Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Asks Lawmakers To Direct More Funding To Create More “Family Treatment Courts”
(Des Moines) — The Iowa legislature heard from Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice, Susan Christensen as she delivered the “Condition of the Judiciary” address Wednesday morning. Christensen, a mother of five and grandmother of six, spoke about how the courts can offer hope to individuals. The Iowa
Supreme Court justice informed the state legislature that the court system may look different, but it did not succumb to the challenges of COVID-19.
Christensen talked about her priorities, and says her immediate priority is to effectively offer justice through the Iowa courts system during the era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Long-term priorities involve child welfare. Christiansen refers to herself as the “Cookie Judge” and would often offer home-baked cookies to children caught up in a child welfare case.
Christensen expanded on her discussion focusing on child welfare as her priorities, saying more funding is needed to assist families to stay together when an individual faces a crisis.
The Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice says there are two important pilot projects that evolved from the “Family First” legislation.
Christensen says the second pilot project was entitled: “Four questions–Seven Judges. She says it was the brain-child of Judge Bill Owens in Ottumwa and Linnae Nicol from West Union, and they asked the question, “How can we avoid removing children from their families?” Christensen says the pilot
project has now involved much more than the original seven judges, and is being used throughout the court system across the state of Iowa.
Christensen says her second priority is to elevate the presence of family treatment courts throughout the state. She says there are only 12 family treatment courts in Iowa. The closest located at Woodbury County.
Christensen introduced a guest of hers inside the legislative chambers who has successfully participated in a family treatment court, and kicked his addiction to methamphetamine, and has been sober for more than three years, and has been working at a manufacturing plant at Atlantic, Iowa.
Furthermore, the individual was recently recognized by his company for his outstanding work at the manufacturing facility.
(photo contributed. Audio courtesy of Iowa Public Television)
Iowa Republicans Plan to Vote Against Impeaching President Trump
(Washington, DC) — The three Iowa Republicans who were just sworn in as members of the U-S House say they will vote “no” today (Wednesday) on impeaching President Trump. The New York Times reported Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will not stand in the way of an impeachment trial in
the Senate and that he is “done” with Trump. Liz Cheney, the third-ranking Republican in the U-S House, will vote to impeach the president saying, “Trump summoned the mob” and “lit the flame” that led to violence in the U-S Capitol a week ago. G-O-P Representatives Ashley Hinson of Marion, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa and Randy Feenstra of Hull oppose
impeachment and say it’s time to unify the country. Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne of West Des Moines tweeted that impeachment “is the only Constitutional option left to deal with the threat Trump poses to the safety of the country and its citizens.”
Linn County Authorities Investigate Deadly Skid Loader Accident
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — Authorities in Linn County are investigating a deadly accident involving heavy machinery near Cedar Rapids. Sheriff’s deputies say a man was using a skid loader to clear downed trees Tuesday afternoon when he
backed over a man who was helping him. The co-worker died at the scene. The victim hasn’t been identified.
Ex-Belle Plaine Police Officer Pleads Guilty to Federal Child Porn Charges
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — A former Belle Plaine police officer is pleading guilty to federal child pornography charges. The U-S Attorney’s Office says 34-year-old Jared Daily admitted to using a cell phone to access child porn from January through June of last year. Some of the images featured prepubescent children. Daily resigned from the Belle Plaine Police Department in September. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal
prison and a 250-thousand-dollar fine.
Luther College Students Petition to Continue Virtual Learning
(Decorah, IA) — More than 700 students at Luther College are not ready to return for in-person classes. A petition signed by about a third of student body asks the private college in Decorah to considering all virtual learning.
They are concerned about a January 29th break with students leaving campus and possible contracting COVID-19. Luther College President Jennifer Ward said a downward trend of local indicators prompted the decision to have student come back to in-person learning. The two-week average positivity rate in Winneshiek County was ten percent. Ward is asking students not to go home during the upcoming six-day break.