Plea deal reduces charges against ex-Waukee schools official

first_imgWAUKEE, Iowa (AP) — The former chief operating officer of the Waukee school district has resolved criminal misconduct in office allegations by pleading guilty to lesser charges.Dallas County on Friday dropped felony charges against former Waukee chief operating officer Eric Rose.Instead, Rose pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges related to his personal use of a district snowblower and his solicitation of district vendors to make donations to his son’s hockey team. The dismissed charges related to allegations that he directed staff to falsify time cards of a maintenance worker who ran an errand for him.Rose was granted a deferred judgment, which means the charges will be dismissed after he completes one year probation, and fined $630.His attorney, Grant Woodard, said his client is satisfied with the agreement and “looks forward to putting this all behind him.”Rose was charged in December after a state audit of the school district described a culture of questionable spending and management decisions by administrators.last_img read more

Iowa Climate Statement: dangerous heat events will be more frequent and severe

first_imgDES MOINES — A group of 216 “climate educators” from 38 colleges and universities in Iowa have issued a statement, warning “extreme” temperatures are ahead.“Conditions will become very dangerous at times, much more so than we are experiencing at the present time,” Iowa State Univesity atmospheric sciences professor Bill Gutowski said during a news conference Wednesday at the statehouse.The group’s analysis indicates the number of days when temperatures exceed 90 degrees will at least double within the next two decades.“Depending again on how we work towards reducing our increasing greenhouse gases,” Gutowski said, “so it’s not hopeless and I want people to realize it’s not hopeless and there are adaptations that we can do as well.”Yet the group of Iowa scientists warns flooding is more likely with a warmer and more humid atmosphere, plus Iowans may have to adjust when they spend time outdoors to avoid heat-related illnesses.“The Iowans most at risk for becoming ill — whether having heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat stroke or suffering death — include our friends and neighbors who work outside on a regular basis, older adults above age 65, infants and children, those individuals with chronic conditions, low-income households and our athletes,” Drake University environmental science professor Peter Levi said.Levi said 1435 people died of heat-related illnesses during the recent heat wave in France and two-thirds of those who died were over the age of 75. There will be an economic as well as a health impact to rising temperatures, according to Levi, who indicated the state’s livestock industry will have to adjust to extreme heat.“Confined livestock are at increased risk of death or significantly lower productivity as livestock will not reach market weight in the same time frame when stressed due to high temperatures,” Levi said.The 2019 Iowa Climate Statement concludes “dangerous heat events will be more frequent and more severe.” The group of Iowa scientists acknowledge climate change has become a controversial issue in the political atmosphere and they’ve not been able to convince everyone of the severity of future weather disruptions. The group is emphasizing that Iowans can take action on a local level, by doing things like installing solar panels and encouraging utility companies to diversity with wind and solar projects.last_img read more

Winnebago Industries to stick to schedule of resuming production, establishes employee assistance fund for hardship cases

first_imgFOREST CITY — Winnebago Industries says they will stick with their previously announced schedule of resuming production at certain of its locations in the month of May.The Forest City-based outdoor lifestyle manufacturing company plans to restart operations in a graduated manner aligned with a confirmed base of existing orders at their Newmar, Grand Design RV and Winnebago Motorhomes facilities next week, and with the Winnebago Towables line the week of May 11th. The company resumed production at their Chris-Craft and Specialty Vehicles lines the week of April 13th.The company says future production rates and plans will vary by brand and are subject to change, as the company will continue to evaluate the demand conditions present in its end markets. All employees will be required to adhere to applicable safety protocols such as appropriate social distancing measures, strict sanitization practices, the use of personal protective equipment, and daily health checks.Winnebago CEO Michael Happe says the company remains focused on ensuring the health and safety of the employees as they continue to gradually restart manufacturing operations around the company in a disciplined manner. He says while the last many weeks have been challenging for all stakeholders, the company is cautiously optimistic about several indicators within the outdoor industry, including an uptick in campground reservations, continued low gas prices and interest rates.The company also announced today a special emergency assistance resource fund for employees with particularly high cases of financial hardship due to the pandemic. The Winnebago Industries Foundation is providing a multiple six-figure financial grant to the fund, which it intends to focus on hardship cases now and transition to an ongoing, general emergency assistance fund for its employees into the future.last_img read more

