Rubashkin Lawyers in Trouble

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A judge will consider whether to sanction former attorneys for Sholom Rubashkin for contacting jurors after the verdict that landed the former kosher slaughterhouse executive in prison. U.S. District Judge Linda Reade says the juror contacts violated a rule because they were done without permission. She’ll decide Tuesday how to handle them. Des Moines attorney Guy Cook has apologized for having an associate interview some jurors after the verdict in 2009. He says he believed Reade authorized the contacts when she told jurors they could speak with anyone or no one. Continue Reading

Health Insurance Marketplaces Open

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois is opening its new health insurance marketplace, an online site where thousands of state residents can comparison shop for coverage. The marketplace opening Tuesday is called Get Covered Illinois and it’s a key part of President Barack Obama’s health care law. Some residents are excited about the marketplace. Sue Winking, of Quincy, hopes she and her husband can find a policy that’s cheaper than the temporary health insurance they have now. The 55-year-old Winking has multiple sclerosis and lost her job in January. Continue Reading

Marijuana

Iowa Cancer Patient Arrested for Growing Pot

A cancer patient from the Davenport area is charged with growing marijuana. Phil Roberts reports:

“Scott County prosecutors say 47-year-old Benton Mackenzie is a drug dealer. They say he had 71 marijuana plants in his parents’ house. But the Quad-City Times reports Mackenzie has terminal cancer and says he relies on marijuana to help him cope with his illness. A court will decide his fate next month. Continue Reading

IL Lt. Governor to Host EMS Summit

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is bringing together emergency medical workers and health care providers from rural communities to discuss how to improve emergency medical response.  

Simon is the chairwoman of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council. She says participants in the Emergency Medical Services Summit will examine the conditions of EMS in rural Illinois. They’ll also discuss solutions for ongoing challenges such as recruitment and retention of personnel and continuing education. Continue Reading

Mother-in-law Held in Tama Woman’s Death

TAMA, Iowa (AP) — A judge has set bail for a woman accused of killing her daughter-in-law at $1 million.  

Cedar Rapids television station KCRG reports that a Tama County Court judge set bail for 57-year-old Ginger Jefferson during her initial court appearance Friday on a first-degree murder charge. Authorities say Jefferson was originally taken into custody as a material witness in the death of 32-year-old Kerry O’Clair-Jefferson. O’Clair-Jefferson’s body was found inside her Tama house Wednesday afternoon by police, who were there to arrest her husband, Dustin Jefferson, on a warrant and learned O’Clair-Jefferson might be injured inside the house. Authorities say an autopsy shows O’Clair-Jefferson died of stab wounds to her neck. Continue Reading

EHD Found in Eastern Iowa Cows

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Cows in 14 herds in eastern Iowa have come down with an illness spread by small flies and more often found in deer. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship says the illness, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is a virus spread by biting midges. EHD rarely affects cattle, but it has been found in the wild whitetail deer population southern and eastern Iowa. The disease can be fatal in deer but it does not usually kill cows. It can cause fever, ulcers in the mouth and gums, swollen tongue, and lameness. Continue Reading

On-Line Health Insurance Markets Open Tuesday

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Starting Tuesday, uninsured Iowa residents can start using the new online marketplaces created under President Barack Obama’s health care law to compare and buy health insurance plans. After years of debate and preparation, the consumer launch day of the biggest new social welfare program in a generation has arrived. About 264,000 Iowa residents without insurance could benefit. Just how many people will immediately participate is unclear. While Iowa is not a state where political opponents of the law are trying to impede implementation, state officials say there is still work to be done to explain the law to the public. Continue Reading

Some in Iowa to Lose Food Stamps

Some Iowans are about to lose food stamp benefits because a federal waiver tied to the recession will soon expire. Iowa’s unemployment rate has improved, so starting October 1st, the state will again require able-bodied adults without kids to hold down jobs to qualify for food stamps. Wendy Rickman, the administrator of the program for the Iowa Department of Human Services, says the waiver was a good thing while so many Iowans were jobless. The government is waiving the work requirement for more than six-thousand Iowans right now and Rickman says she’s concerned some who still can’t find work will continue to need food assistance. The U-S House last week passed a bill eliminating the work requirement waivers in the future, regardless of the nation’s unemployment rate. Continue Reading