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ST. LOUIS (AP) – An advocacy group for Mississippi River communities says this year’s prolonged flooding has created more than $2 billion in damage. Mayors from river communities agreed Tuesday that this year’s flood has been particularly damaging because of how long it has stuck around. Colin Wellenkamp of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative says the river has been above flood stage at some southern towns for more than 200 days.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Three workers say an Iowa pork processor fired them in retaliation for filing complaints about working conditions. The Sioux City Journal reports that Luis Aceves, Jose Moreno and Jose Magana filed three separate lawsuits last week against Northwest Iowa Pork in Sioux City. They seek back pay and future wages, lost and future benefits, compensatory damages and punitive damages. A company representative hasn’t returned a call seeking comment by The Associated Press.

CRYSTAL LAKE, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says zebra mussels have been found in Crystal Lake in north-central Iowa. The invasive species are native to eastern Europe and are voracious eaters that gobble up plankton many native freshwater fish need to survive. The mussels can attach themselves to boat motors, bait buckets and dam mechanisms and cause damage to motors and facilities. The department says juvenile versions of the small black and white species were discovered in a recent water sample.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Construction is expected to begin next year on a multimillion dollar trail connecting Sioux City and Le Mars. The Sioux City Journal reports that the estimated cost of building the 16-mile PlyWood trail is $18 million. Lesley Bartholomew with the PlyWood Trail Committee says the trail connecting Plymouth and Woodbury counties should be completed by 2025. The committee is seeking state and federal grants to complete the project.

Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Heavy rains caused flash flooding in the Des Moines area Saturday night, and the forecast calls for more rain Sunday. The National Weather Service says 2.5 inches of rain fell at the Des Moines airport, but more than 4 inches of rain fell on parts of the Des Moines area Saturday night.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa City is turning to bow hunters to help manage the deer population within the city. The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the City Council reluctantly approved adding winter bow hunts beginning in 2020 and continuing through 2024.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Former Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak has become the latest Democrat to enter the presidential race. The retired Navy admiral who calls himself “Admiral Joe” on his campaign website joins a crowded Democratic field seeking the nomination to challenge President Donald Trump. He was launching his longshot candidacy Sunday afternoon at a veterans’ museum in Waterloo, Iowa.

AMES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State University has sanctioned one of its sororities for hazing, but few details were disclosed. The Des Moines Register reports the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority has been given a deferred suspension through May 2021 because of the hazing reported by two of its members.

Illinois News

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – Closing arguments are set for the federal death penalty trial of a former University of Illinois doctoral student charged with kidnapping and killing a 26-year-old visiting scholar from China. Monday’s closings follow a week and a half of testimony. If jurors convict Brendt Christensen, they must then decide whether he should be sentenced to die for beating Yingying Zhang to death with a baseball bat in 2017. Defense attorneys seeking to spare Christensen’s life have admitted he killed Zhang.

CHICAGO (AP) – Police say three people have died following a fiery crash in Chicago. The crash happened Sunday evening on the city’s west side. Police say two cars collided and one of the cars struck a pole, catching fire. Police say two people in the car that hit the pole fled and three others in the car were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other car had what were described as minor injuries.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) – An appellate court has tossed a gun conviction of a central Illinois man, ruling a lower court shouldn’t have allowed a Facebook photograph of him standing near guns to be entered as evidence. Illinois’ 3rd District Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of 29-year-old Spencer D. Watkins. Prosecutors entered the photo to show it was likely he had a gun and disposed of it before his arrest.

AURORA, Ill. (AP) – A car battery maker is working with Aurora to offer jobs to residents of the suburban Chicago city. Mayor Richard Irvin’s office says Clarios is hiring for two dozen second- and third-shift positions at a production facility in the Fox Valley. Pay starts at $15.50 per hour and can increase to $22 per hour. Openings begin in August. Irvin and Clarios will host a hiring event on July 17 at City Hall.

Former Platteville Mayor Dies

A former mayor of Platteville and a popular political figure for decades in southwest Wisconsin has died. According to an obituary Nolan “Hoot” Gibson passed away last Thursday in Madison. Gibson was a member of the Platteville city council for 15 years and served on the Grant County board of supervisors for 13 years. He was 93.

Woman Arrested For Sexual Assault

A woman from southwest Wisconsin has been arrested on a sexual assault charge. Police say 21 year old Taryn Rankin of Darlington is charged with sexually assaulting a child younger than 16. The alleged assault took place in Darlington. Police say the two were familiar with each other.

