Friday Afternoon News, October 26
Romney Calls for 'Bold Changes' For Economy
AMES, Iowa (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is calling for "bold changes" to help revive the nation's economy. He spoke today during a speech in Iowa as he outlined a closing economic argument ahead of the November election.
Romney didn't unveil specific plans, but is heaping criticism on President Barack Obama for trying to "distract our attention from the biggest issues to the smallest."
Earlier in the day, Romney said a new report on the nation's economic growth is "discouraging."
Deputy Smells Smoke Alerts Family of Fire
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A sheriff's deputy in western Iowa followed his nose to smoke pouring from a house and alerted its residents of a fire.
Deputy Jason Rokke (RUK'-ee) of Audubon County smelled the smoke around 4 a.m. Friday while on patrol in the Brayton area.
Sheriff Todd Johnson says Rokke checked nearby houses and found one that had smoke coming out of attic vents. Rokkee woke up the residents, and the two adults and two children fled safely.
The fire cause is being investigated.
Two People Face Arson Charges
ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) - Two Omaha people face arson charges for a fire that damaged a house in western Iowa.
Twenty-seven-year-old William Kautter (KAH'-tur) has been charged with arson and six counts of attempted murder. His wife, 29-year-old Elizabeth Kautter, has been charged only with arson.
Prosecutors say the two are responsible for a fire on Dec. 14, 2010, that damaged a home in Atlantic. The Iowa Department of Public Safety says three adults and three children escaped without injury.
Investigators say gasoline was splashed across the front door and porch of the house and then set aflame.
The Kautters remain jailed. Bail reduction hearings for both are scheduled for Monday. Their attorneys declined to comment on Friday.
Lawyer Asking For A Re-trial For Passed Over U of I Candidate
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A lawyer for a conservative passed over for University of Iowa law school jobs is asking for a retrial on both counts of her lawsuit and raising criticism about how a judge oversaw the mixed verdict.
Attorney Stephen Fieweger on Thursday asked to reinstate Teresa Wagner's claim of discrimination under the 1st Amendment and vacate the verdict throwing it out. He says that claim should be retried
with the claim that her equal-protection rights were violated, which deadlocked jurors.
Fieweger says Magistrate Judge Thomas Shields accepted the verdict Wednesday on count 1 without allowing him to be present to poll jurors to ensure they were unanimous and hadn't been coerced.
Shields initially declared a mistrial on both claims. He later called jurors back and accepted their verdict on count 1.
Former Scout Camp Purchased For County Park
WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) - A Boy Scout camp near Marble Rock in northern Iowa has a new future as a park.
The Winnebago Council of the Boy Scouts of America voted Thursday to sell the 320-acre camp to the Floyd County Conservation Board for $750,000.
The Winnebago Scout Reservation includes a swimming pool, dining hall, shooting ranges and buildings for year-round camping.
The council decided to sell the camp to be in compliance with a mandate requiring all camping operations be self-sustaining by 2013. Executive Director Todd Wordel says the camp was underutilized, requiring it to be subsidized.
Officials say the scouts unloaded a financially burdensome piece of property but still get to use it. The county will provide move outdoor recreational opportunities for everyone.