Home News Friday Afternoon News, May 10th

Friday Afternoon News, May 10th


Industrial Accident Causes Man To Lose Arm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a man lost part of an arm in an accident at a Des Moines tire recycling facility.
The accident occurred Thursday morning at Liberty Tire Recycling. Des Moines Fire Lt. Chris Clement says the man suffered a partial amputation from the elbow down after being caught in a machine. His name hasn’t been released.
The Des Moines Register reports that Iowa’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the facility $27,500 after a 2016 accident. The fine was reduced later to $12,250 and two of the six serious violations alleged were dropped.
The Des Moines operation is one of 24 production facilities for
Pittsburgh-based Liberty Tire. Company spokesman Don Meyer said Friday that Liberty Tire is “deeply saddened at the injury” suffered by the employee. He says company officials are working with local authorities “to help ensure the
effectiveness of our safety standards and practices.”



Four People Rescued From Iowa City Apartment Fire 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say firefighters rescued four people from an apartment building fire in Iowa City.
The fire in the ground-floor apartment was reported just before 10 a.m. Thursday.
Four people in the second-floor unit were blocked by heat and smoke from escaping on their own. Firefighters helped them out and down from a second-story window.
No injuries have been reported.



Governor Appoints Corporate Attorney To Judicial Commission

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has named a corporate attorney who has contributed money to her campaign to a state commission that nominates candidates for positions on the Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Reynolds on Friday named Dan Huitink (HOY-tink) to the state judicial nominating commission.
Huitink is a lawyer for Vermeer Corp. in Pella and is a former assistant U.S. attorney.
His appointment was made possible by a bill Reynolds signed Wednesday that gave her the authority to appoint nine members of the 17-member state commission. Lawyers will elect eight. Previously the governor and attorneys each selected eight commission members and the senior justice on the Iowa
Supreme Court was the 17th member. The law removes the justice, which means Justice David Wiggins, a Democratic appointee, is taken off the commission.
Democrats have criticized the change, saying Republicans want to stack the courts in their favor after losing recent cases on abortion and same-sex marriage.
State campaign finance records show Huitink contributed to Reynolds’ campaign for governor and has given to the Republican Party.



Former State Employee Wants To Sue Branstad For Discrimination

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A judge says jurors will decide whether former Gov. Terry Branstad singled out a former state official for a pay cut because of his political party or sexual orientation.
Judge Brad McCall on Thursday rejected the state’s request to dismiss a long-running lawsuit filed by former Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey. McCall’s ruling sets up a trial in Polk County, which is scheduled for June 3.
Branstad slashed Godfrey’s pay by 35 percent after the commissioner refused the governor’s request to resign in 2011. Godfrey had been confirmed to a six-year term by the Iowa Senate.
Branstad says he wanted to appoint a more “pro-business” commissioner than Godfrey, who had been appointed and reappointed by prior Democratic governors. Godfrey argues that the pay cut and other retaliation was improperly motivated by his status as an openly gay man and Democrat.
McCall says the “jury’s determination as to the true motives involved will determine the outcome in this case.”



U-S House Passes Disaster Aid Assistance Bill

(Washington) — The U-S House passed a bill that would provide billions of dollars for rebuilding and recovery for Americans impacted by natural disasters. Iowa Congresswoman, Cindy Axne, A Democrat from West Des Moines, spoke on the House floor.

She says many Iowans have been impacted by the flooding.

Axne says it is important to get the aid to those in need.

Democrats who control the House are pushing this bill forward. There were several attempts to add amendments to the bill during the debate. The legislation includes three billion dollars to address recent flooding in the Midwest and other disasters, plus six-hundred million in nutrition assistance to Puerto Rico. Negotiations continue among Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Senate on a disaster aid package.



King Applauds Passage Of Disaster Relief Bill

Washington, D.C.- Congressman Steve King is applauding the passage of House legislation that contains funding for communities throughout the Midwest that have been affected by severe flooding in the region. The legislation passed the House today on a vote of 257-150, with Congressman King voting in favor of it.

“In Iowa, we need this relief and we need it soon,” said King. “I applaud the House for acting quickly, and I encourage the Senate to work just as quickly to produce a final bill that the President will not hesitate to sign into law.”

Yesterday, Congressman King delivered a speech on the House floor encouraging the House and the Senate to act quickly to “get to a conclusion and adoption” of this legislation.