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by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 10:05AM

CLIVE, Iowa (AP) — Officers are still looking for a prisoner who escaped in suburban Des Moines while being transferred for a court hearing in a burglary case.

Polk County Sheriff's Lt. Brent Long said Friday that 37-year-old Kenny Bevard remained at large. Bevard escaped around 4:50 p.m. Thursday in Clive while being driven to Adel in adjacent Dallas County.

Authorities say Bevard was handcuffed when got out and ran as the Dallas County sheriff's vehicle stopped in traffic. He reached a nearby wooded area. An automated phone message was sent to area residents about the escape.

Officers suspect Bevard soon stole a van from a truck stop. The van was found later in Urbandale.

Authorities say Bevard has served prison time for burglary and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.


Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 10:05AM

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A prosecutor pursuing several cases against felons charged with voting illegally says an Iowa Supreme Court ruling shouldn't impact them.

Assistant Black Hawk County Attorney Linda Fangman said Thursday the prosecutions will "proceed as is," despite Tuesday's ruling suggesting that not all felons lose their voting rights. She's handling felony election misconduct cases against six offenders accused of voting in the 2012 election even though they lost their rights. A seventh may plead guilty Monday.

Critics including the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa say such prosecutions are on shaky footing after justices failed to agree on which felony crimes lead to disenfranchisement.

Three justices ruled that only felonies that raise concerns about elections integrity strip offenders of their rights. Two others said all felonies should.


Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : IowaIowa City
People : Linda Fangman
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 10:04AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Democrats are looking to expand access to Iowa's presidential caucuses to people who are typically unable to attend them. It's a tricky task with these local political meetings that thrive on in-person discussion.

Party leaders said Thursday it's not in response to criticism, but a way to expand access to grass-roots democracy.

Senior Iowa Democratic adviser Norm Sterzenbach said Thursday: "It's an important part of our party to see if there are ways to make it more accessible."

Caucuses are run by parties, and held at night, unlike primaries. Democrat Hillary Clinton said after the 2008 caucuses that they excluded night workers, among others. So far, suggestions include virtual participation and proxy voting.

In 2008, 240,000 Iowa Democrats — 39 percent — participated. That's more than twice as many as the previous record.


Filed Under :
Topics : Politics
Location : Des MoinesIowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 10:03AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The state's top human resources officer says the most common reason state workers are excluded from being considered for rehire is for bad behavior or poor performance.

Michelle Minnehan, human resources chief operating officer for the state, told the Senate Government Oversight Committee on Thursday the reasons workers are fired and not eligible for rehire have included abuse of sick leave, falsification of records, urinating on prison inmates' food, and sexual harassment.

Minnehan was responding to questions in a broadening investigation into state hiring and firing practices.

The state released a list last week to The Associated Press containing 975 names of disqualified former workers. State officials had previously said no actual list existed.

Lawmakers report getting calls from former state workers shocked to find they're on the list.


Filed Under :
Topics : Labor
Location : Des MoinesIowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 10:02AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Department of Education must gather information from schools about whether they are testing for radon gas under a bill Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law.

Branstad signed the bill Thursday to require school districts to tell the department about radon testing by the end of this year. The department must then report to the Legislature by January.

An original draft of the bill required schools to test for the gas and deal with problems if levels exceed recommendations. The House removed testing requirements, instead opting to gather information and assess how schools handle radon.

Lawmakers plan to use the information collected to create a proposal for testing next year.

The EPA estimates about 21,000 people die nationally each year from lung cancer caused by radon exposure.


Filed Under :
Topics : Education
Location : Des MoinesIowa
People : Terry Branstad
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 10:01AM

IOWA FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a man has been shot and killed following a standoff in Iowa Falls.

Iowa State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright says the shooting happened Thursday outside a private home. The man was shot by law enforcement.

Bright says authorities had been trying to talk to the man, who is accused of locking himself in his home and making threats via social media during the standoff.

The man at some point fired shots and authorities backed away from the home. He eventually came outside to the front porch and was shot.

Authorities have not released the man's name.

Filed Under :
Topics : Law_Crime
Location : IowaIowa Falls
People : Scott Bright
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 10:00AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A bill intended to change funding and programming for job training and establish an apprenticeship program has won the support of a divided Iowa Senate.

The Senate voted 26-to-20 Thursday to approve the measure, with Republicans opposing the proposal. It now goes to the House, where House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says he's interested in the apprenticeship piece.

The bill changes current law to increase Iowa's workforce fund from $4 million to $6 million. Half that money would go toward the apprenticeship program. It also creates an advisory board to promote apprenticeship programs.

Sen. Bill Dotzler, a Waterloo Democrat, says the legislation would provide those who train Iowa's workforce with the resources they need.

Senate Republicans argued for approving a job training bill that largely retains the current program.


Filed Under :
Topics : LaborPolitics
Location : Des MoinesIowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 9:59AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The chairman of the state's Public Employment Relations Board says aides to Gov. Terry Branstad pressured the board to hire a friend of the administration in the latest accusation that top government officials pushed to fill government positions with allies.

Board Chairman Jim Riordan told the Senate Government Oversight Committee Thursday that Branstad's former chief of staff, Jeff Boeyink, and current staff attorney, Brenna Findley, threatened the board with budget cuts if it didn't make the hire. The board hired former Judge Robert Wilson to be an administrative law judge.

Questioned by reporters, Branstad flatly denied the claims and accused Riordan, who hasn't been reappointed by the governor, of making false accusations.

Riordan, a former Democratic state senator, will be replaced by a Republican confirmed Wednesday by the Senate.


Filed Under :
Topics : LaborPolitics
Location : Des MoinesIowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 9:59AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A lawyer for a Des Moines doctor accused of prescribing large amounts of narcotic painkillers was denied a mistrial request in the case.

Guy Cook made the request Thursday during testimony in the trial of Daniel Baldi. He faces nine counts of involuntary manslaughter.

Cook said a witness' statements about Baldi were hearsay and designed to inflame and prejudice the case. Associate Polk County District Judge Gregory Brandt instructed jurors to ignore the witness' comments. He denied the mistrial request.

Prosecutors say Baldi prescribed large amounts of narcotic painkillers to patients including Paul Gray, founder of the band Slipknot, who died in 2010. Baldi's denies responsibility for the deaths.

Filed Under :
Location : Des MoinesIowa
by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Apr 18 2014 9:58AM

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The assistant director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy will retire after facing months of criticism for making inappropriate sexual and threatening remarks to female cadets and colleagues.

A letter released Thursday to The Associated Press shows 71-year-old Michael Quinn will retire June 30.

The move comes after Senate Democrats held him up as an example of personnel mismanagement by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's administration.

Quinn was the subject of reports by the AP last year showing that he was allowed to keep his job despite a state investigation that found he violated anti-discrimination and violence-free workplace policies.

The investigation found that he made remarks to cadets and employees about his testicles and his sex life and told one subordinate that he would "slit your throat" if she acted up.


Filed Under :
Topics : PoliticsSocial Issues
Location : IowaIowa City
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