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Friday afternoon news, Aug. 3

University of Northern Iowa President Announces Resignation

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Ben Allen is stepping down as president of the University of Northern Iowa, where budget cuts have outraged some faculty, students and parents.
     Allen says Friday he will retire by July 1, 2013, after six years at the helm of the Cedar Falls university.
     The Iowa Board of Regents supported Allen's decisions to close UNI's teaching lab, eliminate academic programs and offer faculty buyouts. Allen says the changes allow UNI to focus on its strongest programs, which he says will attract more students and faculty.
     Supporters of the Malcolm Price Laboratory School filed a lawsuit to keep the award-winning school open, arguing the regents didn't have to power under state law to close it.
     A judge in June rejected the lawsuit, saying the regents didn't exceed their power.


Protesters Ask For Rastetter's Ouster At Regents Meeting

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Some protesters seeking the ouster of Iowa Board of Regents member Bruce Rastetter have been removed from the board's meeting in Cedar Falls.
     The protesters were removed Friday after interrupting the meeting and alleging Rastetter committed ethics violations. Board President Craig Lang warned about 40 members of Iowa Citizens for
Community Improvement to not disrupt the meeting.
     Rastetter, a prominent businessman, worked with Iowa State University to pursue a large-scale land development in Africa.  Environmentalists and watchdog groups say he tried to use his influence as a regent to benefit an investment group he founded and manages that is developing farmland in Tanzania. ISU withdrew from the project in February after mounting criticism.
     Iowa CCI filed an ethics complaint against Rastetter, which a state ethics board will review Aug. 23.


Northwestern College Exceeds Fundraising Goal

(Orange City) -- Northwestern College in Orange City exceeded its million-dollar goal for the Northwestern Fund by raising $1 million, 73 thousand dollars during the fiscal year of 2011 - 2012.  More than 76 percent was given by members of the college's Tower Society, made up of donors who give $1,000 or more annually to the college.  The Northwestern Fund is a component of the college's Imagine Campaign; gifts to all the campaign components-as well as other college causes such as students' short-term mission trips exceeded $4.9 million in 2011-2012. Northwestern College President, Greg Christy says, "Northwestern alumni and friends have a real heart for our students and the increasing challenges young people face as they pay for college."  The Northwestern Fund helps reduce tutition by around $900 per student.


Mapleton Man Expected To Plead Guilty To Conspiracy

ONAWA, Iowa (AP) - Court documents say a 33-year-old western Iowa man accused of twice arranging to have someone shoot him has made a deal with prosecutors.
     Darren Hieber, of Mapleton, will plead guilty to one charge of conspiracy and two counts of solicitation for the shootings. The other charges will be dropped.
     He is scheduled to plead guilty on Aug. 20.
     Hieber is accused of persuading Brady Chapman to shoot him in a leg on Feb. 5. Hieber also is accused of hiring Joseph Roberts and Timothy Culley, both of Omaha, to shoot at him on March 8 in
     Authorities say Hieber was trying to gain sympathy from his ex-wife.
     Roberts, Culley and Chapman have been given probation.


Rendering Truck Spills Load At Sioux City

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Workers have cleaned up after a rendering truck spilled some animal entrails and parts on a Sioux City street.
     The spill occurred about 9:45 a.m. Thursday on the east side of Sioux City.
     The Iowa Transportation Department says the truck driver apparently had to stop suddenly, which forced some of his load to slosh out.
     Traffic was diverted for about 30 minutes as workers cleaned up the mess.



Friday News, August 3

Wells Looks For Additional Capital -- May Be For Sale

(Le Mars) -- In an effort to raise capital funds, Wells Enterprises, Incorporated, maker of Blue Bunny ice cream of Le Mars is looking at options, including, but not limited to, the sale of the company.  An article that appeared in the Financial Times magazine, dated July 31st, said that sources
close to the situation confirmed it.  Dave Smetter, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Wells told KLEM news that the company was exploring all available options.  Smetter did not speak on the record but issued a statement.

"Consistent with our vision to become the number one ice cream company in America by 2020, Wells Enterprises, Incorporated has begun a strategic process to raise capital to support our growth strategy.  The process is expected to be completed by years end.  We have built a strong platform from which to expand our business and are excited to undertake this process as we continue to develop high quality innovative products for our customers.  We are proud of our long history of success and look forward to building on that tradition as our company takes this next step to grow the business and position Wells for the next 100 years."


In the Financial Times article, Smetter says this is not the first time Wells has been up for sale.  It tried to find a buyer a few years ago, but ended up remaining private.  Wells employs more than 2500 people and makes more than 70 different flavors of ice cream.


Sioux City Man Pleads Guilty To Sexual Exploitation

(Sioux City) -- A Sioux City man pled guilty in federal court to sexually exploiting a child.  38 year old Dana Gleaves was convicted of one count of sexual exploitation of a child.  At the plea hearing, Gleaves admitted that between June of 2010 and June of 2011, he used, persuaded, induced, or enticed a minor under the age of 18 to engage in sexually explicit conduct for the purposes of producing visual dipictions of such conduct.


Tax Free Weekend, Today and Saturday

(Le Mars) Christmas in August?  Not exactly but is a holiday that involves shopping.  Iowa's 13th Annual Tax Free Holiday on select clothing and footwear is going on today and tomorrow.
Rebecca Binneboese, of Binneboese shoes in downtown Le Mars says that the holiday is aimed at back to school shopping.

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Even though this annual tax free holiday ends up being used as back to school shopping, back to school items like such as classroom supplies and backpacks are not included.  The discount does apply to clothing, shoes and socks but excludes  items designed for athletic activity or protective use that is not usually considered appropriate for everyday wear.  

There are also rules regarding the prices of items that are considered "tax free" today and tomorrow. Rebecca from Binneboese explains.

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According to, about 15 other states in our nation also have "tax free holidays" on clothing and shoes.  There are states that also do it for back to school supplies, hurricane preparedness items and energy star products as well. So happy tax free clothing and shoe shopping today and tomorrow


Branstads Move Out of Terrace Hill Due To Mold

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Governor Terry Branstad and his wife, Chris, have moved out of the governor's mansion in Des Moines after he says black mold was discovered on the third floor, where they live.
     The governor says Chris Branstad had not been feeling well recently and suggested that the air quality be checked in the 143-year-old mansion, known as Terrace Hill.
     He told the newspaper that tests revealed black mold and that it was a severe problem. The couple moved Saturday to their Boone County home, where they'll remain until the problem is resolved.
     Jenae Jenison, a spokeswoman for Branstad, says Thursday that testing is continuing to identify the problem. She says the mansion's bottom two floors are safe and the building remains open
for public tours.


Fort Dodge Police Officer Found Not Guilty To Burglary

 FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A Webster County jury has acquitted a former Fort Dodge police officer of second-degree burglary.
     David Beshey was accused of entering his girlfriend's apartment in January and assaulting a man who was there.
     The Messenger newspaper reports the jury deliberated the case for about 30 minutes before reaching the not guilty verdict on Wednesday. Beshey's trial began on Tuesday.


FEMA Sides With U of I On Flood Funding
Iowa (AP) - The Federal Emergency Management Agency is siding with the University of Iowa over its efforts to rebuild from the 2008 flood.
     Federal auditors have questioned FEMA's commitment that federal funds pay to replace damaged music and art buildings. A report said the buildings should be repaired, not relocated and replaced,
because they were salvageable under federal rules. The report also said the projects should be suspended and the funds promised should be diverted to "better use."
     The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate on Thursday says the agency is standing with the university on the disagreement.
     Iowa's governor and congressional delegation are urging Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to support FEMA's decision.






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