fiscal year.
 
In addition lottery officials have listed the top four winners in lottery games over the last fiscal year: Stephen Albert of Tama won 100-thousand dollars at a Casey’s General Store in a Double Dollar Fortune scratch game. Kimberly Preston of Haverhill won 30-thousand dollars in a Jumble scratch game purchased at a Jiffy Stop, Ron Sherbon of Melbourne won nine thousand dollars playing Hot Lotto at a Jiffy Stop. Ghazanfar Gujar playing the Pick 4 lotto game won 32 hundred and fifty dollars with a ticket he purchased at the Hy Vee gas station.
 
 
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Sax tax holiday this weekend.

Sales tax takes a holiday in Iowa this upcoming weekend Friday and Saturday in a yearly effort to stimulate back to school sales.
 
This will mark this 15th year for the event in which clothing and footwear under 100 dollarswill be exempt from state and local option sales taxes.
 
 
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Locations : Iowa




 

The State Fair starts soon.

The count down is underway to the start of this years Iowa State Fair at Des Moines.
 
Officials say the Fair begins August 7th and continues through the 17th which is the day before school resumes in Marshalltown.
 
The Fair will feature 571 shows which amounts to some 500-thousand dollars worth of free entertainment.
 
This years Fair will have a circus like theme.
 
 
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Topics : Entertainment_Culture
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Locations : Des MoinesMarshalltown