Tonight, the Iowa Supreme Court will consider the question, “Do witnesses in criminal trials need to testify in person? Or is remote, two-way video testimony just as affective?
The state of Iowa claims two-way remote video testimony is just as effective as in-person testimony. Additionally, video testimony is less expensive and less time consuming, and therefore there is large incentive to use remote video testimony more extensively.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the Iowa bar exam will remain a requirement to practice law in the state. The Iowa State Bar Association had sought to waive the exam for graduates of Iowa law schools.
The University of Northern Iowa is going to bankruptcy court to try to get money back from the now defunct Cedar Falls-based investment fund Peregrine Financial group. The firm’s CEO Russell Wasendorf, Sr. is serving a 50-year prison term for defrauding investors of more than 200 million dollars.
Jason Powell will not be proselytizing near entrances to the Iowa State Fair this year. The U.S. District Court in Des Moines ruled in an injunction Tuesday, that fair officials can bar Powell from areas of heavy foot and vehicle traffic for public safety purposes.
The injunction's ruling does allow Powell to demonstrate on fair grounds in less populated areas, but his attorney Nate Kellum of the Memphis-based Center for Religious Expression says this is an empty victory.
The United States Department of Transportation has ordered the nation’s rail lines to let states know how much crude oil is coming through from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. The Bakken crude is especially flammable and a number of derailments have resulted in disastrous fires. Iowa officials are in dispute with the rail lines about whether to release the information to the general public.
It’s been 5 years since the Iowa Supreme Court decision of Varnum versus Brien that paved the way for same sex marriage in the state and Iowa’s public opinion is changing.
In 1996, Rob Gilmer and his husband Rene Orduna opened the restaurant Dixie Quick's in Omaha. They were running out of space in their Nebraska restaurant and after the Iowa Supreme Court decision they decided to move the restaurant to Council Bluffs.
State lawmakers looking into the closing of the Iowa Juvenile Home at Toledo got a fresh perspective from juvenile court officers who work with the delinquent girls who used to be assigned to the home. The officers argue that Iowa needs a facility specifically for girls who’ve been in serious trouble with the law. Governor Branstad is at odds with the judicial branch.
Activist groups launched a project they hope will illustrate how common racial profiling is in and around Des Moines. The ACLU, the NAACP, and a coalition of churches known as AMOS are inviting people of color to come forward with their stories to document allegations that law enforcement targets individuals solely because of their race.
It’s been just over a month since two girls from Dayton, Iowa were abducted near their bus stop - allegedly by a convicted sex offender who’d served nearly two decades in prison. Authorities say Michael Klunder abducted the girls and committed suicide later that day.
The fact that Klunder was free at all has prompted questions about how sex offenders are evaluated, treated and monitored.
This story begins a summer series examining Iowa's correctional system.
Investigators continue to search the area surrounding Dayton, Iowa for Kathlynn Shepard, a teenager abducted earlier this week as she walked home from the bus stop. A twelve-year-old who was taken with her escaped shortly after the kidnapping and is, except for scratches on her arms and legs, unharmed.
The events have rocked Dayton, a small town of fewer than 1,000 residents. A local church held a vigil last night for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard, who has been missing since Monday afternoon.
State troopers narrowed their search Wednesday morning for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard. She was abducted Monday while walking home from the bus stop in Dayton, Iowa with a younger girl who escaped soon afterwards. Their suspected abductor was found dead later that day. Despite the efforts search party of more than 300 members of law enforcement and volunteers from the area, Shepard has not been found.
Special Agent Bill Keitzman with the Iowa DCI says Wednesday’s search focuses on a smaller area.
A landmark $240 million verdict against a Texas company who employed mentally disabled workers at an Iowa turkey processing plant will be reduced to about $1.6 million because of a law capping their damages. The 32 men faced decades of verbal and physical abuse at work and at home.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Henry's Turkey Service have agreed in legal briefs that each plaintiff can recover $50,000 - compared to the $7.5 million a jury awarded them on May 1st.
Juveniles in Iowa who've committed first degree murder could be eligible for parole after serving 45 years in prison. That’s according to a bill discussed at the statehouse Thursday. As Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports, it’s in reaction with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady delivered his State of the Judiciary speech to a joint session of the Iowa Legislature Wednesday. He's calling for increased staffing in the court system, which has taken a hit in budget cuts in recent years.
Cady wants court offices around the state to stay open all week. Right now they close in the afternoons twice a week. He also tells lawmakers the state doesn’t have enough juvenile officers to reach all of Iowa’s children in need.
Beginning Tuesday, January 15, Iowa will issue driver’s licenses and state IDs that comply with a new federal program called REAL ID. The program is being phased in as part of legislation passed by Congress in 2005. It's aimed at streamlining security at federal facilities and for air travel.
Mark Lowe of the Iowa Department of Transportation visited our Des Moines studio to explain what changes are coming.
Two young Mexican immigrants living in a small northeast Iowa town are defying the odds by pursuing degrees from the University of Northern Iowa. Because they are undocumented they are working their way through college without the help of student loans or other benefits of citizenship. A new Obama administration order granting them temporary work permits is helping to ease the way.
The Director of the Iowa Department of Transportation was in the hot seat at the statehouse. Critics turned out to rally against the DOT’s recent policy decision denying driver’s licenses for young undocumented immigrants in Iowa. That’s even though the Obama administration recently approved work permits for immigrants who were brought into the U.S. as children years ago.
Sandhya Dirks reports the Iowa DOT won't give driver's licenses to unauthorized immigrants granted deferred action by the federal government
The Iowa Department of Transportation says it will not issue driver's licenses or state identification cards to undocumented immigrants who have been granted deferred action by the Obama administration because they came to the United States as kids.
In Iowa almost 5,000 young immigrants—mostly of Mexican descent—have been granted temporary deferred action by the Obama administration. This means they can stay in the country, but after this ruling from the DOT, they can’t drive or receive a state ID in Iowa.
The Branstad administration as well as school districts all over the state are reacting to Friday’s school shootings in Connecticut. One official is encouraging schools to review their security procedures. But the governor and key lawmakers aren’t jumping to any conclusions about needed legislation to prevent such a tragedy here.
In the wake of the discovery the bodies of two northeastern Iowa girls earlier this month, the talk of reinstating the death penalty is back at the state capitol. But proponents of capital punishment know they face a tough fight.
Iowa parents who have lost children due to kidnapping and murder met with Governor Branstad Monday morning to talk about reinstating the death penalty. Afterwards at a press conference, the parents told their stories.
The Iowa Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit over whether a same-sex Des Moines married couple should BOTH stay on their daughter’s birth certificate. The Polk county district court already ruled in favor of the couple.
Representing the Iowa Department of Health was Deputy Attorney General Julie Pottorff. She argued opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples remain different in one immutable way. Only opposite sex couples can conceive a child.
The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Department says they're confident that two bodies discovered Wednesday by hunters in a Bremer County wildlife area are those of Elizabeth Collins and her cousin Lyric Cook-Morrissey.
"We have no one else that’s missing in this area, we have two bodies that were found, smaller in stature, so we have nothing to think other than that at this time," Sheriff’s Captain Rick Abben said.
Advocates for and against an Iowa Supreme Court Justice are wrapping up their bus tours across the state. Critics of the court’s same-sex marriage ruling urged voters to reject Justice David Wiggins. The other side is advocating a yes vote for all the judges on the ballot. But one justice who was thrown off the court two years ago worries that might not work.