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Posted May 13, 2013in Featured Story, Iowa Watchdog

Special interests drive Iowa education reforms

DES MOINES – Good intentions aren’t the only driving force behind Iowa’s education reform efforts. State education agencies, special interest groups and for-profit education companies have spent thousands in 2012 and 2013 to hire lobbyists and pad the campaign coffers of lawmakers who sit on key committees. Many of these

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Posted May 09, 2013in Featured Story, Iowa Watchdog

Lawmakers’ families bring home big perks

DES MOINES – Family members and close friends of Iowa‘s Congressional Delegation benefit from their position, whether it be special one-time funding for an alma mater or hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to one lawmaker’s son for working on his campaign, a review federal records shows. Take for example

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Posted May 08, 2013in Featured Story, Political Mercury

Roberts remains in Senate mix

Former State Rep. Rod Roberts, R-Carroll, is one of many Iowa Republicans in a political career holding pattern as U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, continues to roll over a decision about a Senate bid. “I think that needle’s just a little over 50-50 right now, just a little over,” King

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Posted May 08, 2013in Featured Story, Food Dude

La Rosa, an Iowa Classic

La Rosa opened 10 years ago. Rosa Martinez was a already a local legend then, first for selling tamales in the parking lot of the original La Tapatia Tienda, then for vending homemade chicken dinners in parking lots of Hispanic businesses.  From the beginning, visits to La Rosa were more

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Posted May 08, 2013in Civic Skinny, Featured Story

Changes at Channel 8. Lawsuits. A dress code.

No shoes, no shirt, no paycheck: There will be a dress code for Des Moines Register workers after they move to Capital Square next month. They’re being told about it at meetings this week. Laura Hollingsworth will continue to oversee the Register from her new job as publisher of The

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Posted May 03, 2013in Featured Story, Iowa Watchdog

Court orders Des Moines board to turn over closed-session tape

A Polk County judge Friday agreed to review the tape of a closed-door meeting held by the Des Moines School Board in regards to former Superintendent Nancy Sebring’s controversial departure. Graham Gillette, a former school board member, brought a lawsuit against the district last year requesting that a judge review

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Posted May 02, 2013in Featured Story, Iowa Watchdog

Iowa lawmakers stall on measure to track welfare spending

DES MOINES – A bill to limit the use of Iowa welfare dollars at strip clubs, bars and casinos stalled Wednesday when members of the Iowa House approved an amended version they then returned to the Iowa Senate. With the Legislative session winding down, House members spent more than four

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Posted May 01, 2013in Featured Story, Food Dude

Skywalker revisited

Twenty-five years ago, this publication began subjecting readers to the reflections of an alcoholic who had recently quit drinking. I thought that gave me an alternative point of view, and editors agreed. At that time, this paper was named Skywalker, showing pride in the ambitious system that was dramatically transforming

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Posted May 01, 2013in Featured Story, Political Mercury

King: ‘I can build that wall down there’

National Republicans are struggling with strategies and angles for the party’s relevancy and viability in the 21st century. Enough with the caterwauling over changing racial and family dynamics, this rather sad coveting of the 1950s, goes the trendy reasoning. Scrapbook photos, no matter how long you stare at them, won’t

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Posted May 01, 2013in Civic Skinny, Featured Story

Judge Bennett calls a litigant a jerk;

Edward P. Hagen is an obstetrician who practiced in Sioux City with Siouxland Obstetrics and Gynecology, P.C. from 1993 until November of 2009, when he was fired by his three partners. In May of 2011, he sued his former partners in federal court in Sioux City, charging everything from fraud

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