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Stanley Liggins, the man accused in the strangulation death of a 9-year-old girl more than 26 years ago, asked a judge on Wednesday to dismiss the case against him.

Defense attorney Derek Jones argued during a lengthy hearing in Scott County District Court that the 55-year-old Liggins was denied due process as the result of what he said was the withholding of 77 police reports.\u00a0

He further alleged\u00a0that prosecutors did not disclose that a witness in Liggins' previous trials was a paid police informant.

\u201cOur ability to defend this case has been crippled by time and it is because Mr. Liggins\u2019 rights were violated,\u201d Jones argued Wednesday. \u201cOffering us a new trial does not fix those problems. That remedy is inappropriate. Dismissal is the appropriate remedy in this case.\u201d

Scott County Attorney Mike Walton and Assistant Scott County Attorney Julie Walton denied that prosecutors withheld evidence and said that the remedy the defense was seeking was not supported by case law.

Chief Judge Marlita Greve, who is presiding over the case, said Wednesday that she will make her ruling in writing at a later date.

Prosecutors say Liggins strangled Jennifer Ann Lewis, 9, of Rock Island, and burned her remains on a Davenport school playground on Sept. 17, 1990. She also was sexually abused, according to prosecutors.

He was tried twice in the girl's death in the 1990s, once in Scott County and the second time in Dubuque after he was granted a change of venue.

Liggins was convicted in both trials and sentenced to life in prison. The Iowa Supreme Court overturned the first conviction, and on Nov. 6, 2013, the Iowa Court of Appeals reversed the second conviction.

He will be tried a third time on May 22. Jones and Miguel Puentes, Liggins' second attorney, want the trial moved out of Scott County, citing ongoing pretrial publicity in the case.\u00a0

Since Monday, attorneys have appeared in court to argue a series of pretrial motions as they prepare for trial.

On Wednesday, the defense asked Greve to allow them to call attorney Kent Simmons, who represented Liggins on his direct appeals in the 1993 and 1995 trials and in other post-conviction matters, to testify at trial.

Jones said he wants to call Simmons to testify\u00a0to what he claims was the concealment of exculpatory evidence and other important evidence by Don Schaeffer, the lead investigator on the case.

In a motion filed in October, the defense wrote that Simmons\u2019 testimony is necessary to show the \u201cunfairness and the bias in the investigation and previous trials and as a foundation for opinions that will be set out in the testimony of the defense expert on law enforcement investigation standards and techniques.\u201d

Simmons testified that while representing a Davenport police officer in an unrelated case nearly a decade after Liggins' second trial, he learned that a key witness was a paid informant.\u00a0

That information was not disclosed to the defense and was only discovered through Simmons' review of a file of the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation's investigation into the inner workings of the police department.\u00a0

Simmons testified that he was contacted in 1996 by a woman who said she had information about the Liggins case. Specifically, the woman said that she had seen the fire at Jefferson Elementary on Sept. 17, 1990, and had seen a man with a distinctive cap on his head and a small white car at the scene.\u00a0

She said it was the same cap that she saw on a man walking with Jennifer's mother at her funeral. The man, Simmons said, was identified as Jennifer's stepfather, Joe Glenn.\u00a0

Simmons said he obtained video of the funeral from two different TV stations, and the woman verified it was the same cap the man at the scene of the fire had been wearing.

Simmons testified Wednesday that the defense did not receive a report of the woman\u2019s interview with police, nor did they receive the statements of three witnesses who the defense claims could have cast doubt on the testimony of a key prosecution witness.

Mike Walton argued Wednesday that the informant previously testified at a post-conviction relief hearing that they were not paid in the Liggins case. Schaeffer also denied that the informant was paid, Walton argued.

He said that the woman who told Simmons about the man with the distinctive cap on at the scene of the fire gave\u00a0a completely different account to police the night police discovered Jennifer\u2019s body. He also pointed to a lower court judge\u2019s opinion in a prior court action that the woman, whose son was serving a life sentence in the same prison as Liggins, was not credible and that her testimony was \u201cdubious.\u201d

Walton stressed that there never has been a court finding of prosecutorial misconduct of suppression of evidence by Schaeffer. Of the 77 reports cited by the defense, attorneys addressed only four that they deemed as exculpatory, he said.\u00a0

Walton added that three courts determined that the reports\u00a0ultimately were\u00a0not material and that had the defense had them, it likely would not have impacted the outcome of the case.\u00a0

Jones disagreed that Simmons\u2019 testimony about how the evidence was discovered was not relevant and said that there are multiple instances where exculpatory evidence was discovered years later.\u00a0

\u201cThere\u2019s a pattern here of exculpatory evidence not being turned over, over and over again,\u201d Jones argued. \u201cThere\u2019s a pattern of the police department deciding that Stanley Liggins was guilty very early on in the investigation (and) honed in on him as the prime suspect early on.\u201d

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Results of the Christmas Bird Count\u00a0in the Quad-City region are in, and they once again show evidence of\u00a0overall warmer weather in the area during December-January.

In years past, so-called semi-hardy birds such as robins, winter wrens and eastern bluebirds would not be common\u00a0because they would have flown south, but this year they were counted in large numbers,\u00a0said\u00a0Kelly McKay, the Hampton, Illinois,\u00a0field biologist, who tabulated seven counts in the region. He was helped by Steve Hager, biology professor at Augustana College, Rock Island.

\"Their winter range is shifting north,\" he said. \"Here is a piece of evidence that is very strongly connected to climate change.\"

The exception to the \"generally warmer\" scenario\u00a0was the\u00a0period of near zero temperatures the region experienced in mid-December.\u00a0During that time, the Mississippi River froze over, leading to a lower-than-usual number of waterfowl and gulls in the count.

The Christmas census of bird populations has been conducted nationally for 117 years under the auspices of the National Audubon Society. On designated days in December and January, volunteers count birds at feeders and in the field, taking note of both numbers and species. Over time, the data reflect trends.

The seven counting areas compiled by McKay and Hager each\u00a0encompass an expanse of about 117 square miles.

The total number of birds counted this year\u00a0was 146,872, compared to 153,295 in 2015-16, 163,881 in 2014-15 and 159,644 in 2013-14.

McKay offered two reasons for the lower total, first being the frozen river on the days the\u00a0counts were made in the Quad-Cities and Clinton, Iowa/Savanna, Illinois, two\u00a0typically\u00a0high\u00a0water-bird spots.

Second,\u00a0red-winged black birds that have traditionally roosted in the thousands in the wetlands near Barstow, Illinois, are no longer there because of habitat loss, McKay said.

Among the \"best finds\" in this year's count were a golden eagle in the Princeton/Camanche, Iowa,\u00a0count and an osprey and two mountain bluebirds in the Clinton, Iowa/Savanna, Illinois count.

While semi-hardies were counted in good numbers,\u00a0previously common winter birds was a mixed bag, McKay reported. Finches were in poor numbers across the region, but there were large numbers of American tree sparrows and dark-eyed juncos.

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Signs of a busy household \u2014 a child\u2019s pink bicycle and kick scooter \u2014 are scattered across the front lawn at Holly Kay\u2019s rental home in Bettendorf.

A closer inspection of the landscape reveals handprints enshrined in five separate decorative stones, which the single mother received as gifts last Mother\u2019s Day from her five children.

Inside, an overwhelmed Kay, 33, has a moment to herself at her kitchen table, where she\u2019s jotting down a list of Quad-City contacts she has made this week in preparation for her teenage son\u2019s upcoming birthday.

In years past, Kay has sent party invitations to her son\u2019s classmates, but no one ever showed. So, for his 14th birthday this month, the devoted mother took to Facebook and asked her network of family and friends to send her son, Mitchell, birthday cards to help lift his spirits.

Within the past week, Kay\u2019s request has gone viral, and the public\u2019s response has blown her away.

\u201cI thought, even if Mitchell ended up with 10 cards, he would be so excited,\u201d Kay said, her phone ringing with notifications.

Since Jan. 9, her initial post has been shared more than 7,000 times, and as of last week, Kay had received more than 800 cards\u00a0in the mail from friends and strangers across the country.

On a single day, Jennifer Simmons, a U.S. Postal Service mail carrier, delivered Kay a box of nearly 130 cards for Mitchell.

\u201cThis is the best part of my day,\u201d Simmons told the smiling mother, who plans to surprise Mitchell with the snail mail next week.

The eighth grader turns 14 on Feb. 20, but Kay rented out three rooms\u00a0 Friday, Feb. 17, at the Bettendorf Community Center, where she plans to host a public birthday bash for her son. Several Quad-City businesses and organizations, including Happy Joe's Pizza and Analog Arcade Bar, already have reached out to volunteer their services, Kay said.\u00a0

Because she does not allow Mitchell to use social media, the teenager has no clue what's coming, except that his family is throwing him a party.

\"I know the party is going to be huge, but that protective mom in me makes me worried that nobody's going to come,\" said Kay, a hairdresser who formerly managed the Great Clips in Rock Island.

Last year Kay, whose\u00a0children range in age from 2-16, moved her family from Rock Island to Bettendorf. She is taking a break from work and relying on savings, and the help of the father of three of her children, to support them. In March, she plans to enroll at Scott Community College in hopes of becoming an ultrasound technician.

When Mitchell's new classmates at Bettendorf Middle School noticed Kay's post on social media, they immediately banded together, temporarily ridding the mother's fears of bullying and her son\u2019s loneliness at the lunch table.

\"I've never seen anything like this,\" said Lisa Reid, principal\u00a0of Bettendorf Middle School, who noted the call for help has empowered students.

\"They\u2019re taking on something they read about on social media that wasn\u2019t negative,\" she said. \"It\u2019s really refreshing.\u201d

On Feb. 6, his peers gave Mitchell a cake and\u00a0a tri-fold poster board adorned with dozens of signatures and\u00a0short notes, including one that asks him to connect on Snapchat.\u00a0

Kay praised the students and faculty for their efforts.

