- The Waldorf College Theatre Company's performance of The Tempest at Lund Pond on the Waldorf campus has been postponed to Tuesday, May 21 at 6:30 p.m. due to pending weather conditions. In case of rain on Tuesday, the performance will take place in the Atrium.:
- 5/20/13, The Forest City Parks and Rec has cancelled all ball practices at Pammel Park for today. :
- 5/20/13-No Forest City Park and Rec Baseball practice today at the Waldorf Field.:
UNION CONTRACT-IOWA-BRANSTAD Branstad praises lack of raises in union contract DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Governor Terry Branstad says a new two-year contract for state workers marks the first time since collective bargaining began in Iowa that no overall pay increases were awarded. The contract for 20,000 members of Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was announced Thursday. Under the deal, workers won’t have to pay toward health care premiums. The contract was reached through neutral arbitration after the two sides could not resolve their differences on health care through negotiation. The union wanted to maintain current terms, while Branstad had wanted employees to pay 20 percent of health care costs. Still, Branstad said this contract is less expensive than a deal with raises. The contract will add $107 million to the state’s costs over two years. UNION CONTRACT-IOWA No health contribution in state worker contract
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Workers in Iowa’s largest public sector union won’t have to pay a contribution to their health insurance under a new two-year contract issued by an arbitrator. The award for the 20,000 members of Iowa Council 61 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees was announced Thursday. The contract includes no raises, except for step increases for workers who haven’t reached top pay scale. Union President Danny Homan says the union and Governor Terry Branstad agreed on wages during negotiations, but the process went to arbitration because the two sides couldn’t resolve health care. Branstad called for union members to start paying a portion of health care costs, while the union sought to maintain current benefits. In a statement, Branstad says he’s disappointed by the health care decision.
SENATE EDUCATION REFORM Iowa Senate committee OKs education reform bill DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Senate panel approved a beefed-up version of the governor’s education reform plan that requires increased teacher pay and institutes leadership programs. The Senate Education Committee approved the measure Thursday by a 9 to 6 vote, with all Democrats in support and Republicans opposed. Bill sponsor Senator Herman Quirmbach of Ames says the Senate’s version would cost $190 million. That’s more expensive than Republican Governor Terry Branstad’s plan. The measure increases minimum teacher salaries to $35,000 and offers options to school districts for leadership programs. The Senate plan includes a 4 percent funding increase to school districts in coming two fiscal years. Republicans opposed the bill, saying it removes experienced teachers from the classroom to mentor other educators. The House has approved a bill limiting raises and making reforms voluntary.
DEAD BILLS-IOWA Bills die as Iowa Legislature faces deadline DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Some of the hundreds of bills introduced in the Legislature will die this week as lawmakers run up against a self-imposed deadline. Most high-profile measures dealing with issues like property tax changes and education reform are moving through the process, but others dealing with gay marriage, abortion and gun control won’t survive the Friday deadline. Under the Legislature’s rules, bills die if they haven’t been approved by a committee by Friday, though they can be eligible in the session next year. Lawmakers won’t return to work until Monday. The Legislative Services Agency says 478 bills were introduced in the House this year and 354 in the Senate. Last year, 640 House and 478 Senate bills were introduced.
DAY CARE-ABUSE Iowa man pleads not guilty in day care abuse case (Information in the following story is from: KCCI-TV, http://www.kcci.com) DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Des Moines man accused of sexually abusing children at his wife’s home day care has pleaded not guilty in the case. David Glenn Smith entered a not guilty plea Thursday. He’s charged with second-degree sexual abuse. Smith’s wife ran a day care out of the couple’s home. Police say they learned of the alleged abuse after a child told a parent. Several more children interviewed by investigators said they had either been abused or witnessed abuse. Police say Smith molested several children between the ages of 4 and 7 over four years. Television station KCCI reports Smith’s wife will not be charged but the day care has been shut down. Smith’s trial date is scheduled for early May.
