KBUR.com » Regional News http://www.kbur.com News & Talk for Burlington and Southeast Iowa Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:54:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Central Iowa Man Accused of Leaving Daughter in Hot Car http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/05/central-iowa-man-accused-of-leaving-daughter-in-hot-car/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/05/central-iowa-man-accused-of-leaving-daughter-in-hot-car/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:54:11 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64971 PELLA, Iowa (AP) — A 33-year-old man has been accused of leaving his infant daughter inside a hot car in a central Iowa parking lot.

Court records say Trent Steinhart, of Sigourney, is charged with neglect or abandonment of a dependent person. The records don’t list the name of an attorney who could be contacted to comment on Steinhart’s behalf.

He was arrested Saturday in Pella, where police say a passer-by spotted the baby alone in the locked car. Police say the heat index at the time was 92 degrees and that she’d been in the car for at least 15 minutes. Officers used a special tool to unlock a car door and rescue her.

Police say Steinhart told officers he’d been inside a store shopping and forgot his daughter was in the car.

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Majority of Bird Flu Quarantine Zones Lifted http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/05/majority-of-bird-flu-quarantine-zones-lifted/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/05/majority-of-bird-flu-quarantine-zones-lifted/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:50:02 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64968 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa agriculture officials say a majority of the quarantine zones set up around poultry farms infected with bird flu are being lifted.

When bird flu was confirmed on a farm, a six-mile zone was established to control traffic. State officials said Tuesday 77 zones were set up but they are in the process of lifting 69 now.

Once completed, officials say there will only be control zones remaining on six farms in Adair, Sioux and Wright counties.

Iowa lost 34 million birds to the bird flu outbreak.

Officials say one of the first infected turkey farms — Brad Moline’s family farm in Manson — has restocked with new birds and Moline will host state and federal officials at a news conference on Monday to discuss the recovery process.

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Meth Lab Found in Cedar Rapids Taco Bell http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/05/meth-lab-found-in-cedar-rapids-taco-bell/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/05/meth-lab-found-in-cedar-rapids-taco-bell/#comments Wed, 05 Aug 2015 11:48:41 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64965 Police found the remnants of a meth lab inside a fast food restaurant in Cedar Rapids early Tuesday morning. Greg Buelow is a spokesman for firefighters and police in Cedar Rapids.

At about 4:45 a.m. this morning, Cedar Rapids Police got a call about something suspicious happening in the parking lot of a Taco Bell. The restaurant was closed at the time.

When officers arrived, they found two men in the parking lot. Buelow says one man said he worked there. The other was not an employee. The police contacted the manager of the Taco Bell and Buelow says the manager asked police to go inside the Taco Bell and check things out.

Police found some ingredients and equipment for making meth inside a utility closet in the Taco Bell.

Police and firefighters who are trained to deal with the hazardous materials removed the meth-making ingredients within a couple of hours.

It’s not clear if drugs were actually being made inside the restaurant. The local health department will conduct an inspection before the restaurant reopens. Buelow is praising the passer by who alerted police.

“It’s always appreciated when people see activity that seems out of the ordinary so that police can investigate,” Buelow says. “And in this particular case it appears there may have been some drug activity going on.”

The Taco Bell is located in a retail area of Cedar Rapids that features a home improvement store, a Walmart and a Sam’s Club as well as convenience stores and franchise restaurants.

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Iowans Pay 6.4 Percent More in Income Taxes to State in July http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/04/iowans-pay-6-4-percent-more-in-income-taxes-to-state-in-july/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/04/iowans-pay-6-4-percent-more-in-income-taxes-to-state-in-july/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 18:08:23 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64871 Iowans paid over a quarter of a billion dollars in personal income taxes to the State of Iowa last month.

There are a record number of Iowans in the workforce now and that amount of personal income taxes paid to the state last month was nearly six-and-a-half percent more than Iowans paid in July of last year.

Many Iowans have their income taxes withheld from their paychecks. There was a four percent increase in withholding payments in July, along with a big surge of nearly 21 percent in estimated income tax payments to the state. Estimated payments come from farmers, retirees and self-employed Iowans who do not have a regular paycheck and must estimate their annual income and the income taxes they’ll owe the state.

The monthly report from the Legislative Services Agency also shows corporate income tax payments to the state were down this July compared to July of 2014. Sales tax collections were up about two percent. A panel of experts has predicted corporate income taxes will not be as robust this year, but the panel IS predicting a five percent increase in sales tax collections for the entire 12-month fiscal year.

