Briefs

For insurance, few acknowledge smoking

DES MOINES (AP) – Surveys show about 20 percent of adults in Iowa smoke regularly, but a much smaller percentage acknowledged their habit when signing up for insurance with federally mandated forms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20 percent of Iowans smoked in 2011. But when Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield used federally required language to ask applicants about their tobacco use, only 7 percent acknowledged smoking.

The Affordable Care Act doesn’t allow insurers to charge more for customers with many health problems, but it allows higher fees for regular tobacco users.

Murder, woman’s disappearance unsolved

DES MOINES (AP) – Investigators hoping for a break in the 2011 death of an elderly Iowa man and his missing wife reached out to the public Wednesday, saying they need more information to solve the case.

Exactly three years after Bill Wood was found fatally shot in his burned rural Norwalk home, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation released a statement to highlight the case. Wood’s wife, Kay, went missing the day her husband’s body was discovered.

DCI Special Agent Michael Motsinger said information involving the case still comes in but not as frequently, and he hopes that reminding people of the circumstances of the case may help uncover an important lead.

Bill Wood was 79 when he was shot multiple times and his home was set on fire on July 30, 2011. His badly burned body was recovered from the home. His 72-year-old wife has never been found.

The couple’s 2009 red Chevrolet Silverado pickup was found at an apartment complex in Kansas City, Missouri, the day after their home was burned. A witness reported seeing a man walking away from the truck, and a police sketch of a slender white man in his late 40s to early 60s with short gray and white hair has been circulated as a person of interest.

The couple was last seen the morning of July 30, a Saturday, at an auction house in Stuart. Family members have said Wood and his wife enjoyed collecting antiques, and they speculate robbery could have been a motive.

Fire-damaged railroad bridge reopens

DUBUQUE (AP) – Officials said a railroad bridge has reopened in rural Dubuque County only a day after what appeared to be a devastating fire.

Canadian Pacific Railway spokeswoman Salem Woodrow said the bridge just north of the Dubuque/Jackson county line reopened Tuesday.

The bridge caught on fire Monday, and local fire officials had speculated it was destroyed.

The Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office said welders were working on the bridge about 30 minutes before Canadian Pacific workers noticed the fire.