Wednesday Afternoon News, October 8
Le Mars To Conduct A City Energy Audit
(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars has entered an agreement with the Iowa Economic Development Authority to audit the electrical usage through an energy management program. City Administrator Scott Langel says the program will evaluate the energy usage by the city, and determine where savings may be possible.
The city administator says the city of Le Mars has a large expense when it comes to energy usage, and he would like to see it reduced if possible.
Adler Comments On Regional Entrepreneurship Project
(Sioux City) -- Economic development groups in three northwest Iowa counties are partnering with the University of Northern Iowa's Business & Community Services group to launch a new initiative to support and encourage entrepreneurship and start-up businesses.
Woodbury, Monona, and Plymouth counties as well as Sioux City and Le Mars are taking part in the Regional Entrepreneurship Project.
UNI will work with regional leaders over the next four years to grow more start-up businesses and enhancing efforts through four ways to foster the area's business culture:
Neal Adler serves as the executive director for the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce as well as the Le Mars Business Inititative Corporation. He says there are several agencies to assist with start-up businesses, but he believes this new effort will "solidify" those efforts.
Adler says Plymouth County already is a member of the Northwest Iowa Development which consists of six counties. He says by belonging to this regional entrepreneurship project will also benefit Le Mars and Plymouth County.
Adler says the new project, that is funded through a grant, should appeal to any type of new business venture, or an existing business wanting to expand.
The program is provided through a grant to UNI from the US Economic Development Administration University Center Program.
Fired Iowa Worker To Be Compensated
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An administrative law judge says an Iowa government worker whose co-workers lied in an effort to get him fired will be reimbursed more than $263,000.
Records released Tuesday show the money owed to Ken Morrow will include funds for home costs and health care premiums.
Morrow, an employee for the state Department of Transportation, was fired in 2012 along with worker Steven Scott. Morrow was reinstated in July and Scott returned to work in September.
The men claimed they were treated like outsiders because veteran employees resented that they were hired as managers. Administrative Law Judge Bob Wilson ruled in favor of Morrow and Scott earlier this year.
Scott was reimbursed $158,000. The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1vVJVJD ) both men are now seeking additional pay for their legal expenses.
New Prison Encounters More Construction Problems - Delays Opening
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Corrections is disclosing more design problems at the state's new but empty $132 million maximum-security prison.
Department officials said Wednesday that the smoke control system inside inmates' housing units at the new Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison failed during a July test.
The system wasn't removing smoke well enough and inmates could've had problems exiting during a fire.
Officials say they've found a temporary fix, and the system passed a recent test. Still, it isn't clear whether that brings the building up to code. More permanent changes may be necessary.
There's still no timeline for transitioning inmates from the old Iowa State Penitentiary. The prison was supposed to open last spring, but problems in the geothermal heating and cooling system made it uninhabitable.
Argosy Pulls Away From Sioux City Dock
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The former Argosy riverboat casino has pulled away from its dock in Sioux City and started a long journey to a shipyard in Illinois, where it will be sold or salvaged.
The floating casino closed this summer after the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission ordered it stop its operations. It said the business wasn't partnered with a state-licensed nonprofit group as required by Iowa law.
The Sioux City Journal reports the riverboat's voyage began Tuesday and will likely take about a week to arrive in Wood River, Illinois.
Mike's Inc., which bought the casino, says crews are working on dismantling the other two barges that housed casino offices. The marine company's owner says he wants to move the barges out of Sioux City before Dec. 11.
University Of Iowa Legacy Students To Receive Scholarships
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - New students with parents or grandparents who have degrees from the University of Iowa will automatically receive a $6,000 scholarship over four years when they enroll.
University President Sally Mason said Wednesday that she expects hundreds of first-year and transfer students will receive the Iowa Heritage Award next fall.
Mason told reporters that the scholarship is a piece of the school's strategy to increase its enrollment by attracting more students from Iowa and beyond.
Any student with a parent, stepparent, legal guardian or grandparent who received an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree from UI will be eligible.
Within that pool, up to 20 of the highest-achieving students will receive the President's Heritage Award, which will award another $6,000 over four years.
Mason said private donations will help pay the cost.