Thursday Afternoon News, August 14
NewLink Genetics: Ready to test Ebola vaccine
UNDATED (AP) - An Iowa drug developer says it has enough doses of a possible vaccine for the deadly Ebola virus to launch an initial round of human testing.
NewLink Genetics Chief Financial Officer Gordon Link says the timing of the trials is uncertain, but the company is receiving help from a number of sources to speed up the process.
NewLink Genetics Corporation says the vaccine has been 100 percent effective in preventing deadly Ebola infections in non-human primates, and it acts quickly enough to show effectiveness in animals that received a typically lethal dose of the virus.
There is no proven treatment or vaccine for Ebola. A current outbreak of the virus in West Africa is the biggest in history. It has killed more than 1,000 people.
Former Officer May Be Re-sentenced For 2008 Beating
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal appeals court says a former Des Moines police officer sentenced to less than two years in prison for severely beating a man during a 2008 traffic stop should serve much longer.
A three-member panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says Mersed Dautovic's sentence was unreasonably lenient and ordered the case returned to federal district court for resentencing.
Guidelines placed the sentence at between 11 and 14 years but Dautovic served a year and eight months before his release in January.
The judges say Dautovic's beating of Octavius Bonds was egregious and warrants a stiffer sentence.
Dautovic was convicted in August 2012 of using excessive force and obstructing justice.
His attorney says he will seek a rehearing and consider an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Historic Des Moines House Set For Demolition
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A 54-year-old mansion on Des Moines' south side prized by preservationists could be torn down soon after the city issued a demolition permit.
The city issued the demolition permit for the home, which was owned by David and Liz Kruidenier. David Kruidenier was an executive at The Des Moines Register and Tribune Co. and Liz Kruidenier was an attorney and civil rights advocate.
David Kruidenier died in 2006. His wife died in 2011.
Preservationists say the house is a significant example of midcentury modern architecture. Steve Wilke-Shapiro, of the Des Moines Rehabbers Club, calls it a "museum of midcentury development."
The new owners, who bought the property for $645,000, say structural problems make demolition necessary.
Demolition could begin in a week or two.
North Dakota Sues Over Missouri River Flooding
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota has become the sixth state to have residents join a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers over Missouri River flood damage.
Flooding in previous years - particularly 2011 - prompted a March lawsuit by more than 200 landowners in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.
Plaintiff's attorney Eddie Smith says some people in North Dakota have now joined the lawsuit, and many more are expected after informational meetings in Bismarck this week.
Rural Mandan homeowner Judy Masset says the lawsuit isn't just about being compensated for damage but also about getting the corps to make flood control a priority.
The federal government has said the corps shouldn't be blamed for major flooding on the river because the management system doesn't guarantee a flood-free zone.
Water Runoff Is Above Normal Levels
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Runoff continues to be above normal in the upper Missouri River basin, but it isn't leading to any flooding concerns.
The Army Corps of Engineers says runoff above Sioux City, Iowa, in July was 33 percent above normal. Water management chief Jody Farhat says July precipitation in the region was below normal but high runoff persists in some areas because of heavy rains in June.
The reservoir system still has three-fourths of its flood storage capacity available. Farhat says water in flood control zones will be released during the rest of the year to serve water supply needs and downstream navigation. The corps earlier announced a full-service eight-month navigation season downstream.
Iowa And Nebraska State Fairs Compete For Omaha Visitors
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - The Nebraska State Fair's new home in Grand Island places it closer to the center of the state, but the move from Lincoln four years ago has created a potential opening for Iowa.
Iowa State Fair organizers are working to attract visitors from Omaha, which sits halfway between Nebraska's fair in Grand Island and Iowa's in Des Moines.
Both fairs are advertising to Omaha residents, but organizers say they aren't competing. They argue that the fairs are scheduled at different times of the month, and offer different concerts and events.
Marla Calico of the International Association of Fairs and Expositions says fairs want to draw as many patrons as possible, but attendance alone isn't the best way to measure success. Sometimes, revenue will increase even when turnout is down.