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
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
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
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
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Protesters have gathered at the Iowa Air National Guard Base in Des Moines to decry the use of drones in war.
The Saturday morning rally was organized by the Midwest Veterans for Peace and Catholic Workers. Organizers, including former Des Moines priest Frank Cordaro, described the rally as a civil disobedience action and expected some participants to be arrested. The protesters are rallying against the use of unmanned drones to carry out military strikes. Critics have charged that drone strikes cause widespread civilian deaths and are conducted with inadequate oversight. Continue Reading
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers aren’t waiting for Congress to toughen laws against sexual assaults in the military.
They have begun their own effort to hold the state National Guard accountable for such abuses. The U.S. Senate recently approved legislation to better protect victims, and the trial of an Army general in North Carolina has been widely covered. But state Senator Steve Sodders says it’s not just a national problem. He proposed legislation to improve the handling of sexual assault cases by the Iowa National Guard. Continue Reading
CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago River is glowing a bright emerald green as the city continues its St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Thousands of cheering onlookers clustered along downtown bridges as members of Chicago Journeymen Plumbers Union Local 130 began dumping containers of dye into the river from motorboats Saturday morning. The annual tradition began at 9:30 a.m. and immediately precedes the St. Patrick’s Day parade. Continue Reading
A small outbreak of the Measles has been confirmed in this area. The report comes from McDonough County in Illinois, the home of Western Illinois University. Symptoms include a cough, high fever, runny nose and a rash that appears a week or two after exposure. The Measles Virus is highly contagious and is spread through the air. Continue Reading
Dozens of county officials from around the state are at the capitol in Des Moines today, lobbying legislators on issues — like the gas tax. Carl Mattes of Humboldt, a member of the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, supports an increase in the state gas tax…. “We’re going to have to do something or our bridges and roads are going to fall apart. We need to kick and scream until we get something done — some kind of financing.” Mattes faults the governor for failing to “step up” and call on legislators to pass a gas tax increase. Continue Reading