She said Mitchell, who enjoys video games and Japanese culture, has struggled to make friends, but she thinks these acts of kindness will give him a boost of confidence \"he's never had before.\"

\u201cIt's so much more than a $2 card,\u201d she said. \u201cHe\u2019s going to wake up in the morning and not be bummed about having to go to school.\u201d

"} ]
[ {"id":"4660f88a-8805-5a8f-8e66-761d60e045bb","type":"article","starttime":"1487829600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-23T00:00:00-06:00","sections":[{"publicrecords":"news/local/publicrecords"}],"application":"editorial","title":"DAILY RECORD: births, fire calls","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/publicrecords/article_4660f88a-8805-5a8f-8e66-761d60e045bb.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/publicrecords/daily-record-births-fire-calls/article_4660f88a-8805-5a8f-8e66-761d60e045bb.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/publicrecords/daily-record-births-fire-calls/article_4660f88a-8805-5a8f-8e66-761d60e045bb.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"Daily Record routinely publishes public records available through government agencies. BirthsTRINITY MOLINE Ashanti Little and Amon Wells, Moline, boy, Feb. 19. Kimberly Phillips and Ashante Needs, Rock Island, girl, Feb. 18. Fire callsBETTENDORF Tuesday EMS calls: 17. DAVENPORT Tuesday 1:17 a.m., 2031 Warren St., gas leak.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["ems","physics","electricity","moline","odor","false alarm","investigation","rock island","removal"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":6,"commentID":"4660f88a-8805-5a8f-8e66-761d60e045bb","body":"

Daily Record routinely publishes public records available through government agencies.

Births

TRINITY MOLINE

Ashanti Little and Amon Wells, Moline, boy, Feb. 19.

Kimberly Phillips and Ashante Needs, Rock Island, girl, Feb. 18.

Fire calls

BETTENDORF

Tuesday

EMS calls: 17.

DAVENPORT

Tuesday

1:17 a.m., 2031 Warren St., gas leak.

7:08 a.m., 5910 Crow Valley Park Drive, assist.

11:38 a.m., 5000 Tremont Ave., arcing shorted electrical equipment.

3:17 p.m., 1607 W. 12th St., assist.

5:34 p.m., 3404 Heatherton Drive, smoke or odor removal.

False alarms: 3.

Investigations: 7.

EMS calls: 36.

EAST MOLINE

Tuesday

EMS calls: 8.

MOLINE

Tuesday

8:59 a.m., 5500 46th Ave. Drive, assist.

2:31 p.m., 6206 47th Ave. Drive, vehicle fire.

False alarm: 1.

Investigations: 2.

EMS calls: 11.

ROCK ISLAND

Tuesday

2:45 p.m., 2961 11th St./31st Avenue, vehicle accident.

2:49 p.m., 1010 83rd Ave. W., illegal burn.

6:43 p.m., 2200 36th St., assist.

7:53 p.m., 2902 17th Ave., vehicle fire.

Wednesday

6:45 a.m., 3407 22nd St., assist.

EMS calls: 21.

"}, {"id":"19d5acf7-300d-5793-891e-8ffcf589bb85","type":"article","starttime":"1487819640","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T21:14:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487826282","sections":[{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Bettendorf proposed lowering property tax levy by 5 cents","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/article_19d5acf7-300d-5793-891e-8ffcf589bb85.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/bettendorf-proposed-lowering-property-tax-levy-by-cents/article_19d5acf7-300d-5793-891e-8ffcf589bb85.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/bettendorf-proposed-lowering-property-tax-levy-by-cents/article_19d5acf7-300d-5793-891e-8ffcf589bb85.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Thomas Geyer\ntgeyer@qctimes.com","prologue":"There is some good news for Bettendorf property owners in the $101.3 million budget the city is proposing for fiscal year 2017-2018. The city has reduced the levy by a nickel to $12.50 per $1,000 of assessed value. City Administrator Decker Ploehn said Wednesday\u00a0during a public hearing on the budget that City Council members requested the levy be lowered, given that the state of Iowa increased the rollback for residential properties to 56.9 percent from 55.6 percent. The state left the rollback for small businesses unchanged at 90 percent.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["levy","finance","commerce","budget","capital","economics","city administrator decker ploehn","fee","improvement","property tax"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":5,"commentID":"19d5acf7-300d-5793-891e-8ffcf589bb85","body":"

There is some good news for Bettendorf property owners in the $101.3 million budget the city is proposing for fiscal year 2017-2018.

The city has reduced the levy by a nickel to $12.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.

City Administrator Decker Ploehn said Wednesday\u00a0during a public hearing on the budget that City Council members requested the levy be lowered, given that the state of Iowa increased the rollback for residential properties to 56.9 percent from 55.6 percent. The state left the rollback for small businesses unchanged at 90 percent.

For a Bettendorf home valued at the city mean of $215,443, the property tax\u00a0 increase, minus the 5 cent drop in the city\u2019s levy, will come to $29.62. For a business valued at $500,000, it means a decrease in property taxes of $22.50.

The reduction in the levy was not recommended by staff, Ploehn said. \u201cWe recommended keeping the levy at $12.55,\u201d he said. But the council said it would like to give some kind of break to taxpayers.

The budget is balanced, Ploehn said, but the debt service levy is high because the city is committed to an aggressive capital improvement program that calls for $28 million to be spent during the construction season.

Among other capital improvement projects, the budget calls for $4.9 million on Forest Grove Road paving, $2.8 million on Interstate 80 corridor infrastructure projects, $1.7 million for the State Street Fire Station expansion, $1.6 million on downtown improvements, $1 million on recreational trails, $1.4 million on street resurfacing projects and $874,000 on various park improvement projects.

\u201cWe\u2019re being very aggressive in our capital improvement projects in that we\u2019re taking advantage of low interest rates to get the projects done,\u201d Ploehn said. He added that 40 percent of the city\u2019s levy supports capital improvements.

\u201cIf the economy changes then we may have to scale back on capital improvements,\u201d he said.

The budget also calls for $3.4 million in new and replacement capital equipment that includes $270,000 for four patrol SUVs and two detective squad cars for the police department and $344,000 for two rear-load garbage packers, among other needs.

The city\u2019s solid waste fee will increase by 4 percent beginning April 1, and then 5 percent increases will be needed for each of the next five years beginning April 1, 2018, to purchase new trucks and equipment. Storm water and sewer fees also will increase. The city only charges enough to break-even, Ploehn said.

For a home in Bettendorf valued at the mean city price $215,443, the total annual cost of services will be $1,983 under the fiscal year 2017-2018 budget. The total increase of taxes and fees over last year comes to $58.42.

Ploehn will present the budget for adoption\u00a0by the City Council at its next meeting March 7. The adopted budget will be sent to the Scott County Auditor by 4:30 p.m. March 15.\u00a0

"}, {"id":"bf4c1d8a-e197-5b20-a85d-617b2807f984","type":"article","starttime":"1487818980","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T21:03:00-06:00","sections":[{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"},{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Lawmakers grill Iowa State president on spending","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/article_bf4c1d8a-e197-5b20-a85d-617b2807f984.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/lawmakers-grill-iowa-state-president-on-spending/article_bf4c1d8a-e197-5b20-a85d-617b2807f984.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/local/government-and-politics/lawmakers-grill-iowa-state-president-on-spending/article_bf4c1d8a-e197-5b20-a85d-617b2807f984.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Vanessa Miller\nThe Gazette","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014 Iowa\u2019s university presidents cited surging enrollment and faculty losses in asking lawmakers Wednesday for more money, but faced questions whether state funds are used wisely now. The presidents noted their institutions have become more efficient and promised to be good stewards of any additional revenue. But the skepticism raised questions whether the universities would see the 2 percent increase in each of the next two years that the Board of Regents wants.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["steven leath","politics","economics","finance","university","lawmaker","herman quirmbach","iowa state university","jim kurtenbach","bruce harreld"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":1,"commentID":"bf4c1d8a-e197-5b20-a85d-617b2807f984","body":"

DES MOINES \u2014 Iowa\u2019s university presidents cited surging enrollment and faculty losses in asking lawmakers Wednesday for more money, but faced questions whether state funds are used wisely now.

The presidents noted their institutions have become more efficient and promised to be good stewards of any additional revenue. But the skepticism raised questions whether the universities would see the 2 percent increase in each of the next two years that the Board of Regents wants.

State Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, specifically hammered Iowa State University president Steven Leath on his institution\u2019s hiring practices.

Citing reports in The Gazette about hires that avoided the usual search processes to land former lawmakers Kraig Paulsen and Jim Kurtenbach for high-paying posts, Quirmbach demanded to know if Leath followed protocol.

\u201cYou\u2019ve hired two politically connected white males to big six-figure salaries without advertising either position \u2014 without taking any other applications, without interviewing other candidates. My question to you is this,\u201d Quirmbach said. \u201cTo someone outside the university \u2014 the average taxpayer \u2014 do you think this looks like equal opportunity hiring or do you think it looks more like the old boy network in full swing?\u201d

Leath said Kurtenbach was promoted into the $252,794-a-year vice president and chief information officer position from a previously held faculty post and had been out of the Legislature for years.

Leath also said sometimes competition and unique opportunities necessitate exceptions.

\u201cI have hired thousands, literally thousands of people since I\u2019ve been at Iowa State, and if you make a couple of exceptions to get top people at the right time for the right position, that can move the university forward,\u201d he said. \u201cI\u2019m not going to apologize for that.\u201d

Quirmbach pressed on, leading to a heated exchange that involved table-pounding and an intervention from Sen. Tim Kraayenbrink, R-Fort Dodge, who serves as chair of the committee but sounded at times like a courtroom judge \u2014 telling Leath, \u201cYou don\u2019t have to answer that.\u201d

Rep. Cindy Winckler, D-Davenport, pressed Leath on his use of ISU airplanes. Media reports and a Board of Regents audit found Leath at times improperly used the school\u2019s two planes.

\u201cI think that integrity and accountability are very important,\u201d she said, vowing to continue following the issue.

During Leath\u2019s presentation, he pointed to his university\u2019s achievements, noting its ability to provide top-quality education for a growing student body, despite dwindling state support.

ISU\u2019s total fall enrollment reached a record 36,660, making it the biggest public university in Iowa. Meanwhile, Leath said, the percentage of his school\u2019s budget coming from general state appropriations has plummeted from nearly half in 2009 to 29 percent now.

When looking at state support per resident student, Leath said, the numbers have fallen from $12,704 in 2008 to $9,012 in 2016 \u2014 a number that could slide more after lawmakers voted to take back $18 million from the regents as part of a $117.8 million statewide de-appropriation.

