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BREAKING NEWS

Iowa News

Former official accused of theft from Benton County agency

VINTON (AP) — Authorities have accused a former executive director of a Benton County economic development group with using its money to make personal purchases. Online court records say 46-year-old Ranae Becker is charged with theft. A phone listed for Becker in Vinton rang unanswered ...

Branstad lowers projections for budget by about $173M

DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has lowered his projections for Iowa’s upcoming budget year by about $173 million amid declining state revenue. The Republican governor released a revised budget Tuesday night that proposes spending roughly $7.2 billion in the budget year that begins ...

Regulator’s confirmation delayed after AP report

IOWA CITY (AP) — The Iowa Senate delayed the confirmation of Geri Huser as the Iowa Utilities Board chairwoman after The Associated Press reported on her extensive private legal work, lawmakers said Wednesday. The Senate commerce committee had been scheduled Tuesday to consider Huser’s ...

Lawmakers drop ‘fetal heartbeat’ bill

DES MOINES (AP) — Republican lawmakers in Iowa on Wednesday scrapped legislation that would ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, retreating just one day after announcing the proposal. The move marked a blow for conservatives in the state seeking to enact among the nation’s ...

Weaver seeks Rep. King’s seat again

DES MOINES (AP) — Democrat Kim Weaver wants a rematch against U.S. Rep. Steve King after losing to the Republican congressman in 2016. Weaver announced Sunday she would challenge King in Iowa’s 4th Congressional District in 2018. In the last election, Weaver lost in 38 of the 39 counties ...

Remains of soldier being returned

HARLAN (AP) — Remains of an Iowa soldier who died in the Korean War are being returned for burial in Arlington National Cemetery near Washington, D.C. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced Monday that the remains of Army Sgt. Donald Noehren, of Harlan, Iowa, will be buried April ...

Panel OKs bill to toughen texting law

DES MOINES (AP) — A House panel has approved a bill that would toughen Iowa’s regulations for texting and driving. A subcommittee of the House Transportation Committee unanimously agreed Monday to support the legislation. It’s now eligible for a full committee vote. The bill would allow ...

Judge blocks Branstad’s deposition in firing of Hedlund

DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad praised a judge Monday for ruling that he does not have to face deposition in a lawsuit filed by a fired state agent who accuses the governor of defamation. Former Division of Criminal Investigation agent Larry Hedlund had asked a judge to require ...

Iowa lawmakers OK standard minimum wage

DES MOINES (AP) — The Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature on Monday approved a bill that would prohibit local governments from raising minimum hourly wages above the state level, effectively cutting some existing worker wages — an unusual result compared to other so-called pre-emption ...

Former UNI head Ben Allen is ISU interim president

IOWA CITY (AP) — Former University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen will serve as interim president of Iowa State University following the resignation of Steven Leath. The Press-Citizen reported Friday that Allen will begin his interim role on May 9. His annual salary will be $525,000 ...

Sioux City man accused of firing at deputy pleads not guilty

SIOUX CITY (AP) — A Sioux City man accused of firing at a Woodbury County sheriff’s deputy has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. The Sioux City Journal reports that 24-year-old Melvin Spencer entered the plea Friday before in Woodbury County District Court. His trial has been set for ...

Muscatine mayor’s removal hearing to reconvene

MUSCATINE (AP) — The mayor of Muscatine will have to wait until next month to defend herself to the City Council, which is considering her removal from office. The Muscatine Journal reports that the council met for 11 hours Thursday and listened to witnesses and lawyers talk about Mayor ...

Lawmaker files paperwork to explore gubernatorial run

DES MOINES (AP) — A Democratic state lawmaker has filed paperwork to consider running for Iowa governor in 2018. Rep. Todd Prichard of Charles City announced Thursday that he’s formed an exploratory committee for the upcoming gubernatorial race. Prichard, an attorney and veteran, says in ...

Senate Republicans propose shortening early voting time

DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa Senate Republicans have amended a voter identification bill to reduce the number of early voting days. Lawmakers voted 26-21 Thursday in support of the bill. It includes a provision to reduce early voting before a general election from 40 days to 29 days. The bill ...

Another state hospital to close psychiatric care unit

OSKALOOSA (AP) — Another state hospital is closing its inpatient psychiatric care unit in Iowa. Mahaska Health Partnership CEO Jay Christensen said Wednesday that the Oskaloosa hospital discharged its last psychiatric inpatient on Monday. The Oskaloosa geriatric psychiatric unit, which ...

Domestic abuse sentencing bill gains detractor

DES MOINES — A bill that would set mandatory minimum prison sentences for repeat domestic abuse offenders in Iowa is drawing opposition from an unlikely source: one of the state’s largest advocacy organizations for victims. Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence is registered against the ...

Iowa Senate approves bill that would allow fireworks

DES MOINES (AP) — The Iowa Senate has approved a bill that would allow the sale of fireworks in the state beyond novelties like sparklers. The Republican-controlled chamber passed the bill Tuesday night and it now heads to the House. The legislation would legalize the retail sale and use of ...

Panel OKs bill banning local minimum wage increases

DES MOINES (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 ...

South Dakota confirms Dakota Access oil pipeline vandalism

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Authorities in South Dakota on Tuesday confirmed an incident of vandalism against the Dakota Access oil pipeline in which someone burned a hole through an empty section of pipe. Texas-based pipeline developer Energy Transfer Partners said in court documents Monday that ...

Iowa Senate begins debate on bill that would allow fireworks

DES MOINES (AP) — The Iowa Senate has begun debate on a bill that would allow the sale of fireworks in the state beyond novelties like sparklers. The Republican-controlled chamber began debate Tuesday afternoon. The bill is expected to pass and head to the House, where it also has ...