October 25, 2020
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa voters are casting ballots early in person or by mail at a record pace for the Nov. 3 election with several days of early voting still remaining. The Iowa secretary of state’s office reported that 685,234 absentee ballots have been returned to county auditors statewide by Friday morning. Those include people who voted by mail or early in person at auditor’s offices or satellite voting locations. While Democrats typically lead in early voting in Iowa, their advantage this year is significantly bigger than 2016 or 2012. About 51% of the ballots returned have come from registered Democrats compared to 31% from Republicans and 18% from those that do not belong to either party.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Black man who was shot by police outside an Iowa nightclub five years ago has agreed to a nearly $400,000 settlement. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that 33-year-old Jovan Darnell Webb alleged in his suit that he was singled out because of his race in April 2015 when he was wounded while attempting to pull out of the parking lot of the New World nightclub in Waterloo during a disturbance. His suit also alleged excessive force, equal protection violations and battery on the part of the police officers. The lawsuit had been scheduled to go to trial this month. The decision to settle for $399,999 was made by the city’s liability insurance carrier. The city’s attorney, David Baker, declined to comment.
FILLEY, Neb. (AP) — Authorities say a propane leak caused an Iowa house fire that left one person dead and two critically injured. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the fire started early Saturday in the Gage County village of Filley. The State Fire Marshal Agency said in a news release that the house “fully involved” when firefighters arrived. Two inside the house got out and were flown to a Lincoln hospital, but first responders pronounced the third occupant dead at the scene. The Gage County Attorney’s Office called for an autopsy to determine the precise cause of death. Names were withheld Saturday afternoon while relatives were notified.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials are rolling out a new system to test sexual assault evidence collection kits more quickly as they work to clear a backlog that once numbered in the thousands. The system, called Track-Kit, was rolled out in phases this year. It helps law enforcement, health care providers and labs keep track of kits moving through the system. The Des Moines Register reports that about 75% of Iowa law enforcement agencies are now connected, with the remainder expected to join soon. Each person examined for sexual assault evidence also will be given a login to track the progress of their kit.
October 25, 2020
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin appeals court has put a hold on Gov. Tony Evers’ restrictions on indoor public gatherings. The ruling Friday from the 3rd District Court of Appeals pauses the Democratic governor’s effort to control the coronavirus spread pending appeal. Evers’ administration issued an order on Oct. 6 limiting indoor public gatherings across the state to 25% of a building’s capacity or 10 people in places without an occupancy limit. The powerful Tavern League of Wisconsin immediately challenged the order in court. A Barron County judge upheld it on Oct. 19.
Madison, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Justice says police in Goodman, Wisconsin shot and killed a man suspected of homicide after he pointed a firearm at officers. The Marinette County Sheriff’s Office on Friday evening responded to a call for a possible homicide in Goodman, located in the northwestern part of the state. The Department of Justice says that when police arrived at the home, they found a dead man and a suspect, who fled in a vehicle. The officers followed the man before he stopped, exited the car and pointed a firearm at police. The officers shot the man, and he died of injuries at the scene.
CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (AP) — An altercation in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin has left four people injured by stab wounds. The Chippewa Herald reported that the Chippewa Falls Police Department responded to a call reporting that multiple people had been stabbed. Four people were taken from the scene by medics, including two who appeared to be in critical condition. The Chippewa Falls Police Department said the people involved knew each other, but several fled before police arrived.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Black man whose arrest triggered a violent protest in Madison will plead guilty to extorting a local business. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Devonere Johnson has agreed to plead guilty to one of two extortion charges in exchange for federal prosecutors dropping the other charge. Investigators allege he threatened the owners of two Madison businesses in June, demanding money from one, and free food and beer from the other. He said if they didn’t comply he would have protesters destroy the establishments. In the violent unrest after his arrest, demonstrators tore down two statutes and assaulted a state senator.
October 25, 2020
WAUKEGAN, Ill. (AP) — A Black woman who was shot and wounded inside a vehicle by a police officer who also fatally shot her 19-year-old boyfriend told about 200 people gathered at an emotional rally in suburban Chicago that she’s fighting to be there for her son. The protest in Waukegan, about 40 miles north of Chicago, was organized by Clyde McLemore, the founder of the Lake County chapter of Black Lives Matter. It took place less than a day after Police Chief Wayne Walles announced the firing of the officer who fatally shot Marcellis Stinnette, a Black man, and wounded 20-year-old Tafara Williams.
CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois health officials have reported a one-day record for new confirmed cases of the coronavirus, adding 6,161 individual cases to the state total. The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported Saturday that 63 more people have died of the virus, bringing the statewide total of deaths to 9,481 since the start of the pandemic. The daily count of new confirmed cases can vary from one day to the next. But Illinois officials have warned in recent days that the state is experiencing a second surge and pleaded with people to wear face coverings and take other precautions.
CHICAGO (AP) — Federal housing officials are investigating why the city of Chicago is allowing a chronic polluter company to move its operation from the wealthy, largely white North Side to a low-income, predominantly Latino neighborhood. According to a letter made public Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development agreed to follow up on activists’ complaints accusing Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration of violating provisions of the federal Fair Housing Act by adding yet another polluter to a neglected corner of the city. The Chicago Tribune reports that if other permits are granted, General Iron will be the latest tenant of an East Side manufacturing district that already includes facilities handling brain-damaging metals and toxic chemicals.
CHICAGO (AP) — Jurors have convicted two Illinois men of stealing more than $200,000 in merchandise from a Hinsdale jewelry store in 2017. According to the office of U.S. Attorney John Lausch, Jr., 26-year-old Tobias Diggs and 31-year-old Joshua McClellan were convicted Thursday of conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery, transportation of stolen goods and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence. A federal judge has not yet scheduled a date to determine their sentences. Authorities say two other people participated in the robbery. A warrant has been issued for a 42-year-old man from Chicago, who is considered a fugitive. The fourth person has not been identified.