Iowa

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Iowa Town Dreams Up Really Odd $5 Raffle

The winner gets to wield a stun gun

(Newser) - If you've ever felt like tasing a city official, well, Van Meter, Iowa, is the place for you. The town is giving one member of the public the chance to do just that by way of a $5 raffle. The winner will get to use a Taser on City... More »

Court Reaffirms Right to Get Drunk on Your Porch

If you live in Iowa, anyway

(Newser) - The perfect court decision heading into the weekend: Iowa's Supreme Court endorsed the right to be drunk on the front porch of a private home, ruling that a woman can't be convicted of public intoxication while standing on her front steps. Patience Paye, 29, of Waterloo based the... More »

The Iowa Straw Poll Is Dead

GOP tradition since 1979 canceled due to expense, lack of interest

(Newser) - For nearly 40 years, Iowa held its straw poll for Republican hopefuls every summer before the presidential caucuses—but the poll set for this summer is now dead, the AP reports. Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann tells the news agency that state GOP officials made the decision in a unanimous... More »

Teen's Death Exposes Dangers of 'Car Surfing'

Shana Chavez, 16, fell while riding on an SUV's back bumper

(Newser) - A family is warning about the dangers of "car surfing" after a 16-year-old died in Iowa. Shana Chavez had just gotten off work at a Theisen's farm supply store last Friday when she and another girl hopped on the back bumper of an SUV while a 17-year-old male... More »

With 17M Birds Dead or Dying, Iowa Declares Emergency

This could be worst bird flu outbreak ever in US

(Newser) - A state of emergency was declared yesterday by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad with nearly 17 million chickens and turkeys dead, dying, or scheduled to be euthanized due to a widening bird flu outbreak . The proclamation activates disaster response and recovery procedures for the state's homeland security and emergency management... More »

Jury Acquits Man Accused of Raping Wife With Alzheimer's

Henry Rayhons, 78, gets not-guilty verdict in Iowa case

(Newser) - A rough trial in Iowa has ended with a not-guilty verdict. Jurors decided not to convict a 78-year-old man accused of raping his wife in a nursing home while she was incapacitated by Alzheimer's. "The truth finally came out," former state lawmaker Henry Rayhons tells the Des ... More »

Iowa Farm's 5.3M Hens Will Be Killed

Biggest outbreak in current bird flu epidemic affects 10% of Iowa's egg-laying hens

(Newser) - The last thing you want at a farm with 5.3 million chickens: avian flu. But the Agriculture Department confirms that's what has hit an egg producer in Osceola County, Iowa; it's the biggest outbreak so far in the current H5N2 bird flu epidemic. CNN reports that all... More »

78-Year-Old on Trial for Having Sex With His Wife

Some say Henry Rayhons' wife, Donna, who had dementia, wasn't able to give consent

(Newser) - An elderly man having sexual relations with his wife wouldn't normally be front-page news. But for Henry Rayhons, a former Republican legislator in Iowa, it's a trickier case. The 78-year-old is currently on trial, charged with felony sex abuse for allegedly having sex last May with his wife,... More »

Vet Freezes to Death Days After VA Hospital Visit

'I need help,' admitting records at Iowa facility show Richard Miles said

(Newser) - When Richard Miles went to a VA hospital in Des Moines on Feb. 15, he told the admitting staff that he needed help. After the 40-year-old Iraq war veteran was diagnosed with "worsened PTSD," as well as insomnia and anxiety, the hospital gave him meds and told him... More »

Iowa Man's Commute: 35-Mile Walk

But janitor Steven Simoff has many 'road friends'

(Newser) - After hearing about the Detroit man who walks 21 miles to work , a Des Moines Register reporter was told about "a guy in southern Iowa who walks even farther" and discovered resolute pedestrian Steven Simoff. The 61-year-old regularly walks 35 miles from his home in the small town of... More »

