Authorities Have Lost Evidence On A 39-year Murder/Rape Case
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Law enforcement officials say they have lost track of evidence from a 1980 murder case that an Iowa inmate wants to examine for DNA that could prove his innocence or guilt.
The missing evidence comes in the case of William Beeman, who is serving a life sentence in the stabbing death of 22-year-old Michiel Winkel.
Its absence could prevent the public from knowing definitively
whether Beeman was the right man in the rape and killing of Winkel – or should be Iowa’s first inmate exonerated by DNA.
Winkel’s nude body was found in April 1980 at Wildcat Den State Park near Muscatine. Beeman was convicted based largely on a confession that he claims was coerced.
His lawyers filed a motion seeking DNA testing on a sexual assault kit that included sperm recovered from Winkel and items of her clothing found at the scene.
But the Division of Criminal Investigation and Muscatine County
Sheriff’s Office said last week that they have searched and cannot find the evidence.
A court hearing is set for next week.
New School Buses To Be Equipped With Seat Belts
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa State Board of Education has adopted new rules that would require lap-shoulder seat belts on all new buses bought by school districts and state-accredited nonpublic schools.
The administrative rules adopted Thursday are still subject to
legislative review. Other safety equipment required would include one additional stop arm per bus, hand rails, exterior boarding lights and fire-resistant crash barriers between the front bus seats and the bus drivers.
Districts wouldn’t have to retrofit their current fleets. The rules
would apply to new buses manufactured on or after Oct. 2, the date the new rules are scheduled to take effect. Iowa Education Department spokeswoman Staci Hupp says the new rules would apply equally to contracted service providers.
In 2018 the National Transportation Safety Board recommended lap-shoulder seat belts on all new school buses.
Business Supply Managers Anticipate A Downturn In Midwest Economy
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – A new report says a July survey of business supply managers suggests economic growth will slow over the next three to six months in nine Midwest and Plains states.
The report issued Thursday says the Mid-America Business Conditions index dropped to 52.0 in July from 55.4 in June. It’s the lowest figure in more than three years.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he blamed the slowdown on weak farm income, produced in part by tariffs and flooding.
The survey results are compiled into a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth.
A score below that suggests decline.
The survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri,
Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.