New Special Education Director

A position within the Dubuque school district that was eliminated several years ago has been restore. During a special meeting this week, the school board voted to hire Brenda Duvel as the executive director of special education. During the past school year, Duvel served as principal at Kennedy Elementary School. Prior to that Duvel, who has been with the district for 24 years, was an assistant principal at Roosevelt Middle School. In 2016, the district was forced to eliminate the position because of budget cuts.

Taco Bar

National News

WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States and China are scheduled to resume talks to try to back off an escalating trade war. Looming ahead at midnight Thursday are U.S. plans to raise tariffs on Chinese imports, a move that would heighten tensions between the world’s two biggest economies and is roiling stock markets. Negotiations have been derailed amid U.S. accusations that the Chinese are reneging on commitments they made in previous sessions.

VATICAN CITY (AP) – Pope Francis has issued a new law requiring all Catholic priests and nuns around the world to report clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by their superiors to church authorities. The church law is a groundbreaking new effort to hold the Catholic hierarchy accountable for failing to protect their flocks. It provides whistle-blower protections for anyone making a report and requires all dioceses around the world to have a system in place to receive the claims confidentially.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A confidential whistleblower’s complaint to the Securities and Exchange Commission claims that Facebook is exaggerating its success in staying ahead of extremists by taking down their posts. The complaint even says that the social media company is inadvertently making use of propaganda by militant groups to auto-generate videos and pages that could be used for networking by extremists.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democrats have escalated their legal battle with President Donald Trump’s administration over access to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler led a committee vote Wednesday to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for not complying with a subpoena for the full report. Trump’s spokeswoman calls Nadler’s demands “unlawful and reckless” and says the White House and the Justice Department won’t comply with them.

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (AP) – Colorado high school student Brendan Bialy says his friend Kendrick Castillo “went out as a hero.” Bialy wrestled a gun away from one of two suspected shooters at STEM School Highlands Ranch Tuesday, after Castillo slammed one attacker against a wall and struggled with him. But shots rang out and Castillo was killed. Eight others, including Bialy, were wounded. Two students, ages 18 and 16, are facing charges in the attack.

Biden Visits Eastern Iowa

Former Vice-President and now Democratic candidate for President Joe Biden made several campaign stops in eastern Iowa yesterday, including Dubuque. Biden addressed a group of supporters at the Grand River Center last night. Before coming to the Key City, Biden pumped up supporters at a rally at the Veterans Memorial Building in Cedar Rapids. Just as he did in previous presidential bids, Biden made it known that he is a strong supporter of the middle-class Biden says we have to eliminate the 1.7 trillion dollars in loopholes that he says only benefit the wealthiest Americans, while leaving the middle-class behind. Biden is one of 20 announced Democratic candidates for President. All are seeking their party’s nomination in next year’s primary.

National Scoreboard from Tuesday (2/5)

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

Final Boston 103 Cleveland 96
Final L.A. Clippers 117 Charlotte 115
Final Indiana 136 L.A. Lakers 94
Final Detroit 105 N-Y Knicks 92
Final Toronto 119 Philadelphia 107
Final Memphis 108 Minnesota 106
Final Oklahoma City 132 Orlando 122
Final Miami 118 Portland 108


NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Final Boston 3 N-Y Islanders 1
Final Washington 3 Vancouver 2
Final Carolina 4 Pittsburgh 0
Final L.A. Kings 5 New Jersey 1
Final SO Buffalo 5 Minnesota 4
Final St. Louis 3 Florida 2
Final SO Vegas 3 Tampa Bay 2
Final Montreal 4 Anaheim 1
Final Nashville 5 Arizona 2
Final OT San Jose 3 Winnipeg 2
Final Columbus 6 Colorado 3
Final Chicago 6 Edmonton 2


TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Final (1) Tennessee 72 Missouri 60
Final (2) Duke 80 Boston College 55
Final (5) Kentucky 76 South Carolina 48
Final (7) Michigan 77 Rutgers 65
Final (8) North Carolina 113 NC State 96
Final Illinois 79 (9) Michigan St. 74
Final St. John’s 70 (10) Marquette 69
Final Kansas St. 74 (13) Kansas 67
Final (22) Florida St. 80 Syracuse 62

Child Dies in Border Patrol Custody…First Business Day of Shutdown…Japan to Resume Commercial Whale Hunting