Should lawmakers grant the new appropriations request, which Leath called \u201cvery, very modest,\u201d he vowed to decrease his institution\u2019s 19-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, which is \u201cby far the highest of the three regent universities.\u201d He also committed to enhancing student-centered initiatives and lowering student debt.

University of Iowa president Bruce Harreld told lawmakers his campus would use any increase toward restoring student scholarships \u2014 if the university is allowed to increase tuition in step with its peers.

That additional revenue, along with savings through efficiencies, would help the university implement its new five-year strategic plan.

Doing so would require an additional $251.4 million by the 2022 budget year, he said. That includes $5 million for \u201chigh-impact\u201d student practices, $2 million toward improving the graduation rate, $10 million for diversity efforts and improved success of minority students and $6 million for economic development.

"}, {"id":"d7da59ac-138f-5d7a-99c9-332285aceafd","type":"article","starttime":"1487802900","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T16:35:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487806385","sections":[{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"},{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Iowa\u2019s private Medicaid insurers to lose $450 million in first year","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_d7da59ac-138f-5d7a-99c9-332285aceafd.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/iowa-s-private-medicaid-insurers-to-lose-million-in-first/article_d7da59ac-138f-5d7a-99c9-332285aceafd.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/iowa-s-private-medicaid-insurers-to-lose-million-in-first/article_d7da59ac-138f-5d7a-99c9-332285aceafd.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Chelsea Keenan\nThe Gazette","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014 The three private insurers managing the state\u2019s $5 billion Medicaid program expect their one-year losses cumulatively to reach $450 million, they told legislators Wednesday during a joint Iowa Senate and House Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee meeting. Pressed by lawmakers to give \u201cballpark\u201d figures as to what the state can expect to see in end-of-year reports, AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa said it anticipates to have lost upward of $200 million; Amerigroup Iowa will have lost $150 million; and UnitedHealthcare of the River Valley said it expects to have lost around $100 million.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["unitedhealthcare","amerigroup iowa","iowa","amerihealth caritas iowa","medicaid","the des moines register","iowa senate","liz mathis","kim foltz","amy mccoy","iowa insurance division","rate","politics","company","commerce","payment","economics","provider"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","revision":2,"commentID":"d7da59ac-138f-5d7a-99c9-332285aceafd","body":"

DES MOINES \u2014 The three private insurers managing the state\u2019s $5 billion Medicaid program expect their one-year losses cumulatively to reach $450 million, they told legislators Wednesday during a joint Iowa Senate and House Health and Human Services Appropriations subcommittee meeting.

Pressed by lawmakers to give \u201cballpark\u201d figures as to what the state can expect to see in end-of-year reports, AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa said it anticipates to have lost upward of $200 million; Amerigroup Iowa will have lost $150 million; and UnitedHealthcare of the River Valley said it expects to have lost around $100 million.

Financial reports detailing the information will be filed with the Iowa Insurance Division on March 1.

Kim Foltz, chief executive officer of UnitedHealthcare\u2019s Iowa operations, told legislators that number was higher than expected but assured them the company remains committed to creating a sustainable program in Iowa. That was a sentiment echoed by both AmeriHealth and Amerigroup.

The state of the managed-care organizations\u2019 financial health has dominated headlines in recent months.

In late October, the state announced it would boost rate payments to the insurers by $33 million to better cover rising prescription drug costs and the Medicaid expansion population.

Even still, correspondence between the managed-care organization leaders and Department of Human Services officials revealed that the insurers have been lobbying for increased rates since the start of the transition last April. The documents, first reported by The Des Moines Register in December, show the MCOs thought the rates to be inadequate from the start.

AmeriHealth has opted to make several changes in the past month to try to better control costs, including moving some case management services in-house from external agencies as well as cut home- and community-based provider payments from negotiated rates to the state\u2019s Medicaid floor, the lowest amount the insurers will reimburse the providers.

Iowa Medicaid officials also present at the subcommittee meeting maintained the rates the three MCOs are being paid are actuarially sound, adding not only have they been certified by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but they were presented in the original request-for-proposals as well as in the contract that each insurer signed.

\u201cThese are risk-based contracts,\u201d Department of Human Services spokeswoman Amy McCoy said after the meeting. \u201cSo now, that is part of their function and their administration to meet what rates they\u2019ve been offered and they agreed to under their contract.\u201d

Starting in April, the state and insurers will begin negotiating capitation rates that will begin July 1.

McCoy said these rates will be based on encounter data \u2014 information gathered from actual case experience \u2014 prescription drug prices and provider claims.

She added that each quarter the MCOs\u2019 losses have trended downward, and she anticipates the numbers to turn around next year.

\u201cThese companies do this in other states,\u201d McCoy said. \u201cThey have vast experience doing this. They have technology and systems.

\u201cAnd while Iowa is unique, they now have about a year\u2019s experience here to get adjusted to our systems, and we do anticipate they will be able to do that and manage within our expectations for the program.\u201d

But legislators of both parties remained concerned, peppering the MCO officials with questions about rates, losses and provider payments.

\u201cYou say these are actuarially sound,\u201d Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Cedar Rapids, said. \u201cBut $450 million in losses, that tells me that somewhere there is a disconnect between setting rates and these companies losing that much money.\u201d

"}, {"id":"ab7efe6d-d51d-5a74-9368-66e7e9191cd6","type":"article","starttime":"1487795040","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T14:24:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487828229","sections":[{"business":"business"},{"local":"news/local"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Deere CEO: \"This is our home.\"","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_ab7efe6d-d51d-5a74-9368-66e7e9191cd6.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/deere-ceo-this-is-our-home/article_ab7efe6d-d51d-5a74-9368-66e7e9191cd6.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/business/deere-ceo-this-is-our-home/article_ab7efe6d-d51d-5a74-9368-66e7e9191cd6.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":2,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Jennifer DeWitt\njdewitt@qctimes.com","prologue":"On the heels of Caterpillar's plans to move its Peoria headquarters to Chicago, a Deere & Co. shareholder wanted to know if Deere was considering a move from its Moline headquarters. The issue was the first question posed Wednesday to Deere CEO Sam Allen during a question-and-answer period at the company's annual meeting.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["quad cities","john deere","deere & co.","sam allen","caterpillar","moline","illinois","archer daniels midland co","john deere world headquarters","ken golden","company","commerce","employee","headquarters","shareholder","john deere classic","quad-cities chamber"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"40bf7215-767d-5d9f-81ce-08c4f5798520","description":"Samuel R. \"Sam\" Allen","byline":"","hireswidth":1050,"hiresheight":1500,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/0b/40bf7215-767d-5d9f-81ce-08c4f5798520/52b0c401c6de1.hires.jpg","presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"434","height":"620","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/0b/40bf7215-767d-5d9f-81ce-08c4f5798520/573f99c6c5949.image.jpg?resize=434%2C620"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"142","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/0b/40bf7215-767d-5d9f-81ce-08c4f5798520/52b0c40264974.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"428","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/0b/40bf7215-767d-5d9f-81ce-08c4f5798520/52b0c40266963.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1462","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/4/0b/40bf7215-767d-5d9f-81ce-08c4f5798520/52b0c40226e5e.preview-1024.jpg"}}},{"id":"1a0b8615-574e-55e3-9457-74f4364fa3d9","description":"","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"189","height":"189","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/a0/1a0b8615-574e-55e3-9457-74f4364fa3d9/58ae3db22d951.image.jpg?resize=189%2C189"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"100","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/a0/1a0b8615-574e-55e3-9457-74f4364fa3d9/54e7d18ed8774.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"300","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/a0/1a0b8615-574e-55e3-9457-74f4364fa3d9/54e7d18ed9049.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1024","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/1/a0/1a0b8615-574e-55e3-9457-74f4364fa3d9/58ae3db22d951.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":6,"commentID":"ab7efe6d-d51d-5a74-9368-66e7e9191cd6","body":"

On the heels of Caterpillar's plans to move its Peoria headquarters to Chicago, a Deere & Co. shareholder wanted to know if Deere was considering a move from its Moline headquarters.

The issue was the first question posed Wednesday to Deere CEO Sam Allen during a question-and-answer period at the company's annual meeting.

\"Every company has to do what they think is right for their company,\" Allen said. \"At John Deere, we feel very strongly this is our home.\"

The issue is a hot topic in Illinois where Caterpillar just announced three weeks ago that it is moving its headquarters to the Chicago area. It joins other companies, including Archer Daniels Midland and ConAgra, in its decision to move top executives to Chicago.

Speaking to an audience of nearly 400 shareholders, retirees and employees at John Deere World Headquarters in Moline, Allen said the company needs to go only\u00a0three or four miles out of town to connect with its customers.

''At this point and time, as long as I'm around here, there's no chance we will be moving,\" he said.

Allen also told shareholders that Deere is committed to working with the community to make the Quad-Cities a more vibrant place, which will help attract talent to the region.

Allen has been actively involved in the Quad-City region's Q2030 strategic plan, a regional vision for growing the Quad-Cities. He is past co-chair of the Quad-Cities Chamber's Regional Opportunities Council, whose members led the charge in the Q2030 action plan.

After the meeting, Deere spokesman Ken Golden said Caterpillar's announcement has led both Deere employees and community leaders to question Deere. \"Certainly when other companies make those announcements it is disconcerting for the community.\"

He said Deere's commitment to the Quad-Cities includes its title sponsorship of the annual John Deere Classic at TPC Deere Run, Silvis, as well as its support of Global Communities Inc., a revitalization effort in Moline's Floreciente neighborhood. Area John Deere employees also logged more than 57,000 volunteer hours last year for community organizations, including 27,000 hours for STEM and other youth-related activities.

