Latest Iowa news, sports, business and entertainment GOP WEB SITE HACKED Hacker attacks website for Iowa Senate GOP caucus DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A spokeswoman for Senate Republicans says she has no idea what motivated a hacker to hit a website used by the state GOP caucus. Kirsten Anderson says the attack was discovered Monday morning and says efforts are under way to fix the problem. The attack replaced the normal page with a site featuring a picture of a young woman in a white lab coat and the words: “Ayumi… there is only one reason for loving you…” The party’s site typically features information about GOP state senators. It is paid for through private money and is not part of the state system.
POLICE UNION-CONTRACT Iowa police union reaches agreement with state (Information in the following story is from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/) DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – One of three Iowa unions representing state workers has reached a tentative deal on a two-year bargaining agreement. The Gazette reports a leader for the State Police Officers Council confirmed Monday that workers have reached an agreement with state negotiators. Iowa state trooper Mark Bowlin declined to discuss details about the deal. State officials are in the middle of negotiations with SPOC and two other unions – American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and Iowa United Professionals. State officials last fall proposed freezing wages and increasing health insurance costs. SPOC instead requested a four percent salary increase. Roughly 600 SPOC members are scheduled to hold ratification votes Tuesday and Wednesday. The new contract would run from July through the end of June 2015.
WIRE FRAUD CASE-IOWA Former Iowa businessman sentenced for wire fraud CORAVILLE, Iowa (AP) – The former vice president of a boat distributor in eastern Iowa has been given prison time and six months of home confinement in connection with several counts of wire fraud. Corey Hagen was sentenced Friday to two months of prison and three years of supervised release. He also has been ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution. Hagan pleaded guilty in March to five counts of wire fraud as part of a plea agreement. Prosecutors say he directed customers to wire money directly into his personal account instead of International Marine Distributors, LLC. He was in charge of day-to-day operations for the company, which collapsed in early 2006. An attorney for Hagan did not immediately return a message Monday. DOG-RUN OVER Police: Iowa woman hit boyfriend, dog with car (Information in the following story is from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/) IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A woman in eastern Iowa has been accused of attacking her boyfriend and running over his dog with a car. The Iowa City Press Citizen reports Renee Glaspie of Iowa City backed her vehicle onto a dog belonging to her boyfriend after the couple got into an argument Friday night. A complaint says Glaspie also hit the man after he stepped in front of the car to stop her. He was knocked to the ground and she sped away. She was later arrested. Glaspie faces one misdemeanor count of domestic assault without intent to cause bodily injury. She also is accused of punching her boyfriend in the face. The man suffered minor injuries and required stitches to his elbow. Officials say the dog survived.
WESTERN IOWA BODY W. Iowa woman died of stab wounds; son charged DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in western Iowa say a woman found dead in a rural Iowa farmhouse near Early was stabbed and her death has been ruled a homicide. Marilyn Schmitt was found dead in an upstairs bedroom of her home on Thursday. Authorities say it appears she died earlier that morning. Sac County Sheriff Ken McClure on Monday released the preliminary autopsy findings showing the cause of death. Schmitt’s son, 21-year-old Kirk Riley Levin, has been charged with first-degree murder. He had been arrested Thursday after a woman claimed he kidnapped her. He’s been held in jail since sheriff’s deputies found him hiding in a barn Thursday not far from the home where his mother’s body was found. He had been released from prison on a burglary charge just two days earlier.
DROUGHT-RIVER SHIPPING Durbin assesses Miss. River rock-removal effort THEBES, Ill. (AP) – Two federal lawmakers from Illinois got a firsthand look at urgent efforts to clear the Mississippi River bedrock that’s crimping shipping and say they’re closely monitoring the situation on the waterway. Sen. Dick Durbin and newly elected Congressman Bill Enyart were briefed Monday about the work near Thebes by Army Corps of Engineers and Coast Guard officials and toured the site by boat. Durbin says “Mother Nature has dealt us a difficult hand” with a lingering drought that’s dropped the Mississippi’s depths. Enyart says he’s “deeply concerned” about the economic implications of the shallower river. The rock-clearing effort is considered vital in ensuring that stretch of river remains open to barge traffic. Barge industry trade groups have expressed concern further restrictions on barge weights could halt shipping on the river.
IOWA ICE CLIMBING Sport of silo ice climbing gains traction in Iowa (Information in the following story is from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com) CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) – The specialized sport of silo ice climbing is gaining more followers at a farm in eastern Iowa. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports an iced-down silo at Rusty Leymaster’s farm northwest of Cedar Falls is the largest in the Midwest. Dozens of climbers strapped into harnesses and tried to climb the 80-foot structure on Saturday. Some enthusiasts are as young as 10 years old, and they say it’s a great outdoor activity. The sport has gained popularity over the years. It started with just a handful of people at the farm, and now has more than 300 season pass holders. Silo ice climbing at the farm is mostly run by volunteers and University of Northern Iowa students. UNI also supplies climbing gear for newcomers.
HOW BUYER TAX RELIEF Iowa offers tax credit program to some home buyers DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Some Iowa home buyers may be eligible for a program that will reduce their federal tax burden. Gov. Terry Branstad announced Monday the state is offering a mortgage credit certificate program that will reduce federal income taxes for qualifying home buyers. The relief could be as much as $2,000 a year for the duration of the mortgage. The program is available to first time homebuyers, those buying in certain targeted areas and some military veterans. It is funded through federal bonds and the state expects to provide relief to about 1,000 home buyers. A spokeswoman for the Iowa Finance Authority, which is administering the program, says this tax program has not been offered to Iowans since the mid-1990s.