Muscatine Man Cleared of Murder Charge in Friend’s Death

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — A 23-year-old Muscatine man has been found not guilty of first-degree murder. Jordan Daufeldt no longer faces life in prison after the jury determined Tuesday he wasn’t guilty in his friend’s shooting death. Troy Ott was killed during a fight at Daufeldt’s home on June 29. After they spent the afternoon drinking, the pair left Ott’s home and headed for the Daufeldt residence. Daufeldt said Ott became angry after he confronted Ott about his erratic driving. Continue Reading

Champ Clark Bridge to Close

LOUISIANA, Mo. (AP) — A Mississippi River bridge connecting Missouri and Illinois will close indefinitely for repairs later this month. KHQA-TV reports that the Champ Clark Bridge at Louisiana, Missouri, is in need of expansion joint replacement and concrete patching. The Missouri Department of Transportation will close the crossing the week of Oct. 13, and the bridge will remain closed until the $285,000 project is finished. Continue Reading

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Early Voting Underway in Iowa

Voting for the 2014 General Election in Iowa starts today (Thursday).  

Matt Schultz, the state’s commissioner of elections, says over 130-thousand Iowans requested an absentee ballot before the “early voting” period even started.  The number of absentee ballot requests is more than double what it was during the last midterm election in 2010. Iowa Democrats have scheduled 13 different “kickoff” events around the state today (Thursday) to mark the start of early voting. Five Republican candidates running for statewide office this year will be together today (Thursday), making stops at G-O-P events in five cities. Continue Reading

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Nat’l Report Now Ranks Iowa 18th for Condition, Cost Effectiveness of Highways

Iowa’s score has fallen on a national report that ranks our highways based on their condition and cost-effectiveness.  

The study’s lead author, David Hartgen with the Reason Foundation
The study shows an uptick in the percentage of Iowa’s interstates that are in poor condition. Hartgen says Iowa’s seen a doubling in the percentage of poor interstate conditions in urban areas over the course of the past year. The report shows Iowa is making significant strides in trying to maintain the quality of its roads, as the state’s ranked 18th now, up quite a ways from its 33rd place showing in 2009. Iowa’s highways rank 26th in the nation in the fatality rate, 35th in the percentage of deficient bridges, 17th in rural Interstate pavement condition, 37th in urban Interstate pavement condition and 32nd in urban Interstate congestion. Continue Reading

1 in 8 Iowans Live Poor: Census

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates more Iowans are living in poverty now than at the beginning of the recession. Nearly 380-thousand Iowans were living below the poverty line last year. That’s 12-point-seven percent of the state’s population or nearly one out of every eight Iowans. The poverty rate for 2013 was the same as it was the previous year, but higher than it was in 2007. Six years ago an estimated 11 percent of Iowans were living at or below poverty level. Continue Reading

August to August Iowa Home Sales Drop

Learfield Communications, Inc.

 

Home sales in Iowa decreased last month by 9.2-percent compared to August 2013, according to a new report from the Iowa Association of Realtors.  

I-A-R President Kathy Miller isn’t entirely sure why home sales dropped off so significantly, but she says the start of a new school year may offer some explanation. The report shows 3,685 homes were sold in August 2014, while 4,059 homes were sold in August 2013. Miller also credits a low inventory, combined with buyers who are waiting for the right home.  

While home sales decreased, prices increased by 4.7-percent over the one year period. Continue Reading

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Branstad Proposes Student-Worker Clearinghouse; He and Hatch Prepare for Local Debate

Governor Terry Branstad is proposing creation of a new, state-run clearinghouse to help direct workers and students into college training programs and apprenticeships so they can land a job. The “Center for Human Capital Enrichment” that Branstad envisions would be run by two state agencies — the Iowa Workforce Development agency and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Branstad says educators as well as business people would be involved in the public-private partnership. It’s more about coordination than about spending more money, according to Branstad, who says he may be able to order creation of this new center himself and appoint its leaders from government and the private sector himself rather than depend on legislators to pass a bill outlining the center’s structure and objectives. Branstad outlined his idea during a speech to the Greater Des Moines Partnership which is an alliance of 21 central Iowa chambers of commerce. Continue Reading

Ex Adams Co. Asst. S-A to Appear in Court Today

QUINCY, Ill. (AP) — A former western Illinois prosecutor and University of Illinois football standout accused of killing his first wife on Valentine’s Day eight years ago is scheduled to be arraigned. Curtis Lovelace, 45, is to appear this(Fri) morning in Adams County Circuit Court on a first-degree murder count related to the alleged 2006 suffocation of 38-year-old Cory Lovelace. At the time of Cory Lovelace’s death, a coroner’s jury and autopsy ruled the cause undetermined. But Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley says a detective late last year gave the case file a fresh look, and two pathologists who reviewed it concluded the mother of four died of foul play. Continue Reading

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Fewer Deer-Hunting Licenses to be Issued in Iowa This Year

State wildlife officials say hunters in Iowa have sufficiently thinned down the deer herds, so the number of hunting licenses that will be issued is being scaled back to stabilize the population. Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Chuck Gipp says all signs indicate the statewide deer population declined between 2006 and 2013.  Some parts of Iowa are still overrun by deer, what are considered “hot spots,” while the animals are very scarce in other areas. Gipp says striking a balance with hunters isn’t easy. He says the D-N-R may expand the number of so-called depredation licenses issued which allow landowners to kill animals that cause property damage. Continue Reading