Monday Afternoon News, May 12
Des Moines To Host Climate Change Seminar
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Eight governors are expected to join with local officials in Des Moines at an event to discuss climate issues.
The two-day Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience meeting will begin Tuesday at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates.
Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie will host the meeting, which is part of President Barack Obama's efforts to address climate change.
Participants include the governors of California, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Vermont, Washington and Guam. All but the governor of Guam are Democrats. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, isn't participating.
Other participants include 14 mayors, two county officials and two tribal leaders.
The event will include presentations on climate, flooding and emergency management. After four such meetings around the country, the group will recommend ways to address climate change.
Bird Tagging Conducted At Wildlife Refuge
WAPELLO, Iowa (AP) - Visitors to the Port Louisa National Wildlife Refuge near Wapello got a lesson in catching and banding birds.
The Muscatine Journal reports staff at the southeast Iowa refuge on Saturday set up six nets to capture songbirds. Visitors helped carefully free the small birds, attach tiny metal bands and then release them.
Refuge biologist Jessica Bolser oversaw the effort, which helps determine what kind of habitat migrating birds use on their journeys. That information can help the refuge better manage its habitat.
Twelve-year-old Jacey Poole spent much of the morning at the event with her family. Her mother, Jennifer Poole, says she's considering a career related to birds and biology.
Jennifer Poole says they enjoyed the event but noted extracting a tiny bird from a net can be difficult.
Worry About Mississippi Flooding
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Mississippi River is creeping up again, flooding some low-lying roads and agricultural land in parts of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.
Flood watchers say it's all typical spring flooding, but with rain in the forecast, they're not taking anything for granted.
National Weather Service meteorologist Mark Fuchs says the next week is expected to be a wet one. He says it's too early to know what impact the rain will have on the river.
The National Weather Service says the Mississippi River is generally a foot or two above technical flood stage from southern Iowa south to near St. Louis. The river is well within its banks from St. Louis and south.
Effigy Mounds Investigation
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A prosecutor is defending the decision not to bring charges against National Park Service officials responsible for $3 million in illegal projects that damaged a sacred American Indian burial ground in Iowa.
Pete Deegan, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Cedar Rapids, said Monday that prosecutors gave "careful consideration" but determined that charges against former superintendent Phyllis Ewing or other employees were not justified.
A National Park Service investigation found that Ewing and subordinates illegally built boardwalks, trails and a maintenance shed at Effigy Mound National Monument in northeast Iowa between 1999 and 2010.
Ewing's attorney says she didn't knowingly break any law, and was trying to make the monument more handicap-accessible. But some park service employees told investigators that Ewing intentionally circumvented laws meant to protect historic properties.
Parking Lot Fatality
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - A 34-year-old Illinois man has been arrested following the death of a 2-year-old girl who was struck by a vehicle in a southeast Iowa motel parking lot.
The accident occurred about 9:30 p.m. Saturday at the MidTown Motel in Burlington. Police Lt. Jeff Klein says Dniyah Brider was with family members who were visiting friends at the motel. The little girl was taken to Great River Medical Center and pronounced dead there.
Investigators say the vehicle driver drove off but returned later and was arrested. Investigators determined that Phillip Evans, of Wood River, Illinois, was staying at the motel. He is charged with vehicular homicide.
Evans has bonded out of custody. A public phone listing for him couldn't be found. Court records don't list the name of his attorney.
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