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Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Backers of a $117 million plan to bring recreation to downtown Des Moines say the rivers project would create a network of 80 water trails across central Iowa. The project centerpiece would be a series of whitewater features that would replace three dangerous low-head dams along the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers. Project backers have discussed it with Iowa’s congressional members, hoping to secure a third of the cost through state and federal grants.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The president of the Planned Parenthood chapter for Iowa and Nebraska will step down as the organization prepares to join a larger chapter based in Minnesota. The Des Moines Register reports the agency announced Tuesday that Suzanna de Baca will step down effective Sept. 30. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland is joining Planned Parenthood Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota to form a new regional affiliate: Planned Parenthood North Central States.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The abrupt downfall of Iowa Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix soon became a cash windfall for the Republican Party of Iowa. The party accepted a $522,000 contribution from Dix’s campaign on March 26, two weeks after the Shell Rock farmer quit the Legislature. A party spokesman is defending the move, saying the cash “was raised to help elect and defend a Republican majority.”

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A spokesman for Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds’ campaign says it plans to return a $250 contribution from a former ally she fired over sexual harassment allegations. A campaign finance disclosure shows that then-Iowa Finance Authority Director Dave Jamison and his wife made the donation to Reynolds on March 1. Asked about the donation Tuesday, campaign spokesman Pat Garrett said, “we plan to return it.” Reynolds fired Jamison on March 24.

Wisconsin News

WASHINGTON (AP) – House Speaker Paul Ryan is facing growing disruption among the GOP ranks, raising fresh questions about his ability to lead a divided group of Republicans through a tough election season. Ryan sought to quell infighting Tuesday, dashing back to Washington from Wisconsin and abandoning plans for family time at home, as he tried to unify the factions and reassert control over the majority. Ryan recently announced he won’t seek re-election to Congress in the fall.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The U.S. Department of Justice is threatening to sue Wisconsin over its restrictions on overseas voters. The Wisconsin Elections Commission released a letter Tuesday that it received from the DOJ on May 9. The letter warned the agency is preparing to sue because Wisconsin law doesn’t allow temporary overseas voters to obtain ballots electronically or to file unofficial ballots.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker is suggesting he’s open to lifting the statute of limitations on civil child sex abuse lawsuits. Women’s March of Wisconsin has asked all candidates for elected office to support a version of the Child Victims Act, a legislative template that lifts states’ statute of limitations on civil child sexual abuse lawsuits.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker is sidestepping questions about whether more needs to be done to bolster student safety in the wake of a deadly high school shooting in Texas. Asked during a question-and-answer period with reporters at the executive mansion Tuesday whether the shooting at Santa Fe High School has motivated him to do more to increase school safety, Walker said no one should feel threatened at school.

Illinois News

CHICAGO (AP) – The Chicago City Council is expected to sign off on construction of the Obama Presidential Center in a park on the city’s South Side. The council is scheduled to take up the $500 million project Wednesday. The project remains under federal review because the site, Jackson Park, is on the National Register of Historic Places. However, City Council approval would be a major step forward.

WINFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Authorities say three people found dead in a suburban Chicago home were a couple and their son. The bodies in Winfield were discovered Monday after a concerned citizen spotted unconscious people through a window and called 911. The DuPage County coroner’s office said Tuesday the victims were 77-year-old Nancy Clinkenbeard, 76-year-old Clyde Clinkenbeard and their son, 50-year-old Karl Clinkenbeard. All three lived there. The coroner’s office says they had “multiple sharp force injuries.”

BENTON, Ill. (AP) – A southern Illinois man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his wife. Brian Pheasant was charged in the death of Beth Pheasant on Halloween night in 2016. Prosecutors alleged Pheasant arrived at his Christopher home with a gun to kill his wife after discovering earlier that month she was having an affair. The verdict came Tuesday after a 10-day trial.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – An Illinois lawmaker who believes House Speaker Michael Madigan retaliated against her for speaking out on sexual harassment is pleased that Madigan has asked for an independent investigation. But Chicago Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy said Tuesday she doesn’t trust the process that exists for reviewing complaints involving legislators. Cassidy says she was forced to resign from her with the Cook County sheriff in retaliation. Madigan denied he had any involvement but asked for the review.