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Des Moines, Iowa
Investigative Reporter — Des Moines Register

Investigative reporter at The Des Moines Register

Illegally in the red: Iowa schools plead for leniency

desmoinesregister.com — Dozens of superintendents, board members and executives from Iowa's financially troubled schools went before a state committee last week in a gut-wrenching - and perhaps last-ditch - effort to save their districts. They outlined plans to fire teachers, close buildings, cut programs and launch early retirement incentives designed to rid the schools of their most experienced, albeit more highly compensated, staffers.

Records recovery: School documents return to public eye

desmoinesregister.com — A project at the University of Northern Iowa is helping to bring tens of thousands of the state's long forgotten or lost rural school history records back into the public domain. Want to review the attendance records of family ancestors? Frame grandma's 3rd-grade report card? See a teacher contract from the early 1900s?

State told to let ‘non-Muslim’ prisoners observe Ramadan

desmoinesregister.com — Two Iowa prisoners have won the right to participate in Muslim customs even though the state says they are not Muslims. Inmates Michael Williams-El and James Blair-Bey - both serving life sentences for first-degree murder - are members of the Moorish Science Temple of America and identify their faith as "Moorish Islam."

Suspected Taser whistleblower doesn’t get job back

desmoinesregister.com — A former Muscatine County jailer who said he was fired after his bosses suspected he was a whistleblower who alerted The Des Moines Register about his coworkers' tasing a mentally disabled woman has been denied his request to return to work. Officer Barry Major was fired in January of 2014 for what state records show was his Nov.

No speeding ticket? State again investigates its own

desmoinesregister.com — A fellow trooper pulled over an off-duty Iowa State Patrol captain for speeding while driving a van belonging to Special Olympics Iowa in November, but neither ticketed him nor generated an incident report involving the stop, a patrol spokesman acknowledged Monday.

Court: School merger doesn't invalidate contract

desmoinesregister.com — An Iowa Supreme Court ruling this month will have long-term consequences on how - or even if - some schools share services in the future, potentially increasing pressures for hundreds of already struggling districts, administrators involved in the legal battle said.

Mason unaware of coach, administrator's relationship, she says

desmoinesregister.com — As part of its investigation into field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum, Iowa looked at whether her relationship with Jane Meyer, the university's senior women's athletics administrator, posed a professional conflict. The probe concluded the relationship was not prohibited. University President Sally Mason nonetheless told the Register she found it concerning and learned of it only recently.

Boarded up: Iowans wrestle with school closures

desmoinesregister.com — The three-story brick school here sits in shambles, overlooking a town whose population has dwindled by 60 percent since an Iowa Supreme Court ruling shut the building down in 1967. That ruling upheld a controversial state law passed in 1958 that required almost all Iowa schools to be a part of a K-12 district; a law that ultimately resulted in the closure of thousands of schools.

Does Iowa treat female coaches differently?

desmoinesregister.com — University of Iowa field hockey players ended up in therapy due to their coach's actions, which included forbidding them from eating white bread during the season and calling them stupid, an undisclosed number of players claimed. But the university's investigation failed to substantiate those anonymous students' statements against head coach Tracey Griesbaum, concluding on Aug.

Judge: Child abuse video won’t be made public

desmoinesregister.com — Video footage showing what Iowa officials say is a former state worker physically abusing a 17-year-old girl is a confidential record and need not be disclosed by the state, a Polk County judge ruled this week.
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Jan 13, 2015

RT @tonyleys: Flatulence ruins prayer routine, so Iowa prison must stop feeding inmate beans, lawsuit demands. dmreg.co/1IF9MuT via @jasonclayworth

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