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Trial of ‘Rust’ armorer to begin in fatal film rehearsal shooting by Alec Baldwin

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Attorneys prepared to make opening statements Thursday at the first trial related to the fatal shooting of a cinematographer by actor Alec Baldwin during a rehearsal for the Western film “Rust.”

Before Baldwin’s case progresses, the movie’s weapons supervisor is being tried on charges of involuntary manslaughter and tampering with evidence in the death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on Oct. 21, 2021, on a movie ranch outside Santa Fe.

Armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed has pleaded not guilty to the charges and says she’s not directly to blame for Hutchins’ death. In court filings, lead defense counsel Jason Bowles has pointed to findings by workplace safety regulators of broad problems that extended beyond the armorer’s control.

Prosecutors plan to present evidence that Gutierrez-Reed unwittingly brought live ammunition onto a film set where it was expressly prohibited. They say the armorer missed multiple opportunities to ensure safety, eventually loading a live round into the gun that killed Hutchins.

Baldwin has pleaded not guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge in a separate case.

Prosecutors Kari Morrissey and Jason Lewis initially dismissed an involuntary manslaughter charge against Baldwin in April, saying they were informed the gun might have been modified before the shooting and malfunctioned. A more recent analysis of the gun concluded the “trigger had to be pulled or depressed sufficiently to release the fully cocked or retracted hammer of the evidence revolver.”

At the trial of Gutierrez-Reed, jurors from the Santa Fe area were sworn in Wednesday at the end of a daylong selection process that involved questions about exposure to media coverage and social media chatter about the case. Four jurors will initially serve as alternates to a panel of 12.

Gutierrez-Reed, the stepdaughter of renowned sharpshooter and weapons consultant Thell Reed, was 24 at the time of Hutchins’ death.

She faces up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. The evidence tampering charge stems from accusations she handed a small bag of possible narcotics to another crew member after the shooting to avoid detection by law enforcement.

Her attorneys say that charge is prosecutors’ attempt to smear Gutierrez-Reed’s character. The bag was thrown away without testing the contents, defense attorneys said.

The trial is scheduled to run through March 6, with more than 40 potential witnesses.

Baldwin, the lead actor and a co-producer on “Rust,” doesn’t appear on a pretrial witness lists, and could invoke protections against self-incrimination if pressed. His trail date has not been set.

Baldwin has said he pulled back the gun’s hammer — not the trigger — and the weapon fired. He was indicted by a grand jury in January.

Gutierrez-Reed’s attorneys say she’s unfairly been scapegoated. They contend live rounds arrived on set from an Albuquerque-based supplier of dummy rounds.

Additionally, Gutierrez-Reed is accused in another case of carrying a gun into a bar in downtown Santa Fe in violation of state law. Her attorneys say that charge has been used to try to pressure Gutierrez-Reed into a false confession about the handling of live ammunition on the “Rust” set.

Gutierrez-Reed was responsible for storage, maintenance and handling of firearms and ammunition on set and for training members of the cast who would be handling firearms, according to state workplace safety regulators.

Live rounds are typically distinguished from dummy rounds by a small hole in the dummy’s brass cartridge, indicating there is no explosive inside or by shaking the round to hear the clatter of a BB that is inserted inside. A missing or dimpled primer at the bottom of the cartridge is another trait of dummy rounds.

The company Rust Movie Productions paid a $100,000 fine to the state following a scathing narrative of safety failures in violation of standard industry protocols.

Eager paddlers encouraged to wait for warmer water

DES MOINES — The weather is starting to feel like spring, but water temperatures are still dangerously cold.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommends that paddlers wait for consistent warm weather to allow the water temperatures to rise slowly. It could be several weeks before water temperatures are ideal and safe as water and air temperatures continue to change.

“Air temperatures are warmer than normal this year, but the water is still dangerously cold,” said Todd Robertson, Iowa DNR River Programs water trails coordinator. “We have not had enough consistently warm days to raise water temperatures adequately. Cold water shock and hypothermia can set in quickly if you fall into the water at current temperatures.”