Supreme Court confirms Messi 21-month suspended jail sentence for fraud

Former Barcelona president Sandro Rosell was arrested on Tuesday in a money laundering investigation related to image rights in the Brazilian national football team, a police spokesman told AFP.The police operation was mainly carried out in the northeastern region of Catalonia and for the moment “there are four or five detainees, including the former president of Barca, Sandro Rosell, and his wife,” the police spokesman said.The investigation focuses on “money laundering in companies linked to the image rights of the Brazilian football team,” police added.Officers were searching the homes of those arrested as part of the operation as well as at several company headquarters in Barcelona, Girona and Lleida in Catalonia and in Andorra, a tiny principality wedged between Spain and France, police said.Businessman Rosell, 53, was manager of sporting goods giants Nike in Brazil and oversaw the contract for the national team to wear the US brand, before taking over as president of Barcelona in 2010.He resigned as Barcelona president in 2014 after being charged over alleged tax fraud relating to the club’s signing of Brazil striker Neymar from Santos. He was later cleared of all charges in connection with the case following an agreement with prosecutors.Rosell will nevertheless be tried for fraud and corruption relating to a parallel complaint filed by Brazilian investment company DIS, which owned 40 percent of Neymar’s sporting rights at the time of his transfer.DIS claim it was cheated out of its real share because part of the transfer fee was concealed by Barcelona, Santos and the Neymar family.A Spanish court earlier this month ordered Neymar and his parents to stand trial for alleged “business corruption” over the affair, making him the latest star from the Catalan club to have to take the stand.Five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and his father were given 21-month suspended jail sentences in July 2016 for tax fraud relating to the player’s image rights.Barca’s Argentine defender Javier Mascherano also agreed a one-year suspended sentence with authorities for tax fraud earlier this year.Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO Messi . PHOTO BY AFPSpain Supreme Court confirms Messi fraud sentenceMadrid, Spain | AFP | Spain’s Supreme Court on Wednesday confirmed a 21-month jail sentence and 2.09-million-euro ($2.25 million) fine imposed on Lionel Messi for tax fraud, months after the Barcelona football star lodged an appeal.The Argentina international and his father Jorge Horacio Messi were in July 2016 found guilty of using companies in Belize, Britain, Switzerland and Uruguay to avoid paying taxes on 4.16 million euros of Messi’s income earned from his image rights from 2007-09.The income related to Messi’s image rights that was hidden includes endorsement deals with Danone, Adidas, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble and the Kuwait Food Company.Both Messi and his father were given 21 months in jail — sentences likely to be suspended as is common in Spain for first offences for non-violent crimes carrying a sentence of less than two years.They appealed to the Supreme Court.While the court confirmed the sentence for Messi on Wednesday, it reduced it to 15 months jail for his father, taking into account that his football star son had paid back the defrauded money to tax authorities.During last year’s trial, Messi had argued that he trusted his father with his finances and “knew nothing” about how his wealth was managed.But the Supreme Court argued that he would have known about his obligation to pay taxes on income earned from his image rights.Messi’s tax fraud trial in June last year took place against a backdrop of simmering voter anger over steep cuts to health and social spending, as the government struggles to bring Spain’s public deficit down****Ex-Barcelona president arrested in money laundering probe read more

West Ham players need to “step it up”, warns Moyes

first_imgLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | New West Ham boss David Moyes warned his under-performing players to “step it up” or face the axe as he appeared before the press for the first time on Wednesday.The former Everton and Manchester United boss replaced Slaven Bilic on Tuesday and faces a tough task to turn around the fortunes of the London club, mired in the Premier League relegation zone.Moyes has already overseen two gruelling training sessions since he was appointed.Questions were raised about the fitness levels of the squad under Bilic, with damning statistics showing they were bottom of the class when it came to sprints and distance covered.But Moyes, who is in talks to bring in no-nonsense former Hammers defender Stuart Pearce as part of his coaching staff, said there would be no easing up on his watch.“If you are asking me where my best attribute is, it’s out on the grass training with players, but we need the players to show it,” he said.“Once they know they are running the least and sprinting the least they need to take responsibility.“The sessions will be tough for them but hopefully they will enjoy it too. We are working them hard and trying to get the best we can out of them.”Moyes, who believes he needs to rebuild his reputation after a number of managerial failures, said the players were anxious to showcase their worth but said if they did not put the effort in, they would not play. “Step it up or you won’t play, if you don’t run you won’t play. I’m in a hurry and they need to be in a hurry too,” he said.Moyes has been given a contract until the end of the season, with a clear brief to pull the club away from relegation trouble.“It’s good for us both,” said the 54-year-old Scot. “It’s good for me because I’m back in, it’s what I do and want to do well. I think it’s good for West Ham as well, they’ve got a good manager.“Managers aren’t now having long-term contracts so I’m more than comfortable. If I’d taken over at the start of season I’d have said a year at the time.“It gives me a chance to see the east end of London, to see the players, and let West Ham see what David Moyes can do.“My ambition at the moment is only short term, I have to win games, get us away from the wrong end of the table — and the squad is good enough.”Moyes managed Everton for 11 years from 2002 before leaving the club to replace Alex Ferguson at Manchester United but was dismissed after just 10 months in charge. He also had a disappointing stint in Spain with Real Sociedad.“I do have a point to prove,” he said. “Sometimes you have to repair things and maybe I’ve got a little bit to repair.”Moyes has been out of management since he resigned from his post at Sunderland at the end of last season after failing to prevent the northeast club being relegated from the Premier LeagueShare on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Hearing opens as Man City appeal two-year European ban

