Iowa News

Iowa lawmakers to return to Capitol for more budget talks
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa lawmakers attempting to finish up the legislative session are returning to the Capitol after failing to reach compromise on several budget issues, including state funding for Planned Parenthood. Members of the Democratic-controlled Senate and Republican-majority House were expected to meet Friday to try to hash out deals over some bills that will make up the roughly $7.35 billion budget that goes into effect in July. Lawmakers met for hours Thursday night in an attempt to reach adjournment. But they emerged from private meetings with little movement on the bill that would fund health and human services. GOP lawmakers have proposed adding language that would remove state funding for family planning facilities that provide abortions. Democrats oppose the plan. Lawmakers are also split on staff funding for state transportation employees.

Professional basketball league forming in Great Plains
MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — A professional basketball league is trying to get off the ground in the Great Plains. The National Basketball League of America is affiliated with the National Basketball League of Canada. The goal is to help former NCAA and NAIA college basketball players who have regional connections get noticed by other, more established pro leagues. League President Darryl Greene tells The Daily Republic newspaper that the goal is to have six teams for the inaugural season that's scheduled to start in September and run through November. The Dakota Magic will be based in Mitchell, the Omaha Charges in Nebraska and the Sioux City Hornets in Iowa. Greene has been in conversation with officials in Rapid City, Bismarck and Fargo about starting teams in those cities.

Minnesota woman accused of counterfeit Iowa prescriptions
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa authorities have charged a Minnesota woman with counterfeiting prescriptions. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that 27-year-old Jenna Fuhrmann, of Webster, Minnesota, faces three felony counts of prohibited acts. Her attorney didn't immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press. Court records say her preliminary hearing is set for May 6 in Mason City. Court documents say Fuhrmann illegally filled a total of 22 counterfeit prescriptions in Mason City from August 2014 through this month. The documents say the prescriptions used the name of a Minnesota doctor.

Trial delayed for Iowan accused of Medicaid fraud
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — A trial has been delayed for a western Iowa man accused of fraudulently billing Medicaid. Online court records say 52-year-old Darren Washington has pleaded not guilty to charges of theft and fraudulent practice. His Pottawattamie County trial was to have begun Tuesday but now is set to begin May 31. The Daily Nonpareil reports that Washington billed Medicaid for services he didn't perform while working for Health Homes Family Services. Court records say the fraudulent billings totaled more than $13,400.

Man gets 20 years for robbery, stabbing in Eagle Grove
CLARION, Iowa (AP) — A 33-year-old man has been given 20 years in prison for a violent robbery in Wright County. Evan Calo was sentenced this week for the June 27, 2015, robbery and stabbing of a man at a residence. Calo pleaded guilty to charges of robbery and willful injury. The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that the two 10-year sentences are to be served at the same time he serves sentences for theft and robbery in Cerro Gordo County. Calo pleaded guilty in March to those charges.

Des Moines Water works switches on nitrate removal system
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The water utility serving a half a million customers in central Iowa including the city of Des Moines says it has switched on its nitrate removal system. Des Moines Water Works CEO Bill Stowe says nitrate concentration in untreated water from river sources is approaching 10 milligrams per liter. That's a level the Environmental Protection Agency says isn't safe for babies to drink. Stowe says processed water remains safe but it costs extra to run the denitrification equipment. It ran for a record 177 days last year at a cost of $1.5 million. Stowe says Iowa's voluntarily farm program designed to help contain fertilizer runoff is not working. Water Works has sued several upstream county agriculture drainage systems seeking federal regulation of the runoff through Clean Water Act permits.

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