History of Today:
Lady Jane Grey, queen of England for only nine days, was executed for high treason.
Chile formally proclaimed its independence from Spain.
The Utah Territory granted women the right to vote but later revoked it in 1887.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was formed.
Pu Yi, the last emperor in the Manchu dynasty in China, abdicated his throne following the establishment of a republic under Sun Yat-sen.
American prisoners of war from the Vietnam war were released by North Vietnam.
President Clinton was aquitted by the Senate on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.
Yugoslavian ex-president Slobodan Milosevic went to trial for war crimes.
The 2010 Winter Olympics opened in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The games began tragically when a luger from the Republic of Georgia, Nodar Kumaritashvili, dies in a crash during training run.
News Leading Up To Today:
Messy storm makes its way across the South
Across the South, winter-weary residents are waking up to a region encased in ice, snow and freezing rain, with forecasters warning that the worst of the potentially “catastrophic” storm is yet to come.
From Texas to the Carolinas and the South’s business hub in Atlanta, roads Wednesday are slick with ice, thousands are without power, and a wintry mix is falling in many areas. The Mid-Atlantic region also is expected to be hit as the storm crawls east.
Officials say the biggest concern is ice, which could knock out power for days in wide swaths. In Atlanta, where a storm took the metro region by surprise and stranded thousands in vehicles just two weeks ago, emergency workers stand at the ready. Out-of-state utility vehicles are gathered, Georgia National Guard troops are on standby, and shelters are opening.
Storm has Amtrak reducing service
Amtrak is suspending some trains as a winter storm threatens the South and the Northeast. Amtrak says the suspensions Wednesday are meant to reduce the exposure of passengers, crews and equipment to extreme weather. The suspensions include trains between New York and several destinations in the South and the auto train between Washington’s northern Virginia suburbs and Orlando, Fla. Amtrak says other services, including the Northeast Corridor, are scheduled to operate.
The suspensions include Crescent trains between New York and New Orleans; Silver Meteor and Silver Star trains between New York and Miami; Carolinian trains between New York and Charlotte, N.C.; Palmetto trains between New York and Savannah, Ga.; and Piedmont trains between Charlotte and Raleigh in North Carolina.
Storm threatening 100 mph gusts hits soggy Britain
Britain’s west coast is being battered by wind gusts that could reach 100 mph (160 kph) as a new storm pummels the flood-stricken country. The Meteorological Office has issued a highest-level red warning of “exceptionally strong winds” for west Wales and northwest England.
It says gusts of between 80 and 100 mph could cause widespread structural damage and loss of power. England had its wettest January since records were first kept almost 250 years ago, and the country has been lashed by wind and rain since December.
Resulting floods have drenched the southwestern coast of England, the low-lying Somerset Levels and the Thames Valley, west of London, where hundreds of properties have been swamped as the river burst its banks this week.
1 dead, at least 4 injured in NYC bus-truck crash
Authorities say a New York City bus and a truck collided in a Manhattan intersection, then barreled into scaffolding, killing the bus driver and injuring at least four other people. Fire officials say two people were critically injured in the crash, which happened this morning in Greenwich Village. Officials say the truck driver is being questioned at the hospital, while being treated for minor injuries.
TV reports show that the collision sent both vehicles onto the sidewalk, into scaffolding that collapsed and into a building at 14th Street and 7th Avenue.
Obama to raise minimum wage for contract workers
President Barack Obama is raising the minimum wage for federal contractors from $7.25 to $10.10. Obama will sign the executive order this afternoon in the East Room of the White House. He first announced the measure during his State of the Union address. Because the measure applies only to new contracts, officials have said it will affect just a few hundred thousand workers. That’s a small percentage of the more than 2 million federal contractors.
The White House says the order requires that employees who work for tips make at least $10.10 overall. It also prevents contract workers from being paid less than others if they have disabilities that affect their productivity. Obama is also calling on Congress to pass Democratic legislation to raise wages for all workers to $10.10.
Eurozone industry suffers end of 2013 reverse
Official figures show that industry across the 18-country eurozone suffered a reverse at the end of 2013. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, says Wednesday that industrial production fell a monthly 0.7 percent in December, more than the 0.3 percent contraction anticipated in the markets.
As a result, industrial output increased a quarterly 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter. Though up on the flat reading of the previous three-month period, it provides further evidence that the eurozone economic recovery is failing to gain much momentum.
