Several Iowa Rivers at Flood Stage

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Flood warnings have been issued for several Iowa rivers following heavy rainfall in many parts of the state. The National Weather Service warnings continued for the Iowa River at Marengo, where the water was nearly 2 feet over flood stage on Friday morning. And warnings have been continued or extended for the Des Moines, Raccoon and North Raccoon rivers. The Des Moines River was expected to reach 2.5 feet above flood stage by Friday evening in Des Moines. Police in Cedar Rapids report that officers and other emergency workers responded to more than 20 vehicles stranded on flooded streets. Continue Reading


Iowa GOP Cancels Straw Poll

What would happen if you planned a huge party and none of the guests of honor agreed to show up? Iowa Republican Party leaders faced that dilemma since no one in the GOP’s huge field of presidential hopefuls had agreed to participate in the Iowa Straw Poll — so the event has been cancelled. Iowa G-O-P chairman Jeff Kaufmann met by phone with members of the party’s state central committee early Friday to cancel the event. “If you do not have candidate interest, you do not have the financial dollars to actually even break even,” Kaufmann said immediately after the decision was made. “…We set the table and they didn’t come to dinner.” Continue Reading

IL Attorney General Warns of Scammers

CHICAGO (AP) — State officials say scammers are posing as representatives of the Illinois attorney general’s office to try to get people to send them money. Attorney General Lisa Madigan put out a release Thursday saying her office has received several complaints this week from people saying they’ve been contacted by the scammers. The callers are accused of saying people will be arrested if they don’t pay phony fines within a half hour. State officials say the scam callers are able to make caller IDs display phone numbers that appear to be legitimate. Madigan says her office will never contact residents seeking money or threatening arrest. Continue Reading

State Patrol Urges Smartphone Users to Keep AMBER Alerts On

Hundreds of thousands of smartphone users in Iowa were jolted awake around 2 o’clock this Wednesday morning by an AMBER Alert. It’s the second time in two weeks the emergency warning system has gone off in the wee hours and it’s left some Iowans vowing to disable the feature. Sergeant Nate Ludwig, of the Iowa State Highway Patrol, says those cell phone alerts are vital and he hopes people will reconsider. “I would advise them not to disable them,” Ludwig says. “If this was one of their kids or someone they knew or someone they might have clues about, they’re not going to be notified by this wireless alert.” Continue Reading

Iowa Straw Poll in Jeopardy this Year

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Republican Party officials are pondering the future of the state’s traditional straw poll for presidential favorites. Iowa GOP spokesman Charlie Szold confirms that a conference call has been set up for Friday, but declines to provide further details. The call was first reported in the Des Moines Register. State GOP officials have fought to keep the Aug. 8 event alive. Continue Reading

Gridlock in IL House as Property Tax Freeze Voted Down

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has voted down a property tax freeze — one of the issues on Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s agenda. The full chamber rejected two bills on largely partisan votes Tuesday. Many Republicans voted “present” and said the freeze falls short of Rauner’s plan. Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo proposed freezing the tax at 2015 levels and if local government entities wanted more, they needed voter approval. Continue Reading

Minnesota Farm Restocks on Turkeys After Bird Flu

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The first Midwest poultry farm struck by a deadly form of bird flu is growing turkeys again, even though the virus is still lurking in Iowa and Minnesota. Dr. Dale Lauer of the Minnesota Board of Animal Health says the Minnesota farm was restocked with new birds Sunday. He tells The Associated Press it’s the first affected farm to reach that milestone. He also says a few other farms among the earliest victims will be restocked by next week. Steve Olson of the Minnesota Turkey Growers Association says the news is encouraging, but that there is apprehension because there’s still a risk that the virus could come back. Continue Reading

Iowa Man Indicted for Threatening Boston Islamic Center

BOSTON (AP) — An Iowa man has been indicted on charges he allegedly threatened to kill Muslims in a Boston Islamic center. Fifty-seven-year-old Gerald Wayne Ledford of Clinton is accused of posting threats on the Facebook page for the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in October. Federal authorities say one post included a photo of a man with a gun and said, “This is for you.” Court filings say he also applauded the killing of Muslims on his own Facebook page. The indictment announced Tuesday charges Ledford with transmitting a threatening communication in interstate commerce. Continue Reading

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Amber Alert Update: Burned Remains in Missouri Linked to Missing Iowa Child, Dad

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say the remains of an infant and an adult found in burned vehicle in Harrison County, Mo., are believed to be those of a missing 9-month-old Iowa boy and his father. Police in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale had been looking for the child, Logan Habibovic. An Amber Alert issued for him early Wednesday morning said it was believed he’d been abducted by 33-year-old Elvis Habibovic. The alert described a vehicle that authorities say matched the description of the burned vehicle found Tuesday evening in a conservation area of Missouri’s Harrison County. Authorities in the two states are trying to positively identify the remains. Continue Reading