Branstad Signs Broadband Bill

Governor Terry Branstad traveled to an ag equipment dealership in Perry Monday to sign the “Connect Every Acre high-speed broadband bill” into law. The governor signed the bill at a table set up in a machine shed which housed several large pieces of John Deere Ag equipment. “Indeed the legislation will foster broadband expansion across Iowa, and assist in building Iowa for the future,” Branstad says. He praised the bipartisan support of the bill. Lieutenant governor Kimm Reynolds joined the governor at Van Wall Equipment for the signing. Continue Reading

Conservative Lawyer Hopes to Prove Discrimination Case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — After years of arguing that liberal Iowa law professors illegally derailed her career, a conservative lawyer will get a second chance to prove her claim to a jury. Jury selection started Monday afternoon in federal court in Davenport in a lawsuit filed by anti-abortion activist Teresa Manning, who contends that the University of Iowa College of Law refused to hire her for teaching jobs because of her beliefs and associations. The long-running lawsuit has been closely watched in higher education. Manning has reached a deal with a publisher to write a book about her experience, and has said the retrial provides a “historic moment” for social conservatives to expose an example of what they claim is political discrimination against them in higher education. The university contends Manning botched a job interview. Continue Reading

Ex-Des Moines Cop Gets 63 Months for Excessive Force

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Des Moines police officer convicted in March of using excessive force has been sentenced to more than five years in prison. The Des Moines Register reports Colin Boone was sentenced Monday to 63 months in prison. He will be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence. A jury convicted the 39-year-old Boone following allegations he kicked a man in the head during a traffic stop in 2013. The kick knocked out two of the man’s front teeth. Continue Reading

Iowa Ag Secretary Attends International Bird Flu Conference

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey is attending a meeting in Baltimore this week focused on the bird flu. The USDA and the U.S. Poultry industry are co-hosting the Avian Influenza and Poultry Trade International Conference, which starts Monday evening. Northey says he hopes to learn more about what has worked for other states in their battles with avian flu. “You know, what worked to put birds down faster and what worked to have good bio security between facilities? And, is somebody else doing something different than what we’ve been doing?” Continue Reading

13 Nabbed in Ottumwa Meth Arrest

A total of 13 people were arrested in a weekend drug raid in Ottumwa. Ottumwa Police Chief Tom McAndrew says that several law enforcement agencies took part in executing search warrants at 9 different locations in Ottumwa early Saturday morning. 75 police officers from around the region took part in the morning’s searches. While McAndrew says that an exact amount is not currently available, several pounds of meth were confiscated from the various locations. Radio Iowa asked McAndrew how this would classify in terms of how big of a bust this was, he says “this is a very large bust. Continue Reading

Egg Prices Up Following Bird Flu

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Restaurants are struggling to deal with higher egg prices and an inability to get enough eggs in the midst of a shortage brought about by a bird flu virus that has wiped out millions of chickens on commercial farms.

Some owners are looking at passing the costs along to egg-eating customers, while others have taken especially eggy dishes off the menu. An Omaha breakfast and lunch eatery owner says his supplier’s inventory has dwindled because of demand and production is down because of federal testing. The owner of a Des Moines, Iowa, cafe says the rise in prices is costing him $400 to $500 a week. Egg prices began falling last week, but officials say it could take up to two years to return to normal production. Continue Reading

Iowa Supreme Court: Telemedicine Abortion to Remain Legal in Iowa

The Iowa Supreme Court says so-called telemedicine abortions can continue in the state. Radio Iowa’s Dar Danielson reports. The Supreme Court says the rule created by the Iowa Board of Medicine 2013 requiring a doctor to be on hand when women are given drugs to induce an abortion is unconstitutional. The rule effectively prevented Planned Parenthood from using webcams or teleconferencing to dispense abortion-inducing drugs to patients in remote locations. The Board of Medicine said the rule was intended to protect the safety of women. Continue Reading

JOBS

Unemployment Remaining Stable in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s unemployment rate is remaining stable at 3.8 percent. Iowa Workforce Development released the May rate on Friday and noted the number of unemployed residents dropped slightly to 64,700. That’s down from 65,600 in April. The state unemployment rate compares to 4.4 percent in May 2014. Workforce Development says there were about 1.6 million working Iowans. Continue Reading

Spokane ex-NAACP Leader’s Brother Facing Charges in Iowa

There’s an Iowa tie now to the international story involving the controversial and now-former leader of a civil rights group on the West Coast. Rachel Dolezal resigned as head of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington. She’s white and was outted by her parents for pretending to be black. Her brother is an English professor at Central College in Pella and he faces felony charges. Thirty-nine-year-old Joshua Dolezal is accused of several counts of child sexual abuse in Colorado from a dozen years ago. Continue Reading