Fourth Guilty Plea In New Year’s Day Fatal Shooting
(Sioux City, IA) — The fourth and final person charged in connection to a fatal 2021 shooting in Sioux City has pleaded guilty. Twenty-one-year-old Liliana Gutierrez agreed to plead guilty to one count of accessory after the fact and two counts of reckless use of a firearm. Three other defendants, all men, pleaded guilty to second degree murder charges and received sentences of 50 to 55 years. They shot into a home on New Year’s Day 2021, killing Mia Kritis and wounding three others. Siouxland News says Gutierrez will be sentenced on April 11th.
Iowa Lawmakers to Consider Teacher/Child Abuse Reporting Bill
(Des Moines, IA) — An Iowa House is scheduled today (Tuesday) to act on a bill designed to keep better tabs on teachers accused of child abuse. K-C-C-I T-V reports the bill would create committees under the Department of Education to investigate each reported incident and decide whether a teacher should be placed on leave while under investigation. Republican Representative Dustin Hite says complaints are not being taken seriously and “not being written down,” making it harder to get rid of abusive teachers. The bill would also require the collection of teacher misconduct complaints and regulate communications between the state and school districts over hiring decisions.
Iowans Sound Off on House GOP Proposed Tax Cut
(Des Moines, IA) — Several speakers at a public hearing made pleas for additions to the tax plan House Republicans have proposed, while others blasted the bill’s central theme of dramatically reducing the personal income tax rate. J-D Davis of the Iowa Association of Business and Industry praised elements of the House plan but made the pitch for adding a corporate tax cut. He said he hopes “that all categories of businesses are considered” in the final product. Anne (ANN) Discher (DISH-er) of Common Good Iowa told lawmakers that low-and-moderate-income Iowans already pay more in state and local taxes than those at the top of the income ladder. She says the bill will make Iowa’s “already unfair tax system even more unfair.”
Iowa Successfully Battling Invasive Moths
(Des Moines, IA) — An invasive moth that can eat away the leaves of trees has so far been held in check in Iowa. The D-N-R’s Tivon Feeley, monitors the gypsy moth — which is now known as the spongy moth. He says they’ve made a few captures statewide this past year, but they are pretty low in number, and mainly in northeast Iowa. Spongy moth caterpillars feed off of more than 300 species of trees, but Feeley says they prefer oaks. Feeley says in addition to trees, the moths have been known to lay eggs underneath R-V tires and on boats. The state currently has about 18-hundred spongy moth traps in nine northeast Iowa counties.