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Iowa News

December 8, 2019

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) — A northeastern Iowa woman has been charged with non-support of a dependent adult in the May death of a 77-year-old woman who had suffered severe burns. The Bremer County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release that 56-year-old Debra Kleppe, of Tripoli, was charged Thursday in the death of Sylvia Schwerin, of Sumner.


WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Police in central Iowa say a fleeing suspect has been shot by a Clive officer after the suspect pointed a handgun at the officer. The Clive Police Department says in a news release that the shooting happened in West Des Moines early Saturday morning following a brief high-speed chase on Interstate 235 and, later, on foot. Police say an officer chasing one suspect between houses shot the suspect after the fleeing man pointed a handgun at the officer.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials at a Des Moines zoo say a 3-month-old seal pup born there has died. Blank Park Zoo officials say the pup, born Aug. 20 and named “Lucy,” died on Nove. 24. A news release issued by the zoo said a necropsy showed Lucy died after suffering from “failure to thrive.” Zoo spokesman Ryan Bickel says that means the pup wasn’t processing enough calories to survive.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Des Moines sports radio host accused of swindling at least eight people out of $1.5 million has pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. The Des Moines Register reports that 60-year-old Marty Tirrell entered the plea Friday in federal court. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced on April 7. Prosecutors say Tirrell told investors he could buy sports tickets with their money, resell them, and split the profit with them. But prosecutors say Tirrell soon began lying to the victims and sending them bad checks while spending their money on personal items or to pay back other investors.

Wisconsin News

December 8, 2019

Madison, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers praised scientists as he lit the state Capitol’s “holiday tree.” Meanwhile, a high school choir sang Christmas carols. The Friday ceremony was an odd juxtaposition of the two sides of the state’s debate over the tree’s symbolism. Former Republican Gov. Scott Walker declared the tree a Christmas tree in 2011 but Evers, a Democrat, started calling it a “holiday tree” this year and sought submissions of science-themed ornaments. The governor lit the evergreen following a speech in which he called it “a celebration of science.” A choir sang Christmas carols, including “”O Christmas Tree” and “O Come All Ye Faithful.”


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents has approved 2% pay raises for all 13 system chancellors. The raises range from $4,488 to $11,652. UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank got the biggest dollar raise, bumping her salary from $582,617 to $594,269. Ten chancellors shared more than $270,000 in performance raises last year.


MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new audit has found that the state of Wisconsin has not properly tracked all residential properties it owns that are leased to state employees like park rangers and University of Wisconsin faculty. The report released Friday by the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau says that mismanagement resulted in the undercharging of nearly $63,000 in rent this year alone because no increases had been implemented since 1998.


OSHKOSH, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin sheriff is urging reporters not to disclose the name of a 16-year-old high school student who was shot after he stabbed a police officer. Winnebago County Sheriff John Matz says he’s afraid publishing the name will lead to copycat incidents. Oshkosh West High School resource officer Michael Wissink shot the student Tuesday after the boy allegedly stabbed him in his office. Wissink survived his wounds. The teen is being held in the Winnebago County Jail and could face charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide as an adult.

Illinois News

December 8, 2019

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials want travelers’ opinions on the state’s transportation systems. An online survey that opened this week and runs through Dec. 31  asks travelers to weigh in on everything from cleanliness of Illinois roads to other drivers’  behavior. The Illinois Department of Transportation says the annual survey has been done since 2001. The agency says the information collected is vital to improving the transportation system.


ORLAND PARK, Ill. (AP) — A 73-year-old priest who had attended a Christmas party is charged in the death of a Chicago-area teacher who was hit by a car. Police say the Rev. Paul Burak was taken into custody Thursday, a day after Margaret “Rone” Leja was killed while leaving the same party at a restaurant in Orland Park. Leja was a teacher at St.  Michael School in Orland Park. Burak is a retired parish pastor. He’s charged with aggravated driving under the influence of alcohol and leaving the scene of a fatal accident.


CHICAGO (AP) — Federal officials are investigating whether the Chicago Cubs’ ongoing $1 billion renovation of Wrigley Field provides adequate wheelchair access. The Cubs have filed notice of the review in Chicago federal court, where the team is defending itself against a lawsuit filed by a wheelchair user who alleges the stadium’s seating doesn’t meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards.


URBANA, Ill. (AP) — The University of Illinois campuses have adopted a new “box blind” policy, where it will no longer require students to disclose their criminal background during the initial application process. Arguing that it discouraged potential students from applying, a student-led coalition urged the university to remove questions about an individual’s criminal and disciplinary history. For safety concerns or potential threats, the policy still allows the university to ask about any criminal history, but only after an admissions decision has been made.