Iowa sees biggest daily COVID-19 increase since late May
Iowa has registered its largest daily jump in coronavirus cases since May, leading health officials to warn people to take the threat more seriously and to stop congregating in crowded places such as bars. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases jumped Friday by 744, which is the most since the state had 796 new cases on May 26. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose by three, to 742. Among the counties with the largest jumps was Scott County, on Iowa’s eastern border. Edward Rivers, director of the Scott County Health Department, says the increase correlated with the state lifting its final restrictions on bars, restaurants, casinos and mass gatherings in early June.
Federal grand jury investigating Iowa trooper’s misconduct
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A spokesman says the Iowa Department of Public Safety will hand over internal misconduct records to a federal grand jury investigating a trooper after unsuccessfully fighting a subpoena in court. The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the department must comply with the subpoena, which seeks internal investigation records related to an officer who is under scrutiny for possible civil rights violations. The department had asked the courts to quash the subpoena, saying that it would have a chilling effect on internal investigations. A federal judge and the appeals court upheld the subpoena, saying the department failed to show it was unreasonable. The ruling doesn’t identify the officer under investigation.
US appeals to proceed with 1st federal execution in 17 years
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department plans to appeal a judge’s ruling that would halt the first federal execution in nearly two decades. The halt was ordered after family members of the victims raised concerns they would be at high risk for the coronavirus if they had to travel to attend. They actually oppose the execution and say they wanted to be present to counter any contention that it was happening on their behalf. The Justice Department filed its notice to appeal to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday. A federal judge had ordered that Daniel Lee’s execution must not move forward as scheduled on Monday. Lee, of Yukon, Oklahoma, was convicted in Arkansas of the 1996 killings of a gun dealer, his daughter and her 8-year-old daughter.
Trial delayed for suspect in death of Mollie Tibbetts
MONTEZUMA, Iowa. (AP) — The trial of a man charged in the killing of University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts has been delayed. Cristhian Bahena Rivera was supposed to be tried in September, but the first-degree murder case was reset Friday to January because of of the pandemic and changing orders from the Iowa Supreme Court on when jury trials can resume. Investigators say Rivera, 25, stalked Tibbetts while she was out for a run in Brooklyn, Iowa, and stabbed her to death. Tibbetts, 20, disappeared on July 18, 2018. After a massive police and volunteer effort to find her, authorities say, Bahena Rivera led them to her body.
Biden’s Iowa hires signal tightening in state Trump won big
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Joe Biden’s presidential campaign has tapped a senior team in Iowa. It’s a sign that Democrats see the state where Republican Donald Trump beat them handily in 2016 as within reach. The campaign told The Associated Press that Biden is naming veteran Democratic operative Jackie Norris as his senior adviser of a team in Iowa. Joining Norris as Biden’s Iowa campaign director is Lauren Dillon, who directed Amy Klobuchar’s Iowa caucus campaign. Trump beat Hillary Clinton by 9 percentage points in the state four years ago. A competitive race in Iowa likely signals trouble for Trump in states he won by smaller margins.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-GRAFFITI PROJECT
UI project to document protest graffiti before removing it
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The University of Iowa is spending $1 million to remove spray-painted messages Black Lives Matter protesters left on campus buildings earlier this summer. But not before documenting and preserving the images for future generations. Hundreds of protesters who gathered and marched across the campus in recent weeks left a slew of social justice messages, including on the 178-year-old Old Capitol and 93-year-old Field House. The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the $1 million cleanup will employ five Iowa companies to remove the spray paint from building exteriors. To preserve the messages, UI Libraries will collect photos in an institutional archive that will grow and expand with additional documents, video clips, sound recordings and first-person narratives.