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Iowa News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – County supervisors in western Iowa have renewed a ban on guns in the courthouse after a dispute over allowing weapons in parts of the building where court services aren’t held. The Sioux City Journal reports that Woodbury County Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday against permitting guns in non-court controlled spaces of the courthouse. Supervisor Jeremy Taylor says it’s “impractical” to bring guns into portions of courthouse floors, while restricting them on others above and below.

DANVILLE, Iowa (AP) – A county prosecutor has dropped charges against a southeastern Iowa nursing home operator, saying that a conviction against him would have harmed the facility’s residents. The Des Moines Register reports that Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers dropped the felony dependent adult abuse-exploitation charge against 47-year-old Marc Johnson, Hamilton, Illinois, whose company runs the Danville Care Center in southeast Iowa.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Ankeny man whose baby died after becoming wedged between a mattress and a wall has pleaded guilty to child endangerment and other counts. The Des Moines Register reports that 48-year-old Matthew Cohara recently pleaded guilty to child endangerment and possession of marijuana and cocaine in a deal with prosecutors. In exchange, Cohara must attend substance abuse evaluation and treatment and may get deferred judgment.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Flowers and decorations left on graves in several Des Moines city cemeteries must be picked up by the end of the month, or be thrown out by city workers. Des Moines Parks and Recreation staff will begin removing memorial decorations placed on gravesites in municipal cemeteries on March 1. Cemetery visitors have until Wednesday to collect any decorations they’d like to keep.

 

Wisconsin News

BEAVER DAM, Wis. (AP) – Students in an agriculture class in Wisconsin are getting hands-on experience in caring for farm animals with the birth of six piglets in the school’s large animal classroom. The Daily Citizen reports that Petunia the pig had her piglets at Beaver Dam High School earlier this month. Students will help take care of the animals, including giving them shots and tracking their growth.

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) – Veterans from four military branches are helping high school students in southeast Wisconsin bring their life experiences to modern conflicts. The Kenosha News reports that 10 veterans from the U.S. Army, Navy, Air force and Marines participated in Thursday’s “conversation cafe,” one of four planned for more than 100 sophomores in Harborside Academy’s social studies classes. The face-to-face talks with veterans give the Kenosha students a first-person perspective on war and conflict.

MILWAUKEE (AP) – Milwaukee prosecutors have charged a 60-year-old woman with suffocating three babies who investigators initially believed died from sudden infant death syndrome more than 30 years ago. Prosecutors say in charging documents released Friday the cases were reopened in 2015 after Nancy Moronez’s daughter told police her mother confessed to suffocating Moronez’s son with a garbage bag in 1980. Investigators say the two other infants died in 1984 and 1985 while Moronez was their baby-sitter.

MILWAUKEE (AP) – A man with a history of mental illness has been sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole for killing three of his neighbors in a Milwaukee apartment building. Dan Popp was convicted in November of first-degree intentional homicide in the March 2016 shooting deaths of Phia Vue, his wife, Mai Vue, and Jesus Manso-Perez. The jury rejected Popp’s insanity defense.

 

 

Illinois News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – One out of every five Illinois legislators taking the oath of office next winter will be new to the General Assembly. Thirty lawmakers, many worn down by years of skirmishing between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan have retired. Add to that the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment movement; Rauner stances on abortion and immigration; and the malaise wrought of hundreds of billions of dollars of debt, and there enough to push voters past the boiling point.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois health officials are investigating the state Capitol Complex and other Springfield-area locations for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease after an Illinois resident diagnosed with it traveled to the city last month. The Illinois Department of Public Health issued the advisory Saturday, saying water samples recently collected from the Capitol Complex tested positive for Legionella bacteria.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois’ governor has issued a state disaster proclamation for three counties hard hit by flooding. The proclamation for Iroquois, Kankakee and Vermilion counties will ensure state support to communities battling floods caused by heavy rains earlier this week. The governor also directed the Illinois Emergency Management Agency to activate the State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield. The National Weather Service has forecast more rain this weekend in southeastern and southern Illinois.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) – The sole full-time federal judge in one northern Illinois community says he’ll retire after 35 years on the bench. Rockford-based U.S. District Judge Frederick Kapala told the Rockford Register Star he can see a local bar from his chambers. And the 67-year-old added that when he’s retired he’s “going to go in there, order a beer and watch that TV.” His retirement becomes effective only in May next year. He opted for senior status, allowing him to hear a handful of cases each year.