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ouncil needs to approve the budget first.

Business owner Catherine Champion says she is \"totally in love\" with the designs. Former Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey also was excited about the planned update of downtown streets.

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Three men have been arrested on suspicion of robbing a liquor store in Cedar Rapids.

Police say two men entered Big Discount Liquor on Tuesday night with guns and demanded money. No injuries were reported and the men left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Authorities say they quickly located a suspect vehicle and a pursuit ensued. The car was found unoccupied a short time later, but officers found two people matching the description of the robbery suspects. They were arrested.

A third suspect was identified in the investigation and arrested.

The men have been identified at 27-year-old Robert Larry Ray Barlow, 36-year-old Joshua M. Sandlin and 19-year-old Jack Daniels Yoders. They each face a charge of first-degree robbery, among others. Court records do not list attorneys.

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Authorities say they're looking for a man who failed to return from a work release assignment in central Iowa.

The state Department of Corrections says 24-year-old Nelson Messiah Humes was placed on escape status Saturday. He is accused of failing to return to the Curt Forbes Residential Center in Ames from a work release assignment.

Hume was on parole supervision before being transferred to work release in August. He is serving time for a conviction of willful injury causing bodily injury and first-degree theft.

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An Iowa sheriff's deputy says his agency has contracted to pick up a man in a Vermont jail so he can face charges in his home state.

Thirty-two-year-old Christopher M. Wood was arrested in the northeastern Vermont town of St. Johnsbury last week after a traffic stop and police discovered he's wanted on warrants stemming from an April hammer attack in Cherokee County.

A Vermont judge offered Wood the opportunity to drive himself home so he could face the charges, but he couldn't post the required bail.

Wood's attorney says his client wants to return to Iowa.

Cherokee County Chief Deputy Jeff Friedrichsen says Wood waived extradition and they've contracted with a transport company to get him. He doesn't know when Wood will be returned.

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A 38-year-old man is scheduled to be resentenced Wednesday for the 1992 slaying of a woman in Dubuque when he was a teenager.

Court records say Sean Rhomberg was 16 when he was charged after the November 1992 killing of 70-year-old Marion Carpenter. Rhomberg was convicted of stabbing Carpenter in the neck with a kitchen knife during a robbery attempt. Authorities say Carpenter had hired Rhomberg the day before to shovel snow at her home.

Rhomberg has been serving a life sentence. Rhomberg's attorney filed a motion for a resentencing after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a U.S. Supreme Court decision that banned sentences of life without parole for juveniles can be applied retroactively.

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Federal authorities say an Iowa man has been charged with defrauding his former employer in Illinois of at least $2.7 million.

U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis said 47-year-old Dominic Scodeller of Davenport, Iowa, was arrested Tuesday on charges of fraud and money laundering. A grand jury indicted Scodeller on 15 counts last week.

Authorities say Scodeller defrauded Bituminous Insurance Companies from about 2001 to May 2013. Scodeller was a purchasing and facilities manager for the Rock Island-based company. Authorities say he approved payments to bogus entities that he created and transferred the money for personal use.

Scodeller was ordered held in U.S. Marshals Service custody pending a detention hearing.

He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of fraud and money laundering. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

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An Iowa man who says he caught a Dubuque school van speeding while transporting students has been fired by a lawn care company.

Jay Shipley says that TruGreen Lawn Care fired him for recording the incident while he was driving a company vehicle. He said he was suspended last week and was fired Tuesday.

Shipley says he became concerned because the van was traveling more than 80 mph on Interstate 280 near North Liberty. He called the Iowa State Patrol and later posted the video on Facebook.

A Dubuque Community School District spokesman says a school staff member was driving students to a conference in Des Moines. The district is investigating the speeding allegations.

TruGreen says that its policy is to follow laws that prohibit speeding and using a cellphone while driving.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton will campaign with Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley in Iowa as the election nears.

The former first lady, senator and secretary of state planned to appear Wednesday at events in Cedar Rapids and Davenport. She was expected to stress early voting.

Clinton came to Iowa in September to headline retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's last annual \"Steak Fry\" fundraiser. She has kept up a busy schedule this fall, campaigning for Democrats in close races.

On Saturday, former President Bill Clinton will appear at two events in Iowa for Braley.

Braley, a four-term congressman from Waterloo, is locked in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst, a state lawmaker and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. Ernst will campaign Wednesday with Arizona Sen. John McCain.

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Authorities say they're investigating the cause of a train collision in Osage involving a grain truck.

Lt. Jeremiah Johnson of the Osage Police Department says the Canadian National Railway train hit the vehicle Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

Johnson says the truck was carrying corn to the Osage Co-Op Elevator when the collision occurred. Additional information about the circumstances is under investigation.

