Man gets 2 years for taking locker room pictures

CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — A former janitor has been sentenced to two years for taking pictures of women in an eastern Iowa college locker room.
Linn County court records say 46-year-old Jeffrey Pospisil was sentenced Friday on two counts of invasion of privacy. He’d pleaded guilty in September.
The investigation began when students at Cornell College in Mount Vernon reported seeing a cellphone held in an open doorway leading to the locker room. A coach found Pospisil in the area. He was an employee with a business that provides custodial service for the college. He told police he had been texting on the phone. But a search of the phone revealed more than 100 images taken in the locker room as students were fully or partially nude.
Pospisil was fired from his job.

Man accused of murder in eastern Iowa shooting death

MUSCATINE (AP) — A man has been accused of shooting to death a woman at a recreation area in eastern Iowa.
Muscatine County court records say 23-year-old David Hatfield, of Muscatine, faces a murder charge. Authorities say he fatally shot his girlfriend, 18-year-old Kaitlyn Palmer, at Saulsbury Recreation Area on Wednesday. Authorities say she died Thursday at an Iowa City hospital.
Hatfield’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call Monday from The Associated Press.
The court records say Hatfield initially told investigators that Palmer had shot herself in the head. He later acknowledged that he’d shot her.

Child welfare worker enters guilty plea

IOWA CITY (AP) — An Iowa social services worker has entered a guilty plea to perjury over her false testimony that helped convince a judge to remove four children from their parents.
Former Iowa Department of Human Services employee Chelsie Gray entered a written Alford plea to the felony charge last week under a proposed plea agreement with prosecutors.
Such a plea is an acknowledgment that prosecutors may have enough evidence to prove her guilt at trial but that she maintains her innocence.
If accepted by a judge, prosecutors would dismiss two other perjury counts and she will be recommended for a deferred judgment. That means the charge would be wiped away from her record if she stays out of trouble.
A judge has scheduled a plea and sentencing hearing for Dec. 3.
Gray, 30, was charged in April with making several false statements during a December 2017 hearing in which she recommended a judge terminate the parental rights of a mother and father.

Marion expanding airport runway, improving lights

MARION (AP) — Work has begun to expand the airport runway in the Cedar Rapids suburb of Marion.
The Gazette reports a groundbreaking ceremony was held last week for the $1.7 million project.
The work will widen the runway from 23 to 60 feet, meeting the standards of a basic service airport. An additional $400,000 is being spent to replace lighting.
The project is being funded by a $424,000 grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation and city bonds.
The city also plans to make improvements to signage, the parking areas and other parts of the airport.

Mother of boy who shot himself gets probation, fine

DES MOINES (AP) — The mother of a 4-year-old boy who shot himself after finding an unsecured gun in her vehicle in Des Moines has been sentenced to a year of probation.
Polk County court records say 28-year-old Rachel Rowe also was fined $315 and given a deferred judgment. Under a deferred judgment, her conviction can be removed from her record if she were to successfully complete the terms of her probation. She’d pleaded guilty to allowing a child access to a loaded gun.
Kent Balduchi is Rowe’s attorney, and he told The Des Moines Register on Friday that she and her husband thought the gun was in a child-safe holster. It wasn’t. The boy found the .45-caliber handgun May 29 inside another container in her vehicle and shot himself in an upper arm.

Women sent by Iowa to Wisconsin juvenile home settle isolation cell lawsuit

DES MOINES (AP) — The state of Iowa has agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by two women once held at a state-run juvenile home for nearly $700,000.
The Iowa State Appeal Board has agreed to the settlement which pays Laera Reed and Paige Ray-Cluney more than $170,000 each and their lawyers more than $340,000.
The women were held at the Iowa Juvenile Home at Toledo until former Gov. Terry Branstad ordered it closed in 2014 after allegation surfaced that some girls were held in seclusion cells.
Iowa then sent Reed and Ray-Cluney to the Copper Lake School for Girls in Wisconsin where they claim in court documents they were held in isolation cells and subjected to other treatment that led to suicide attempts.
Iowa taxpayers will pay the settlement from the state’s general fund.
Wisconsin officials in June agreed to pay $1.95 million apiece to Reed and Ray-Cluney to settle a lawsuit filed against the state for their treatment at the Copper Lake facility.

