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Des Moines Register Reported Acquitted; Iowa Near New COVID Milestone


404 03.10.21

Jurors have acquitted an Iowa journalist who was pepper-sprayed and arrested by police while covering a protest.  Critics have derided the case as an attack on press freedom and an abuse of prosecutorial discretion. 

A jury found Des Moines Register reporter Andrea Sahouri not guilty on misdemeanor charges of failure to disperse and interference with official acts. It also acquitted her former boyfriend, Spenser Robnett, of the same charges, which carried the threat of fines and even jail time. 

The verdict came after a three-day trial in Des Moines.

Monday was the one-year anniversary of the first cases of Covid being reported in the state. At her weekly news conference today, Governor Kim Reynolds said that Iowa is about to hit another, more positive milestone. Reynolds announced that the one-millionth Iowan will be vaccinated against the virus sometime in the next few days. Reynolds added that Iowa has administered more than 950 thousand doses of the vaccine. That amounts to 27% of the population.

Thirteen-percent of Iowans have been fully vaccinated. Monday, a top state health official said Iowa will open COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to Iowans under 65 with underlying conditions because some counties are moving quickly through vaccinating their senior population.

While getting scheduled for an appointment is still a challenge. Iowans 65 and older can now call 211 to talk with a “vaccine navigator” to get scheduled for a shot.

Almost 94% of Iowans who are 65 and older have gotten at least their first dose of a vaccine, according to the governor. Next week, nearly 95,000 first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are headed to Iowa and possibly 4000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well. 

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