Author

Clark Kauffman

Clark Kauffman

Deputy Editor Clark Kauffman has worked during the past 30 years as both an investigative reporter and editorial writer at two of Iowa’s largest newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Quad-City Times. He has won numerous state and national awards for reporting and editorial writing. His 2004 series on prosecutorial misconduct in Iowa was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting. From October 2018 through November 2019, Kauffman was an assistant ombudsman for the Iowa Office of Ombudsman, an agency that investigates citizens’ complaints of wrongdoing within state and local government agencies.

Restaurant inspection update: Roaches, rodents and moldy food

By: - September 30, 2021

In the past six weeks, state and county food inspectors have cited Iowa restaurants and grocery stores for hundreds of food-safety violations, including moldy pasta and tomatoes, swarms of flies, shrimp and beef left to thaw inside mop sinks, spiders in food containers, “rodent activity,” and filthy kitchens with pooling water and cockroaches. The findings […]

Judge: Zoo owners must pay $70,000 or face 140 days in jail

By: - September 30, 2021

The owners of Manchester’s Cricket Hollow Zoo have been ordered to pay $70,000 or serve five months in jail for violating court orders regarding the relocation of animals at their roadside attraction. The ruling this week in the contempt-of-court case against Pamela and Thomas Sellner comes three days after the Iowa Supreme Court declined to […]

More than a third of workers at state-run youth home still refuse vaccine

By: - September 29, 2021

As public officials continue to encourage Iowans to be vaccinated against COVID-19, 41% of the workers at the state-run Boys’ State Training School in Eldora still refuse the vaccine. The most recently released data from the Iowa Department of Human Services shows that as of Sept. 24, a total of 105 of the 179 state […]

Legal battle over zoo concludes, but questions about lack of enforcement linger

By: - September 29, 2021

After years of litigation, the legal fight over the court-ordered shutdown of an eastern Iowa zoo appears to be at an end, but questions remain over Iowa’s enforcement of animal-protection laws. The Iowa Supreme Court this week refused to review an Iowa Court of Appeals decision that said the owners of Manchester’s Cricket Hollow Zoo […]

Iowa dentist accused of ‘filthy’ office and patient retaliation fights license revocation

By: - September 28, 2021

An Indianola dentist is going to court to challenge the revocation of his license due to alleged inadequate patient care and “filthy,” unsanitary conditions in his office. Dr. Thomas Cooney, who was issued a license by the Iowa Dental Board in 1988, has been “the subject of numerous patient complaints” over the years, according to […]

Board: Funeral director forged medical examiner’s signature for cremations

By: - September 28, 2021

An Iowa funeral director accused of repeatedly forging the signature of a county medical examiner in order to cremate the remains of individuals has agreed to surrender his license. The Iowa Board of Mortuary Science records indicate that on at least five occasions William “Bill” Jorgensen forged the signature of a county medical examiner on […]

Citing new infections, judge extends order allowing schools to impose mask mandates

By: - September 27, 2021

A federal judge late Monday extended the temporary retraining order that prevents the state of Iowa from prohibiting mask mandates in schools. In extending the order through Oct. 11, U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt noted that the list of schools that have implemented a mask mandate in the wake of his initial Sept. 13 restraining […]

Counselor suspended for drinking rum and smoking pot with underage client

By: - September 27, 2021

The state of Iowa has taken emergency action in immediately suspending the license of a mental health counselor who allegedly purchased alcohol for, and smoked marijuana with, an underage client. The Iowa Board of Behavioral Science alleges that mental health counselor Michelle Banks, 48, of Spirit Lake made suggestive, lewd, lascivious or improper remarks or […]

Iowan fights license suspension, says he drove 103 mph to buy feminine hygiene products

By: - September 27, 2021

An Iowa man is appealing the suspension of his driver’s license, arguing that he was driving 103 mph in order to purchase feminine hygiene products for his wife. Court records indicate that on Sept. 14, 2020, Saleh Ali Nasr of Coralville was stopped by police for allegedly speeding on Highway 27 in Lee County. Court […]

Board of Medicine restores privileges of Iowa doctors sanctioned in June

By: - September 27, 2021

The Iowa Board of Medicine has restored the licenses of two professionals who were sanctioned 90 days ago for alleged regulatory violations. In June, the board issued a warning and $1,000 fine to Laura M.L. Parkinson, a 43-year-old acupuncturist who practices in Ankeny. The board had alleged Parkinson engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a […]

With 29 active COVID outbreaks, a third of Iowa’s nursing home workers remain unvaccinated

By: - September 24, 2021

At least 284 residents and workers in Iowa nursing homes are infected with COVID-19 as a result of current, ongoing outbreaks in 29 different care facilities. As recently as Aug. 1, there was only one Iowa nursing home with an active COVID-19 outbreak. According to the federal government, 36% of the workers in Iowa nursing homes […]

Heated battle over trout stream and planned cattle operation lands in court

By: - September 23, 2021

The Sierra Club of Iowa is suing the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and Supreme Beef over a proposed a feedlot set to house 11,600 head of cattle. The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Iowa District Court for Clayton County, alleges that Supreme Beef’s proposed new concentrated animal feeding operation, or CAFO, in Clayton County uses […]