Supreme Court hears HIV conviction appeal
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is considering whether to uphold the conviction of an Iowa man with HIV who was imprisoned for not telling a partner he carried the virus when they had sex in 2008.
The court heard arguments Monday in the case of Nick Rhoades.
The Iowa Court of Appeals in October concluded he violated Iowa's HIV transmission law, which makes it a felony for someone carrying the virus to engage in sex without telling a partner about being HIV-positive.
Rhoades' attorney Christopher Clark argues Rhoades used a condom and has a low HIV level, which means transmission was nearly impossible.
Assistant Attorney General Kevin Cmelik argues the conviction should be upheld because Rhoades knew he had the virus and had sex in a way that transmission was possible.
Iowa Gov. Branstad warns about medical marijuana
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he worries drug abuse would increase if medical marijuana became legal in Iowa.
Branstad on Monday told reporters he empathizes with those suffering from illnesses who believe they would benefit from using medical marijuana, but he fears there would be unintended consequences to its legalization. He says he's already concerned with prescription drug abuse across the state, and he thinks legalizing medical marijuana could further that abuse.
Patients and doctors testified before a legislative panel last week to encourage lawmakers to consider the positive uses of medical marijuana. They also spoke one-on-one with Branstad.
Branstad says lawmakers should be careful drafting laws geared toward such a small subset of Iowa's population. He says more study is needed before seriously considering such legislation.
Historic depot in Gilbertville gets makeover
GILBERTVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Parts of a more than century-old depot in Gilbertville are continuing to get a makeover.
The Gilbertville Depot's freight room is being renovated thanks to a grant from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association and other private funds. A group of volunteers having been working on the property since saving it from demolition a few years ago.
The group, Friends of the Gilbertville Depot, have been reconditioning the freight room and making other improvements for several months. They anticipate the work will be done in time for an open house in May.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the group wants to use the room as a possible venue for music and maybe other events. The depot is alongside the Cedar Valley Nature Trail.
TRAVELING IN IOWA
Gov. Branstad encourages tourists to visit Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad wants to encourage more out-of-state tourists to visit Iowa.
Branstad on Monday announced a new ad campaign launched by the Iowa Economic Development Authority's tourism office. The campaign, which will run through mid-June, was released this month and is geared toward potential travelers in Chicago, Minneapolis, Omaha and other Midwest cities.
Television ads encourage viewers to visit the Travel Iowa website in order to "fill in the blanks" as it shows families exploring historical sites and enjoying ice cream. The website can be used to generate possible destinations based on travel companions and interests.
Branstad says tourism is a critical part of Iowa's economy, and the campaign is an effort to make Iowa an attractive choice when individuals begin to plan their getaways.
PIANO LADY-MASON CITY
Woman credits longevity to good food, music
MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - As her 100th birthday approaches, Lucretia Green credits good eating habits, including plenty of carrots, for her longevity, but others think her approach to life plays an even bigger part.
They note the Mason City woman's active life, including the weekly piano concerts she still gives to residents and guests at her senior living center.
Green tells the Globe Gazette that music as well as knitting keep her mind sharp. She says "you're always listening whenever you hear a tune, so you know very well you are picking up something."
Her favorite songs are spirituals, such as "How Great Thou Art."
She says her mother was her piano teacher, and she started playing "about the time I was born."
AP ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
Iowa State's Melvin Ejim AP Big 12 Player of Year
(AP) - Iowa State senior forward Melvin Ejim is The Associated Press Big 12 Player of the Year.
The AP awards were announced Monday, when Ejim and Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins were unanimous picks on the All-Big 12 first team. Wiggins is the league's Freshman of the Year.
Ejim was second in the Big 12 with both his 18.2 points and 8.6 rebounds a game. No other league player ranked in the top 10 in both of those categories.
Ejim and Wiggins are joined on the first team by league scoring leader Juwan Staten from West Virginia, Oklahoma State's Marcus Smart and Iowa State's DeAndre Kane, the Marshall transfer who was the unanimous choice as the Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.
Oklahoma's Lon Kruger is the AP Coach of the Year.
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