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News briefs

Feb 13, 2013

Cedar Rapids police planning gun buyback


CEDAR RAPIDS (AP) — The Cedar Rapids police chief is planning a gun buyback this spring as part of his effort to reduce gun violence in the city.

Police Chief Wayne Jerman said in a report to the council on Tuesday that the current level of gun violence is unacceptable. He also says the buyback would be a success if it were to obtain just one gun that could be used to harm someone.

Council member Don Karr didn’t like the buyback idea and said after the council meeting that “no bad guy is going to turn in a gun.”

He says money that will be used for buyback program instead ought to be used to hire another police officer.


Western Iowa principal plans to fight for job


GLENWOOD (AP) — The principal of Glenwood Community High School in western Iowa says she’s been wrongly accused and intends to fight for her job.

The school board voted Tuesday to begin the process of firing Kerry Newman, who’s been on paid administrative leave since Jan. 18.

The board cited four reasons: an inappropriate relationship with a district employee, poor judgment, inappropriate use of resources and being an ineffective role model.

District officials have not elaborated on the allegations. Newman says the allegations are false.

Newman has been principal at the school since 2007.


Lawyer urges Des Moines to appeal homeless ruling


DES MOINES (AP) — Des Moines’ lawyer says he’ll recommend that the City Council appeal a ruling that lets three homeless people stay in their camp.

City Attorney Jeffrey Lester said Tuesday that he will urge the council to take the hearing officer’s ruling to a district court.

Eviction notices were posted Jan. 17 at five makeshift camps, warning the homeless residents that city officials would forcibly remove or arrest individuals who remained by the end of the month. But late Monday, hearing officer Cassandra Webster decided it was safer for the individuals to stay in their camps.

The ruling affects only the three people named in the appeal.

Other appeals have been filed, but it was unclear Tuesday how many camps and people were involved.


Trial delayed for former leader of Ottumwa transit


OTTUMWA (AP) — A trial for the former director of the Ottumwa Transit Authority has been delayed.

The Ottumwa Courier reports Pam Ward’s trial has been rescheduled to start in June instead of March.

Her attorneys say they need more time to review documents related to the case.

Ward faces four counts of making false statement to the federal government. She is accused of making false statements on grant applications while leading the department. A state audit says the agency inflated passenger numbers by an estimated 50 percent.

Ward was fired from her job in May 2011.

Her attorney did not immediately return a call Tuesday.

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