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DISABLED VETERANS-TAX CREDIT

Iowa Senate approves disabled veterans tax credit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill meant to further relieve the financial stress of disabled veterans in the state has won the unanimous support of the Iowa Senate.

The Senate voted 50-0 Tuesday to expand a homestead tax credit already in place for disabled veterans. The legislation now goes to the House for consideration.

Under current law, eligibility for the credit is limited to disabled veterans who have an income of $35,000 or less and have acquired their home through certain federal programs. The proposal would make the tax credit available to disabled veterans regardless of income and how the home was purchased, and extend the credit to surviving spouses or children.

Sen. Herman Quirmbach, a Democrat from Ames, says the bill is a small way to better help disabled veterans financially.

SECRET SETTLEMENTS-HEARING

Legislative oversight probe continued to Wednesday

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A second day of questioning by lawmakers about confidential settlement agreements and government hiring practices has been called off.

The Government Oversight Committee says Paul Carlson, a top official at the Iowa Department of Administrative Services had a scheduling conflict and couldn't appear for a second day before the committee. He and Doug Woodley, DAS chief operating officer, took questions for nearly two hours Monday.

The committee leaders plan to meet again with the men Wednesday.

Senators argued for more than 45 minutes Tuesday morning about the role of the Legislature in investigating state government.

Democrat Robb Hogg of Cedar Rapids says hiring practices under Gov. Terry Branstad have undermined centuries of government reform to eliminate cronyism.

Republican Sen. Julian Garrett says he believes Branstad's reorganization has saved taxpayers money.

SECRET SETTLEMENTS-CHINESE IMMIGRANT

Branstad scandal ensnares key Iowa link to China

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Chinese Association of Iowa executive director Swallow Yan has helped connect Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad with two Chinese presidents, boosting relations between the farming state and the growing superpower.

But Yan is upset with Branstad these days, saying the Republican's administration has treated him unfairly. A former 16-year Department of Natural Resources employee, Yan is among scores of state workers who signed settlement agreements that were once private but recently released amid a scandal roiling Branstad's administration.

The Department of Administrative Services has posted online a copy of a 2011 agreement in which Yan was paid $100,000 to drop a lawsuit and grievance in exchange for resigning from the agency. He was to keep the agreement quiet.

Yan says the release of the three-year-old deal has ruined his reputation.

JUVENILES-ESCAPE

Iowa DHS: 1 juvenile remains at large after escape

ELDORA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say two juveniles that escaped from a north-central Iowa treatment facility have been captured, and a third remains at large.

The state Department of Human Services says the juveniles were apprehended separately in Cedar Rapids between Sunday night and Monday afternoon. The Muscatine County Sheriff's Office says a third juvenile still at large is a suspect in crimes over the weekend.

The juveniles were part of a group of eight that ran from the Eldora State Training School on Thursday. The juveniles were being escorted from the gymnasium to their cottage at the time. Five were returned to the facility within an hour.

Delinquent youth between the ages of 12 and 18 are placed at the school through court orders. The facility provides treatment and educational services.

CAMBRIDGE DEATH

Police charge man with murder in Cambridge death

CAMBRIDGE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say they have arrested a man in connection with the shooting death of a woman in the Story County city of Cambridge.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety announced police arrested 44-year-old Jeremy Michael Cory on Tuesday. He was charged with first-degree murder and taken to the Story County Jail.

Huxley police and investigators from the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation arrested Cory after officers on Monday evening found the body of a woman in the upstairs bedroom of a home in Cambridge. She had died of multiple gunshot wounds.

An autopsy is planned Tuesday at the Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office in Ankeny.

Authorities haven't released the woman's name.

Online court records don't indicate a lawyer for Cory.

Cambridge is about 20 miles north of Des Moines.

PIT BULL BAN-SIOUX CITY

Sioux City council advances pit bull proposal

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Sioux City Council has advanced a proposal to change the city ordinance that bars pit bulls from inside city limits.

The measure was advanced at Monday's meeting on a second vote and faces a third and final vote next Monday, after people have another opportunity to speak. The council approved the proposal at its first consideration on April 7.

The proposal would let the city manager give exemptions to licensed Sioux City animal rescue agencies. It would let the agencies hold the pit bulls in their facilities for up to 90 days.

Noah's Hope Animal Rescue in February began inquiring about placing rescued pit bulls in local pet stores as possible adoptions for people who don't live inside city limits.

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