Tuesday Afternoon News, July 28
Regents Propose Raising Tuition By 3 Percent For Spring Semester
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Undergraduate students at Iowa's three public universities may have to pay $100 more for tuition next spring.
The Iowa Board of Regents released a proposal Tuesday for a 3 percent tuition increase to go into effect for the spring 2016 semester.
The board will discuss the increase next week and is expected to vote in September.
The increase would mean that full-time undergraduate resident students at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa would pay $100 more.
The proposal says that lawmakers only gave the schools a $6.5 million base budget increase, far less than the regents requested.
Earlier this month, Gov. Terry Branstad vetoed an additional $6.2 million in one-time funding for the schools that had been approved by lawmakers.
Prisoners Still On Lockdown
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Inmates at Iowa's maximum-security prison are still facing tight security measures that were imposed after a dangerous felon managed to escape three weeks ago.
Inmates at the Iowa State Penitentiary remain on restricted movement status, which means they are confined to their cells for the vast majority of the time.
Prison officials imposed the lockdown July 5, after inmate Justin Kestner escaped from one of the state's highest-security cells. He was captured several hours later in Illinois.
Penitentiary spokeswoman Rebecca Bowker says the restricted movement will remain in place "per security concerns and operational needs" but didn't elaborate. A notice on the prison's website says visitors will not be allowed from July 31 through Aug. 3.
Iowa ombudsman Ruth Cooperrider says she wants an explanation for the ongoing security crackdown.
Raptor Director Dies
DECORAH, Iowa (AP) - The man behind the famed eagle cam in northeast Iowa has died.
Scott Fjelstul (FEHL'-stool) of Fjelstul Funeral Home said Tuesday that Bob Anderson died Monday at a hospital in Decorah (deh-KOR'-uh). Anderson was 64. Fjelstul would not provide the cause of death.
Anderson was executive director and the guiding force behind the Raptor Resource Project. The project installed its first camera in the eagle nest in 2007. The live video feed showed a nest 80 feet up in a tree overlooking the Decorah Fish Hatchery. The organization says more than 200 million views of the website were made in 2011 from people in 184 countries.
Organization officials say Anderson was proud of his efforts with the Decorah eagles, but "his heart was truly in his peregrine falcon recovery work."
Bird Flu Conference
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The federal government expects to spend $191 million to pay chicken and turkey farmers for birds lost to avian flu.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack says that's in addition to the nearly $400 million spent on cleaning up dead birds and disinfecting barns. The government also is paying to research and stockpile a bird flu vaccine.
Vilsack spoke Tuesday at a bird flu conference in Des Moines where the poultry industry is talking about how to better respond if the disease returns.
Hardest hit by the outbreak this spring were Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska.
Vilsack says the USDA is preparing for recurrence of the virus spread by wild migrating birds and plans to ask Congress to consider a poultry disaster program similar to one that exists for livestock producers.
Sioux City Mansion Gets Another Chance
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The City Council has given another demolition reprieve to a 125-year-old home in Sioux City's historic Rose Hill district.
The council voted on Monday to give Jim Gengler the extra time to either repair or sell the home.
It was flagged by the city in August 2013 for severe rot and other structural issues. This past February the council gave Salvador Carrasco 150 days to at least make significant progress on renovations. City records say he has not. On Monday Gengler told the council that he's bought the home from Carrasco.