Report: Iowa pension fund has $6.8B in unfunded liabilities

DES MOINES (AP) — A report shows Iowa's largest public employee pension fund has stabilized thanks to solid investment returns but still has $6.8 billion in unfunded liabilities.

The Des Moines Register reports that study released Thursday on the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System predicts the system's long-term unfunded liabilities will likely grow to $7 billion over the next five years.

The study predicts the unfunded liabilities will then begin to gradually decline and fully disappear by 2046.

Brent Banister is the chief pension actuary at Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting, LLC, which prepared the report. He says there's no concern that the system's retirees won't get their pension checks.

The pension fund has 360,000 members, including current, former and retired employees of state government, cities, counties, school districts and other government agencies.

Judge hears arguments on motion to toss fetal heartbeat law

DES MOINES (AP) — A state court judge will hear arguments in a legal challenge to Iowa's fetal heartbeat law, an abortion bill considered one of the strictest in the country.

The law signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds in May would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically around six weeks of pregnancy.

The law was to take effect in July 1, but a legal challenge by abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood and the Emma Goldman Clinic, halted its implementation.

The abortion providers and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa are asking Judge Michael Huppert to declare the law unconstitutional and end the case without a trial in what is called a summary judgment.

The attorney for Reynolds and the state says there are many disputed issues that must be heard at trial.

Northeast Iowa woman's death listed as a homicide

EARLVILLE (AP) — Authorities have ruled the death of a northeast Iowa woman was a homicide.

Delaware County authorities initially reported that 39-year-old Amy Mullis had been fatally injured in a fall Nov. 10 at her farm about 4 miles northwest of Earlville. The Iowa Public Safety Department said in a news release Friday that Todd Mullis had called 911 and said no one had seen what happened — that her death was unattended.

The department says an autopsy report has since listed the manner of her death as homicide.

No arrests have been reported.

Man convicted of leaving scene after woman's fatal car leap

FORT MADISON (AP) — A man has been convicted of leaving the scene after his girlfriend leaped to her death from his car in southeast Iowa.

Lee County court records say 29-year-old Damian Hamann was found guilty Wednesday of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 1.

Hamann told investigators that 20-year-old Sadie Alvarado jumped from his car on Aug. 5 in rural Lee County as they were arguing. He says he drove home to Morning Sun but went back later to look for her.

Her body already had been found by a passer-by. An autopsy report shows she suffered blunt force injuries after her leap and had a blood alcohol level of more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Alvarado lived in Muscatine.

Former manager pleads guilty to stealing from store

CHARLES CITY (AP) — A man is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 22 for stealing nearly $5,400 from a store he managed in northern Iowa's Charles City.

Floyd County court records say 34-year-old Joseph Raveling pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft. Prosecutors say he stole the money from a Dollar General store during December 2016 and January 2017.

Prosecutors have agreed to recommend a suspended five-year prison sentence, three to five years of probation and that he pay restitution of nearly $3,800. The judge is not bound by the plea agreement, however.