IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A $15 million gift from Des Moines businessman Richard O. Jacobson will bolster the teacher preparation program at the University of Northern Iowa, which should mean better-trained teachers in classrooms across Iowa, university officials said Wednesday.
The donation, the largest in school history, will be used to recruit top professors in reading and science education, fund research that seeks solutions to problems in education and give scholarships to encourage high-performing students to become teachers, officials said.
"I hope this gift will strengthen and create educational opportunities that will enable all of Iowa's children to achieve success as individuals and contributors to the larger community and society," Jacobson said in a statement issued while university leaders celebrated the donation during an event at the student union in Cedar Falls.
College of Education Dean Dwight Watson said the gift would allow the university to aspire to lofty goals, such as seeking to ensure all Iowa children can read by third grade and are exposed to more hands-on science learning in elementary school. Endowments will be created to pay for professors to focus on those areas in both their teaching and research, he said.
Although Iowa's two other public universities have education programs, UNI has always been known as Iowa's teaching school. It graduates more than 500 new teachers each year — most of whom stay in Iowa — and claims 17,000 alumni educators around the world. But the program has faced some turmoil of late because of funding cuts and sweeping changes to its operations.
At UNI President Ben Allen's recommendation, the Board of Regents closed the Malcolm Price Laboratory School last year, over the protests of parents, students and staff. The on-campus, pre-K through 12th grade public school had been run by the college for decades, as a place where students learned to teach and professors conducted research. Allen said the school had become too expensive to operate, and education majors are now student-teaching in nearby districts.
Part of Jacobson's gift will be used to support the new Center for Transformational Research and Development, a think tank aimed at replacing the research that had been performed at the lab school. Officials said the money would be used to pay for research fellows who will collaborate with school districts across Iowa to help solve problems and promote innovation and best practices.
MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) — Police say an eastern Iowa man deliberately hit another man with his vehicle following an argument.
The Dubuque Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/169l1vkhttp://bit.ly/169l1vk ) reports Charles Wright, of Manchester, faces an attempted murder charge in connection with the Friday incident.
A criminal complaint says Wright and the man were in an altercation at a bar. The man then left on foot and Wright followed him in his sport utility vehicle. Police say Wright steered his SUV onto a sidewalk and hit the man, before fleeing the scene.
The man was knocked into the street. His injuries were not life-threatening.
Wright was arrested Saturday and released Tuesday. A message left for his attorney Wednesday was not immediately returned.
Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.comhttp://www.thonline.com
WELLINGTON, Kan. (AP) — Authorities have identified a 42-year-old Iowa fugitive who was fatally shot by a farmer in south-central Kansas.
Sumner County Sheriff Darren Chambers says Joseph L. Lamasters, of Creston, Iowa, was wanted in that state for a probation violation stemming from drug charges.
KSN-TV (http://bit.ly/13HlfKAhttp://bit.ly/13HlfKA ) reports Kansas authorities began searching for Lamasters after he left his ID at a Kansas Turnpike tollbooth Monday, apparently to retrieve money to pay the toll. That's when authorities learned he was wanted in Iowa.
Lamasters ran into a wooded area and was spotted later Monday afternoon by a farmer. The farmer says he opened fire after Lamasters jumped out from a pile of feed sacks and threatened to kill him.
The sheriff says it was self-defense and he does not expect the farmer to be charged.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A winter storm marched into the Mid-Atlantic region Wednesday, dumping nearly two feet of snow in some places and knocking out power to about 250,000 homes and businesses. It largely spared the nation's capital, which was expecting much worse and had all but shut down because of dire forecasts.
Officials didn't want a repeat of 2011, when a rush-hour snowstorm stranded commuters for hours, so they told people to stay off the roads and gave workers the day off. Dubbed the "snowquester," the storm closed government offices, just as the automatic budget cuts known as the sequester were expected to do.
The storm pummeled the nation's midsection on Tuesday, killing at least four people in weather-related traffic accidents. It was forecast to head to the northeast on Thursday, bringing strong winds, more snow and the possibility of coastal flooding to New England.
In Washington, where as much as 10 inches were forecast, the storm did little but drop harmless snowflakes that rapidly melted amid warmer-than-expected temperatures.
"They just say that it might snow and the whole city shuts down," said Sheri Sable, who was out walking her two dogs in light rain and marveled at how even the dog park she frequents failed to open at 7 a.m.
There were problems elsewhere in the region, though.
Lashing winds blew off part of the roof of a Stone Harbor, N.J., condominium complex and Ocean City officials advised residents to move their cars to higher ground in preparation of possible flooding. Maryland's Bay Bridge, which connects Maryland's Eastern shore with the Baltimore-Washington region, closed in both directions, because of wind gusts of up to 60 mph.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gun permit records would be kept private under a bill that has cleared a state House committee.
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved the measure, which would make the name, address and other personal information on gun permit records private.
The records of people seeking to buy or carry guns now is public in Iowa.
The issue came up after a suburban New York City newspaper published an interactive online map listing the names and addresses of thousands of permit holders.
Republican Rep. Matt Windschitl, of Missouri Valley, says the bill would protect Iowans who don't own guns from criminals who could seek the information and then target them.