Wednesday Afternoon News, June 17th
Grassley Wants U-S Attorney to Investigate Police Shooting A Woman
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - Sen. Chuck Grassley says a federal prosecutor should consider whether to investigate a shooting in which an Iowa officer accidentally killed a woman.
Grassley has forwarded to U.S. Attorney Nick Klinefeldt a complaint by Gina Colbert, the mother of Autumn Steele.
Critics have accused local and state officials of refusing to release details about Steele's killing by Burlington officer Jesse Hill. They're angry Hill wasn't charged and returned to work without discipline.
Hill killed Steele outside her home while responding to a domestic disturbance between Steele and her husband. He meant to shoot the family dog, which investigators say bit him.
In a letter to Colbert, Grassley noted Klinefeldt has the authority to investigate and "may be able to obtain the information that you have not been able to receive."
Jeb Bush To Appear In Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - In Iowa, Republican Jeb Bush is practically starting from scratch, despite his blue-chip donors and famous political name.
The former Florida governor makes his first visit to Iowa as a declared presidential candidate Wednesday. He has just three employees in Iowa, and made only two visits this year, far less than many of his rivals for the GOP nomination.
Bush's aides say he can make the best use of the seven months until the caucuses by focusing more on populous areas such as swing-voting Cedar Rapids, than on the sparser and more evangelical northwest.
On Wednesday, he has plans to meet activists - and poke at the federal government - in a backyard get-together in Washington, Iowa, and later headline a town hall-style meeting, in Pella, both east of Des Moines.
Garwin City Clerk Arrested For Theft
GARWIN, Iowa (AP) - A former city clerk for the eastern Iowa city of Garwin has been charged with theft after a state audit found more than $562,000 in improper and unsupported spending.
The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation says Anna Leytham was arrested on Tuesday at her home in Garwin. She's charged with five counts of theft and one count of ongoing criminal conduct.
Online jail records say Leytham remained in custody Wednesday. Court records don't list the name of an attorney who could be contacted to comment on Leytham's behalf.
The state auditor's office said Tuesday that the improper and unsupported spending included 203 payments traced by credit card statements to Leytham. Officials noted that other improper payments included more than $145,000 that Leytham issued to herself.
Iowa City To Ban E-cigarettes In Public Places
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials in Iowa City have given initial approval to a ban on smoking electronic cigarettes in places where it's illegal to smoke tobacco products.
The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the proposal, which would treat electronic cigarettes like other tobacco products. Smoking tobacco is banned at most job sites and in public spaces, including bars and restaurants.
Michael Conroy, of Iowa City, urged the council not to approve the ban, saying electronic cigarettes shouldn't be lumped in with tobacco, which produces secondhand smoke.
The proposal will come before the council at least twice more before a ban could be implemented.
Electronic cigarettes are devices that heat liquid and nicotine into a flavored, smokeless vapor.
Corwith-Wesley School Board Votes To Demolish School Building
CORWITH, Iowa (AP) - The Corwith-Wesley School Board unanimously has voted to demolish the district's middle and high school building.
The Messenger reports that the board voted Tuesday to tear down the structure. Superintendent Jon Hueser said the decision wasn't easy for the board but it was necessary.
The decision follows years of financial difficulties and a September 2014 vote to dissolve the district.
Elementary students next year will move to the Lu Verne Community School District. Middle and high school students will go to the Algona district.
Some who have had generations of their family attend the Corwith-Wesley district said they didn't want to see the end of the building.
Special Needs Camp Opens Despite Having Recent Fire
SHERRILL, Iowa (AP) - An eastern Iowa camp for those with special needs has opened despite a fire last month that caused extensive damage to a main building.
55 campers spent Tuesday participating in a variety of activities, including swimming and playing volleyball, at Camp Albrecht Acres in Sherrill.
Several rooms in the Kehl Center, where the May 13 fire occurred, were in use for campers.
The blaze spread throughout the building, causing more than $200,000 in damage. More than 2,000 pounds of frozen meat also was destroyed. No one was injured in the fire, the cause of which is undetermined.
The camp was founded in 1975 and serves people of all ages with special needs.
Black Bear Killed On Iowa Highway
JESUP, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say the carcass of a young black bear that was struck by a vehicle has been found in northeast Iowa.
The Buchanan County Sheriff's Office was notified about the carcass around 10:15 p.m. Sunday. It was alongside U.S. Highway 20, near Jesup. It's unclear whether the bear was one of the animals seen last month in the Dubuque area, about 75 miles east. Iowa Natural Resources Department officials think two or three bears have been roaming the region.
Department spokesman Kevin Baskins says the bear was older than a cub, about 5 feet long and weighed about 150 pounds.
Brian Preston is executive director of the Dubuque County Conservation Board, and he says black bears vanished from Iowa years ago but lingered in neighboring Wisconsin and Minnesota.
Robber Gets Robbed
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines man has been arrested after he told police he was robbed by someone after he had robbed a gas station.
A 24-year-old man was arrested Monday night. Police say they responded to a report of a robbery of a gas station and found a man who matched the description of the suspect while on their way to the scene.
Police say the suspect told them he had robbed the gas station convenience store so he could go drink at a nearby bar. He told police a black car that was in the gas station's parking lot during the robbery followed him to the bar. Once there, the driver of the car told him to hand over the money.
The suspect faces charges of aggravated theft and violation of probation.