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Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say an investigation into animal treatment at an Iowa state lawmaker’s hog farm found no evidence that animals were being abused despite video that a group posted that appeared to show otherwise. Two people with California-based Direct Action Everywhere entered a hog farm last spring owned by Republican Iowa state Sen. Ken Rozenboom. Mahaska County Sheriff Russell Van Renterghem says an investigation didn’t find any abuse. Rozenboom said he decided in December to lease the hog building to a different farmer. He has said veterinary records show the herd was being treated for a respiratory infection that contributed to the problems Direct Action Everywhere documented.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A student is suing Drake University in Des Moines, along with a fraternity at the school and several fellow students for an unspecified amount after he said he nearly died from a hazing incident. Court documents filed Feb. 7 show Marcus Shields is suing the school, Theta Chi fraternity, its Drake chapter and others. The lawsuit says Shields was a 19-year-old freshman last year and a Theta Chi pledge when the fraternity engaged in hazing, included coercing and forcing him to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Shields says he pleaded with his fraternity brothers that “he didn’t want to die,” and had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital for acute alcohol poisoning.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Democratic Party has selected a new interim chairman to replace Troy Price, who resigned this week following a meltdown in the state’s lead-off presidential caucuses. The Des Moines Register reports that the party’s State Central Committee voted Saturday to install Iowa state Rep. Mark Smith, of Marshalltown, as interim chairman. The vote came a day after party officials agreed to hire two high-profile lawyers to investigate the factors leading to the problems that hamstrung the Feb. 3 Iowa Caucus, when problems with a mobile app and other issues prevented it from releasing results.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A state court judge has heard arguments on whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a state law passed last year that would block Planned Parenthood of the Heartland from receiving federal grant money for sex education courses. Judge Paul Scott is considering whether to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa for Planned Parenthood. It challenges the law passed on the last day of the 2019 session as a violation of free speech, due process and equal protection rights. A judge last May halted enforcement of the law until the court decides whether it’s constitutional.

Wisconsin News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Voters will choose between a Republican appointee, a Madison judge and a law professor as they narrow the field in a state Supreme Court primary Tuesday. Conservative incumbent Justice Dan Kelly and liberal-leaning Jill Karofsky and Ed Fallone all are seeking a 10-year term on the court. Then-Gov. Scott Walker appointed Kelly to the bench in 2016. Karofsky has served as a Dane County circuit judge since 2017. Fallone has taught law at Marquette University for 27 years.  The top two primary vote-getters advance to the general election in April.


MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police are investigating the apparent homicides of a mother and two daughters whose bodies were discovered Sunday in a garage. Police identified the victims as 26-year-old Amarah Banks, 5-year-old Zaniya Ivery and 4-year-old Camaria Banks. A 25-year-old man was arrested in connection with the case and a felony aggravated battery charge was filed against him Saturday. Police say homicide charges were expected to be filed against the suspect, who was in custody in Memphis, Tennessee. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office was called to the scene Sunday and said autopsies were scheduled for Monday.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Income taxes would be cut an average of $106 for a majority of tax filers in Wisconsin under a Republican proposal that lawmakers plan to vote on next week and quickly send to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. The nearly $250 million income tax cut is the largest part of the GOP plan announced Friday. It also would reduce personal property taxes paid by manufacturers by nearly $45 million and cut general state debt by $100 million. Republicans are tapping some of the state’s projected $620 million budget surplus to pay for the tax cuts. Evers faulted Republicans for not spending more on schools.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Claims Board has awarded $25,000 to a U.S. Navy veteran who spent 26 years behind bars for a homicide he didn’t commit. The board awarded the money to 48-year-old Derrick Sanders on Friday. Sanders argued he was wrongfully convicted of participating in Jason Bowie’s shooting death in Milwaukee in 1992. Sanders had asked the claims board for nearly $6 million but state law limits compensation for wrongful convictions to $25,000. The board awarded him that amount Friday, saying it couldn’t find that Sanders contributed to his own conviction.

Illinois News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials are accepting nominations for volunteer service awards aimed at highlighting the importance of community service by individuals and businesses. The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service will be taking nominations until Feb. 21. Volunteer awards will be presented to one person age 18 and younger, one adult ranging from 19 to 54 years old and one senior, who is at least 55 years old. An awards ceremony will be held on April 21 at the Old State Capitol in Springfield.


CHICAGO (AP) — Federal officials say nearly a dozen public housing authorities in the Chicago area will receive $75 million in funding for development, financing and modernization. The money is coming through a capital program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Development and the bulk of it, nearly $65 million, will go to the Chicago Housing Authority. Other recipients including housing authorities in Joliet, Aurora, Waukegan and Oak Park. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth say in a news release that the funding “gives local agencies in the Chicagoland region the ability to offer safe and affordable housing to those who need it most.”


EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) — The parents of a 6-year-old southern Illinois girl are suing local school officials, alleging that their daughter was sexually assaulted by another kindergartner during recess. The lawsuit names the Edwardsville School District 7 as the defendant and accuses the school district of being negligent in its supervision of students during recess. The Glen Carbon girl’s parents contend that she told them in February 2019 that a male student in her kindergarten class had forcibly kissed her and touched her inappropriately on multiple occasions during recess. Their suit seeks $50,000, legal costs and other damages as determined by the court.


NEW YORK (AP) — A trailblazer among black women in the business world wants to help make sure that the stories of other pioneering women like her are not forgotten. The HistoryMakers, an oral archive that’s recorded the stories of more than 3,300 African Americans over the last 20 years, has launched The WomanMakers initiative. The project will focus on black women. It’s being started with a $1 million gift from Ursula Burns, the former head of Xerox and the first black woman to become the CEO of a Fortune 500 company.