Pat Grassley, grandson of US senator, to be Iowa Speaker

Associated Press
DES MOINES — Iowa state Rep. Pat Grassley, the grandson of the long-serving U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, was chosen Monday to head the Iowa House leadership team as Speaker-Select.
Pat Grassley was chosen by the GOP House caucus on Monday. He will take over as speaker after a vote of the full House in January. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority in the chamber.
Rep. Linda Upmeyer, speaker since 2015, announced a week ago that she would step down as speaker but serve the remainder of her current House term through the end of 2020.
Grassley, 36, of New Hartford, was first elected to the House in 2006. He operates a family farm with his father and grandfather, who also served in the Iowa House from 1959 to 1975. He has recently served as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
Grassley said he talked with his grandfather about running for speaker but asked him not to make calls on his behalf because the decision was one for the Republican caucus. He said conversations between them are more often about things other than politics.
“What I tell everyone is my grandpa and I talk about gas prices and who picks up more pop cans on the side of the road so a lot of the conversations that we have are really more about just grandfather and grandson things,” Grassley said. “He’s more than happy to answer questions when I have them from me to him and give me advice but his job, and he knows this, is not to tell me what I am or am not going to do.”
Charles Grassley said in a statement he’s watched his grandson become an effective leader.
“Pat has not forgotten his strong Butler County roots. Working on our family farm from a very young age, Pat embraces the value and virtue of hard work and it shows,” he said.
State Rep. Matt Windschitl, one of the House’s most ardent gun rights advocates, was elected House majority leader and state Rep. John Wills was elected as the next Speaker Pro Tem.

Unions sue USDA in effort to halt new pork processing rule

Associated Press
DES MOINES — The union representing workers at pork processing plants sued the federal government on Monday to challenge a new rule that allows companies to set line speeds and turn over more food safety tasks to company employees.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and local unions in Minnesota, Iowa and Kansas joined with nonprofit consumer advocacy group Public Citizen to file the lawsuit in federal court in Minneapolis.
The lawsuit alleges that the new rule announced in September by the U.S. Department of Agriculture violates the Administrative Procedure Act because it isn’t backed by reasoned decision-making and should be set aside.
A spokeswoman for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said the agency does not comment on pending litigation.
UFCW International President Marc Perrone said there is no evidence that line speed increases can be done in a manner that ensures food and worker safety.
“Increasing pork plant line speeds not only is a reckless giveaway to giant corporations, it will put thousands of workers in harm’s way,” he said.
Swine slaughter workers regularly have reported extreme pressure to work as quickly as possible, which increases the risk of knife injuries, knee, back, shoulder and neck traumas, and repetitive motion injuries including carpal tunnel syndrome, the union said in a statement.
In June, the USDA’s Office of Inspector General launched an investigation into its rulemaking procedure at the request of 17 members of Congress. Public Citizen and UFCW are asking the court to block implementation of the rule and to set it aside.
Local UFCW units joining the lawsuit represent pork slaughter workers in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota; Denison, Iowa, and Bel Aire, Kansas.

Trial set for man whose property contained dead, live cats

DES MOINES (AP) — A November trial has been scheduled for a Polk County man charged after authorities removed nearly 200 cats from his property, which also contained nearly 200 cat carcasses.
Polk County court records say 66-year-old Dennis Carlson has pleaded not guilty to animal neglect causing death or serious injury. The records say he rejected a plea deal last week, and his trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 20.
The Animal Rescue League of Iowa says 186 cats and 194 carcasses were found at the property, which sits a little more than a mile southeast of Madrid.