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Iowa News

September 20, 2019

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Department of Agriculture is proposing a new set of administrative rules that could significantly improve the lives of dogs, cats and other companion animals in a state long regarded as among the worst in the nation for animal protection. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says he will submit the new set of rules to the state on Friday, beginning a process that requires a legislative panel review and public comment.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) – The former administrator of Iowa’s third-largest city is suing the area’s biggest newspaper, claiming that its coverage was unfair and cost him his job. Former Davenport city administrator Craig Malin’s lawsuit against the Quad-City Times is set for trial Monday. A judge ruled Malin didn’t meet the high bar to sue for defamation but did allow him to sue for contract interference. Press freedom experts say the case is troubling.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Some Democratic presidential candidates are trying out new strategies to appeal to voters with just over four months until Iowa’s leadoff caucuses. Kamala Harris said Thursday that she would spend more time in Iowa and add some 60 staffers. Bernie Sanders is shuffling his early state staff, and Beto O’Rourke has turned his calls for gun control laws into a national strategy. The shifts signal that the race is entering a new stage, with precious few months for candidates to change their fortunes.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) – The field manager of an Iowa hog farm has testified that a woman he was having an affair told him last year she was deathly afraid of her husband – a man now accused of using a corn rake to kill her. Jerry Frasher took the stand Wednesday in the trial of Todd Mullis, who’s charged with killing Amy Mullis on Nov. 10 at the farm about 40 miles west of Dubuque. Frasher said he told Amy Mullis they had to cool things after Todd Mullis confronted him about text messages Frasher exchanged with Amy.

Illinois News

September 20, 2019

CHICAGO (AP) – A federal judge in Chicago has ruled the confiscation by Cook County Jail guards of over 30 books from an inmate didn’t violate his free-speech rights. The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports Judge Maria Valdez agreed the First Amendment protected the right to read, not only the right to speak. But her written decision says the jail’s limit of three books at a time wasn’t unreasonable. Jail officials say it’s partly a safety issue, including because too many books could be used to start fires.

CHICAGO (AP) – The University of Chicago Medical Center prepared for a walkout by about 2,200 nurses by diverting ambulances and moving patients. The nurses say they plan to strike Friday because of the breakdown of contract negotiations. The nurses have been without a contract since April. They’re seeking lower nurse-to-patient ratios and say they’re being forced to work overtime. The nurses have been told to stay away until Wednesday because temporary nurses will take their places until then.

AURORA, Ill. (AP) – A Kane County Jail inmate is accused of attacking two guards with a makeshift weapon made of pencils. Kane County Undersheriff Pat Gengler says Fabian J. Torres of Sleepy Hollow asked for a book Wednesday during recreation time and then attacked two officers as they opened the door to give it to him. The 32-year-old Torres is charged with two counts of aggravated battery to a police officer. One officer sustained a small puncture wound to the face while the other got a cut on his nose.

WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) – Lake County prosecutors have dropped murder charges against five teenagers whose friend was fatally shot by a homeowner as they allegedly tried to steal his car. In a news release, Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim says after analyzing the evidence in the Aug. 13 incident, his office determined lesser charges were more appropriate. The five now face felony conspiracy to commit burglary and misdemeanor criminal trespass to a motor vehicle charges. Four will appear in juvenile court.

Wisconsin News

September 20, 2019

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (AP) – Authorities say arson is not suspected in a fire that killed three residents of a Wisconsin group home for intellectually disabled people. Fond du Lac Fire Chief Peter O’Leary says he does not believe the fire was intentionally set. O’Leary says investigators will return to the house on Friday. Fire officials say the three were found dead on the second floor of the group home. Two other residents escaped the fire.

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (AP) – Attorneys have reached a plea deal for a former Wisconsin fugitive who hid out in a makeshift bunker for more than three years. Forty-four-year-old Jeremiah Button was discovered in August living in a bunker powered by solar panels and a pedal generator. Button disappeared in February 2016 just weeks before he was scheduled to stand trial on child sexual assault and child pornography charges. A judge has scheduled a plea hearing for Button for Friday.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The Legislature’s top two Republicans say Democratic Gov. Tony Evers wants to take people’s guns away. Evers said during a news conference Thursday that he would consider mandatory buybacks for assault weapons. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos issued a joint statement following Evers’ news conference saying Evers revealed Democrats’ real agenda: taking away guns that are lawfully owned. They called the idea unacceptable.

KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) – An Illinois man has pleaded guilty in a crash that killed three members of a Wisconsin family, including a doctor, a nurse and a dentist. Forty-year-old Timothy Vandervere, of Beach Park, Illinois, pleaded guilty Thursday to three counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle. Vandervere tried to plead no contest, but the judge would not accept that plea. Sentencing will be held Nov. 22.