Wednesday, September 2, 2015


Posted September 02, 2015in Civic Skinny, Featured Story

McCoy eyes John Mauro’s seat. Hagenow gets strong foe.

State Sen. Matt McCoy, who has decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for Congress from the Third District, now plans to run for Polk County Supervisor in three years when John Mauro’s term is up. He admires Mauro — “an excellent supervisor, a mentor and, more importantly, a friend”

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Posted August 26, 2015in Civic Skinny

Slipknot widow accuses artist of theft, trespass.

The widow of Paul Gray, the masked Slipknot bassist who died of a drug overdose five years ago, is suing a sort-of-well-known Des Moines artist she hired to help produce a book about Gray and stage an event about his life. The suit, filed Friday in federal district court in

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Posted August 19, 2015in Civic Skinny

Gambling at Iowa casinos levels off — at a high number.

Has gambling topped out in Iowa? It looks like it. Revenue of the casinos regulated by the state has been more-or-less level for the past seven years. And earlier this year, the operator of two of the biggest casinos filed for protection under the bankruptcy laws — though that doesn’t

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Posted August 12, 2015in Civic Skinny

Oops: Grassley’s judge pick for Iowa lives in South Dakota.

“Iowan Leonard Strand Nominated for Federal Judgeship,” said the headline on the press release issued the other day by the office of Sen. Chuck Grassley. Well, not quite. Leonard Strand, a U.S. magistrate in Sioux City and the man whom Grassley proposed and President Barack Obama (much to the dismay

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Posted August 05, 2015in Civic Skinny

The rich get richer: Iowa, Iowa State sports money soars.

Money continues to pour into the athletic departments at the University of Iowa and Iowa State University. And the departments continue to find ways to spend it — without shipping any to the libraries or the English departments or any other academic endeavors at the two big universities. The increases

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Posted July 29, 2015in Civic Skinny

Wife-beating charge could complicate plea deal in Sorenson case. Grassley’s money. And Juice.

If you’re awaiting sentencing on federal charges that could send you to prison for up to 25 years but hoping you can cut a deal for lesser time, it’s probably not a good idea to drink 12 ounces of rum and then beat up your wife. And then get in

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Posted July 22, 2015in Civic Skinny

Gronstal joins Clarinda suit; 1973 ruling unearthed.

Four more legislators — including powerful Senate leader Mike Gronstal — have joined the suit challenging Gov. Terry Branstad’s decision to close the mental health institutes at Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. And the Polk County District Court has granted the plaintiffs’ request for an expedited hearing. The suit, filed July

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Posted July 15, 2015in Civic Skinny

Who will make what in the city and county this year.

Ninety-two of the 1,191 full-time employees of Polk County will make $100,000 or more in the fiscal year that started July 1. And 102 of the 1,555 employees of the City of Des Moines will top $100,000. The two highest paid: county medical examiner Gregory Schmunk, at $238,689, and city manager

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Posted July 08, 2015in Civic Skinny

AFSCME will sue Branstad for closing Clarinda facility.

The state’s largest public-employee union certainly will sue Gov. Terry Branstad for vetoing the legislature’s attempt to keep open the mental-health facility in Clarinda — if, indeed, the suit hasn’t already been filed by the time you read this. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) sued

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Posted July 01, 2015in Civic Skinny

Register circulation drops again. Klinefeldt won’t run.

Dave Chivers, the new publisher of The Des Moines Register, has his work cut out for him. Audited figures show the newspaper’s slide in circulation is continuing unabated. In the quarter ended March 31, print circulation of the Sunday Register was 132,544. That’s down 13,330 from the year-earlier figure of

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