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Bill to end dog racing advances in Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill ending greyhound racing in Council Bluffs but allowing dog owners to operate a track in Dubuque has advanced to a full Senate committee.

Casinos in Council Bluffs and Dubuque, which spent $10 million subsidizing dog racing last year, say the industry is dying. The casinos have worked to end racing for years.

Under the bill, Mystique Casino in Dubuque would pay $7 million and Horseshoe Casino in Council Bluffs casino would pay $65 million into a fund.

Half of it would be used as a retirement fund for breeders and owners who stop racing. The other half would help the Iowa Greyhound Association lease the track in Dubuque.

Racing in Council Bluffs would end on Dec. 31, 2015.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will consider the bill Thursday afternoon.


Woman pleads not guilty to fatal 2012 Iowa crash

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Le Mars woman has pleaded not guilty to two charges stemming from a fatal 2012 hit-and-run crash in Sioux City.

Online court records say 43-year-old Victoria Ernst Moreno made the written pleas on Wednesday to vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a fatal accident. She turned herself in on April 1. Online court records also list her name as Victoria Ernst.

Twenty-two-year-old Lance Knudsen was found lying in a Sioux City street with head injuries on Sept. 22, 2012 and later died.


Woman charged with arson in Mason City blaze

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 32-year-old Mason City woman is accused of setting a fire in an apartment building.

The Mason City Globe Gazette says Jacque Paulsen is charged with felony arson. Online jail records say Paulsen remained in Cerro Gordo County custody on Thursday. Her attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

Authorities say police and firefighters responded to a call about the fire a little after 7:45 p.m. Monday. No injuries have been reported.


Iowan who made bomb threats in Nebraska sentenced

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - An Iowa man who mailed bomb threats to the FBI office in Omaha has been sentenced to time served.

Thirty-year-old Matthew Fell, of Waterloo, Iowa, was sentenced on Wednesday in Lincoln by Senior U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf (kuhpf). Fell had pleaded guilty to making a false threat. Fell has been behind bars for 15 months while awaiting final disposition of his case.

Court documents say postal workers at a Lincoln post office found an envelope in June 2012 that had "This is a Bomb!" written on it. There was no bomb in the envelope, but it did contain another envelope that was addressed to the FBI in Omaha. That envelope contained a piece of paper and a thumb drive. Omaha postal workers found a similar envelope a week later.


Former Iowa township clerk faces 2 counts of theft

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former clerk accused of stealing thousands of dollars from a Woodbury County township in northwest Iowa has been charged with theft.

Sioux City television station KCAU says 64-year-old Peggy Powell, of Hornick, faces two felony theft counts. Court documents say she stole more than $60,000 from Grange Township between 2006 and 2013. The thefts came to light after a state audit.

Auditors discovered that among the improper disbursements of township funds was more than $35,000 in ATM withdrawals and fees, some of which came from ATMs at casinos in Iowa and one in Nebraska.

A public phone listing for Powell couldn't be found. Her attorney didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press on Thursday.


Des Moines hearing set on bedbug suit settlement

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A judge has scheduled a three-day hearing to hear any objections to the proposed $2.45 million settlement of a lawsuit over bedbugs at two downtown Des Moines apartment buildings.

The Des Moines Register reports that payments to the estimated 300 current and former residents of Elsie Mason Manor and Ligutti Tower could range from $200 to $6,000.

Residents filed the lawsuit in March 2010 seeking money for back rent, lost property and other hardships.

The class-action lawsuit alleged violations of Iowa's consumer protection law and said the apartment managers assured tenants that the apartments were habitable despite knowing of the bedbug problem. Court documents indicate the residents said their apartments have had bedbugs for years and that residents had been bitten, scarred and deprived of sleep.


E. Iowa students crack open forgotten time capsule

CASCADE, Iowa (AP) - Students used hammers to crack open a cornerstone laid in 1961 and peer into a time capsule from a now defunct eastern Iowa Catholic high school.

The Telegraph Herald reports construction crews in Cascade discovered the forgotten time capsule last fall while building a gymnasium at Cascade High School. The building was formerly home to Aquin High School, which closed and became Cascade High in 1976.

Students opened the cornerstone Wednesday during a school assembly. They removed a small metal box that contained copies of the Cascade Pioneer-Advertiser newspaper, religious relics, a rosary, coins from 1959 and school plans.

Five graduates of Aquin High joined the students for the capsule opening. They pointed to graduation photos and recalled the tumultuous times of the early 1960s.

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