DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A state judge has ruled that the Iowa Department of Transportation has the authority to order cities to remove automated traffic-enforcement cameras from highways and interstates. The Des Moines Register reports that the ruling Thursday is in response to a request for judicial review filed by Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Muscatine in 2015. The cities made the request after the DOT ordered some speed cameras turned off because they did not make interstate highways safer.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Legislature approved an expanded medical marijuana oil program in the final hours of its session, but advocates remain skeptical that it will have enough impact. The Republican-controlled chambers approved a bill to allow the oil to treat nine conditions, including cancer and multiple sclerosis. Critics say a cap on the strength of the oil that can be used limits the medical benefit.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The state of Iowa has spent $55,000 so far defending itself against a lawsuit challenging a new collective bargaining law. An invoice reviewed this week by a state council shows the Belin McCormick law firm in Des Moines charged the amount on behalf of four lawyers and a paralegal. They worked more than 175 hours between Feb. 20 and March 30 on a lawsuit filed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City man found guilty last month of second-degree murder for the stabbing death of another man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison. Sioux City television station KTIV reports that 48-year-old Elias Wanatee was sentenced Thursday in Pottawattamie County for the February 2016 death of 50-year-old Vernon Mace, his girlfriend’s uncle. Officials say Wanatee will be eligible for parole in 35 years.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republican lawmakers are pushing a plan to require the University of Wisconsin System to discipline students who disrupt speeches and presentations, and force campuses to remain neutral on public issues. The bill comes as free speech issues have grown more contentious on college campuses nationwide and conservatives worry that right-wing speakers aren’t given the same treatment on campus as liberal presenters.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A state dairy group says most of the 58 dairy farms desperately looking for new milk buyers before a Monday deadline have found them. The Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative said in a news release Thursday the group believes most farmers dropped by Grassland Dairy earlier this month have found new buyers.
MILWAUKEE (AP) – A Wisconsin man says he was removed from a Delta Air Lines flight this month after using the bathroom against crew instructions shortly before takeoff. Kima Hamilton says he was waiting to take off from Atlanta to Milwaukee on April 18 when he had an urgent need to use the bathroom. Delta says it’s imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions, especially at critical points of takeoff and landing.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A top psychologist at Wisconsin’s troubled youth prison was fired for allegedly ignoring the requests of dozens of inmates who asked for psychological help. Records obtained by The Associated Press show Dr. D. Jeremy John was accused in December of not following up with 26 youth inmates at the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake facility. John appealed and the two sides since agreed to characterize his departure as a resignation.
CHICAGO (AP) – Immigrant groups and their allies have joined forces to carry out marches, rallies and protests in cities nationwide next week to mark May Day, saying there’s renewed momentum to fight back against Trump administration policies. Activists in major cities including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles expect tens of thousands of people to participate in Monday demonstrations. Around the world, union members have traditionally marched on May 1 for workers’ rights.
CHICAGO (AP) – A federal judge in Chicago is set to sentence the former head of the nation’s third-largest school district for steering $23 million in city contracts to education firms for $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks. Barbara Byrd-Bennett faces up to 20 years behind bars Friday, with prosecutors seeking 7 1/2 years and the defense asking for 3 1/2. A defense filing says Byrd-Bennett feels “crushing humiliation and shame” for what she’s done.
CHICAGO (AP) – A Chicago man who eluded authorities for nearly 20 years in a sexual assault case and was placed on the FBI’s most wanted list has been ordered held without bond. Fidel Urbina was returned to the U.S. this week from Mexico. Urbina is accused in the beating and rape of a woman in March 1998. He also allegedly beat, raped and strangled a second woman to death in October 1998.
CHICAGO (AP) – The head of security at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport has been fired. O’Hare is where a passenger was dragged off a United Airlines flight. Thursday’s announcement by the Department of Aviation simply states Jeffrey Redding “has been terminated from his duties” at O’Hare and Midway airports. No reason was given. Redding has been embroiled in controversy after a published report he was fired from a previous job for sexual harassment.