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Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa man accused of killing his mother, father and sister has pleaded not guilty. Court records say 21-year-old Chase Nicholson filed written pleas Tuesday in Polk County to charges of first-degree murder. Authorities say Nicholson used a shotgun that was recovered at the family home in Bondurant, where the bodies were found April 6.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) – A judge has ruled a man accused of killing two people in Mason City is now mentally competent to stand trial. The Globe Gazette reports that the judge issued the ruling Tuesday in the case against Peter Veal. Veal has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the November deaths of Caleb Christensen and Melinda Kavars.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Maine U.S. Sen. Susan Collins is among a group of senators that is trying to make some types of hearing aids more easily accessible and more affordable. Collins, a Republican, is sponsoring the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 along with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley. The senators say only about 14 percent of people with hearing loss use assistive hearing technology such as hearing aids, and one of the biggest obstacles is price.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A quick transition is expected for Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds to take over as governor now that Terry Branstad has been confirmed as the next U.S. ambassador to China. Branstad will resign as governor Wednesday in his formal office at the Capitol. Reynolds will then be sworn in as governor in the Capitol rotunda. Reynolds will inherit a range of issues, including a constrained state budget and questions about the future of water quality initiatives.

Wisconsin News

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – President Donald Trump’s administration says state and local governments should pay for cleanups of the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and other iconic waterways. The proposed federal budget for 2018 would eliminate $427 million for regional water restoration initiatives. But the programs have bipartisan support in Congress. Backers say states and local governments already do their share and federal involvement is essential to keep the cleanups on track.

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) – A Milwaukee man faces multiple counts for his alleged involvement in a fight that ended with police shooting another man in an Appleton bar. A criminal complaint says 33-year-old Henry Nellum and another man got into a fight at Jack’s Apple Pub early Sunday when Nellum pulled out a gun, which fired. Appleton police Lt. Jay Steinke arrived and shot and killed 33-year-old Jimmie Sanders, who was also from Milwaukee.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A 17-year-old boy has sued Wisconsin’s youth prison, alleging he suffered substantial physical and emotional abuse while an inmate there. The Wisconsin State Journal reported Tuesday that the boy said in a lawsuit filed earlier this month that he was body slammed, repeatedly pepper sprayed and kept in solitary confinement for weeks at Lincoln Hills School for Boys in Irma.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Wisconsin Republicans on Tuesday announced the formation of a new public policy center at the state’s flagship university, which liberals said would be nothing more than a taxpayer-funded conservative think tank. The announcement about the new Tommy G. Thompson Center on Public Leadership comes as one of the architects of the deal, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, is pushing a bill that would punish students who disrupt free speech on college campuses.

Illinois News

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) – President Donald Trump’s administration says state and local governments should pay for cleanups of the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and other iconic waterways. The proposed federal budget for 2018 would eliminate $427 million for regional water restoration initiatives. But the programs have bipartisan support in Congress. Backers say states and local governments already do their share and federal involvement is essential to keep the cleanups on track.

CHICAGO (AP) – A Chicago-area family is giving $100 million to establish an institute at a medical center that seeks to boost efforts to improve health and prevent disease by optimizing the body’s own defenses. The gift announced Wednesday will create The Duchossois Family Institute at University of Chicago Medicine. It’s from investment business The Duchossois Group Inc.’s Chairman and CEO Craig Duchossois, his wife, Janet, and The Duchossois Family Foundation.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – The Illinois General Assembly is back to work after the Senate approved a major spending package. Eyes return to the Senate on Wednesday to see how negotiations will shape up between majority Democrats and Republicans over issues important to Gov. Bruce Rauner. The Senate approved a $5.4 billion tax increase for a $37.3 billion spending plan Tuesday.

CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago Public Schools wants to borrow up to $500 million for the new fiscal year, in addition to nearly $400 million in short-term loans to finish the year and make a pension payment. The Board of Education meets Wednesday to consider the plans. A spokeswoman for the nation’s third-largest district says the half-billion dollars of bond debt would be used in the upcoming budget year, which starts July 1.