Iowa News

Iowa Republicans offer state budget targets below Democrats
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Republican leaders in the Iowa House have released budget targets for the upcoming fiscal year, and they propose to spend less money than both Governor Terry Branstad and Senate Democrats. House Republicans on Thursday called for spending about $7.32 billion from the general fund for the fiscal year beginning July 1st. Senate leaders recommend $7.398 billion and Branstad proposes just over $7.4 billion. The targets released by Republicans would spend less money than Democrats on several budget items, including education and health care. The parties don't agree how much money is available to spend, which influences the budget targets. The targets do not specify potential cuts. House Republicans and Senate Democrats say committees will use the targets as they prepare agency budgets and at some point will reconcile the differences.

Clinton, Sanders vigorously agree — except when they don't
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders vigorously agreed. Except when they didn't. The rivals spent much of Thursday's sixth Democratic presidential debate in a respectful discussion of their marginal differences on issues like immigration, criminal justice reform and entitlements. But both were animated when the contest turned to one of fundamental questions facing Democrats: has President Barack Obama gone far enough in his policies and if not, how far should the next president go? Clinton, who has cast herself as the rightful heir to Obama's legacy, accused Sanders of diminishing the president's record, short-changing his leadership and seeking to wipe away his signature health care law. Sanders responded by noting that Clinton was the only one on the stage who ran against Obama in the 2008 presidential race.

Utility company in Cedar Falls builds solar panel garden
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Cedar Falls Utilities is constructing a garden of solar panels on the western side of the city as part of a project for its customers. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that more than 1,200 electric customers, about 6 percent of the company's customer base, are participating in the Simple Solar project in which customers can purchase solar "shares" at $399 each. The price ended up dropping to $270 a share due to a large customer response. Participating customers will receive a monthly credit on their bill for electricity generated at the garden. Work for the project began before the holiday season, and solar panels arrived for installation this month. The company's general manager, Jim Krieg, says the project is on track to deliver test energy in February.

Sioux City judge confirmed to Iowa federal court
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A U.S. magistrate from Sioux City has been approved to serve as a judge on one of Iowa's federal courts. Senator Chuck Grassley announced Thursday that the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the nomination of Leonard Strand, of Sioux City, to serve as a U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Iowa. President Barrack Obama nominated Strand in June to replace U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett. The nomination will go back to Obama for final approval. Strand graduated from the University of Iowa law school in 1990 and had a private practice before becoming a magistrate in 2012. The Senate also confirmed Rebecca Ebinger's nomination as a U.S. District judge for the Southern District of Iowa on Tuesday.

Former Iowa Wesleyan University nursing students win lawsuit
MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) — A southeast Iowa jury has awarded seven former nursing students of Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant $75,000 each after the nursing program lost national accreditation just prior to their graduation in the spring of 2013. The students filed a lawsuit with several allegations including breach of contract and negligence. They said damages included the inability to enter a chosen graduate school program as a result of graduating from a non-accredited nursing program and loss of earning capacity. A Henry County jury returned the verdict on Wednesday. Attorneys for the university say the situation was disappointing for all involved and Iowa Wesleyan will work with its insurance providers to pay the judgment. They say the nursing program is now nationally accredited and continues to provide a high quality nursing education.

Missouri trooper waives arraignment on manslaughter count
VERSAILLES, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri state trooper will be scheduled for a jury trial now that he has waived his arraignment on a manslaughter count linked to the drowning of a handcuffed Iowa man who fell from a patrol boat at the Lake of the Ozarks. Forty-four-year-old Anthony Piercy made the court appearance Thursday in Morgan County, sparing the judge from formally reading the criminal complaint to him. Piercy was charged in December in the May 2014 death of 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson of suburban Des Moines. Piercy had arrested Ellingson for boating while intoxicated and was taking him to a patrol zone office. Witnesses say Piercy didn't property secure a life jacket on Ellingson before Ellingson went into the water, and Ellingson's body was recovered the next day. Piercy is free on bond.

Hoosiers use late surge to upset No. 4 Hawkeyes 85-78
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — Kevin "Yogi" Ferrell scored 14 points and Troy Williams added 13 and Indiana rallied to upset No. 4 Iowa 85-78 on Thursday night after blowing a big lead. Indiana (20-5, 10-2 Big Ten) pulled into a three-way for the conference lead and gave coach Tom Crean his fourth 20-win season at the school. Jarrod Uthoff led the Hawkeyes (19-5, 10-2) with 24 points, and Mike Gesell had 17. Iowa lost for the first time in four games. It could have been much easier. Indiana was cruising in the first half, building a 16-point lead before giving it away. The Hawkeyes closed to 45-38 at the half and scored the first nine points of the second half to take their first lead since the opening minutes. Trailing 60-56 with 9:35 left, Indiana regained the lead with 14-2 run and never trailed again.

No. 7 Ohio State blasts Iowa 98-81 for 8th straight win
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Kelsey Mitchell and Shayla Cooper each scored 20 points and seventh-ranked Ohio State blasted Iowa 98-81 on Thursday night for its eighth straight victory. Ameryst Alton had 18 with six assists for the Buckeyes (20-4, 12-1 Big Ten), who also won in Iowa City for the first time in eight years. Ohio State had little trouble with the reeling Hawkeyes (15-10, 5-8), pushing a 14-point halftime lead to as much as 23 late in the third quarter. Ally Disterhoft had 20 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Iowa, losers of three straight and six of eight.

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