MN commissioner’s moonlighting raises conflict of interest questions

By   /  July 17, 2014  /  Iowa, Minnesota, News  /  No Comments

original_photo_josh_tilsen-240x300

His resume posted on the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board website stands out: “Conducted hundreds of grievance hearings and mediation sessions.”

So does his daily fee: $1,200 per day, plus “actual costs for meals, lodging and miscellaneous; IRS rate for mileage.”

But what most distinguishes Josh Tilsen from the other 59 arbitrators listing their services on the Iowa state government website? His full-time day job in the next state over, serving as commissioner of the Minnesota Bureau of Media Services at a salary of $95,000 per year.

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Tax mistake leads to sale of half a church

By   /  July 11, 2014  /  Iowa, National, News  /  No Comments

NOW WHAT?: Pastor Robert Garcia isn't sure what the next move is to save his church.

Mistaken assumptions, bureaucratic screw-ups and language problems have led to the rear half of a Muscatine church being sold for unpaid property taxes.

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Gas prices will climb, and you can blame corn

By   /  July 9, 2014  /  Iowa, News  /  No Comments

Carolina K. Smith MD / Shutterstock.com

Unless changes are made to the Renewable Fuel Standard, it will drive up the price of gas, according to a report from the Congressional Budget Office.

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Iowa ‘celebrates’ another Fourth without legal fireworks

By   /  July 3, 2014  /  Iowa, News  /  No Comments

NO FIRECRACKERS FOR THE FOURTH: Iowa's 76 year old ban on all consumer fireworks except sparklers and snakes remains in effect. But this might be its last year.

Jerri Andersen wasn’t impressed by the Fourth of July fireworks display at her local Hy-Vee in Urbandale.

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Board to spend $927,000 for a road to almost nowhere

By   /  June 30, 2014  /  Iowa, News  /  No Comments

KDOT proposes cutting 5 percent of its Topeka headquarters workforce.

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors voted to borrow $927,000 for a road project which, the county engineer says, will be little used after 2016.

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School employees earn ‘wellness’ dollars without a breaking a sweat

By   /  June 26, 2014  /  Iowa, News  /  No Comments

GET YOURS TODAY: Des Moines school employees will get a free Fitbit.

By Paul Brennan | Iowa Watchdog
DES MOINES, Iowa — Employees of the Des Moines Public Schools can forget about “no pain, no gain” when it comes to working out.
Next school year, both the fit and flabby will be eligible to receive a Fitbit, one of the trendiest pieces of workout gear, and the only place [...]

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