"}, {"id":"48bb472a-5457-571d-aaed-fe566e1157db","type":"article","starttime":"1487793960","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T14:06:00-06:00","sections":[{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"},{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Iowa Constitution change would let Legislature redraw county lines","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_48bb472a-5457-571d-aaed-fe566e1157db.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/iowa-constitution-change-would-let-legislature-redraw-county-lines/article_48bb472a-5457-571d-aaed-fe566e1157db.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/iowa-constitution-change-would-let-legislature-redraw-county-lines/article_48bb472a-5457-571d-aaed-fe566e1157db.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"James Q. Lynch\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0A bill calling for reorganization of Iowa\u2019s 99 counties didn\u2019t get much support at the Capitol Wednesday, but lawmakers green-lighted it for more discussion and, possibly, an interim study committee. \u201cWe need to have a deep and thoughtful conversation,\u201d Rep. Gary Carlson, R-Muscatine, said about House Joint Resolution 7 that would begin county reorganization in 2021.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["gary carlson","iowa","lucas beenken","iowa state association of counties","mary gaskill","jake highfill","counties","institutes","county line","legislation","law","legislature","politics","county","government committee"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"50819d30-f5d8-5af4-a6f2-0563a53b666c","description":"Carlson","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"200","height":"287","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/08/50819d30-f5d8-5af4-a6f2-0563a53b666c/574fa697e7837.image.jpg?resize=200%2C287"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"143","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/08/50819d30-f5d8-5af4-a6f2-0563a53b666c/574fa697eb31a.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"225","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/08/50819d30-f5d8-5af4-a6f2-0563a53b666c/574fa697e7837.image.jpg?crop=195%2C146%2C3%2C83"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"767","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/5/08/50819d30-f5d8-5af4-a6f2-0563a53b666c/574fa697e7837.image.jpg?crop=195%2C146%2C3%2C83"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"48bb472a-5457-571d-aaed-fe566e1157db","body":"

DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0A bill calling for reorganization of Iowa\u2019s 99 counties didn\u2019t get much support at the Capitol Wednesday, but lawmakers green-lighted it for more discussion and, possibly, an interim study committee.

\u201cWe need to have a deep and thoughtful conversation,\u201d Rep. Gary Carlson, R-Muscatine, said about House Joint Resolution 7 that would begin county reorganization in 2021.

However, Rep. Mary Gaskill, D-Ottumwa, raised several concerns, many which were shared by lobbyists who attended a subcommittee meeting.

The bill calls for a constitutional amendment, which would have to be approved by voters, that would allow the Legislature to redraw county lines. If that means fewer counties, the Iowa State Association of Counties isn\u2019t interested, Lucas Beenken said.

Outside of the \u201cDes Moines bubble,\u201d he said, \u201cpeople really appreciate local government \u2026 being able to go across town, into town or the next town over to renew their driver license or gun permit, to talk to the county engineer about roads and bridges.

\u201cAny consolidation that would take away local representation is problematic.\u201d

Gaskill, a former county auditor, thought the bill went too far in reducing the scope of county government.

\u201cHow much home rule is left?\u201d she asked, pointing to several places in the bill that would disallow some of the things counties now do. The bill would leave only \u201cthree or four things county government could do.\u201d

The bill is far from perfect, Carlson said, but he wants the full Local Government Committee to look at how Iowa\u2019s relatively small population has changed and how technology has changed the way services can be delivered. Rather than look for ways to cooperate, some county officials seem to be running away from the issue, he said.

\u201cWe get asked all the time how we can justify 99 counties and how much government do we need,\u201d Carlson said.

The focus should be on delivering service, Gaskill said.

Local Government Committee Chairman Jake Highfill, R-Johnston, said he will take up the bill in full committee and ask for an interim study committee.

Constitutional amendments have to be approved by two general assemblies before being submitted for voter approval.

"}, {"id":"b764839d-f39a-5a0b-8d71-74278edd92ed","type":"article","starttime":"1487793600","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T14:00:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487823784","sections":[{"business":"business"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Lee execs bullish on financial future","url":"http://qctimes.com/business/article_b764839d-f39a-5a0b-8d71-74278edd92ed.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/business/lee-execs-bullish-on-financial-future/article_b764839d-f39a-5a0b-8d71-74278edd92ed.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/business/lee-execs-bullish-on-financial-future/article_b764839d-f39a-5a0b-8d71-74278edd92ed.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Ed Tibbetts\netibbetts@qctimes.com","prologue":"Lee Enterprises executives gave an upbeat assessment Wednesday about the company's financial performance, noting growth in digital revenues, industry-exceeding operating margins and aggressive repayment of debt. Davenport-based Lee, the parent company of the Quad-City Times, held its annual meeting, where shareholders approved new terms for some of its directors, as well as a handful of other proposals in a session lasting about 20 minutes.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["revenue","economics","finance","commerce","lee enterprises","executive","shareholder","company","kevin mowbray","mary junck"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"dd1244ca-8e8e-56a4-8051-2f5277fafcee","description":"Lee Enterprises Executive Chairman Mary Junck\u00a0tells shareholders the company has a \"bright future\" during Wednesday's annual meeting at the corporate headquarters in Davenport.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES","hireswidth":1846,"hiresheight":1122,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d1/dd1244ca-8e8e-56a4-8051-2f5277fafcee/58ade7bad234c.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1846","height":"1122","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d1/dd1244ca-8e8e-56a4-8051-2f5277fafcee/58ade7bad1692.image.jpg?resize=1846%2C1122"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"61","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d1/dd1244ca-8e8e-56a4-8051-2f5277fafcee/58ade7bad1692.image.jpg?resize=100%2C61"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"182","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d1/dd1244ca-8e8e-56a4-8051-2f5277fafcee/58ade7bad1692.image.jpg?resize=300%2C182"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"622","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/d1/dd1244ca-8e8e-56a4-8051-2f5277fafcee/58ade7bad1692.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C622"}}},{"id":"09a238ff-f704-5a0a-b586-fc9b25c41cc3","description":"Lee Enterprises President and Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Mowbray presents a financial update during Wednesday's annual meeting.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt","hireswidth":1643,"hiresheight":1261,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9a/09a238ff-f704-5a0a-b586-fc9b25c41cc3/58ade7bb85e31.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1643","height":"1261","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9a/09a238ff-f704-5a0a-b586-fc9b25c41cc3/58ade7bb8527a.image.jpg?resize=1643%2C1261"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"77","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9a/09a238ff-f704-5a0a-b586-fc9b25c41cc3/58ade7bb8527a.image.jpg?resize=100%2C77"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"230","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9a/09a238ff-f704-5a0a-b586-fc9b25c41cc3/58ade7bb8527a.image.jpg?resize=300%2C230"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"786","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/9a/09a238ff-f704-5a0a-b586-fc9b25c41cc3/58ade7bb8527a.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C786"}}},{"id":"97fd746a-cf98-5d74-b628-b931d84ffbce","description":"Mary Junck, executive chairman of Lee Enterprises speaks during the company's annual meeting.","byline":"Kevin E. Schmidt","hireswidth":1760,"hiresheight":1177,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/7f/97fd746a-cf98-5d74-b628-b931d84ffbce/58ade7bc2b048.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1760","height":"1177","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/7f/97fd746a-cf98-5d74-b628-b931d84ffbce/58ade7bc293fe.image.jpg?resize=1760%2C1177"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/7f/97fd746a-cf98-5d74-b628-b931d84ffbce/58ade7bc293fe.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"201","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/7f/97fd746a-cf98-5d74-b628-b931d84ffbce/58ade7bc293fe.image.jpg?resize=300%2C201"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"685","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/7f/97fd746a-cf98-5d74-b628-b931d84ffbce/58ade7bc293fe.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C685"}}}],"revision":13,"commentID":"b764839d-f39a-5a0b-8d71-74278edd92ed","body":"

Lee Enterprises executives gave an upbeat assessment Wednesday about the company's financial performance, noting growth in digital revenues, industry-exceeding operating margins and aggressive repayment of debt.

Davenport-based Lee, the parent company of the Quad-City Times, held its annual meeting, where shareholders approved new terms for some of its directors, as well as a handful of other proposals in a session lasting about 20 minutes.

\"We are confident that we have the right strategies and tactics in place to provide a bright future for Lee and for its shareholders,\" Mary Junck, the company's executive chairman, told a group that included shareholders and company employees.

Company officials said\u00a0there's a sharp focus on locally controllable revenue, where Kevin Mowbray, Lee's president and chief executive officer, said there is the most upside.

In addition, there was optimism about subscription revenue. The company also said that digital revenue is on a strong trajectory, and that it now accounts for 24 percent of advertising revenue.

\"We\u2019re very focused in accelerating digital revenues. We\u2019ve made significant investments in new digital products; added more digital elite experts; and have become more sophisticated in growing digital audience,\" Mowbray said.

Lee reported earlier this month that total operating revenue fell in the first quarter of 2017. But Junck said\u00a0the company believes its growth initiatives \"will improve revenue performance in the remainder of 2017, and in fact we're currently seeing an uptick in the revenue trend.\"

Lee executives also emphasized they continue to devote \"substantially all\" of\u00a0the company's\u00a0available cash to debt reduction. As of December, the principal amount of debt stood at $599 million, down from $704 million the previous December. The company said repayment of debt has resulted in $8.7 million in reduced interest payments over the past 12 months.

Lee owns 46 daily newspapers and has a joint interest in two others, along with digital products and nearly 300 specialty publications in 21 states.

"}, {"id":"a672c135-9a5a-5e1d-a44f-b09277c00cf1","type":"article","starttime":"1487791860","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T13:31:00-06:00","lastupdated":"1487823607","sections":[{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"},{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Bill would extend, expand Iowa\u2019s medical cannabis program","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_a672c135-9a5a-5e1d-a44f-b09277c00cf1.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/bill-would-extend-expand-iowa-s-medical-cannabis-program/article_a672c135-9a5a-5e1d-a44f-b09277c00cf1.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/bill-would-extend-expand-iowa-s-medical-cannabis-program/article_a672c135-9a5a-5e1d-a44f-b09277c00cf1.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"Erin Murphy\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0Iowa\u2019s medical cannabis program would not only be extended, but dramatically expanded under legislation that received its first hearing Wednesday at the Iowa Capitol. A three-person panel of state legislators advanced a bill that would extend the current program, which permits the use of a medicinal byproduct of the marijuana plant for treatment of intractable epilepsy but is set to expire in July. It also would expand it to permit the product to be grown and sold in Iowa and create a process by which more ailments would be covered.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["tom duncan","jarad klein","bob kressig","intractable epilepsy","post-traumatic stress disorder","erin miller","sally gaer","clel baudler","iowa house","kristi hager","medical marijuana","medical cannabis","cannabis","politics","law","legislation","bill","committee","lawmaker","medicine"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"3f160d3e-9a96-5fed-92b7-fcd2b3555e00","description":"Iowa state Rep. Bob Kressig","byline":"","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"mugshot","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"413","height":"619","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f1/3f160d3e-9a96-5fed-92b7-fcd2b3555e00/58adeabd02812.image.jpg?resize=413%2C619"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"150","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f1/3f160d3e-9a96-5fed-92b7-fcd2b3555e00/553199686b743.preview-100.jpg"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"450","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f1/3f160d3e-9a96-5fed-92b7-fcd2b3555e00/553199686e15b.preview-300.jpg"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"709","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/3/f1/3f160d3e-9a96-5fed-92b7-fcd2b3555e00/58adeabd02812.image.jpg?crop=406%2C281%2C1%2C142"}}}],"revision":7,"commentID":"a672c135-9a5a-5e1d-a44f-b09277c00cf1","body":"

DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0Iowa\u2019s medical cannabis program would not only be extended, but dramatically expanded under legislation that received its first hearing Wednesday at the Iowa Capitol.

