Wednesday Afternoon News, June 11
Court Says Glass Pipes Are Not Drug Paraphernalia
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals is giving a legal victory to the owners of retail head shops.
The court ruled Wednesday that glass pipes commonly sold in those stores are not drug paraphernalia under Iowa law and therefore cannot be subject to forfeiture by law enforcement.
The court is ordering the return of glass pipes that were seized by agents during a warrant served at Day Dreams in Des Moines.
A three-judge panel says no drugs were found there, so there is no evidence suggesting the pipes "were used, or attempted to be used, in combination with a controlled substance" as required to be considered paraphernalia.
The court says adopting the state's position would make selling glass pipes a federal felony and allow all such property to be forfeited.
Regents' Consultant Delivers Ideas For Universities To Save Money
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A consultant says Iowa's three public universities can save money by changing purchasing practices, more effectively using buildings and cutting utility costs.
The Board of Regents released a summary Wednesday of Deloitte Consulting's initial review of operations at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa.
Deloitte is looking for ways to cut costs, increase revenue and improve services under a contract worth $3.5 million.
Deloitte says that it found limited collaboration among the three universities and siloes within them that lead to "overlapping and duplication of roles, services and programs." Deloitte says it found some inefficient practices that cause delays and frustration.
The consultant will now develop more detailed recommendations to transform their purchasing, academic programs, information technology, use of classrooms and other areas.
Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Official Fired
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The embattled assistant director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy has been fired, weeks before he was set to retire following a 48-year career in law enforcement.
Academy director Arlen Ciechanowski told The Associated Press that he has dismissed assistant director Michael Quinn. He said he couldn't elaborate because it's a confidential personnel issue.
The firing is puzzling because Quinn announced in April that he would retire June 30 following months of criticism for making inappropriate sexual and threatening remarks to female cadets and colleagues. Ciechanowski had let Quinn stay in his job but gave him a final warning after a 2012 investigation found that he violated anti-discrimination and violence-free workplaces policies.
Democrats and advocates for victims had repeatedly criticized Gov. Terry Branstad's administration for keeping Quinn at the academy.
Ottumwa Man Sentenced To 35 Years In Prison For Beating A Man To Death
OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - An Ottumwa man has been sentenced to up to 50 years in prison for the beating death of a man in 2011.
Judge Lucy Gamon sentenced Bobby Snow to at least 35 years in prison, with a maximum of 50 years, in the death of James McElroy.
It took jurors only a couple hours to find Snow guilty of second-degree murder last March.
To obtain the conviction, prosecutors had to show Snow struck and killed McElroy and that Snow acted with malice, though not necessarily intent to kill.
During the hearing, McElroy's wife, Carmen McElroy, expressed remorse her husband was taken away from his family "by one punch."
Snow tried to interrupt her, but the judge told him to be quiet.
Field Of Dreams Party
DYERSVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Local officials are finishing preparations for this weekend's party celebrating the 25th anniversary of the "Field of Dreams" movie.
More than 11,000 people are expected to visit the field near Dyersville in northeast Iowa on Friday and Saturday. There will be several special events, including a cast reunion and question-and-answer session and a celebrity softball game.
Star Kevin Costner is expected to attend, as is Timothy Busfield, who played Costner's brother-in-law in the film, Dwier Brown, who played Costner's father, and Brian Frankish, the movie's executive producer.
The movie was released in 1989, after several scenes were filmed at the rural site near Dyersville.
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