Home News Thursday Afternoon News, March 8th

Thursday Afternoon News, March 8th


Death Of Sioux City Woman Ruled As Homicide

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – The death of a Sioux City woman killed in a fire has been ruled a homicide.
Sioux City police say the state report on the autopsy of 51-year-old Wanda Blake’s body will go to Woodbury County prosecutors for consideration of any new charges.
The man suspected of setting the Feb. 4 fire, 51-year-old Robert Mahoney, has pleaded not guilty to arson. His trial is scheduled to begin April 17.
The blaze damaged several units at Central Apartments. Court documents say Mahoney told police he was bored and started lighting papers. He said he saturated a table full of papers with aerosol bug spray and lit it on fire, and the flames spread.



Iowa’s Congressional Delegation Tells Trump To Lay Off Tariffs

(Washington D.C.) — Iowa’s congressional delegation is sending a unified message to President Trump: reconsider the threat of imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. The group has co-signed a letter to the president, warning Iowa’s farmers and
manufacturers would likely be the first harmed by the tariffs or embargoes OTHER countries impose in reaction. Congressman David Young, a Republican from Van Meter, says he hopes the administration does a cost-benefit analysis.

Tariffs ultimately raise the cost of the goods Americans buy, according to Young.

Senator Joni Ernst says trade issues are “critical” to Iowa’s economy.

Ernst says she “appreciates” the president’s goal of putting more Americans back to work in the steel and aluminum industries.

Five Republicans and one Democrat represent Iowa in the U.S. House and Senate.  All six of them signed onto the letter.
President Trump recently suggested in a tweet that a trade war would be easy for the U.S. to win. During the 2016 campaign, Trump often criticized existing free trade deals, like the North American Free Trade Agreement and Trump promised to get tough with China.



Nurses Union Appealing To Supreme Court For Collective Bargaining Benefits

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A union representing University of Iowa nurses is appealing to the state Supreme Court in an effort to secure a bargaining agreement made before lawmakers limited union bargaining powers.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that Service Employees International Union represents 3,500 workers at UI Hospitals and Clinics. It’s appealing a district judge’s ruling that the university’s Board of Regents doesn’t have to honor an employment agreement presented to the union early last year.
The December ruling says the contract wasn’t binding since the board didn’t vote to ratify the agreement. The union ratified the contract days before state legislators limited the bargaining power of public-sector labor unions.
Union negotiator Jim Jacobson says lawmakers have rigged the system against workers.
A board spokesperson declined to comment on the litigation.



Man Accused Of Killing His Family Is Set To Change Plea

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Court records say a central Iowa man accused of killing his mother, father and sister intends to change his plea.
The records say lawyers for 21-year-old Chase Nicholson had requested a plea hearing, which has been scheduled for April 30 in Polk County District Court.
The records don’t say how he’ll plead and to what charges. He’s already pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the April 6 shooting deaths of 58 -year-old Mark Nicholson; 56-year-old Charla Nicholson and 24-year-old Tawni
Nicholson. Authorities say Nicholson used a shotgun that was recovered at the family home in Bondurant, where the bodies were found April 6.
Chase Nicholson surrendered April 7 in Neosho, Missouri. Police there have said Nicholson told an officer that he had killed three people the night before.



Dismissed Attorney Files Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) – An attorney fired by the Iowa Association of School Boards for writing a partisan newspaper column defending Gov. Kim Reynolds has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.
Anna Bergman, a Republican running for the Iowa House, is suing the association and executive director Lisa Bartusek, claiming her free speech rights were violated.
The 26-year-old was the association’s director of policy and legal
services until last month, when she wrote a column for the Des Moines Register headlined, “Iowans are not buying Democrats’ hyperbole.” She suggested that Iowa is “in great shape” and defended Reynolds against criticism of her record on education. A disclaimer in the print version noted Bergman’s views “do not
necessarily reflect those of” the association.
The association dismissed Bergman, saying her statements conflicted with its duty to remain nonpartisan.
Bergman’s lawsuit claims other association employees made pro-
Democratic and anti-Trump statements on social media without consequence.