Iowa News

Former Iowa mayor pleads not guilty to charges
OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) — The former mayor of a northeast Iowa city pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges alleging he sexually abused two girls. Court records show 36-year-old Jason Manus entered the plea to five counts of second-degree sexual abuse. His trial is scheduled to begin on October 8th. Manus, the former mayor of Oelwein, is accused of assaulting a 14-year-old girl four times and a 9-year-old girl once in July and August 2010 at his home. He was arrested in August following an investigation by the Fayette County Sheriff's Office. Authorities said they had received information about the abuse allegations from the Iowa Department of Human Services. Manus resigned from office several days after his arrest. The City Council then appointed council member Peggy Sherrets as mayor.

Disaster proclamation issued for 4 Iowa counties
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Governor Terry Branstad on Wednesday issued a disaster emergency proclamation for four Iowa counties in response to recent severe weather. The proclamation covers Adair, Guthrie, Ringgold, and Warren counties following severe weather and heavy rains on September 9th. State resources can now be used to help affected communities in those counties. The proclamation also activates an individual assistance program that grants up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The money can be used for temporary housing, home and car repairs and other items.

In Iowa, Biden preaches populist theme on taxes
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is preaching a populist theme during a visit to Iowa — an important early-voting state in the presidential nominating calendar. He's telling voters to elect Democrats who support raising taxes on companies. Biden is hitting an election-year theme of restoring what he calls "basic fairness." The vice president spoke to about 200 Democratic activists on the steps of the Iowa Capitol in Des Moines. Biden joined a group of a dozen or so nuns who are starting a nationwide bus tour to urge people to vote. Biden's considering running for the top job in 2016, and his trip to Iowa follows Hillary Rodham Clinton's high-profile appearance Sunday at retiring Senator Tom Harkin's big annual fundraiser.

Biden: Troops not needed now, but will reassess
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Vice President Joe Biden is apparently leaving the door open to U.S. ground troops helping Iraqi security forces repel Islamic State militants. During a visit to a neighborhood cafe in Des Moines, Biden was asked if he agreed with comments Tuesday by General Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military officer. Dempsey told a congressional committee that American ground troops may be needed to battle Islamic State forces if President Barack Obama's current strategy of expanded air strikes fails. Referring to Dempsey, Biden replied that Dempsey's "conclusion is that it is not needed now." Biden added: "We'll determine that based on how the effort goes." The White House has repeatedly rejected the possibility of sending U.S. troops into Iraq for combat missions.

It's personality versus policy in Iowa Senate race
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The race for Iowa's open Senate seat could be dubbed the Resume versus the Personality. Democrat Bruce Braley is focusing on policy in his bid to win the contest and his recent television ads have featured others talking about the four-term congressman's record. He doesn't appear in the ads himself. His Republican opponent Joni Ernst has built her campaign around telling voters her story as a down-home farm girl and military veteran. A poll of likely Iowa voters released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University showed Ernst leading Braley 50 percent to 44 percent. The poll — which had a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points — was the first recent survey to show Ernst with such a lead. Other recent polling has shown the two closely locked.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press