Iowa early News Headlines: Tue., July 14, 2020


July 14th, 2020 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 3:30 a.m. CDT

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) — Prison officials say pathologists will determine whether coronavirus killed an inmate in a northwestern Iowa prison as the state deals with increasing numbers of people infected with the virus. A news release from the Iowa Department of Corrections says 62-year-old Ronald Eugene Holdworth died Saturday morning as he was being taken from the prison to a hospital. Officials say the State Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine whether COVID-19 was a factor in his death. The Fort Dodge Correctional Facility has reported more than 100 inmates and nine employees have tested positive for the virus.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Detectives have charged a man with murder in the June 28 shooting death of another man outside a Des Moines area bar. Polk County sheriff’s deputies charged 35-year-old Gordon Jerome Johnson with first-degree murder and intimidation with a dangerous weapon. Johnson, of Des Moines, was held in the Polk County Jail. Johnson was charged in the death of 29-year-old Sir William Beckish, a chef and former restaurant owner. The shooting happened just before 2 a.m. as a large crowd gathered outside the Karma Bar, just north of the Des Moines. Deputies who had been called by the bar’s staff heard gunshots and then found Beckish had been wounded. He was taken to a hospital but died. Two woman also suffered gunshot wounds but survived.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The board chairman of Make-A-Wish Iowa says the charity’s CEO and president has been fired after the organization discovered financial irregularities during an internal audit. Board chairman Joshua Norton said a statement late last week that Jennifer Woodley had been dismissed. Norton says Rachel Reams, a vice president with the organization, will serve as the interim CEO while the board conducts a search for a new leader. Norton declined to give details on the nature of the financial irregularities. Woodley was named CEO of the group less than a year ago, in August 2019. A publicly listed telephone number for Woodley could not be found Monday.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — Crews rescued a kayaker who swamped his boat on the Cedar River, authorities said.Responding rescue workers responding to a call at about 4:20 p.m. Sunday found the boater sitting on the top of a wing dam, a barrier that only extends partway into a river, the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported. Fire Chief John Bostwick said crews launched a Zodiac boat from Washington Park and brought him to safety without injury.