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Iowa News

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Former University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen will serve as interim president of Iowa State University following the resignation of Steven Leath. The Press-Citizen reported Friday that Allen will begin his interim role on May 9. His annual salary will be $525,000 – the same as Leath. Leath announced his resignation Monday to take the president’s job at Auburn University.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City man accused of firing at a Woodbury County sheriff’s deputy has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder. The Sioux City Journal reports that 24-year-old Melvin Spencer entered the plea Friday before in Woodbury County District Court. Authorities say a deputy had tried to pull over a vehicle carrying Spencer around 3:30 a.m. Feb. 26 and Spencer opened fire at the deputy, who shot back. Neither Spencer nor the deputy was injured, although another man in the car was.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A new report says Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.2 percent in February, its lowest level since 2001. Iowa Workforce Development announced Friday that the rate was two-tenths of a point lower than the 3.4 percent in January and was down six-tenths of a point from 3.8 percent a year ago. The national rate dropped to 4.7 percent last month from 4.8 percent in January.

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) – The mayor of Muscatine will have to wait until next month to defend herself to the City Council, which is considering her removal from office. The Muscatine Journal reports that the council met for 11 hours Thursday and listened to witnesses and lawyers talk about Mayor Diana Broderson. Broderson never got a chance to speak, however, so the council decided to reconvene April 1.

Wisconsin News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker calls the pulling of the Republican health care overhaul bill “disappointing.” Walker issued a brief two-sentence statement Friday after House Speaker Paul Ryan canceled a planned vote on the bill. Walker earlier on Friday urged the House to take action on replacing the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” Walker says in his statement that “Obamacare was broken from the beginning and every day it has not been fixed is disappointing.”

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The older brother of the suspect in a shooting spree says his younger brother called him to say goodbye during a standoff with police. Vajloogzeb (Vah-loong-jay) Vaj says his brother, Nengmy (NING’ – my) Vang, told him police had shot him and thought he was dying. Vaj says his brother told him police were after him because he had shot two people. Investigators allege he shot and killed four people.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin’s Republican attorney general is telling the U.S. Supreme Court that a ruling striking down GOP-drawn legislative boundaries in the state as unconstitutional gerrymandering is “unprecedented.” Attorney General Brad Schimel presented the state’s legal arguments in a court filing in the case Friday. Schimel had notified the court of his intent to appeal last month, but did not make any arguments then. Schimel argues the maps are in “full compliance” with the law.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A bipartisan group of 40 state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would prohibit former lawmakers from becoming lobbyists for at least a year after they leave office. Under the bill, violators would be subject to a fine of up to $5,000 and, in some cases, up to a year in prison.

Illinois News

CHICAGO (AP) – Maps released by the Chicago Police Department show shootings and ambulance runs for heroin overdoses on the city’s West Side overlap almost exactly. Police analysts reviewed 2016 Chicago Fire Department calls for opioid overdoses on the West Side. They looked at cases in which paramedics administered a heroin-treatment drug called NARCAN. Narcotics investigator Lt. Matthew Cline says the use of NARCAN is in areas where the city has the largest concentrations of open-air markets.

CHICAGO (AP) – An immigration judge in Chicago has granted asylum to a Singapore teen whose online posts criticizing his government landed him in jail. Judge Samuel Cole issued a 13-page decision Friday saying Amos Yee established he’s suffered past political persecution because of his political opinion and could remain in the U.S. Yee has been detained by immigration officials since December when he arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation that Chicago officials hoped would bolster the city’s sagging pension systems. The Republican criticized the plan as too limited and argued the state should take tackle the state’s onerous pension debt while shoring up municipal retirement accounts. The Chicago legislation was intended to deal with laborers’ and municipal workers’ pension accounts. Fire and police systems are separate.

CHICAGO (AP) – The 15-year-old Chicago girl who authorities say was raped while around 40 people viewed it live on Facebook has been relocated with her family. The Chicago Sun-Times reports police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said in an email Friday that the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office offered the girl and her family relocation services. He added the girl “is in a safe place.” No arrests have been made in the case. Authorities say the investigation is making progress.