AP: Iowa can take years to decertify officers for crimes
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa agency whose power to remove problem officers was recently expanded generally has taken years to ban those who commit serious crimes and rarely punishes officers for improper policing alone. Records show the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council has sought to decertify 17 officers in the last 2½ years after determining they had committed crimes or misconduct that warranted their removal from the profession. An Associated Press review found that most of those officers had been found guilty of felonies, domestic violence or other crimes that disqualify them from working in law enforcement. Only one officer since 2018 has been decertified for improper police work.
Iowa coronavirus deaths exceed 700, positive cases up by 493
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa public health data indicates the state has surpassed 700 deaths from the coronavirus and known additional positive cases have jumped by 493 in the last 24 hours. Data shows the state with 27,555 known positive cases of coronavirus on Friday, about 9.8% of those tested overall. Seven additional deaths reported in the last 24 hours put the state at 701 total known deaths since state officials began tracking the virus in March. Counties showing significant increases in known positive cases in recent days include Story and Johnson, where local health officials have attributed the increase to young adults in college communities with increasingly active bar scenes.
Iowa governor signs bill limiting absentee ballot requests
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed into law a bill that limits the secretary of state’s ability to send absentee ballot requests to all registered voters. The change signed into law Thursday followed a record turnout in this year’s primary election, largely because of a surge in absentee voting. Senate Republicans pushed the measure through the legislature barely a week after a huge primary turnout, as Secretary of State Paul Pate sent ballot requests to all voters because of concerns in-person voting could be dangerous during the coronavirus pandemic. If the coronavirus persists and Pate wants to mail ballot applications to voters before the November election, the measure that Reynolds signed would require approval of the Republican-run legislature.
REYNOLDS-WHITE HOUSE MEETING
Reynolds compliments Trump on his “administration of action”
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds told President Donald Trump that his is “an administration of action” that is identifying barriers and gaps for U.S. workers and finding solutions. Reynolds is a member of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, which Trump established by executive order last year. Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump and Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross chair the panel. Video provided by the White House includes Reynolds praising Trump during a Friday visit to the White House for creating the board. The panel’s goal is to develop strategies for improving the workforce.
NURSE ACCUSED-DRUG THEFT
Iowa nurse accused of taking drugs from patients sentenced
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Rapids nurse accused of taking painkillers from hospital patients’ intravenous lines and injecting herself has been sentenced to four months in federal prison. Federal prosecutors say 43-year-old Kelly Postel, of Anamosa, was sentenced Friday to the prison term and fined $5500. She also was ordered to pay restitution and forfeit her nursing license. Prosecutors say Postel obtained an excess amount of fentanyl and morphine from the hospital pharmacy and administered patients’ prescribed amounts and then injected herself while at work with the leftover drugs. Authorities also say Postel took fentanyl from a patient by using a syringe to withdraw it from an intravenous line and injected herself while still at work.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-IOWA SCHOOLS
Iowa school reopening plan doesn’t require masks, distancing
GRIMES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa school officials have released guidelines that allow schools to reopen to normal activities as of July 1 without health checks before entering the building, no required face coverings and no required social distancing. A spokeswoman for the Iowa State Education Association, the state’s teacher’s union, says the plan doesn’t comply with CDC guidelines for public places and is an “obscene” gamble on the health of students, teachers and other school employees. An education department spokeswoman says the guidance was created with the Iowa Department of Public Health and schools may require their own stricter measures after consulting with a lawyer and local public health officials.