Safety Tips for Paddling in Cold Water Conditions

  • Always wear a life jacket. Not only does the life jacket help keep your head above water, it helps to keep your organs warmer.
  • Don’t paddle alone, especially in cold water, use a buddy system. Go with a small group of paddlers and know which paddler has the most experience.
  • Let a friend or loved one know where you are going and when you are expected to return. It will be easier to find you if you need help.
  • Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature. Plan as if you were to be in the water at some point.  A wetsuit or drysuit is a must. Dress in layers so you can peel a layer off if you get overheated.
  • Bring along a dry bag with extra clothing to change into should you get wet. Get out of wet, cold clothing as soon as possible. Having the right gear and understanding the stages of hypothermia is crucial for remaining safe.
  • Stay away from strainers, wood/branch piles that can pull a paddler under. These are usually found on outside river bends where the current is going and are deadly hazards that must be avoided.

North Mahaska Falls to #5 EBF in Region Final; Rockets Move On to State for 2nd Straight Year

OSKALOOSA – North Mahaska was hoping to avenge a loss to No. 5 Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont when the two teams met in Oskaloosa Wednesday with a berth in next week’s state tournament on the line. The Rockets took advantage of 26 North Mahaska turnovers to secure a state berth 61-41.

No. 14 North Mahaska battled to the wire and never gave up but the taller EBF squad was able to be successful on both ends of the court. The game was much closer than the final score indicates.

Thirty seconds into the game North Mahaska’s Breckyn Schilling hit a 3-pointer to give NM a 3-2 lead. From there EBF went on a 17-3 run and never looked back. The Rockets cooled off some in the second quarter and led 27-16 at halftime.

Both teams struggled with turnovers with North Mahaska committing 17 in the first half and EBF 13. The free throw line aided the Rockets as they went 5-for-7 in the half while NM was 1-of-4. Foul trouble played a huge role in the second half as Schilling, Regan Grewe and Sydney Andersen all had to play with fouls. Andersen fouled out midway through the fourth period.

“We played hard but we were too careless with the basketball,” said NM coach L.E. Moore. “They are a good team and took advantage. We made a nice run towards the end of the first half. I thought foul trouble hurt us in the second half. I thought Syd played had and Grewe really helped us.”

Schilling, the team’s leading scorer was held to just four points. Andersen secured a double-double before fouling out with 12 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and a steal. Grewe also scored 12. Aly Steil chipped in five. Nataliya Linder came off the bench to snag seven rebounds and two steals.

North Mahaska tied EBF in rebounding 28-28, but many of the Rockets’ boards came in the offensive court and resulted in second chance points, something NM had only a handful. Linder, who stepped in for Andersen and Grewe, played some quality minutes as a freshman.

North Mahaska has no seniors so the junior-dominated team was blessed with a strong freshman class.

“They all contributed to our season,” said Moore. “They have high expectations for themselves and we have high expectations for them. Nataliya Linder played an outstanding game. We have a good freshman class and they will take this experience with them into next year.”

EBF was led by junior Molly Shafer with 23 points and five rebounds. Kaylee Helm chipped in 14 and Aliya Wagoman added 12 points and eight rebounds. Kate Shafer had 11 boards, four steals and blocked a shot. Ava Eastlick had eight point and a block.

North Mahaska, co-champion of the South Iowa Cedar League, finishes the season at 19-5. EBF, 23-1, will play Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. against Sioux Center, 22-1. The Rockets enter the Class 2A tourney as the fifth seed while Sioux Center is sixth.

3 Arrests Made During Drug Investigation in Ottumwa

OTTUMWA — On Wednesday, February 21, 2024, officers from the Southeast Iowa Inter-Agency Drug Task Force, Ottumwa Police Department’s Emergency Response Team, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety Division of Narcotics Enforcement, executed a search warrant at 339 N. Moore Street in Ottumwa.  As a result of the search, police seized 3 firearms, marijuana, and evidence of drug distribution.  This investigation is ongoing and additional criminal charges are pending.  

