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Iowa News

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) – Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids has hired a new president. Television station KCRG reports that 59-year-old Lori Sundberg, the current president of Carl Sandburg College in Illinois, announced Thursday morning that she had been hired by the Iowa college. Sundberg will continue to serve as the Illinois college’s president through June 30. She’ll take over at Kirkwood Community College on Aug. 1.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A jury has convicted an Iowa woman of murder in the starvation death of her 16-year-old daughter. Jurors reached their decision Thursday, finding 43-year-old Nicole Finn guilty of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child endangerment in the October 2016 death of Natalie Finn. The West Des Moines teen weighed only 85 pounds when she died. The prosecution said Nicole Finn sought to kill and torment three of her children, including Natalie. The defense says Nicole Finn was detached from reality.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Hundreds of Muscatine residents who settled lawsuits against a local polluter will be given the chance to void the deals and rejoin a class-action lawsuit. District Judge Tom Reidel says he has “significant doubt” that residents who opted out of the class had a full understanding of deals they signed with Grain Processing Corp.

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) – The trial has begun for a former boarding school director who is accused of sexually and physically abusing several children who attended the now-defunct school in southeast Iowa. The Hawk Eye reports that testimonies began Wednesday at South Lee County District Court in the trial of Benjamin Trane, who owned and operated Midwest Academy in Keokuk. Trane has pleaded not guilty to sexual abuse, sexual exploitation and child endangerment charges.

Wisconsin News

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) – A jury in La Crosse County found a man guilty of fatally beating his wife and trying to conceal her death by staging a car accident. The jury deliberated more than nine hours before finding Todd Kenhammer guilty of first degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors said he lost control and fatally beat his wife. Kenhammer told investigators his wife was killed when a pipe from a passing truck flew through their vehicle windshield.

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker Paul Ryan is denying reports that he plans to leave Congress after the Republicans’ treasured tax bill is approved. But several GOP operatives told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity that there have long been whispers that the 19-year House veteran wouldn’t keep the post for a long time and a departure wouldn’t be surprising. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Donald Trump called Ryan and said he’d be unhappy if Ryan left Congress.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Leaders of a new bipartisan task force tackling ways to improve Wisconsin’s much-maligned school funding formula are realistic about chances any changes will be made. The panel that met for the first time Thursday is the latest in a long line of groups that have studied ways to improve the formula. Sen. Luther Olsen is co-chair of the panel and says he doesn’t want this latest study to “gather dust.”

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) – Appleton police say they’re arrested a man for his 12th drunken driving offense. The 53-year-old Green Bay man was booked into the Outagamie County Jail early Thursday. Police say an officer spotted the man driving without his vehicle headlights on and pulled him over. The man pleaded no contest to his 11th drunken driving offense in 2012 and was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison.

Illinois News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) – Anyone celebrating on New Year’s Eve in northern Illinois’ Winnebago County can forget about counting on the sheriff’s department for a ride home this year. The Register Star reports that Sheriff Gary Caruana says that the current budget crunch makes the department’s annual New Year’s Eve Ride Home Program impossible this year. Caruana says the program that would have been in its 37th year had to be discontinued.

CHICAGO (AP) – Federal authorities in Chicago say an information technology specialist has been indicted on charges of cyber hacking after he allegedly damaged the servers of a suburban company after he was fired. In a news release, the U.S. Attorney’s office says that in the indictment this week, Edward Soybel is accused of accessing servers of the Lake Forest-based W.W. Grainger Inc. several times last year and damaging the company’s automatic inventory management program.

ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) – A northern Illinois man has been sentenced to 90 years for fatally shooting a man and his dog in 2015 and then setting the house on fire. The Rockford Register Star reports 31-year-old Delano L. Foreman was sentenced Thursday. A jury convicted him of killing 67-year-old Henry Murphy.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to 69 years in a 2016 fatal shooting during a party near the University of Illinois. Judge Roger Webber sentenced Robbie Patton Thursday. Patton was convicted in September of first-degree murder for 22-year-old George Korchev’s death. Patton was also was convicted of aggravated battery with a firearm for wounding three others.