CEDAR RAPIDS – Iowa investigators continue to follow leads in the case of a $7.5 million Hot Lotto that was drawn nearly two years ago.
The ticket, valued at $7.5 million after taxes, was drawn by the Iowa Lottery Dec. 29, 2010, but the prize has never been awarded.
A New York attorney acting on behalf of a Belize-based investment trust filed paperwork for the prize less than two hours before the jackpot was slated to expire a year ago. However, the claim was withdrawn after Lottery officials said they would not pay the money unless their questions were answered.
The case remains under investigation by the Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office. A DCI agent said the agency is following up on a number of legal documents that have been subpoenaed. It is waiting for some from out of state, he said.
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Applicants with mental-health issues still worry law enforcers.The number of Iowans with permits to carry concealed weapons increased dramatically again this year, the second year of relaxed laws governing their issuance. Through the first 11 months of this year, sheriffs in Iowa’s 99 counties had issued 37,327 permits. Those permits, combined with the 102,795 permits issued in 2011 — the first year after Iowa went from a “may issue” to a “shall issue” state — brings to more than 140,000 the number of Iowans licensed to carry weapons. At the end of 2010, before the law change, 1.3 percent of Iowans had carry permits. That percentage increased to 3.3 percent at the end of last year and stands at 4.6 percent through the first 11 months of this year. The number of new permits issued this year is about equal to the cumulative number of Iowans who had permits to carry before the law changed on Jan. 1, 2011, said Ross Loder, bureau chief of the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Though the law seems to be working well, with few untoward incidents involving permit holders, sheriffs remain concerned that system allows potentially dangerous people to buy and carry handguns. The law that liberalized the issuance of weapons permits includes a provision requiring the Department of Public Safety to forward disqualifying mental health information to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Checks System. While the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits the possession of firearms by the mentally ill, it specifies that people can be deprived of that right only if they have been declared mentally unfit by a court or have been committed to an institution for the mentally ill.
I have to add my two cents here. I have an elementary aged child. We’ve had the conversation. Everyone knows the horror that unfolded on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The news has gone on and on about it and the politicians are talking about more gun regulations.
I asked my daughter how she felt about having someone guarding the school with a gun. She told me that she would feel better if there were armed guards there. She told me that she does not feel safe at school. She complains she is bullied. We are talking about home schooling.
Cedar Rapids has a top-heavy school district. A local bus driver told me that the $44.5 million new administration building they’re in has bullet proof glass in it. I wonder if our schools have bullet proof glass in them?