---- — Successful fundraising helps spruce Terrace Hill
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Shiny new kitchen equipment, a modern furnace and fresh paintwork are among the recent updates at the historic Iowa governor's mansion thanks to a successful fundraising campaign.
Just over $2 million has been pledged to a fundraising effort led by the Terrace Hill Foundation for improvements and to establish an endowment for the Victorian mansion donated to the state in 1971 for use as the official governor's residence. The fundraising has exceeded the $1.6 million goal set two years ago, and several key renovation projects have already been completed.
"It turned out better than we thought," said Barbara Filer, the Terrace Hill administrator, who has worked on and off at the mansion since 1988.
Not all the improvements to the three-story building perched on a hill just outside downtown Des Moines are visible to the public eye. About $700,000 went to fully redo the basement kitchen, which had seen little improvement since the 1970s. A new energy-efficient heating and cooling system cost $1.3 million— an expense that was shared with the state. Those updates were long overdue, said Filer.
"The Branstads love to have people visit here. They love to entertain," she noted Friday, as the mansion was being put to rights after a Halloween bash the previous night.
Some more esthetically pleasing improvements include repairing plaster walls and repainting traditional stenciled wall art in the dining room and an upstairs hall. On deck for the future are new storm windows for the first floor and bathroom updates in the basement level.
Filer said the fundraising dollars were essential because the state only budgets about $500,000 annually for upkeep and staffing at the mansion. Some additional funding goes to two household employees.
------College presidents find smaller can be better
ST. LOUIS (AP) — After five scandal-plagued years as University of North Carolina chancellor, Holden Thorp was downright ecstatic to start over on a campus where the term "student-athlete" doesn't evince snickers and groans.
The new provost at the private Washington University spends little time worrying about academically suspect jocks — as a Division III school, WashU doesn't even award athletic scholarships. It's a far cry from Chapel Hill, where an academic fraud investigation found dozens of athletes taking no-show classes, along with assorted other abuses, and led to Thorp's resignation from the top job at his alma mater — the sole college he applied to as a high school senior in Fayetteville, N.C.
"I wanted to get back closer to the academic side of things," said Thorp, who arrived in St. Louis three months ago. "Washington University, more than a public university, is on the whole more unapologetically devoted to academic achievement as its primary focus." For him, "that is a liberating feeling."
His move down the academic chain surprised many, but Thorp is not alone among college CEOs seeking such refuge, especially those who have weathered the turbulent world of big-time sports. Current and past college presidents, as well as education industry observers, say many campus heads are unprepared for the white-hot glare that campus athletics emit when things go wrong, from player arrests to NCAA investigations and coach firings — or in Thorp's case, all three.
"There were a lot of misconceptions about college sports," Thorp said, alluding to the notion that at UNC, the quest for athletics success would never compromise the school's academic standards. "In some ways, I was as much a part of this as anybody, protecting people from some of the tough truths about college sports."
In a report last year by the American Council on Education, nearly one-quarter of the more than 1,600 college presidents surveyed said they were also unprepared for the rigors of fundraising — whether for academics or athletics.
At Syracuse University, president and chancellor Nancy Cantor is headed to the much smaller Newark, N.J., campus of Rutgers, two years after firing an assistant basketball coach who'd been accused of sex crimes but never charged.
------Waterloo Catholics planning to lose a priest
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) — Catholics in Waterloo are preparing to lose one of their four priests in reorganization but all four parishes should remain open.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports (http://bit.ly/18QjbgAhttp://bit.ly/18QjbgA ) the change will be made whenever an opening is creating by a retiring or reassigned priest.
The consolidation plans are being drafted now so the area will be ready.
Monsignor Lyle Wilgenbusch says the Archdiocese of Dubuque hasn't been able to attract enough new priests to replace retiring ones.
So it's common in the area to have one priest serving two or more parishes.
The Waterloo parishes already cooperate and share an adult faith formation director and a website.
------8 arrested in Oelwein drug case, 6 more sought
OELWEIN, Iowa (AP) — Eight people have been arrested in a drug investigation in Fayette County and authorities say they're searching for six others.
Oelwein Police Chief Jeremy Logan says the investigation involved his department, the Fayette County Sheriff's department, Iowa State Patrol, and West Union police. He says it's a continuation of a similar operation several months ago.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (http://bit.ly/19nXKI8http://bit.ly/19nXKI8 ) reports officers found marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and firearm believed to have been stolen at a home in Oelwein after a search.
The men and women arrested are from Hazleton, Oelwien, and West Union. They range in age from 22 to 50. Charges include conspiracy to deliver marijuana, possession of controlled substances, and delivery of methamphetamine and marijuana.
The six sought are from Oelwien, Waucoma, Monona, and Postville.
Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.comhttp://www.wcfcourier.com
------Iowa man enters guilty plea in mall crash case
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — An Iowa City man who crashed his SUV through the front door of Scheels at Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville last December has pleaded guilty to several charges.
Charges against 24-year-old Joseph Moreno include drunken driving, first-degree burglary, reckless use of a firearm, and carrying a concealed weapon.
The Iowa City Press Citizen reports (http://icp-c.com/HyJBhohttp://icp-c.com/HyJBho ) he entered written pleas Oct. 25 and will be sentenced Jan. 6.
Police say he was found inside the store sleeping Dec. 29. His vehicle had crashed through the front doors and was parked inside. A handgun had been fired multiple times.
Police say Moreno told them he had drank whiskey and could not recall driving into Scheels.
Officers found glass gun cases smashed and shotguns, rifles and ammunition strewn about the store.