CEDAR RAPIDS CASINO
Gaming commission rejects Cedar Rapids casino
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission has rejected a proposed $164 million Cedar Rapids casino, saying it would hurt existing casinos.
Supporters of the Cedar Crossing Casino development have said it would give an economic boost to Cedar Rapids and the region. They also argued it would be a catalyst for development in an area ravaged by a 2008 flood, create jobs and generate millions for tax revenue and charities.
But representatives of casinos in Riverside, Dubuque and Waterloo fought the plan, saying it would take business away from them.
The five-member commission voted 4 to 1 against the new casino. The panel hasn't approved a new casino license since 2010, when it called for a three- to five-year moratorium due to concerns about market saturation.
LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADEMY-RETIREMENT
APNewsBreak: Embattled academy official to retire
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The assistant director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy will retire after facing months of criticism for making inappropriate sexual and threatening remarks to female cadets and colleagues.
A letter released Thursday to The Associated Press shows 71-year-old Michael Quinn will retire June 30.
The move comes after Senate Democrats held him up as an example of personnel mismanagement by Republican Gov. Terry Branstad's administration.
Quinn was the subject of reports by the AP last year showing that he was allowed to keep his job despite a state investigation that found he violated anti-discrimination and violence-free workplace policies.
The investigation found that he made remarks to cadets and employees about his testicles and his sex life and told one subordinate that he would "slit your throat" if she acted up.
IOWA STATE-CROWD DISTURBANCE
Group to study future of annual ISU celebration
AMES, Iowa (AP) - A task force has been formed to determine if an annual celebration at Iowa State University should continue in the future following a large crowd disturbance near campus.
University President Steven Leath announced the 20-member group Thursday. Tom Hill, senior vice president for student affairs, will lead it.
The group includes student leaders and staff, as well as the mayor of Ames and the police chief.
Plans for the task force were announced shortly after a crowd disturbance this month near campus. People gathered during the multi-day Veishea celebration are accused of overturning cars and toppling light poles. One student was injured.
The disturbance led to Veishea's suspension this school year. The group will study the celebration's history and offer recommendations to Leath before the end of June.
Experts say Iowa suspect competent for trial
LOGAN, Iowa (AP) - Two psychiatric experts say an 18-year-old suspect is competent to stand trial on a charge that he killed his 5-year-old foster brother in western Iowa's Harrison County.
The two University of Iowa experts testified Wednesday that Cody Metzker-Madsen was extremely immature but said his "brain works very well."
Metzker-Madsen has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge in the slaying of Dominic Elkins on Aug. 31 last year. Authorities say the little boy died of head injuries and drowning. His body was found at the bottom of a rural ravine north of Logan.
Metzker-Madsen was 17 at the time.
The final decision rests with Judge Kathleen Kilnoski, who did not say Wednesday when she would rule on the defendant's competence for a murder trial.
WORTH COUNTY GRANDSTAND
Group funds work on N. Iowa grandstand
NORTHWOOD, Iowa (AP) - A grant of more than $190,000 will pay for a makeover of a northern Iowa grandstand that dates to the 1930s.
The Mason City Globe Gazette reports Thursday that the Worth County Development Authority approved a $193,830 grant for the renovation of the Worth County Fairgrounds grandstand.
The grant to the Worth County Beautification organization was among $855,372 given out by the authority, which is the charitable arm of the Diamond Jo Worth Casino.
Worth County Conservation Director Dean Mueller, who heads the beautification group, says the money will pay for a stairway this is accessible to disabled people, the replacement of crumbling concrete, new aluminum seating, a new announcer's booth and cable safety railings.
Work is expected to begin in July.
Overall index up in rural Midwest banker survey
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The overall index for an economic survey of bankers in 10 Midwestern and Plains states has risen for a second consecutive month, suggesting more growth in the months ahead.
The Rural Mainstreet Index hit 53.2 in April, compared with 50.1 in March.
The survey indexes range from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. A score above 50 suggests growth in the months ahead.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the results indicate that areas highly dependent on agriculture and energy are experiencing slower growth than they were a year ago. But he says recent increases in commodity prices should boost the economy in the months ahead.
Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed.
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