Railroad acknowledges Iowa derailment was flood related

OMAHA, Neb. — BNSF Railway acknowledged Friday flooding played a role in a derailment that loosed thousands of gallons of oil into northwest Iowa floodwaters.

Railroad spokesman Andy Williams wouldn't say whether the train engineer knew or should have known about washed-out tracks mentioned in a preliminary federal report released Thursday.

"The train was operating within its authority," Williams told The Associated Press.

"The cause of the derailment is flood related," he said, declining to comment further.

The National Transportation Safety Board report cited heavy rainfall in the area 48 hours before the June 22 derailment south of Doon. The report said the water washed out track and flooded a tributary of the nearby Little Rock River. The report stopped short of saying the flooding caused the 32-car derailment.

Ten of the oil tank cars were breached, the report said, releasing about 230,000 gallons of tar sands oil from Canada that was headed to a Texas refinery. Last month BNSF updated its similar spill estimate, saying that 160,000 gallons had leaked.

The derailment site cleanup is expected to take several months.

The federal report also said the train was moving at 48 mph — just below the authorized speed for that stretch.

Woman who texted man 696 times in April is charged

FOREST CITY — Authorities said a Minnesota woman who sent 696 text messages to a northern Iowa man in April violated a no-contact order.

Winnebago County District Court records said 34-year-old Katie Christian, of Emmons, Minnesota, is charged with stalking and other crimes. Her arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 24 in Forest City. Attempts to reach her attorney Friday were unsuccessful.

A criminal complaint said she also made 10 phone calls and went to the man's Lake Mills house three times in an attempt to make contact with him or his daughter.

Boehner says GOP's "hands full," would do trade differently

DES MOINES — Former Republican House Speaker John Boehner said his party has an uphill climb in its goal to hold the majority.

Boehner spoke during an impromptu press conference at the Iowa State Fair Friday. Boehner, who left office in 2015, said he would "do this a little differently," when asked about the Trump administration's tariffs on Chinese goods, as well as on steel and aluminum from allies.

Boehner said "I always thought you caught more bees with honey than vinegar."

Boehner batted down questions of a presidential campaign while touring the fair, known for attracting White House prospects in the early presidential caucus state.

The former Ohio representative said he was in Des Moines visiting former Rep. Tom Latham, an Iowa Republican and close friend, and "had a few extra hours."

Gov. Rauner signs law requiring state jobs be in capital

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law requiring state jobs to be located in the capital city unless there's good reason to put them elsewhere.

The Republican's action Thursday is designed to save state money — and Springfield's pride. It makes Sangamon County what Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez called the "default location" for government employees.

The Leland Grove Republican sponsored the measure. A study has identified 400 jobs could potentially move to Springfield. A job won't move until it becomes vacant. Newly created jobs based outside of Sangamon County must be justified.

Jimenez said it "promotes Lincoln's hometown and his vision" for the capital.

Lincoln was among lawmakers called the "Long Nine" who succeeded in moving the state capital to Springfield from Vandalia in 1837.