The following people were arrested as a result of the search:  

Isaiah Kevon Dennis, age 24, of 339 N. Moore, was arrested on an outstanding warrant out of Washington County, Iowa for Possession of a Controlled Substance, Marijuana.  Bond for this warrant was set at $1,000 cash only.  

Jovanta Marice Bays, age 26, of 339 N. Moore, was arrested for Conspiracy to Distribute Marijuana and Failure to Affix a Drug Tax Stamp, both Class “D” Felonies.  

Decareyanna Ruth Marie Brown, age 22, of 339 N. Moore, was arrested and charged with Keeping of Dangerous Animal Prohibited (Pit Bull), a Simple Misdemeanor.  

United flight from San Francisco to Boston diverted due to damage to one of its wings

NEW YORK (AP) — A United Airlines cross-country flight was cut short and the jetliner landed in Denver after one of its wings was damaged.

A passenger on the San Francisco-to-Boston flight Monday said he had just put in earbuds and started to doze off when he felt the plane shaking.

“All of a sudden I heard this violent vibration like I had never heard before,” Kevin Clarke said in an interview Tuesday.

Clarke said one of the pilots walked down the aisle of the main cabin, then returned to the cockpit and announced that the plane had minor damage to its right wing and the flight would be diverted to Denver.

Clarke opened his window shade and took video of the damage that was later broadcast on Boston 25 News. The 67-year-old, a ski-race announcer from Maine, was comforted that the pilot believed the plane was good enough to fly, but he began having doubts when the jet hit turbulence.

Clark began checking the wing repeatedly, until he decided that he just couldn’t look anymore.

“I was just going to pray that we made it to the other side of the turbulence,” he said.

United said the Boeing 757-200 carrying 165 passengers landed in Denver to “address an issue with the slat” on one of its wings. Slats are moveable panels on the front or leading edge of the wing and are used during takeoffs and landings. Chicago-based United did not say what caused the damage which left pieces of the slat torn away.

The Federal Aviation Administration said Tuesday that it is investigating the incident.

The plane landed safely in Denver, and passengers were put on a different plane and arrived later in the day in Boston, according to the airline.

The incident comes at a time of heightened passenger jitters after last month’s blowout of a door panel on an Alaska Airlines jetliner flying over Oregon. The National Transportation Safety Board said in a preliminary report that bolts designed to prevent the panel from moving were missing on the Boeing 737 Max 9 jet.

Report: Cancer cases are rising in Iowa while cancer deaths fall

By Matt Kelley (Radio Iowa)

A new report estimates 21,000 Iowans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, an increase from last year, while the projected number of Iowans who will die from cancer this year is falling.

Iowa Cancer Registry director Mary Charlton, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa, says they’re focusing on raising awareness about alcohol-related cancers in this year’s report.

“We’ve seen estimates that only about 40% of the general public know that alcohol is a carcinogen and a risk factor for cancer,” Charlton says. “In Iowa, we rank fourth among all the states in our rates of alcohol-related cancers and we also rank fourth in binge drinking.”

While drinking any alcohol can increase one’s cancer risk, she says heavy drinking and binge drinking pose the greatest risks.

For the second straight year, national rankings show Iowa has the second highest rate of new cancer cases in the county, behind only Kentucky. Smoking is a key risk factor and Kentucky’s smoking rate has fallen while Iowa’s rate is rising. Charlton says several other cancers are contributing to the rankings.

“Breast cancer is one of the biggest drivers of our higher rate. Iowa has the ninth highest incidence rate of breast cancer and it’s rising faster here than in most other states,” Charlton says. “Prostate cancer is another one. We have the fourth highest incidence rate among black males and the seventh highest rate among white males, and rates are rising faster here than most other states.”

The report finds Iowa’s cancer mortality rates are dropping slowly, while the state’s number of cancer cases is rising, thanks in large part to early detection screenings and treatments.

