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Iowa News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A construction worker who was electrocuted and fell from a building is suing the city of Sibley, Iowa. Victor Maldonado, of Worthington, Minnesota, and his wife contend the city knew a high-voltage power line did not meet safety codes and was a danger to those working near it. The couple is seeking more than $75,000 in damages. Worthington was working on the roof of the building in September 2018 when the power line sent a current through his body, causing him to fall 20 feet to an alley below. He suffered severe electrical burns, fractures, a brain injury, and blindness in one eye.


JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) — Health officials are confirming another coronavirus outbreak in an Iowa meatpacking plant on the same day that the number of residents who have died from the virus topped 500. Of more than 2,500 employees tested at the Tyson pork processing plant in Storm Lake, 555 have tested positive. Department of Public Health Deputy Director Sarah Reisetter said Thursday that businesses in Iowa are not required to report outbreaks, and state law only requires disclosure of a business name when it’s necessary to protect the public.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A new reports shows Iowa saw a jump in the number of people filing for unemployment last week compared to the week prior as the country deals with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. A report released Thursday the by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed 14,586 new claims filed between May 17 and May 23. That was an increase from the previous week, when 13,040 people filed unemployment claims in Iowa. The release says more than $661 million in benefits has been paid out since April 4. Those industries with the most claims last week included manufacturing, which saw more than 3,800 claims, health care and social assistance, with right at 1,400 claims and retail, with more than 900 claims.


WARSAW, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says three people from Iowa died in a crash in eastern Missouri. The victims of the crash Wednesday in Benton County were all from Fort Dodge, Iowa. The patrol says 20-year-old Richard Davis lost control of his car on a curve on Missouri 7 and went off the left side of the road and hit a tree. Davis, 18-year-old Matayah McLouglin and a 14-year-old male whose name was not released all died in the crash. They were not wearing seat belts.

Wisconsin News

RHINELANDER, Wis. (AP) — Two days after a country music festival in northern Wisconsin got the green light to hold four days of concerts expected to attract thousands, organizers have canceled the event. The Hodag Country Festival in Rhinelander won approval from the Oneida County public safety committee on Tuesday, overcoming opposition voiced from the public and the county health department. But on Thursday, organizers posted on the festival’s website that in the interest of public safety the event was off. The announcement of the festival’s cancellation came on the same day that the Wisconsin State Fair was called off.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The cancellation announced Thursday marks the first time since 1945 that the 169-year-old annual tradition will not take place. The move was widely expected given the cancellation of state fairs across the country and most major events, including Summerfest in Milwaukee. The fair attracts more than a million people who down cream puffs, ride roller coasters, check out 4-H exhibits and take in concerts over its 11-day run. Fair board chairman John Yingling says the safety of fairgoers weighed heavily in the decision to cancel.


GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Prosecutors say a 17-year-old girl admitted to having six shots of alcohol before crashing her car on a Green Bay bridge, which caused one passenger to be thrown from the vehicle and into the Fox River below. Ayne Valle-Nunez is charged with injury by intoxicated use a vehicle and two misdemeanors as a result of the crash on the Nitschke Main Street Bridge about 5 a.m. Monday. WLUK-TV reports the passenger who landed in the river was rescued. A second passenger thrown from the car landed on the bridge. Valle-Nunez’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment on her behalf.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Gov. Tony Evers says that Wisconsin local governments will share in $200 million from the federal coronavirus relief bill to help with expenses related to the pandemic. Evers on Wednesday announced that $190 million will be allocated to every Wisconsin county, city, village and town based on a formula that takes into account population. Federally recognized American Indian tribes will share $10 million. The money can be used for a wide variety of expenses, including emergency operations and purchases of personal protective equipment. Evers has also earmarked $1 billion in federal funding for the statewide response to the pandemic.

Illinois News

CHICAGO (AP) — The governor of Illinois has announced the end of a 10-week stay-at-home order meant to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Gov. J.B. Pritzker said on Friday, the state will move to the third phase of his five-stage recovery plan, meaning manufacturing and retail business will resume, there will be outdoor dining and small social gatherings. Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, which has been battered by the pandemic, will move more slowly. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says restrictions will be loosened next week, with city offices, parks and libraries to reopen in coming weeks.


CHICAGO (AP) — A lawyer for a former Northwestern University professor charged in the murder of his boyfriend are now arguing he should be released on $1.5 million bail. Cook County Circuit Judge Charles Burns last month denied Wyndham Lathem’s request to be released on $1 million so that the infectious disease expert can assist in the battle against the coronavirus. On Thursday, his lawyer told the judge if the 45-year-old is released, a third-party custodian would rent an apartment for Lathem and check in with him multiple times a day while he helps in curbing the pandemic. Burns did not rule on Lathem’s motion and asked the parties to come back to court on June 12.


CARBONDALE, Ill. (AP) — The head of Southern Illinois University says he wants former Texas Southern University president Austin Lane as the school’s next chancellor. Dan Mahony recommended Lane to the SIU Board of Trustees. If the board agrees, Lane will be the first African American chancellor in Southern Illinois’ 150-year history. In making his recommendation, Mahony called Lane a “visionary leader.” Lane parted ways with Texas Southern earlier this year after getting into a public dispute with its Board of Regents over the law school’s admissions process. A special board meeting has been called for Friday for consideration of Lane’s hiring and contract terms.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The chief of staff for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says a worker at the Springfield convention center where lawmakers met in special session last week has tested positive for COVID-19. In a Wednesday email to lawmakers, Jessica Basham said early indications are the individual had no interaction with lawmakers of staff members. According to Basham, the person who tested positive worked an eight-hour shift at the Bank of Springfield Center on May 21 and was not in the space that was used for the makeshift House floor or a public viewing area. Basham is urging those who were in attendance to be tested for the virus and self-isolate from others for 14 days.