AP top news in Iowa at 3:59 p.m. CST

Iowa officials say state’s Medicaid website downDES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa officials say a state Medicaid website is down after thousands were told to use it to reapply for health insurance.

The state Department of Human Services told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1afi3oChttp://dmreg.co/1afi3oC ) that the website was down Saturday because it was undergoing scheduled maintenance. The agency says it is expected to be back up by 7 p.m. Saturday.

The issue affects Iowans who tried to apply for insurance through the federal hub and were told they might qualify for Medicaid. DHS sent emails and letters to nearly 16,000 Iowans to tell them a delay in paperwork meant there would be no guarantee of coverage on Jan. 1.

A spokeswoman also told the Register that an alternative call center is not staffed on the weekend.


Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.comhttp://www.desmoinesregister.com


Board files charges against former UI professorIOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A former University of Iowa radiology professor who was fired for engaging in harassing behavior toward colleagues faces charges after failing to complete a state-ordered mental and physical evaluation.

The Iowa Board of Medicine says in a statement of charges filed Dec. 20 that 52-year-old Malik Juweid (joo-WAYD’) failed to complete the exam within 90 days of Aug. 13. The board first issued the order in November 2011, but Juweid filed an objection.

UI officials accused Juweid of harassing his former co-workers and creating a hostile work environment. He was fired in August 2011 and tried to reverse a decision by the Iowa Board of Regents to uphold his firing.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says (http://icp-c.com/19s8Dpuhttp://icp-c.com/19s8Dpu ) Juweid has a hearing before the board scheduled in March 2014.


Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/http://www.press-citizen.com/


Iowa woman wins ring inspired by Princess DianaDAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A Cedar Rapids woman who visited a Davenport museum exhibit about Princess Diana says she cried tears of joy when she learned she had won a raffle for a ring inspired by royalty.

Maria Shebetka visited Davenport’s Putnam Museum in October to see the exhibit, “Diana, a Celebration.” She was told recently she won a sapphire and diamond ring by Bettendorf jeweler James Revell. It’s made with a 5.39-carat Chatham sapphire that’s surrounded by 14 diamonds and white gold. It’s inspired by the Princess of Wales’ engagement ring.

The jewelry, valued at $7,000, was the prize for signing up for a museum membership. The Quad-City Times reports (http://bit.ly/1gaAFuFhttp://bit.ly/1gaAFuF ) the ring was made in honor of the exhibit and a winner was drawn Dec. 20. Shebetka received the ring Friday.


Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes.comhttp://www.qctimes.com


Untreated wastewater overflow reported in DubuqueDUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — Dubuque city officials say a plugged sanitary sewer pipe has caused untreated wastewater to flow down a street and into a storm sewer intake.

The City of Dubuque Public Works Department says it received a report about the incident in the 500 block of Samuel Street Saturday morning. Crews were able to remove the blockage a short time later.

Officials are inspecting the line to try to identify the cause of the blockage. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is warning people to keep children and pets away from the area for 48 hours.


Ames clinic gives injured animals new purposeAMES, Iowa (AP) — A clinic at Iowa State University is working to help injured wildlife animals and give others new purpose through education.

The Wildlife Care Clinic at the school’s Lloyd Veterinary Medical Center takes in injured animals and helps them get well enough for release, The Des Moines Register reported (http://dmreg.co/18Q3fBvhttp://dmreg.co/18Q3fBv ). If a creature’s injuries are too severe, officials try to keep the animal for educational programs.

That was the case with Ernie the opossum, now a permanent resident at the clinic. He arrived in February with a missing eye, broken teeth and a frostbitten tail. He now travels the state with staff and recently wore a red Superman cape for Halloween.

“Give him an orange, and he doesn’t care,” said Grisselle Ambert, an ISU student who works at the clinic. “He wears the cape with pride.”

There are currently six disabled animals that are used for educational purposes. They include creatures like Harvey the great horned owl and Sora the red-tailed hawk. Harvey had his left eye removed, and Sora’s right shoulder is permanently dislocated.

The animals come from across Iowa and parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin. The clinic, which opened in 1990, is considered one of a few in the Midwest with resources for surgery, blood work, X-rays and other treatments. There are two professional staff members and several ISU students who help run the clinic. Some are paid staff and others volunteer.

“There is no other place like it in Iowa that sees and treats all wildlife, including mammals, waterfowl, songbirds, marsupials and raptors,” said Bianca Zaffarano, the clinic’s director.

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