The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


December 31, 2013

The almost good enough story list of 2013


Andy Cole was sentenced to 10 years on one count of voluntary manslaughter and five years for assault with the intent to commit sexual abuse in the death of Alysia Marburger.

Cole was charged in 2012 with first-degree murder in connection with Marburger’s death but entered an Alford plea to the lesser charges.

An Alford plan means the defendant agrees a jury would likely convict during a trial, but it is not an admission of guilt.

Marburger’s body was found in a ditch near Rock Creek Cabin off U.S. 67 in 2008. Cole was later charged in 2012 and he was sentenced in July 2013.

YWCA funding

Cuts to state funding and regionalization of shelters in the state left the YWCA’s domestic violence and sexual assault center with few options for funding.

But that didn’t stop YWCA officials from making their case for funding to several councils and boards during 2013.

The YWCA had a goal of $100,000 to be raised, and through donations from eight other cities, Clinton and Jackson counties, businesses and individuals, the organization reached its fund-raising goal before the city of Clinton pledged $15,000 to the organization.

Clinton was one of 12 shelters that lost funding.


Ashford University received its sought-after accreditation and students were able to rest much easier with the news.

The approval brought to close a year-long accreditation battle that started in 2012 when Western Association of Schools and Colleges denied Ashford’s initial accreditation due to what it said was the university’s focus on student recruitment rather than student success.

HLC, Ashford’s accrediting body, put the university on notice with a warning to either change or face losing accreditation.

In the end, though, Ashford made changes and WASC found the university was now in substantial compliance with commission standards.

Ashford also celebrated the opening of a new multi-purpose building at its south campus. The building contains athletic locker rooms, public restrooms, an athletic training room and a concessions facility.

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