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This Hour: Latest Iowa news, sports, business and entertainment

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DISASTER DECLARATION-IOWA

Iowa counties receive federal disaster declaration

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says 26 Iowa counties will receive federal disaster support to deal with damage from severe weather in June.

The presidential disaster declaration includes counties in the northern part of the state that experienced severe damage from winds, tornadoes, rain and flooding.

Under the declaration, the counties can access federal funds for debris removal, property repairs or other needs. The declaration also includes funding to help the state strengthen infrastructure and limit the impact of future disasters.

This is Iowa's second such presidential declaration this year. Branstad says additional requests for federal declarations may be sent later.

RAGBRAI DEATH

RAGBRAI rider from Sioux City dies in Mason City

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A RAGBRAI participant from Sioux City has been found dead in his tent in Mason City in the second death during the weeklong bicycling event.

The Des Moines Register reports 74-year-old George "Frank" Brinkerhoff was found dead inside his tent Thursday morning at Parker's Woods Campground.

Mason City police Sgt. Greg Scott ways Brinkerhoff was participating in the Register's Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa. Scott didn't know if Brinkerhoff was riding alone or with a group.

Scott says Brinkerhoff appeared to die of natural causes, but a medical examiner who responded hasn't determined the cause of death.

On Monday, 62-year-old Tom Teesdale, of West Branch, had a heart attack and died at a hospital in Emmetsburg.

There have been 30 deaths during RAGBRAI's 42 years.

STATE PURCHASING OFFICIAL-LAWSUIT

State worker sues for age, sex discrimination

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Urbandale woman fired from her state job last year but later reinstated with back pay by an arbitrator is suing the state and the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, claiming sex discrimination, age discrimination and retaliation.

Lois Schmitz, who is 64, claims her supervisor at DAS, Bruce Greiner, was hostile and abusive before firing her and replacing her with a younger worker.

She says Greiner accused her of violating competitive bidding and ethics disclosure regulations. A business she owns with her husband has won state construction contracts.

She filed a grievance over her dismissal and won her job back in December.

Greiner was reassigned to a different job and later fired.

Schmitz seeks unspecified damages in the lawsuit filed Tuesday.

A DAS spokesman didn't immediately respond to a message.

PREGNANT WOMAN KILLED

Deliberations resume at Iowa man's murder trial

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Jurors will be allowed to review the video, but not the transcript, of an Iowa man being interrogated as they consider whether he's guilty of murder in the death of his pregnant wife.

Judge Daniel Wilson said Thursday that he has provided the video of Seth Techel's interview with Division of Criminal Investigation agent Chris Thomas to jurors.

But he denied their request for the transcript of the four-hour interrogation that jurors were given during the trial to follow along, saying that was not evidence.

The interrogation came hours after Techel's wife, Lisa Techel, was found dead in their trailer in Agency, in rural southeastern Iowa. In it, he denied killing his wife and rejected pressure to confess.

The jury is considering whether Techel is guilty of first-degree murder.

INTERSTATE PIG DEATHS

12 piglets die after falling from semi on I-29

GRAND FORKS, N.D. (AP) - The Highway Patrol says a dozen piglets died when they fell from a moving semitrailer on Interstate 29 in eastern North Dakota.

Patrol Lt. Dave Wolf says the semi was hauling the piglets from the Canadian city of Winnipeg to a farm in Iowa to be raised. He says the piglets somehow lifted an unlocked gate on the undercarriage of the livestock trailer about midday Wednesday.

Twelve of the animals fell to their deaths on the highway over a span of 23 miles between Grand Forks and Fargo.

Wolf says the falling piglets did not damage any other vehicles. The semi driver was not cited.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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