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Iowa News

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) — At least two school districts in Iowa are refusing to follow the governor’s demand that they return students to classrooms rebuffing the idea that the state can override what local officials believe is the safest way to educate their children as coronavirus spreads in their counties. Gov. Kim Reynolds says the state will require at least half of a school’s instruction to be held in a classroom and the state will decide when K-12 schools can send students home based on community virus spread and student illnesses. Those rejecting the state mandate will not be credited for days of home learning not approved by the state and school administrators may be subject to “licensure discipline.”

 

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) — An 82-year-old Iowa man has pleaded not guilty to killing his wife’s son during a domestic disturbance at his northwestern Iowa home in May. The Sioux City Journal reports that Thomas Knapp entered the plea Monday in Plymouth County District Court. Knapp is charged with first-degree murder and willful injury in the May 11 death of 51-year-old Kevin Juzek in Knapp’s Merrill home. Police say Knapp shot Juzek with a 20-gauge shotgun through a bedroom door, then deliberately shot him again in the chest.

 

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a northeastern Iowa woman has died of her injuries after her bicycle was hit by a truck in rural Floyd County. The Globe Gazette reports that the crash happened Sunday evening, when a truck driven by a 43-year-old Clarksville man, hit a bicycle ridden by 28-year-old Ellen Bengston, of Charles City. The Iowa State Patrol says Bengston was flown to a Mason City hospital. Hospital officials said Monday that Bengston had died of her injuries. The crash remains under investigation.

 

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) — Police in suburban Des Moines say a pregnant teenager has died in an overnight shooting at an Ankeny hotel. Police say the shooting happened around 11 p.m. Monday at WoodSpring Suites, near Interstate 35. Arriving officers found 17-year-old Mia Holmes, of Ankeny, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest. Homes was rushed to a local hospital, where she and her unborn child died. Investigators say they are searching for an 18-year-old Des Moines man. Police indicated the shooting was not believed to be random.

Wisconsin News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers says he has no secret plans to ban in-person instruction for Wisconsin’s K-12 students this fall. Republican lawmakers are worried that Evers is planning to order schools to close their doors and offer online instruction only as the coronavirus pandemic rages on. But the governor told reporters during a video conference Tuesday that he has no plans for such a move and he’s leaving it up to local school districts to make their own decisions. Senate Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said he’s still afraid Evers will cave to pressure from liberal groups and shut schools down.

 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Epic Systems is requiring its 9,000-plus employees to return to work in person at its sprawling campus outside of Madison by Sept. 21. The health software company is one of the first large employers in the state to no longer give employees the choice of working from home. Epic workers decried the order Tuesday, saying company CEO Judy Faulkner was ignoring public health advice. The Wisconsin State Journal says the statement from workers claims that Faulkner and the company believe that “a culture of chance encounters in the hallways is more important than the untold deaths that will occur.”

 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Milwaukee Police Department doesn’t know how many people will show up for the scaled-back Democratic National Convention that begins in less than two weeks. But Police Chief Alfonso Morales said Tuesday that the department is prepared to handle protests without using tear gas. The chief was ordered by the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission last month to discontinue the use of pepper spray and tear gas. Morales said at a Milwaukee Press Club event that he doesn’t know how many participants or protesters will attend. Original estimates were for around 50,000 delegates and other attendees, but now only a few hundred are expected.

 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors say a drunken Madison man fatally stabbed his 13-year-old daughter after his wife threatened to end their marriage. Forty-four-year-old Travis Christianson is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Addrianna Christianson in the family’s home last Thursday. He also is charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide for attacking his wife, Dawn Christianson. According to the complaint, Dawn Christianson told her husband their marriage was over if he went out to buy more beer. Instead, she went to a store, and found her husband with a knife when she returned. When she asked about their daughter, she told police he replied, “I already killed her.” The Wisconsin State Journal reports bail was set at $1 million.

Illinois News

CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago Public Schools is expected to announce Wednesday that it will start the school year with all-remote learning in response to coronavirus concerns, according to published reports. The Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, citing unnamed sources, said the announcement will be made ahead of a deadline Friday when parents were to decide on whether they wanted to start the year learning from home or a hybrid plan that allows two days of in-person learning. Messages left by The Associated Press with Chicago school officials were not immediately returned. The decision would come as school districts around the country are deciding how to teach children during the pandemic.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A shooting on one of Chicago’s most fashionable streets has left one person dead and two others injured. Chicago police say two shooters jumped from separate vehicles and opened fire on a group of people standing outside an Oak Street shop on Tuesday afternoon. Deputy Chief Daniel O’Shea says a 26-year-old man was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Authorities say a 36-year-old man was hospitalized in serious condition and a 28-year-old woman was hospitalized in stable condition. The shooters fled the scene in the vehicles they arrived in. Oak Street is well-known for its clothing boutiques and other high-end retail, including several jewelry stores.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A Chicago Italian-American group is calling for the permanent removal of statues of Christopher Columbus from the city. Italian American Heritage Society of Chicago president Gabriel Piemonte says Columbus as a symbol is dead and Italian Americans do not want it. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered the removal of three statues of Columbus following violent protests at one statue in Grant Park and the painting of graffiti at another in the Little Italy neighborhood. The third statue removed had escaped the attention of demonstrators because of its location in a neighborhood little visited by tourists. Lightfoot has said the removal of the statues was temporary.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois has launched a $5 million advertising campaign to remind people to cover their faces in public to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has had a resurgence in the state. Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday unveiled the “It Only Works if You Wear It” campaign that will run on traditional and social media. Pritzker has required face coverings since May 1 for people who go into public situations where it’s difficult to maintain safe distances to slow transmission. Experts say face coverings help protect the wearers and the people around them.