DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A budget aide to Gov. Terry Branstad has released details about $11.5 million in cuts that will help close a mid-year budget shortfall. The Iowa Legislature earlier passed a budget bill with roughly $117 million in cuts. David Roederer, with the Iowa Department of Management, indicated at the time that $11.5 million of that amount would come from unspecified cuts. He’s now disclosing that includes an extra $2.7 million in cuts to Iowa’s public universities and $1.7 million to community colleges.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska State Patrol says all lanes of Interstate 80 have reopened after being closed earlier Friday because of blizzard-like conditions. A slow-moving storm dropped more than 2 feet of snow in parts of western Nebraska as it moves east through Iowa. A winter weather advisory remained in effect late Friday afternoon for east-central Nebraska and parts of western Iowa into northeastern Iowa. A blizzard warning remained in effect for a portion of northwestern and northern Iowa.
BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) – A man shot by an officer during a standoff at a Bettendorf store has pleaded not guilty to several charges. Court records say 19-year-old Joshua Price filed the written pleas Thursday to kidnapping, burglary and assault. Authorities say Price had taken the store manager hostage on Dec. 19 after ordering him to evacuate the store. Authorities say Price was carrying only an airsoft gun that looked like a deadly handgun.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A civil liberties group is taking up the case of a central Iowa transgender high school student who was ordered to wash “love trumps hate” written on his arm or be sent home. The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa says the incident happened in November at Newton High School. The ACLU says a teacher also repeatedly referred to the student as “girl,” even though he openly identifies as male.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel has filed an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court challenging a ruling striking down GOP-drawn legislative boundaries as unconstitutional. Schimel filed the appeal with the nation’s highest court on Friday. Schimel had said he would appeal since a panel of judges last month struck down the maps and ordered the Republican-controlled Legislature to draw new boundaries.
HAYWARD, Wis. (AP) – Organizers of the American Birkebeiner ski race have canceled this year’s event in northern Wisconsin. A snow storm that’s dumped more than 10 inches of snow in parts of Wisconsin since Thursday missed the Hayward and Cable area where the annual cross-country race is held. Record high temperatures and rain recently have left the Birkie course unsafe for a race.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after pleading no contest to cutting off a woman’s finger as part of a ritual to honor a fellow rap music fan. Jonathan Schrap was sentenced Friday. Prosecutors say he and others gathered in August to remember an Insane Clown Posse fan who died. They say Schrap used a machete to cut a woman’s arm and cut off her right pinky finger.
CHICAGO (AP) – Three federal court judges are expressing deep skepticism over claims that Wisconsin Republicans deliberately made it harder for minorities to vote. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday on arguments in the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals over cases related to several Wisconsin voting laws. Judges Frank Easterbrook, Michael Kanne and Diane Sykes showed that they had doubts about lower court rulings that struck down voting rules set by Gov. Scott Walker and fellow Republican lawmakers.
CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Police Department says it conducted a number of overnight raids that resulted in the arrest of 81 people and the seizing of drugs and several guns. Anthony Riccio, chief of the department’s organized crime unit, says one of the guns taken off the street was capable of firing up to 50 bullets in seconds. Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi on Friday said 62 of the people arrested were convicted felons, and 14 were on parole for selling drugs. He adds 19 others had previous gun arrests.
WASHINGTON (AP) – The National Governors Association is holding its winter meeting this weekend and President Donald Trump has put some moderate Republican governor’s in an awkward spot. Republicans hold 27 of the 38 governorships up for election this year and next, and those in Democratic-leaning states know they need to appease some Democratic and independent voters to remain in office.
WHEATON, Ill. (AP) – A suburban Chicago man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the shooting death of his mother. A DuPage County jury deliberated two hours Thursday before finding Michael Zaky Bassaly of Downers Grove guilty of murdering 61-year-old Yvonne Bassaly. The woman was shot in the head in August 2013 as she sat in the backseat of her car parked in the parking lot of a Coptic Christian church in Burr Ridge.
URBANA, Ill. (AP) – University of Illinois veterans have organized a clothing drive for victims of a fire in Danville that killed one veteran and displaced others. The News-Gazette reports the Illini Veterans collected more than a dozen boxes and large garbage bags of clothing and shoes to distribute to the veterans in need. Seventy-five-year-old David R. Singleton was killed in the fire at a veterans’ group home Feb. 2.