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BRIEFLY Branstad mum on funding delay for research centers


Branstad mum on funding delay for research centers

IOWA CITY (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad’s spokesman is refusing to say whether he supports his appointees’ decision to withhold funding earmarked for two energy research centers.

The Iowa Utilities Board is holding $5.1 million collected from electric and gas utilities that is legislatively mandated to support the Iowa Energy Center at Iowa State University and the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa. It’s typically transferred by mid-September.

Board chairwoman Geri Huser has requested a five-year analysis of grant programs and copies of audits. Critics say the funding delay’s illegal.

Branstad appointed Huser last spring. Branstad spokesman Ben Hammes said the board is an independent agency that Branstad “doesn’t micromanage.”

Mason City man who used hammer to beat dog is sentenced

MASON CITY (AP) — A 63-year-old Mason City man who used a hammer to beat his dog has been given probation.

George Harrington was sentenced on Monday to 60 days in jail and fined $625 for animal torture and other crimes. All but two days of the jail time were suspended, as was the fine. Harrington must perform four hours of community service and can’t have any pets in his home during his probation.

Police say officers called to Harrington’s residence in June found an injured boxer mix. Police say the dog was taken to a veterinarian, who euthanized it because of head injuries the vet said were caused by a hammer.

Harrington has since said he was trying to euthanize the dog because he thought it was suffering from a stroke.

Authorities identify 3 injured in plant explosion in Iowa

LYTTON (AP) — Authorities say one of the three men hurt in an explosion at a protein processing plant in Iowa has injuries that are life-threatening.

The Sac County Sheriff’s Office says 34-year-old Earl Lee Moore, of Milford Center, Ohio, was in a large storage tank for repair work when the explosion occurred Tuesday night at the Proliant facility in Lytton. Authorities say he has life-threatening injuries.

A second man, 32-year-old Manuel Ruiz, of Columbus, Ohio, suffered injuries that authorities described as severe. Both men, employees of an equipment company in Ohio, were transferred to a hospital in Omaha.

Fifty-two-year-old Dana Boom, of Lake View, Iowa, was also hurt. The Proliant employee was taken to local hospital for treatment and later released.

Authorities say they’re still investigating the cause of the explosion.

Russia circulates UN resolution draft on ISIS

PARIS (AP) –– Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations says his country is proposing a U.N. Security Council draft resolution on combating the Islamic State group after discussions with France in the wake of the Paris attacks.

Ambassador Vitaly Churkin spoke to reporters shortly before the draft circulated to the other members of the 15-state council.

He said Russia’s conversation with France has strengthened its opinion that it’s essential to focus specifically on the struggle against the Islamic State group.

Man carrying concealed knife arrested in Canada’s capital

TORONTO (AP) — A man carrying a concealed knife on Canada’s Parliament Hill has been arrested, Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Wednesday.

Media relations officer Cpl. Valerie Thibodeau said Yasin Ali, 56, was detained by the Parliamentary Protective Service on Tuesday evening outside Centre Block, the main building on Parliament Hill that houses the Senate and the House of Commons.

After a brief court appearance Wednesday on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon, Ali was returned to jail.

Defense lawyer Peter Azzi said Ali is due back in court on Friday and will be psychologically assessed by a doctor.

“The individual was identified behaving oddly, suspiciously, and one of our officers challenged him, saw the knife and took him into custody,” said Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson. “I understand it is less a concern around so called national security considerations than it is a mental health issue.”

Texas deputy shoots, kills suspect armed with knife

HOUSTON (AP) — A Harris County sheriff’s deputy has shot and killed a man armed with a butcher knife who lunged at the officer during a Houston-area chase.

The sheriff’s department on Wednesday identified the suspect as 30-year-old Jeray Chatham, who formerly played football for Oklahoma State University.

A woman driver called 911 Tuesday night to report she had a protective order against her ex-boyfriend and he was chasing her.

The deputy pursued Chatham by car, leading to a foot chase. Officials say the deputy fired a stun gun at Chatham, the suspect briefly escaped from the deputy, but then held a knife and lunged at the officer. The deputy fired two shots. Chatham died at the scene. OSU records show Chatham was with the Cowboys from 2005 through 2008.

Illinois officer spent embezzled money on coffee, movies

FOX LAKE, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois police officer who authorities say killed himself after years of embezzling from a police-sponsored youth program spent the stolen money on items such as coffee, restaurant meals and trips to the movies, according to court documents.

The records were released Tuesday by attorneys for Melodie Gliniewicz, the widow of late Fox Lake Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz. Authorities say he staged his suicide to look like a homicide because he feared the embezzlement was about to be exposed.

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