Iowa News

Iowa secretary of state's office to digitize old records
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa secretary of state's office is turning to digitization to halt the deterioration of some business records that date back to the 1850s. The office is accepting bids through the end of August for a project that aims to preserve information about early business ownership in Iowa. The records are maintained using microfilm, microfiche and physical cards in filing cabinets that altogether total more than two million images. Some records have degraded through normal use. The secretary of state's office has $300,000 in state funding to pay for the project, though actual costs are still being determined. The office wants to finish digitization by the end of the year. Similar projects are underway in other areas of Iowa's state government.

Single punch didn't kill Iowan, medical examiner says
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Polk County medical examiner says one punch to the face didn't kill a 32-year-old Des Moines man. Police say Ryan Thompson was talking to his fiancee outside their home July 10 when a man who was driving by stopped, got out and then punched Thompson in a side of his face after saying Thompson owed him money. Thompson died the next day. No arrests have been reported. Medical examiner Gregory Schmunk told The Des Moines Register that an autopsy found that Thompson had large amounts of methamphetamine in his system when he died from a hemorrhagic stroke. Schmunk says there is no evidence Thompson died from the punch. Schmunk says Thompson's death was accidental because the meth acutely raises blood pressure and can cause a stroke.

Iowa hospital warns former patients of possible infection
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Des Moines hospital is alerting about 2,600 people who had open-heart surgery there from 2012 to 2015 that they might have been exposed to a bacterial infection. The Des Moines Register reports that two of the former Mercy Medical Center patients have been diagnosed with an infection with the germs, called nontuberculous mycobacteria. Iowa Department of Public Health medical director Patricia Quinlisk described the germ as "a cousin to tuberculosis, but it's much less potent and much more slow-growing." She says University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics issued a similar warning earlier this year. Quinlisk says people who undergo the heart procedures tend to have weak immune systems. Mercy Medical Center says the bacteria could have spread from a heart-lung bypass machine used in heart surgery.

Davenport man shot by police charged in case
DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — Law enforcement officials have charged a man shot last month by police with assaulting a peace officer and criminal mischief. The Scott County Sheriff's Office announced the charges Wednesday against 19-year-old Rodricco Radell Parks Jr., of Davenport. The office said the charges were brought after the department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation had concluded their investigation into the officer-involved shooting. Officials say Parks also faces a number of unrelated charges. Parks was shot July 19 after officers responded to a report of shots being fired. The officers say they fired at a vehicle racing from the scene when it rammed a police cruiser. Police say they later found Parks at a hospital getting treatment for a gunshot wound.

Heavy overnight rains swamp northeast Iowa
DECORAH, Iowa (AP) — The National Weather Service has issued flash flood warnings for several northeast Iowa counties following heavy overnight rains that have forced evacuations and school closures. Authorities said Wednesday that nearly 8½ inches of rain fell in Decorah and more than 5½ inches in Dorchester. The weather service says the Turkey River at Elkader is expected to rise past its flood stage of 12 feet and reach nearly 25 feet by Thursday afternoon. Winneshiek County says evacuations have taken place in Freeport and that an emergency shelter has been set up in Decorah. Winneshiek and Allamakee county officials say several roads are washed out or are covered with runoff. Sandbagging is underway in Spillville and Fort Atkinson. School was canceled in Decorah, Riceville and several other towns.

Body of Iowa man swept beneath barge recovered in Missouri
HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) — The body of a man who was swept beneath a Missouri River barge near Hamburg, Iowa, has been recovered from the river just south of the state border in Missouri. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the body of 42-year-old Jason Grayson was recovered Wednesday downstream from Hamburg. Grayson, of Elliot, Iowa, had been missing since Sunday, when the boat he was in lost power and was swept under a barge moored to the bank of the Missouri River. The operator of the boat, 47-year-old Johnnie Fields, of Shenandoah, was able to swim beneath the barge and then was rescued by people along the riverbank. The 16-foot aluminum fishing boat was recovered Tuesday night.

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