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Regional News from the Associated Press

Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A spokeswoman for an Iowa college says the school welcomes a student group’s request to withdraw a union petition filed with the National Labor Relations Board. Grinnell College spokeswoman Debra Lukehart released a statement saying, “The college’s concern has always been about how the expansion of the student union could affect Grinnell’s distinctive culture and diminish educational opportunities for our students.”

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Firefighters in Cedar Rapids say a 43-year-old woman has been hurt in an apartment fire. Fire officials say in a news release that the fire was reported around 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Gateway Apartments. Officials say the woman received CPR at the scene, and was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Her condition was not known late Friday afternoon.

UNDATED (AP) – Joe Biden is aware that age is an issue as he ponders a 2020 presidential run. He is talking with friends and longtime supporters about whether he’s too old to seek the White House. That’s according to several sources who have spoken with the 76-year-old former Democratic vice president. It could be the biggest hurdle to launching another bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, especially in an era when many in the party yearn for a new generation of leadership.

Wisconsin News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republicans in Wisconsin and Michigan enacted last-minute limits on Democratic power Friday, with GOP governors in both Upper Midwest states signing laws protecting their priorities before leaving office in less than a month. Democrats derided the moves as desperate power grabs, while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder downplayed the scope of their actions while defending their rights to do it.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A group run by former Democratic U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says it plans legal action to block a limitation on early voting in Wisconsin signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker. The Republican Walker signed it Friday after the Legislature passed it in a lame-duck session last week.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker says he plans to remain in Wisconsin after leaving office in 24 days. Walker spoke briefly about his future Friday after signing three bills into law weakening the powers of his Democratic successor Tony Evers. The former presidential candidate says he’s had a lot of opportunities in recent weeks to take jobs in Washington, but he plans to remain in Wisconsin. He did not say what those opportunities were.

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Vandals decapitated a snowman outside a Milwaukee home, and perhaps the holiday spirit motivated them to make amends. Tony Harper’s 4-foot lighted snowman cutout was up for just two days when a married couple and another woman who had been out drinking decapitated it. Police ticketed them. The case took a turn the next morning when the vandals returned. Harper says they apologized and gave him $50 for a new snowman.

Illinois News

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) – Police say they recovered the vehicle of a Lake County teacher, four days after a student apparently stole the keys from a high school classroom. Waukegan police Cmdr. Joe Florip says the vehicle was discovered on Dec. 7, running and unoccupied in a neighborhood. The keys were taken on Dec. 3 when the teacher was in a meeting away from the classroom. Waukegan schools spokesman Nick Alajakis tells the News-Sun that the person who took the keys is not the person who took the vehicle.

URBANA, Ill. (AP) – The University of Illinois has fired a professor who was accused of falsifying research. Fei Wang worked in the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology. He has been at the university since 2005 and was granted tenure in 2012. The investigation and its aftermath lasted nearly five years. Wang was accused of applying for research grants with information from experiments that hadn’t been performed. He used images of mouse cells, not human cells.

CHICAGO (AP) – An economist who served on the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration has been appointed to the Chicago school board. Austan Goolsbee is a professor at the University of Chicago. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced his appointment to the school board Friday.

CHICAGO (AP) – A judge has set a Jan. 18 sentencing date for a white former Chicago police officer convicted of murder in the shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald. A jury found Jason VanDyke guilty of second-degree murder and 16 counts of aggravated battery for the 2014 shooting. Second-degree murder usually carries a sentence of less than 20 years, and probation is also an option.