Radio Iowa contributed to this story

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Iowa Authorities Searching for Escaped Work Release Inmate http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/04/iowa-authorities-searching-for-escaped-work-release-inmate/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/04/iowa-authorities-searching-for-escaped-work-release-inmate/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 17:38:56 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64867 WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Authorities are looking for an inmate they say failed to return to the Waterloo Work Release Center.

According to Waterloo police, 25-year-old Nicholas Martez Toles was placed on escape status on Friday. He was paroled on July 13 for a second-degree robbery conviction.

Authorities describe Toles as 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 186 pounds and African-American. Officials say he has tattoos on his upper left arm, chest, forearms and both hands.

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Alleged Coralville Mall Shooter’s Attorney Wants Venue Change http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/04/alleged-coralville-mall-shooters-attorney-wants-venue-change/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/04/alleged-coralville-mall-shooters-attorney-wants-venue-change/#comments Tue, 04 Aug 2015 12:23:02 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64834 CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) — An attorney for a man accused of fatally shooting a 20-year-old woman inside an Coralville mall says he wants his client’s upcoming trial to be moved to a different county.

Peter Persaud said at a hearing Monday that he will file a motion for a change of venue for 22-year-old Alexander Kozak’s trial. He says media attention of the June 12 shooting at Coral Ridge Mall will make it difficult to find an impartial jury in eastern Iowa.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports Judge Christopher Bruns said he would likely grant the motion.

Kosak has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Andrea Farrington. A trial is scheduled to begin in October, but attorneys for both sides say it may be pushed back.

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University of Illinois, Iowa in ‘Top Party Schools’ List http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/03/university-of-illinois-iowa-in-top-party-schools-list/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/03/university-of-illinois-iowa-in-top-party-schools-list/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 18:52:53 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64731 CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois has partied its way into the top spot on an annual list of top party schools in the country, but the University of Iowa is not far behind.

The Urbana-Champaign campus has been among the top five on the Princeton Review’s annual list for years but earned its first No. 1 ranking on the new list released Monday. University of Iowa scored the second place spot.

One student surveyed noted that “Drinking culture is huge here” in the 2016 edition of the review, which chronicles student life on 380 top U.S. universities.

University of Illinois spokeswoman Robin Kaler questioned the basis for the ranking and said it obscures the school’s academic achievements.

Last year’s No. 1 party school, Syracuse University in New York, dropped to No. 5.

The most sober school? Brigham Young University for the 18th straight year.

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Branstad Touts STEM Progress, Defends Education Spending Veto http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/03/branstad-touts-stem-progress-defends-education-spending-veto/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/03/branstad-touts-stem-progress-defends-education-spending-veto/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 16:56:36 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64717 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad is touting Iowa’s progress with STEM education as he continues to defend his veto of some one-time education spending.

Branstad on Monday said he wants to provide resources to specific priorities, like programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math. He said providing increases to school districts and giving more discretion to superintendents is not producing the best results.

The Republican governor said he wants to provide education dollars in a “strategic and specific” way. He recently vetoed $55.7 million in one-time school funding. Educators have criticized the move, saying it will lead to larger class sizes and less money for supplies.

Branstad said he will not use one-time money for ongoing budget needs.

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Survey Suggest Slow Economic Growth in Midwest in Coming Months http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/03/survey-suggest-slow-economic-growth-in-midwest-in-coming-months/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/08/03/survey-suggest-slow-economic-growth-in-midwest-in-coming-months/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2015 12:32:50 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64670 OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A July survey suggests there will be slow to no economic growth over the next three to six months in nine Midwest and Plains states.

A survey report issued Monday says the overall Mid-America Business Conditions Index slumped to 50.6 in July from 53.0 in June.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says businesses tied to agriculture and energy “continue to report pullbacks in economic activity, and this is spilling over into the broader regional economy.”

The survey results from supply managers are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests economic growth, while a score below that suggests decline.

The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

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Branstad Appoints New Chief of Staff http://www.kbur.com/2015/07/31/branstad-appoints-new-chief-of-staff/ http://www.kbur.com/2015/07/31/branstad-appoints-new-chief-of-staff/#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:40:52 +0000 http://www.kbur.com/?p=64247 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad has appointed a new chief of staff.

Michael Bousselot, current legal counsel for the governor’s office, will begin his new role on Aug. 8.

The announcement Thursday comes one day after current chief of staff Matt Hinch said he was resigning from the top post for a career in the private sector.

In a statement Branstad said Bousselot has been a policy adviser to the governor and lieutenant governor on issues regarding health, revenue, inspections and appeals and the public employee retirement system.

The 32-year-old Bousselot, a Davenport native, has a master’s degree from the University of Iowa and is a 2009 graduate of Drake University Law School.

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