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January 2014

Branstad says Iowa can’t afford 6 percent aid increase for schools | TheGazette

Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday the state cannot afford to increase supplemental aid to K-12 public schools by 6 percent in fiscal 2016, as Senate Democrats have proposed.

Democrats, who hold a 26-24 majority in the Iowa Senate, were slated to begin work this week on legislation that sought to boost the state aid to schools by 6 percent for the 2015-16 school year that begins on July 1, 2015. A Legislative Services Agency analysis estimated the Democratic package would increase the proposed fiscal 2016 general fund appropriation for school aid by $222.5 million.

“There is not adequate funding in (the state’s five-year budget projections) to increase spending in schools by 6 percent a year,” Branstad told reporters on Monday. “I think it is important that we implement what we committed to last year rather than take on new things that we may not be able to afford.”


Restored 'Mural' to return to Iowa this summer | Iowa Now - The University of Iowa

Jackson Pollock's Mural, Iowa's most famous painting and one of the world's most significant and iconic Modern masterpieces, will return to Iowa this summer after nearly two years of conservation work by the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles.

The newly restored painting will be on display at the Sioux City Art Center June 10, 2014 to April 10, 2015.

Commissioned in 1943 by renowned art patron Peggy Guggenheim, Mural by Jackson Pollock (1912–1956) is seen by many as symbolizing the beginning of the American revolution in abstract art after World War II.

The University of Iowa received this important art donation from Guggenheim just after the war, when she identified Iowa as having one of the most forward-thinking and advanced art programs in the country. This painting has since become an integral part of the Iowa's artistic legacy and heritage, not only enriching our educational programs, but also bringing national and international attention to our state's cultural offerings.

In June 2008, Mural and thousands of other pieces of art were removed from the former UI Museum of Art building when the Iowa City River flooded the arts campus. In 2009, the painting was loaned to the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, where more than 150,000 Iowa residents, students, and visitors enjoyed it before it was sent to the Des Moines Art Center in April 2012.

In summer 2012, Mural was transported to the Getty Center, where it underwent technical study and conservation treatment by research scientists at the Getty Conservation Institute and conservators at the J. Paul Getty Museum, both programs of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

This Pollock exhibition at the Sioux City Art Center is part of the UI Museum of Art's collections-sharing project, "Legacies for Iowa", generously supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family. This program not only provides works of art from the UIMA's 14,000-plus object collection free of charge to museums, nonprofit galleries, and art centers across the state of Iowa that meet professional museum standards, but also makes valuable connections and partnerships between UI students, faculty, staff, and audiences at partner locations across the state of Iowa.

Since the initiative was launched, close to half a million Iowans have participated in UIMA programming and art exhibitions.

For more information about the upcoming exhibition, contact the Sioux City Art Center at 712-279-6272 or visit its location at 25 Nebraska St., Sioux City, Iowa.


Coralville council to review report on bond rating strategies | TheGazette

The Coralville City Council will receive a report Tuesday from a consultant trying to help the city improve its poor bond rating.

Barry Fick of Minnesota-based Springsted Inc. has spent recent months reviewing the city’s finances and policies and has developed a plan that includes recommendations dealing with debt, economic development, tax increment financing and more.

The council will discuss the report at a work session that starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 1512 Seventh St.


Iowa's First Congressional District: Who is your pick in the GOP primary race for the U.S. House?

Current Issue
If you were to vote today in the GOP primary for Iowa's First Congressional District, who would you vote for?

Rod Blum
Gail Boliver
Steve Rathje
Walt Rogers

Woman Accused of Drunken Pizza Shop Assault | KCRG-TV9

IOWA CITY, Iowa - An Iowa City woman faces multiple charges for allegedly assaulting several people inside a downtown pizza restaurant.

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, shortly before 2 a.m. Saturday, officers were called to Mesa Pizza for a report of a woman assaulting customers inside.

Responding officers encountered 22-year-old Nora Sanchez-Castaneda sitting in front of Mesa Pizza. Police said Sanchez-Castaneda was crying and "in a drunken stupor."


UI studying needs of Graduate College

Faced with sluggish graduation rates, budget restraints and more federal restrictions, the University of Iowa's Graduate College is wondering if there is a better way to budget its money and prepare students for a more diverse job market.

"How can we utilize our resources to complete the mission set before us?" said John Keller, associate provost for Graduate Education and dean of the Graduate College. "Maybe we need to prepare fewer, better supported doctorates with skills to pursue a multitude of employment opportunities.

"It used to be heresy to say that we need fewer graduate students," he told the Iowa City Press-Citizen ( "But maybe it's what we will have to do to prepare for the employment market."


Tolbert conversion gives Rice 22-21 Pro Bowl win - Yahoo Sports

HONOLULU (AP) -- Jerry Rice has fresh bragging rights on Deion Sanders nearly a decade after both players retired from the NFL.

Dallas running back DeMarco Murray caught a 20-yard touchdown pass with 41 seconds left and Carolina running back Mike Tolbert plunged into the end zone for a 2-point conversion to give Rice a 22-21 win over Sanders in the first schoolyard-style Pro Bowl on Sunday.

''They called my number the whole way,'' Tolbert said on the field after the game. ''Philip (Rivers) told them to give it to me. My old teammate, he told them to give it to me.''

Baltimore's Justin Tucker missed a 67-yard field goal on the game's final play after missing a 66-yarder earlier in the game.


The 10 Best Taylor Swift Moments at the 2014 Grammys | Yahoo Music - Yahoo Music

At age 24, Taylor Swift is already a seasoned veteran of the awards show trail. And whenever she shows up, she finds a way to make herself the center of attention.  At the 2014 Grammys however, Taylor outdid herself, dancing, mugging, and head-banging her way to GIF immortality.

The highlight of the all-Taylor evening came about 2/3 of the way through her performance of her song, "All Too Well" when, apparently overcome with the emotion of her break-up ballad, the singer suddenly fell backwards and lunged forwards, her hair flying over her head as she treated the world to a decidedly un-Swiftian head-bang. 



Olive Garden, Applebee's struggle to stay relevant as consumers change dining habits | Michael Santoli - Yahoo Finance

Casual dining is in some serious trouble.

Americans have been told for decades, in cheery voiceovers, that inexpensive sit-down meals at national chains meant “Eating good in the neighborhood,” where “It’s always Friday.” Every mall or major intersection was given a Chili’s, an Olive Garden or an Applebee’s – sometimes all three.

Yet the casual-dining industry has largely worn out its welcome. Customer traffic to these restaurants has declined in nine of the past 13 years, according to retail-research firm Black Box Intelligence. Even as the U.S. economy began healing and consumer spending recovered, beginning in 2010, same-store sales were stagnant, based on Black Box estimates.