Iowa News

Woman found not competent to stand trial in husband’s death

DUBUQUE (AP) — A Dubuque woman accused of beating to death her ex-husband with a baseball bat has again been found not mentally competent to stand trial. The finding for 53-year-old Dolores Flynn was released Tuesday. Attorneys for Flynn had sought a second psychiatric evaluation for her ...

Woman charged with intentional crash takes another plea deal

LE MARS (AP) — A northwest Iowa woman accused of intentionally crashing her vehicle into another has made a plea deal. Melissa Ebert pleaded guilty Monday in Plymouth County District Court to two counts of serious injury by motor vehicle. Prosecutors dropped other charges in exchange. Her ...

Police release names of 5 killed in Mason City crash

MASON CITY (AP) — Authorities have released the names of five people killed in a fiery Mason City crash. Police in Mason City say an officer discovered the accident scene around 2:40 a.m. Monday after officials noticed that power had been knocked out to hundreds of customers. Officials say ...

Editor of Storm Lake Times wins Pulitzer

DES MOINES (AP) — A small-town Iowa newspaper editorial writer won the Pulitzer Prize on Monday for taking on powerful agricultural organizations after a water utility sued the paper’s home county and two others over farm pollution. Art Cullen, who owns the Storm Lake Times with his ...

Navy group at Iowa State cancels dinner after photo incident

IOWA CITY (AP) — The commander of a military training program at Iowa State University cancelled an annual formal dinner Friday after news broke that explicit photographs of some male cadets had been posted on Facebook. Capt. Scott Curtis sent an email to the Naval Reserve Officer Training ...

Iowa Senate approves joint school and city elections

DES MOINES (AP) — The Iowa Senate has approved a bill requiring city and school elections to be held on the same day in an effort to boost voter participation. The bill passed the Senate 36-13 on Tuesday and now heads to Gov. Terry Branstad, The Des Moines Register reported. Under the ...

Police: Man sought in Iowa slayings case said he killed 3

BONDURANT (AP) — A man sought as a material witness in the slayings of his parents and sister in their suburban Des Moines home surrendered in Missouri on Friday and told an officer there that he had killed three people, authorities said. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a news ...

Chinese cultural center to open in southeast Iowa city

MUSCATINE (AP) — An Iowa city is strengthening its ties to China with the opening of a Sini-U.S. Friendship Center, marking the latest development since the Chinese president’s 1985 visit to the community. Work to convert a former furniture store in downtown Muscatine into the center is ...

Iowa House begins debate over 20-week abortion ban

DES MOINES (AP) — The Iowa House has begun debate on a bill that would ban most abortions in the state at 20 weeks of pregnancy. The GOP-controlled chamber started debating Tuesday night. Republicans are expected to pass the legislation, which would be a victory for Iowa conservatives ...

Iowa Senate OKs gun bill with stand-your-ground provision

DES MOINES (AP) — The Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature on Tuesday moved closer toward finalizing sweeping changes to the state’s gun laws, approving a bill that would allow firearms on the Capitol grounds and add a stand-your-ground provision. The Senate voted 33-17 in favor of the ...

Former teacher pleads guilty to 2 sex-with-student counts

IDA GROVE (AP) — A former substitute teacher and coach has pleaded guilty to having sexual relationships with students at two northwest Iowa high schools. Online court records say 33-year-old John Tietsort, of Battle Creek, entered the pleas Monday in Ida County District Court to two counts ...

Malnourished, neglected horses rescued in south-central Iowa

NEW VIRGINIA (AP) — Officials have removed 14 neglected horses from two properties in south-central Iowa’s Warren County. The Animal Rescue League says 10 malnourished horses were taken from a site in New Virginia and four severely neglected horses from a property in Indianola. All 14 ...

Man gets life in trailer park killing

DUBUQUE (AP) — A judge has sentenced a 19-year-old Dubuque man to life in prison without parole after his conviction of first-degree murder in the killing of a man at a Dubuque trailer park. Judge Thomas Bitter sentenced Imere D. Hall to the life term.

Wellmark won’t sell individual policies

DES MOINES (AP) — A decision by Iowa’s dominant health insurance company to stop selling individual policies could leave thousands of residents scrambling to get new policies. Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield announced Monday it would stop selling the individual policies because of ...

Branstad goes to Washington

DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says he’ll have private meetings with members of Congress this week to discuss his consideration as U.S. ambassador to China. The Republican governor is scheduled to be in Washington between Monday and Thursday. Branstad says he’ll meet with ...

May sentencing set for man convicted in heroin death

DES MOINES (AP) — A man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the heroin overdose death of a West Des Moines woman is scheduled to be sentenced next month. On Friday a Polk County jury also found 30-year-old Travis West guilty of delivery of a controlled substance. His sentencing is set ...

Trial set for ex-union leader accused of embezzlement

LE MARS (AP) — A June trial has been scheduled for a former union president accused of embezzling from his union local in northwest Iowa Court records say Curtis Lang pleaded not guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City. His trial is set to begin June 5. The records say Lang ...

Branstad defends regulator who works as private lawyer

DES MOINES (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says Iowa Utilities Board chairwoman Geri Huser has done nothing wrong in maintaining a busy outside law practice while earning a $128,900 state salary. Branstad said Monday that Huser has put in a “tremendous amount of time” leading the three-member ...

Farmers to plant record low wheat, most soybeans ever

DES MOINES (AP) — The amber waves of grain are about to turn into bean pods as farmers report they’ll plant millions of acres in soybeans instead of wheat this year as a global glut of the grain has made it unprofitable to grow. In its annual prospective plantings report released Friday, ...

Sanctuary cities ban among bills dead at Iowa Legislature

DES MOINES — A bill that would have prohibited so-called sanctuary cities in Iowa and legislation that would have banned most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected are among measures not advancing beyond a procedural deadline in the Republican-controlled Iowa Legislature. The deadline ...