On Friday, the first estimate of eurozone growth is published. The consensus in the markets is that the region eked out quarterly growth of 0.2 percent, just ahead of the previous quarter’s 0.1 percent. Analysts said Wednesday’s figures represent a downside risk to the consensus.
Hearing on resentencing for terror plotter Padilla
After months of delay, a South Florida judge today will begin examining the issues surrounding the resentencing of convicted terrorism plotter Jose Padilla. Padilla originally was sentenced to 17 years of prison for terrorism support and conspiracy convictions. A federal appeals court ruled in 2011 that the sentence was too lenient, given Padilla’s lengthy criminal record and terrorist training at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan.
Since then, the case has been in limbo. Padilla was held as an enemy combatant without charge for over three years. Initial claims he plotted to set off a radioactive device on U.S. soil were dropped.
Deliberations could begin in Florida loud-music killing trial
A jury in Jacksonville, Fla., could begin deliberations today in the trial of a man charged with firing his gun into an SUV of teen boys at a local convenience store, killing one of them. Michael Dunn says he had asked the teens to turn down their blasting stereo. The confrontation in 2012 turned into an argument, but Dunn testified that he acted in self-defense when he saw the barrel of a gun.
MIT apologizes for erroneous acceptance email
Officials at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are apologizing after erroneously telling some applicants that they had been accepted. The mass email was about financial aid, but it ended with the phrase: “You are on this list because you are admitted to MIT.”
But that wasn’t true. MIT says the mistake happened when email lists were consolidated, causing part of a message intended for applicants to be overwritten with a portion intended for students who were accepted in December. It was unclear how many applicants received the erroneous email. There have been reports that the admissions office didn’t notice the error until applicants started posting questions on an office website. Admissions counselor Chris Peterson wrote that it “crushes” him that he may have caused some unintentional disappointment.
Accused Murderer Claims He’s Too Sick to Stand Trial
The lawyer for a former Iowa City man says his client is too sick to remain in jail awaiting trial in the slaying of the client’s wife 17 years ago. Attorney Leon Spies has filed court documents seeking the release of 73-year-old John Bloomfield. Authorities arrested Bloomfield last November in Minnesota after conducting additional DNA testing in the 1997 slaying of 57-year-old Frances Bloomfield.
Airport Hires Outside Fire Protection
The Des Moines airport board has hired a private company to provide fire protection. The board voted unanimously yesterday for a two-year contract with Pro-Tec Fire Services, starting at $921,000 a year. Pro-Tec will replace the Iowa Air National Guard’s fire department, which will disband later this year.
Regents President Considers Privitazation
Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter says a consultant will consider whether to privatize non-essential university enterprises such as golf courses and power plants. Rastetter told the University of Iowa Faculty Senate yesterday that Deloitte Consulting will also likely find ways to save money by pooling the universities’ purchasing power and eliminating duplicative programs. The regents hired Deloitte at an estimated cost of $2.5 million.
Youth Pastor Accused of Sex Abuse
A former Des Moines youth pastor accused of sexually abusing two teenage girls has pleaded guilty in the case. Twenty-seven-year-old Ryan McKelvey pleaded guilty to charges of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation by a clergy. Sentencing in the case has been scheduled for March 24th.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 14. Wind chill values as low as zero. Breezy, with a light and variable wind becoming south 13 to 18 mph in the evening. Winds could gust as high as 26 mph.
Thursday: Partly sunny, with a high near 34. Breezy, with a south wind 16 to 20 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 28 mph.
Thursday Night: A 20 percent chance of snow after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 8. Wind chill values as low as -5. Blustery, with a northwest wind 11 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.
Friday: A 20 percent chance of snow before 7am. Partly sunny, with a high near 15. North northwest wind 11 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph.
Friday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 1.
Saturday: Snow likely after 7am. Cloudy, with a high near 25. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Saturday Night: Snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. Chance of precipitation is 70%.
Sunday: Partly sunny, with a high near 29.
Sunrise: 7:17am Sunset: 5:31pm
Sports Broadcasts Today:
Forest City at West Hancock Basketball with Orin Harris 6:15pm (KHAM 103.1fm)
Newman Catholic at North Iowa Basketball with A. J. Taylor at 6:15pm (KIOW 107.3fm)