KXEL Morning News for Thu. Jan. 14, 2021

KXEL Morning News for Thu. Jan. 14, 2021

Iowa’s congressional delegation split along party lines regarding impeachment yesterday, with the lone Democrat, Cindy Axne of the third district, voting in favor…the three Republicans, Ashley Hinson of the first, Mariannette Miller-Meeks of the second, and Randy Feenstra of the fourth district, all voting against impeachment.

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Susan Christensen says the coronavirus pandemic forced the court system to impose two separate shutdowns of jury trials, and institute remote hearings, but she is determined to resume in-person trials next month. Giving the annual Condition of the Judiciary speech to the Iowa Legislature yesterday, Christensen said judiciary officials worked to balance the need to keep people safe with a commitment to conduct court business.

Iowa’s state auditor says Des Moines Public Schools made more than $200,000 in improper payments to a district maintenance and projects specialist and a maintenance contractor. The audit report released yesterday says school funds were used to reimburse contractor Ja-Ra Enterprises for costs of various school repair and construction projects from 2013 to February 2020. But auditors determined that many of the purchases included items that were not necessary or reasonable for the projects and were personal in nature – including purchases of clothes, snack foods, electronic items, ammunition and cigarettes that went to district project facilitator specialist William Hinrichs and Ja-Ra contractor Kevin Kurth.

Lottery players will have a shot Friday night at the fifth-largest jackpot in U.S. history after no tickets matched all the numbers in the latest Mega Millions drawing. The jackpot for Tuesday night’s Mega Millions was $625 million and lottery officials say it’s rising to an estimated $750 million. The big prize for Powerball, the other national lottery game, is $550 million for Wednesday night’s drawing.

We now know the identity of a Springville man who was killed after a skid loader backed over him during clean up of downed trees on Tuesday. Linn County Sheriff’s Officials said 74-year-old Richard Shanahan died at the scene in the 1700 block of Cottage Grove Pkwy in Marion. Investigators say 60-year-old Robert Carson was using a skid loader to clean up downed trees when he partially backed over Shanahan. Both men were working together on tree removal. The sheriff’s office says the accident is still under investigation.

A former Belle Plaine police officer has entered a plea of guilty to child pornography charges. Jared Daily was originally charged with distribution, receipt and accessing child pornography last September. Shortly after being charged, Daily resigned from the Belle Plaine Police Department. Daily appeared  in federal court this past Monday and admitted to accessing child pornography between January and June of last year. Daily faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in prison, without the possibility of parole, as well as a fine up to $250,000.

Police in Council Bluffs say two men have been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and other counts in a shooting that left one man critically injured. Police say the shooting happened Tuesday night outside the Northgate Apartments in Council Bluffs. Arriving officers found 32-year-old Jeffrey Enders on the ground with a gunshot wound to his head. Police say he was hospitalized, but is expected to survive. Police later arrested 22-year-old Gage Eggum, of Omaha, Nebraska, and 28-year-old Cody Chapin, of Council Bluffs, in connection with the shooting.

First District Representative Ashley Hinson has been selected to serve on one of the most powerful and influential committees in Congress, the House Appropriations Committee. The bills passed by the Appropriations Committee regulate the expenditure of money by the federal government. You heard Senator Charles Grassley discuss the importance of the Appropriations Committee in the overall budget process on KXEL Live & Local yesterday.