Monday Afternoon News, August 3
Candidates File For School Board Election
(Le Mars) -- The deadline to file for school board elections has now passed. Le Mars Community School District has a three-way race for two positions for the at-large district. Fred Zenk is seeking another term representing district five. He is unopposed for the position. There are no candidates residing in District 3 that have announced their candidacy for the Le Mars School Board. Those running for the school board include Patrick Murphy who is seeking re-election, After being off the school board for one term, Mark Hemmingson is pursuing another chance to serve on the school board. Angela Catton is also seeking a position on the Le Mars Community school board.
Branstad Promotes STEM Education And Defends Education Veto
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is touting Iowa's progress with STEM education as he continues to defend his veto of some one-time education spending.
Branstad on Monday said he wants to provide resources to specific priorities, like programs focused on science, technology, engineering and math. He said providing increases to school districts and giving more discretion to superintendents is not producing the best results.
The Republican governor said he wants to provide education dollars in a "strategic and specific" way. He recently vetoed $55.7 million in one-time school funding. Educators have criticized the move, saying it will lead to larger class sizes and less money for supplies.
Branstad said he will not use one-time money for ongoing budget needs.
National Park Service Buries Report On Effigy Mounds
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The National Park Service has shelved a blistering internal report that details a "decade of dysfunction" as the agency allowed dozens of illegal construction projects to cause significant damage to an ancient burial ground in Iowa that tribes consider sacred.
Titled "Serious Mismanagement Report," the document blasts the park service's stewardship of the Effigy Mounds National Monument and says the case should serve as a wakeup call for employees at all levels.
Last week, NPS deputy regional director Patricia Trap told someone who requested a copy of the report that it didn't exist.
She later told The Associated Press that the report exists but hadn't been "agency-approved." She says it will be replaced by another review that's looking at the root causes of problems as well as what went right during the scandal.
Iowa State University Cremation Garden
AMES, Iowa (AP) - University regents are scheduled to consider a proposal that could lead to adding a cremation garden at Iowa State University's small cemetery in Ames.
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports that Iowa State is asking to contract with a company to study construction and maintenance of the garden. The current plan includes a series of walls that would have nooks for urns.
The regents are expected to consider the idea during their Wednesday meeting.
Interment in the ISU cemetery is reserved for ISU presidents and faculty members with at least two decades of service at the university. Those restrictions wouldn't change for internment, but the proposal would let thousands of ISU alumni and supporters have their ashes stored in the area.
Disaster Assistance Approved For Iowa Counties
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal disaster declaration has been issued for 19 Iowa counties damaged by severe weather in June.
Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday that the Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved a request for a presidential disaster declaration. The declaration covers Allamakee, Appanoose, Butler, Clayton, Dallas, Davis, Des Moines, Guthrie, Howard, Jefferson, Lee, Lucas, Marion, Mitchell, Monroe, Warren, Wayne, Winneshiek and Wright.
Branstad requested the support after the counties were damaged by winds, tornadoes, rain, hail and thunderstorms from June 20 to June 25.
The declaration means the counties will get federal funding to help with rebuilding efforts, such as repairing property, removing debris and other emergency work.