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Posted August 31, 2016in Civic Skinny

Nationwide warrant issued for Luebke after 8th OWI arrest. Frank Severino leaving county.

UPDATE 8/29/2016: Steve Luebke was arrested for parole violation and sent back to Polk County jail on Saturday, Aug. 27.  On Sunday, the court ordered him to be transferred to the Iowa Medical Classification Center in Oakdale with the order that he ultimately be sent to corrections facilities in Newton or

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Posted August 10, 2016in Civic Skinny

The Register’s circulation takes another big fall. Mezvinskys, Kushners, Clintons and Trumps.

For the first time in close to 100 years — since the early 1920s — fewer than 100,000 people across the state now are getting the Des Moines Sunday Register delivered to their doorsteps or mailboxes. Sales at newsstands are declining, too. For the quarter ended March 31, paid circulation

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Posted July 27, 2016in Civic Skinny

Pappajohn and Noyce to get little-known Iowa Award. Judge has $228,000 in the bank, Grassley $5.3 million.

John Pappajohn and the late Robert Noyce will be given the Iowa Award later this year. The Iowa Award is the highest honor the state gives to a citizen, though most citizens have never heard of it. It’s given by the Iowa Centennial Memorial Foundation, and most Iowans haven’t heard

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Posted July 20, 2016in Civic Skinny

Gabus wants its money back for a Y that wasn’t built. New claim against Blunck. Tirrell’s ex-wives speak out.

  The Gabus Family Foundation — that’s Gabus, as in Gene Gabus and Gabus Motors — wants back the $300,000 it donated to build a new YMCA in Grimes. Plans for the Y were scuttled earlier this year after finances couldn’t be worked out, and the nine-acre site was sold

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Posted July 13, 2016in Civic Skinny

Others hover as IRS takes on Prairie Meadows.
County, the landlord and beneficiary, has key role.

The fight between Prairie Meadows and the Internal Revenue Service could last years. It will cost a jackpot in legal fees. And it can’t be settled unless the Polk County supervisors are invited into the negotiations. That seems clear. This, too, seems clear. Before this thing is settled, the Legislature

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Posted July 06, 2016in Civic Skinny

A murky formula for athletes’ graduation rates.
‘No impropriety’ in Rosen’s resignation from ACLU.

      The six-year graduation success rate for basketball players who entered Iowa State University in 2008 was 75 percent. That’s pretty impressive. Except the actual graduation rate was 6 percent. The graduation success rate for basketball players at the University of Iowa in that same class was an

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Posted June 29, 2016in Civic Skinny

Platforms: Puppy mills, legal drugs, and back to 1913. Culver gets a Y job, with a little help from his friends.

State political platforms mean absolutely nothing, practical politicians agree, but the planks often show where the power lies in the parties. And occasionally a plank is so bizarre it can be used against that party’s candidates. Such is the latest platform of the Iowa Democrats, where — buried among the

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Posted June 22, 2016in Civic Skinny

Architect Kirk Blunck had assets of about $6.4 million. Death: ‘Blunt force trauma, manner undetermined.’

    Architect Kirk Blunck had assets valued at about $6.4 million when he died Jan. 24 under mysterious circumstances in a stairwell of the Teachout Building that he owned in the East Village. And the cause of death now has been determined, sort of. It was “multiple blunt force

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Posted June 15, 2016in Civic Skinny

Happy Father’s Day. A dad who lived to be 102 tells his son the secret to a long life: No left turns

  Michael Gartner is on vacation. This column, about his father, ran in USA Today just before Father’s Day in 2006.   My father never drove a car. Well, that’s not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he

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Posted June 08, 2016in Civic Skinny

U of Iowa hires $895-an-hour lawyers. Culver to the Y? A little lesson for Branstad. And some real-estate deals. 

    Your tax dollars — or your medical dollars or tuition dollars or philanthropy dollars or something — at work: The University of Iowa is about to hire McDermott, Will & Emery, a Chicago law firm, to “assist and advise” it in response to a subpoena from the U.S.

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