Monday, November 19, 2012

News,Science and Technology

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Leaders of the NAACP are lobbying Gov. Terry Branstad to soften a policy that has made it difficult for thousands of Iowans convicted of crimes to get their voting rights back.

The Des Moines Register ( ) reports that NAACP President Benjamin Jealous and other officials from the group met Monday with Branstad.

NAACP officials say they focused much of the meeting trying to convince Branstad to change a cumbersome application process that has resulted in less than 20 felons getting their voting rights back since January 2011.

Branstad's office has told applicants on the application form that they must pay all court costs and restitution before applying. But spokesman Tim Albrecht said Monday the office will allow anyone who is current on restitution payments to seek their rights back.


Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) — A suspect on trial for first-degree murder in the death of a Cedar Rapids woman has poured a cup of water on the head of one of his attorneys.

The Gazette ( ) reports that Jerome Power poured the water on attorney Steve Addington as jurors were being excused Monday to start deliberations. Power then told Addington that the case "should have been a mistrial" and, "You sold me out!"

Deputies led Power out of the courtroom after the incident.

He is charged with killing 68-year-old Doris Bevins in her Cedar Rapids home. Police say officers found the woman unconscious in her home with flannel pants wrapped around her neck.

Power has maintained his innocence. Earlier in the trial, he held a sign in the courtroom claiming someone else killed Bevins.


Information from: The Gazette,


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — More than 130 scientists from Iowa colleges and universities say this year's drought is consistent with a warmer climate predicted as part of global climate change and more droughts can be expected.

Scientists and researchers from 27 Iowa colleges and universities signed the Iowa Climate Statement released Monday. It says a warming climate causes wet years to be wetter and dry years to be hotter and dryer. Those extremes lead to more flooding and drought, and Iowa has experienced both in recent years.

The state was hard hit this year when drought spread across two-thirds of the country.

The scientists say warming will continue as global emissions increase and greenhouse gases accumulate, and they expect a growing number of droughts as soon as the 2020s.


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Administrators say the increase of international students enrolled at the University of Iowa this fall is more than double the increase reported at universities and colleges nationwide.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports ( ) there are nearly 3,600 international students at the university this fall, compared with more than 3,100 last fall. The 2012 Open Doors report released by the Institute of International Education says the national jump was 6 percent, compared with the Iowa increase of around 14 percent.

International Program data say more than a third of the international students at the university in Iowa City are from China.


Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen,


CLIVE, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a preliminary autopsy report says a skull fracture killed a man who died in a Clive parking lot.

Clive police say the injury was consistent with a fall to the pavement by 49-year-old Randy Warrens, of Clive. The report says Warrens may have been drinking.

Police say the case is still being investigated, although a crime is not suspected.

Warrens was found around 2 a.m. Saturday when a passer-by spotted him lying in the lot. A witness and, later, emergency medical workers attempted to revive Warrens, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

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