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Latest Iowa news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. CDT

Latest Iowa news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. CDT
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:23 AM CDT
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RACIAL INJUSTICE-IOWA OFFICER FIRED

Cleared in shooting, Iowa officer fired for letting woman go

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa officer who has faced protests for shooting an unarmed Black man in 2016 says he's being unfairly terminated for giving a break to a driver two days earlier. The Cedar Rapids Police Department fired Sgt. Lucas Jones last month, saying only that he had violated department policy. Protesters had been calling for his dismissal over the 2016 shooting of Jerime Mitchell after a traffic stop. A termination letter released this week shows that Jones was not fired for misconduct related to Mitchell's shooting. Instead, it shows that the city is faulting him for refusing to arrest a Black woman who was driving with a suspended license two days earlier. Jones is vowing to appeal his termination.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-IOWA

Iowa positive coronavirus cases jump 676, approaching 30,000

State health officials say the number of confirmed positive coronavirus cases identified in Iowa continues to increase with 676 new positive cases reported Thursday. The new cases brought the state’s total known positive cases to 29,966. The number of deaths remained at 717. Iowa Department of Public Health data indicates positive case numbers had been in decline since peaking in early May but began a slow climb again around mid-June. That's about two weeks after Gov. Kim Reynolds reopened bars and restaurants and relaxed other restrictions on social activities. She has acknowledged recently that increased cases are tied to young adults.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-IOWA PRISON

Inmate at Fort Dodge prison test positive for COVID-19

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Iowa state prisons officials say an inmate at a state prison in Fort Dodge has tested positive for the new coronavirus. The Iowa Department of Corrections says in a news release that the Fort Dodge Correctional Facility inmate is a male adult under the age of 40 and has been in medical isolation since first notifying staff that he was not feeling well on Tuesday. Prisons officials say he experiencing mild symptoms and will receive medical care as necessary as he recovers. Prisons officials say the unit where the inmate was housed has been placed on quarantine status, and additional testing at the prison is underway.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-IOWA-BODY BAGS

Grim gift adds 500 body bags to Iowa's coronavirus stockpile

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa’s executive branch is getting a grim gift from a company that has long made uniforms for meatpacking workers: a free supply of 500 body bags. Dickson Industries is donating the body bags as the state prepares for a worst-case scenario in which the coronavirus or another health emergency would overwhelm hospitals and medical examiners. The Des Moines-based company makes garments and products for the food processing, medical and other industries, including coats and insulated jackets for meatpacking workers. A state spokesman says the body bags will be kept in a state stockpile, just like 500 ventilators the state is purchasing.

RACIAL INJUSTICE-PROTESTERS ARRESTED

Police arrest protesters at Iowa Capitol after confrontation

DES MOINES, Iowa. (AP) — Police used tear gas and arrested people at the Iowa Capitol during a protest to persuade Gov. Kim Reynolds to restore voting rights to felons. KCCI reports the police said protesters started the confrontation on Wednesday but protesters accused law enforcement of mishandling the arrests. Videos from the scene show Iowa State Patrol troopers taking some protesters to the ground while others tried to pull authorities away. Des Moines police arrived and more arrests were made. Police say at least 15 people were arrested. Two juveniles also were taken into custody..

ABORTION-IOWA

Iowa governor signs abortion law amid court challenge

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has signed a bill requiring women to wait 24 hours to get an abortion. The law is similar to one struck down by the Iowa Supreme Court two years ago. Reynolds signed the measure into law Monday as lawyers for Planned Parenthood of the Heartland and the state were wrapping up arguments before a state court judge who must now decide whether to immediately halt its enforcement. Planned Parenthood claims the bill is unconstitutional in the way it was passed in the middle of the night and that it violates due process and equal protection rights of women seeking an abortion.

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