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Iowa News

Defense asks to delay murder trial in Iowa student’s slaying

IOWA CITY (AP) — Defense lawyers for the man charged in the killing of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts are asking a judge to delay his trial. Lawyers for Cristhian Bahena Rivera say they need to push back the Feb. 4 trial date so that they have time to appeal a judge’s ruling ...

Body of man in standoff found in fire-damaged home

WEST BURLINGTON (AP) — Authorities have recovered from a fire-damaged home the body of a man involved in a standoff with officers in southeast Iowa. The body of 62-year-old Michael Kartel was found in his West Des Moines basement around 8 p.m. Monday, said Police Chief Jesse Logan. It was ...

Trial set for woman accused of slayings, firing at officers

COUNCIL BLUFFS (AP) — A February trial has been scheduled for a woman charged with the shooting deaths of two men and the attempted murders of two law officers in western Iowa. Pottawattamie County court records say April Montello-Roberts, 44, of Shenandoah, has pleaded not guilty to two ...

Nurses authorize union leaders to call strike

SIOUX CITY (AP) — Nurses have authorized their union leaders to call a strike at MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center in Sioux City. At least two-thirds of nurses represented by the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 222 voted to authorize a strike. The authorization vote ended Monday ...

Woman who ran over bicyclist in parking lot takes plea deal

CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — A Central City woman accused of running over and killing a bicyclist has taken a plea deal. Melinda Lawrence, 61, took the deal before jury selection was to begin Monday in Cedar Rapids. She originally pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder. Under the agreement, she ...

Man asks judge’s leave for sword battle with ex-wife, lawyer

HARLAN (AP) — A Kansas man has asked an Iowa judge to let him engage in a sword fight with his ex-wife and her attorney so that he can “rend their souls” from their bodies. David Ostrom, 40, of Paola, Kansas, said in a Jan. 3 court filing that his former wife, Bridgette Ostrom, 38, of ...

Firefighters rescue 2 young girls from burning home

WATERLOO (AP) — Firefighters rescued two young girls from a burning home in Waterloo early Sunday morning. Waterloo Fire Battalion Chief Ben Petersen said the girls, ages 2 and 3, were taken to the hospital after the fire along with an adult man who escaped the home and a firefighter who was ...

Grant helps Sioux City Head Start program expand

By EARL HORLYK An AP Exchange story SIOUX CITY — ReVenna Castro-Silva may very well be a Rembrandt in the making. At the very least, the Sioux City girl is getting a head start in Fingerpainting 101, courtesy of an Early Head Start program recently begun on the Western Iowa Tech Community ...

School bus driver accused of sexual misconduct

CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — Cedar Rapids police have arrested a man suspected of sexual misconduct while driving a school bus. Thomas Williams, 57, was listed Tuesday as an inmate in the Linn County Jail. He faces charges of false imprisonment and sexual exploitation by a school employee. Court ...

GOP leaders not planning oversight of Iowa care center

By DAVID PITT Associated Press DES MOINES — Iowa Republican legislative leaders said Tuesday they don’t plan to convene an oversight committee meeting to discuss problems at an Iowa care center for people with intellectual disabilities until they know more. Incoming House Speaker Pat ...

Woman outside her car hit, killed by car

DE SOTO (AP) — A person who was standing outside a car that had crashed into a guardrail in central Iowa died when another car hit her, the Iowa State Patrol has reported. The incident happened early Saturday morning along I-80 near De Soto after a vehicle lost control due to slippery road ...

Inmate who’d beaten his girlfriend to death dies

IOWA CITY (AP) — A man imprisoned for beating to death his girlfriend nearly 23 years ago has died at an Iowa hospital. Rick Bird was pronounced dead at 3:10 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City, the Iowa Corrections Department said. He was 72. Bird ...

Credit union manager tells police about thefts

AMES (AP) — A credit union manager has been accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from a branch he managed in Ames. Henry Hill is charged with fraudulent practice and theft, Story County court records say. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 10. Hill remained in ...

Iowa court: Automated speeding tickets not a public record

By DAVID PITT Associated Press DES MOINES — The names of car owners ticketed by automated speed cameras are not a public record, a divided Iowa Supreme Court ruled on Friday. The court was considering a lawsuit filed by a former Ottumwa police sergeant who was ticketed while driving a ...

Train derailment in eastern Iowa leaves mess, slows traffic

LECLAIRE (AP) — A train derailment Friday morning sent more than a dozen rail cars and tankers off the tracks in the eastern Iowa city of LeClaire, shutting down a nearby highway and sending a hazardous materials team scrambling to the downtown district site. The derailment happened a couple ...

Iowa DHS penalizes Medicaid provider

DES MOINES (AP) — Iowa Department of Human Services officials said Friday they are temporarily withholding nearly $44 million in payments for this month to one of the management companies overseeing the state’s Medicaid program. Iowa DHS spokesman Matt Highland said in a statement the ...

Iowa woman accused of racist attacks to undergo mental tests

DES MOINES (AP) — A judge Monday approved a competency evaluation of a woman accused of hate crimes in the Des Moines area, including intentionally running over a girl she thought was Mexican. The attorney for Nicole Poole, 42, told a judge Monday that he’d only just met Poole but that he ...

Judge: Key evidence can be used in Mollie Tibbetts’ slaying

By RYAN J. FOLEY Associated Press IOWA CITY — In a victory for prosecutors, a judge ruled Monday that they can use key evidence at trial against the migrant worker charged with killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts. Judge Joel Yates agreed with prosecutors that some statements ...

Auditor, treasurer reject payments in Branstad case

By DAVID PITT Associated Press DES MOINES — A group of top state officials on Monday approved payments of nearly $400,000 to a Des Moines law firm to continue a lawsuit in which a jury concluded former Gov. Terry Branstad discriminated against an ex-state official because the official is ...

Woman charged in 2nd hit-and-run

CLIVE (AP) — An Iowa woman who told police she intentionally ran over a teenager because she believed the girl was Mexican has been charged with another hit-and-run crash that hurt a 12-year-old boy. Nicole Franklin, who also goes by the name Nicole Poole, was charged Monday by Des Moines ...