Marathon Bombing Victims Say Tsarnaev Abused His American Freedom

Several victims of the Boston Marathon attack have chastised bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev for coming to the United States as an immigrant, enjoying the benefits of living here and then attacking U.S. citizens. An older sister of a slain Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer addressed Tsarnaev on Wednesday during his sentencing hearing. He is due to be formally sentenced to death by a judge. Jennifer Rogers called Tsarnaev a “leech abusing the privilege of American freedom.” She says Tsarnaev “spit in the face of the American dream.” Continue Reading

Court: Iowa Universities Can’t Be Sued for Unpaid State Fees

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s public universities can’t be sued for allegedly refusing to pay their share into a state program that subsidizes insurance for Iowans with health risks. The Iowa Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal Wednesday of a lawsuit that seeks millions in assessments from the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. The Iowa Individual Health Benefit Reinsurance Association contends that the universities, like other agencies that offer self-funded health insurance plans, are legally required to pay those fees. ISU and UNI had paid them for years but all three universities refused to participate when the University of Iowa became self-insured in 2010. The Board of Regents contends the schools aren’t covered by the law. Continue Reading

Details Released on Tornado Touchdown Near Albia

The National Weather Service is reporting the tornado that ripped through parts of southern Iowa Monday night covered a 25-mile long path and stayed on the ground for just over an hour. Meteorologist Craig Cogill says the tornado hit portions of Marion, Lucas and Monroe Counties. “The peak wind gusts were up around 142 miles an hour. That’s an EF3 tornado, which occurred at a farmstead southwest of Lovilia,” Cogill said. At its peak, the tornado had an estimated width of 440 yards. Continue Reading

Light Plane Crash in Northern Iowa, No Injuries

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — No injuries have been reported in the crash of a light plane that lost power while flying over northern Iowa. The Floyd County Sheriff’s Office says the Piper PA-24 Comanche was being flown by David Priebe, of Sumner, when it lost power a little before 7 p.m. Tuesday. Priebe had 6,500 feet of altitude to work with as he maneuvered his single-engine aircraft toward the Charles City airport and tried to set down there. The Sheriff’s Office says the plane overshot the landing and ended up in a ditch that runs alongside U.S. Highway 18. The office says Priebe and his wife, who was flying with him, were not hurt. Continue Reading

Aaron Shelley. Courtesy: Des Moines County Jail.

Man Arrested After He Allegedly Sold Cocaine to Undercover Cops

Burlington Police have arrested a man after he allegedly sold crack cocaine to undercover officers. 29 year old Aaron Shelley was arrested by members of the Southeast Iowa Narcotics Taskforce on Monday. Burlington Police Lt. Jeff Klein. “Over the course of several months, we conducted four separate narcotics transactions with Mr. Shelley,” said Burlington Police Lt. Jeff Klein, “We were able to establish probable cause to obtain a search warrant for his residence… Mr. Shelley was not present when we first executed the search warrant, shortly thereafter, we observed him driving in the area, a traffic stop was executed, and he was arrested without incident.” Continue Reading

Board of Supervisors to Hold Off on Financial Assistance Against Des Moines Water Works Suit

The Des Moines County Board of Supervisors will not pledge financial support to the ongoing legal battle between Des Moines Water Works and Calhoun, Sac, and Buena Vista Counties over nitrate runoff, at least, not yet. The board met with members of the Two Rivers Drainage District board during a Tuesday morning work session. Members of the Drainage District told the supervisors that the lawsuit has wide ranging implications, and that the board should keep a close eye on ongoing developments in the case. Scott Power is a lawyer who works with the district. “It’s a federal court suit that will affect every farm in the State of Iowa,” Power said. Continue Reading

Representative Heaton Speaks.

Lawmakers Call For Gov. Branstad to Keep Mount Pleasant MHI Open

Lawmakers from across the state gathered in Mount Pleasant today to call on Governor Terry Branstad to keep the Mental Health Facilities in Mount Pleasant and Clarinda open for the foreseeable future. Senator Rich Taylor (D-Mount Pleasant) and Representative Dave Heaton (R-Mount Pleasant) were joined by Senator Tom Courtney (D-Burlington), Senator Amanda Ragan (D-Mason City) and Assistant Senate Majority Leader Joe Bolkcom (D-Iowa City) at a press conference at the Mount Pleasant MHI. They hope to urge Governor Branstad to sign the bipartisan Senate File 505, which would fund and keep open the Mount Pleasant Facility while seeking to privatize the facility in Clarinda. Workers at the facility were given pink slips this week, and Branstad has made every indication that he intends to close the facility next week. Representative Heaton says that the Governor is refusing to bend to the legislature. Continue Reading

Branstad Reacts to Telemed Abortion Ruling

Governor Terry Branstad talked Monday about Friday’s Iowa Supreme Court ruling that allows so-called telemed abortions to continue. “I was very disappointed in the court decision, and we are going to be reading and reviewing and analyzing that and determining what is the best course of action for us to take,” Branstad says. Branstad says its’ too early to say if the state will appeal the ruling to the U-S Supreme Court. “I do respect the fact that the courts are a separate branch of government from the executive branch of government. And I have not had the chance to review this in great detail. Continue Reading

Albia Hy-Vee May Have Been Hit by Tornado

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The National Weather Service is sending a survey team to check damage and confirm a suspected tornado that ripped into a grocery store and nearby homes in southern Iowa. An estimated 40 to 50 Hy-Vee store employees and customers in Albia took shelter in the store cooler when the storm struck Monday evening, shattering store windows and sending glass flying into a nearby neighborhood. Homes in the area lost roofs and windows as well. Trees and power lines were knocked down around the city, but no injuries have been reported. In northwest Iowa, straight-line winds approaching 100 mph destroyed a hangar at Sheldon Regional Airport and disabled five aircraft. Continue Reading