Wednesday Afternoon News, September 3
KC Phone-a-thon Raises Money For Life Skills
(Le Mars) -- As you have been hearing on KLEM radio, today is the KC Phone-a-thon in which members of the Knights of Columbus have been soliciting funds for the Life Skills Training Center. Honorary chair, Mike Donlin says people have been generous with their contributions.
This marks the 35th year for the annual phone-a-thon, and Donlin believes a major reason for the community's generosity is because they know most of the donated money stays in Plymouth County.
Donlin says Floyd Valley Hospital utilizes Life Skills Training Center to perform its laundry services, and cleaning floor mats. Donlin says there are many easy ways for people to contribute money to the KC Phone-a-thon for the Life Skills Training Center.
Iowa Settles Lawsuit Over Movie Productions
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has settled a lawsuit stemming from the suspension of a tax incentive program for movies to be made in the state.
The payment of a little more than $2 million will settle claims involving three movies: "When September Ends," "Lucky," and "Underground." Anthony Gudas, of Providence, Rhode Island, had said his company invested in four film projects based on state contracts, but the tax credits were never paid. In October 2013 the state agreed to pay $225,000 to settle part of the lawsuit for one of the four movies, "2001 Maniacs: Field of Screams."
Iowa suspended the movie incentive program after an audit uncovered $26 million in credits were improperly issued by the state Economic Development Department. Seven people eventually were convicted.
Des Moines Fire Chief Calling For More Staff
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines firefighter union president is calling for increased staffing after five firefighters were injured in a weekend blaze.
Local union president Joe Van Haalen said on Tuesday firefighters are in danger because of the staffing level. He says firefighters at the Aug. 30 fire had to use about twice as many air tanks as normal because the crews couldn't rotate enough.
Van Haalen says the city employs 26 fewer firefighters than it did a decade ago. The city's population has grown during that period.
Interim city manager Larry Hulse says the city spends about 60 percent of its budget on public safety. He says the decrease in staffing is not jeopardizing response times.
The city has commissioned a study to review data and fire department resources.
Opening Statements To Begin For Police Officer Killing Trial
CLARION, Iowa (AP) - Opening statements are set to begin in the first-degree murder trial of a man charged with killing a Rockwell City police officer.
Opening statements are scheduled Wednesday morning in the trial of 33-year-old Corey Trott. A 14-person jury was selected Tuesday afternoon.
Prosecutors say Trott fatally shot 37-year-old Jamie Buenting in September 2013 during a standoff at Trott's house in Rockwell City. Officers say they were trying to arrest Trott after an alleged assault on his mother.
Trott has pleaded not guilty. A mental health evaluation earlier this year determined he is competent to stand trial.
The trial was moved to Wright County at the request of defense attorneys.
Iowa Republicans Stand Behind Texas Governor Perry
HIAWATHA, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Republicans say Texas Gov. Rick Perry has not been tarnished by a recent indictment.
Perry was in Iowa on Tuesday, campaigning for 1st Congressional District candidate Rod Blum. It's the potential 2016 presidential candidate's first Iowa visit since he was indicted last month on two felony counts alleging he abused the power of his office.
Republicans gathered for an event in Hiawatha said the indictment was politically motivated. During brief remarks at a local political office, Perry spoke about job gains in Texas and drew applause when he talked about sending National Guard troops to the Texas-Mexico border.
Perry entered the 2012 presidential race with much fanfare but quickly stumbled. He finished fifth in the Iowa caucuses in early 2012 and quit the race two weeks later.
Regents Release Plan To Make Admissions To Universities Easier
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - It might get easier for students to apply to Iowa's three public universities, and for those schools to hire employees.
The Iowa Board of Regents released details of plans Tuesday that may be implemented during an ongoing efficiency review.
They include creating a program that would allow students to apply to the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa at once. Currently, students have to apply separately even though the schools use the same admissions scoring index.
Another change would require the schools to calculate students' admissions scores uniformly. Each school currently computes them differently for students whose high schools don't keep class rankings.
A third plan would eliminate search committees for some professional and scientific openings. A review found that step frequently causes delays.
U Of I Students Report Sexual Abuse
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa says two students reported recently that they were sexually assaulted on campus.
The school issued a notification Tuesday in accordance with the Clery Act, which requires that colleges and universities disclose timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees.
The notification says one student reported Sunday that an acquaintance sexually assaulted her in a residence hall. Another student reported Monday that an acquaintance sexually assaulted her in a residence hall.
Another student reported on Aug. 22 that she was sexually assaulted in a residence hall.
Iowa State University Not In Compliance For Reporting Sexual Abuse Crimes
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An internal audit report has warned that Iowa State University was out of compliance with federal law for years in the limited way that students were informed about sexual assaults and other crimes on campus.
The June 17 report says the school's recently-abandoned practice of issuing crime alerts on the campus police website didn't meet Clery Act requirements.
The report says administrators must issue "timely warnings" required by the law through mass emails and other formats that don't require individuals to search out the information.
University attorney Keith Bystrom said Wednesday that ISU started sending them in mass emails last spring, after auditors identified the problem. He said posting the information online wasn't meant to hide the crime reports, noting that news outlets knew where to look for them.
State Settles Lawsuit Over Employee Firing
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa has settled a case with a state worker who had sued after being fired from the Polk County Clerk of Court's office in 2004.
The state agreed Tuesday to pay Tina Lee more than $377,000 in back wages and post-judgment interest.
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in March that Iowa had violated Lee's rights under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. Lee was fired after she took time off to cope with anxiety. Lee sued, alleging wrongful discharge and retaliation. In 2007 a jury found in her favor and she was awarded lost earnings totaling $165,122, attorney fees and expenses.
The state had argued originally and in appeals that it had sovereign immunity against being sued for damages under the federal act.