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Monday Afternoon News, May 6

Judge Says Defense Attorney's Decision Was Not Wrong

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge says that a defense lawyer's decision to reveal the location of a murdered child's body was a risky strategy but not an erroneous one.
U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett rejected a new trial Friday for Donald Boss, who was convicted in 2002 of killing his 10-year-old son and burying his body beneath the family's home in Remsen.
Boss was charged with murder after the boy went missing. During a bond hearing, his attorney stunned prosecutors by handing them a signed statement revealing where the body was located.
The attorney had advised Boss to disclose the location to try to gain favor with prosecutors and the public.
Bennett says the strategy was "extremely dangerous, like walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon," but wasn't unreasonable given the circumstances.


Few Senators Return To Extended Session

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Little action was evident in the Iowa Senate on the first day after daily payments ended for lawmakers.
The state Senate officially met for two minutes on Monday. Not all senators reported to the Capitol in Des Moines. Those in attendance are mostly in leadership roles or on special negotiating committees.
Lawmakers are still trying to find resolution on major policy issues such as education, property taxes, health care and the overall budget plan.
Friday was the last day for lawmakers to receive expense payments. Two years ago, the session lasted until June 30, in part due to conflict over whether Iowa Medicaid funds could be used for
some abortions.

Des Moines Police Investigate Stolen Items From City

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police are investigating a robbery at a public works building that involved use of the department's own tractors to haul away supplies.
The Des Moines Police Department says the suspect or suspects took items from the building sometime between Friday afternoon and Sunday afternoon.
The Des Moines Register ( ) reports officers found candy and pop machines with their locks forced open. An unknown amount of tools were taken from a room that had its door hinges removed. Employee lockers also were broken into.
Police say the suspect or suspects rammed a front loader truck belonging to the department into the facility's north side fence. It was found stuck in the mud nearby. Another utility vehicle was
used and abandoned across a field.
There are no reported arrests.


Court Official Pleads Guilty To Forging False Documents Involving Gay Marriage License

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa court official has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor forgery for filing false documents to issue an invalid marriage license to a same-sex couple from Florida.
Former Grundy County deputy clerk Brigitte Van Nice received a suspended sentence and probation after entering the guilty plea Monday.
Van Nice was arrested and suspended from her job in October after investigators said she issued a marriage license to two Florida men who had never set foot in Iowa.
The men discovered they had never legally been married when they went to get a divorce.
To get their license, Van Nice falsely claimed she had officiated the couple's Valentine's Day wedding in Iowa last year and faked the signatures of two people who she claimed were witnesses. The couple paid her $150.


Monday News, May 6

Road Construction And Bridge Repair Projects Scheduled

(Le Mars) -- Several county roads are scheduled to be closed beginning today in order for construction crews to make repairs on bridges and county roads.  Plymouth County engineer Tom Rohe says Fawn Avenue from Highway 3 to 180th Street will be closed from today through July 19th due to a bridge replacement project.  Meanwhile, 160th Street from Highway 60 to Mahogany Avenue will close today and will remain closed until October.  Work crews are replacing a bridge project.
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Other road closures include County Road C-38 from K-42 to Key Ave, and County road K-42 from Main Street in Merrill to County Road C-38.

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The roads leading into Merrill are scheduled to have new paving.


Legislative Session Goes Into Overtime

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Boxes were stacked in the corner of the Iowa Senate chambers on Thursday, but lawmakers are nowhere near ready to pack up.
Still, the legislative session will look different starting Monday. May 3 was the last day for much of the temporary staff and the student pages who work in the Legislature, as well as the final
day of expense payments for lawmakers.
Most of the 150 legislators will report to work early next week. But if negotiations drag out then numbers will likely dwindle to a smaller group of party leaders and those working on negotiating
The Republicans who control the House and Democrats who rule the Senate are still trying to find resolution on major issues like education funding, property tax reductions and low-income health care.

Veterans Home Hearing Scheduled

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state Senate panel will hold a hearing to review the quality of care at the Iowa Veterans Home.
The Monday meeting comes after more than 40 former staffers signed a letter that was printed in The Des Moines Register complaining about the current leadership at the home.
A news release from Senate Democrats says David Worley, the commandant of the Veterans Home, will testify at the hearing.
The home in Marshalltown is Iowa's largest nursing home and among the biggest in the nation for veterans and their spouses. The home is made up of two separate facilities. One provides nursing
care for about 500 residents. The other is a residential care facility where 100 more people live mostly independently.


50 Sex Offenders Hold Gun Permits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than 50 Iowa sex offenders have permits to carry guns in public thanks to a two-year-old law that makes it harder for sheriffs to deny permits.
Law enforcement officials and some state lawmakers are worried about armed sex offenders.
Washington County Sheriff Jerry Dunbar says he worries about sex offenders having guns because many of them use intimidation to get what they want and a gun could help that.
Most of the sex offenders who have obtained gun permits in Iowa were convicted of misdemeanors like lascivious conduct with a minor.
Ronald Hahn Jr. says he doesn't pose a threat to public safety and he uses guns for hunting. He has been a registered sex offender since 2005 for an indecent exposure conviction.


Cedar Rapids Haz Mat Team Contain Acid Leak

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Hazardous-materials crew members and firefighters have contained a leak of hydrochloric acid from a tanker trailer at Cedar Rapids plant.
Officials had blocked access to the Cargill plant after a truck driver noticed the corrosive, dangerous acid was leaking from a nickel-size hole in the tanker on Sunday morning.
Workers used an air bag to stop the leak and then transferred the acid into another tanker.
No injuries have been reported.


Iowa City Beating

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa City woman has reported being beaten and choked while holding her 4-month-old baby.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen says ( ) the woman told officers early Sunday morning that her attacker was the man she lived with, the father of her child.
Police say 21-year-old Jose Luis Avalos-Covarrubias was arrested and was charged with domestic assault by impeding air/blood and with child endangerment with no injury.
The woman reported that Avalos-Covarrubias choked her until she was unconscious and struck her several times while she was holding their baby.
Online records say Avalos-Covarrubias remained in Johnson County Jail on Monday. Online court records don't list the name of his attorney.


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