Wednesday Afternoon, January 14
Sioux City Police Investigate Stabbing
(Sioux City) -- Police officers were dispatched to the eastside of Sioux City Wednesday morning for a report of a stabbling. Upon their arrival, they found the victim, 28 year old Craig Downing with a single stab wound to the chest. The wound appeared minor and Downing was transported to Mercy Medical Center. The suspect is currently in custody though no charges have been filed yet. The knife has been recovered. Downing and the suspect are acquaintances. Details of the circumstances leading up to the incident are not being released.
Chief Justice Cady Says Iowa Courthouses Need More Security
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's chief justice says the state's court system needs more security at courthouses and better ways of addressing racial disparities in its criminal justice system.
Chief Justice Mark Cady of the Iowa Supreme Court made the comments Wednesday in the annual "state of the judiciary" address to a joint session of the Legislature.
Cady says the judicial branch is completing surveys on security levels at each courthouse. He says some training has been implemented, but he did not elaborate.
The comments come after a man opened fire at the Jackson County Courthouse in September. He was killed after a scuffle with a county supervisor.
Cady also says the justice system now offers staff training to recognize implicit biases that could contribute to racial disparities in its criminal justice system.
Ernst To Start Iowa Tour
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Sen. Joni Ernst says she'll start her 2015 tour of all 99 Iowa counties this weekend.
During a call with news reporters Wednesday, Ernst said she'll be in her home town of Red Oak on Saturday. The appearance will mark the beginning of an annual effort to visit all the counties in Iowa every year.
Other Iowa politicians that make this effort each year include Sen. Chuck Grassley and Gov. Terry Branstad.
The Republican Ernst was recently sworn in for her first term in the Senate.
Appeals Court Upholds Attorney Fees On Civil Lawsuit
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A split Iowa Court of Appeals panel has upheld a $7 million fee for three attorneys who won a class-action lawsuit against the city of Des Moines for charging improper franchise fees.
The attorneys appealed a Polk County judge's decision awarding them less than half of the $15 million they sought from the $40 million the city must refund citizens for charging unlawful fees on utility bills.
The lawyers say they took significant risk in the case for which they have spent more than 10,000 hours over 10 years.
Appeals Judge Gayle Vogel is the dissenting opinion in the 2-1 decision released Wednesday. She says the work expended and the result achieved for Des Moines citizens justifies a bigger paycheck.
The attorneys will seek an Iowa Supreme Court review.
University Of Iowa Hospitals To Pay $250,000 To Suicide Victim's Family
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Five years after a patient committed suicide while given a pass to temporarily leave, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has agreed to pay $250,000 and apologize to his relatives.
Kenneth "Dean" Cabbage of North Liberty jumped from a hospital parking ramp in 2009 after being allowed to leave for an outing with his wife.
The payment and apology letter settle a lawsuit brought by the 67-year-old's family that challenged the hospital's practice of granting unsupervised leaves allowing some psychiatric patients to go out for a few hours at a time.
Hospital officials contend the leaves are therapeutic, helping patients get better by enjoying life.
But an attorney for Cabbage's family argued the leaves have not been shown to help patients and are risky for those who could be suicidal.