A three-person panel of state legislators advanced a bill that would extend the current program, which permits the use of a medicinal byproduct of the marijuana plant for treatment of intractable epilepsy but is set to expire in July. It also would expand it to permit the product to be grown and sold in Iowa and create a process by which more ailments would be covered.

\u201cI\u2019ve worked on this issue for some time,\u201d said Rep. Bob Kressig, D-Cedar Falls.\"The bill is actually a good step in the right direction.\"

The bill was introduced in the Republican-controlled Iowa House by Rep. Clel Baudler, R-Greenfield, chairman of the public safety committee through which the bill is tracking, and was managed Wednesday by Rep. Jarad Klein, R-Keota.

Advocates for medical cannabis have pressed state lawmakers to expand the current program, which was started in 2014 and permits use but makes it difficult for Iowans to access the product. Advocates have had a persistent presence at the Capitol in the past few years, sharing success stories of people who have seen a dramatic reduction in seizures and pain after using medical cannabis.

\u201cErin Miller (of Des Moines), whose son Abram benefited from the current bill, is now 600 days seizure-free on (medical cannabis) oil. And she wanted me to express that to you all,\u201d Tom Duncan of Jefferson told lawmakers at Wednesday\u2019s hearing.

Opponents of the proposal cite its break from federal laws, which do not recognize cannabis oils and extracts as approved medicinal products.

However, 28 states and the District of Columbia have comprehensive public medical marijuana and cannabis programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. The previous federal administration said it would not pursue action against states with medical and recreational marijuana laws, and Klein said Wednesday that state lawmakers have reached out to the new administration to seek clarification on the issue.

The bill also provides an avenue for more ailments to be covered by the program. Currently, medical cannabis may be used only to treat intractable epilepsy; the bill would allow for more maladies to be added if recommended by the University of Iowa\u2019s medical college and approved by state lawmakers.

Advocates say medical cannabis also can be beneficial in treating post-traumatic stress disorder and some forms of cancer.

\u201cIt\u2019s very important for us that people have safe and legal access,\u201d said Sally Gaer of West Des Moines, co-founder of a medical cannabis advocacy group whose daughter has a rare form of epilepsy.

Lawmakers on the panel noted the legislation does not permit the recreational use of marijuana and allows only for use of a byproduct with such low potency that users cannot get high.

\u201cThis is such low THC (the hallucinogenic element in marijuana) that you can\u2019t get high on it. This is not recreational, and folks need to understand that,\u201d Klein said. \u201cThis is about medicine. This is about helping folks.\u201d

The legislation was approved by the three-member panel \u2014\u00a0Kressig, Klein and Rep. Kristi Hager, R-Waukon. The bill is now eligible for consideration by the full committee. Klein said he expects the bill to be approved by the committee, which would keep it eligible for consideration this session ahead of a key legislative deadline at the end of next week.

"}, {"id":"83d7dfdc-f92e-11e6-950a-e7f0adc71fec","type":"article","starttime":"1487788860","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T12:41:00-06:00","sections":[{"national":"news/national"}],"application":"editorial","title":"7 Earth-size worlds found orbiting star; could hold life","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/article_83d7dfdc-f92e-11e6-950a-e7f0adc71fec.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/earth-size-worlds-found-orbiting-star-could-hold-life/article_83d7dfdc-f92e-11e6-950a-e7f0adc71fec.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/earth-size-worlds-found-orbiting-star-could-hold-life/article_83d7dfdc-f92e-11e6-950a-e7f0adc71fec.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"The Associated Press","prologue":"CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. \u2014 For the first time ever, astronomers have discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a nearby star \u2014 and these new worlds could hold life. This cluster of planets is less than 40 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, according to NASA and the Belgian-led research team who announced the discovery Wednesday.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["planet","astronomy","solar system","exoplanet","star","telescope","astronomer","dwarf star"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"9fca874e-f92e-11e6-b2c3-473507daf56a","description":"This image provided by NASA/JPL-Caltech shows an artist's conception of what the surface of the exoplanet TRAPPIST-1f may look like, based on available data about its diameter, mass and distances from the host star. The planets circle tightly around a dim dwarf star called Trappist-1, barely the size of Jupiter. Three are in the so-called habitable zone, where liquid water and, possibly life, might exist. The others are right on the doorstep. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)","byline":"HOGP","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"288","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fc/9fca874e-f92e-11e6-b2c3-473507daf56a/58addb963461f.image.jpg?resize=512%2C288"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"56","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fc/9fca874e-f92e-11e6-b2c3-473507daf56a/58addb963461f.image.jpg?resize=100%2C56"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"169","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fc/9fca874e-f92e-11e6-b2c3-473507daf56a/58addb963461f.image.jpg?resize=300%2C169"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"576","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/9/fc/9fca874e-f92e-11e6-b2c3-473507daf56a/58addb963461f.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"83d7dfdc-f92e-11e6-950a-e7f0adc71fec","body":"

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. \u2014 For the first time ever, astronomers have discovered seven Earth-size planets orbiting a nearby star \u2014 and these new worlds could hold life.

This cluster of planets is less than 40 light-years away in the constellation Aquarius, according to NASA and the Belgian-led research team who announced the discovery Wednesday.

The planets circle tightly around a dim dwarf star called Trappist-1, barely the size of Jupiter. Three are in the so-called habitable zone, where liquid water and, possibly life, might exist. The others are right on the doorstep.

Scientists said they need to study the atmospheres before determining whether these rocky, terrestrial planets could support some sort of life. But it already shows just how many Earth-size planets could be out there \u2014 especially in a star's sweet spot, ripe for extraterrestrial life.

The takeaway from all this is, \"we've made a crucial step toward finding if there is life out there,\" said the University of Cambridge's Amaury Triaud, one of the researchers. The potential for more Earth-size planets in our Milky Way galaxy is mind-boggling.

\"There are 200 billion stars in our galaxy,\" said co-author Emmanuel Jehin of the University of Liege. So do an account. You multiply this by 10, and you have the number of Earth-size planets in the galaxy \u2014 which is a lot.\"

Last spring, the University of Liege's Michael Gillon and his team reported finding three planets around Trappist-1. Now the count is up to seven, and Gillon said there could be more. Their latest findings appear in the journal Nature.

This compact solar system is reminiscent of Jupiter and its Galilean moons, according to the researchers.

Picture this: If Trappist-1 were our sun, all seven planets would be inside Mercury's orbit. Mercury is the innermost planet of our own solar system.

The ultracool star at the heart of this system would shine 200 times dimmer than our sun, a perpetual twilight as we know it. And the star would glow red \u2014 maybe salmon-colored, the researchers speculate.

\"The spectacle would be beautiful because every now and then, you would see another planet, maybe about as big as twice the moon in the sky, depending on which planet you're on and which planet you look at,\" Triaud said Tuesday in a teleconference with reporters.

The Leiden Observatory's Ignas Snellen, who was not involved in the study, is excited by the prospect of learning more about what he calls \"the seven sisters of planet Earth.\" In a companion article in Nature, he said Gillon's team could have been lucky in nabbing so many terrestrial planets in one stellar swoop.

\"But finding seven transiting Earth-sized planets in such a small sample suggests that the solar system with its four (sub-) Earth-sized planets might be nothing out of the ordinary,\" Snellen wrote.

Gillon and his team used both ground and space telescopes to identify and track the planets, which they label simply by lowercase letters, \"b'' through \"h.\" As is typical in these cases, the letter \"A'' \u2014 in upper case \u2014 is reserved for the star. Planets cast shadows on their star as they pass in front of it; that's how the scientists spotted them.

Tiny, cold stars like Trappist-1 were long shunned by exoplanet-hunters (exoplanets are those outside our solar system). But the Belgian astronomers decided to seek them out, building a telescope in Chile to observe 60 of the closest ultracool dwarf stars. Their Trappist telescope lent its name to this star.

While faint, the Trappist-1 star is close by cosmic standards, allowing astronomers to study the atmospheres of its seven temperate planets. All seven look to be solid like Earth \u2014 mostly rocky and possibly icy, too.

They all appear to be tidally locked, which means the same side continually faces the star, just like the same side of our moon always faces us. Life could still exist at these places, the researchers explained.

\"Here, if life managed to thrive and releases gases similar to that that we have on Earth, then we will know,\" Triaud said.

Chemical analyses should indicate life with perhaps 99 percent confidence, Gillon noted. But he added: \"We will never be completely sure\" without going there.