“We estimate there’ll be 21,000 new cancers diagnosed among Iowans this year, and that’s an increase of 200 from last year,” Charlton says, “and we estimate that there will be approximately 6,100 cancer deaths among Iowans this year, which is a decrease of 100 from last year.”

Since the registry’s annual report was first published in 1973, Charlton says the number of cancer survivors has grown, with nearly 169-thousand Iowans now having a history of cancer. The most prevalent types of cancer in Iowa are staying steady.

“No, it hasn’t changed from last year. It’s still breast, prostate, lung and colorectal making up roughly half of all cancer cases in Iowa,” Charlton says. “If you add melanoma, that’s the fifth highest, that’s well over half of our cases. In terms of cancer deaths, lung cancer continues to be the most common cause of cancer deaths, accounting for nearly one out of every four cancer deaths in Iowa.”

The annual report allows doctors and researchers to focus on how to prevent and treat cancer, she says, and it provides Iowans with the knowledge they need to get advance screening and improve survival rates across the board.

See the full report here: https://shri.public-health.uiowa.edu/

Hawkeyes Beat Michigan State

EAST LANSING — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team defeated Michigan State, 78-71, on Tuesday night at the Breslin Center. The Hawkeyes move to 16-11 on the season and 8-8 in Big Ten conference play.

Graduate Ben Krikke secured his third double-double of the season. Krikke scored 18 points shooting 7-of-11 (64%) from the field. Krikke set a season high in rebounds with 14. He was just one rebound shy of tying his career high.

Junior Payton Sandfort led all scorers with 22 points, his seventh time this season finishing with 20+ points. Sandfort knocked down two threes and pulled in six rebounds.

Senior Patrick McCaffery rounded out the Hawkeyes in double-digits with 14 points. McCaffery grabbed four rebounds while shooting 4-of-5 from the free-throw line.

After a back-and-forth beginning to the first half that featured nine ties and four lead changes the Hawkeyes jumped on the Spartans. A 15-1 Iowa run with just over six minutes remaining in the half started with the Hawkeyes down three and ended with them leading the Spartans by 11. Iowa shot 16-of-28 (57%) from the field in the first half with three players in double-digits. Iowa handed Michigan State their largest halftime deficit at home this season, leading the Spartans, 45-33, at the break.

Iowa carried that momentum into the second half and extended their lead to 16 points in the first minute of the second half. The Spartans refused to go away, but the Hawkeyes had a response for every Michigan State run. Michigan State was able to cut the lead to five points with 2:30 remaining but Iowa would score the next five points to push their lead back to ten points. Krikke, Perkins and Sandfort combined to score 25 of the team’s 33 points in the second half.

Iowa finished the game shooting 28-of-55 (50.9%) from the field and 4-of-13 (30.8%) from deep. The Hawkeyes shot 18-of-23 from the free throw line (78.3%).

Iowa DNR to begin annual spring burning

DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will be conducting prescribed burns this spring on wildlife areas managed by the Iowa DNR’s Iowa River Wildlife Unit, and by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in Cedar, Linn, Johnson, Benton, Iowa, Tama and Mahaska counties.

Areas scheduled for burns are Iowa River Corridor in Tama, Benton and Iowa County; Otter Creek Marsh, Kunch, Spring Grove, Union Grove and Oxbow Bottoms in Tama County; Hawthorn Lake in Mahaska County; Hawkeye Wildlife Unit Complex and Red Bird Farms in Johnson County; Chain O Lakes Complex in Linn County; Dungeon Lake Complex in Benton County; and Mink Run in Cedar County.

Prescribed burns are used to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plant species, restore and maintain native plant communities and reduce wildfire potential and vary in size from a few acres to several hundred acres. Areas are typically burned every one to five years.

Ground nesting birds such as pheasants, bobwhite quail, bobolinks, dickscissels and others benefit from habitat improved with periodic prescribed fire. Prescribed burns typically begin mid to late morning and are completed by late afternoon or early evening between late February through May. Burns will be conducted on a day that meets the objectives and weather conditions defined in the burn plan.

