Mom accused of leaving kids home alone pleads not guilty

An Iowa mother accused of leaving her four children home alone while she traveled to Europe has pleaded not guilty.

Court records say Erin Macke filed a written plea last week to four counts of child endangerment and one of transferring a firearm to a person under 21. Police said the latter charge was filed because a firearm was left at home within the children's reach. Records don't show a trial date.

Police have said Macke, of suburban Des Moines, tried but failed to make child care arrangements for her children — two age 12, one 7, one 6 — before leaving Sept. 20 for a vacation in Germany. Police say the father of one of the children was called by his child the next day, and he called police.