Thursday News, February 13
Fire Marshal Resigns From Office
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Months after he was demoted amid controversy, former Iowa Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds is resigning from the Iowa Department of Public Safety.
Department spokesman Sgt. Scott Bright says Reynolds is resigning Feb. 21 to pursue other opportunities.
Reynolds had been with the department since 1996, starting as a fire inspector. He investigated fires, among other assignments, before he was named state fire marshal in 2010.
Reynolds got in hot water last summer after writing a column in a trade publication blasting Des Moines firefighters for refusing to volunteer their time to install smoke detectors. Union officials demanded an apology, saying the law prohibited them for working without payment.
Reynolds stepped down as fire marshal in September, becoming a special agent in charge of the State Building Code and Inspection Unit.
Death Of Five People From Fire Now Known
ARLINGTON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have determined the causes of death for five people found after a northeast Iowa house fire.
Ron Humphrey with the State Fire Marshal says the three adults and two children died of burns and smoke inhalation. They all had carbon monoxide in their systems, which indicate they were alive when the fire broke out.
Humphrey says officials may never know what caused the Jan. 24 fire at a two-story house near rural Arlington. The house was completely destroyed and little evidence remained.
Cernan To Speak At DMACC
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The last man to walk on the moon is visiting Des Moines to talk about innovation.
Eugene Cernan will share his personal stories about space when he visits Des Moines Area Community College on March 6. He will speak on the main stage at the school's West Campus.
Cernan was part of several historic space missions. In 1972, he was the last person to leave his footprints on the surface of the moon.
During his visit to the college, Cernan is expected to talk about his support for future space exploration.
Cernan is one of several speakers visiting the school during an innovation-themed week. It will take place March 3-6. The events are free and open to the public.
Culver Says He Will Not Seek Public Office
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Former Gov. Chet Culver says he won't run for elected office this year.
The Democrat says in a statement Wednesday that people have encouraged him to run for office but he's decided not to be a candidate in 2014.
Culver served two terms as secretary of state and a single term as governor before losing his re-election bid to Terry Branstad in 2010.
Some thought Culver might seek the Democratic nomination for the 3rd Congressional District after incumbent Republican Rep. Tom Latham announced he would retire.
State Prosecutor Selected
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines attorney who once led Iowa's Department of Public Safety has been confirmed as the top federal prosecutor in northern Iowa.
Sen. Tom Harkin said Wednesday that Kevin W. Techau has won Senate confirmation to be the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, which is based in Cedar Rapids.
Techau replaces Stephanie Rose, who has become a federal judge. Sean Berry has served as Acting U.S. Attorney for several months.
Techau was Iowa's public safety commissioner from 2002 to 2007 under Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack. Since then, he has worked as associate general counsel at the American Equity Investment Life Insurance Co. in Des Moines.
Harkin says Techau is a "highly qualified, dedicated public servant."