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This Hour: Latest Iowa news, sports, business and entertainment

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Few applying for insurance acknowledge smoking

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Surveys show about 18 percent of adults in Iowa smoke regularly, but less than half that percentage acknowledge smoking when signing up for insurance with federally mandated forms.

The Des Moines Register reports ( when Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield used federally required language to ask applicants about their tobacco use, only 7 percent acknowledged smoking.

The Affordable Care Act doesn't allow insurers to charge more for customers with many health problems, but it allows higher fees for regular tobacco users.

CoOportunity Health, which also uses the tobacco language on its application forms, imposes a 49 percent surcharge on smokers in its individual insurance policies.

Only 5 percent of applicants acknowledge smoking, and CoOportunity chief operating office Cliff Gold says he's surprised the percentage isn't lower, given the charge.


Prosecution rests in Wisconsin kidnapping case

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - The prosecution has rested in the federal trial of a Colorado woman accused of kidnapping her half-sister's newborn in Wisconsin and abandoning the baby in Iowa.

One of the prosecution's last witnesses in Kristen Smith's trial Wednesday was FBI special agent Jodi Jewett.

She said she was with the parents of the infant, Kayden Powell, in Wisconsin when a colleague texted a photo of the child who had been found behind a gas station in frigid temperatures in West Branch, Iowa.

Jewett said she showed the photo to Kayden's mother, who started crying. She said the child's father jumped up and hugged the agent.

Smith is charged with kidnapping the 4-day-old baby in the Town of Beloit on Feb. 6. Police found Kayden alive and well 29 hours later.


Norwalk murder, woman's disappearance unsolved

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - It's been three years since 79-year-old Bill Wood of Norwalk was found dead in his burned home and his 72-year-old wife, Kay Wood, couldn't be found but investigators and family members remain determined to find who's responsible.

Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation Agent Michael Motsinger says leads have slowed but he's hoping that letting the public know the crime remains unsolved may help uncover important information.

Bill Wood's body was found inside the couple's burned out home on July 30, 2011. He had been shot.

Kay has never been found. Their red Chevrolet Silverado pickup was located at a Kansas City apartment complex.

Motsinger says a man seen walking away from the truck has never been identified and remains of interest.

An $8,000 reward for information remains in place.


Owner needs help keeping Clear Lake drive-in open

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - The owner of a drive-in restaurant that's been in business for decades in northern Iowa says he's looking for help to keep it open.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reports the Barrel Drive-In in Clear Lake needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs. There's only half an ice cream machine and one of the chicken broasters hasn't worked in years.

Owner Seth Thackery says that's money he doesn't have and he has considered selling the business. Recent media coverage has brought emails and phone calls from people who want to help and Thackery says he's weighing his options.

The drive-in opened in 1958 and Thackery started working there when he was 14. He says he's considering applying for a spot on the National Register of Historic Places or starting an internet fundraising campaign.


Third party candidate on ballot for Iowa governor

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Des Moines school board member will be on the ballot for governor as a third-party candidate.

Jonathan Narcisse (NAR'-siss) announced Tuesday he had been certified by the Iowa secretary of state's office to run as the Iowa Party candidate.

Narcisse attempted to run as a Democrat in the primary election, but the secretary of state's office ruled his nomination petitions were incomplete. His attempts to overturn the ruling in the courts were unsuccessful. That meant that state Sen. Jack Hatch was the only Democrat running for governor.

Republican Gov. Terry Branstad is running for an unprecedented sixth non-consecutive term.

Narcisse has owned a number of publications, including the Iowa Bystander. He served on the Des Moines School Board for two years. He also ran for governor in 2010.


Auditor: At least $12,000 missing in Clark County

KAHOKA, Mo. (AP) - A report by the Missouri Auditor's office shows that a northeast Missouri county is missing more than $12,000, with a former circuit clerk suspected of taking the money.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich on Tuesday released a report of Clark County showing that $12,181 in court funds and other money was missing in the years 2001, 2003, and 2011 through 2013. The Quincy (Illinois) Herald-Whig ( ) reports that receipt books for 2002 and 2004 through 2010 could not be found. As a result, Schweich says it is impossible to determine if more money is missing.

Former Circuit Clerk Mary D. Jones was charged in June with two counts of felony stealing. A preliminary hearing is Sept. 8. Her attorney was out of the office Wednesday and unavailable for comment.


Sioux City riverboat casino prepares for last day

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Argosy riverboat casino is preparing to take its last bets Wednesday, having told the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that it will close by 5 p.m. as ordered.

Last week the Iowa Supreme Court rejected a request that the operation be allowed to remain open while its owners pursued court action. The casino parent, Penn National Gaming Co., wanted to remain open while appealing a ruling by the gaming commission. In April the commission ordered the casino to close because it doesn't meet license requirements.

Penn National lost its bid last year to operate a land-based casino in Sioux City. A Hard Rock casino and hotel by another developer is scheduled to open Friday night.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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