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Older Illinois Inmates Could Be Released Early

Legislation working its way through the Illinois House would allow some prison inmates over the age of 50 to be released early. Supporters say it would reduce overcrowding and save money because older prisoners can cost more to house. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports that the measure would apply to inmates who have served more than 25 years of their sentence. A committee passed the measure Tuesday and sent it to the full House. Opponents told committee members the proposal would violate the rights of crime victims.

Mary Kay Mace is the mother of a student killed in a mass shooting at Northern Illinois University in 2008. Continue Reading

Borlaug Statue Installed at U-S Capitol; IA Native Fought World Hunger with Hybrid Wheat

The statue of Nobel prize winner Norman Borlaug of Cresco was installed in a ceremony at the U-S Capitol yesterday(TUES). 

Iowa’s Governor and members of the congressional delegation were also on hand for the unveiling on the 100 anniversary of Borlaug’s birth. Iowa Congressman Tom Latham talked about his background in the family seed business and Borlaug’s contribution.  Latham says Borlaug’s accomplishments are much more impressive when you consider the way plant breeding is done today. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin, says Iowa has long and proud line of people who have fed the world.  Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says Borlaug’s work not only impacted developing countries, but his stamp can also be seen in developed countries. Continue Reading

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Rural Iowa Residents Smoke More

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new study shows higher rates of smoking in rural Iowa counties.  

The Des Moines Register reports that the study says some Iowa counties have double the smoking rates of others.  

The national report from the University of Washington says Iowa’s Dallas County had the seventh-fastest decline in smoking from 1996 through 2012, when it went from 19.4 percent to 10.9 percent.  The report also shows that all Iowa counties have had declines in smoking.  

The researchers used data from phone surveys taken for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Continue Reading

QCA Cops Investigate Razor Blades at Park

EAST MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities in a Quad Cities community are investigating after they discovered a dozen razor blades glued to playground equipment in an East Moline city park.  

The razor blades were discovered Monday in the community’s Millennium Park after a 2-year-old boy sliced his finger on a razor. The laceration was minor. Police Lt. Brian Foltz told the Quad-City Times that officers are “always doing park checks,” but authorities aren’t sure how long the blades had been attached to the playground equipment. Continue Reading

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Pitbull Puppy Shot in Face in Lee County

A pitbull puppy was found on the side of a Lee Co. Highway suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, and died this afternoon at a vet clinic near Fort Madison. It got many residents talking about Lee County’s stray dog policies. Lee County Sheriff Jim Sholl explained what their rules are…. “Lee County does not have a humane society or an animal control officer. Continue Reading

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Idea of Medical Marijuana in Iowa is Dead

Legislation to legalize medical marijuana in Iowa has been declared dead this session, but lawmakers are continuing with efforts to raise awareness about benefits associated with the drug. Sen. Joe Bolkcom, a Democrat from Iowa City, invited current and former Iowa residents to the Capitol today to share how marijuana has helped them medically and explain why they have left or are considering leaving the state. A mother from Waterloo says she uprooted her family to get her epileptic daughter medical marijuana in Colorado. A veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder says he plans to move to Colorado, too. Gov. Terry Branstad has said he fears there would be unintended consequences if medical marijuana were legalized. Continue Reading

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Henry Co. Dispatcher Fired for Theft

A former dispatcher for a county sheriff’s office in southeast Iowa has been charged with theft after officials reported discrepancies in financial records. The state Department of Public Safety says Jami Mallonee faces a fourth-degree theft charge following a three-month investigation. Court records do not list an attorney. Mallonee is a former dispatcher for the Henry County Sheriff’s Office. Sheriff Rich McNarnee reported problems in the fall of 2013 over the department’s financial records. Continue Reading

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Montrose Woman Who Voted Illegally Cleared of Perjury

A convicted felon from Montrose…who voted in a city election…has been found not guilty of perjury in Lee County. It’s the first trial stemming from Iowa’s two-year investigation into voter fraud. Kelli Jo Griffin voted in last fall’s city election in Montrose despite having lost her right to cast a ballot over a drug crime. The 40-year-old Griffin testified that she thought her voting rights were restored as soon as she completed a five-year probation sentence in early 2013. It took the jury just 30 minutes to reach a verdict of not guilty. Continue Reading

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Primary Election Day in Illinois Tomorrow

Tuesday is primary election day in Illinois and there’s a 3-way race among Democrats for Henderson County Sheriff. First-Term incumbent Steven Haynes of Stronghurst is being challenged by one of his deputies, Steve Henshaw of Oquawka, and by David Hinshaw also of Oquawka. Also on the Henderson County Ballot is a race for the Republican nomination for County Clerk. Voters have their choice of incumbent Amanda Van Arsdale-Rousonelos of Stronghurst and Kelli Vancil of Little York. Democrat Patty Daniels of Biggsville is also seeking the job. Continue Reading