Severe storms roll through Iowa with strong winds
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Severe storms have been sweeping across Iowa, with heavy rains causing some flooding and strong wind gusts snapping tree limbs and affecting power lines.
The Des Moines Register said the National Weather Service received a report of one person injured by lightning during the storms Sunday, but details about the severity were not available.
Crawford County emergency management coordinator Gregory Miller said several highways were covered at various points during the storm. Heavy rains broke through a farm retention dam in Denison, flooding Iowa Highway 39.
The Omaha World-Herald reported that Interstate 29 was closed when the roof and sidewall blew off a building and into a pickup pulling a trailer. Sioux City Police Sgt. Dane Wagner said the truck toppled, but no one was injured.
IOWA CAPITOL FOCUS
After Sorenson case, lawmakers back ethics rules
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa legislative leaders don't plan to change ethics rules for political work after a former state senator admitted to lying about receiving payments to switch his support from one Republican presidential candidate to another.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced last week that former Sen. Kent Sorenson pleaded guilty to receiving thousands of dollars in "under the table payments" from a 2012 presidential campaign and lying about the money.
State Senate rules forbid sitting lawmakers from being paid by a campaign while in office. Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal, a Democrat from Council Bluffs, says in Sorenson's case, the Senate oversight process worked
In the House, lawmakers can accept paid political work but must disclose the income. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says there are no plans to change the rules.
DRIVING INSTRUCTOR INVESTIGATION
Some Iowa driving instructors have criminal record
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - At least 10 driving instructors licensed in Iowa have criminal records or driving infractions in their past, but they've been allowed to keep working with teens because of a forgiving state law.
The Des Moines Register reports at least three driving instructors have drunken driving convictions, two have assault convictions and four have more than a dozen driving citations and other infractions.
Ever since 2010, state law has been more forgiving to driver's ed instructors who are involved in accidents or have multiple moving violations on their records.
Nationally, there isn't a standard for driving instructor's qualifications because each state determines what's acceptable. But Sharon Fife with the Association of National Stakeholders in Traffic Safety Education says many states are more strict than Iowa.
PURE IOWA VODKA
Iowa firm selling new pure vodka in the state
CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa company hopes its corn-based vodka will succeed because of a new process that eliminates impurities in the finished liquor.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports IngeniOz vodka started selling for about $24 a bottle in Iowa stores a month ago.
A pure vodka is supposed to be better quality and less likely to cause a hangover. Tests conducted at Iowa State showed Smirnoff vodka has eight impurities, Absolute has 16 and Grey Goose has 14.
The OZ Spirits company was started in 2012 by Johannes Van Leeuwen after he developed the process for creating vodka with zero impurities at Iowa State University.
One of the co-founders, Bill Astor, says the response has been great so far, and he hopes to expand sales beyond Iowa in the future.
ORGAN DONOR REUNION
Iowa woman meets family that donated heart to her
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A California couple is glad that their son's heart is living on three years after his death inside of an Iowa woman.
KCRG reports the two families got a chance to meet each other on Friday.
Vicky Patino of Murrieta, California, used a stethoscope at Friday's meeting to listen to her son's heart beating on.
Vicky Patino says she still misses her son, but she feels like she gained a daughter in Emily Kachulis because of the organ donation.
Kachulis spent two months in intensive care at a Rochester, Minnesota, hospital waiting for a transplant.
Then 22-year-old Raul Patino fell off a party bus in Minnesota and decided to donate his organs. Four different people received organs from Patino.
Kemper, Frederiksen win Des Moines triathlon
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - American Hunter Kemper finally won the Hy-Vee Triathlon Sunday in Des Moines after finishing as the runner up three years in a row.
Kemper, who is a four-time Olympian, finished the race in 1 hour, 44 minutes, 43 seconds. The Register reports it was the 38-year-old's first win this year.
Helle Frederiksen of Denmark won the women's race 1 hour, 54 minutes, 44 seconds.
Both winners claimed $100,000 for finishing first.
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