"}, {"id":"65f6f54f-63bf-52c4-8c6e-434bacf75651","type":"article","starttime":"1487788320","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T12:32:00-06:00","sections":[{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"},{"government-and-politics":"news/local/government-and-politics"}],"application":"editorial","title":"Loebsack sees similarities in GOP \u2018anti-people\u2019 legislation in Iowa and D.C.","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_65f6f54f-63bf-52c4-8c6e-434bacf75651.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/loebsack-sees-similarities-in-gop-anti-people-legislation-in-iowa/article_65f6f54f-63bf-52c4-8c6e-434bacf75651.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/loebsack-sees-similarities-in-gop-anti-people-legislation-in-iowa/article_65f6f54f-63bf-52c4-8c6e-434bacf75651.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":1,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"James Q. Lynch\nTimes Bureau","prologue":"DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack sees \u201cfar too many similarities\u201d between what majority Republicans are doing in Washington, D.C., and in Des Moines, and he is trying to help his party recover from two cycles of election losses. Republicans are \u201cbasically pushing through as many of their, I think, very much anti-people programs here,\u201d Loebsack said during a visit to the Iowa Statehouse Wednesday. \u201cClearly, when you get rid of collective bargaining or eviscerate it to the extent they do, that\u2019s going to hurt a lot of people here in Iowa.\u201d","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["dave loebsack","bernie sanders","joni ernst","iowa statehouse","democratic national committee","donald trump","howard dean","republican party","iowa democratic party","chuck grassley","iowa","keith ellison","washington","d.c.","u.s. house","politics","republicans","people","similarity"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":"","images":[{"id":"ddec158f-bbbb-56d0-9486-5427f4d30366","description":"U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa, introduces former President Bill Clinton during a bus tour stop in October at North High School in Davenport.","byline":"Andy Abeyta, QUAD-CITY TIMES FILE PHOTO","hireswidth":1767,"hiresheight":1173,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/de/ddec158f-bbbb-56d0-9486-5427f4d30366/58584dd98df22.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1767","height":"1173","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/de/ddec158f-bbbb-56d0-9486-5427f4d30366/580049176b54d.image.jpg?resize=1767%2C1173"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"66","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/de/ddec158f-bbbb-56d0-9486-5427f4d30366/580049176b54d.image.jpg?resize=100%2C66"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"199","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/de/ddec158f-bbbb-56d0-9486-5427f4d30366/580049176b54d.image.jpg?resize=300%2C199"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"680","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/de/ddec158f-bbbb-56d0-9486-5427f4d30366/580049176b54d.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C680"}}}],"revision":1,"commentID":"65f6f54f-63bf-52c4-8c6e-434bacf75651","body":"

DES MOINES \u2014\u00a0Iowa Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack sees \u201cfar too many similarities\u201d between what majority Republicans are doing in Washington, D.C., and in Des Moines, and he is trying to help his party recover from two cycles of election losses.

Republicans are \u201cbasically pushing through as many of their, I think, very much anti-people programs here,\u201d Loebsack said during a visit to the Iowa Statehouse Wednesday. \u201cClearly, when you get rid of collective bargaining or eviscerate it to the extent they do, that\u2019s going to hurt a lot of people here in Iowa.\u201d

The reaction in Iowa mirrors the reaction across the country from people concerned with the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act, he said.

If there is an upside, Loebsack said, it\u2019s the grass-roots reactions being seen at congressional town hall meetings this week and in events such as the Women\u2019s March in Washington. For many people, he said, \u201cit\u2019s the first time these people are doing anything political at all because they understand what\u2019s at stake.\u201d

He dismissed President Donald Trump\u2019s Twitter suggestion the demonstrations, such as those Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are having in Iowa this week, has been orchestrated. It\u2019s part of Trump\u2019s strategy to delegitimize the reaction to him and his policies, Loebsack said.

\u201cI have to tell you, I was taken aback by the energy and power of this movement,\u201d he said.

He attended Trump\u2019s inauguration Jan. 20 and joined his daughter at the Women\u2019s March the following day.

\u201cThe energy was amazing on the 21st,\u201d Loebsack said. \u201cI don\u2019t want to get into the crowd size issue and all that, but I saw with my own eyes there were far more people on the 21st than the 20th. It was powerful. It was civil. It was remarkable. It was incredibly inspiring to be there.\u201d

Loebsack is backing fellow U.S. House Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota as Democratic National Committee chairman. He thinks Ellison can bring together the Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders factions of the party.

\u201cHe\u2019s got the same 50-state strategy that Howard Dean had,\u201d Loebsack said. \"He\u2019s talking about working at the very grass-roots level to capture the energy we see out there.\"

He hopes the Iowa Democratic Party can capture some of that, too, before the 2018 governor\u2019s race. Loebsack has talked to several people who are thinking about running, but he doesn\u2019t have a favorite.

\u201cI don\u2019t have anybody that I\u2019m choosing or any of that at this point, and I\u2019m not sure I\u2019ll be doing that anyway,\u201d he said.

"} ]
[ ]
[ {"id":"51c37d16-7dfd-5da5-a750-8b9a63224464","type":"article","starttime":"1487770116","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T07:28:36-06:00","lastupdated":"1487772343","priority":0,"sections":[{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"10 Things to Know for Today","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/article_51c37d16-7dfd-5da5-a750-8b9a63224464.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/national/things-to-know-for-today/article_51c37d16-7dfd-5da5-a750-8b9a63224464.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Among-10-Things-to-Know-Trump-administration-pursuing-stricter-immigration-policy-accountability-for-war-crimes-urged-as-fresh-round-of-Syrian-peace-talks-begin-Dakota-pipeline-oppone/id-7dc213f564314fd5bfc75a492290d392","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":3,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By The Associated Press","prologue":"Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","general news","war crimes","war and unrest","immigration","social issues","social affairs","peace process","diplomacy","international relations","government and politics"],"internalKeywords":["#lee"],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"images":[{"id":"739dc05d-6505-5645-96a0-a47723c80b8f","description":"Rescue crews take out residents from a flooded neighborhood Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in San Jose, Calif. Rescuers chest-deep in water steered boats carrying dozens of people, some with babies and pets, from a San Jose neighborhood inundated by water from an overflowing creek Tuesday. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)","byline":"Marcio Jose Sanchez","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"316","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/39/739dc05d-6505-5645-96a0-a47723c80b8f/58acd13b831b7.image.jpg?resize=512%2C316"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"62","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/39/739dc05d-6505-5645-96a0-a47723c80b8f/58acd13b831b7.image.jpg?resize=100%2C62"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"185","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/39/739dc05d-6505-5645-96a0-a47723c80b8f/58acd13b831b7.image.jpg?resize=300%2C185"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"632","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/39/739dc05d-6505-5645-96a0-a47723c80b8f/58acd13b831b7.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"00a12bcb-a54d-51f6-85b5-1a889b73e8b8","description":"Milo Yiannopoulos speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in New York. Yiannopoulos has resigned as editor of Breitbart Tech after coming under fire from other conservatives over comments on sexual relationships between boys and older men. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)","byline":"Mary Altaffer","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"341","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/0a/00a12bcb-a54d-51f6-85b5-1a889b73e8b8/58ad7a8d43425.image.jpg?resize=512%2C341"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"67","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/0a/00a12bcb-a54d-51f6-85b5-1a889b73e8b8/58ad7a8d43425.image.jpg?resize=100%2C67"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"200","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/0a/00a12bcb-a54d-51f6-85b5-1a889b73e8b8/58ad7a8d43425.image.jpg?resize=300%2C200"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"682","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/0/0a/00a12bcb-a54d-51f6-85b5-1a889b73e8b8/58ad7a8d43425.image.jpg"}}},{"id":"aa36f88f-08d7-5fb7-ac90-1bccc7d7e2b7","description":"In this photo provided by Vit\u00f3ria Londero, a giant banner saying \"Refugees Welcome\" hangs on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017, in New York. National Park Service spokesman Jerry Willis says the banner was hung from the public observation deck at the top of the statue's pedestal Tuesday afternoon. (Vit\u00f3ria Londero via AP)","byline":"Vit\u00f3ria Londero","hireswidth":null,"hiresheight":null,"hiresurl":null,"presentation":null,"versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"512","height":"372","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/a3/aa36f88f-08d7-5fb7-ac90-1bccc7d7e2b7/58ad1e899c313.image.jpg?resize=512%2C372"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"73","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/a3/aa36f88f-08d7-5fb7-ac90-1bccc7d7e2b7/58ad1e899c313.image.jpg?resize=100%2C73"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"218","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/a3/aa36f88f-08d7-5fb7-ac90-1bccc7d7e2b7/58ad1e899c313.image.jpg?resize=300%2C218"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"744","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/a3/aa36f88f-08d7-5fb7-ac90-1bccc7d7e2b7/58ad1e899c313.image.jpg"}}}],"revision":3,"commentID":"51c37d16-7dfd-5da5-a750-8b9a63224464","body":"

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. US TAKES STRICTER IMMIGRATION STANCE

A pair of Homeland Security memos lay bare how many of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally will be targeted for deportation. The short answer: a lot.

2. HOW MALAYSIA SAYS KILLING WAS CARRIED OUT

The women suspected of fatally poisoning the North Korean leader's half brother were trained to coat their hands with toxic chemicals, then wipe them on his face, police say. The North Korean embassy ridicules the police account.

3. ACCOUNTABILITY URGED AHEAD OF FRESH ROUND OF SYRIAN PEACE TALKS

After a litany of horrors, some are pushing for the creation of a Syrian court to prevent war criminals from escaping with impunity.

4. DAKOTA PIPELINE OPPONENTS FACE DEADLINE TO MOVE

The scores of protesters have been told by the government to vacate their encampment on federal land in North Dakota.

5. WHAT'S PROVIDING NEW HOPE FOR VICTIMS OF ISLAMIC STATE GROUP

A psychological trauma institute is being established at a university in Iraq to treat IS victims, including Yazidi women raped and tortured by the militants.

6. DOWNPOURS RAISE FEARS OF CALIFORNIA FLOODING

Communities downstream from a northern California reservoir gushing water for the first time in 20 years brace for flash floods and evacuations.

7. a href='https://apnews.com/54aeb734dc8146969cda25a03e602419/Testosterone-gel-shows-no-benefit-for-older-men's-memories'TESTOSTERONE NO FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH/a

In landmark research, the hormone failed to improve older men's memory or mental function, challenging the anti-aging claims of popular supplements.

8. MILO YIANNOPOULOS QUITS BREITBART

The right-wing writer's resignation follows days of criticism after the release of video clips in which he appeared to defend sexual relationships between men and boys as young as 13.

9. FLOURISHING WHERE OTHERS HAVE FAILED

An American musician and a fan of his band have been making high-end microphones in Russia since 2014 \u2014 a rare example of success in the country's consumer goods industry.

10. WHICH MYSTERY IS PUZZLING AUTHORITIES IN NEW YORK

The National Park Service is trying to figure out who unfurled a giant banner at the Statue of Liberty saying \"Refugees Welcome.\"

"} ]
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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) \u2014 The winning Powerball numbers have been drawn for the jackpot that's climbed above $400 million for the first time in nearly three months.

The numbers are 10-13-28-52-61 and Powerball 2. The game's website says one winning ticket was sold in Indiana.

During Wednesday night's drawing, it was announced that the jackpot jumped to an estimated $435 million.

