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Man who set himself on fire at Des Moines library has died

DESMOINES – Police said the man who set himself on fire Tuesday afternoon at the downtown Des Moines Library has died.

Officials evacuated and closed the library located at 1000 Grand Avenue just before 2 p.m. after the 36-year-old man poured an unknown liquid on himself and then set himself on fire .  Library staff used a fire extinguisher and put out the flames.

The man was taken to a local hospital and eventually flown to the University of Iowa Hospitals Burn Unit in Iowa City where he died around 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.

The Des Moines Library announced on social media that it will remain closed until further notice.

Grassley taking ‘wait and see’ attitude on potential ethanol deal

RADIO IOWA – Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s been “hoodwinked” before — and he’s not ready to predict whether ethanol and biodiesel producers will get relief from the federal government. Grassley was part of a White House meeting last week and while Grassley believes a deal could be near, he’s not ready to celebrate.

“I’m not going to announce anything or say: ‘Cheers!’ until I see it on paper because EPA’s putting it on paper and I know there’s a big voice for ‘big oil’ in EPA,” Grassley said during a conference call with reporters.

Grassley said President Trump was surprised his decision to exempt 31 refineries from their ethanol obligations sparked a backlash in farm country.

“I would speculate that the president’s tired of dealing with this. He’s more or less said so many times,” Grassley said. “Even back when we were in the White House talking about E15, it just seemed like he could never get to the bottom of the ethanol issue or he couldn’t satisfy both ‘big oil’ and the farmers.”

Last Thursday, Grassley — along with other farm state senators — met with President Trump and other key administration officials to discuss the federal ethanol production mandate. Grassley said the discussion started with a White House plan.

“We went in with a simpler plan that, if it comes out on paper the way the White House seemed to agree with us, then I would say we have a win-win situation,” Grassley said.

The goal of the plan, according to Grassley, is to reassign the gallons of ethanol the 31 refineries are no longer required to use to other refineries that are blending ethanol into gas.

“I know that there’s a big voice for ‘big oil’ in EPA,” Grassley said. “I’ve been hoodwinked so many times — not just by EPA so many times on this issues, but by other bureaucracies as well, so I’m going to wait and see if what they talked about is the end product.”

Trump met with oil-state senators yesterday to discuss the deal. Bloomberg is reporting Trump has complained the feud between the ethanol and oil industries is taking up more of his time than dealing with China and Iran.

Dillinger family members apply again to exhume his grave

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Family members of 1930s gangster John Dillinger have submitted a new application to exhume his Indianapolis gravesite.

The Indiana State Department of Health said it received the latest application Tuesday.

Dillinger’s family first applied to exhume the remains in July as part of a planned History Channel documentary. The deadline to exhume and return the remains was Sept. 16, and the exhumation did not occur.

Full Coverage: John Dillinger

The History Channel last week dropped out of a planned documentary on Dillinger that would have included the exhumation. Family members said they have evidence Dillinger’s body may not be buried in Crown Hill Cemetery.

Cemetery officials object to the exhumation, saying it would be disruptive. Dillinger’s nephew, Michael C. Thompson, sued the cemetery last month, seeking a court order to gain access to the grave. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 1.

Indians volleyball beat Newton

Oskaloosa remains unbeaten in Little Hawkeye Conference volleyball play after sweeping Newton Tuesday night (9/17) at Oskaloosa High School.  The Indians won 25-17, 25-15 and 25-9 to improve to 3-0 in the conference and 9-7 overall.  Faith DeRonde had 15 kills for the Indians, with Taylor Wills adding ten. The Indians are off until next Tuesday (9/24), when they host Norwalk.

Purdue Pharma begins Chapter 11 bankruptcy journey

By TOM MURPHY and ANNE D’INNOCENZIO

NEW YORK (AP) — Purdue Pharma gets its day in court Tuesday after the OxyContin maker filed for bankruptcy and negotiated a potential multi-billion dollar settlement to resolve thousands of lawsuits.

An initial hearing will be held in federal court in White Plains, New York, for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. Purdue filed for bankruptcy protection late Sunday, the first step in a plan it says would provide $10 billion to $12 billion to help reimburse state and local governments and clean up the damage done by powerful prescription painkillers and illegal opioids, including heroin.

