Some Iowa bars, other businesses decide to close amid virus
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Some Iowa bars and other businesses are voluntarily closing their doors amid an increase in confirmed coronavirus cases. Among them was the Artifacts antiques shop in Iowa City. Owner Todd Thelen told the Gazette that the store has seen three of its mostly older customers die because of the virus. Confirmed cases in the state increased by an additional 380 on Saturday, bringing the total to 27,935. The state also reported three more deaths to bring the total to 704. Businesses that closed or limited operations at the beginning of the pandemic had started expanding operations as Gov. Kim Reynolds began easing restrictions.
DEADLY HIT-AND-RUN CRASH
Iowa woman arrested in hit-and-run crash that killed teen
WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines woman has been arrested in a 2-year-old hit-and-run crash that killed a 14-year-old on a moped. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Fayette County Sheriff Marty Fisher said 26-year-old Kelli Jo Michael, of Des Moines, was arrested Friday and charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident in the death of Kaiden Estling. The teen from Maynard was struck in June 2018 while driving a moped along Iowa 150 about 2 1/2 miles south of Fayette. Michael is jailed on $50,000 cash only bond. It wasn’t immediately clear if she had an attorney who could speak on her behalf.
AP: Iowa can take years to decertify officers for crimes
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa agency whose power to remove problem officers was recently expanded generally has taken years to ban those who commit serious crimes and rarely punishes officers for improper policing alone. Records show the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council has sought to decertify 17 officers in the last 2½ years after determining they had committed crimes or misconduct that warranted their removal from the profession. An Associated Press review found that most of those officers had been found guilty of felonies, domestic violence or other crimes that disqualify them from working in law enforcement. Only one officer since 2018 has been decertified for improper police work.
Iowa governor signs bill limiting absentee ballot requests
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed into law a bill that limits the secretary of state’s ability to send absentee ballot requests to all registered voters. The change signed into law Thursday followed a record turnout in this year’s primary election, largely because of a surge in absentee voting. Senate Republicans pushed the measure through the legislature barely a week after a huge primary turnout, as Secretary of State Paul Pate sent ballot requests to all voters because of concerns in-person voting could be dangerous during the coronavirus pandemic. If the coronavirus persists and Pate wants to mail ballot applications to voters before the November election, the measure that Reynolds signed would require approval of the Republican-run legislature.
REYNOLDS-WHITE HOUSE MEETING
Reynolds compliments Trump on his “administration of action”
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds told President Donald Trump that his is “an administration of action” that is identifying barriers and gaps for U.S. workers and finding solutions. Reynolds is a member of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, which Trump established by executive order last year. Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross chair the panel. Video provided by the White House includes Reynolds praising Trump during a Friday visit to the White House for creating the board. The panel’s goal is to develop strategies for improving the workforce.
NURSE ACCUSED-DRUG THEFT
Iowa nurse accused of taking drugs from patients sentenced
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Rapids nurse accused of taking painkillers from hospital patients’ intravenous lines and injecting herself has been sentenced to four months in federal prison. Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old Kelly Postel, of Anamosa, was sentenced Friday to the prison term and fined $5500. She also was ordered to pay restitution and forfeit her nursing license. Prosecutors say Postel obtained an excess amount of fentanyl and morphine from the hospital pharmacy and administered patients’ prescribed amounts and then injected herself while at work with the leftover drugs. Authorities also say Postel took fentanyl from a patient by using a syringe to withdraw it from an intravenous line and injected herself while still at work.