Gridlock in IL House as Property Tax Freeze Voted Down

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has voted down a property tax freeze — one of the issues on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agenda. The full chamber rejected two bills on largely partisan votes Tuesday. Many Republicans voted “present” and said the freeze falls short of Rauner’s plan. Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo proposed freezing the tax at 2015 levels and if local government entities wanted more, they needed voter approval. Continue Reading

Minnesota Farm Restocks on Turkeys After Bird Flu

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The first Midwest poultry farm struck by a deadly form of bird flu is growing turkeys again, even though the virus is still lurking in Iowa and Minnesota. Dr. Dale Lauer of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health says the Minnesota farm was restocked with new birds Sunday. He tells The Associated Press it’s the first affected farm to reach that milestone. He also says a few other farms among the earliest victims will be restocked by next week. Steve Olson of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association says the news is encouraging, but that there is apprehension because there’s still a risk that the virus could come back. Continue Reading

Iowa Man Indicted for Threatening Boston Islamic Center

BOSTON (AP) — An Iowa man has been indicted on charges he allegedly threatened to kill Muslims in a Boston Islamic center. Fifty-seven-year-old Gerald Wayne Ledford of Clinton is accused of posting threats on the Facebook page for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in October. Federal authorities say one post included a photo of a man with a gun and said, “This is for you.” Court filings say he also applauded the killing of Muslims on his own Facebook page. The indictment announced Tuesday charges Ledford with transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce. Continue Reading

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Amber Alert Update: Burned Remains in Missouri Linked to Missing Iowa Child, Dad

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say the remains of an infant and an adult found in burned vehicle in Harrison County, Mo., are believed to be those of a missing 9-month-old Iowa boy and his father. Police in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale had been looking for the child, Logan Habibovic. An Amber Alert issued for him early Wednesday morning said it was believed he’d been abducted by 33-year-old Elvis Habibovic. The alert described a vehicle that authorities say matched the description of the burned vehicle found Tuesday evening in a conservation area of Missouri’s Harrison County. Authorities in the two states are trying to positively identify the remains. Continue Reading

Identity of Woman Killed in Sunday Car Accident Released

The identity of the woman killed in a Sunday car accident on Summer Street and Highway 61 in Burlington has been released. 74 year old Sandra Waggoner of Fort Madison was killed after Burlington Fire Department officials say that she pulled into the intersection at Summer and 61 and was struck by a vehicle heading North on 61 driven by 55 year old William Poland of Burlington. Waggoner died after emergency crews arrived. Three others, including Poland and his wife Regina Poland as well as a 13 year old juvenile in Waggoner’s car were transported from the scene to Great River Medical Center. Iowa State Patrol is investigating the incident. Continue Reading

A missing person poster for Leasure. From KBUR Listener Frank Statler.

Police Find Bicycle Belonging to Missing Burlington Man

Burlington Police are hoping to find clues as to the whereabouts of a missing Burlington man after his bicycle was discovered near West Lake near Hope Haven. 53 year old Steven Leasure was last seen on May 2nd at the Maple Street Circle K, wearing a Dark T-Shirt and Jean shorts, riding a bicycle. The Hawk Eye reports that bicycle was found Monday by a resident at Hope Haven, and sonar-equipped boats have been searching through the lake. Burlington Police Detective Jeff Klein says the department is not ruling out foul play. Continue Reading

Hastert Case Raises Slew of Questions

CHICAGO (AP) — The federal indictment of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has raised a long list of puzzling legal questions, including why prosecutors filed banking charges in a case that, at its core, appears to involve extortion and sexual abuse. No defense attorney promptly came forward to publicly rebut the charges, and Hastert might have avoided some embarrassing details becoming public had he negotiated a plea agreement. Some answers could come Tuesday, when the 73-year-old is scheduled to make his first court appearance since a May 28 indictment said he agreed to pay $3.5 million to someone from his days as high school teacher and wrestling coach not to reveal a secret about past misconduct. He’s charged with violating banking laws and lying to the FBI, with each of those two counts carrying a maximum five-year prison term. A look at the arraignment and some of the legal issues in the case:



Legal observers wonder if Hastert violated the old adage about never answering questions without a lawyer present when investigating authorities’ approached him at the end of last year. Continue Reading

One More Case of Bird Flu, US to Begin Importing Eggs from Europe

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa agriculture officials are reporting an additional farm infected with bird flu in Sioux County. It’s the 18th case in the county and was found in a flock of 3,800 birds of various species. An Iowa Department of Agriculture spokesman says he can’t be more specific about what type of farm is infected or what species of birds are involved. It is the 73rd case of bird flu in Iowa. The outbreak has cost the state more than 29 million birds including 24 million egg-laying chickens and 3.8 million pullets, young chickens raised to be egg layers. Continue Reading

Branstad Doesn’t Rule Out Special Session on Education

Governor Terry Branstad says the legislature’s failure to decide how much state aid Iowa’s public schools will get for the 2016/2017 school year is a disappointment. When pressed by reporters Monday, Branstad wouldn’t rule out calling lawmakers back to Des Moines in special session to make the decision. “I’m not going to speculate,” Branstad said. “You all can speculate all you want to, but I’m just going to wait until I see all the bills and try to choose the course of action that I think makes the most sense.” The 2015 legislative session ended Friday and legislators approved a one-and-a-quarter percent increase in general state aid for the school year that starts this fall, plus lawmakers voted to give schools a one-time allotment of 55 million dollars. Continue Reading