Powerball is played in 44 states, plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The top prize drops back to $40 million for the next drawing Saturday night.

The odds of winning the Powerball jackpot are incredibly small, at one in 292.2 million.

"}, {"id":"0bf27abd-f07f-526f-ad34-5f1fe280bd2c","type":"article","starttime":"1487830073","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-23T00:07:53-06:00","lastupdated":"1487831584","priority":0,"sections":[{"illinois":"news/state-and-regional/illinois"},{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"},{"national":"news/national"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"North Dakota officials plead with last protesters to leave","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/article_0bf27abd-f07f-526f-ad34-5f1fe280bd2c.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/north-dakota-officials-plead-with-last-protesters-to-leave/article_0bf27abd-f07f-526f-ad34-5f1fe280bd2c.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Public-officials-in-North-Dakota-on-Wednesday-pleaded-with-remaining-protesters-at-the-Dakota-Access-oil-pipeline-camp-to-pack-up-and-leave-so-authorities-can-resume-cleaning-up-the-prem/id-def6d4ae9bba429a99b0a7936c589b6b","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":5,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By BLAKE NICHOLSON and JAMES MacPHERSON\nAssociated Press","prologue":"CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) \u2014 Public officials in North Dakota pleaded with the remaining protesters at the Dakota Access oil pipeline camp to pack up and leave so authorities can resume cleaning up the premises without any further arrests. Most of the campers marched out of the area ahead of Wednesday's 2 p.m. deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities arrested 10 people who defied the order in a final show of dissent. North Dakota Gov. 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CANNON BALL, N.D. (AP) \u2014 Public officials in North Dakota pleaded with the remaining protesters at the Dakota Access oil pipeline camp to pack up and leave so authorities can resume cleaning up the premises without any further arrests.

Most of the campers marched out of the area ahead of Wednesday's 2 p.m. deadline to get off the federal land, and authorities arrested 10 people who defied the order in a final show of dissent. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said none of the law enforcement officers left the main highway outside the camp.

\"They will have every opportunity again to leave tomorrow without arrest,\" Burgum said Wednesday evening, referring to an estimated 25 to 50 people remaining at the camp.

Burgum said law enforcement will decide Thursday morning what to do about any remaining protesters, but noted that cleanup was scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Corps Col. John Henderson said the cleanup could take about a month and cost as much as $1.2 million, which ultimately would be paid by taxpayers.

The area near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation has been home to demonstrators for nearly a year as they tried to thwart construction of the pipeline. Many of the protesters left peacefully, but police made some arrests two hours after the deadline.

Earlier in the day, some of the last remnants of the camp went up in flames when occupants set fire to makeshift wooden housing as part of a leaving ceremony. Authorities later said about 20 fires were set and two people \u2014 a 7-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl \u2014 were taken to a Bismarck hospital to be treated for burns. Their conditions weren't given, but Burgum said the girl was airlifted to a Minneapolis hospital.

\"That is very sad for all the people who were involved in that,\" the governor said.

After the deadline passed, as many as 75 people outside the camp started taunting officers, who brought five large vans to the scene. Police took 10 people into custody for obstructing a government function, authorities said.

Shortly before the deadline set by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because of the threat of spring flooding, about 150 people marched arm-in-arm out of the soggy camp, singing and playing drums as they walked down a highway. It was not clear where they were headed. One man carried an American flag hung upside-down.

Authorities sent buses to take protesters to Bismarck, where they were offered fresh clothing, bus fare home, and food and hotel vouchers. Officials didn't immediately know how many people took up the offer, but said at least 70 were looking for transportation.

At the height of the protests, the site known as Oceti Sakowin hosted thousands of people, though its population dwindled to just a couple of hundred as the pipeline battle moved into the courts.

The camp is on federal land in North Dakota between the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation and the pipeline route that is being finished by Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners. When complete, the project will carry oil through the Dakotas and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois.

Some of the protesters were focused on moving off federal land and away from the flood plain into other camps. New camps are popping up on private land, including one the Cheyenne River Sioux set up about a mile from the main camp.

Nathan Phillips, a member of the Omaha Tribe in Nebraska, said he was moving to a new camp in the area because \"there's still work to be done.\" He has been in North Dakota since Thanksgiving and said he's had \"four showers since.\"

Matthew Bishop, from Ketchikan, Alaska, packed up Wednesday and said he too was headed to a camp on private land.

\"We're going to regroup and see what we can do,\" Bishop said.

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In Orange County, California, dozens of immigrant parents have signed legal documents authorizing friends and relatives to pick up their children from school and access their bank accounts to pay their bills in the event they are arrested by immigration agents.

In Philadelphia, immigrants are carrying around wallet-size \"Know Your Rights\" guides in Spanish and English that explain what to do if they're rounded up.

And in New York, 23-year-old Zuleima Dominguez and other members of her Mexican family are careful about answering the door and start making worried phone calls when someone doesn't come home on time.

Around the country, President Donald Trump's efforts to crack down on the estimated 11 million immigrants living illegally in the U.S. have spread fear and anxiety and led many people to brace for arrest and to change up their daily routines in hopes of not getting caught.

In El Paso, Texas, Carmen Ramos and her friends have developed a network to keep each other updated via text messages on where immigration checkpoints have been set up.

She said she also is making certain everything she does is in order at all times. She checks her taillights before leaving the house to make sure they are working. She won't speed and keeps a close eye on her surroundings.

\"We are surprised that even a ticket can get us back to Mexico,\" said the 41-year-old Ramos, who with her husband and three children left Ciudad Juarez because of drug violence and death threats in 2008 and entered the U.S. on tourist visas that have since expired. \"We wouldn't have anywhere to return.\"

The unease among immigrants has been building for months but intensified in recent weeks with ever-clearer signs that the Trump administration would jettison the Obama-era policy of focusing mostly on deporting those who had committed serious crimes.

The administration announced Tuesday that any immigrant in the country illegally who is charged with or convicted of any offense, or even suspected of a crime, will now be an enforcement priority. That could include people arrested for shoplifting or other minor offenses, or those who simply crossed the border illegally.

Some husbands and wives fear spouses who lack legal papers could be taken away. And many worry that parents will be separated from their U.S.-born children.

Dozens of immigrants have been turning up at an advocacy group's offices in Philadelphia, asking questions like, \"Who will take care of my children if I am deported?\" They also are coached on how to develop a \"deportation plan\" that includes the name and number of an attorney and other emergency contacts in case of arrest.

An organization in Austin, Texas, that runs a deportation hotline said it normally would receive one or two calls every few days. After recent immigration raids, the phone rang off the hook.

\"We got over 1,000 phone calls in three days about the raids,\" said Cristina Parker, immigration programs director for Grassroots Leadership. \"And certainly a lot of those were people who wanted information about the raids saying, 'I'm scared, I'm worried, what can I do?'... A lot of them were people who were impacted by the raids who saw a friend or family be taken.\"

Immigrants in the Chicago area have said they are scared to drive, and some are even wary of taking public transit. When Chicago police and federal authorities conducted regular safety checks on a train line earlier this month, many assumed it was an immigration checkpoint.

Word spread so quickly that Chicago police issued a statement assuring immigrants, \"You are welcome here.\"

In Arizona, immigrant Abril Gallardo said the policies have prompted new conversations with her parents and siblings. Her father, who's in the country illegally, made sure all the taillights work in the van he drives to his construction job in the Phoenix area. They look through the window if anyone knocks.

Her brother is getting married this weekend, and immigrant friends were reluctant to drive to the bridal shower.

\"We have a regular life, but with this new executive order, anyone, just for the fact that you're here, you can become a priority,\" said Gallardo, 26, who is in the U.S. with permission under the Obama administration policy for people who entered illegally as children.

In the Bronx, Dominguez, a college student protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, is looking into what she needs to do to raise her American-born brother and sister, ages 6 and 11, if their parents are deported.

When Dominguez goes out, she tells the others where she is going, with whom, and when she will be home, and expects the same from her parents and siblings. If someone is late getting home, she said, \"we start calling.\"

___

Associated Press Writers Sophia Tareen in Chicago; Adriana Gomez Licon in Miami; Astrid Galvan in El Paso, Texas; and Errin Haines Whack in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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As President Donald Trump moves ahead with a nationwide immigration crackdown, school principals in Chicago have been given a simple order: Do not let federal immigration agents in without a criminal warrant. Barajas was brought to the U.S. illegally as a child but is allowed to stay as part of a federal program launched in 2012. 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CHICAGO (AP) \u2014 As educators around the United States wonder whether a crackdown on immigrants will reach their schoolhouse doors, principals in Chicago have been given a simple order: Do not let federal immigration agents in without a criminal warrant.

The stand taken by Chicago Public Schools, the country's third-largest school system, is among the boldest of the districts that have announced measures to protect those who may be living in the country illegally.

It remains unknown how much interest U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will show in schools under President Donald Trump, and there is little schools can do to thwart agents who show up with warrants, but they are acting at least in part to ease concerns of skittish immigrant communities. In districts like Chicago, where nearly half of the 381,000 students are Hispanic, there is concern that immigration authorities could grab parents outside the schools and their children inside.

\"My 9-year-old son gets upset because he knows some of his friends in school and his father are undocumented and he is scared, and asks 'Am I going to see them again,'\" said Gabriela Barajas, who was brought to this country illegally as a child but is allowed to stay as part of a federal program launched in 2012. \"When I told him about (what CPS was doing) he was clapping, he was so happy.\"

Alma Sigala, an immigrant who has a daughter in district, said the relief is not just for the children but for the parents. \"Once the parents are inside the schools they'll feel more secure, that in some form they are protected,\" said Sigala.

Trump's decision to target more people for deportation than had been targeted during the Obama administration has ratcheted up worries about families being torn apart all over the country.

In the note Tuesday to Chicago's principals, Public Schools Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson urged them to not only keep immigration agents outside and to avoid sharing any student records with the agents, but to also put plans in place for the possibility of parents being detained while their children are in school.

\"To be very clear, CPS does not provide assistance to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law,\" Jackson wrote.

Principals around the country have been stepping up efforts to make students feel supported, said JoAnn Bartoletti, executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

In Syracuse, New York, the school board approved a policy this month requiring schools to deny access to ICE officials until they consult with the superintendent. In Salt Lake City, Utah, on Tuesday the school district discussed a resolution. Connecticut's governor on Wednesday advised school districts in that state to refer any ICE agents to the superintendent. And in New York City, principals there have been told that immigration officers many not be granted access without legal authority.