The driver of the truck was identified as 23-year-old Kolby Berg, of Osage. The train engineer is 60-year-old Thomas Howland, of Riceville.

The collision briefly affected traffic in the area.

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The driver of a semitrailer was sent to a hospital after his vehicle struck an Interstate 29 overpass in Iowa.

The crash happened Tuesday morning at the Port Neal Interchange near Salix. A sand silo being carried by the semitrailer struck the bottom of the overpass.

The silo went into the medium and struck two parked cars. The semitrailer continued on for about 100 feet and hit a construction crane.

The driver was taken to a local hospital, but additional information was not released. The crash affected traffic for the southbound lanes for several hours.

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A murder trial has begun for an 18-year-old charged in the death of a 5-year-old boy outside a rural home where they were foster children.

Lawyers for Cody Metzker-Madsen plan to use an insanity defense in the 2013 death of Dominic Elkins.

Authorities say Elkins was killed while the boys were playing outdoors at their home near Logan, in western Iowa. He died as a result of blunt-force head injuries and drowning.

Elkins' body was found at the bottom of a ravine.

Metzker-Madsen has pleaded not guilty and has waived his right to a jury trial. A judge will make the final ruling in the trial that began Tuesday and is expected to last two weeks.

Legal experts say that Metzker-Madsen will not be released from jail if found not guilty. He will likely face years in state care.

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A Waterloo man faces a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of another man at a nightclub in August.

36-year-old Rodolfo Gonzalez Pena made an appearance in court Tuesday. Online records do not list an attorney.

Pena is accused of shooting 35-year-old Celio Antonio Posada, of Minneapolis, in the early morning hours of Aug. 23. The pair hung out prior to the shooting. Authorities say they still don't know what led to the shooting.

Gonzalez has been jailed on gun charges since the shooting.

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A fire has destroyed a longtime furniture store in northeast Iowa.

Firefighters responded early Tuesday to Dungey's Furniture and Floors in New Hampton. They remained on the scene several hours later.

No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. No injuries have been reported.

New Hampton Fire Chief Steve Geerts says the store, which has been in business for more than 50 years, was destroyed.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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Commercial air flights will return to Fort Dodge with Air Choice One offering trips to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Fort Dodge has been without air service since Great Lakes Airlines stopped flights in February, because of a lack of pilots.

It's not yet known when the new flights by Air Choice One will start. The airline's chief administrative officer, Cindy Stork, says a starting date hasn't been finalized.

But Rhonda Chambers, the aviation director of Fort Dodge Regional Airport, says she expects the service will start in about 60 to 90 days. Chambers says the airport's commission is excited commercial flights will be offered again at the Fort Dodge airport.

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A former northeastern Iowa ethanol plant worker says a jury's $1.4 million verdict in her favor sends a message that workplace sexual harassment cannot be tolerated.

A jury ruled last week that Homeland Energy Solutions in Lawler must pay Tina Haskenhoff $100,000 for lost wages and $1.3 million for past and future emotional distress.

Haskenhoff says plant manager Kevin Howes and other employees repeatedly made inappropriate comments about her and other women. Haskenhoff says she was accused of poor performance after complaining in 2011.

Haskenhoff said Tuesday she cried after the Chickasaw County jury returned the verdict. The 46-year-old Sumner resident says she hopes that she can move on from a devastating period.

But corporation attorney Kevin Visser says the verdict's tainted by improper jury instructions that will be appealed.

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Two students have been suspended from a Lancaster-area high school football team after a prank involving the head of the school's Baron mascot.

The Manheim Central School District removed the defensive starters, both seniors, from the team. That happened after a photograph appeared on SnapChat showing one of them wearing the Baron's head while nude in the locker room.

Reno Dart and the player who took the photo were also suspended from school for three days for what the district deemed \"defacing school property.\"

The district did not identify the second player and declined comment.

Dart's parents told the newspaper the Oct. 17 photograph was likely in poor taste but not malicious. The mascot wasn't damaged.

They say the episode has cost both players college scholarship opportunities.

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FIFA says preparations for the Club World Cup in Morocco in December are continuing and there is currently no Ebola threat to cause it to be canceled.

The world soccer body says it is in contact with Moroccan authorities and is \"constantly updating its position\" with regard to Ebola on the advice of the World Health Organization.

Morocco has no reported cases of the deadly virus that has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa, almost all in the three worst-affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The Club World Cup, which will feature Champions League winner Real Madrid, is scheduled for Dec. 10-20.

