July 2, 2020
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Police in Waterloo are investigating after dozens of gravestones were damaged in a late-night vandalism spree. Up to 50 gravestones were toppled or moved at Elmwood Cemetery sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning. Cemetery manager Joe Fox told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that damage ranged from huge markers to a small headstone for a 2-month-old baby named Allen dating from the 1800s. Waterloo police photographed the damage and collected evidence but had made no arrests as of Tuesday night.
DES MOINES, Iowa. (AP) — Police used tear gas and arrested people at the Iowa Capitol during a protest to persuade Gov. Kim Reynolds to restore voting rights to felons. KCCI reports the police said protesters started the confrontation on Wednesday but protesters accused law enforcement of mishandling the arrests. Videos from the scene show Iowa State Patrol troopers taking some protesters to the ground while others tried to pull authorities away. Des Moines police arrived and more arrests were made. Police say at least 15 people were arrested. Two juveniles also were taken into custody.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s executive branch is getting a grim gift from a company that has long made uniforms for meatpacking workers: a free supply of 500 body bags. Dickson Industries is donating the body bags as the state prepares for a worst-case scenario in which the coronavirus or another health emergency would overwhelm hospitals and medical examiners. The Des Moines-based company makes garments and products for the food processing, medical and other industries, including coats and insulated jackets for meatpacking workers. A state spokesman says the body bags will be kept in a state stockpile, just like 500 ventilators the state is purchasing.
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A new survey of business leaders released Wednesday suggests the economy has begun to recover as businesses reopened in the past month in nine Midwest and Plains states. But Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said the region’s economy remains weaker than before the coronavirus outbreak began. And business leaders expect the economy to continue improving over the next six months. The region’s overall index jumped into positive territory at 50.3 in June from May’s 43.5. Any score above 50 suggests growth, while scores below 50 suggest decline. The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
July 2, 2020
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee police say two men are dead after a shooting. The double fatal shooting happened around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday on South 19th Street. The victims are a 34-year-old man and a 33-year-old man, both from Milwaukee. Police are investigating what led up to the shooting. The deaths follow two other fatal shootings in Milwaukee in less than 24 hours. A 16-year-old girl was found dead of a gunshot wound just before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. And a 20-year-old man was found shot and killed around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports no arrests have been made in those two cases.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court says it won’t hear oral arguments in a lawsuit seeking to purge thousands of voters from the rolls until at least September, raising questions about whether the justices will rule before the Nov. 3 presidential election. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the justices voted 5-2 Tuesday to take up the case as part of their regular schedule. That means the earliest that oral arguments could be held is Sept. 29. Conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty sued last year to remove from the rolls about 129,000 voters who may have moved.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Public health officials are closing indoor service at bars in Madison as the Fourth of July weekend approaches and as the number of reported coronavirus cases accelerate. Many of the new cases involve young people in Wisconsin’s largest college community. The order from Public Health Madison & Dane County allows bars that have patios to keep them open and it limits the number of people who may eat inside restaurants to 25% capacity. Bar owners are weighing a legal challenge. Tavern League of Wisconsin lobbyist Scott Stenger said health officials are not taking into account what role recent protests over police brutality may have in the surge.
RACINE, Wis. (AP) — A judge has thrown out Racine’s coronvirus ordinance as unconstitutional. Racine County Circuit Judge Jon Fredrickson said Wednesday that Racine’s plan violated Wisconsin’s constitution because it interfered with the right to assemble. The judge also said the ordinance was so broadly written that “no average person of ordinary intelligence can make sense of its sprawling breadth.” The owner of a CrossFit gym brought the lawsuit, saying the city’s rules threatened his business. The Journal Sentinel reports the judge said the city could adopt a new plan to deal with the coronavirus, if it was written more narrowly. Racine Mayor Cory Mason calls the judge’s decision ”irresponsible” and says the city has asked for an immediate stay of the decision.
July 2, 2020
CHICAGO (AP) — Authorities say a 3-year-old Chicago girl was shot and wounded while playing with friends in a front yard on the city’s South Side. The Chicago Tribune reports that police say the shooting Tuesday night came minutes after a 15-year-old boy was wounded a few blocks away. The girl’s mother ran outside and found her daughter on the ground after a relative heard what was believed to be fireworks. The girl was listed in serious but stable condition at a hospital. They are the latest in a recent string of shootings of children in the city.
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police and federal authorities are looking to the public to provide the identities of 18 people who allegedly set fires during unrest following the death of George Floyd. U.S. Attorney John Lausch says 53 separate cases of arson were reported between May 30 and June 3. Lausch says each fire was set by people “acting on the peripheral of peaceful protests.” The fires destroyed businesses, police vehicles and private vehicles. Lausch and Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown on Tuesday released videos and photos of people allegedly in the act of setting fires. Brown says police are seeking justice for business owners and residents who were affected by those actions.
CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx says her office won’t prosecute protesters who were arrested during the massive demonstrations in and around Chicago after the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis for minor offenses such as violating curfew. In a news release, she says that from now on protesters won’t face prosecution for taking part in peaceful demonstrations. But she says her office will not drop charges against people who took advantage of the large crowds to smash windows, set fires and commit other acts of vandalism.
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Authorities have released the name of a hiker who died after falling about 30 feet (9.1 meters) near the summit of a mountain peak south of Boulder. Boulder County sheriff’s officials say a thunderstorm stranded 23-year-old Gavin Caruso, of Springfield, Illinois, and his 19-year-old girlfriend on South Boulder Peak the evening of June 24. The woman was seriously injured when she fell on slippery rocks while coming down from the summit, and Caruso fell when he tried to help her. He was flown by helicopter to a nearby hospital, where he died of a head injury. The woman also was hospitalized.