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Iowa News

August 14, 2020

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Officials say it will take five days or longer to restore power to some Iowa homes and businesses that have been without electricity after a wind storm left damage across the Midwest on Monday and killed at least four people. In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, a utility company spokesman says the straight-line winds that toppled trees and power lines across the state was unprecedented and caused extensive damage to the power grid. In rural central Iowa, a county sheriff has attributed two more deaths to the storm. He says that a 42-year-old woman on her porch was struck by a large tree as the storm moved through, and a 41-year-old electrician was electrocuted by a power line.


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has sued two Democratic-leaning Iowa counties that are making it easy to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic, seeking to invalidate tens of thousands of voters’ absentee ballot applications. The Trump campaign, the Republican National Committee and other GOP groups filed the lawsuits against elections officials in Linn and Johnson counties. At issue are absentee ballot request forms that the counties are sending to registered voters with personal information already filled in. The GOP lawsuits argue that the auditors are violating a state directive by prepopulating the forms and that any ballots cast in response to the mailings may be subject to legal challenge.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farmers across much of Iowa are dealing with the heartbreaking aftermath of a rare wind storm that turned what was looking like a record corn crop into deep losses. The storm slammed the Midwest with straight line winds of up to 100 miles per hour on Monday, gaining strength as it plowed through Iowa farm fields, flattening corn and bursting grain bins still filled with tens of millions of bushels of last year’s harvest. Similar damage was reported in Indiana and Illinois. Before the storm, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had forecast a record national corn crop this year, of which Iowa was expected to provide about 18%.


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Rapids man has been charged in the fatal beating of his mother earlier this summer over what police say was an effort to steal $50 from her. Police say 49-year-old George Alan Deason is charged with first-degree murder and other counts in the death of 71-year-old Elsie Mae Deason. Police believe George Deason attacked his mother in her home on June 30. She was found the next day with critical injuries. Police said it appeared she had been severely beaten. She was taken to a hospital, where she died of her injuries on July 23. Police say George Deason was arrested shortly after his injured mother was found, and police confiscated a battering weapon called a slapjack from him.

Illinois News

August 14, 2020

Security cameras captured the pillaging of a West Side Chicago convenience store hours after Mayor Lori Lightfoot warned vandals that the city would hold them accountable for ransacking downtown retailers. Walid Mouhammad, owner of African Food & Liquor, watched surveillance video helplessly from home on Monday as thieves destroyed his ATM, safe and cash register, stealing money and ripping the store apart in the process. Mouhammad says police were just a block away when his landlord and several workers called 911 to report that people were trying to break into the store. He says Chicago police officers arrived about a half hour after the store had already been emptied.


CHICAGO (AP) — Cook County’s state’s attorney’s office says 42 people have been charged with felonies in connection with the looting of stores along the city’s premier retail street that occurred earlier this week. Prosecutors said Thursday among the charges filed include one for attempted murder and 28 for burglary and looting, in addition to aggravated battery, resisting a police officer, theft and criminal damage to property. State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who is up for re-election this year, has been criticized as being too lenient after the lootings earlier this summer during the fallout from the killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.


CHICAGO (AP) — Store owners in and around Chicago’s Michigan Avenue are asking themselves if the economics and reputation of one America’s most prestigious shopping districts can rebound from the damage caused by looting this week. Similar attacks in June by some who took advantage of protests against excessive police force in the wake of George Floyd’s killing caused similar damage.  The damage this week that is sure to run into millions of dollars comes as a double blow. Businesses had been slowly reopening after pandemic-related shutdowns. The president of one the city’s largest business associations,  Michael Edwards, called the latest looting “a psychological gut punch” to the business community.


CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois state Sen. Terry Link faces a federal charge of filing a false tax return. That’s according to a charging document filed Thursday. Link, a Democrat from Vernon Hills, is the latest state legislator to face public corruption charges. The document says Link reported an income of $264,450 in 2016 “when defendant knew that the total income substantially exceeded that amount.” Link represents suburbs north of Chicago. He first took office in 1997. He didn’t immediately return a request for comment. The charge comes after several other state lawmakers were charged as a result of the federal government’s ongoing criminal investigations into public corruption.