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Friday Afternoon News, November 1

Branstad Denies Women Commutation Sentences

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has denied the commutation requests of several
women serving time in Iowa corrections facilities.
Branstad made the announcement in a news release Friday. He did not include additional information about his decision.
The eight applications include women serving time for convictions of first-degree murder, attempted murder and kidnapping. Their age range is from 28 to 70. At least one inmate was younger than 18 when she committed a crime.
Their sentences also vary. One inmate is serving a life sentence, while another is
serving 25 years. At least one is serving a 100-year sentence. Many of the sentences carry
mandatory time served before they can be considered for release. It's unclear if these inmates had reached that time.

Georgia Man Wanted For Murder Arrested In Southwest Iowa

GLENWOOD, Iowa (AP) - An armed 25-year-old man wanted on a murder arrest warrant from
Georgia has been captured in western Iowa.
Iowa State Patrol troopers say they took 25-year-old Courtney Thomas into custody
without incident around 5 p.m. Thursday. His vehicle had been stopped about four miles north
of the Glenwood exit on Interstate 29. Georgia authorities who were tracking Thomas'
cellphone signal alerted the Iowa patrol when his vehicle crossed from Missouri into Iowa.
A handgun was found in the car.
Georgia authorities say Thomas, of Hapeville, is suspected in the slaying of
23-year-old Shevonta Hardwick. Her body was found Thursday morning at an apartment in
Hapeville, an Atlanta suburb.
A Mills County jailer said Thomas remained in custody on Friday, pending a hearing on
his return to Georgia.


Cedar Rapids Man Sentenced For Fraud Of A Million Dollars

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A Cedar Rapids man was sentenced to more than four years in
prison after pleading guilty to defrauding investors of more than $1 million as part of a
Ponzi scheme.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade sentenced
58-year-old Jeffrey J. Kinseth to four years and three months in federal prison, followed by
three years of supervised release. Kinseth must pay restitution to his victims of $1.1
Kinseth earlier acknowledged he used his company to solicit money from 11 investors in
2008 and 2009, promising substantial returns.
Instead, he used most of their money to pay back other investors and for other uses,
while suffering losses in the investments he did make. To disguise his fraud, he issued
phony account statements showing investments were growing.


Des Moines Mayor Asked To Be On Climate Change Task Force

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie has been named by President Barack Obama to a task force that will make recommendations on how the federal government can respond to the needs of communities dealing with the impact of climate change.
Cownie is among 16 city and county officials named to the group along with eight governors and two tribal officials.
Obama says in a statement released Friday that local leaders are contending with more frequent or severe heat waves, droughts, wildfires, storms and floods by updating building codes, adjusting management of natural resources, investing in more resilient infrastructure, and planning for rapid recovery.
The task force will recommend to the president ways to modernize federal grant and loan programs and develop information and tools needed to prepare.

Dead Body Found At Algona School

ALGONA, Iowa (AP) - A body was found on school property in Algona, prompting officials to cancel classes while police investigate.
Algona Superintendent Marty Fonley told the Mason City Globe Gazette the body was reported to police about 1:30 a.m. Friday on school property.
Fonley declined to name the school where the body was found. He says no students, staff or teachers were involved.
Police say no foul play is suspected, and an autopsy is planned.
Police wouldn't identify the body until relatives could be notified.
Fonley says district officials decided to cancel classes Friday to allow police to investigate the matter.


Agency That Coordinates Women, Infant, and Children Subsidies To Receive Grant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa agency that oversees the federal Women, Infants, and Children food program has been awarded a $5.3 million grant to convert from delivering paper checks to participants to providing electronic money transfers with plastic cards similar to debit cards.
The Iowa Department of Public Health says in a statement Friday it has received the grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The money is to be used within two years to hire a contractor to set up the system.
The program provides money for purchase of supplemental food at approved local grocery stores for low-income nutritionally at-risk women, infants, and children. It also provides nutrition education and counseling.
The Iowa program served more than 69,000 participants each month last year.


Coaches Top State Salary Listing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Athletic coaches and academics are among the top earners on the state payroll in Iowa.
Data released by the state Friday shows the football and men's basketball coaches at two state universities received some of the highest overall compensation in the state during the 2012-2013 fiscal year. University of Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz took home roughly $3.8 million during that period and Iowa State football coach Paul Rhoads received about $2 million.
The athletic programs at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University are self-sustaining and do not receive state dollars.
University of Iowa President Sally Mason received about $973,000. That's about twice her earnings in the previous year because she received a substantial one-time deferred compensation payment.
Gov. Terry Branstad earned $130,000.









Friday News, November 1

Governor Branstad To Visit Plymouth County For Annual Governor's Hunt

(Le Mars) -- Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to make an appearance in Le Mars and
Plymouth County for the weekend.  Its all part of the annual Governor's hunt.  Plymouth
County Chapter Pheasants Forever are hosting the governor and his entourage in a pheasant
hunt.  The governor will be in Le Mars this evening and is expected to speak at the KC hall
beginning at 6:00 p.m.  He will stay overnight in Plymouth County, then on Saturday, the
governor will go pheasant hunting beginning at 8:00 a.m.


Branstad's Former Chief Of Staff Not Allowed To Lobby

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board says Governor Terry Branstad's former chief of staff may not immediately lobby the governor's office, but can interact with his former colleagues.
Jeff Boeyink recently left the administration and joined a Des Moines-based consulting
irm. On Thursday the board responded to a request from his attorney for an opinion
utlining how he must abide by state rules.
Under state law, some ex-employees of a statewide elected official may not lobby for or
against legislation, an administrative rule or executive order before their former agency.
That ban lasts for two years after they leave their state job.
The opinion approved by board members says Boeyink can perform other duties, like
setting up a meeting between a lobbyist colleague and a staffer for the governor.


Three Indianola Students Charged With Bomb Threat

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have filed felony charges against three students
suspected of writing a bomb threat that forced the evacuation of Indianola High School.
The three are charged with terroristic threats and have been released to their parents.
Indianola Community Schools officials briefly evacuated students to nearby buses on Oct. 23 after a student took the bomb threat note to the main school office. He said he found it in a restroom. No bomb was found.
The three students are ages 14, 15 and 16. The Associated Press doesn't generally identify juveniles charged with crimes.
A police report says the students came up with the bomb threat idea after deciding they wanted to get out of school early.


Woman Killed In House Explosion

GLADBROOK, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a woman has been killed and a man injured following a
house explosion in central Iowa.
Tama County Sheriff Dennis Kucera says a body was recovered inside the home following
the Thursday morning explosion in rural Gladbrook, located several miles northeast of
Ron Humphrey with the State Fire Marshal's Office says officials are investigating the
cause of death.
Humphrey says the woman lived in the home and the man was a repairman. Investigators
believe he was fixing a furnace before the explosion.
The man has been transported to an Iowa City hospital. His condition is not available.
Kucera says crews from multiple fire departments have contained the blaze caused by the
explosion. The State Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause.


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