For questions or concerns about prescribed burns, contact Rodney Ellingson, Wildlife Biologist, Iowa River Wildlife Unit, 641-751-9767.

Cyclones Fall Short at No. 2 Houston

HOUSTON — In a battle of the Big 12’s top teams, No. 6 Iowa State (20-6, 9-4 Big 12) came up short at No. 2 Houston (23-3, 10-3 Big 12), falling 73-65. Monday night’s meeting was the fourth top-six matchup in school history for ISU.

The Cougars picked up their 20th-straight home victory, as the Fertitta Center has been a tough venue for visiting teams. In fact, Iowa State is the first team this season to even come within ten points of the Cougars by the time of the final whistle.

ISU failed to force more than 10 turnovers for just the second time in the T.J. Otzelberger Era, as the Cougar backcourt took care of the ball on the way to victory.

Monday night’s matchup featured more scoring than the first time the two teams met in January – a 57-53 win for the Cyclones – as both teams shot 42 percent from the floor despite two of the nation’s top three defenses being on display.

The free throw line was a major difference in the game, as Houston knocked down 14 more freebies (24-32) as it picked up an eight-point win. Iowa State outrebounded Houston – the third-best rebounding team in the conference – by nine, limiting UH to just eight offensive boards which was the fewest in any game this season and the first time it had been held under 10.

Keshon Gilbert again led the Cyclone attack, as the junior from St. Louis dropped 17 points on 6-10 shooting from the field with three triples. Tre King had a monster game for the Cyclones, as the senior knocked down three triples of his own, going a perfect 3-for-3 from downtown. King also had eight rebounds – the most of any player on the court. Curtis Jones was the third ISU player to finish in double figures, dropping 13.

Houston was led by their superstar guard Jamal Shead who poured in 26 points on the night – his second-most points in a single game. Emanuel Sharp was also solid for the Cougs, scoring 20 points.

Welcome to the ‘Hotel California’ case: The trial over handwritten lyrics to an Eagles classic

NEW YORK (AP) — In the mid-1970s, the Eagles were working on a spooky, cryptic new song.

On a lined yellow pad, Don Henley, with input from band co-founder Glenn Frey, jotted thoughts about “a dark desert highway” and “a lovely place” with a luxurious surface and ominous undertones. And something on ice, perhaps caviar or Taittinger — or pink Champagne?

The song, “Hotel California,” became one of rock’s most indelible singles. And nearly a half-century later, those handwritten pages of lyrics-in-the-making have become the center of an unusual criminal trial set to open Wednesday.

Rare-book dealer Glenn Horowitz, former Rock & Roll Hall of Fame curator Craig Inciardi and memorabilia seller Edward Kosinski are charged with conspiring to own and try to sell manuscripts of “Hotel California” and other Eagles hits without the right to do so.

The three have pleaded not guilty, and their lawyers have said the men committed no crime with the papers, which they acquired via a writer who’d worked with the Eagles. But the Manhattan district attorney’s office says the defendants connived to obscure the documents’ disputed ownership, despite knowing that Henley said the pages were stolen.

Clashes over valuable collectibles abound, but criminal trials like this are rare. Many fights are resolved in private, in lawsuits or with agreements to return the items.

“If you can avoid a prosecution by handing over the thing, most people just hand it over,” said Travis McDade, a University of Illinois law professor who studies rare document disputes.

Of course, the case of the Eagles manuscripts is distinctive in other ways, too.

The prosecutors’ star witness is indeed that: Henley is expected to testify between Eagles tour stops. The non-jury trial could offer a peek into the band’s creative process and life in the fast lane of ’70s stardom.

At issue are over 80 pages of draft lyrics from the blockbuster 1976 “Hotel California” album, including words to the chart-topping, Grammy-winning title cut. It features one of classic rock’s most recognizable riffs, best-known solos and most oft-quoted — arguably overquoted — lines: “You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”

Henley has said the song is about “the dark underbelly of the American dream.”

