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LOOKING OUT: Identifying Drug Endangered Children

A parent’s bad habits can ruin the lives of their children.

“It can be the use of drugs in a household, the manufacturing of drugs, or the cultivation of drugs,” said Dale Woolery, the associate director for the Governor’s Office for Drug Control Policy.

Last year, drug task forces reported 450 cases of drug endangered children to the Iowa Department of Human Services.

“We know there is a lot of children who haven’t been counted who might be in harm’s way,” said Woolery.

Children living in these homes are often victims of physical abuse, psychological abuse, and are often too afraid to come forward.

It’s up to the other adults in a child’s life to do it for them.

At the 7th annual Drug Endangered Children Conference, professionals from teachers to social workers learned what to look for.

FIVE YEARS: Legalized Gay Marriage Milestone

Five years ago today, Iowa became the first state in the Midwest and third state in the nation to legalize gay marriage.

On April 3, 2009 the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled the ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional.

The advocacy group, One Iowa says more people are embracing the change.

“I think people are moving forward in their thoughts about same gender marriage and how they think about LGTB people,” say One Iowa, executive director, Donna Red Wing.

However critics – like The Family Leader – continue to fight for traditional marriage.

“God created marriage, man didn`t. so we are arrogant to try and change what God created,” says vice president, Chuck Hurley.

Same sex couple, John Sellers and Tom Helten, says they hope one day the topic of gay marriage is not a focal point of criticism.

IOWA SPEEDWAY: Governor Signs NASCAR Tax Break Bill

The governor went to Newton Wednesday to sign a bill that will continue to help the Iowa Speedway.

It gives new owner, NASCAR, the same tax breaks as the previous owner.

The previous deal was that the facility would get a tax break as long as it is Iowa owned. But that requirement was dropped this session.

The legislation allows for the tax rebate through 2026 but caps the amount at $12.5 million.

“We know the speedway supports numerous jobs and business throughout the Newton area,” Governor Branstad said. “They also do a great job of supporting ethanol which is important to Iowa farmers and we have many ethanol plants in the state of Iowa and it’s made a real difference to the farming income and really good jobs.”

Opening day at the Iowa Speedway is May 17th.

IOWA SPEEDWAY: Branstad To Sign Tax Deal

NASCAR will get a tax break to keep the Iowa Speedway in Newton moving forward.

Gov. Terry Branstad’s office announced Monday he will sign a bill giving NASCAR the same tax deal that previous owners had. The deal had originally applied only if Iowans retained partial ownership of the track.

Gov. Branstad will sign the bill Wednesday.

NASCAR bought the track last fall.

LGBTQ ADVOCATE: Shock And Awe ‘Opens Ears’

The leopard dyed hair, the tattoos – It’s clear, drag performer Sharon Needles is all about shock and awe.

“Because the second you’re shocked, your ears open,” said Needles, who was born Aaron Cody and grew up in Newton, IA.

Needles hopes students, educators and the community open their ears and eyes when he talks about bullying, because Needles know bullying like he knows his makeup.

“School was really hard.  I’ve always been kind of picked on for being weird and it wasn’t until about fourth or fifth grade, where I went from being strange or weird then it turned into being a gay issue.”

According to a survey by Lambda Legal, nearly 40-percent of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender are physically harassed.  Nearly 78-percent are verbally harassed and nearly 19-percent hear similar remarks from faculty or school staff.

NATIONAL ATTENTION: Jasper Co. Cold Case TV Show Airs

The cold case arrest of 53-year old Theresa Supino received nationwide attention Friday.

Supino is charged with two counts of first degree murder dating back to March 3rd, 1983 when 17-year old Melisa Gregory and 20-year old Steven Fisher were found beaten to death at the Copper Dollar Ranch in rural Jasper County.

Despite a lengthy investigation, the case went unsolved for 31-years. That changed when TNT’s “Cold Justice” got involved with the case.

The TV show’s work led to Supino’s arrest on March 3rd of this year.

“This case has hung over this town for 31 years, Jasper County sheriff’s office has never given up on this case and we’re optimistic we can do something to move it forward this week,” show cast member and Texas prosecutor, Kelly Siegler said.

CHARGES PENDING: Jasper County Shooting

The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office says criminal charges are pending in connection with an accidental shooting.

The shooting happened Friday afternoon. Deputies from the sheriff’s office and Newton police officers were called to the Skiff Hospital in Newton at 2:12 on a report of a man being treated for a non-life threatening gunshot wound to the leg.

In an interview, the man reported he had been shot by someone else in rural Jasper County. He provided a description of two suspects and a vehicle they had left the scene in. Those descriptions were broadcast to local law enforcement and they tried to locate the vehicle.

During the investigation officers determined the victim had accidentally shot himself and there was no one else involved.

The investigation into the incident is continuing and charges are pending against the man. His name is not being released at this time.