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Monday News, May 26


Governor To Sign Bill To Help Veterans

(Des Moines)--Governor Terry Branstad is scheduled to sign a bill into law this morning that’s designed to make Iowa more attractive to soldiers leaving the military.
 “I”m pleased the legislature approved it,” Branstad says. “Home Base Iowa was our top priority this session and I will sign it.”
 The bill eliminates state income taxes on military pensions for soldiers and their surviving spouses. It also makes it easier for soldiers to earn academic credit for their military training and experience, if they decide to seek a degree at an Iowa college or university. In addition, state boards will now be required to take into account a soldier’s military skills when the soldier applies for a professional license. The Congressional Research Office says the average age of a soldier who retires from the military is between 40 and 45, which means they start a second career.
 “There’s a major reduction going on in our military and there’s a lot of talented leaders with technical skills that we want to attract to Iowa,” Branstad says.
 Branstad will sign a second bill that extends a homestead tax credit for disabled veterans.
 Branstad served as a military policeman during the Vietnam Era and he plans to wear his Army uniform for today’s bill signing ceremony. It’s scheduled to begin shortly after 8:30 this morning in the Iowa Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge in Johnston.


Republicans Afraid of Backlash

WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) - Some Iowa Republicans are quietly anxious that issues addressed during the U.S. Senate primary campaign will haunt the party come November, despite chipper talk that the five-way race is a healthy way to ignite the GOP.
     Some say a recent ad for state Senator Joni Ernst in which she fires a handgun may turn off some swing voters during the general election.
     Others say former energy CEO Mark Jacobs' past support for climate-change legislation make him indistinguishable from likely Democratic nominee Bruce Braley.
     Those Republicans vying to fill Democratic Senator Tom Harkin's seat must convince the party faithful to vote for them in the June 3rd primary, only to then face one of the nation's most politically balanced electorates in an election that could decide who runs the Senate.



Several Hurt While Hanging Flags

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Several people who were helping distribute flags for Memorial Day are recovering from scrapes and bruises after the trailer they were riding on careened across a cemetery.
     The Quad-City Times reports 10 adults and children were on the flatbed trailer when it broke free from the truck pulling it and rolled several hundred feet downhill before hitting a tree.
     Davenport police Sergeant Eric Court says some people jumped from the trailer and some rode it down, but fortunately no one was seriously hurt.
     The trailer did knock over several graveside vases and knocked down some flowers that decorated graves.


Inmate Exscapes

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials say a 23-year-old inmate on work release in Cedar Rapids has escaped.
     The state Department of Corrections says Bernard James Butler the Second failed to return to the Larry Nelson Work Release Center in Cedar Rapids after work on Friday.
     Butler had been serving a 10-year sentence for burglary, weapons charges and a drug offense. His sentence began on August 9th, 2010.
     Butler is a 5-foot-9 black man who weighs 169 pounds. Officials say he also has tattoos on his back and right shoulder.



Dad Catches First Home Run Of Season

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A 22-year-old Houston Astros prospect's first home run of the season was caught by a familiar fan: his father.
     Quad Cities first baseman Conrad Gregor launched a go-ahead, three-run shot in the sixth inning of the Class-A River Bandits' 5-2 win over the Cedar Rapids Kernels at Modern Woodmen Park in Davenport on Saturday night. A fan beyond the fence in right-center field caught the ball and proudly waved his arms. Turns out it was Gregor's father, Marty.     The Quad City Times reported that Gregor's parents made the five-hour drive from Carmel, Indiana, to attend the River Bandits' weekend series.
     "When I got back to the dugout," Gregor said, "I heard he made a pretty good catch."

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