Home News Monday News, February 17th

Monday News, February 17th


No Evidence Of Animal Abuse At State Senator’s Hog Farm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say an investigation into animal treatment at an Iowa state lawmaker’s hog farm found no evidence that animals were being abused despite video that a group posted that appeared to show otherwise. Two people with California-based Direct Action Everywhere entered a hog farm last spring owned by Republican Iowa state Sen. Ken Rozenboom. Mahaska County Sheriff Russell Van Renterghem says an investigation didn’t find any abuse. Rozenboom said he decided in December to lease the hog building to a different farmer. He has said veterinary records show the herd was being treated for a respiratory infection that contributed to the problems Direct Action Everywhere documented.



Urbandale Woman Charged With Theft From Fertilizer Company

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) – A woman who headed the accounting division of a private fertilizer company in Urbandale has been accused of embezzling more than $116,000. Polk County court records say 41-year-old Heidi Cook is charged with nine counts of theft, one of fraudulent practices and one of unauthorized use of a credit card. She remained in jail Monday. The court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for Cook. Prosecutors say that, from at least Dec. 10, 2018, she took 33 checks totaling more than $116,000 from Spraytec and deposited them into her own bank account.



Drake Student Sues University And Fraternity For Hazing Incident

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A student is suing Drake University in Des Moines, along with a fraternity at the school and several fellow students for an unspecified amount after he said he nearly died from a hazing incident. Court documents filed Feb. 7 show Marcus Shields is suing the school, Theta Chi fraternity, its Drake chapter and others. The lawsuit says Shields was a 19-year-old freshman last year and a Theta Chi pledge when the fraternity engaged in hazing, included coercing and forcing him to drink excessive amounts of alcohol. Shields says he pleaded with his fraternity brothers that “he didn’t want to die,” and had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital for acute alcohol poisoning.



Iowa Democrats Select New Chairman

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Democratic Party has selected a new interim chairman to replace Troy Price, who resigned this week following a meltdown in the state’s lead-off presidential caucuses. The Des Moines Register reports that the party’s State Central Committee voted Saturday to install Iowa state Rep. Mark Smith, of Marshalltown, as interim chairman. The vote came a day after party officials agreed to hire two high-profile lawyers to investigate the factors leading to the problems that hamstrung the Feb. 3 Iowa Caucus, when problems with a mobile app and other issues prevented it from releasing results.



Fire Damages Fort Dodge Tow Company

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – Officials say two people suffered minor injuries in a fire that destroyed a Fort Dodge towing and auto business. Television station KCCI reports that the fire broke out Friday afternoon in Mid Iowa Towing. Firefighters arrived to find a large fire in the company’s shop area, with flames reaching the roof.├íThe building is not served by the city and did not have fire hydrants, requiring the firefighters to use 500-gallon water tanks. Officials say the lack of water and presence of a large amount of flammable liquids, coupled with high winds, caused the fire to grow and spread quickly. Two of the business’ employees were treated for burns on their hands.



Judge To Hear Case Regarding Planned Parenthood Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A state court judge has heard arguments on whether to dismiss a lawsuit challenging a state law passed last year that would block Planned Parenthood of the Heartland from receiving federal grant money for sex education courses. Judge Paul Scott is considering whether to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa for Planned Parenthood. It challenges the law passed on the last day of the 2019 session as a violation of free speech, due process and equal protection rights. A judge last May halted enforcement of the law until the court decides whether it’s constitutional.