'Suicidal' Mannequin Yanked After 911 Calls

Cops tried to talk billboard feature out of jumping

(Newser) - Brad Deery's billboard idea got plenty of attention for his car dealership but not quite the kind he had in mind: The Iowa man took down a mannequin from the sign after numerous motorists thought it was a person preparing to jump and called 911. The sign next to... More »

Sledding Skids to Halt on Cities' Liability Fears

Fearing lawsuits, officials shut down hills

(Newser) - When a childhood pastime comes with a million-dollar price tag, sometimes the pastime loses out. In recent years, a 5-year-old's sledding injury led to a $2 million lawsuit against Omaha, Neb., while another case saw Sioux City, Iowa, paying $2.75 million. Such cases are prompting cities in states... More »

Lawmaker Accused of 'Raping' Wife With Dementia

Henry Rayhons, 78, says he and wife Donna were inseparable

(Newser) - An Iowa state lawmaker says he loved visiting his wife at a nursing home before her death at age 79. But prosecutors have filed felony charges against him, saying that her Alzheimer's made her unable to consent to his sexual desires, Bloomberg reports via the Washington Post . Henry Rayhons,... More »

Woman Locked Out of Home, Unwisely Asks Cops' Help

Police say they found pot, bongs inside

(Newser) - This is why Mom always says to wear clean underwear and to put your bongs and drugs away before leaving the house. Police in Iowa City, Iowa, responded to a call early Friday about someone making a commotion outside of an apartment complex, the Gazette reports. They say they found... More »

Meet Worst Candidate of Midterms

'Washington Post' names Iowa congressman Bruce Braley

(Newser) - Last week, he lost an election for the Senate. This week, Iowa congressman Bruce Braley wins the distinction of being named the "worst candidate" of the midterms by the Fix blog at the Washington Post . The reason wasn't policy, either. No, the Democrat lost to Republican Joni Ernst... More »

Iowa Teen: I Thought I Killed Goblin, Not Brother

Cody Metzker-Madsen of Iowa is pleading insanity in foster brother's death

(Newser) - An Iowa teenager has testified that when he killed his 5-year-old foster brother, he was in a fantasy world and thought he was killing a goblin. Cody Metzker-Madsen told the western Iowa jury yesterday that he visits a world only he can reach whenever he plays with someone. He says... More »

Senate Control Is Up to Iowa: Harry Reid

If Bruce Braley doesn't win, Mitch McConnell will be majority leader, says Democrat

(Newser) - If Democrats want to retain control of the Senate, they'll have to win in Iowa, says Harry Reid. Speaking today to progressive activists, Reid said that if Rep. Bruce Braley beats Joni Ernst, Democrats will do "just fine." But if Ernst—who has recently led in polls,... More »

Docs Stumped by Boy Who's Never Hungry, Thirsty

Landon Jones' case may be unique

(Newser) - A year ago, Landon Jones, 12, suddenly lost his desire to eat and drink—and it hasn't come back. The case remains a mystery, and possibly unique, says a Mayo Clinic doctor. One day, the Des Moines Register reports, Landon had a normal appetite; the next, he woke up... More »

Woman in Labor Speeds by Cops, Gets Held at Gunpoint

Police use tire spikes to stop car, unaware why husband was racing; all ends well

(Newser) - You know that scene in the movies, where the husband drives his wife to the hospital in the nick of time to deliver their baby? Try this for a plot twist, from Iowa's WHO-TV : Cop follows speeding car with lights flashing, but husband doesn't pull over because wife... More »

Libertarian Senate Hopeful in Iowa Killed in Plane Crash

Doug Butzier crashes his small plane near airport

(Newser) - The Libertarian candidate in Iowa's closely watched Senate race next month is dead after he crashed his single-engine plane near an airport in Dubuque last night, reports the Des Moines Register . Doug Butzier, a 59-year-old emergency room physician, was killed as he came in for a second attempt to... More »

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