It still was streamed over 220 million times and got 136,000 radio spins last year in the U.S. alone, according to the entertainment data company Luminate. The “Hotel California” album has sold 26 million copies nationwide over the years, bested only by an Eagles’ greatest hits disc and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

The pages also include lyrics from songs including “Life in the Fast Lane” and “New Kid in Town.” Eagles manager Irving Azoff has called the documents “irreplaceable pieces of musical history.”

Horowitz, Inciardi and Kosinki are charged with conspiracy to possess stolen property and various other offenses.

They’re not charged with actually stealing documents. Nor is anyone else, but prosecutors will still have to establish that the documents were stolen. The defense maintains that’s not true.

Much turns on the Eagles’ interactions with Ed Sanders, a writer who also co-founded the 1960s counterculture rock band the Fugs. He worked in the late ‘70s and early ’80s on an authorized Eagles biography that was never published.

Sanders isn’t charged in the case. A phone message seeking comment was left for him.

He sold the pages to Horowitz, who then sold them to Inciardi and Kosinski.

Horowitz has handled huge rare book and archive deals, and he’s been entangled in some ownership spats before. One involved papers linked to “Gone With the Wind″ author Margaret Mitchell. It was settled.

Inciardi worked on notable exhibitions for the Cleveland-based Rock Hall of Fame. Kosinski has been a principal in Gotta Have It! Collectibles, known for auctioning celebrities’ personal possessions — so personal that Madonna unsuccessfully sued to try to stop a sale that included her latex briefs.

Henley told a grand jury he never gave the biographer the lyrics, according to court filings from Kosinski’s lawyers. But defense lawyers have signaled that they plan to probe Henley’s memory of the time.

“We believe that Mr. Henley voluntarily provided the lyrics to Mr. Sanders,” attorney Scott Edelman said in court last week.

Sanders told Horowitz in 2005 that while working on the Eagles book, he was sent whatever papers he wanted from Henley’s home in Malibu, California, according to the indictment.

Then Kosinski’s business offered some pages at auction in 2012. Henley’s attorneys came knocking. And Horowitz, Inciardi and Sanders, in varying combinations, began batting around alternate versions of the manuscripts’ provenance, the indictment says.

In one story, Sanders found the pages discarded in a backstage dressing room. In others, he got them from a stage assistant or while amassing “a lot of material related to the Eagles from different people.” In yet another, he obtained them from Frey — an account that “would make this go away once and for all,” Horowitz suggested in 2017. Frey had died the year before.

“He merely needs gentle handling and reassurance that he’s not going to the can,” Horowitz emailed Inciardi during a 2012 exchange about getting Sanders’ “‘explanation’ shaped into a communication” to auctioneers, the indictment says.

Sanders supplied or signed off on some of the varying explanations, according to the indictment, and it’s unclear what he may have conveyed verbally. But he apparently rejected at least the dressing-room tale.

Kosinki forwarded one explanation, approved by Sanders, to Henley’s lawyer. Kosinski also assured Sotheby’s auction house that the musician had “no claim” to the documents and asked to keep potential bidders in the dark about Henley’s complaints, the indictment says.

Sotheby’s listed the “Hotel California” song lyrics in a 2016 auction but withdrew them after learning the ownership was in question. Sotheby’s isn’t charged in the case and declined to comment.

Henley bought some draft lyrics privately from Gotta Have It! for $8,500 in 2012, when he also began filing police reports, according to court filings.

Defense lawyers claim Henley found starstruck prosecutors to take up his cause instead of pursuing a civil suit himself.

The DA’s office worked closely with Henley’s legal team, and an investigator even yearned for backstage passes for an Eagles show — until a prosecutor said the idea was “completely inappropriate,” Kosinki’s lawyers said in court papers.

Prosecutors have rebuffed questions about their motivations as “a conspiracy theory rather than a legal defense.”

Last year, they wrote in court papers, “It is the defendants, not the prosecutors, who are on trial.”

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