first_imgManchester City’s appeal against a two-season ban from European football began on MondayLausanne, Switzerland | AFP | Manchester City’s appeal against a two-year ban from European competition opened before the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Monday by videoconference, a court official told AFP.City are accused of overstating sponsorship revenue to hide their failure to comply with UEFA’s financial fair-play (FFP) rules between 2012 and 2016. In addition to the ban, they were also fined 30 million euros ($34 million, £27 million).“The hearing has started well and the video conference is working well,” Matthieu Reeb, the secretary general of the Lausanne-based CAS, said.The remote hearing, which pits Manchester City against UEFA lawyers, opened 09:00 local time (0700 GMT) and is scheduled to last three days before closing on Wednesday evening.Reeb said a decision could announced in July.Even if City’s appeal to CAS fails, the English champions could present a further appeal before the Swiss Federal Court, also based in Lausanne.UEFA’s case was prompted by a series of leaked emails published by German magazine Der Spiegel in 2018 that seemed to show how City manufactured extra sponsorship revenue from a series of companies with connections to the club’s Abu Dhabi-based owner Sheikh Mansour.Under the Sheikh’s ownership, City’s fortunes have been transformed, winning four Premier League titles in the past eight years.However, the billions invested in players and managers have not yet delivered the club’s first Champions League title.City are still involved in this season’s competition and will be allowed to compete should the 2019/20 edition of the Champions League return in August, no matter the outcome of the appeal.Another European powerhouse, Italian club AC Milan, has already been excluded from European competitions for failing to comply with the FFP rules, after losing their appeal to CAS in June 2019.A two-season ban from the competition would represent a huge blow to City’s prestige, finances and hope of keeping manager Pep Guardiola and key players like Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.“Two years would be long. One year is something I might be able to cope with,” De Bruyne told Het Laatste Nieuws last month. City banked 93 million euros from prize money and television rights alone by reaching the quarter-finals of last season’s Champions League.The further loss of gate receipts and commercial revenue would make it extremely difficult for the club to meet FFP regulations without cutting costs.– Harder line –City have steadfastly rejected UEFA’s allegations.“Based on our experience and our perception, this seems to be less about justice and more about politics,” said CEO of the City Football Group Ferran Soriano.UEFA has been under pressure, most publicly from La Liga president Javier Tebas, to impose a harder line on clubs backed by states, such as City and Qatari-owned Paris Saint-Germain.European football’s governing body also have plenty riding on the case. If they lose the appeal, the FFP regulations would be undermined.A delayed outcome would leave a cloud hanging over the return of the Premier League season.City seem certain to secure Champions League qualification on the field with a 12-point lead over fifth-placed Manchester United.If they are excluded, fifth would be good enough for the riches of next season’s Champions League, which are all the more valuable during the economic crisis caused by coronavirus.Just six points separate United from Crystal Palace in 11th, leaving plenty to play for in the final nine rounds of matches of the season once the Premier League restarts on June 17.Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