FIFA also says it agrees with the Confederation of African Football's decision to move games out of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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Relatives of a Broncos fan who went missing during last week's game are concerned for his safety.

Police are still searching for 53-year-old Paul Kitterman since Thursday night's matchup with the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field. His stepson, Jarod Tonneson, says he was last seen after he left his seat to meet friends at halftime.

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said detectives do not suspect foul play, but he would not elaborate.

Relatives spent the weekend posting fliers and checking area hospitals and detox centers.

Tonneson says Kitterman had left his cellphone at home and did not have much cash. He says Kitterman has no known health problems and does not use drugs.

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The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has confirmed that a chemical company has decided to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in eastern Illinois.

Department spokesman David Roeder (ROH'-der) said Tuesday that Cronus Chemicals will build the plant just outside Tuscola. The plant will employ about 175 people. Another 2,000 temporary construction jobs are expected to be created while the plant is being built.

Roeder confirmed Cronus also plans to open a U.S. headquarters in Chicago with about 25 employees.

Construction is expected to start on the Cronus Fertilizers plant next spring and take about three years.

The company chose the site over another location in Mitchell County, Iowa. It considered sites in other states, too.

Details of any incentives that Illinois offered to Cronus weren't immediately available.

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Sioux City will install security cameras in its 17 elementary schools and update cameras in middle and high schools.

Officials say the move will help ensure the security of students and staff.

Technology director Neil Schroeder of the Sioux City school district said the elementary schools currently do not have security cameras installed in their buildings.

On Monday, the school district approved an agreement with Midwest Alarm to set up eight cameras in each elementary school.

Under the agreement, the company would also update more than 200 of the devices in middle schools, high schools and other district buildings.

The project is expected to cost about $454,000.

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Branstad orders end to confidential agreements

by KIX101.1 /1230 KFJB News Department posted Mar 24 2014 10:14AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad says he has signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies from signing confidential settlement agreements.

Branstad, back in Iowa from vacation, is responding to criticism of agreements reached between state agencies and several state employees who were fired and then paid more than $280,000 to keep quiet.

Branstad says Monday that Iowans expect more from state government and deserve better. He says he didn't know about the settlements.

His order requires settlement agreements to be reviewed by the attorney general's office and all agreements to be posted on a state website.

He's also ordered all past settlement agreements to be posted — that's more than 321 since he took office. He says 24 contain confidentiality agreements and 10 included lump sum payments to workers.


 
Filed Under :
Location : Des MoinesIowa
People : Terry Branstad
03/24/2014 10:13AM
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ouncil needs to approve the budget first.

Business owner Catherine Champion says she is \"totally in love\" with the designs. Former Iowa City Mayor Regenia Bailey also was excited about the planned update of downtown streets.

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Three men have been arrested on suspicion of robbing a liquor store in Cedar Rapids.

Police say two men entered Big Discount Liquor on Tuesday night with guns and demanded money. No injuries were reported and the men left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Authorities say they quickly located a suspect vehicle and a pursuit ensued. The car was found unoccupied a short time later, but officers found two people matching the description of the robbery suspects. They were arrested.

A third suspect was identified in the investigation and arrested.

The men have been identified at 27-year-old Robert Larry Ray Barlow, 36-year-old Joshua M. Sandlin and 19-year-old Jack Daniels Yoders. They each face a charge of first-degree robbery, among others. Court records do not list attorneys.

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Authorities say they're looking for a man who failed to return from a work release assignment in central Iowa.

The state Department of Corrections says 24-year-old Nelson Messiah Humes was placed on escape status Saturday. He is accused of failing to return to the Curt Forbes Residential Center in Ames from a work release assignment.

Hume was on parole supervision before being transferred to work release in August. He is serving time for a conviction of willful injury causing bodily injury and first-degree theft.

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An Iowa sheriff's deputy says his agency has contracted to pick up a man in a Vermont jail so he can face charges in his home state.

Thirty-two-year-old Christopher M. Wood was arrested in the northeastern Vermont town of St. Johnsbury last week after a traffic stop and police discovered he's wanted on warrants stemming from an April hammer attack in Cherokee County.

A Vermont judge offered Wood the opportunity to drive himself home so he could face the charges, but he couldn't post the required bail.

Wood's attorney says his client wants to return to Iowa.

Cherokee County Chief Deputy Jeff Friedrichsen says Wood waived extradition and they've contracted with a transport company to get him. He doesn't know when Wood will be returned.

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A 38-year-old man is scheduled to be resentenced Wednesday for the 1992 slaying of a woman in Dubuque when he was a teenager.

