Sunday News, February 16
Legislators Work On Day Care Bill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Daycare oversight in Iowa is under review at the Capitol, as lawmakers in the state House ponder legislation that would expand reporting requirements for in-home child care providers.
Under the legislation, all home-based daycares in Iowa would have to register with the state, with some exemptions for family members providing care. Currently, home-based daycares with five or less children do not have to register.
The bill was approved by a House subcommittee last week, but lawmakers stressed they have more work to do to determine how the requirements would work and if this would require additional state spending.
West Des Moines Rep. Peter Cownie says he generally supports the effort because a core function of government is ensuring safety of the population.
Vander Plaats Will Not Run For Senate Seat
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Bob Vander Plaats, the standard-bearer for social and religious conservatives in Iowa, has announced he will not run for Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat.
Vander Plaats said in a written statement Saturday that the timing of a Senate run was not right for him, his family or his conservative advocacy group, The Family Leader.
He also said he didn't want to "compromise the message of my new book" with a campaign.
Vander Plaats ran unsuccessfully for governor three times as a Republican and orchestrated the 2010 campaign to oust three of the state Supreme Court justices who were part of the 2009 ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Iowa.
At least six Republicans are vying for the seat being vacated by retiring Democratic Senator Tom Harki
DMACC Expanding Workforce Training Program
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines Area Community College is expanding a workforce training program.
The school says it is hiring new trainers, adding sessions and expanding classroom space for its Workforce Training Academy. It says a surge in participation has led to the decision.
The program offers unemployed and underemployed people short-term training for high-demand careers.
School officials say an outreach campaign brought new traffic to the program's website. Enrollment in orientation sessions is up 25 percent to more than 160 people.
The Workforce Training Academy is state-funded. It has been focusing on business and information technology; advance manufacturing; health care; and transportation and logistics.
Man Convicted As A Teen Now Eligible For Parole
MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man sentenced as a teenager to life behind bars for a 1984 killing is now eligible for parole.
The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1hlyo3I0) that 47-year-old Mitchell Ronek has spent nearly 30 years in prison for the death of Thomas Goodwin, of Maquoketa. Ronek was 17 at the time of the killing.
During a resentencing hearing Friday, Judge Mark Smith sentenced Ronek to life in prison with parole with a minimum of 25 years in prison and credit for time served.
Ronek's resentencing following a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said it is unconstitutional to sentence teenagers to life without the chance of parole.
Ronek's new sentence will now go to the Iowa Board of Parole, which will decide whether Ronek will be released.
LA MOTTE, Iowa (AP) - Officials say two horses and two hogs died and one person was injured in a barn fire in eastern Iowa.
Firefighters were called to the La Motte fire around 9 p.m. Thursday.
Fire Chief Joe Kilburg says a large red barn was engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived.
Paul Samples, the farm's owner, suffered burns on one of his arms while removing a tractor from the burning barn.
Kilburg says firefighters were able to save three smaller outbuildings and their contents that included tools, some small equipment and animal feed.
A pickup in the barn was destroyed.
Woman Charged With Sexual Abuse And Indecent Exposure To A Minor
EAGLE GROVE, Iowa (AP) - A woman charged with sexual abuse and indecent contact with a child has been released from the Wright County jail after posting $25,000 bond, but police are still searching for her husband.
49-year-old Diana Guido, of Eagle Grove, is charged with second-degree sexual abuse, indecent contact with a child, indecent exposure and dissemination and exhibition of obscene material to a minor.
Her preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 27 in Wright County District Court in Clarion.
Police say the charges stemmed from an investigation by the Iowa Department of Human Services.
Authorities are continuing to search for Guido's husband, Leonardo Guido-Acosta. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.
No Winner In Powerball Lottery
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lottery officials say there was no jackpot winner in Saturday's Powerball drawing, adding the current estimated jackpot has jumped to $400 million or $227.8 million in cash value.
Powerball said the next drawing will be Wednesday, Feb. 19. It added in a statement that the previous estimated jackpot total was an annuitized $330.8 million, or $188.4 million as a cash option.
Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of matching all six numbers in the game are 1 in about 175 million, according to statistics pf the nonprofit Multi-State Lottery Association whose members offer one or more of the association's games.