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Midwest Gas Prices Spike

As the Memorial Day weekend approaches, so do higher gas prices. The reason midwest residents are seeing a spike in gas prices today can be blamed on outages and maintenance at several oil refineries. This means for shortages that will boost the price all around the region. It’s so far affected Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. Iowa drivers today are paying around $3.67 for regular gas. Continue Reading

1 sailor dead, others injured in training accident

Officials say one U.S. Navy sailor was killed and several others were hurt in a training exercise at Fort Knox in Kentucky. Fort Knox spokesman Ryan Brus said Friday morning that the accident happened Wednesday night and involved members of a Naval branch at the post in central Kentucky. Brus had no other details and referred calls to U.S. Navy Lt. David Lloyd. Lloyd did not immediately return a call to The Associated Press. Fort Knox is about 50 miles southwest of Louisville and is home to about 14,000 military personnel, including active duty members and reserves. Continue Reading

Florida man accused of staging home invasion in attack on wife

A central Florida man is in jail after deputies say he wore a disguise while slashing his wife’s face, then made up a story about a home invasion to cover up his actions. But Volusia County Sheriff’s investigators say 29-year-old Timorthy Hunter confessed after they confronted him with inconsistencies in his story. He remained in the Volusia County Jail without bond on Friday. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports deputies found Kristin Sottosanti with multiple cuts on her face after she called 911 Wednesday night. She told them a masked man had come into her house and slashed her face. Continue Reading

Birth of anteater has Conn. zoo staff puzzled

An anteater has given birth at a Connecticut conservation center, prompting officials there to wonder how the mother conceived. Officials at the LEO Zoological Conservation Center tell the Greenwich Time (http://bit.ly/14wsum4 ) they had removed the only male anteater from the enclosure in August, long before the six-month gestation period for baby Archie would have begun. They feared that male, Alf, would kill another baby in the pen. That left the mother Armani, and the young female, Alice, in the enclosure. But little Archie was born in April anyway. Continue Reading

Arias cries as sister of murdered victim calls him 'glue' of family during emotional impact statement

Jurors deciding whether convicted murderer Jodi Arias will get the death penalty heard the victim’s brother describe Thursday how he was hospitalized for ulcers, lost sleep and separated from his wife after his brother was killed. Travis Alexander’s younger brother Steven paused to choke back tears and regain his composure as he recounted the phone call he got from his sister the day his brother’s body was found. “She told me, `Steven, Travis is dead,”‘ he said. “I thought I was dreaming.” The same jury convicted Arias of first-degree murder last week after about 15 hours of deliberations. Continue Reading

Wife who can't load shotgun uses it to club bear attacking husband

A Wisconsin woman saved her husband from an attacking black bear outside of their cabin by hitting the animal with a gun, authorities said. Fox 11 reports that Gerre Ninnemann initially saw the bear running after his dog, Maddy, on Wednesday. He then went outside the Silver Cliff cabin to summon the 8-year-old yellow lab inside, but the bear chased and tackled Ninnemann, biting and clawing at his back. “I came running out into the yard here, shouting, waving my arms at the bear, thinking that would care him away,” the retired financial planner told the station. “But it didn’t. Continue Reading

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Lawmakers Reach Deal on IA PropTax, Income Tax Reform

After two and a half years of negotiations, legislators have tentatively agreed on a plan that will reduce commercial property taxes in Iowa, set a slightly lower limit on future property tax increases for homes and farms, AND reduce income taxes as well.  

Commercial property tax rates will be cut by 10 percent within three years, a roll-back republicans sought, and a new tax credit will be created for all commercial property owners, something Democrats proposed. The Democrats’ call for increasing a tax credit for low-income iowans is included in the package, as well as a new tax credit of up to 60 dollars a year for Iowa income taxpayers – something Repubklicans like House Speaker Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha wanted as a way to deal with unspent or surplus money in the state budget. The plan also sets a slightly lower, three percent limit on how much assessments on residential and farmland can go up each year. The present limit is four percent. Paulsen says that means the package deals with all classes of property in Iowa. Continue Reading

IL Concealed Carry Conversation Continues; Chicago Unique?

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois Senate committee has approved a concealed carry proposal that would require special permission to have a gun in Chicago.  

The Senate Executive Committee approved Sen. Kwame Raoul’s (KWAH’-may rah-OOLZ’) proposal 10-4 on Thursday afternoon. Republican minority leader Christine Radogno voted “present.” The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in December that Illinois’ ban on concealed carry is unconstitutional. Continue Reading

Iowa Bank Robber Charged with Trying to Escape

BENTON, Ill. (AP) — A convicted Iowa bank robber serving a roughly six-year sentence at a federal prison camp in southern Illinois is accused of trying to escape.  

Fifty-five-year-old David John Pederson was arraigned Thursday in U.S. District Court in Benton on the escape charge. Prosecutors say Pederson was being transferred in March from the Marion camp to a halfway house in Council Bluffs, Iowa, when he left the extended limits of his confinement, constituting an escape. He was indicted on the escape charge on May 9. Continue Reading