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Monday Afternoon News, July 29

Iowans Can Voice Comments Regarding New Health Care Insurance Coverage

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa residents have a chance to weigh in on the state's plan to expand low-income health coverage.
A public hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon in Des Moines on the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan. The hearing is part of the process the state must go through to get federal approval for the
Under the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan, the state will accept federal dollars offered to states that expand Medicaid under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. That funding will be used to provide health coverage for as many as 150,000 low-income residents by putting some on a new state-run program and to pay the premiums for others to get private insurance on the new health care
Another hearing will be held Tuesday in Council Bluffs.


Farmington City Clerk Faces Charges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The former city clerk in Farmington is facing charges of felony misconduct in office, forgery, and unauthorized use of a credit card after state auditors say they found several irregularities in city financial transactions.
State auditors checked the city's books between 2009 and 2012 after former City Clerk Nichole Jarvis took sick leave and the mayor and others discovered unpaid bills, checks that had not been
deposited, and other problems.
An audit report released Monday says more than $37,000 was improperly disbursed and $210,000 of utility billings had not been billed, collected, or not properly deposited.
The total loss to the city was estimated at $247,000.
Court records show the 33-year-old Jarvis was charged last week. The attorney listed in records as her court-appointed attorney declined to comment.


State Rejects Clinton Officials Request For Audit

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials have rejected a request by two Clinton city council members to re-audit the city's finances.
Deputy State Auditor Andrew Nielsen sent a letter to council members John Rowland and Paul Gassman last week.
The council members had raised concerns about the city's sewer and solid waste accounts, outstanding debt, customer buildings and collections, and overall financial situation.
Nielsen's letter says the concerns appear to be well-founded, but notes that an independent auditor has already addressed the city's budget issues and made recommendations. The letter says city
officials are responsible for resolving the issues.
The auditor's office recommended that the city create an action plan to address its budget challenges.


Mother Says Son's Suicide Is Due To Bullying

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) - The mother of a central Iowa high school student says her son committed suicide after being bullied.
Alexander Betts Jr. took his life over the weekend. The 16-year-old is the fifth student from Southeast Polk High School to commit suicide in the past five years.
Betts' mother, Sheryl Moore, says she believes her son killed himself because of bullying he experienced for being gay. Friends say Betts was constantly ridiculed because he was gay, half
African-American and born with a cleft lip.
Moore says she wants to use her son's death to educate people about bullying.
Steve Pettit, the high school's principal, says he could not say if Betts had reported being bullied. Pettit says the school takes such incidents seriously and has procedures in place for
allegations of bullying.


Grandfather Charged For Baby Being Dropped

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A man has been accused of injuring his adult granddaughter at an Iowa zoo and causing her to drop her infant daughter.
Des Moines police arrested 67-year-old Michael Cain on Saturday at the Blank Park Zoo.
Cain is accused of hitting his granddaughter in the head during an argument. Witnesses told police that the impact caused the woman to drop the baby.
The child was not seriously injured. Cain has been charged with simple assault and child endangerment. Court records do not list an attorney.


Reynolds Visiting South Africa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds is currently traveling in South Africa as part of a mission trip.
Governor's Office Spokesman Tim Albrecht says Monday that Reynolds departed on July 25 and will return Aug. 6. The trip was organized by Blessman Ministries, an organization based in Urbandale that works to help children in South Africa.
Albrecht says Reynolds and her husband are both on the trip, which they will pay for using personal funds. They will be participating in service projects, including outreach with children.

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