SNOW STORM-AIRPORTS Dozens of flights canceled at Iowa airports DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Dozens of flights have been canceled at several of Iowa’s major airports as a large snow storm hits the state. Officials at Des Moines International Airport posted dozens of cancellations online for arriving and departing flights as the storm picked up intensity Wednesday night. The airport recommends that travelers contact their airliner for information on delays and cancellations. The Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids posted canceled flights from airplanes that were expected to arrive from cities like Chicago and Detroit. All flights scheduled to depart in the morning from the airport have been canceled. Dubuque Regional Airport listed a handful of canceled flights to its main destination point in Chicago. Up to a foot of snow is expected in parts of Iowa as the storm continues into western Illinois.
SNOW STORM Heavy snowfall begins in parts of Neb., Iowa DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Heavy snow has begun to fall in parts of Nebraska and Iowa as a powerful storm moves across the Midwest. The National Weather Service has issued a blizzard warning for southeast and east central Nebraska as well as most of Iowa. Between 8 to 10 inches of snow was expected in Nebraska overnight and 9 to 12 inches of snow in Iowa. Officials in both states have warned people to stay off the roads during the storm’s heaviest snowfall, which is expected into Thursday. Sustained winds in Iowa will be up to 30 miles per hour with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour. Nebraska winds will be up to 30 miles per hour with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour.
GIANT PAPER SNOWFLAKE Paper snowflake in Iowa now world’s largest (Information in the following story is from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/) KANAWHA, Iowa (AP) – A giant paper snowflake made by a woman in northern Iowa has been verified as the world’s largest. The Mason City Gazette reports Guinness World Records recently verified Christa Faye Hanson’s 14-foot, 6-inch creation. They just needed to make sure it was the perfect scaled-up replica of a small paper snowflake sent in as part of the verification process. Hansen made the paper snowflake in a little less than 54 minutes in front of a cheering crowd at Kanawha City Hall in September. The newspaper reports city officials want to permanently display the snowflake outside for visitors.
STATE DIRECTORS-BONUSES Branstad defends granting bonuses to directors (Information in the following story is from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/) DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Republican Governor Terry Branstad is defending his decision to grant bonuses to some state directors. Branstad says bonuses should reward achievement, and he favors it over raising state salary caps. Some Iowa lawmakers questioned Branstad for signing off on the bonuses because they say it raised the directors’ pay beyond legal state salary caps. Some say he may have overstepped his authority. Branstad approved a bonus for the state revenue director that raised her salary above the maximum of about $154,000. Branstad also authorized a bonus for the public safety commissioner that raised his salary above a maximum of about $128,000. The director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority also has received more than $90,000 in bonuses.
VOTER FRAUD-IOWA Felon reaches plea for improper voter registration IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa felon arrested for registering to vote as part of a crackdown on alleged voter fraud has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. Jason Rawlin pleaded guilty last week to fraudulent practice in the third-degree. Warren County prosecutors dropped a felony charge of election misconduct. County Attorney John Criswell said Wednesday the plea agreement was justified because Rawlin didn’t actually vote and so the harm was minimal. Rawlin will pay about $1,000 in fines and court costs. Rawlin told an investigator he registered after he applied for a state identification card because he thought his voting rights had been restored. Rawlin is the first conviction under a costly effort by Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz to find and identify potentially ineligible voters. Charges have been filed against 7 others.
FIRE ATTACK-COUPLE Court records: Iowa man set wife, himself on fire (Information in the following story is from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.com) DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – Court records say a Davenport man doused his wife and himself with gasoline before setting the couple on fire earlier this month. The Scott County court records released this week show Lyn Kuan told a relative that her husband, Tom Kuan, doused gasoline on both of them before a December 5th fire at their home. The couple survived and is being treated at an Iowa City hospital for severe burns. The newspaper reports arson investigators say the fire was intentionally set after they found a gas can in an upstairs bedroom. They also observed a pour-type burn pattern in the room.
IOWA ST-RECRUITS Iowa State signs 4 recruits AMES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State says junior college running back Aaron Wimberly and three other recruits have committed to play for the Cyclones. Wimberly rushed for 1,150 yards and 13 touchdowns in leading Iowa Western to the NJCAA national title. Iowa State also landed junior college tight end Emmanuel Bibbs, who caught six TD passes for Arizona Western this fall. The Cyclones have also brought in a pair of high school prospects from Orlando; linebacker Alton Meeks and lineman Shawn Curtis. Wimberly and Bibbs were second-team All-Americans at the junior college level this fall. Wimberly, Meeks and Curtis will join the Cyclones next semester and be eligible for spring practice.
IOWA ST-UMKC McGee bails out Iowa State in 76-61 win over UMKC KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Tyrus McGee hit six 3-pointers and finished with 20 points, and Iowa State rallied behind a big second-half run to beat Missouri-Kansas City 76-61 on Wednesday night. Chris Babb added 12 points and Korie Lucious and Anthony Booker had 11 each for the Cyclones (9-3), who got everything they could handle from the Kangaroos (4-7) in the rare case of a Big 12 heavyweight visiting a school from the Summit League. Estan Tyler matched a career-high with 17 points for the ‘Roos, including a basket with just over 16 minutes left that gave them a 39-35 lead over the stunned Cyclones in Kansas City. That’s when Iowa State finally started to get some transition baskets going, and the result was a 14-0 run that spanned the next 5 minutes and allowed the Cyclones to seize control.
SC STATE-IOWA Marble, Iowa roll to 90-46 rout of SC State IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Devyn Marble continued his red-hot shooting with 27 points, leading Iowa to a 90-46 rout of South Carolina State on Wednesday night. The Hawkeyes (10-2) are off to their best start since 2004 through 2005. Marble scored 21 points in the first half — one more than South Carolina State (4-8) did as a team during the first two quarters in Iowa City. The junior guard connected on a season-high six 3-pointers. He played only four minutes in the second half. The Hawkeyes led 11-9 early in the first half when they exploded with a 19-4 run during a six-minute stretch. The South Carolina State Bulldogs shot only 25 percent from the floor.
NC CENTRAL-DRAKE VanDeest lifts Drake past NC Central 72-69 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Seth VanDeest scored 19 points, including two straight baskets in the closing minutes, to lead Drake to a 72-69 victory over North Carolina Central on Wednesday night. VanDeest’s layup with 1:36 remaining gave the Bulldogs (5-5) a 68-66 lead, and he added another basket with 47 seconds left to make it a four-point game. A 3-pointer by Stanton Kidd brought NC Central within 70-69 with 31 seconds left, but after Richard Carter hit two free throws for Drake with 11 seconds left, two 3-point attempts from the Eagles (5-6) in the final 3 seconds were off the mark. Ben Simons added 16 points for Drake, which hit 10 of 21 3-point attempts. Carter had 13 points and five assists in Des Moines.