Iowa News

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a Cedar Falls man awaiting trial on criminal charges fled a northeastern Iowa courthouse after his bail was raised to $500,000. The Courier reports that 30-year-old Rajih Donley appeared in a Black Hawk County courtroom Monday for a hearing regarding charges accusing him of shooting and injuring a Waterloo man in May 2017. Authorities say after being told his bail would be raised, he fled down a stairwell and has not been found.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa court officials say current members of a state commission that recommends appointees for the Iowa Supreme Court to the governor can remain until July. That means three members of the commission will not have to leave on Jan. 1 as a Republican attorney had claimed and can participate in choosing nominees for a current court vacancy.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – State budget experts say revenue projections for the current fiscal year are running slightly ahead of their October predictions but the growth for the 2020 budget is expected to be considerably slower. The three-member Revenue Estimating Conference says Thursday state income is up about 4.7 percent from the previous year but the group anticipates only a 1.7 percent increase in revenue for next year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The 1995 disappearance of Iowa news anchor Jodi Huisentruit will be featured on an episode of CBS’ “48 Hours” airing this weekend. The Des Moines Register reports that the episode, titled “FindJodi,” will air at 9 p.m. Central time Saturday. Huisentruit was 27 when she went missing on her way to work June 27, 1995, at station KIMT in Mason City. Investigators have never found Huisentruit, who was declared legally dead in 2001.

Wisconsin News

TOWNSHIP OF LA GRANGE, Wis. (AP) – Police say the death of two people in the Township of La Grange is an isolated incident and there is no danger to the public. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office says the body of a woman was found lying outside a residence on Thursday morning, and a man’s body was found inside. Sheriff Scott Perkins told WEAU-TV that authorities believe the man killed the woman. The two weren’t immediately identified.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has reached a deal with consumer-products giant Kimberly-Clark Corp. worth up to $28 million over five years to keep a plant open and save nearly 400 jobs. The deal Walker announced at the plant in Neenah was reached under powers Walker currently has but that would be taken away under a bill Republicans passed in a lame-duck session last week. Walker called for the bills from the Legislature on Thursday, meaning he has six days to take action on them.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker has called for Republican lame-duck legislation to be delivered to his office, starting the countdown to signing them. Walker called for the package on Thursday. He now has six days to sign them. His spokesman, Tom Evenson, says Walker won’t take action Thursday but declined to say when he would act.

OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) – A former daycare worker at the Oshkosh YMCA is charged with sexually assaulting a 3-year-old girl. Seventy-five-year-old B.T. Adams was charged Thursday with two counts of first-degree sexual assault of a child under 13, and one count of conspiracy to sexually assault a child. Oshkosh Police Chief Dean Smith told reporters on Thursday that since Adams was arrested last week, police have received 17 reports about him from concerned parents.

Illinois News

JOLIET, Ill. (AP) – A man convicted in the 2016 bludgeoning deaths of a man and woman in a suburban Chicago auto body shop has been sentenced to life in prison. Will County Judge David Carlson this week sentenced 43-year-old William Krasawski of Bourbonnais. Krasawski was earlier convicted in the deaths of 48-year-old Michael Oram of Joliet and 43-year-old Jamie Wills of Lockport. Trial testimony indicated that Krasawski smoked crack cocaine with them March 8, 2016 at a Joliet auto repair shop before killing them.

GRIDLEY, Ill. (AP) – A company that’s the largest employer in the central Illinois village of Gridley has closed because not enough people were buying the cereal it made. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports that Kerry, Inc. closed its doors at the end of the day Wednesday.

CHICAGO (AP) – There’s some sweet news for the massive old Chicago Post Office building. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ferrara Candy Co. announced Thursday the company is relocating its corporate headquarters there next summer. Ferrara now has about 300 office workers in its Oakbrook Terrace headquarters. CEO Todd Siwak says that when the company moves into the building, he expects nearly 400 employees will work there. The building has been vacant since 1996 and is being renovated.

CHICAGO (AP) – A county public guardian in Illinois is suing the state’s Department of Children and Family Services over what it contends is the “immense harm” the agency is doing to mentally ill foster children that are kept in psychiatric hospitals beyond their medical discharge dates. The federal class-action lawsuit filed by Cook County’s public guardian contends that keeping the children so long at the psychiatric hospitals is “inhumane” and costs taxpayers more than $125,000 a month.