Iowa News

Branstad campaign sets more modest goals
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Back in 2010, Governor Terry Branstad pledged to create jobs, boost incomes and reduce government spending as part of his bid to return to office. Four years later, his re-election campaign promises are far less ambitious. The Republican governor — who holds a significant lead over Democrat Jack Hatch in recent polls — has released just a handful of policy proposals so far in his run for a sixth non-consecutive term. All are modest in nature, dealing with issues like college tuition and Internet access. Much of his campaign trail chat is about his recent achievements in office, including collaborating with the Legislature on a property tax cut and new education spending. Branstad said the agenda he laid out in 2010 was always meant to take five years, so he's still working to meet those targets. Hatch, a state lawmaker from Des Moines, said Branstad doesn't want to create high expectations for another term. "He can't even meet the promises he made four years ago," Hatch said.

Iowa county faces criticism for $7M tax break plan
HARRIS, Iowa (AP) — Residents are criticizing a northwest Iowa county's plan to use $6.9 million in tax breaks to improve roads around a major egg processor and rehabilitate an old school. The Des Moines Register reports the plan Osceola County officials are considering could also force one area school district to raise taxes because tax revenue from 60 wind turbines would be diverted for the projects. Farmer Al Brueggeman said he's upset that this plan has been developed with little public input. "The thing is, this has been kept so quiet," said Brueggeman, who farms 800 acres of corn and beans near Harris. "There's been no honesty, integrity or transparency." The county board plans to hold a meeting about the plan Tuesday morning, but officials declined to discuss the details beforehand.

Old Sioux City riverboat casino to be removed soon
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City officials say the old Argosy riverboat casino might not be removed before the deadline. Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott tells the Sioux City Journal he's concerned the old casino won't be gone by the September 28th deadline. The old Argosy Sioux City casino closed July 30 after losing a lengthy court fight to remain open. It remains moored on Larsen Park Road. Penn National gaming spokeswoman Karen Bailey says the company is working on removing the old casino, but she declined to discuss specific plans. City Manager Bob Padmore says the area will likely be converted to a green space after the casino is gone. The area could be used for something else once ongoing construction on Interstate 29 nearby is complete.

Man shot by Des Moines officers has died
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A man who Des Moines officers shot after they said he menaced them with a knife and wouldn't put it down has died. The man, Brian Beeler of Des Moines, died at 3:30 a.m. Sunday, Sergeant Jason Halifax says in a news release. Halifax said Officer Peter Wilson and Officer Cody Willis remain on administrative leave and the internal investigation of the shooting will continue. Police had said earlier that two officers sent to investigate a report of a domestic dispute Wednesday night met a woman and her 41-year-old nephew. The officers said the man had two knives in his waistband and wouldn't obey their orders. He grabbed one knife and moved toward the officers, they said. One officer fired a stun gun at the man but missed. The officers said Beeler kept moving toward them, so they fired their handguns.

Iowa man dies almost 2 weeks after shooting
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa man who was shot twice in the chest earlier this month died Sunday morning. The Sioux City Journal reports police are continuing to investigate the death of 66-year-old Ben Steffe of Sioux City, but charges against a suspect last week because there wasn't enough evidence. Police have said someone entered Steffe's home and shot him shortly before 7 a.m. on September 9th. One of Steffe's nephews was originally charged with the shooting, but Steffe said the gunman wore a mask and he couldn't positively identify the shooter. Steffe also had trouble answering investigators' questions because of the gunshot wounds. Officer Jeremy McClure said Sunday that an autopsy would be performed on Steffe's body.

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