Iowa News

Woman injured in Cedar Rapids blast, fire, authorities say
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a woman has been burned in an explosion and fire at a house in Cedar Rapids. The explosion was reported a little after 6:30 p.m. Monday at the home in southwest Cedar Rapids. The woman was alone in the house when it exploded. She was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Firefighters suspect a gas leak may have led to the explosion.

Former Iowa governor takes No. 2 spot for Des Moines YMCA
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Greater Des Moines YMCA has hired former Iowa Gov. Chet Culver to help raise money. Culver, who left office in 2011 after serving one term, will begin work as YMCA president on July 5 and report to the CEO, Dave Schwartz. YMCA executive search committee member Rick Tollakson says the committee liked Culver's experience raising money for political campaigns, his Des Moines connections and his passion for the YMCA. Culver worked as a high school teacher and coach and served as a volunteer YMCA basketball coach before he began his political career. He's a member of the Walnut Creek YMCA in West Des Moines. Culver's been running his renewable-energy consulting firm since leaving office. He says he'll stop working for the firm when he joins the YMCA.

Officers fatally shot armed man in Boone, state agency says
BOONE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa authorities say local officers have fatally shot a man who aimed a gun at them in Boone. The Iowa Department of Public Safety said in a news release Tuesday that Boone police and Boone County deputies were dispatched around 10:15 p.m. Monday after a 911 caller reported an armed man was threatening people. The department says officers found the man on West 2nd Street and told him to drop his gun after he pulled it from his waistband. The officers then say they fired after he aimed his gun at them and began to advance. The department says the man died later at Boone County Hospital. His name and those of the officers who fired have not been released. State agents have joined the shooting investigation.

Iowa man wanted business associate killed, authorities say
NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a 36-year-old North Liberty man tried to hire someone to kill a business associate and his family. North Liberty police say Justin DeWitt was arrested around 7:15 p.m. Monday to face four counts of attempted murder and four counts of solicitation to commit murder. Online court records don't list the name of an attorney who could be contacted to comment on DeWitt's behalf. Police say DeWitt offered payment to a person who turned out to be an undercover state agent. Police didn't provide any other details about DeWitt or what led to the charges.

Inmate who escaped Newton prison facility back in custody
NEWTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have caught an inmate who escaped from the Newton Correctional Release Center. The Iowa Corrections Department said in a news release Tuesday that Timothy Formaro Jr. was back in custody at the facility. He was not present during a routine count around 9:20 p.m. Monday. Security staffers determined that Formaro had escaped from the minimum-security facility. The department did not say how Formaro got out. He's been serving a 25-year sentence on Clarke County convictions for domestic abuse assault and prohibited acts.

Iowa data shows 170 motor vehicle deaths so far in 2016
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — New data from the Iowa Department of Transportation shows 42 more people have died on Iowa roads in 2016 than at the same time last year. The Des Moines Register reports seven people were killed in traffic accidents over the weekend, bringing the total number of motor vehicle deaths to 170 people. That's 30 more than the five-year average of 140. The worst month of the year so far has been May, which had 39 deaths. State officials say a mix of high speeds and impaired or distracted driving have contributed to the higher number. The data shows victims weren't wearing seatbelts in about half of the deaths. The department's driver data manager says he has noted more single-vehicle accidents in which the vehicle left the roadway before crashing.

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