Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., April 18th 2012


April 18th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa car salesman accused of strangling a pregnant prostitute in 2007 has been convicted of first-degree murder. The Quad-City Times says a Scott County jury found Chad Wells guilty on Tuesday after less than two hours of deliberations. Closing arguments focused on whether or not he meant to kill 41-year-old Angela Hennes during a sexual encounter in Davenport.

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) — A teacher has been placed on leave after five students were hospitalized after ingesting caffeine during a science experiment at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. University spokeswoman Jennifer Felton tells KTIV-TV in Sioux City that the students’ instructor is on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an investigation. No details of the experiment were immediately released.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa warehouse operator has been ordered by a jury to pay Hormel Foods Corp. $4 million for failing to protect its products from floodwaters in 2008. The jury found Monday that Crystal Distribution Services, Inc., breached its contract with Hormel by failing to keep its facilities clean, failing to store products at specified temperatures and failing to pay Hormel for losses. Hormel filed the lawsuit in 2009, blaming Crystal for the loss of products stored at its Waterloo, Iowa warehouse during flooding the previous year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A former Iowa basketball player will return to her home state and coach Drake University’s women’s team. Drake introduced Jennie (Lillis) Baranczyk (bah-RAHN’-chek) at a news conference Tuesday in Des Moines. The 29-year-old Baranczyk has spent the past two seasons on the staff at Colorado, where she went after coaching at Marquette.