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Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s deputy labor commissioner says she is retiring, the latest shakeup after months of turmoil at the state agency that protects workers. Pam Conner told Division of Labor employees in an email Friday afternoon that she will retire next week. Her longtime boss, Labor Commissioner Michael Mauro, announced last month that he is retiring April 1.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill into law that expands the availability of grant funding for seriously injured veterans to provide money so that family members may be with the veteran during a lengthy recovery. The bill, which lawmakers passed unanimously, also allows the spouse of an active duty soldier to get expedited professional licensing in Iowa if the spouse was licensed in another state and the requirements were substantially the same.

WASHINGTON (AP) – GOP congressman Steve King says he was told that victims of Hurricane Katrina only asked for help, unlike Iowans. King told his constituents Thursday that as New Orleans recovered from the 2005 storm, someone from FEMA told him “everybody’s looking around saying, ‘Who’s gonna help me, who’s gonna help me?'” In contrast, King said, “Iowans take care of each other.” New Orleans is mostly black. GOP Rep. Steve Scalise, who represents part of the city, called King’s comments “absurd and offensive.”

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – This year’s round of Midwestern flooding is the worst ever at three locations in Nebraska. National Weather Service hydrologist Kevin Low said during a conference call on Friday that the Missouri River reached record levels at Plattsmouth, Nebraska City and Brownville. Crests are still coming further south and east on the Missouri, but flooding in Kansas City and other points in Missouri isn’t expected to be nearly as severe.

Wisconsin News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin appeals court won’t decide until at least Monday whether to reinstate Republican-backed lame-duck laws limiting the powers of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul. A Dane County judge blocked the laws Thursday, finding the Legislature convened illegally when it passed them in December. Republican legislators asked the 3rd District Court of Appeals on Friday to immediately reinstate the laws.

MILWAUKEE (AP) – The Milwaukee jail commander accused of lying during the investigation of the dehydration death of a mentally ill inmate has been sentenced to what will likely be house arrest. The Journal Sentinel reports that former Sheriff’s Maj. Nancy Lee Evans will have three weeks to report to the House of Corrections, where she is expected to be fitted with an electronic tracking bracelet. The 49-year-old Evans pleaded no contest to felony misconduct in office.

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (AP) – Authorities say no serious injuries were reported when a freight train struck a semitrailer in Oconomowoc and scattered debris around the area and caused damage to windows of a nearby restaurant. The Journal Sentinel reports that the crash happened around 8 a.m. Friday near Maxim’s restaurant. Law enforcement says six people were treated at a local hospital for minor injuries.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The state Department of Military Affairs estimates spring flooding has cost local governments nearly $2 million so far. DMA issued a news release Friday saying flooding has cost local governments across 16 counties nearly $1.95 million in response costs and damage to public infrastructure.


Illinois News

CHICAGO (AP) – Bail has been denied a suburban Chicago man accused of killing a security guard during a bar brawl. Armond Williams is charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the death of 28-year-old Thurman Bailey and the wounding of a 58-year-old man. Cook County prosecutors say Bailey was the first to pull his gun during the fight, which occurred March 8 in front of a bar in the city’s River North neighborhood. Authorities say Williams then fired four shots, killing Bailey.

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) – The last of five former members of a Christian college football team in suburban Chicago has pleaded guilty to charges in a 2016 hazing incident. Benjamin Pettway of Lookout Mountain, Georgia, pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor disorderly conduct. A judge sentenced the 23-year-old ex-Wheaton College player to court supervision and ordered him to perform 50 hours of community service. The former Wheaton players were accused of duct-taping a teammate and dumping him half-naked in a park.

CHICAGO (AP) – A strategy seems to be emerging for how R. Kelly’s legal team intends to defend him against charges he sexually abused three girls and a woman. At trial, they’re likely to question the veracity of his accusers. Both Kelly and his attorney have said the accusers are lying. Other statements indicate they’ll argue that, even if Kelly had sex with them, it was consensual and he thought they were of age. Prosecutors will try to corroborate the accusations, including with DNA evidence.

CHICAGO (AP) – Illinois could permanently legalize medical marijuana under a new proposal. Democratic Rep. Bob Morgan is sponsoring the bill. He tells the Chicago Tribune that Illinois’ pilot program has safely helped people struggling with conditions such as cancer and AIDS. Morgan’s bill would also add additional medical conditions to the list of qualifying conditions, including autism, migraines, osteoarthritis and chronic pain.