Home News Friday News, June 28th

Friday News, June 28th


Meteorologist Talks About The Heat Wave

(Des Moines) — It’s steamy hot in Iowa and forecasters say it’ll get even hotter today and through the weekend. Meteorologist Cory Martin, at the National Weather Service in metro Des Moines, says summer’s not even been here for a week and it’s already time to crank up the fans and air conditioners.

As a result, Plymouth County, along with Sioux and Lyon Counties are under a heat advisory for this afternoon.

When the heat index gets into triple-digits, Martin says it’s very important to take the heat seriously and take precautions if you’re working — or playing — outside.

The extended forecast calls for highs in the 80s and 90s across much of Iowa at least through next Wednesday.



Eye Clinic Manager Charged With Theft

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a Sioux City eye clinic manager stole more than $6,100 in a credit card scheme and planned to use customer information to take out loans.
Woodbury County court records say 36-year-old Amy Inniss-Reyes, of Sioux City, is charged with theft and tampering with records. Her attorney didn’t immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press.
A criminal complaint says Inniss-Reyes was managing two Exact Eye Care branches between April 19 and May 30 when she used three of her credit cards to obtain fraudulent refunds. The complaint says she also told investigators that she made copies of 20 patients’ personal records, intending to use them to obtain loans. The copies were recovered from her home.
Her preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 5.



Iowa Workforce Development Administrator To Resign After Investigation Finds Her Responsible For Hostile Work Environment

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa administrator is planning to retire after a state investigation blamed her for creating a hostile work environment for judges who rule on unemployment benefits disputes.
Newly filed records show that Emily Chafa, chief of the unemployment insurance appeals bureau at Iowa Workforce Development, was abruptly removed from the building March 8 and kept on paid leave for one month.
In April, the investigation concluded that Chafa had treated
subordinates “disrespectfully and discourteously which has created an uncomfortable, unprofessional work environment.” She was given the equivalent of a three-day suspension and ordered to make changes.
Chafa disputes the finding and is appealing her discipline, saying
the state hasn’t given specifics of her alleged inappropriate behavior.
Earlier this month, her attorney complained that Chafa has been locked out of her email and office while on vacation ahead of a July 11 retirement date.
For months, Iowa Workforce Development Director Beth Townsend and her staff had refused to confirm the removal, leave and investigation of Chafa.



Judge Dismisses Lawsuit On Selection Of State Judges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a new state law that changed the way some judges are selected in Iowa.
The lawsuit filed in May by a group of Democratic lawmakers and
lawyers against Gov. Kim Reynolds was dismissed Thursday by a state court judge who said they don’t have legal standing to challenge the law.
The new law passed by Republicans and signed by Reynolds gave the governor an additional appointment to the 17-member state judicial nominating commission resulting in the governor having a majority of nine appointees.
Lawyers continue to elect eight members to the group.
The lawsuit alleged that the vote of the lawyer members of the
commission has been diluted and that the law is an unconstitutional overreach by the legislative branch of government into the judicial branch.
The commission nominates justices for the Iowa Supreme Court and the Iowa Court of Appeals.
Judge Sarah Crane, who was appointed to the court by Reynolds last year, dismissed the case.
Reynolds says the decision is good news for the rule of law and
Attorneys for the plaintiffs say the decision will be appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.



Eastern Iowa Police Chief Fired

DUNKERTON, Iowa (AP) – The police chief of a small eastern Iowa town has been placed on paid leave while facing accusations that she misreported the hours she’d been working.
Black Hawk County court records say Katherine “Kate” Krieger, of Jesup, is charged with theft, felonious misconduct in office and four counts of records tampering.
Her attorney, Tom Frerichs, said Thursday that Krieger believes the charges are excessive and unjustified. Frerichs says she intends to plead not guilty.
City clerk Sheila Steffen says a special City Council meeting
scheduled for Thursday evening has but one item on the agenda: the potential termination of Krieger. Steffen says Krieger has been chief since August 2018.
The Black Hawk County town of about 830 residents employs a full-time chief and two part-time officers.



Mississippi River Opens To Barge Traffic

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – The Army Corps of Engineers has partially opened the Mississippi River to barge traffic, but farmers in Iowa are still worried about the financial impact of the slow recovery of shipping on the waterway.
Dozens of barges have been at a standstill during this devastating flood season .
Robb Ewoldt tells the Quad-City Times that he has around $80,000 worth of soybeans in storage at his farm in Scott County, waiting to be shipped down the river. The halt to barge traffic is delaying farmers’ income and has prevented some from planting crops because fertilizer arrives by barge.
Doug Weber, a manager at shipping company Alter River Terminal Rock Island, says they usually ship one or two barges per day. But only a dozen barges have moved since traffic closed mid-March.