- 6/18/13; West Hancock vs. Corwith Wesley Luverne Baseball will play varsity first at 5:45 p.m. No JV. :
AIRPORT-HANDGUN TSA: Handgun found in carry-on at Iowa airport DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say an unloaded handgun and ammunition were found in a carry-on bag at an airport in Des Moines. The Transportation Security Administration says the gun was detected at a screening checkpoint Wednesday at Des Moines International Airport. The unloaded handgun, several magazines and ammunition with 42 rounds were found in a bag belonging to John Thompson, a U.S. Army captain from Virginia. The 33-year-old Thompson told authorities he didn’t know the items were in the bag. He was arrested and charged with an airport regulation screening checkpoint violation. Firearms and ammunition are prohibited in carry-on baggage, but can be checked in at the ticket counter in a locked container. This is the second firearm found this year at a screening checkpoint in Des Moines.
SCHOOL LOCKDOWNS-IOWA Attorney to use drug defense for northern Iowa man (Information in the following story is from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com) DECORAH, Iowa (AP) – An attorney for a northern Iowa man accused of shooting at several people plans to say his client was intoxicated by drugs. Mark Anderson filed notice in Winneshiek County District Court of his intentions to rely on an “intoxication by drugs” defense for his client, Daniel Wildman. A jury trial is scheduled to begin February 27th. The 23-year-old Wildman is accused of discharging a 12-gauge shotgun at several people exiting a car in downtown Calmar in October. He faces three counts of attempted murder, among other charges. Authorities say after the shooting, Wildman led police on a manhunt. He was later caught in a cornfield near Castalia. The incident placed several schools in the area on lockdown.
SECRETARY OF STATE-BUDGET Democrats criticize secretary of state at hearing DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Secretary of State Matt Schultz faced tough questions from Democrats at a legislative hearing where lawmakers referred to election night reporting problems as “embarrassing”. They asked why he wasn’t seeking more money to update technology and hire more staff. Schultz didn’t seek a budget increase at the Thursday hearing, prompting legislators to question how he can improve the election night reporting system without more funding. They also questioned $140,000 he’s spending on an investigator focusing on voter fraud. Democrat Senator Jeff Danielson of Cedar Falls says he lost confidence after election night, when the secretary of state’s online reporting system crashed, delaying election results from precincts for hours. Schultz says he can manage without more funding, and he defended the use of public funds to investigate fraud.
COMMERCIAL PROPERTY TAXES-IOWA Democrats propose commercial property tax cuts DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Senate Democrats are proposing a plan for reducing commercial property taxes that they say would help small businesses more than Governor Terry Branstad’s tax proposal. Under the legislation unveiled Thursday, commercial property owners would gradually get a tax credit that’s the equivalent of a 40 percent tax cut on their first $324,000 in assessed property value. Lawmakers say roughly 80 percent of the state’s 116,900 commercial properties are assessed at or below $324,000. Properties worth more would see a smaller percentage break, but Democrats argue their plan is more effective than Branstad’s plan, which gradually cuts taxable property assessments by 20 percent for all businesses at a cost of about $350 million. The Democratic proposal would cost $250 million and be phased in over five years.
JAIL SUICIDE Jail officials: Iowa man commits suicide in cell COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a Council Bluffs man has committed suicide in his county jail cell. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says Shawnessey McKnight cut his neck with a razor Wednesday night at the county jail. Danker says McKnight also did pushups before and after in an effort to pump his blood out faster. The staff had given the 43-year-old McKnight a razor for shaving. Inmates have the razors for 15 minutes before guards collect them. Another inmate in the cell noticed McKnight’s condition and alerted staff. Danker says McKnight fought off staff who tried to treat him, and he had to be handcuffed and shackled before being sent to a nearby hospital where he later died. McKnight was being held on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and counterfeiting.
FIRE INVESTIGATION Iowa authorities investigate series of fires (Information in the following story is from: KCCI-TV, http://www.kcci.com) BOONE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in central Iowa are investigating a series of fires they say could be arson. Television station KCCI reports the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and Story County Sheriff’s Office are investigating between 20 and 30 fires. Boone officials say they’re concerned particularly about eight or nine fires over the last year, including a late January fire that killed a dozen horses. More than two dozen lambs were killed in early February. Boone Deputy Andy Godzicki says there’s no firm evidence of arson, but the activity is suspicious when the incidents are grouped together. The station says the State Fire Marshal’s Office is helping with the investigation.
STOLEN CAR-PIZZA SIGN Iowa police say thief left sign on stolen car (Information in the following story is from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com) DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Des Moines police say a teenager suspected of stealing a pizza delivery car accidently left the restaurant’s sign on. The Des Moines Register reports the car was stolen Wednesday night from the parking lot of Northern Lights Pizza. An officer spotted the car with the top sign still on less than an hour later. The 15-year-old driver has been charged with second-degree theft and driving without a license. Police say three passengers were released to their parents.
ATHLETES’ FUND-UI UI says it erroneously spent from athletes’ fund (Information in the following story is from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/) IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A newspaper says the athletics department at the University of Iowa last year erroneously spent more than $2,000 from a fund for student athletes to send administrators to sporting events. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports officials blame an accounting error on using the money by the National Collegiate Athletic Association to send administrators to wrestling and track events. The money has been returned. NCAA offers annual funding for student athletes through two programs to help with personal expenses ranging from parking permits to travel costs. UI received more than $450,000 last year from the two programs. School officials say rules on how to spend the money are deliberately broad. They say funds used for document shredding, displays for Carver-Hawkeye Arena, child care and legal fees are not a mistake.
IOWA-COACHING HIRES Iowa hires Kennedy, Reid IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa has hired former Colorado assistant Bobby Kennedy as its wide receivers coach, added Jim Reid as a defensive assistant. The Hawkeyes also announced the departure of running backs coach Lester Erb on Thursday. No specific reason was given for Erb’s departure. Kennedy spent the past two seasons with the Buffaloes after working with current Iowa offensive coordinator Greg Davis for seven years at Texas. He replaces Erik Campbell, who left the program after last season. Reid was the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Virginia from 2010 through 2012. Reid also spent 17 years as a head coach at VMI, UMass and Richmond. Erb spent 13 seasons with coach Kirk Ferentz at Iowa, the last five working with the running backs.
IOWA-STATE TOURNAMENT Olympic wrestling snub doesn’t curb buzz in Iowa DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – For three hectic days in Des Moines, Iowans will too busy celebrating their love of wrestling to worry much about its Olympic future. Roughly 10,000 fans packed Wells Fargo Arena on Thursday morning for the opening session of the Iowa individual wrestling tournament – a 72-hour spectacle that will pack local freeways, restaurants and hotels and draw as many as 80,000 fans to the state capital. Surrounded by screaming fans, making “states” remains special for Iowa high school wrestlers. The tournament opens just days after the International Olympic Committee decided to cut the sport out of the Olympics in 2020.