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Weird Iowa: A Rodeo Clown Marijuana Farmer, Extreme Weather and Michele Bachman Trials

Weird Iowa: A Rodeo Clown Marijuana Farmer, Extreme Weather and Michele Bachman Trials Weird Iowa: A Rodeo Clown Marijuana Farmer, Extreme Weather and Michele Bachman Trials
Marion man had two professions, authorities say, both somewhat weird: rodeo clown and marijuana farmer.

Rory Meeks, 55, of Marion, was sentenced this week to 20 years in federal prison after being found guilty for growing a large amount of marijuana.  Meeks was convicted in March  of growing 1,000 marijuana plants from 2004-2011 in Jones County. Meeks and others then harvested the plants in the fall, processed the plants at a house the same county then sold the marijuana over the fall and winter.

Iowa's weather has been weird, or downright extreme recently.

May began with snow, then brutally hot temperatures, and now drought-busting rains as  Iowa experiences its wettest spring ever. In Urbandale that's meant some soggy basements and a fresh crop of toadstools.

A week's worth of downpours threatens serious damage in Iowa City, with streets under water and residents evacuating some neighborhoods. Nearly five years exactly from when a so-called "500-year flood" wreaked havoc on several parts of eastern Iowa, residents in Iowa City fear the days ahead will bring a repeat.

While some homeowners packed up their belongings and headed for higher, drier ground, others fished in the Iowa River, which has spilled into their yards.

Is it weird that vestiges of the 2012 presidential campaign continue to live on in Iowa?

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachman -- who won the Iowa Straw Poll in August 2011 before tanking in the Iowa Caucuses --  learned this week that she should plan on a seven-day trial in Heki v. Bachmann. The trial is a lawsuit filed by a former Johnston campaign volunteer, who alleges a Bachmann staffer stole her email list for campaign use. The court date was scheduled for May 14, 2014. 

And although she said there was no link, Bachmann announced this week that she will not seek re-election next year.

And each week we have some weird head-scratchers from police reports and courts.

First up, the second murder trial of an Ames homeless man began this week, and attorneys say the fatal brawl was sparked by a dispute over beer. Defense Attorney Patrick Peters told a jury that homeless drifter  Glenn A. Smith, 50, only stabbed another to save himself during a drunken fight in May of 2008. Smith is accused of stabbing Danny McGonigle in a homeless camp south of the Iowa Department of Transportation building on May 19, 2008. McGonigle died en route to the hospital; he had 32 stab wounds. 

Then a West Des Moines man was allegedly so upset that a clerk at a  Kum & Go convenience store wouldn’t sell him alcohol that he flung his fast food against the store window. The clerk told Todd Paul Brekke he couldn't sell him beer after 2 a.m., which reportedly prompted Brekke's action. He was charged with public intoxication.

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