Justice

Accused domestic abuser says he now has a gun permit

BY: - April 8, 2021

An eastern Iowa man whose domestic-violence conviction led to his being denied a gun permit says he has now legally obtained that permit. The dispute over whether 51-year-old Todd Michael Hansel of Dubuque is entitled to a gun permit has coincided with passage of a new state law eliminating, effective July 1, the legal requirement […]

Committee approves $20 million increase for prisons as Reynolds promises Anamosa investigation

BY: and - April 7, 2021

The House Appropriations Committee approved a $34.6 million increase in the proposed budget for state justice systems Wednesday, including what a lawmaker called “possibly a record increase” of $20.5 million for state prison salaries and staffing. Rep. Gary Worthan, R-Storm Lake, called the proposal a “culmination” of his 11 years overseeing this budget.  “It’s not […]

Prison looms for Iowa man after face-mask fight: ‘If I have it, you have it!’

BY: - April 7, 2021

A Des Moines man is facing a mandatory 10-year prison sentence after being accused of pulling down his COVID-19 face mask and spitting on a fellow retail customer while yelling, “If I have it, you have it!” Police and court records indicate Shane Michael, 42, went to the Vision 4 Less eyewear store on Merle […]

Two weeks after Anamosa attack, lawmakers, union reps spar over prison funding

BY: - April 6, 2021

The number of the day was $20 million. That’s how much House Republicans want to increase funding for the state prison system. Rep. Gary Worthan, chair of the Justice System Appropriations Subcommittee, said the Department of Corrections asked for slightly over $22 million to do salary adjustments for the fiscal year that begins July 1, […]

Police officer dead after suspect rams car into barricade outside U.S. Capitol

BY: - April 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — One U.S. Capitol Police officer was dead and another injured Friday after a driver slammed a car into a barricade outside the Capitol and struck the officers, according to law enforcement. The officer who died was identified as Officer William “Billy” Evans by police. “Officer Evans had been a member of the United […]

Judge dismisses grocers’ lawsuit against DNR on bottle bill

BY: - March 31, 2021

A Polk County judge has dismissed a grocery industry group’s lawsuit over the state’s handling of bottle bill rules. The Iowa Grocery Industry Association asked the Iowa Department of Natural Resources several times to set a formal “convenience standard” that would allow grocers to decline to take containers back if any redemption center was available […]

Alleged domestic abuser fights sheriff’s decision denying him a gun permit

BY: - March 29, 2021

An eastern Iowa man allegedly convicted of a domestic-violence offense is taking the state to court in an effort to reverse a decision denying him a gun permit. The dispute coincides with efforts by Republican state lawmakers to eliminate the legal requirement that Iowans apply for and be granted a permit to carry a handgun. […]

Alleged environmental violator to stand trial next week in western Iowa

BY: - March 26, 2021

A western Iowa man with a history of environmental violations is scheduled to stand trial next week on charges that he deliberately set fire to thousands of railroad ties on his property in open defiance of state regulators. The case illustrates how an accused environmental scofflaw can, according to the state, openly and repeatedly disregard […]

Iowa Capitol Dome

House ‘second chance’ bills would help nonviolent felons, evictees

BY: - March 25, 2021

The Iowa House of Representatives was in a forgiving mood Thursday.  Lawmakers unanimously passed two bills that would give “second chances” to nonviolent felons and evictees under certain circumstances. Rep. Dustin Hite, R-New Sharon, said House File 831 would remove a Class D felony for a nonviolent offense from a person’s record, assuming the person […]

Lawmakers to propose expansion of police immunity bill

BY: - March 24, 2021

Police officers would have increased immunity against lawsuits under a bill advancing quickly through the Iowa House. Senate File 476 defines “qualified immunity,” a legal principle that would make officers immune to some lawsuits if they violate a law that is “not sufficiently clear.” In an early March debate on the legislation, proponents of the […]

Reynolds declines to say whether she’ll sign bill eliminating handgun permit requirement

BY: - March 24, 2021

Gov. Kim Reynolds would not say Wednesday whether she plans to sign legislation approved last week to eliminate permit requirements for Iowans to purchase or carry a handgun. Reynolds, responding to a reporter’s question at a news conference, said her staff is currently reviewing House File 756. The bill received final approval by the Iowa […]

Iowa Supreme Court examines the powers of the governor in considering Godfrey case

BY: - March 24, 2021

The Iowa Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday as to just how much power the state’s governor wields, and whether race or sexual orientation can be considered in choosing which state officials are allowed to keep their jobs. The justices are considering an appeal in the case of former Worker’s Compensation Commissioner Chis Godfrey. Shortly after […]