MEDICAID FRAUD-LAWSUIT Owner of Iowa facilities named in Medicaid lawsuit DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s attorney general is accusing the owners of two care facilities in southeast Iowa of laundering money and making fraudulent Medicaid claims. Attorney General Tom Miller filed a civil lawsuit in Lee County District Court against Alan Israel of Phoenix, Arizona. He owns Lexington Square care facility and Dave’s Place, a nursing facility now known as Lexington Place. The lawsuit claims Israel engaged in a money laundering scheme through the Lexington Square facility. That includes submitting improper expenses to the Iowa Medicaid program for personal items like hotels, airline and train travel. The state is seeking damages of more than $17 million, and unspecified civil penalties. The lawsuit names Israel’s son, Jason, who is a minority owner of the facilities. A message for Alan Israel was not immediately returned Thursday.
IOWA-SPONSORED RESEARCH Iowa, ISU: New research policy will help companies IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Companies that sponsor research at Iowa State University and University of Iowa now have the option of securing exclusive licenses to use any breakthroughs developed. The universities announced Thursday that companies that pay a $15,000 fee when they sponsor research will be guaranteed the right to use any intellectual property developed. Typically, such licenses have been negotiated after researchers make discoveries and companies want to turn them into products. UI Vice President for Research Dan Reed said license negotiations can be slow and create uncertainty for companies, which do not know their financial obligations. He says the new option gives research sponsors some certainty up-front and will move more ideas into the marketplace faster. Companies have to pay 1 percent royalties on product sales only after they reach $20 million.
IOWA-FERENTZ HIRING Ferentz’s future son-in-law to get new supervisor IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – The University of Iowa says an administrative assistant who is the future son-in-law of Coach Kirk Ferentz will no longer report to the football program to avoid nepotism concerns. Athletic director Gary Barta said Thursday that Tyler Barnes would now be supervised by Rick Klatt, who oversees the department’s marketing and media relations. He said Barnes had been a model employee, but the change in supervision was necessary because Barnes is planning to marry Ferentz’s 25-year-old daughter in July. The announcement comes after The Gazette reported Ferentz didn’t disclose the relationship earlier to Barta. University records show that Ferentz last fall sought and received permission to extend Barnes’ temporary position for a second year through Jan. 2014. Barta says a university review will determine Barnes’ “long-term employment options.”
MVC-DRAKE-BRADLEY Drake beats Bradley 81-66 in MVC tournament ST. LOUIS (AP) – Chris Hines scored 16 points and Drake defeated Bradley 81-66 Thursday in the opener of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. The ninth-seeded Bulldogs (15-16) earned a quarterfinal game against regular-season champion Creighton on Friday. Joey King scored 15 and Gary Ricks added 14 points for Drake. The Bulldogs led by as many as 17 points in the first half, though the Braves scored the last eight of the half to cut Drake’s lead at the break to 41-32. Bradley (16-16) got within three with 6 1/2 minutes left, but Drake went on a 13-0 run to put it out of reach in St. Louis, Missouri. Jake Eastman had 15 points and eight rebounds for the eighth-seeded Braves. Will Egolf also scored 15 points, Walt Lemon Jr. scored 14 and Tyshon Pickett added 11 for Bradley, which improved nine games from last season’s 7-25 finish.
B10-NORTHWESTERN-IOWA Iowa women defeat Northwestern 60-55 HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill. (AP) – Morgan Johnson and Jamie Printy scored 18 points apiece and Iowa defeated Northwestern 60-55 on Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten women’s tournament. Bethany Doolittle added 10 points and Samantha Logic grabbed 11 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (20-11), the seventh seed in the tournament. They advance to meet Number 21 Nebraska, the Big Ten’s second seed, in Friday’s quarterfinals. Iowa never trailed in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. It was 30-26 at halftime and the Hawkeyes led 57-42 with 3 minutes to go before the Wildcats battled back to make it close. Kendall Hackney led Northwestern (13-17), the No. 10 seed, with 13 points and four steals. Karly Roser scored 11 points, Alex Cohen scored 10 and Dannielle Diamant had a game-high 13 rebounds. The teams also played on Sunday in Evanston, Illinois, with Iowa winning 62-45.