Wednesday Afternoon News, April 23
Le Mars And Plymouth County Discuss Future Of Joint Urban Renewal Development
(Le Mars) -- Officials from the city of Le Mars and Plymouth County are in the middle of discussions concerning the future of the Joint Urban Renewal Development. County Supervisor Don Kass serves on the committee and says at issue is the amount of debt and the timetable for which the debt is paid off as part of the tax increment financing or TIF between Le Mars and Plymouth County. Kass says the project consists of about $18 million dollars.
He says county officials would like to see the debt paid before any additional major development projects are added. Kass says the county has about 11 percent of the debt and the city's portion equals about 89 percent.
The county supervisor explains the positions of both entities regarding the development area under the TIF financing.
Kass says the current TIF program expires in 2027. Kass says if county officials were to see a major development project within the near future, they may change their minds. But, according to Kass, there are no immediate plans for additional development. He says one solution may be if Le Mars would want to acquire the county' share.
Kass says both the city and the county have consulted with a Des Moines law firm that is familiar with joint TIF financing projects.
Northwestern College Prepares For Graduation Ceremonies
ORANGE CITY, Iowa—Northwestern College will award 277 diplomas during commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 10. Twenty-five students will receive Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees, while the rest of the graduating seniors will be granted Bachelor of Arts degrees.
Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center of the Rowenhorst Student Center. Dr. James Bultman, former president of Northwestern College, will address the graduates in a speech entitled “To Serve or Be Served: That Is the Question.”
A live webcast of commencement will be available at www.nwciowa.edu/commencement/live. The college’s baccalaureate service is scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, May 9, in Christ Chapel.
Bultman served as Northwestern’s president from 1985 to 1999 before another 14-year term as president of Hope College until his retirement in 2013. During his tenure at both institutions, enrollment and endowments grew and successful fundraising campaigns were held that raised money for new construction and building renovations.
Veterans Home Worker Talks About Sexual Harrassment
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former Iowa Veterans Home worker has come forward with details of sexual harassment, intimidation, and threats from the former head of the home in Marshalltown.
The Senate Government Oversight Committee, investigating issues in the executive branch, released a recording Tuesday evening of an interview with Lisa Purvis.
Purvis, former marketing director at the home, was interviewed by a state human resources officer in February 2012 about alleged behavior of the home's former Commandant David Worley.
Purvis says Worley frequently harassed workers and veterans. She says she was laid off after she rebuffed a sexual advance in 2011.
Senate Oversight Committee members voice concern that Gov. Terry Branstad allowed Worley to keep working until he resigned in October 2013.
An active home telephone number for Worley couldn't be immediately located.
Chinese Man Accused Of Stealing Seed Is Set Free
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - More than four months after his arrest, one of six men from China charged with conspiring to steal valuable seed corn from U.S. companies has been released after posting a $50,000 cash bond.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Ross Walters on Tuesday approved the release of Mo Hailong, who is known as Robert Mo. He said the conditions of release agreed to by federal prosecutors and defense lawyers would "reasonably assure" his appearance at future court hearings.
Mo is one of six men facing charges in Des Moines after an FBI investigation determined patented seed corn was being taken from test fields containing highly valuable seed owned by Pioneer Hybrid and Monsanto. He was arrested in Miami, where he lived, in December. The others remain fugitives in China and Canada.
Deputy Secretary of State Paid While Position Eliminated
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz allowed his top aide to collect a $126,000 annual salary for seven months after deciding to eliminate his job and reassign his duties.
Schultz decided in May 2012 to eliminate the chief deputy position that was held by Jim Gibbons, a former Iowa State wrestling coach.
Rather than dismiss Gibbons as he did to four career workers laid off that summer, Schultz kept Gibbons on the payroll through the end of the year.
Schultz says he didn't want to dismiss Gibbons because his wife was seriously ill and believed it would take time to combine his two deputy positions.
Gibbons worked from home for one month. He then returned to the office for six months but didn't manage projects, Schultz says.