These drugs have been blamed for more than 400,000 deaths in the U.S. in the past two decades.

Two dozen states have signed on to the settlement plan along with key lawyers who represent many of the 2,000-plus local governments suing Stamford, Connecticut-based Purdue Pharma. But other states have come out strongly against it.

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WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FROM THIS INITIAL COURT APPEARANCE?

These generally focus on housekeeping and ensuring that the company can keep paying the bills as an ongoing operation during its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

According to the court docket, Judge Robert Drain will hear motions on authorizing payments of wages to employees, critical vendors, utilities and other key parties.

Fordham Law Professor Richard Squire said Drain will likely hear from lawyers objecting to the filing and describing it as a “bad faith claim.” Drain may table those arguments for another day.

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WHAT KEY ISSUES WILL THE JUDGE DECIDE?

Drain will eventually decide whether to approve or reject the settlement or seek modifications.

This is hardly a standard bankruptcy case. Because so many states objected to the settlement, it could complicate the process. Members of the Sackler family, which owns Purdue, are still trying to get more states to sign on.

Drain will preside over whether the suits against the Sacklers in state courts will be able to move forward, and what will happen to the company itself. Under the tentative settlement deal, it would continue to operate, but with profits used to pay for the settlement. Another alternative? Drain could order the company to be sold.

A single large settlement often is seen as the best way to resolve cases like these, bankruptcy attorney Jerry Reisman said. He noted that it would essentially put money in a giant pot to be divided fairly, and it would cut the costs of bringing separate cases through different courts.

“Everybody shares in some orderly manner,” he said.

Without a big settlement, all the claimants could wind up in a race to litigate in the other courts and get a judgment before the company runs out of money.

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WHO IS JUDGE DRAIN?

Drain is a former bankruptcy attorney with a Columbia University law degree. He serves as a U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York.

He has presided over some high-profile Chapter 11 cases involving companies like Hostess Brands and Sears. In the latter, Drain earlier this year gave hedge fund mogul Eddie Lampert a second chance to revive the iconic brand and save 45,000 jobs.

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HOW LONG WILL THE BANKRUPTCY PROCESS TAKE?

A complicated case like this could take up to a year but legal experts believe the parties involved want a fast settlement.

The longer a company remains in bankruptcy, the more is spent attorney fees and other costs. But a modification to the initial settlement to satisfy more cases could delay the case.

Purdue has said that finalizing the settlement could take at least six months.

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Murphy reported from Indianapolis.

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AP Reporter Geoff Mulvihill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, contributed to this report.

High school volleyball

Monday night in high school volleyball, North Mahaska defeated BGM three sets to none, Lynnville-Sully swept HLV and Iowa Valley 3-0 over Keota.

Tuesday night (9/17), Oskaloosa’s volleyball team hosts Newton in a 7:00 game at the high school.  Other volleyball tonight has Ottumwa at Des Moines Hoover, Norwalk at Pella, Indianola at Pella Christian, Grinnell at Dallas Center-Grimes, Davis County at Knoxville and Clarke at Albia.

Ottumwa couple accused of child endangerment

A couple from Ottumwa is accused of leaving their three year old daughter unattended. Monday morning (9/16), Ottumwa Police got a call about a small child left alone in the 300 block of North Court Street. After being unable to find the girl’s parents, Police put her picture on social media. That led to relatives of the girl contacting Police. Officers determined the girl lives with her mother, 19-year-old Faith Knedler, an 18 month old half-brother and the half-brother’s father, 22-year-old Colby Rysdam. Knedler and Rysdam have both been charged with one count of child endangerment.

Sandy the Tabby Cat

Sandy, a 2 year old brown tabby cat, is our KBOE/KMZN Pet of the Week.  Sandy has been at the shelter since March and gave birth to a litter of kittens in April.  Now that she has raised her family she is ready to find her furever home!  Sandy’s a mellow girl and loves to just lay back and watch the action.  She would love to have her own bed and windowsill to watch the birds and squirrels.  $10 and an approved application will make Sandy all yours!  Call Stephen Memorial Animal Shelter at (641) 673-3991 for more information about Sandy or a wide variety of other loving and adoptable pets!

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