Justice

Iowan who cited religious beliefs in refusing to wear a mask is denied jobless benefits

BY: - April 14, 2021

An Iowa man who refused to wear a COVID-19 face mask at work because it violated his religious beliefs is not entitled to unemployment benefits, a state judge has ruled. State records indicate that since 2012, Aaron Vulich worked sporadically for Tri-City Electric of Iowa as a communication technician, installing internet networks and other infrastructure […]

Senate proposes $8.2 million increase for public universities

BY: - April 13, 2021

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday approved a $8.2 million increase for Iowa’s public universities, a proposal in opposition to the House’s Regents funding freeze. The committee also advanced budget bills for agriculture and natural resources programs and Iowa courts. The education budget, which passed the committee by a party-line vote, would backfill a fiscal […]

First-offense marijuana arrest threatens Iowan’s career, even after it’s expunged

BY: - April 12, 2021

An Iowa woman whose livelihood is threatened by a first-offense possession of marijuana charge is taking the Iowa Department of Human Services to court over the matter. The case illustrates how even a minor a drug offense that has been expunged from the public record can have major, unexpected consequences for Iowans. In recently filed […]

Did Iowa deputy tell OWI suspect that talks with his attorney would be recorded?

BY: - April 12, 2021

An Iowa lawyer who lost his driving privileges after a drunken-driving stop is arguing that the arresting officer didn’t give him enough time to call his own attorney or allow him to speak with his attorney privately. According to court records, Adam C. Manatt, 42, was driving through the south side of Brooklyn, Iowa, at […]

Iowa home for women in crisis sued for barring emotional-support dog

BY: - April 9, 2021

Should a home for women in crisis be forced to accommodate their clients’ emotional-support pets? That’s the question posed by a lawsuit brought by the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission. The commission, which works to prevent housing discrimination within the city, is seeking more than $165,000 in damages and penalties from the nonprofit […]

Iowa officer who had sex with his boss’ teenage stepdaughter blocks decertification

BY: - April 9, 2021

An Iowa police officer who admits to having sex with his boss’ teenage stepdaughter has, for now, successfully blocked the state’s attempts to decertify him as a law enforcement officer. Court records indicate Alex Ladwig first became a police officer in 2014 when he was hired by the Lake View Police Department in Sac County. […]

U.S. gun violence an ‘international embarrassment,’ Biden says in rolling out executive action

BY: - April 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Thursday reiterated his call on Congress to pass stalled gun legislation reform but also outlined executive action he’s taking on several gun control measures, following deadly mass shootings last month in Colorado and Georgia. “Gun violence in this country is an epidemic and it’s an international embarrassment,” Biden said […]

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 […]