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Regional News

Iowa News

November 21, 2019

GRIMES, Iowa (AP) – Amazon has confirmed its plans to open a delivery station in the Des Moines suburb of Grimes. The Des Moines Register reports that Amazon broke the news Wednesday in a news release. The “last mile” distribution site is expected to open in 2020. Such sites are the last stop from Amazon’s delivery centers to customers’ homes. Amazon says the station will speed up deliveries for customers in the Des Moines area and will create hundreds of part-time and full-time jobs starting at $15 an hour.

LAS VEGAS (AP) – A defense lawyer says a 61-year-old Las Vegas man will appeal his conviction and five-year federal prison sentence for illegally growing marijuana in Oregon and selling it in Iowa. Attorney Michael Pariente said Wednesday he believes Chief U.S. District Judge John Jarvey in Davenport, Iowa, improperly instructed the jury that found Oliver “Sonny” Maupin guilty in June of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute pot.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The former office manager of the Iowa City Area Development Group is facing federal charges for a 13-year theft scheme in which she misspent more than a half-million dollars. Court documents show that Sheri Jelinek is charged with seven counts of wire fraud. A plea agreement signed earlier this month calls for Jelinek to plead guilty to those charges, which each carry up to 20 years in prison.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – The Nebraska corrections department is asking more than 600 inmates to step forward if they want to complete their sentences in facilities in their home states to ease prison overcrowding. The department wrote to prisoners that completing their sentences in the other states could place them closer to family and friends. A spokesman for the prisons department in neighboring Iowa says his department would consider whether transfers would be in the best interests of the inmates.

Illinois News

November 21, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art has announced it raised $6 million with a benefit art auction, making it one of the most successful fundraisers in the institution’s history. The highest winning bid at the Nov. 16 auction was $1,150,000 for the 2018 painting “Untitled” by American artist Richard Prince, who donated the art. Museum officials say the event featured work by some of the world’s most influential contemporary artists currently working.

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago Board of Education has approved deals with teachers and support staff that ends labor strife that included an 11-day strike. Chicago teachers last week approved the five-year contract deal that includes pay raises, $35 million to enforce limits on class sizes and a pledge to supply each school with a nurse and a social worker. The board on Wednesday also passed a new school calendar to make up five of the 11 days students missed during the strike.

CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago police say a 15-year-old high school student who was wounded in a gun fight between a suspected bank robber and investigators was likely shot by a suburban police officer. First Deputy Supt. Anthony Riccio says the robbery happened in Des Plaines and that a Des Plaines officer pursued the suspect into Chicago. The suspect ran into a store where the Lane Tech High School sophomore was working. The officer followed and gunfire was exchanged.

CHICAGO (AP) – Chicago will continue in its efforts to recover the cost of the investigation into claims by former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett that he was the victim of a racist and homophobic attack. Smollett’s attorneys on Tuesday filed a counterclaim against the city, accusing Chicago of malicious prosecution that caused humiliation and extreme distress. A spokesman for Chicago’s law department says a judge has already ruled for the city and that he expects success in defeating the counterclaims.

Wisconsin News

November 21, 2019

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) – The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire has suspended five football players after racist messages were shared on Snapchat. The messages included a picture of a cross burning at a Ku Klux Klan rally and referred to the Black Male Empowerment group on campus. UW-Eau Claire Chancellor James Schmidt tweeted that the campus “will not tolerate this racist action.” Since an investigation is underway, the names of the suspended students were not released.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson is taking on the unusual and high-profile role of being one of President Donald Trump’s most vocal supporters at the same time Johnson has emerged as a witness to key meetings and conversations at the heart of the ongoing impeachment inquiry. Despite his personal involvement and concerns he raised about Trump’s actions, the former plastics manufacturer has said he won’t step down from his role as a juror if there’s a Senate trial on impeaching Trump.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Tony Evers’ approval rating has dropped below 50% as the first-term Democrat continues to butt heads with the Republican-controlled Legislature. The latest Marquette University Law School poll out Wednesday also shows the Legislature’s approval rating has dipped. Evers’ approval rating was at 47% this month, compared with 52% in October. The Legislature had a similar drop from 52% to 48%.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Wisconsin National Guard’s leader is shedding more light on who’s investigating whether commanders are retaliating against a soldier who reported multiple incidents of sexual assault and harassment within his unit. Wisconsin Air National Guard Master Sgt. Jay Ellis’ complaints last year have spurred two federal investigations that are still ongoing. Ellis has alleged his superiors are trying to discharge him and deny him retirement benefits in retaliation.