- 6/18/13; West Hancock vs. Corwith Wesley Luverne Baseball will play varsity first at 5:45 p.m. No JV. :
IA-WINTER STORM-IOWA Heavy snow practically shuts down SE Iowa towns DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa officials warned that travel was hazardous across much of the state Tuesday night as ice formed on snowy roads amid falling temperatures. The storm that could drop over a foot of snow on parts of southeast Iowa ventured further north into the state than forecasters expected. State Center, Iowa, recorded nearly 9 inches of snow by Tuesday afternoon, and the snow was continuing to fall. Keith Voss, manager of the Fareway Grocery in Centerville, says he was planning to close the store nearly five hours early on Tuesday after more than 8 inches of snow had fallen. Voss says he’d already sent home most of his employees by Tuesday afternoon and was running the store with five people. Iowa road conditions updates are available at www.511ia.org online.
SUPREME COURT-CRYSTAL SUGAR ND Supreme Court: Sugar workers can get benefits BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – The North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that more than 400 American Crystal Sugars workers in North Dakota who are locked out in a contract dispute are eligible for unemployment benefits. The decision reverses a lower court’s ruling that said the workers were not eligible for benefits because North Dakota law prohibits unemployment insurance for workers involved in labor disputes. Nearly 1,300 American Crystal Sugar workers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa have been locked out since Aug. 1, 2011, after their union rejected the cooperative’s proposed contract. Locked-out workers in Minnesota and Iowa were eligible for unemployment benefits. Union spokesman John Riskey says “justice has been served” for the 420 workers affected in North Dakota. North Dakota’s director of unemployment insurance did not immediately return a message for comment.
GAY MARRIAGE-IOWA Republicans try for statewide vote on gay marriage DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Republican senator has introduced legislation that would begin the process of referring a constitutional ban on gay marriage to Iowa voters. A 2009 Iowa Supreme Court ruling legalized gay marriage in the state. Sen. Dennis Guth says Tuesday that voters should get to decide whether gay marriage is permitted in the state. His resolution has a total of 18 sponsors in the Senate. The measure would need to be approved by the current legislative assembly and then one elected in 2014 before it could go to voters. The effort has little chance of advancing since Democratic Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal has repeatedly blocked debate on such proposals. Nine states and Washington have legalized gay marriage.
FIRE DISPLACES FAMILY SW Iowa house fire displaces 11 people, hurts 1 (Information in the following story is from: KJAN-AM, http://www.kjan.com) RED OAK, Iowa (AP) – A house fire in southwest Iowa injured one person and left 11 people without a home. Red Oak Fire Chief Jim Blount III says the fire happened about 10 miles southwest of Elliott on Monday afternoon. When fire crews arrived, the flames were spreading throughout the home. Blount says one of the adults who lived in the home was injured in the fire, but the injuries are not considered life-threatening. Firefighters were able to control the blaze with about 90 minutes, but the home was declared a total loss. So the four adults and seven children who were living in the home are looking for a new place to live. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
STATE TROOPERS-FUNDING Iowa state troopers group head seeks more funding DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The head of the Iowa State Troopers Association says budget cuts have thinned ranks so much that many counties don’t have a trooper on duty overnight. The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa State Troopers Association President Darin Snedden met with legislators and staffers from the governor’s office Tuesday, asking the state to allocate funding to hire an additional 87 troopers. Snedden says the Iowa State Patrol has 363 troopers, down from 455 in 2000 before repeated budget cuts. He wants the state to hire 29 more troopers a year, for three years. The cost of adding 29 troopers is $4.3 million in the first year and $2.9 million in subsequent years. Branstad’s budget does not include any funding for more troopers.
IOWA FERTILIZER PLANT Economic Development head says staff knew of suit DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Economic Development Authority director told lawmakers her team knew an Egyptian company seeking tax breaks to build a fertilizer plan in southeast Iowa was being sued by the federal government, but no one told her. Agency director Debi Durham earlier said the state’s vetting didn’t uncover the lawsuit, which alleges a company subsidiary defrauded U.S. taxpayers out of millions of dollars. Durham had told The Associated Press, “I’m not sure how anyone would have found that.” On Tuesday, Durham told lawmakers she has learned her team knew of the 2004 lawsuit against the subsidiary of Cairo-based Orascom. Durham told lawmakers, “I’m not proud of it, but that’s what happened.” Legislators at the hearing criticized Durham and the $200 million in tax breaks given Orascom.
IOWA PUBLIC RADIO CEO FIRED Iowa Public Radio board fires chief executive (Information in the following story is from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com) DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Public Radio’s board has fired its chief executive because of concerns about her management style. The Des Moines Register reports the board voted 6-1 to fire CEO Mary Grace Herrington on Tuesday. The only vote against the firing came from University of Iowa Chief of Staff Mark Braun. Braun says he just recently joined the board and didn’t feel like he knew Herrington well enough to support her firing. The Iowa Public Radio board spent four hours discussing Herrington’s management style and the climate at Iowa Public Radio during a conference call before the vote Tuesday. DRIVER SHOT Iowa officers won’t be prosecuted in shooting CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Two Cedar Rapids police officers won’t face any charges for fatally shooting a woman during a December incident. Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sanden says he believes the officers’ actions were justified because Desirae Daniel pointed a loaded handgun at them after they ordered the 27-year-old to get out of the car. The state Division of Criminal Investigation reviewed the Dec. 4 shooting and found that Daniel’s gun had been reported stolen two months earlier. Officer Mitchell Magill and Officer Adrienne Phelps fired nine times and struck Daniel six times. Investigators found ingredients used to make methamphetamine in Daniel’s car, and toxicology tests showed she had meth in her system.