FOOD BANKS-TAX BEAKS Iowa farmers may get tax break for donating food DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa Senate panel wants to give farmers a tax break for donating produce to food banks. A Senate Ways and Means subcommittee approved the measure Thursday. It now moves to the full committee for review. The bill would give an incentive for small farmers to donate produce by providing a 15 percent state income tax break on the market value of donations worth under $5,000. The measure also would create a $2 million budget for the Iowa Food Bank Association to purchase and transport commodities to its agencies in Iowa’s 99 counties. Governor Terry Branstad vetoed a similar budget request last year. Cory Berkenes, state director of the IFBA, says the federal government used to purchase commodities but their organization now incurs more of the cost.
SEX VIDEO-INVESTIGATION Iowa police add charges in sex video distribution KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in southern Iowa have charged two more people in connection with the online distribution of a video showing a sex act between a 19-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl. The Knoxville Police Department says Thursday that 19-year-old Jordan Cowman of Des Moines faces a felony charge of sexual exploitation of a minor. A 17-year-old girl from Knoxville faces an aggravated misdemeanor on the same charge. Police say Cowman recorded the act between Jake Smith and the 15-year-old girl in February. The girl did not know she was being recorded. Smith was arrested Friday on felony charges of sex abuse and exploitation of a minor. Lieutenant Aaron Fuller says several high school students have circulated the video through email. Authorities want to recover all copies to stop circulation.
PIPE IMPALES PICKUP Pipe impales windshield, just missing Iowa driver HULL, Iowa (AP) – A 23-year-old driver received minor injuries when a steel pipe impaled her pickup’s windshield in northwest Iowa. The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office says the accident occurred around 6 a.m. Tuesday, a mile north of Hull. Rebekah Jasmer of Hull says the 8-foot-long pipe just missed her. Jasmer says she’d been behind another pickup as she drove to work. She told deputies that the other pickup’s tailgate was down, so it lost several pieces of its scrap metal load when it drifted right and swerved back left. Jasmer says she ducked to the left as the pipe came through her windshield, grazing her cheek. She was treated at Sioux Center Community Hospital. Deputies have been looking for the driver of the other pickup.
IOWA PRISON-LOCKDOWN Officials: Iowa prison staffer smuggled contraband DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Prison officials say a staffer smuggled contraband into the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, prompting a lockdown. Fred Scaletta, executive officer for the Iowa Department of Corrections, says in a statement Thursday that the security breech is under investigation and the staffer is on administrative leave. The penitentiary’s maximum security unit has been on lockdown since March 12th. The unit holds about 560 prisoners, many serving life sentences for rape and murder. Union president Danny Homan says Thursday the prison is understaffed and dangerous. Homan represents correctional officers in Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Prison officials responded by saying they have worked to reduce the prison population and improve the ratio of guards to inmates.
POWERBALL JACKPOT No Powerball winner? Officials watch $320M jackpot DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – No Powerball winner? It just means a bigger jackpot for the rest of us. Lottery officials say no ticket matched all the numbers in Wednesday night’s Powerball drawing, meaning the current $320 million jackpot could swell before the next drawing on Saturday. Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says the current jackpot is the sixth highest in history, but that it could grow depending on sales at the end of each day. No one has won the Powerball jackpot since early February. The holders of two winning tickets – one purchased in Arizona and the other in Missouri – shared $587.5 million in November, the largest Powerball jackpot in history.
FIRED PROFESSOR-JORDAN Former UI radiology professor files petition (Information in the following story is from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/) IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A former University of Iowa radiology professor who was fired for engaging in harassing behavior toward colleagues still wants his job back. The Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/Z3RD5J ) reports Malik Juweid (joo-WAYD’) filed a petition earlier this month in Polk County asking a judge to reverse a decision by the Iowa Board of Regents to uphold his firing. Juweid argues University President Sally Mason and assistant attorney general George Carroll had a conflict of interest in ordering Juweid’s firing. UI officials accused Juweid of harassing his former co-workers and creating a hostile work environment. He was fired in August 2011. Juweid’s petition asks for a new administrative hearing and that he be fully reinstated to his job and reimbursed for lost pay or benefits.
NCAA–IOWA ST-NOTRE DAME Irish eyes on Iowa State’s shooters in NCAA match DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – No matter where he goes, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey gets asked about one game this season. The Fighting Irish beat Louisville in an epic, five-overtime thriller last month that helped Notre Dame solidify a spot in this year’s NCAA tournament. While Notre Dame fans view it as the biggest game to date, the Irish (25-9) have an important one on Friday when they face Iowa State (22-11) in first round of the West Regional. Brey has a team in the tournament for the fourth straight year, and for Notre Dame to advance, it must slow down the Cyclones, who led the nation in 3-pointers. Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg gives his players the freedom to shoot from anywhere, but the former Cyclone star known as “The Mayor” joked that he still has the best range on the team.