Monday, June 27, 2016


Posted March 16, 2016in Civic Skinny

Hensley’s housing vote pays off for her employer.

Maybe Councilwoman Chris Hensley didn’t have a conflict of interest last December when she cast a critical “yes” vote that allowed local developers to apply to the Iowa Finance Authority for low-income-housing tax credits. But it sure worked out well for her employer last week. Hensley is a director and

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Posted March 09, 2016in Civic Skinny

Another big claim is filed against Blunck estate.

A bank in Atlantic has filed a large claim against the estate of Kirk Blunck. The Rolling Hills Bank & Trust says the estate owes it $557,214.64, plus interest at 4.75 percent, on borrowings Blunck made from the bank and didn’t repay. It said the notes are guaranteed by both

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Posted March 02, 2016in Civic Skinny

Divorce terms give Tom Miller an incentive to run again.

Attorney General Tom Miller apparently is about to hire Mari Culver for a top job in the AG’s office. Culver, the wife of former governor Chet Culver, has long been with the Duncan Green firm in Des Moines. Though she has been a trial lawyer, the job she is likely

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Posted February 24, 2016in Civic Skinny

Ahlers law firm sues the estate of Kirk Blunck.

Kirk Blunck, the respected and embattled Des Moines architect who died mysteriously in the stairwell of his Teachout Building in the East Village on Jan. 24, left an estate valued at about $500,000, according to a document filed the other day in Polk County District Court. But debts and judgments

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Posted February 10, 2016in Civic Skinny

Cruz crows as caucuses hurt the Dems and Branstad.

The Iowa Democratic Party and the Iowa governor were the biggest losers in the caucus. The party lost because the Democratic caucuses were a mess. With a week to go, the party still was searching for chairpersons at some of the 1,681 sites, and it still was moving around locations.

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Posted February 03, 2016in Civic Skinny

The double life of Kirk Blunck — architect and debtor.

Kirk Blunck, who died last week under what the medical examiner called “suspicious” circumstances at the bottom of some stairs in the Teachout Building that he had restored in the East Village, was a good architect and a bad businessman. Like many of the best local architects of the past

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Posted January 27, 2016in Civic Skinny

Polk court tells johns: stay away from backpage.com.

At least some of the 30 or so men picked up in those prostitution stings in August at the Ramada Inn on Army Post Road and the Econo Lodge Inn and Suites on Merle Hay pleaded guilty last month. They have been fined $625 and received deferred judgments — meaning

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Posted January 20, 2016in Civic Skinny

Delay in Water Works suit is bad for Des Moines in Legislature.

Bad news for Des Moines: Federal Judge Mark Bennett’s decision last week to ask the Iowa Supreme Court to rule on some legal issues before he hears the lawsuit the Des Moines Water Works filed against three drainage districts in northern Iowa probably will mean the actual lawsuit won’t be

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Posted January 13, 2016in Civic Skinny

‘Check our progress,’ Branstad said. So Cityview did.

Five years ago, when Gov. Terry Branstad resumed office after a 12-year pause, he said the budget practices of the past — presumably he meant under Govs. Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver — amounted to “a mountain of broken promises.” He said that, in contrast, the Branstad administration would not

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Posted January 06, 2016in Civic Skinny

Iowa Republicans voted against courthouse for Des Moines.

Two days before Christmas, The Des Moines Register reported that almost a week earlier — it takes a while for news to get from Washington to Des Moines — Congress had approved and President Barack Obama had signed a bill that includes plans to build a new federal courthouse in

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