Friday Afternoon News, January 29
Candidates Make Last Ditch Effort To Sway Caucus Voters
(Le Mars) -- This weekend marks the last weekend before the Iowa caucuses and candidates and their supporters are crisscrossing the state making their final stump speeches, with several appearing in northwest Iowa. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is scheduled to appear at Dordt College in Sioux Center this evening. Bush will be at the Campus Center and is scheduled to speak at 6:45 p.m. Speaking about Dordt College, Dr. Ben Carson will appear at the Sioux Center college on Saturday afternoon. Carson is also scheduled to appear at the Campus Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. Across town in Sioux Center, conservative radio and television talk show host Glenn Beck will appear with television personality Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame. The dual are campaigning on behalf of Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Both have recently endorsed the republican presidential candidate. Beck and Robertson will appear at the Terrace View Events Center and are scheduled to speak at 4:30 p.m.
Unfinished Atlantic Ethanol Plant To Be Completed
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Minnesota businessman whose construction company has built many of the nation's ethanol plants is planning to complete a previously idled southwest Iowa plant using newly approved state tax incentives.
The Iowa Economic Development Authority approved Friday tax benefits for the corn ethanol project proposed by Farmers Energy Cardinal northwest of Atlantic.
The IEDA board approved $4.25 million in sales tax refunds for the company promising to create 49 jobs.
Ohio-based FEC is led by Ron Fagen, founder of Minnesota-based Fagen Inc., which has helped build 100 biofuels plants in the U.S. and will design and build the Atlantic facility.
The plant, originally planned in 2006, stalled and wasn't completed.
It will be Iowa's 44th corn ethanol refinery and at 150 million gallons a year is among the state's largest.
Cruz Continues To Defend His Ethanol Position
NASHUA, N.H. (AP) - Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is telling Iowa voters he's the only true conservative in the GOP presidential race who can be trusted to keep his word.
Cruz spoke Friday at a Ringsted, Iowa, restaurant and drew sharp contrasts with rivals Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Cruz defended his call to phase out a mandate that all fuel contain a certain percentage of ethanol, saying and says it would be "easy" to take Trump's position that it ought to be expanded.
Ethanol made from corn is big business in Iowa, and pro-ethanol forces have railed against Cruz. Cruz says his tax plan includes removing all mandates and subsidies.
Cruz told voters the way not to "get burned" is to look for a candidate "who keeps his word when it's difficult, when there's a price to be paid."
Investigators Look At Child Abuse Complaints At Boarding School
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Dozens of state and federal investigators are looking into child abuse allegations at a privately-owned boarding school for troubled teens in southeastern Iowa.
Agents descended on the Midwest Academy campus in Keokuk to serve a search warrant Thursday and Friday, interviewing students and employees. They served a second warrant at a related building, the Midwest Treatment Center, in Montrose.
The Division of Criminal Investigation said the warrants stemmed from a complaint alleging that a staff member of Midwest Academy sexually assaulted a resident. The Iowa Department of Human Services and the FBI are also investigating.
A former employee claims in a lawsuit that she was fired in December, one day after reporting to DHS that a female student had been sexually abused by a staff member.
Academy officials declined comment.
School Board President Resigns Amid Controversy From Shoving A Student
ROCKFORD, Iowa (AP) - The president of a northern Iowa school board has quit, saying he shoved a student.
Tim Trettin said Wednesday that he lost his temper a few weeks ago and shoved the student in the school's weight room. Trettin says he thought the student had cursed at him.
The Rudd-Rockford-Marble Rock School District board accepted Trettin's resignation at its Jan. 18 meeting. Trettin had served eight years on the board.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that Rockford police and the Floyd County Attorney's Office say no criminal charges are pending against Trettin.