Iowa State Representative Landon of Ankeny Dies
(Ankeny, IA) — Iowa lawmakers are mourning the loss of Republican State Representative John Landon of Ankeny. A post on Landon’s Facebook page says he was surrounded by his family as he died Thursday afternoon at age 71. Landon grew up near State Center, enlisted in the Navy Seabees and served in Vietnam before a career in agribusiness. He retired in 2012 when he first ran for the Iowa House. Speaker Pat Grassley called Landon a “humble public servant” who was dedicated to his work “all the way until his final day.” Governor Reynolds issued a statement describing Landon as “a trusted, genuine and caring person.” Ankeny Democrats said Landon was a “dedicated public servant and a respected Ankeny champion.”
Ernst Cheers Bipartisan Passage of Security Bill That Helps Afghans
(Washington, DC) — Senator Joni Ernst is praising House and Senate passage of a security-related bill that helps Afghan civilians who worked with the U-S military. The measure includes money for processing special immigrant visas as well as travel and housing assistance. Ernst said “it will help us move some of those Afghan interpreters, if they get cleared through the State Department, then we can start moving them out of Afghanistan.” Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Ottumwa worked on the proposal in the House. The bill’s main purpose is to ensure the budget for the Capitol Police doesn’t run out of money after the unexpected expenses of responding to the January 6th attack. There’s also money to reimburse National Guard units that were deployed to Washington to provide security.
Man Convicted in Drug-Related Murder of Chris Bagley in Cedar Rapids
(Cedar Rapids, IA) — A Cedar Rapids man faces up to 50 years in prison for the 2018 death of 31-year-old Chris Bagley. Drew Blahnik was found guilty of second-degree murder and two other charges Thursday after two days of jury deliberations. Prosecutors say Blahnik fatally stabbed Bagley during a fight for allegedly stealing money from a drug dealer. Bagley’s body was found buried in a Cedar Rapids yard in March 2019. Defense attorneys claimed that Blahnik killed Bagley in self defense. His sentencing hearing is October 12th.
Iowa Hawkeye Stars Wieskamp and Garza Selected in NBA Draft
(Brooklyn, NY) — Two Iowa Hawkeyes will be playing for N-B-A teams next season. The San Antonio Spurs selected Joe Wieskamp with the 41st overall pick in the N-B-A Draft Thursday night. John Wooden Player of the Year Luka Garza was also taken in the second round at number 52 by the Detroit Pistons. Wieskamp and Garza are Iowa’s first N-B-A draft picks since Aaron White in 2015.