George Zimmerman Shot in Florida

LAKE MARY, Fla. (AP) — A shooting incident involving George Zimmerman is the latest in a series of run-ins the former neighborhood watch volunteer has had with the law, random strangers and his ex-wife since he was acquitted of murder charges two years ago in the death of Trayvon Martin. Police say Zimmerman flagged down an officer to report Monday’s shooting in Lake Mary, Florida, and that a man with whom Zimmerman was involved in a road-rage encounter earlier this year also called 911 to report it. Police spokeswoman officer Bianca Gillett says no charges were filed immediately against the man, whom she identified as Matthew Apperson. Last September, Apperson said Zimmerman threatened to kill him during a road confrontation. Continue Reading

Branstad Priorities Still Unresolved

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two of Gov. Terry Branstad’s key priorities remain unresolved as the Iowa Legislature winds down this session. Branstad announced in January that he wanted lawmakers to update Iowa’s anti-bullying law and pass legislation to expand high-speed Internet. The Senate approved an anti-bullying bill but it remains in limbo in the House. A broadband bill passed in the House but it’s still making its way through the Senate. Time is running out to advance the bills. Continue Reading

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Montrose Landowner Alleges Pipeline Agent Offered Prostitute in Return for Land Rights

A landowner from Montrose says he has recorded proof that a land agent for the proposed Bakken Pipeline offered to get him an 18-year-old prostitute if he’d grant access rights to his property so the pipeline may pass through. The company has not yet responded to the allegations. Hughie Tweedy of Montrose says he recorded two of his conversations with the land agent. “On these recordings you will hear evidence of my senior pipeline representative offering me not once, not twice, but three times the sexual services of a woman,” Tweedy said, “the last time being a $1200 teenage prostitute.” Tweedy held a news conference on the steps of the statehouse Monday to make the allegations. Continue Reading

Ernst Plans Retirement from National Guard

First-term Republican Senator Joni Ernst is pondering retirement — from the Iowa National Guard. “This will be breaking news, probably, to my chain of command,” Ernst said. Ernst made the announcement Friday during taping of the “Iowa Press” program that aired Friday on Iowa Public Television. Ernst says it’s been “very hard” to balance her work as a senator, her obligation to the Guard and her desire to spend time with her husband and teenage daughter. “I had drill last weekend, so spent a day on the road visiting a number of counties on Friday. Continue Reading

Both Iowa and Nebraska High on Puppy Mill List

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Nebraska and Iowa rank high on a list of states with what are described as some of the worst puppy mills. A report from the Humane Society of the United States says Nebraska ranks third on “The Horrible Hundred 2015″ list, with 14 of the breeders. Iowa ranks fourth with 11 breeders on the list. The list was led by Missouri, with 23, and Kansas, with 16. The society says its list doesn’t include all of the worst breeders. Continue Reading

Several Key Legislative Priorities in Limbo

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Two of Gov. Terry Branstad’s key priorities remain unresolved as the Iowa Legislature winds down this session. Branstad announced in January that he wanted lawmakers to update Iowa’s anti-bullying law and pass legislation to expand high-speed Internet. The Senate approved an anti-bullying bill but it remains in limbo in the House. A broadband bill passed in the House but it’s still making its way through the Senate. Time is running out to advance the bills. Continue Reading

Tornados Strike Central Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Severe storms have prompted reports of tornadoes in central Iowa. Meterologist Frank Boksa with the Des Moines office of the National Weather Service says an apparent tornado hit Lake City, in Calhoun County, on Sunday night and authorities have reported structural damage and uprooted trees. Boksa says a school was damaged and multiple roofs were blown off houses. There were no immediate reports of fatalities or injuries. A tornado was also reported in Pocahontas County. Continue Reading

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Burlington City Council to Talk Roundabout Construction for Silgan

The Burlington City Council will meet tonight for a work session where they’re expected to tackle the construction of a roundabout at the Intersection of West Burlington Avenue and West Avenue. The roundabout is part of $1.7 million in improvements to the roads surrounding the proposed Silgan Containers location in the Flint Ridge Business Park on Division Street. It was discussed previously at a March City Council meeting where City Engineer Ryne Thornburg touted the roundabout as a safer alternative to conventional intersections. “One of the big reasons for roundabouts is that they decrease conflict points in an intersection,” said Thornburg, “That’s the number of locations where vehicles can have an accident. In a traditional four way intersection, there are 32 conflict points, a roundabout in the same location only has eight.”

French-Reneker-Associates will be considered for engineering services on that project tonight. Continue Reading

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Branstad Supporting Proposal to Switch Mount Pleasant, Clarinda MHI’s to Private Care Facilities

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is supporting a proposal to switch two state mental health facilities to private care next year. Reps. Dave Heaton and Cecil Dolecheck say Friday there’s an agreement with Branstad’s office and the state Department of Human Services to keep state-funded services available at facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant through Dec. 15. It includes psychiatric services at Clarinda and substance abuse services at Mount Pleasant. Continue Reading