Court records say Sean Rhomberg was 16 when he was charged after the November 1992 killing of 70-year-old Marion Carpenter. Rhomberg was convicted of stabbing Carpenter in the neck with a kitchen knife during a robbery attempt. Authorities say Carpenter had hired Rhomberg the day before to shovel snow at her home.

Rhomberg has been serving a life sentence. Rhomberg's attorney filed a motion for a resentencing after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled that a U.S. Supreme Court decision that banned sentences of life without parole for juveniles can be applied retroactively.

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Federal authorities say an Iowa man has been charged with defrauding his former employer in Illinois of at least $2.7 million.

U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis said 47-year-old Dominic Scodeller of Davenport, Iowa, was arrested Tuesday on charges of fraud and money laundering. A grand jury indicted Scodeller on 15 counts last week.

Authorities say Scodeller defrauded Bituminous Insurance Companies from about 2001 to May 2013. Scodeller was a purchasing and facilities manager for the Rock Island-based company. Authorities say he approved payments to bogus entities that he created and transferred the money for personal use.

Scodeller was ordered held in U.S. Marshals Service custody pending a detention hearing.

He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of fraud and money laundering. It wasn't immediately clear if he has an attorney.

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An Iowa man who says he caught a Dubuque school van speeding while transporting students has been fired by a lawn care company.

Jay Shipley says that TruGreen Lawn Care fired him for recording the incident while he was driving a company vehicle. He said he was suspended last week and was fired Tuesday.

Shipley says he became concerned because the van was traveling more than 80 mph on Interstate 280 near North Liberty. He called the Iowa State Patrol and later posted the video on Facebook.

A Dubuque Community School District spokesman says a school staff member was driving students to a conference in Des Moines. The district is investigating the speeding allegations.

TruGreen says that its policy is to follow laws that prohibit speeding and using a cellphone while driving.

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Hillary Rodham Clinton will campaign with Democratic Senate candidate Bruce Braley in Iowa as the election nears.

The former first lady, senator and secretary of state planned to appear Wednesday at events in Cedar Rapids and Davenport. She was expected to stress early voting.

Clinton came to Iowa in September to headline retiring Sen. Tom Harkin's last annual \"Steak Fry\" fundraiser. She has kept up a busy schedule this fall, campaigning for Democrats in close races.

On Saturday, former President Bill Clinton will appear at two events in Iowa for Braley.

Braley, a four-term congressman from Waterloo, is locked in a tight race against Republican Joni Ernst, a state lawmaker and lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard. Ernst will campaign Wednesday with Arizona Sen. John McCain.

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Authorities say they're investigating the cause of a train collision in Osage involving a grain truck.

Lt. Jeremiah Johnson of the Osage Police Department says the Canadian National Railway train hit the vehicle Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported.

Johnson says the truck was carrying corn to the Osage Co-Op Elevator when the collision occurred. Additional information about the circumstances is under investigation.

The driver of the truck was identified as 23-year-old Kolby Berg, of Osage. The train engineer is 60-year-old Thomas Howland, of Riceville.

The collision briefly affected traffic in the area.

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The driver of a semitrailer was sent to a hospital after his vehicle struck an Interstate 29 overpass in Iowa.

The crash happened Tuesday morning at the Port Neal Interchange near Salix. A sand silo being carried by the semitrailer struck the bottom of the overpass.

The silo went into the medium and struck two parked cars. The semitrailer continued on for about 100 feet and hit a construction crane.

The driver was taken to a local hospital, but additional information was not released. The crash affected traffic for the southbound lanes for several hours.

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A murder trial has begun for an 18-year-old charged in the death of a 5-year-old boy outside a rural home where they were foster children.

Lawyers for Cody Metzker-Madsen plan to use an insanity defense in the 2013 death of Dominic Elkins.

Authorities say Elkins was killed while the boys were playing outdoors at their home near Logan, in western Iowa. He died as a result of blunt-force head injuries and drowning.

Elkins' body was found at the bottom of a ravine.

Metzker-Madsen has pleaded not guilty and has waived his right to a jury trial. A judge will make the final ruling in the trial that began Tuesday and is expected to last two weeks.

Legal experts say that Metzker-Madsen will not be released from jail if found not guilty. He will likely face years in state care.

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A Waterloo man faces a first-degree murder charge in the shooting death of another man at a nightclub in August.

36-year-old Rodolfo Gonzalez Pena made an appearance in court Tuesday. Online records do not list an attorney.

Pena is accused of shooting 35-year-old Celio Antonio Posada, of Minneapolis, in the early morning hours of Aug. 23. The pair hung out prior to the shooting. Authorities say they still don't know what led to the shooting.

