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 […]

Iowa Supreme Court hears arguments in Planned Parenthood case

BY: - March 23, 2021

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland faced pointed questions from Iowa Supreme Court justices on Tuesday as the court considered a law barring the organization from receiving state funds for sex education programming. Although the 2019 law itself is narrowly written, the court’s decision could have far-reaching implications as to whether the state can refuse to […]


Winners in court can still be losers and the cost may be free expression

BY: - March 23, 2021

Many years ago, during a conversation with an old lawyer, he made a comment I still remember: “You can sue the bishop of Boston for bastardy, but that doesn’t mean you are going to collect.” It was Frank Karpan’s way of reminding a young editor that merely filing a lawsuit is not the most important […]

nterior of an empty courtroom with gavel and sounding block on the desk.

Iowa counselor accused of using child to extort sexual favors from client

BY: - March 19, 2021

An Iowa woman is suing a family counseling service, alleging one of its employees extorted sexual favors from her by threatening to deny her access to her child. Tricia Babbitt of Linn County is suing Families First Counseling Services of Iowa and one of its care coordinators, Quentin Thurmond, in Linn County District Court. She […]