LET’S BUILD: The University of Iowa finally got the news it wanted: the federal government will pay toward replacing three UI buildings at new locations, not just for repairs at their present sites. That had been the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s original decision but the U.S. Department of Homeland Security held up things to do its own review. At stake was $83 million in FEMA money toward replacing Hancher Auditorium, School of Music and the Studio Arts complex, all heavily damaged in the 2008 flood.
GOOD RIDDANCE: Beth Townsend, who took became Iowa Civil Rights Commission director in 2011, quickly ended a clearly unethical practice recently detailed in news reports. After conducting stings on landlords suspected of illegally discriminating against housing applicants, the agency requested donations instead of pursuing legal action. At least 27 landlords since 2006 agreed to make donations. Townsend stopped that practice in February 2011.
NO FRAUD FOUND: A federal audit of Cedar Rapids’ $125 million-plus, post-flood property buyout program found no fraud. The city still must prove that payments made to the private firms hired to administer the disaster program were reasonable.