Iowa

Senate Panel OKs Bill Banning Local Minimum Wage Increases

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Senate committee has approved a bill that would ban local governments from raising the minimum hourly wage in Iowa, effectively causing pay cuts for some workers. The 9-6 vote Wednesday by the Senate State Government Committee means the bill is now available for debate in the full Republican-controlled chamber, where it has support. The…

Iowa Man Convicted Of Hacking 3 People To Death With Machete

PERRY, Iowa (AP) – A 25-year-old man has been convicted of hacking to death his girlfriend, her teenage daughter and their landlord in central Iowa. A Dallas County jury on Tuesday found Carlos Hernandez-Ventura guilty on three counts of first-degree murder. Prosecutors say Hernandez-Ventura used a machete on Oct. 29 to kill 34-year-old Lourdes Flor De Leake, 14-year-old Melany Barraza…

South Dakota, Iowa Confirm Pipeline Vandalism

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Authorities in a second state have confirmed an incident of vandalism against the Dakota Access pipeline. Mahaska County Sheriff Russell Van Renterghem in Iowa says it appears someone used a torch to cut a hole in the empty pipeline at an above-ground safety valve site southeast of Des Moines. He says it appears the culprit maneuvered…

Health Group: Up To 250,000 Iowans At Risk Under GOP Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A hospital association estimates a Republican-backed plan to replace the Affordable Care Act could leave up to 250,000 Iowans without health insurance. Others speculate the change could destabilize the entire Medicaid system that serves poor and disabled people. The Congressional Budget Office estimates 24 million Americans will lose health care coverage over the next decade…

Ethanol Spills In Iowa As Train Cars Pulled From Creek

GRAETTINGER, Iowa (AP) – Environmental officials say about 1,600 gallons of ethanol leaked into a northwestern Iowa creek as crews were pulling three derailed train tankers from the water. A news release Tuesday from the Iowa Natural Resources Department says the last three tankers from the fiery train derailment were pulled from Jack Creek on Monday. One spilled about 1,500…

Feds: Iowa Gym Owner Was Part Of Large-Scale Steroid Network

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa City gym manager has been implicated in a five-year conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids. Investigators say in court documents filed Wednesday that 39-year-old Stanley Szeto was a coconspirator in a “large-scale nationwide distribution” network. The bodybuilder was arrested in August. Officers executed warrants at his Iowa City home and gym, 319 Elite Fitness…

Iowa House GOP Passes Voter ID Bill, Sends To Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Republican-controlled House has approved a contested voter identification bill along party lines after forcing debate to end. Republican lawmakers have for years supported identification at polling places, saying it’s needed to fight improper voting despite the rarity of voter fraud. Before voting Thursday to approve the voter ID bill, Republicans forced an end to…

Personhood Bill Fails Deadline To Move Ahead In Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A legislative effort by Iowa Republicans to outlaw abortion in the state has failed to advance past a legislative procedural deadline. The so-called personhood bill was kept off the agenda of a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Thursday. The committee needed to vote on the measure for it to survive a deadline that requires certain legislative…

Iowa Senate Subcommittee Approves 20-Week Abortion Ban

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A bill that would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks has cleared a Senate subcommittee, joining several GOP-led legislative efforts to restrict abortion in Iowa. The legislation passed the Senate human resources subcommittee Tuesday amid a tight legislative deadline that demands policy bills pass full committees before the end of the week. Sen. Mark Chelgren, an…

Iowa GOP Lawmakers In Senate Approve ‘Personhood’ Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A so-called personhood bill that would effectively ban abortion in Iowa has passed out of a legislative subcommittee, though it’s unclear if it has the necessary backing to clear the Senate. The measure was approved Monday as dozens gathered at the Capitol to support or oppose the bill. It now heads to the Senate Judiciary…

The Troubles Of Forecasting Snow

Whether It's A Flake Or A Blizzard, It's Hard

When the winter season begins, a new challenge begins for meteorologists – forecasting snow. Enough of it can call off school, cause cities and towns to issue snow alerts and insulate crops during the winter months but whether it’s a tenth of an inch or a couple of feet, forecasting it is difficult. First and foremost, meteorology is not an…

Iowa House Panel OKs Medical Marijuana Oil Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa House subcommittee approved a bill that would legalize medical marijuana oil and create a state-run program to grow and dispense the product. People affected by epileptic seizures, multiple sclerosis and cancer spoke Wednesday in support of the bill, telling lawmaker cannabis oil helped them. The GOP-led panel unanimously supported the bill, which now…

Iowa Union Files Lawsuit Against Collective Bargaining Law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s largest state employees union has filed a lawsuit challenging a new law that eliminates most collective bargaining rights for public workers. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61 filed the lawsuit Monday in Polk County District Court. It seeks an order halting immediate enforcement of the changes. Gov. Terry…

Iowa Man Who Crashed Into School Bus Gets 10 Years In Prison

MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) – An eastern Iowa man accused of running his sport utility vehicle into a school bus has been given 10 years in prison. Monte Klink, of Arlington, was sentenced Wednesday in Manchester. He’d pleaded guilty to two counts of serious injury by vehicle and one of second-offense operating while intoxicated. Authorities say Klink was high on methamphetamine…

Senior Project Provides Hands On Experience, Takes Two Iowa Teens Back In Time

Two northwest Iowa teens are taking a trip back in time after an old tractor was donated to their high school. In the process of restoring the piece of machinery to its former beauty, the students are getting hands on experience and a history lesson. With just one look, it’s easy to see that this machine has seen better days….

Des Moines, Cedar Rapids Police Body Cameras Policies Differ

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Police in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids are beginning to outfit officers with body cameras but Iowa’s two largest cities have adopted significantly different rules for informing the public about the cameras and making the recordings public. The Des Moines Register reports the cameras will record a variety of situations, including arrests, traffic stops and…

Iowa Day Care Provider Sentenced To Five Months In Jail

ORANGE CITY, IA – Sioux County Attorney Kunstle announced that Dianna Marie Winder, age 33, of Maurice, Iowa, was sentenced to five months in the Sioux County Jail on Monday for Child Endangerment Causing Bodily Injury, a Class D Felony, and Assault Causing Bodily Injury, a Serious Misdemeanor. Sioux County Attorney Kunstle, in cooperation with the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, prosecuted…

Iowa Forms Subcommittee To Examine Minority Unemployment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A group has been formed to improve Iowa’s minority unemployment rates over the next few years. Iowa Workforce Development announced Monday that a subcommittee, under the State Workforce Development Board, will try to reduce unemployment in minority communities over the next five years. The goal is either a reduction of 5 percentage points or to…