Short-Term Fix Restores Water to Much of Ft. Lauderdale; Boil Water Advisory Remains

first_imgThere is some good news for those in and around Fort Lauderdale.City officials announced Thursday afternoon that they have implemented a temporary fix that has already restored water to much of the city, following a city-wide outage that started earlier in the week.They originally shut the water off Wednesday morning around 7 a.m. to make emergency repairs to a major water main.That affected 220,000 customers and caused the city to issue a state of emergency.However, city commissioner Ben Sorensen explains that even those who have had their water restored need to continue boiling water before consuming it, until a long-term solution is implemented. He adds, “We continue to work on a long-term resolution. It is very possible we will again lose water service as we make continued long-term repairs.”According to Sorensen, it was Florida Communication Concepts, a private contractor that was repairing electric lines for FPL, which cut a 6-inch hole in a 42-inch concrete water line that goes to the Fiveash water treatment facility near the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport on Wednesday afternoon. The city ended up shutting off the water supply from the well fields to repair the line.Florida Communication Concepts has already been cited and issued a notice to appear in an enforcement action. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis says service could be fully restored by Thursday night or Friday morning, although others in the Public Works Department say it most likely will not be restored until late Friday afternoon or evening.According to city officials, other affected cities and areas include: Port Everglades, Oakland Park, Davie, Lauderdale By-the-Sea, Sea Ranch Lakes, Tamarac, and Wilton Manors.All Broward Health hospitals and urgent care centers remain open.In addition, DaVita is still offering dialysis treatment at all six locations, which serve 403 patients, in the affected area. Those in need of dialysis care are asked to call DaVita Guest Services at (800) 400-8331.Meanwhile, water is being brought in from other communities.There are three bottled water locations set up in the city:Beach Community Center, 3351 NE 33rd Avenue, Fort LauderdaleMills Pond Park, 2201 NW 9th Avenue, Fort LauderdaleRiverland Park, 555 SW 11th Avenue, Fort LauderdalePeople with questions can call the City of Fort Lauderdale’s 24-Hour Neighbor Service Center at (954) 828-8000.CLOSURESThe following events and venues have been closed, canceled, or put on hold:Broward CenterBroward County CourthouseLA Fitness and Whole Foods on Federal Highway near Oakland Park BoulevardGalleria MallBroward County Convention Center, host to the USA Volleyball High Performance ChampionshipsMain LibraryAfrican American Research Library and Cultural CenterRiverside Hotel in Las OlasNo Water Service in Fort Lauderdale for 24 Hours Due to Main Break Sorensen says, “Crews responded immediately to assess the situation and worked through the night attempting to shut down the valves that control the water flow in order to activate a bypass line. While the work was taking place, the damaged pipe collapsed, necessitating that the water flow from the wells be shut off. We are working on three solutions simultaneously.”On Thursday afternoon, crews were still working on shutting down large valves, each of which takes about 700 turns to shut off, in order to try to activate the bypass line and get water flowing back into the Fiveash plant.Sorensen adds that a replacement pipe was found in Miami-Dade County. A crew flying in from out of state will attempt to put a line stop on the damaged line that will also allow a bypass to be activated.last_img read more

Tom Brady selling customized Cadillac Escalade for $300,000

first_imgTampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback, Tom Brady, is selling his Cadillac Escalade ESV for $300,000.He is parting ways with his ESV! Brady has listed the 2018 stretched Cadillac Escalade ESV on California-based Becker Automotive Design’s website. The 20-inch customized SUV comes complete with a 32-inch LCD television screen, rear doors that extend by 10 inches, beige-leather interior seating that includes two six-way electric reclining seats with extra leg rests and a mobile internet router that allows for multiple service providers.According to the listing, the SUV only has 13,000 miles on it. The asking price is $300,000 or best offer.last_img read more

Palm Beach County’s Face Mask Order Takes Effect Thursday

first_img-Violators can be fined $250 for the first violation and $500 for each additional violation. Unlike Miami-Dade and Broward counties, the county’s order does not make any mention of jail.-The draft ordinance also does not include penalties for businesses that fail to comply, but they still must follow state orders.“The county’s emphasis will be education, education, education,” said Mayor Dave Kerner. “Wearing a mask is an act of kindness” to protect people around you, he said.The Florida Department of Health reported on Wednesday that 109,014 people statewide have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.Palm Beach County had 356 new cases reported Wednesday, bringing its total to 11,536 cases. In addition 495 people have died in the county as a result of the virus.Medical officials told commissioners on Tuesday that facial coverings are not dangerous to people wearing them, and could prevent someone who is unaware they have the virus from infecting others. People in Palm Beach County will be required to wear masks in public beginning on Thursday morning.The rules, which the county commission approved unanimously on Tuesday, will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday.The county’s attorney was still reviewing an order outlining the requirements late Wednesday. However, these are the major points:-Facial coverings must be worn indoors, including stores and restaurants, and they must be worn outdoors where social distancing is not possible.-Plastic facial shields, without masks, are permitted.-There are exemptions for people with a medical condition such as asthma; people who are exercising and still social distancing; while eating and drinking; and for children under age 2.last_img read more