Iowa workforce chief gave judge positive reviews
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Documents show Iowa Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert approved positive performance evaluations for the agency's former top unemployment appeals judge, whom she publicly disparaged earlier this month.
Wahlert criticized Joe Walsh after he filed a wrongful termination lawsuit contending that Wahlert fired him for opposing her efforts to change his job into a political appointment.
Wahlert's agency issued a statement calling the lawsuit a frivolous attempt to shift attention from "the poor performance" of Walsh's appeals bureau. She accused him of failing to meet Department of Labor standards for deciding cases in a timely manner, among other things.
Walsh says he was stunned because Wahlert had never previously criticized his performance. Evaluations signed by Wahlert in 2012 and 2013 indicated Walsh was meeting expectations and improving the bureau's case efficiency.
Authorities say woman died of gunshot wounds
CAMBRIDGE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have identified a woman whose body was found in a central Iowa home and determined she died of gunshot wounds.
The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced Wednesday that the body found Monday in the upstairs bedroom of a house in Cambridge was identified as 49-year-old Vallerie Vee Cory. An autopsy completed Tuesday by the Iowa state medical examiner determined she died of multiple gunshot wounds, and her death was certified as a homicide.
Police have charged 44-year-old Jeremy Michael Cory with first-degree murder in his wife's death. He's being held in the Story County Jail with bond set at $1 million.
Online court records didn't list an attorney for Cory.
Board paroles Iowa inmate imprisoned for decades
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials have granted parole to a 68-year-old Iowa inmate who has been imprisoned since 1974 for the killing of a man over a gambling debt.
The Iowa Board of Parole on Wednesday approved the release of Rasberry Williams, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of a man outside a Waterloo pool hall.
Over the decades, Williams had been a model inmate and in 1979 helped end a prison standoff in which two guards were taken hostage. Gov. Terry Branstad commuted his sentence last year, making him eligible for parole.
The Des Moines Register reports parole board chairman Jason Carlstrom maintained Williams wouldn't be a threat if released.
Corrections Department spokesman Fred Scaletta says inmates typically are released two to four weeks after the board's decisions.
IOWA DOCTOR SUSPENDED
Ex-Iowa doctor gets jail for violating probation
HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa doctor convicted of sexual exploitation has been given jail time for violating his probation.
Forty-one-year-old Brian Hansen was found in contempt of court on Monday in Franklin County District Court. He'd violated a probation provision that barred him from contacting victims or their families.
Hansen was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty in May 2013 to one count of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist. Prosecutors dropped seven other counts of sexual abuse and exploitation.
The state medical board suspended Hansen's license last year. The board said Hansen had engaged in sex with co-workers and patients and made numerous improper sexual comments.
Branstad's tax return shows income of $234,907
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad earned $234,907 and is paying $28,298 in federal taxes for 2013.
The governor and his wife, Chris, are paying $6,235 in state taxes.
By releasing his tax returns Wednesday, Branstad continued a practice he's done annually as governor.
Branstad's governor salary totaled just over $127,000. He also earned more than $54,000 from the state's retirement pension fund from earlier service as governor, lieutenant governor and legislator. Additional income of $22,000 is from capital gains earned on business investments. He also received $35,000 from an IRA following an uncle's death.
Branstad contributed more than $40,000 to charities.
He paid an effective tax rate of 12 percent.
His Democratic opponent, Sen. Jack Hatch, released documents Tuesday showing income of $468,591 from real estate development businesses and his state salary.
Father joins effort to change handgun age limits
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Johnston father of two young daughters is joining with gun-rights advocates in seeking a change to an Iowa law that makes it illegal for children young than 14 to fire handguns.
Nathan Gibson told The Des Moines Register he was inspired to change the law after being told at a shooting range last weekend that his 8-year-old daughter, Natalie, wasn't old enough to shoot her handgun.
Natalie and her 10-year-old sister, Meredith, have been joining their father at shooting ranges since age 5.
Those seeking to change the law say shooting ranges have enforced it more closely since Altoona Democratic Sen. Joe Riding sought to lower the age limit from 14 to 12. That effort failed, but publicity surrounding it prompted ranges to abide by the law.
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