U.S. House panel probes extent of fraud in federal COVID-19 relief programs

BY: - February 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — From 2020 to 2022, a group of Minnesotans pretended to be serving meals to low-income children, all the while filing for reimbursement under a federal COVID-19 relief program aimed to buoy child nutrition as schools and child care centers closed. In all, the schemers defrauded the government of $250 million, the Minnesota Reformer reported. […]

Surgeon barred from practicing after claims of fraud, retaliation, harassment

BY: - January 31, 2023

A Des Moines plastic surgeon accused of sexual harassment, workplace retaliation and Medicare fraud has been barred from practicing medicine in Iowa due to concerns over his ability to do so safely. The allegations against Dr. Ronald S. Bergman, 74, of Bergman Plastic Surgery also involve the surgeon’s girlfriend and former clinic manager, who is […]

Of more than 7,500 threats against members of Congress in 2022, just 22 prosecuted

BY: - January 31, 2023

WASHINGTON —  Members of Congress receive thousands of threats a year, though just a fraction of the people who call, mail or email will ever be prosecuted — a situation that’s of great concern to the police who guard members. Just 22 of the 7,501 threats lobbed at members during 2022 led to prosecution, the […]

Iowa House panel advances liability protection for trucking companies

BY: - January 31, 2023

A year after a similar bill died on the floor of the Iowa House, Republican lawmakers are again advancing legislation to expand liability protection for trucking companies whose employees cause injury, death or other damages while on the job. An Iowa House subcommittee on Tuesday advanced House Study Bill 114, which would put a $1 […]

University of Iowa sued by its corporate partner in billion-dollar utility deal

BY: - January 30, 2023

Just three years into a 50-year, billion-dollar partnership with a utility company, the University of Iowa is being sued over an alleged failure to abide by the terms of the deal. The University of Iowa Energy Collaborative is suing the public university in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa. The UIEC […]

U.S. House GOP takes aim at fake pills containing deadly fentanyl sold on social media

BY: - January 25, 2023

WASHINGTON — On a June 2020 morning, Amy Neville entered her son’s bedroom to wake him for an orthodontist appointment. Fourteen-year-old Alex didn’t wake up. He died of fentanyl poisoning after taking a counterfeit pill he bought from someone he met on Snapchat, Neville told GOP lawmakers Wednesday during a roundtable discussion of the role […]

Iowa care facility now the subject of a criminal investigation

BY: - January 25, 2023

State officials say they are conducting a criminal investigation into the treatment of residents at a southern Iowa nursing home. State inspectors say a female resident of Sigourney’s Windsor Place Senior Living Campus was left in a vegetative state in November after the facility’s administrator ignored the staff’s concerns about the woman’s worsening condition and […]

Classified material found in the Indiana home of former VP Mike Pence

BY: - January 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Mike Pence is the latest top public official to have been discovered possessing classified material in his personal home, according to a letter his lawyer sent to the National Archives. A dozen documents with classified markings were discovered in Pence’s residence in Carmel, Indiana, in mid-January. The former vice president […]

Wave of mass shootings prompts Biden to call yet again for assault weapons ban

BY: - January 24, 2023

WASHINGTON — Following a mass shooting on the eve of Lunar New Year in which 11 people in a predominantly Asian neighborhood in California were killed, President Joe Biden again urged Congress to pass legislation banning assault weapons. Communities across America “have been struck by tragedy after tragedy, including mass shootings from Colorado Springs to […]

Judge upholds state’s decision to decertify officer who had sex with teen

BY: - January 24, 2023

An Iowa police officer who resigned because of a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl has lost his bid to regain his certification as a law enforcement officer. Jacob Smith, 32, who worked as a police officer for the cities of Sumner and Carroll, filed a court petition last year seeking judicial review of the […]

White House says DOJ had ‘unprecedented access’ to Biden home during search

BY: - January 23, 2023

WASHINGTON — Department of Justice officials had “unprecedented access” to every room in President Joe Biden’s Delaware home Friday during a search that followed several days of disclosures that classified material from the Obama era had been found in Biden’s garage and think tank office, White House officials said Monday. The historic 13-hour search of […]

jail, prison, detention, incarceration

Civil rights group objects to using federal COVID aid for jails

BY: - January 20, 2023

The American Civil Liberties Union is asking the Treasury Department to take a harder line on states and local governments using federal American Rescue Plan Act money to build and expand correctional facilities. One of the projects it cited is in Scott County, where local officials had previously considered using the federal money for a […]