Monday Afternoon News, March 6

Monday Afternoon News, March 6

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Economic Development To Take Over Energy Center

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Iowa State University is supporting a plan to transfer the state’s 27-year-old center for energy research to Gov. Terry Branstad’s administration.
The university confirmed Monday that the Iowa Energy Center is expected to move to the Iowa Economic Development Authority, which has an energy office that works to assist the private sector.
A state energy plan recently unveiled by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds recommended those two agencies collaborate closely. A university spokesman says the transfer will give the center a “new and expanded role.”
Ralph Rosenberg of the Iowa Environmental Council says he sees no reason for the shift and worries the center will lose its research independence.
The move would require legislation because a 1990 law established the center at Iowa State.
But the university’s treating it as a done deal. The school suspended a national search for a new center director while the transfer’s worked out.

 

Authorities Identify The Woman Found In Vehicle In Creek

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Authorities have released the name of a woman whose body was found inside a car that had crashed into a Polk County creek.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office identified the woman Monday as 46-year-old Jody Ponxs, who lived in Des Moines.
A bicyclist spotted the car in Fourmile Creek a little before 8 a.m. Sunday while passing by on a bike trail. Sheriff’s Sgt. Brandon Bracelin says the car was on its top in 3 feet of water and couldn’t be seen from the nearby roadway.
He couldn’t say how long the car had been in the creek.
A recovery crew removed the vehicle from the water.

 

People Jam House Hearing Regarding Water Proposal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An overflow crowd jammed a legislative hearing to oppose a bill they argued would make it more difficult to ensure safe water.
At Monday’s public hearing on a bill that would dismantle water utilities in Des Moines, West Des Moines and Urbandale, opponents criticized the proposed move from oversight by independent boards to city councils in the three cities.
The move is largely supported by cities given the assets of the water utilities, but critics contend moving control away from independent water experts will lead to dirtier water.
Some say the legislation is political retaliation for Des Moines Water Works filing a lawsuit against three northwest Iowa counties in an effort to lessen farm runoff.
The legislation is now headed to the House chamber for debate.