Tuesday Afternoon News, September 8
Competency Report On Jonathon Neunaber Finished - Judge Orders It Be Confidential
(Le Mars) -- A competency report on Jonathon Neunaber has been filed in Plymouth County. Neunaber is being held at the Plymouth County jail under suspicion that he killed his mother back in July of 2014. Both Donald and Ester Neunaber's bodies were found dead at their rural Akron residence. An autopsy report indicated Donald died of natural causes, but Ester died as a result of blunt trauma to the head. Judge Andreasen has ruled the contents of the competency report are to be confidential at this time. No further hearings have been scheduled at this time.
Northey To Offer "Condition Of Agriculture" Report To Farm Bureau Members
(Le Mars) -- Iowa's Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey is scheduled to appear in Le Mars this evening as he delivers the address for the Plymouth County Farm Bureau annual meeting. Northey is a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake, and he says he will offer his perspective on the condition of Iowa agriculture.
Northey is scheduled to address the county farm bureau members at 7:00 p.m. at the Century Hall at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.
NIPCO Names Washburn As Successor To Pauling
LE MARS, IOWA - The Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of its current Chief Operating Officer Matt Washburn as the individual that will succeed current General Manager Kent Pauling following his anticipated retirement at the end of this year. Mr. Washburn has been employed at NIPCO since 2001. He has served as the Vice President of Management Services & Chief Financial Officer.
Since 2014 has held the position of Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Washburn also served as the Chief Operating Officer of NIPCO Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Cooperative, from 2006 until its operations were merged into the Cooperative in 2011. NIPCO is pleased to have the opportunity to select an individual that is familiar with NIPCO and its member systems and is also very familiar with the issues surrounding NIPCO's recent decision to join the Southwest Power Pool, an RTO. Prior to joining NIPCO, Washburn was an auditor with Williams & Company PC, a CPA firm in Le Mars, Iowa. Mr. Washburn is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting. He is a Non-Public Licensed Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Meredith Corporation's Merger Will Mean More Des Moines Jobs
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A spokesman for Meredith Corp. says the acquisition of Meredith by Virginia-based Media General will eventually result in more jobs in Des Moines.
Meredith Spokesman Art Slusark says the $2.4 billion deal will make the newly named Meredith Media General a stronger company.
He says Meredith will maintain its Des Moines presence and most of the nearly 1,000 employees create content for the company's magazines, television programs and websites and are needed.
He says no definitive answer on staffing can be provided this early but the merger "will result in higher employment levels in Des Moines over time."
Meredith CEO Steve Lacy will be the CEO of the new company and remain in Des Moines. Slusark says he's been a long-time champion of Des Moines and that will not change.
Iowa National Guard Proposes Having Helicopters Stationed At Des Moines Airport
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa National Guard spokesman says a proposal to station 200 soldiers and 10 helicopters at the Des Moines airport would resolve the Guard's lease dispute with city officials.
The dispute arose after F-16 fighter jets flown by the Air National Guard's 132nd Wing were moved away from Des Moines. To receive federal airport grants, the airport must charge a market rate to all tenants, except military units with an aeronautical mission. The question is whether the 132nd Wing's new work involving unmanned aircraft, surveillance and cybersecurity qualifies as an aeronautical mission.
Col. Gregory Hapgood Jr. says that stationing the Black Hawk helicopters at the airport would justify continuing the Guard's discounted rent. The Guard pays $1 a year to lease 172 acres.
University Of Iowa Faculty Upset Over Hiring Of New President
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A day before the decision, the University of Iowa's governing board was warned that choosing Bruce Harreld as president would badly damage its relationship with the faculty.
In a Sept. 2 email obtained by The Associated Press, Faculty Senate President Christina Bohannan told the Board of Regents that Harreld had a "clear lack of faculty support."
She warned that choosing him over three other candidates who had "tremendous support from campus constituencies" would lead to calls for a no-confidence vote in the regents. She says regardless of how the vote turned out, "it is hard to see how the Regents' relationship with faculty could thrive under such circumstances."
The next day, the regents voted unanimously to hire Harreld, a former IBM executive with no prior experience in higher education administration.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A group representing some University of Iowa professors is condemning the hiring of former IBM executive J. Bruce Harreld as the school's next president.
The campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors says the Board of Regents ignored faculty, staff and students who overwhelmingly felt Harreld was unqualified for the position.
The statement issued late Monday says that "only a pre-conceived determination by the regents to appoint Mr. Harreld" can explain his hiring. The group noted that Harreld's performance at an open forum before his hiring was widely panned and that he acknowledged an inaccuracy on his resume.
The AAUP chapter is offering its "heartfelt apologies" to three finalists who weren't selected.
The Faculty Senate is scheduled to meet Tuesday afternoon for the first time since Harreld's hiring.