Home News Saturday News, April 15th

Saturday News, April 15th


State Supreme Court Says State Is Not Responsible For Nursing Home Sex Offender’s Actions

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Supreme Court says the state had no legal responsibility to safeguard a 95-year-old woman who was raped by a violent sex offender placed in her nursing home after being released from state custody.
The court ruling Friday upholds a lower court’s decision to dismiss the state from a lawsuit filed by the women’s children.
The state received court approval in 2010 to release William Cubbage from a state-run sex offender program and place him in the Pomeroy Care Center, a northwest Iowa nursing home. Cubbage was 82 and had dementia.
But within months, he sexually assaulted the woman and was sent to prison.
The Supreme Court said that because a court approved Cubbage’s release, the state had no further responsibility to monitor him.
The children are pursuing a lawsuit against the nursing home.


Former University of Iowa Athletic Official’s Lawsuit To Begin On Monday

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The former No. 2 administrator for University of Iowa athletics will take on the school in a trial Monday that centers on her claim that she suffered discrimination as a gay female who fought bias in college
The trial in a lawsuit brought by former senior associate athletic
director Jane Meyer is expected to put Athletic Director Gary Barta’s personnel decisions under scrutiny.
The trial’s scheduled to last for up to three weeks in Des Moines
feature testimony from several Hawkeye coaches, including Kirk Ferentz.
Jurors will determine whether Meyer suffered discrimination due to her gender and sexual orientation, whether she endured retaliation for complaining of bias against female coaches, and whether she was paid less than a male administrator who performed similar work.  Barta has denied any discrimination.

Jane Meyer



Medical Helicopter Forced To Land After Bird Hits Windshield

STRATFORD, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a central Iowa medical helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing after hitting a bird.
The Fort Dodge Messenger reports (http://bit.ly/2nNlGUT ) that the UnityPoint Health-Trinity Regional Medical Center air ambulance landed early Thursday morning in Hamilton County farm field. No one was hurt.
Hamilton County Sheriff Doug Timmons says an emergency call was made at 1:50 a.m. Thursday from the flight’s crew saying they had to make an emergency landing after hitting the bird while returning from a patient transfer in Iowa City.
Timmons said the collision broke out the helicopter’s windshield.


Covered Bridge In Madison County Destroyed By Fire

WINTERSET, Iowa (AP) – An iconic Madison County, Iowa, covered bridge – pictured on the cover of the best-selling novel “The Bridges of Madison County” – has been destroyed by fire.
The Madison County Sheriff’s Office tells the Des Moines Register
(http://dmreg.co/2pj5Yk9 ) that the fire at the Cedar Bridge was reported around 6 a.m. Saturday.
Officials say the bridge was fully engulfed by the time firefighters got to the bridge near Winterset in south-central Iowa.
The original Cedar Bridge was built in 1883 before it burned in 2002.
Investigators determined the fire to be arson, but no arrests were ever made. It was rebuilt and reopened in 2004.
The bridge was featured in the movie adaptation of “The Bridges of Madison County.” The novel was written by Robert Waller, who died in March.

covered bridge fire

Photo courtesy of The Des Moines Register.


Gasoline Prices Likely To Increase 

(Des Moines) — Iowans who are on the road for the Easter weekend are paying higher prices for gasoline as they travel across the state. Gail Weinholzer, at AAA Iowa, says pump prices are up about a nickel a gallon in the past week, but it’s not due to the holiday.

The statewide average is around two-35 a gallon, which is about five-cents below the national average. Weinholzer says both figures are up from a year ago.

The motor club is predicting gas prices in Iowa will continue to rise over the next few months but will not break three-dollars a gallon.

Of the state’s major metro areas, Des Moines has the most expensive gas at $2.46 a gallon while Sioux City is the cheapest at $2.30 a gallon.



Iowa House Passes Medical Malpractice Bill

(Des Moines) — This past week, the Iowa House followed the Iowa Senate by passing a bill that places a cap on the amount collected from a malpractice lawsuit. The cap is at $250,000 on non-economic damages. However, as state representative Chuck Holz of Le Mars explains, there are some exceptions.


Holz says he had a differing opinion relating to the bill.

Similar legislation from other states have been challenged in the courts, with some states ruling the law as being unconstitutional, while others have upheld the law. Holz says the Iowa version may be subject to a court interpretation, but he believes with the added amendment, it will stand.



Anderson And Feenstra Comment On Gun Rights “Stand Your Ground” Bill

(Des Moines) — In front of a room full of 30 plus guests, Governor Terry Branstad signed into law Thursday the controversial and interesting bill involving Second Amendment rights allowing gun owners to “stand their ground”
and the bill also included a provision allowing gun owners with permits the opportunity to bring their gun into the state capitol building. Republican State Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson voted in favor of the measure and offers an explanation as to why legislators are allowing guns in the state capitol.

Bill Anderson, state senate

Currently, visitors to the state capitol building must first pass through security checks and metal detectors. Anderson doesn’t believe much will change with the new law.

Anderson says several other states have adopted similar legislation relating to the “Stand Your Ground” provision.

State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull also voted for the bill. He says although the capitol building is equipped with metal detectors at three entrances, he says there are 12 doors to enter the capital, and he has witnessed some occasions where someone on the inside has opened a door allowing the person
outside to enter. Feenstra says some legislators already carry guns into the legislative chambers, and they feel safer if they have the opportunity to act in a responsive manner.


Another provision with the gun rights bill, allows children of 14 years of age the opportunity to use hand guns under the supervision of a parent, guardian, or another adult.



Des Moines Police Make Arrest After Shooting Incident

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Police in central Iowa say they’ve made an arrest in a shooting this week that killed one Des Moines man and left another injured.
Police said Friday that 26-year-old Larry Deandre Ratliff Jr., of Des Moines, has been charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, robbery and a weapons count in connection with the Tuesday shooting in the Beaverdale neighborhood. It was not clear Friday whether Ratliff had an attorney.
Police say 36-year-old Antonio Quinn died from his wounds, while 33- year-old Michael James Jr. was treated and released from a hospital.
Police say they are still searching for another person of interest in the shooting.



Grassley Comments On Syria and North Korea

(Washington) — There is a general sense of feeling nervous among this nation’s people with regards to recent actions taking place in both Syria and at North Korea. With President Trump making the order to bomb specific targets in Syria for the retalliation of the Syrian president using bio and chemical weapons on his own people, and for the military build-up demonstrated by North Korean officials, along with statements by North Korea saying they will use nuclear weapons if they feel provoked. U-S Senator Chuck Grassley was asked about both foreign relations concerns during his weekly news conference with Iowa news reporters. Grassley says the actions are a departure from President Trump’s earlier rhetoric.


Grassley says former President Obama never carried through with his words of warning.

The Republican senator was asked for his thoughts about how Trump is handling the two challenging incidents.

Grassley says leaders of all the nations involved need to protect themselves from political embarrassment. He says, for that reason, real action may be slow and small to recognize.