Gonzalez has been jailed on gun charges since the shooting.

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A fire has destroyed a longtime furniture store in northeast Iowa.

Firefighters responded early Tuesday to Dungey's Furniture and Floors in New Hampton. They remained on the scene several hours later.

No one was inside the building at the time of the fire. No injuries have been reported.

New Hampton Fire Chief Steve Geerts says the store, which has been in business for more than 50 years, was destroyed.

Officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

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Commercial air flights will return to Fort Dodge with Air Choice One offering trips to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Fort Dodge has been without air service since Great Lakes Airlines stopped flights in February, because of a lack of pilots.

It's not yet known when the new flights by Air Choice One will start. The airline's chief administrative officer, Cindy Stork, says a starting date hasn't been finalized.

But Rhonda Chambers, the aviation director of Fort Dodge Regional Airport, says she expects the service will start in about 60 to 90 days. Chambers says the airport's commission is excited commercial flights will be offered again at the Fort Dodge airport.

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A former northeastern Iowa ethanol plant worker says a jury's $1.4 million verdict in her favor sends a message that workplace sexual harassment cannot be tolerated.

A jury ruled last week that Homeland Energy Solutions in Lawler must pay Tina Haskenhoff $100,000 for lost wages and $1.3 million for past and future emotional distress.

Haskenhoff says plant manager Kevin Howes and other employees repeatedly made inappropriate comments about her and other women. Haskenhoff says she was accused of poor performance after complaining in 2011.

Haskenhoff said Tuesday she cried after the Chickasaw County jury returned the verdict. The 46-year-old Sumner resident says she hopes that she can move on from a devastating period.

But corporation attorney Kevin Visser says the verdict's tainted by improper jury instructions that will be appealed.

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Two students have been suspended from a Lancaster-area high school football team after a prank involving the head of the school's Baron mascot.

The Manheim Central School District removed the defensive starters, both seniors, from the team. That happened after a photograph appeared on SnapChat showing one of them wearing the Baron's head while nude in the locker room.

Reno Dart and the player who took the photo were also suspended from school for three days for what the district deemed \"defacing school property.\"

The district did not identify the second player and declined comment.

Dart's parents told the newspaper the Oct. 17 photograph was likely in poor taste but not malicious. The mascot wasn't damaged.

They say the episode has cost both players college scholarship opportunities.

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FIFA says preparations for the Club World Cup in Morocco in December are continuing and there is currently no Ebola threat to cause it to be canceled.

The world soccer body says it is in contact with Moroccan authorities and is \"constantly updating its position\" with regard to Ebola on the advice of the World Health Organization.

Morocco has no reported cases of the deadly virus that has killed nearly 5,000 people in West Africa, almost all in the three worst-affected countries of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The Club World Cup, which will feature Champions League winner Real Madrid, is scheduled for Dec. 10-20.

FIFA also says it agrees with the Confederation of African Football's decision to move games out of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

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Relatives of a Broncos fan who went missing during last week's game are concerned for his safety.

Police are still searching for 53-year-old Paul Kitterman since Thursday night's matchup with the San Diego Chargers at Sports Authority Field. His stepson, Jarod Tonneson, says he was last seen after he left his seat to meet friends at halftime.

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said detectives do not suspect foul play, but he would not elaborate.

Relatives spent the weekend posting fliers and checking area hospitals and detox centers.

Tonneson says Kitterman had left his cellphone at home and did not have much cash. He says Kitterman has no known health problems and does not use drugs.

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The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has confirmed that a chemical company has decided to build a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in eastern Illinois.

Department spokesman David Roeder (ROH'-der) said Tuesday that Cronus Chemicals will build the plant just outside Tuscola. The plant will employ about 175 people. Another 2,000 temporary construction jobs are expected to be created while the plant is being built.

Roeder confirmed Cronus also plans to open a U.S. headquarters in Chicago with about 25 employees.

Construction is expected to start on the Cronus Fertilizers plant next spring and take about three years.

The company chose the site over another location in Mitchell County, Iowa. It considered sites in other states, too.

Details of any incentives that Illinois offered to Cronus weren't immediately available.

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Sioux City will install security cameras in its 17 elementary schools and update cameras in middle and high schools.

Officials say the move will help ensure the security of students and staff.

Technology director Neil Schroeder of the Sioux City school district said the elementary schools currently do not have security cameras installed in their buildings.

On Monday, the school district approved an agreement with Midwest Alarm to set up eight cameras in each elementary school.

Under the agreement, the company would also update more than 200 of the devices in middle schools, high schools and other district buildings.

The project is expected to cost about $454,000.

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