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Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The federal government announced Monday that it will support the ethanol industry in a lawsuit over biofuel waivers granted to oil refineries under President Donald Trump’s administration. The Environmental Protection Agency said it is reversing course and will support a January 2020 decision by the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in a lawsuit filed by the Renewable Fuels Association and farm groups. The lawsuit is headed to arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court this spring. The move by the EPA comes roughly a month after President Joe Biden took office.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A 22-year-old Iowa City has been charged with first-degree murder in a fatal shooting during a robbery. Sammy Hamed was charged Monday in the Feb. 12 death of 19-year-old Quincy Russom, of Iowa City. Russom as found shot to death after officers responded to a call that someone had been killed during a robbery. A police complaint alleges Hamed was present in the apartment during the shooting, which occurred 30 minutes before emergency responders were called. The complaint says when Hamed was stopped several hours later, he had Russom’s cellphone and other possessions, as well as a gun police said was used in the shooting.

DOW CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities have charged a Crawford County woman with murder in the shooting death of her boyfriend. The Crawford County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were called about 9:15 p.m. Sunday to a home in Dow City to check on a resident. When they arrived they found 46-year-old Jeremy Frank unresponsive and bleeding. Frank was taken to a hospital in Denison, where he was pronounced dead from a single gunshot wound. Investigators charged 44-year-old Beth Guzman, of Dow City, with first-degree murder. She was identified as Frank’s live-in girlfriend.

AMES, Iowa (AP) — Ames police say they have issued an arrest warrant charging a man with murder in the death of a woman whose body was found Saturday night in an apartment. Police found the body of 37-year-old Ranea K. Bell of Ames on Saturday night in an apartment. On Monday, investigators issued a warrant charging Richard G. Fleck, 33, with first-degree murder. Police said they believe Fleck is in the Kansas City, Missouri, area but noted he also has ties to communities in Texas and Mississippi.

 

Here is the latest Wisconsin news from The Associated Press 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican lawmakers in battleground Wisconsin have introduced a series of bills designed to make it more difficult to vote absentee. The effort comes after former President Donald Trump made unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud after his narrow loss to President Joe Biden by less than 21,000 votes. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is all-but certain to veto the bills should they pass the Republican-controlled Legislature. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that the measures released on Monday show the priorities of Republicans and what they may try to enact if a Republican is elected governor in 2022.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Assembly is set to sign off on a bill that would clear the way for updating Wisconsin’s antiquated unemployment insurance system. Gov. Tony Evers has blamed the system for causing delays in processing claims filed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measure would allow state officials to use federal money to start upgrades and ask lawmakers for state dollars as needed. The bill also would waive a one-week waiting period for collecting unemployment benefits until March 14 and extend limited liability for COVID-related injuries and deaths to businesses, governments and schools. The Senate passed the bill last week. Assembly approval would send it to Evers, who has said he will sign it.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Two teenagers have been charged with fatally shooting a University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student leader who authorities say met his assailants in Milwaukee to sell some designer eyeglasses. Twenty-two-year-old Purcell Pearson was a recent Whitewater graduate and was president of Alpha Phil Alpha. A criminal complaint says that as a young entrepreneur Pearson was selling the glasses through internet apps and arranged to meet some buyers Feb. 6 outside his apartment. The complaint says those alleged buyers, both 17, shot Pearson before fleeing. They remain at large.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — No COVID-19 deaths have been reported for a second day in a row in Wisconsin for the first time since early September. The last time Wisconsin went two or more days without a single reported death from the coronavirus was the three-day stretch of Sept. 6 through Sept. 8. The state’s seven-day average of new cases as reported by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services was at its lowest point since early July, but it increased marginally from Sunday. The seven-day average on Monday was 612, up from 610 the day before. Nearly 560,000 people in Wisconsin have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6,284 have died of the disease since the pandemic started.

 

Here is the latest Illinois news from The Associated Press 

CHICAGO (AP) — Former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, the Chicago Democrat who served in the post for decades, has resigned as state party chairman. Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough will be appointed as interim leader of state Democrats until a permanent replacement is named. Madigan on Monday did not give a reason for resigning as party chairman, a post he’s held since 1998. He did say he has been the target of attacks by people seeking to diminish his achievements. Madigan has been tarnished by a federal bribery investigation announced last summer. He resigned from the Legislature on Thursday. Jockeying to be Madigan’s permanent successor has begun, with 2nd District Congresswoman Robin Kelly announcing plans to seek the chairmanship.

CHICAGO (AP) — A social worker who endured a humiliating raid by Chicago police officers in 2019 has sued the city, alleging officials conspired to cover up civil rights violations. In the lawsuit filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court, Anjanette Young claims police officials failed to independently investigate and verify the place to be searched. The lawsuit names the city and 12 Chicago Police Department officers as defendants. In video of the raid released in December, a naked Young repeatedly tells officers they have the wrong home and that there are no guns in the apartment.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois’ Democratic governor has signed into law a sweeping overhaul of policing and criminal justice. Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a law Monday that eliminates the cash bail system, requires police agencies to equip officers with body cameras and sets stricter rules for use of force by law enforcement. The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus designed the measure. The caucus hailed it as a historic response to the deaths last year of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky. Opponents argue that it will hamstring police and discourage talented people from joining law enforcement.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois public health officials are reporting 1,246 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 and 34 additional deaths. The Illinois Department of Public Health on Monday said the state has seen 1.17 million coronavirus cases in since the start of the pandemic, including 20,303 deaths. The COVID-19 death toll in the U.S. has topped 500,000. Health officials say Illinois administered 59,748 vaccine doses Sunday, reaching a total of 2.2 million. The latest numbers come as the state announces the opening on Tuesday of two new vaccination sites, one in Rockford in northern Illinois and the other in Collinsville in southern Illinois.

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