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Iowa News

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan says she’s informed Gov. Kim Reynolds that she will be leaving her job next month. Ryan told employees in an email that she’ll step down Jan. 2 after leading the department for four years. She says she’s proud of progress that’s been made in the department, which includes the Iowa State Patrol, the Division of Criminal Investigation and other public safety units.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – A political appointee who works for three Iowa agencies is blasting an ethics law that requires him and others with multiple state jobs to disclose them on a specific form. Employment Appeal Board member James Strohman called the law “kind of a dumb thing,” saying no one knows about the requirement, it’s not enforced and it gives the public little information. Strohman earns $84,000 on the full-time board, to which he was appointed in 2014. He also teaches at Iowa State and DMACC.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A state court judge on Friday said likely will take up to 60 days to consider whether he should declare Iowa’s fetal heartbeat law unconstitutional or allow a legal challenge filed by abortion providers to proceed to trial. A decision to strike down the law before trial would likely be appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.

EARLVILLE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have ruled the death of a northeast Iowa woman was a homicide. Delaware County authorities initially reported that 39-year-old Amy Mullis was fatally injured in a fall Nov. 10 at her farm northwest of Earlville. The Iowa Public Safety Department said Friday that Todd Mullis reported that no one saw what happened – that his wife’s death was unattended. The department says an autopsy report has since listed the manner of her death as homicide. No arrests have been reported.

Wisconsin News

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Eleven patients at UW Hospital developed Legionnaires’ disease apparently due to bacteria in the hospital’s hot water system. Officials said Friday that four of the patients remained hospitalized and six were discharged or treated at outpatient facilities. Officials said last week that one patient died. More cases of the disease could be found before Wednesday, when the incubation period for the bacteria ends. The hospital is working with health officials to test the water and ensure it’s safe.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – The University of Wisconsin System regents have approved lucrative raises for 10 of the system’s 13 four-year school chancellors. UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank saw the largest raise, going from $509,949 to $582,617. The three chancellors who didn’t receive raises include UW-La Crosse’s Joe Gow, UW-Platteville’s Dennis Shields and UW-Whitewater’s Beverly Kopper.

MILWAUKEE (AP) – If Democrats sue to prevent Republicans from diluting the powers of Wisconsin’s new governor and attorney general, the lawsuits will probably center on one question: Are lawmakers usurping authority that belongs to the executive branch? The legal threat arose after Republicans passed bills Wednesday that would give lawmakers leverage over actions previous governors and attorneys general could carry out on their own.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Republicans pushing to hang on to power in Wisconsin and Michigan aren’t stopping at curbing the authority of incoming Democratic governors. They’re also trying to hamstring Democrats who are about to take over as attorneys general. The moves underscore how attorneys general have become powerful partisan weapons on both the state and national levels. Republicans in both states want to reduce the powers of their Democratic attorneys general and strengthen their own authority.

Illinois News

STREAMWOOD, Ill. (AP) – A suburban Chicago recreational soccer coach has been charged in the sexual assault of two women who played for him. The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports that 55-year-old Ruben Betancourth of Streamwood is charged with criminal sexual assault. Prosecutors say two women were assaulted while being treated for soccer-related injuries. Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan DeGroot says Betancourth represented himself as a retired emergency medical technician.

CHICAGO (AP) – Nine people have been hospitalized in Chicago with possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Chicago fire officials say levels of the odorless and colorless gas were found to be high about 8 a.m. Friday in an East Garfield Park neighborhood home. WLS-TV reports that firefighters responded to a report that someone in the home fell and that meters carried by paramedics showed high levels of carbon monoxide when they entered.

BARTLETT, Ill. (AP) – Two men have been charged with reckless homicide and aggravated street racing in a crash that killed two other men northwest of Chicago. Authorities say Friday that Uriel Zenteno of West Chicago and Jordan Gant of Bolingbrook appeared Thursday in bond court. A vehicle driven by Chris Arbeen was struck head-on on Sept. 25 in Bartlett by another vehicle. Arbeen was killed as was Miguel Flores who was a passenger in Zenteno’s vehicle. Zenteno and Gant were driving separate vehicles.

NORMAL, Ill. (AP) – A man driving a bus carrying a high school girls’ basketball team that was struck head-on by a semitrailer traveling the wrong way in central Illinois this week remains in critical condition. The Bloomington Pantagraph reports that OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria has identified the bus driver as 64-year-old Mark Kuhn of Heyworth, Illinois.

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