HOUSTON (AP) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection will start conducting medical checks on every child in its custody, now that a second child has died while in its care. CBP says 8-year-old Felipe Gómez Alonzo of Guatemala, had been in its care, along with his father, since Dec. 18, and an agent first noticed on Monday that the child had a cough and “glossy eyes.” A 7-year-old Guatemalan girl died earlier this month.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Wednesday is the first full business day of the partial government shutdown. So far, the public and federal workers have largely been spared inconvenience and hardship because government is closed on weekends and federal employees were excused from work on Christmas Eve and Christmas. The shutdown began at midnight last Friday. Trump said Tuesday that the closed parts of the government will remain that way until Democrats agree to wall off the U.S.-Mexico border.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – North Korea is hoping to someday link its railway with its southern neighbor, but without progress in nuclear negotiations, regular trains won’t be crossing the border anytime soon. Both countries broke ground Wednesday on an ambitious project to modernize the North’s railways and roads and connect them to South Korea. A South Korean train carrying government officials, lawmakers and aging relatives separated by the Korean War rolled into the North Korean border town of Kaesong.

TOKYO (AP) – Japan says it will resume commercial whale hunting for the first time in 30 years but promises not to hunt in the Antarctic. It also says it will leave the International Whaling Commission. The IWC imposed a moratorium on commercial whaling in the 1980s due to a dwindling whale population. Japan switched to what it calls research whaling and says stocks have recovered enough to resume commercial hunts.

CARITA BEACH, Indonesia (AP) – Fearing another tsunami, Indonesian authorities have warned people to move away from the coastline where big waves set off by volcanic activity killed hundreds over the weekend. Scientists are monitoring Anak Krakaoa’s eruption in the strait separating the islands of Java and Sumatra and say high waves and rains could push the cliffs of the crater into the sea and trigger another disaster. The death toll stood at 429 with more than 1,400 people injured and at least 128 missing.

Trump Tantrum…Asylum Seekers Policy Shift…London Airport Drone Intrusions…Justice Ginsberg Hospitalized…Colombian Leftist Rebel Killed

WASHINGTON (AP) – Democratic leaders are blaming President Donald Trump for a “temper tantrum” over funding the border wall that resulted in a partial government shut down which was taking hold Saturday. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi say Trump “has gotten what he wanted” after threatening a shutdown several times. With negotiations expected to continue, the House and Senate both scheduled rare Saturday sessions.

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) – A policy shift by the Trump administration means asylum seekers may be forced to stay in dangerous border cities as they press their cases while being forced to wait in Mexico for the outcomes. The decision was made with crucial details still unknown – a move that creates uncertainty along the border and possibly an incentive for people to cross illegally before the change takes effect.

LONDON (AP) – London’s Gatwick Airport took strides toward running a full schedule Saturday as police questioned a man and a woman arrested in connection with the drone intrusions that have created nightmarish conditions for holiday travelers. The airport’s arrival and departure boards showed the busy airport inching toward normal operations but still showing an unusual number of delays.

WASHINGTON (AP) – Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is resting in a New York hospital following surgery to remove two malignant growths in her left lung, the third time the Supreme Court’s oldest justice has been treated for cancer and her second stay in a hospital in two months. Worries over Ginsburg’s health have been a constant of sorts for nearly 10 years, and for liberals, particularly in the last two.

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) – Colombia’s president says a former leftist rebel who terrorized residents of southern Colombia after abandoning the country’s peace process to plunge headlong into drug trafficking has been killed in combat. President Ivan Duque said Walter Arizala was killed during a “heroic operation” after a months-long, U.S.-backed manhunt that followed the kidnapping and murder of three Ecuadorian press workers in the turbulent border area.

LOCAL HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS

Iowa Boys HS Basketball

West Liberty- 26@ Cascade, Western Dubuque-50

Wahlert, Dubuque-65 @ Dubuque, Hempstead-64 in OT

Dubuque, Senior-68 @ Epworth, Western Dubuque-51

Maquoketa 49, Beckman, Dyersville 37

 

Wisconsin Boys HS Basketball

Pecatonica-66 Fennimore-71

Potosi 79, Belmont 37

Shullsburg 66, River Ridge 41

 

Iowa Girls Basketball

Cascade, Western Dubuque-57, West Liberty-30

Epworth, Western Dubuque-53, Dubuque, Senior 50, OT

New Times Poll Shows Slimmer Lead for Finkenauer

Courtesy: New York Times

A new poll shows that Abby Finkenauer’s lead in the 1st Congressional District has shrunk to within the margin for error. As we told you earlier this week, the New York Times conducted a second poll of the 1st District, which includes Dubuque and our entire Iowa listening area. Their first survey, conducted about six weeks ago, showed Finkenauer with a double-digit lead on incumbent Republican Rod Blum. The new tally still has her leading Blum by seven percentage points – 46% to 39% – though that lead is within the poll’s five point margin for error. 11% of those surveyed say they still haven’t made up their mind.