Heavy snowfall in north Nebraska, northwest Iowa
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A wintry storm that heaped snow on the Rockies has pushed east into northern Nebraska and northwest Iowa.
The National Weather Service said Wednesday that 10.5 inches of snow has been recorded over 18 hours in Valentine, which sits near the South Dakota state line in northwest Nebraska. To the east in Boyd County, 5.4 inches was recorded in Butte.
The National Weather Service says the snow is moving slowly out of the area, but the cold remains. Wind chills of minus 20 were experienced near Rushville and Gordon in the Nebraska Panhandle.
NWS meteorologist Todd Heitkamp says 4 to 6 inches of snow has fallen in northwest Iowa. Further south in Iowa, freezing drizzle forced delayed starts for schools in Treynor, Woodbine and Underwood.
Ocwen Financial announces layoffs in Waterloo
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A national loan servicing company has announced layoffs for more than 230 employees in Waterloo.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Ocwen Financial Corporation issued notices Tuesday to more than 800 workers nationally, including employees at the former GMAC Mortgage office in Waterloo. Ocwen bought GMAC Mortgage last year.
Company spokesman Rick Gillespie says the layoffs will be staggered through the first quarter of 2014, and more than 600 employees will remain in Waterloo. Most of the other layoffs occurred in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania and Dallas, Texas.
The Iowa Workforce Development says Ocwen did not file advance notice of the layoffs under federal law.
The Atlanta-based company says the layoffs were prompted by recent acquisitions. A message left with Ocwen was not immediately returned Wednesday.
TOWBOAT SINKS-MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Workers race to fix towboat ahead of extreme cold
LECLAIRE, Iowa (AP) - Workers repairing a towboat on the Mississippi River at LeClaire are in a race against time to get patches completed and the boat ready to move before temperatures dip into the single digits by Friday night.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana O'Leary says the boat has a hole measuring about 12 inches by 30 inches along a seam on the bottom near the rear. The boat hit something in the river on November 25th, and partially sank leaking oil and diesel fuel.
O'Leary says most of the spill has been cleaned up. Absorbent booms encircle the boat to catch anything that leaks out as workers raise the tugboat to patch the hole and seal it up so it can be towed to a repair facility.
Federal agents search home of former GOP lawmaker
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Federal agents recently searched the home of a former state senator and seized computers and other materials.
The Des Moines Register reported Wednesday that agents from the FBI searched Kent Sorenson's home on November 20th. Sorenson's attorney Theodore Sporer says computers were confiscated.
Sporer says he has not been notified that Sorenson is the target of any investigation.
Sorenson, a Republican from Milo, resigned his Senate seat after an independent investigator concluded he likely broke ethics rules in receiving money from presidential candidate Michele Bachmann's political action committee and presidential campaign.
Sorenson has said his resignation wasn't an admission of wrongdoing.
Iowa officials: High-speed car kills 1, hurts 2
AVOCA, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a vehicle traveling at a high speed in western Iowa has caused a collision, killing its driver and injuring two transportation officers.
The Harlan Police Department says it received a report Wednesday afternoon of a person driving a vehicle on U.S. Highway 59 north of Avoca. The vehicle was reportedly traveling at speeds of up to 100 mph.
A Harlan patrol car chased the vehicle. The car traveled for several miles on the highway before it collided with an Iowa Department of Transportation enforcement vehicle. The driver of the high-speed car was killed and two officers in the other car were injured.
Police say the man was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol.
The Iowa State Patrol is investigating the crash. No names have been released.
UNI prof. says gunshot injured her jaw in Ohio
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - A University of Northern Iowa professor is recovering from an injury to her face that she says was caused by a shotgun fired near her family as they drove through Ohio.
Julie Husband, associate professor and interim head of UNI's department of languages and literatures, says she was struck in the jaw Sunday by the slug of a shotgun. She and her family were traveling on a rural route near Toledo.
Husband tells the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier the slug shattered a passenger window and broke her jaw. Her family was not injured.
Husband says she believes the slug came from someone who was participating in the last day of Ohio's youth deer gun season. Ohio State Trooper Dwayne Dotson says the shooter could have been a half mile away.
ROAD RAGE-GUN CHARGE
Iowa man faces federal gun charge in road rage
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A Waterloo man accused of pulling out a handgun during a road rage incident in September faces a federal firearms charge.
Court documents unsealed Monday show 34-year-old Jeramia Cook was indicted November 19th on a single count of possession of a firearm and ammunition as a felon. He was arrested on state charges in September.
Police say Cook became angry with the driver of a semitrailer on September 3rd. Cook is accused of denting the semitrailer with a bottle and then pulling out a handgun.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports Cook is barred from handling weapons because of a 1999 burglary conviction.
A message left for Cook's attorney was not immediately returned Wednesday.
Trucker gets life sentences in Des Moines slayings
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A truck driver has been given two life sentences for killing two men last year in Des Moines.
The Des Moines Register says 40-year-old Ronald Hawkinson was sentenced on Tuesday in Polk County District Court. He'd been convicted in October for the murders of 30-year-old Serif Hidic and 49-year-old Robert Smoot.
The men's bodies were found in May 2012 on the lot of a trucking company owned by Hidic. Hidic had sued Hawkinson over loan money that Hawkinson allegedly never repaid.
Prosecutors said during the trial that Hawkinson planned the killings. Hawkinson's attorneys had argued for manslaughter charges in the case.
Bulls recall Teague from Development League
CHICAGO (AP) - The Chicago Bulls have recalled backup guard Marquis Teague from the Iowa Energy of the NBA Development League.
The Bulls announced the move on Wednesday, a day after he was assigned to Iowa.
Teague has played in nine games for Chicago, averaging 1.2 points, 0.8 assists and 8.9 minutes.
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