The latest Trump administration guidance leaves in place Obama-era policies limiting enforcement actions at \"sensitive locations,\" including schools. While those policies say agents should generally avoid apprehending anyone inside those designated areas, they do not stop agents from obtaining records or serving subpoenas.

Jim Bever, an Indiana principal on the board of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, said he would try to discourage immigration officials from accessing students and records, but school administrators around the country are \"a bit in the dark\" and any agents would likely see a wide range of responses.

Some experts say it's unlikely administrators will be tested.

Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies in Washington, D.C., which supports tighter immigration policies, said schools do not seem to have reason for alarm and Chicago Public Schools and others implementing similar policies mostly appear to be \"showing off.\"

Among those prioritized for arrest under the new guidelines are immigrants who abuse public benefits, which Krikorian said could include free and reduced school lunches.

\"It could well affect them, but again that has nothing to do with the school grounds,\" he said. \"It's not like ICE goes in there and says, 'Drop that tater tot, kid.'\"

____

Thompson reported from Buffalo, N.Y. Associated Press writers Collin Binkley in Boston and Hugh Dellios in Chicago contributed to this report.

"}, {"id":"a31daa53-1591-5812-a79a-ec414806c903","type":"article","starttime":"1487822611","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T22:03:31-06:00","lastupdated":"1487832303","priority":0,"sections":[{"iowa":"news/state-and-regional/iowa"},{"illinois":"news/state-and-regional/illinois"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Winning numbers drawn in 'Powerball' game","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/article_a31daa53-1591-5812-a79a-ec414806c903.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/winning-numbers-drawn-in-powerball-game/article_a31daa53-1591-5812-a79a-ec414806c903.html","canonical":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/iowa/winning-numbers-drawn-in-powerball-game/article_a31daa53-1591-5812-a79a-ec414806c903.html","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"byline":"By The Associated Press","prologue":"ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the \"Powerball\" game were: 10-13-28-52-61, Powerball: 2, Power Play: 2 (ten, thirteen, twenty-eight, fifty-two, sixty-one; Powerball: two; Power Play: two) Estimated jackpot: $403 million \u00b6 ___ \u00b6 Online: \u00b6 Multi-State Lottery Association: http://www.powerball.com/","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","iowa state news","lotteries","general news","illinois state news"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":6,"commentID":"a31daa53-1591-5812-a79a-ec414806c903","body":"

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ The winning numbers in Wednesday evening's drawing of the \"Powerball\" game were:

10-13-28-52-61, Powerball: 2, Power Play: 2

(ten, thirteen, twenty-eight, fifty-two, sixty-one; Powerball: two; Power Play: two)

Estimated jackpot: $403 million

\u00b6 ___ \u00b6 Online: \u00b6 Multi-State Lottery Association: http://www.powerball.com/

"}, {"id":"92327cb2-3e38-5ca5-8fad-ada972564ee4","type":"article","starttime":"1487822091","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T21:54:51-06:00","lastupdated":"1487823515","priority":0,"sections":[{"illinois":"news/state-and-regional/illinois"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"Durbin prompts medical, dental schools to combat drug crisis","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/article_92327cb2-3e38-5ca5-8fad-ada972564ee4.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/durbin-prompts-medical-dental-schools-to-combat-drug-crisis/article_92327cb2-3e38-5ca5-8fad-ada972564ee4.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/U-S-Sen-Dick-Durbin-wants-medical-and-dental-schools-in-Illinois-to-have-training-sessions-on-responsible-opioid-prescription/id-b47b836ca12a404fbfb479f4efd0f802","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) \u2014 U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants medical and dental schools in Illinois to have training sessions on responsible opioid prescription. The Illinois Democrat sent a letter to Illinois schools Wednesday. He is urging them to work with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to provide better training to students.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","illinois state news","general news","medical schools","higher education","education","social affairs","government and politics","dentistry","oral health","health","prescription drugs","medication","diagnosis and treatment"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"92327cb2-3e38-5ca5-8fad-ada972564ee4","body":"

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) \u2014 U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants medical and dental schools in Illinois to have training sessions on responsible opioid prescription.

The Illinois Democrat sent a letter to Illinois schools Wednesday. He is urging them to work with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to provide better training to students.

He says those entering the medical field must confront a national prescription-drug epidemic.

Durbin says the number of opioid pain relievers prescribed nationwide jumped from 76 million in 1991 to more than 245 million in 2014. He says the increase coincides with a dramatic rise in opioid-related overdose deaths.

He says the best way to solve the crisis is to help doctors and dentists prevent patients from becoming addicted in the first place.

"}, {"id":"2a804ef0-85e6-5890-8df4-6ece813f2d70","type":"article","starttime":"1487822080","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T21:54:40-06:00","lastupdated":"1487823515","priority":0,"sections":[{"illinois":"news/state-and-regional/illinois"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"2 plans to name Illinois highways for Obama in the works","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/article_2a804ef0-85e6-5890-8df4-6ece813f2d70.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/plans-to-name-illinois-highways-for-obama-in-the-works/article_2a804ef0-85e6-5890-8df4-6ece813f2d70.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/Democratic-lawmakers-from-Chicago-want-portions-of-Illinois-highways-named-for-former-President-Barack-Obama/id-4d10be1eb904468da1d90a91f8c8e910","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) \u2014 Democratic lawmakers from Chicago want portions of Illinois highways named for former President Barack Obama. Rep. La Shawn Ford said Wednesday he would write legislation to name Interstate 55 from Chicago to East St. Louis for Obama. A resolution by Rep. Marcus Evans would designate Interstate 294 around Chicago for the 44th president. It's known as the Tri-State Tollway.","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","illinois state news","general news","state legislature","state governments","government and politics","legislature","transportation industry regulation","industry regulation","government business and finance","business","government regulations"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"2a804ef0-85e6-5890-8df4-6ece813f2d70","body":"

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) \u2014 Democratic lawmakers from Chicago want portions of Illinois highways named for former President Barack Obama.

Rep. La Shawn Ford said Wednesday he would write legislation to name Interstate 55 from Chicago to East St. Louis for Obama.

A resolution by Rep. Marcus Evans would designate Interstate 294 around Chicago for the 44th president. It's known as the Tri-State Tollway.

Interstate 55 in Chicago is named former Illinois governor and two-time Democratic presidential nominee Adlai (AD'-lay) Stevenson II. Ford's plan would affix Obama's name to the other parts of the interstate running through the state.

Ford says stretches of I-55 south of Springfield would retain honorary titles. Portions are named for the late state Sen. Vince Demuzio (dih-MYOO'-zee-oh), the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon, and the late state Rep. Wyvetter (WYE'-vet-tur) Younge.

"}, {"id":"529102f9-e21f-5144-aa56-6840732aaa5f","type":"article","starttime":"1487822068","starttime_iso8601":"2017-02-22T21:54:28-06:00","lastupdated":"1487823515","priority":0,"sections":[{"illinois":"news/state-and-regional/illinois"}],"flags":{"ap":"true"},"application":"editorial","title":"University of Illinois kicks off 150th birthday celebration","url":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/article_529102f9-e21f-5144-aa56-6840732aaa5f.html","permalink":"http://qctimes.com/news/state-and-regional/illinois/university-of-illinois-kicks-off-th-birthday-celebration/article_529102f9-e21f-5144-aa56-6840732aaa5f.html","canonical":"http://www.apnewsarchive.com/2017/The-University-of-Illinois-is-kicking-off-a-15-month-celebration-of-the-institution-s-150th-birthday/id-a861f90e284f478abf6c1e5bc36e850c","relatedAssetCounts":{"article":0,"audio":0,"image":0,"link":0,"vmix":0,"youtube":0,"gallery":0},"prologue":"CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) \u2014 The University of Illinois is kicking off a 15-month celebration of the institution's 150th birthday. The party will start next week with a Tuesday ceremony at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana. Musicians from the university's School of Music will perform, and Chancellor Robert Jones will cut a cake the university describes as \"crowd-sized.\"","supportsComments":false,"commentCount":0,"keywords":["wire","illinois state news","general news","performing arts","entertainment","arts and entertainment","education","social affairs"],"internalKeywords":[],"customProperties":{},"presentation":null,"revision":2,"commentID":"529102f9-e21f-5144-aa56-6840732aaa5f","body":"

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) \u2014 The University of Illinois is kicking off a 15-month celebration of the institution's 150th birthday.

The party will start next week with a Tuesday ceremony at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Urbana. Musicians from the university's School of Music will perform, and Chancellor Robert Jones will cut a cake the university describes as \"crowd-sized.\"

The University of Illinois was established in 1867 as a land grant institution.

Other events are planned in coming months to mark the sesquicentennial. They include new musical compositions and performances, several new books and a groundbreaking for the new Siebel Center for Design.

___

Online: 150.illinois.edu

"} ]
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Harry later served two tours of duty in Afghanistan).\u00a0","byline":"AP","hireswidth":2280,"hiresheight":3306,"hiresurl":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/da/ddaec4d0-6e05-5045-9a0f-7cdc5c7eca99/58ab915c310c4.hires.jpg","presentation":"","versions":{"full":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1195","height":"1732","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/da/ddaec4d0-6e05-5045-9a0f-7cdc5c7eca99/58ab915c2fb8c.image.jpg?resize=1195%2C1732"},"100": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"100","height":"145","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/da/ddaec4d0-6e05-5045-9a0f-7cdc5c7eca99/58ab915c2fb8c.image.jpg?resize=100%2C145"},"300": {"type":"image/jpeg","width":"300","height":"435","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/da/ddaec4d0-6e05-5045-9a0f-7cdc5c7eca99/58ab915c2fb8c.image.jpg?resize=300%2C435"},"1024":{"type":"image/jpeg","width":"1024","height":"1484","url":"http://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/qctimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/da/ddaec4d0-6e05-5045-9a0f-7cdc5c7eca99/58ab915c2fb8c.image.jpg?resize=1024%2C1484"}}},{"id":"d5817812-38aa-5251-b053-a41c0dc32ffa","description":"Five years ago: A jury in Charlottesville, Virginia, found University of Virginia lacrosse player George W. 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