MASON CITY | A Mason City man is being held in Cerro Gordo County Jail for parole violations in a previous conviction for child stealing in 2013.
Jonathan Lindsey Workman, 38, is held without bond for violations including legal conduct, supervision conduct and substance abuse.
In October 2013, Workman was sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for taking a baby from its mother at Rumorz Bar & Grill in Clear Lake. The mother had stopped to see co-workers, use the restroom and change the baby's diaper on April 20.
INDEPENDENCE — Attorneys for reality TV star Chris Soules said in an Iowa Supreme Court appeal his reputation could be damaged if charges from a fatal crash proceed to trial and he is ultimately exonerated.
Earlier this week, Soules’ attorneys filed an interlocutory appeal with the Iowa Supreme Court after a district court judge declined to throw out a felony leaving-the-scene charge in the April 24 crash that killed Kenneth Mosher of Aurora.
“Mr. Soules is a public figure, making an unnecessary trial even more damaging. If Mr. Soules is forced to proceed to trial and then appeal, there would be no way to undo the publicity and restore Mr. Soules to his original position if his dismissal argument is ultimately vindicated,” attorney Gina Messamer wrote in the appeal application.
Soules has appeared on “The Bachelor” and “Dancing with the Stars” TV shows, and the appeal includes a footnote with the address for Soules’ website in the event justices aren’t familiar with him.
Authorities said Soules pickup truck rear-ended Mosher’s tractor north of Aurora, and he left the scene before law enforcement arrived.
Soules’ attorney said in court records Soules was traveling below the 55 mph speed limit and stopped following the collision. Because Soules called 911, identified himself to dispatchers, rendered aid to Mosher and remained until medics arrived, the state’s hit and run law is vague as it applies to him, his attorneys argued in asking to dismiss the charge.
Prosecutors said it was Soules’ duty to remain at the scene until law enforcement arrived.
DES MOINES — Senate Republicans approved a measure Thursday cutting $34 million — not the $52 million earlier proposed — to erase a projected shortfall and leave an estimated $18.4 million cushion when the fiscal year ends June 1.
Under Senate File 2117 — which now goes to the Iowa House for consideration after a 29-21 vote — higher education, human services, corrections and the courts take the biggest of the hits. But the revised de-appropriations bill comes closer to what Gov. Kim Reynolds recommended last month.
Midyear spending reductions included $14.56 million for Board of Regents institutions; $1.8 million for community colleges; $6.24 million for the Department of Human Services; $3.4 million for corrections and prisons; $1.6 million for Iowa’s court system and $1.7 million for the Department of Education.
No changes were made to funding levels for K-12 schools, Medicaid, the Iowa State Patrol and the property tax “backfill” the state provides to local governments.
The Senate bill also transfers $10 million from the Skilled Worker and Job Creation Fund into the state general fund, and would make supplemental appropriations to the State Public Defender’s Office for indigent defense ($1.7 million) and to Department of Administrative Services for utilities costs ($451,871).
The new net fiscal 2018 appropriation level would be $7.24 billion, down from $7.27 billion.
Minority Democrats decried the cuts as “deep and very reckless,” but Sen. Charles Schneider, R-West Des Moines, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee who was the bill’s floor manager, said the adjustments were caused by lower-than-expected revenue growth and past spending practices that erased a hefty surplus.
“We’re fulfilling our duty to Iowa taxpayers and we’re being responsible in how we go about it,” said Schneider.
Last month, Senate Republicans proposed $52 million in cuts, which was deeper than Reynolds and majority House Republicans sought — leading Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, to complain that Iowans were experiencing “GOP whiplash” from the bouncing numbers.
“Your irresponsible budget practices have cut through the bone of essential state services,” he said. “Iowans will know in a couple of weeks the details of your plan as the Department of Management and these departments put details to which Iowans are going to be hurt by these cuts.”
Schneider said some of the spending levels in SF 2117 are agreed to with House Republicans, but “some of them still have to be worked out.”
The affected departments have less than five months to make the cuts.
Senate Republicans agreed with the governor in putting $11.2 million in anticipated revenue from the federal tax cuts toward the state budget’s ending balance.
The Senate also voted 50-0 to reduce daily expense money for legislators to cover 85 session days, rather than 100.
But Republicans rejected an amendment from Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, to boost funding to community colleges by $1.75 million as a way of keeping taxpayers from paying the cost of a sexual harassment settlement made to a former Senate GOP staffer last year.
Sen. Amanda Ragan, D-Mason City, worried the cuts would reduce critical Human Services case workers and field staff. Sen. Nate Boulton, D-Des Moines, said court services in rural counties would be shut down, and Sen. Rich Taylor, D-Des Moines, predicted prisons would cut staff. Several speakers warned of higher tuitions coming for state university and community college students.
DES MOINES | Doctors and pharmacists would be required to register with and check an electronic state database when prescribing and issuing opioid painkillers under legislation introduced Thursday at the Iowa Capitol.
The requirement is part of a package of measures designed to address opioid addiction in Iowa, unveiled Thursday by Iowa House Republicans.
There were 180 opioid-related deaths in 2016, according to the state public health department. That is more than triple the number of Iowa’s opioid-related deaths in 2005.
The opioid epidemic is worse in other states; Iowa ranks near the bottom of the country in the rate of opioid deaths per capita, far below the worst-hit state, West Virginia, which experienced more than 800 opioid-related deaths in 2016, according to that state’s data.
But state lawmakers in Iowa have said they want to develop programs to address opioid addiction before the issue gets worse here.
Linda Upmeyer, the Republican Speaker of the Iowa House from Clear Lake, called the House GOP plan “proactive rather than reactive.”
The goals, Upmeyer said, are to prevent people addicted to opioids from obtaining them from multiple doctors, reduce over-prescribing, and provide support to individuals who have become addicted.
“While Iowa is not seeing the same level of epidemic as some states on the East coast or even Ohio and some of our other neighbors, we certainly recognize that we have a problem here, and especially along our borders we have very challenging problems,” Upmeyer said.
Advocates have pressed for requiring doctors and pharmacists to consult the state’s prescription monitoring program. But that requirement has received push back from some physicians and lawmakers.
More than half of U.S. states require prescribers to consult their state’s prescription monitoring programs, which are designed to identify individuals who attempt to obtain opioid painkillers from multiple sources.
Less than half of Iowa prescribers are registered to use the state’s program, according to state officials.
“I think what we have seen nationally, as well as here in Iowa, that physicians recognize that we certainly are facing a crisis and an issue with opioids,” said Rep. Shannon Lundgren, a Republican from Peosta who helped craft the plan. “We’ll have to wait to see (how physicians respond to the proposed requirement), but the ones that we have spoken with understand the process and why we’re doing it this way.”
The House GOP plan also would:
• Require pharmacies to report to the program within 24 hours.
• Prohibit opioid prescriptions from being filled more than six months after the date prescribed.
• Establish a so-called Good Samaritan law, which would provide legal immunity to individuals who report an opioid overdose to emergency personnel, with exceptions for repeat offenders and drug dealers. Forty states have a similar law.
Rep. Mark Smith, the Democratic leader in the House, urged his fellow lawmakers to approve legislation addressing opioid addiction.
“I call on us as a Legislature to address these issues in an aggressive manner before we go home at the end of the session,” Smith said.