Financial penalties for animal neglect are small, rare and may go unpaid

BY: - October 17, 2021

In October 2019, Chris Swigart, a special agent with the Iowa Division Criminal Investigation, drove down Timber Road in the rural Wayne County town of Russell and slowed his vehicle. Swigart was there to check out a reported unlicensed dog-breeding operation called Elite Basset Hounds, run by Michael Johnson and his husband, Juan Johnson. Although […]

Court will hear dog breeder’s request to transfer 189 dogs

BY: - October 16, 2021

A federal judge has agreed to hear a request by Wayne County dog breeder Daniel Gingerich to transfer all 189 dogs still in his possession to an Indiana organization. Earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose ordered Gingerich, who is accused of more than 100 violations of Animal Welfare Act, to surrender all dogs […]

Puppy mill owner now wants to rid himself of 189 dogs

BY: - October 15, 2021

Wayne County dog breeder Daniel Gingerich is asking a federal judge for permission to transfer all 189 dogs still in his possession to an Indiana organization that claims to be a charitable animal-rescue group. Earlier this week, U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose ordered Gingerich, who is accused of more than 100 violations of Animal […]

How a Mississippi court case could pave the way for new abortion bans across the U.S.

BY: - October 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — A six-week abortion ban in Texas enacted in September forced those seeking abortion services in the Lone Star State to look across state lines for care. But the timing couldn’t have been worse for Texans living near the state’s eastern border. The law took effect as neighboring Louisiana was reeling from the destruction […]

Puppy mill owner ordered to immediately surrender dogs in ‘acute distress’

BY: - October 14, 2021

A federal judge has ordered Wayne County dog breeder Daniel Gingerich to immediately surrender all dogs in his possession that are in “acute distress” and in need of medical care. The order by U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose follows a court hearing last week at which Gingerich signaled his willingness to give up at […]

State announces puppy mill inspections in advance: ‘Let’s do Wednesday at 10:30’

BY: - October 11, 2021

State inspections at Iowa’s dog-breeding facilities are supposed to take place on a “surprise” basis, but some of Iowa’s biggest offenders have their inspections scheduled at their own convenience. Although the federal U.S. Department of Agriculture handles the enforcement of the federal Animal Welfare Act, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship also plays […]

County board and architect battle over millions in cost overruns for jail

BY: - October 11, 2021

Floyd County and a Nebraska architectural company are suing each other in a dispute over millions of dollars in cost overruns tied to a new county jail and law enforcement center. In November 2017, the Nebraska architectural firm of Prochaska & Associates submitted to the county a series of cost projections for a proposed new […]


First major Second Amendment case before the Supreme Court in over a decade could topple gun restrictions

BY: - October 9, 2021

The stakes in one of the most significant Second Amendment cases in U.S. history are high. The Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, expected by mid-2022, could declare a New York state restriction on carrying concealed handguns in public places unconstitutional. Such a ruling in favor of the […]

Puppy mill owner tells judge ‘it’s nobody’s fault but my own’

BY: - October 8, 2021

A federal judge told a contrite Daniel Gingerich on Friday that she will take “whatever action” is necessary and legal to put a halt to the type of neglect the Wayne County dog breeder is accused of committing. Gingerich appeared before U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Rose on Friday for a hearing on the U.S. […]

Federal judge: Iowa schools can keep mask mandates until case is settled

BY: - October 8, 2021

Iowa schools can keep their mask mandates in place after a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction against a state law which prohibited schools from requiring face covers. Parents of children with disabilities sued the state in early September, arguing that the state’s prohibition on mask mandates was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities […]

Iowa advocates for the mentally ill face off in court over ‘unfair competition’ claim

BY: - October 8, 2021

A dispute over how Iowans’ charitable contributions are used has led to a court battle between advocates for the mentally ill, with a Des Moines organization accused of unfair competition. The National Alliance on Mental Illness, a Virginia-based nonprofit, is suing Mindspring Mental Health Alliance, an Iowa nonprofit known for years as the National Alliance […]

Sheriff: Criminal charges are warranted in puppy mill case

BY: - October 7, 2021

The Wayne County sheriff says he is considering filing criminal charges against dog breeder Daniel Gingerich for animal neglect. “We are definitely looking at filing some criminal charges,” Sheriff Keith Davis said Thursday. “After reading the (federal inspectors’) reports, I believe some charges are warranted and that we are able to do that.” Davis said […]