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Posted November 30, 2012in Featured Story, Iowa Watchdog

Special education costs grow as scores and enrollment lag

DES MOINES – Special education spending in Iowa has reached record levels in recent years, during a time when enrollment has dropped and test scores remain stagnant, an Iowa Watchdog analysis of state records shows. Iowa doled out $743.4 million in special education money — a figure based on the

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Posted November 28, 2012in Status Quote

Q&A: In Flames guitarist Bjorn Gelotte

Sweden’s In Flames are coming to the Val Air Ballroom on Dec. 4 in direct support of Lamb Of God. Cityview music writer Mark Skaar recently spoke with In Flames guitarist Bjorn Gelotte about the tour, their newest album “Sounds Of A Playground Fading” and the band’s longevity.   CV:

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Posted November 28, 2012in Game Day

Beckman’s death march, and bowl predictions

FIRST DOWN: Projecting the bowls before we close the books … BIG 12 BOWLS                  Fiesta (Champion/BCS) — Kansas State (10-1) vs. Oregon (11-1)                Sugar (At-large/BCS) — Oklahoma (9-2) vs. Florida (11-1)              

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Posted November 28, 2012in Guest Commentary

Blame the press, too, for the nonsense of the Ames Straw Poll

Q: What do words like fraud, scam, joke, hoax, swindle, racket and farce have in common? A: Although all are appropriate, few if any are used by the watchdog free press in news coverage of the Iowa GOP’s Ames Straw Poll.                  The poll,

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Posted November 28, 2012in Featured Story, Political Mercury

Vilsack’s political future

Seconds after Christie Vilsack’s seventh and final congressional debate this fall, her husband turned left from his front-row seat in Mason City and said to the writer Chuck Offenburger that the former Iowa first lady now officially had more stage experience than Tom Vilsack, a former two-term governor.      

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Posted November 28, 2012in On The Tube, Recent Posts

It’s a less-than-wonderful life

Our cynical age will never be able to turn out a convincing movie about a Christmas miracle like “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Filmmakers keep trying, though, especially in December TV movies. It’s refreshing that “Finding Mrs. Claus” (Sunday, 8 p.m., Lifetime) declines to play this losing game, instead embracing 21st

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Posted November 28, 2012in Rap Sheet

On the Clock

Published arrest charges are obtained from official law enforcement records, which are available to the public. All who are charged are innocent until proven guilty. Play the “Name that Quiz” game!   CRACKED OUT  Police responded just after 2 a.m. on Nov. 19 to the 300 block of Walker to

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Posted November 28, 2012in The Sound

Lamb of God tours through Des Moines while awaiting ‘Resolution’

It has not been an easy year for Lamb of God. The band released its seventh studio album, “Resolution,” in January of this year and was set to tour the U.S. in support of it this summer. Those plans were put on hold in June when front man Randy Blythe

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Posted November 28, 2012in Film Review

Bankers’ penalty

“Killing Them Softly” 5 stars Rated R 97 mins.  Drama  Starring:  Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins One of the 10 best films of 2012, Andrew Dominik’s cold-blooded satire of American corporate-political-capitalism cuts through its subject like a freshly sharpened guillotine blade. Fortunately someone still wants retribution for the $7.77

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Posted November 28, 2012in Sound Notes

Sound Notes Pick o’ the Week

The White Elephant — pride of Wapello, Gross Domestic Product alums and frequent rockers of Des Moines’ finer establishments — are crowd-sourcing their second album. The swamp rock trio launched a Kickstarter campaign on Nov. 19, looking to raise $5,000 to cover recording and pressing costs. The more you donate,

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