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IOWA GOVERNOR-FLIGHTS

Court rejects challenge of Reynolds’ use of private plane

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa appeals court has rejected a Des Moines attorney’s challenge to Gov. Kim Reynold’s use of a businessman’s private airplane, upholding previous rulings that Reynold’s use of the flights did no real harm and were allowed by Iowa law.

The Iowa Court of Appeals said in a ruling filed Wednesday that a state court judge was right to dismiss the lawsuit filed by attorney Gary Dickey.

Dickey, a Democrat, filed a complaint last year with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board, alleging Reynolds, a Republican, underestimated the value of the flight she and her family took to the Liberty Bowl in Tennessee in December 2017.

The jet was owned by Reynolds’s campaign contributor David North, CEO of a company that has a contract with the state .

The board dismissed Dickey’s complaint, ruling the flights were allowable under Iowa’s gift law. Dickey appealed and a judge agreed with the dismissal.

The appeals court says Dickey failed to show he suffered perceptible harm required by Iowa law to justify a court overturning the board’s decision.

Dickey says he will ask the Iowa Supreme Court to review the decision.

FACEBOOK TAX BREAK-SCHOOL DISTRICT

Error means district won’t get all tax revenue it budgeted

(Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com)

BONDURANT, Iowa (AP) — A small Iowa school district won’t be getting nearly $900,000 it wanted to spend as part of this year’s budget, because officials have learned the budget revenue was in part based on an erroneous tax valuation from the county assessor’s office.

The Des Moines Register reports that the Polk County assessor’s office had included in the tax base figures for the Bondurant-Farrar school district a fourth building at Facebook’s giant data center in Altoona. But the $52.4 million building was exempted from taxation for 20 years as part of a development agreement the social media giant signed with the city and the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Exemptions also were granted for the center’s first three buildings.

Facebook spokeswoman Melanie Roe says the company learned about the error just a few days ago.

The district won’t get the erroneous windfall, because the county has corrected the tax base figures.

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This story has been corrected to say the district won’t have to pay back the nearly $900,000, because the county has corrected the tax base figures.

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1992 HOMICIDE ARREST-IOWA

Iowa woman faces 2nd murder trial in 1992 beating death

(Information from: Muscatine Journal, http://www.muscatinejournal.com)

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — A second murder trial has begun for a southeast Iowa woman accused of the 1992 killing of her former boyfriend.

The Muscatine Journal reports the trial began Tuesday in Muscatine for 56-year-old Annette Cahill, who was charged in May 2018 with first-degree murder in the beating death of Corey Lee Wieneke.

Wieneke’s body was found in October 1992 on his bedroom floor in rural West Liberty.

The first trial ended in a mistrial in March 2019 when the jury couldn’t reach a verdict.

Cahill, of Tipton, has pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors allege Cahill killed Wieneke because of his involvement with another woman.

Decades after the killing, prosecutors charged Cahill in part because a woman came forward to investigators to say that as a 9-year-old, she overheard Cahill confess to the killing.

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POLICE SHOOTING-IOWA

Police say man is dead after firing shots at Iowa officers

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) — Investigators say a suspect has been killed in southeastern Iowa after fleeing from and shooting at law enforcement officers.

The Division of Criminal Investigation says the man died early Wednesday at the Great River Medical Center.

Police say Burlington police officers and a Des Moines County deputy responded to a call of shots fired at 12:50 a.m.

Officers found the suspect’s truck minutes later and initiated a traffic stop. The DCI says that initial reports indicate the driver got out, displayed a gun toward the officers and fled on foot.

The agency says officers gave chase, and that both the suspect and law enforcement fired multiple rounds. The officers and the deputy were not injured.

The DCI says the man’s name will be released once his family is notified.

CEDAR RAPIDS SLAYING

Murder charge filed following wounded man’s death

(Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Rapids man has been charged with first-degree murder following the death of a man who was shot in December.

The Gazette reports that Ezekiel Phillips Jr. is accused of shooting 27-year-old Tyrice Douglas and 19-year-old Mone Dotson on Dec. 19. Court records show Douglas died May 6.

A trial scheduled for later this month will be rescheduled because of the new charge. Phillips had pleaded not guilty to the charges filed before Douglas died: attempted murder, willful injury and going armed with intent.

The 31-year-old Phillips remains in Linn County Jail, pending $1 million cash-only bail.

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SEVERE WEATHER-THE LATEST

The Latest: 3 tornadoes confirmed in Sioux Falls

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The National Weather Service now says three tornadoes struck Sioux Falls overnight.

National Weather Service lead meteorologist Todd Heitkamp in Sioux Falls tweets that he has determined three separate tornadoes struck South Dakota’s largest city late Tuesday.

All three tornadoes were rated EF-2. Two had winds of about 125 mph while the third had winds of 130 mph.

The twister with the fastest winds struck the Avera Health Complex on the south side of Sioux Falls. A hospital spokesman says seven patients and one person outside the hospital suffered minor injuries.

The last tornado confirmed in Sioux Falls was an EF-0 that struck on June 12, 2001. But the weather service says it was a brief touchdown with only minor damage.

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