Court Orders Trial in Lawsuit Against Iowa Newspaper

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The Iowa Supreme Court has ordered a trial on one count of a lawsuit against the Ames Tribune.

The lawsuit was filed by a former columnist after a dispute in 2002 over a column he wrote about Iowa State University athletics. The newspaper refused to print the column by Todd Stevens, a freelance writer. The editors were troubled by its negative comments.

Editors agreed to publish a “farewell” column, along with a column written by the sports editor. In his lawsuit, Stevens claimed the editor’s comments defamed him, in part because it said he rarely attended events about which he wrote.

In Friday’s ruling, the Supreme Court dismissed several claims in the lawsuit but sent the case back for trial on a claim about Stevens’ attendance.

Tribune Publisher Joseph Craig says newspaper officials were happy that most of the lawsuit was dismissed.

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