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Iowa News

August 11, 2020

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A rare wind storm with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving tens of thousands of homes without power. The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours as it tore across eastern Nebraska, Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois. A scientist at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center says the storm had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado. Officials in the Iowa cities of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown say the damage is extensive.

 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — University of Iowa administrators are pushing ahead with plans to resume some in-person classes and on-campus housing, even as student leaders said those steps were too risky during the coronavirus pandemic. The university said it will not test students who will begin moving into the Iowa City campus in the coming days, unlike the mass testing last week at Iowa State University in Ames. The school has also not finalized metrics for determining whether to shut down face-to-face instruction in the event of an outbreak during the semester. But at a news conference, top administrators touted the safety measures they have put in place and said they looked forward to welcoming students back.

 

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Authorities in eastern Iowa say a road construction worker has died after becoming pinned under a concrete spreader. The Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office says the accident happened Monday morning along a segment of U.S. Highway 61 where crews are working on a paving project. Arriving first responders extricated the man from the machine and rushed him to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries. Officials have not released the worker’s name, but say he is a 61-year-old resident of Nichols, Iowa. The investigation into his death continues.

 

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — The family of a fourth worker who died of coronavirus during an outbreak at Tyson Foods’ largest pork processing plant is suing the company over his death.The lawsuit says Isidro Fernandez of Waterloo, Iowa died April 26 from complications of COVID-19, leaving behind a wife and children. The case was filed last week and is similar to one brought in June by the same lawyers on behalf of the estates of three other deceased Waterloo workers. The lawsuits allege Tyson put employees at risk by downplaying concerns and covering up the outbreak in order to keep them on the job. Tyson says the deaths are tragic but that it vigorously disputes claims fo wrongdoing.


Wisconsin News

August 11, 2020

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republicans are set to begin their push to build veto-proof majorities in the Legislature in Wisconsin’s primaries, the state’s second statewide election since the coronavirus pandemic seized the country. The GOP is looking to flip six legislative seats in November and win a veto-proof two-thirds majority in each house. Tuesday’s elections will winnow those candidates and set the stage for the fall. The ballot also features Republican congressional primaries in southeastern Wisconsin’s 5th District and western Wisconsin’s 3rd District. Voters had requested more than 900,000 absentee ballots heading into Tuesday as they looked to avoid catching the virus at the polls.

 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A rare wind storm with power similar to an inland hurricane swept across the Midwest, blowing over trees, flipping vehicles, causing widespread property damage and leaving tens of thousands of homes without power. The storm known as a derecho lasted several hours as it tore across eastern Nebraska, Iowa and parts of Wisconsin and Illinois. A scientist at the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center says the storm had the wind speed of a major hurricane, and likely caused more widespread damage than a normal tornado. Officials in the Iowa cities of Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and Marshalltown say the damage is extensive.

 

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Democratic leaders are hopeful that President Donald Trump’s executive order requiring states to pay for a quarter of expanded unemployment benefits won’t stand and that Congress will reach a deal on a broader relief package to help cash-strapped schools, governments and others. Democrats said Monday that keeping the unemployment order in place could be another big hit to a state budget that’s already been subject to more than $300 million in cuts with more expected. Republicans were mostly silent on Trump’s action or withholding judgement. Trump announced an executive order Saturday that extends additional unemployment payments of $400 a week, with states contributing $100 of that.

 

WINTER, Wisconsin (AP) — Searchers are looking for a missing 3-year-old girl in northern Wisconsin. The Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office says Abby Ladwig was last seen in the Winter area. She followed the family dog into the woods around 6:45 p.m. Sunday. Police believe the dog has been located, but the search continues for Abby. WDIO-TV reports authorities are asking the public to check their properties and outbuildings for any sign of the girl.


Illinois News

August 11, 2020

CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of people descended on downtown Chicago after a police shooting on the city’s South Side. Police say the vandals smashed the windows of dozens of businesses early Monday and made off with merchandise, cash machines and anything else they could carry. Police Superintendent David Brown says when police shot a man who opened fire on officers Sunday, the incident apparently prompted a social media post urging people to converge on the business district. Over several hours, police made more than 100 arrests, and 13 officers were injured, including one who was struck in the head with a bottle.

 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) —  The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting 1,319 new confirmed cases of coronavirus, with one death. The cases reported Monday brings to 195,399 confirmed cases and 7,637 deaths in the state. The statewide positivity rate for the period of August 3 through August 9 is at 4.1%. As the new numbers were announced, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Housing Development Authority announced an emergency housing assistance program for Illinoisans financially impacted by COVID-19. The IHDA will allocate $150 million to help income-eligible residents pay rent. Tenants whose applications are approved will receive a one-time grant of $5,000 paid directly to their landlords to cover missed rent payments beginning from March 2020 or to alleviate rent debt through December 2020.

 

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal lawsuit filed by Chicago-area Republicans alleges Illinois’ expanded vote-by-mail program is a “partisan scheme” designed to help Democrats get votes. The lawsuit filed Monday names election officials and Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who signed the law to help limit Election Day crowds at polling places to curb the spread of COVID-19. Among other things, it requires vote-by-mail applications be sent to everyone who voted in elections since 2018. Lawyers for the conservative Chicago-based Liberty Justice Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of Cook County Republicans. The center has previously challenged Election Day registration.

 

McDonald’s is suing Steve Easterbrook, the CEO it ousted last year over an inappropriate relationship with an employee, alleging he covered up relationships with other employees and destroyed evidence. Easterbrook told the company that there were no other similar instances. McDonald’s says in a lawsuit that it has since become aware of sexual relationships between Easterbrook and three other employees prior to his termination. The company also says Easterbrook approved a special stock grant for one of those employees worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A message seeing comment was left with Easterbrook’s attorney.