Plea Deal Coming in Fatal Punch of Referee

DETROIT (AP) — A lawyer for a soccer player charged in the one-punch killing of a referee during a game says his client has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in which he would serve 8-15 years in prison. Attorney Cyril Hall told The Associated Press he expects Bassel Saad to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter during a hearing Friday in Detroit. A message was left Friday with the prosecutor. Saad’s trial had been scheduled to begin Monday. The 36-year-old auto mechanic from Dearborn is charged with second-degree murder. Continue Reading

Court: Not Disclosing HIV Before Sex is a Misdemeanor

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s highest court says an HIV-positive man who told a partner that they could safely have unprotected sex should face a misdemeanor reckless endangerment charge, not a felony. The Court of Appeals says Terrance Williams didn’t expose his partner “out of any malevolent desire” to give him the virus that causes AIDS, though his partner got sick. The court majority called Williams’ 2010 conduct “reckless, selfish and reprehensible.” But it also says the Syracuse man didn’t show “depraved indifference” necessary to support the felony. The four judges declined to decide whether HIV infection no longer “creates a grave and unjustifiable risk of death” because of advances in medical treatment. Continue Reading

sweetcorn

USDA Now Calling for Record Corn, Soybean Harvests

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The nation’s corn and soybean farmers will harvest by far the largest crops ever this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday in a new report. Bigger crops have been expected this year as adequate rain and cool temperatures made for favorable growing conditions, but the new estimates far surpass previous records. Corn farmers are expected to harvest nearly 14.4 billion bushels of corn, up from last year’s 13.9 billion bushel record. The 171.7 bushels per acre yield is significantly higher than the previous record set in 2009 of 164.7 bushels per acre. Record yields will be set in 18 states, the USDA said. Continue Reading

mosquito

Mosquito Virus has made it to Iowa

Iowa has its first confirmed case of the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus, state public health officials said Wednesday, removing Iowa from the list of six U.S. states that had not reported a case of the disease. Iowa Department of Public Health, said a central Iowa adult male in the 18-40 age range who recently returned from a trip to the Caribbean became ill with the mosquito-borne Chikungunya (pronounced chik-en-gun-ye) virus. He was not hospitalized and is recovering. Continue Reading

bats

Bats Invading Iowa Homes

Many Iowans are finding unwelcome visitors in their houses, and it’s not out-of-town relatives arriving early for the Labor Day weekend. Mark Langan, at the Humane Society office in Omaha/Council Bluffs, explains… “We’ve had over 100 calls for bats in people’s houses this week,” Langan says. “Every year, about this time, our calls increase.” Typically, the furry winged creatures start making surprise appearances in our homes in late summer and early fall. Continue Reading

baby

Iowa’s Most Popular Baby Names for 2013

The list of the most popular names for babies born in Iowa last year has been released. Data from the U.S. Social Security Administration shows Emma remained the top girl’s name in Iowa in 2013. Emma has claimed the top spot three years in a row and seven times in the past decade. Rounding out the top five for girl’s names last year: Harper, Sophia, Olivia, and Ava. On the boy’s side, Liam was the most popular boy’s name for the second year in a row. Continue Reading

quin

Pat Quinn gets Credit for ALS Challenge

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is getting a hand from someone with a familiar name to raise money for Lou Gehrig’s disease. The governor’s office says the Democrat will appear Wednesday in Chicago with Pat Quinn of Yonkers, New York. The other Quinn is credited with helping jumpstart the so-called “ice bucket challenge” to raise money for the disease also known as ALS. He was diagnosed last year. The challenge asks those willing to douse themselves with ice water to challenge others to do the same. Continue Reading

jobs

Illinois Unemployment Drops

(AP) The state Department of Employment Security says Illinois unemployment fell in July to 6.8 percent. It was the fifth straight monthly decrease in the state’s jobless rate. The July figure represents a drop from 9.2 percent one year ago and marks the largest year-over-year decline since 1984. The last time the rate was lower than 6.8 was in August 2008 when it was 6.7. There are 35,600 more jobs than one year ago. Continue Reading

shell-gas-station-pump

Iowa Gas Prices could Jump

Fuels analysts fear gasoline prices in Iowa could be about to jump following recent problems at three refineries in the Midwest region. That comes after more than two months of steady gas price declines in the state. Rose White, spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says there was a big fire at a major refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, on July 29th… “Repairs are expected to take about four weeks. Also, there’s some reported problems at a refinery in Whiting, Indiana, as well as one in El Dorado, Kansas.” Continue Reading