Monday Reads

It’s a new week at the Statehouse, and Lee/Gazette’s Charlotte Eby reports that lawmakers will try to figure out how Iowa banks spent federal bailout money. State regulators and bank officials are set to testify before the Legislative Oversight Committee. Expect pay-per-view worthy drama. OK, maybe not.

Lawmakers will also look at a bill that would make members of the clergy mandatory reporters of child abuse. Confessionals would be exempted.

Also on the Legislature’s agenda are cliches, and lots of them. At the end of the day, Radio Iowa’s O. Kay Henderson is focused like a laser on the culprits. Her story, quite frankly, is a win-win.

The Des Moines Register continues coverage this morning of the story it broke Sundayon the investigation into a “group home” for mentally retarded men who worked at a nearby turkey plant. The home, a dilapidated shack called the “bunkhouse” in Atalissa, was evacuated by order of the fire marshal. Today’s story talks about how unregulated homes are not unusual in Iowa. Tracking them down and checking them out is difficult.

So what’s up with our neighbors these days?

Well, in Illinois, you can add one more group to the list of people the media is out to get. The bishop of the Peoria Diocese blames the media, and the courts, for unfair handling of sexual abuse allegations.

“Amid all the tensions of our nation’s culture wars and in the face of the media’s intense hatred for our Catholic faith, I am increasingly concerned that our Church in effect no longer enjoys equal justice under the law,”Bishop Daniel Jenky wrote in a letter released over the weekend.

In Nebraska, state lawmakers are considering legislation that would require pregnant women seeking an abortion to first have an ultrasound. Eleven states are considering such laws. Nebraska, Texas and Indiana would require women to be shown an ultrasound image of the fetus. Oklahoma already has that requirement on the books.

The Omaha World-Herald is the latest paper to publish a trends piece on the return of vinyl records.

And, finally, in a huge development, gold medalist and Iowa’s ever-smiling sweetheart Shawn Johnson has been picked to appear on Dancing with the Stars. At 17, she will be the youngest-ever contestant. She’ll be up against the likes of singer Jewel, former Go-Go Belinda Carlisle and Hall of Fame NY Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor.

My daughters will be thrilled.

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