Iowa early News Headlines: Wed., Feb. 20th 2013


February 20th, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa House has started debating a Republican plan to water down Gov. Terry Branstad’s education reform plan. Discussion started Tuesday evening. The governor’s education plan aims to improve Iowa schools by boosting minimum teacher pay and offering bonuses to senior teachers who take on tasks such as mentoring.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A Davenport man accused of threatening to shoot people has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. U.S. Attorney Nicholas A. Klinefeldt says T. Wayne Allen, Sr., was sentenced Friday to 180 months in prison, as well as four years of parole. He has been ordered to pay $100 into a crime victim fund.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a former University of Iowa administrator that claimed a St. Louis law firm defamed him in a report criticizing his handling of a 2007 sexual assault. U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt on Tuesday dismissed former general counsel Marc Mills’ claims against the Stolar Partnership. Pratt dismissed Mills’ claims against university officials last fall.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Senate lawmakers are considering a bill that toughens Iowa’s restrictions against texting while driving. A subcommittee debated the legislation Tuesday. Under the bill, distracted driving — including texting on a mobile phone — would become an offense that police could use to make a traffic stop.