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Posted October 21, 2016in Civic Skinny

Your ISU alumni dollars at work: $1.1 million was paid to foundation bosses Leath ordered fired without cause.

The Iowa State University Foundation has spent more than $1.1 million to buy out the contracts of two foundation presidents fired by university President Steve Leath. The two men were fired for no cause — other than the fact that Leath apparently didn’t like them. Both raised millions for the

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Posted October 02, 2016in Civic Skinny

U of I cuts graduation threshold in Ferentz contract. And for $4.5 million (plus), he agrees not to complain.

That huge new contract the University of Iowa has given football coach Kirk Ferentz has a new wrinkle or two. Besides paying him a minimum of $4.5 million in its first year — that’s a bit more than 11 times the salary of the President of the United States —

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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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