Aug 23

Wells Fargo punished for ripping off student loan customers

wells_fargo-tax-scandal-2011Washington, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week took action against Wells Fargo Bank for illegal private student loan servicing practices that increased costs and unfairly penalized certain student loan borrowers. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 15

Mason City business to get new parking lot with forgivable loan from city

Grawmondbecks (photo via Facebook)

Grawmondbecks
(photo via Facebook)

MASON CITY – A Mason City business will get a forgivable loan to upgrade a gravel parking lot and aged door. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 07

Following bird flu outbreak, Iowa and Minnesota Senators attempt to end discrimination on U.S. turkey exports

turkeysWASHINGTON, D.C. – Following the outbreak of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) led a bipartisan letter along with Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Richard Burr (R-NC), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Al Franken (D-MN), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), John Hoeven (R-ND), John Thune (R-SD), and Thom Tillis (R-NC) to United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking for increased efforts to end discrimination against American turkey exports by addressing unscientific import requirements imposed by two U.S. trading partners. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 06

Feds expand foreclosure protections

forecloseWASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week finalized new measures to ensure that homeowners and struggling borrowers are treated fairly by mortgage servicers. The updated rule requires servicers to provide certain borrowers with foreclosure protections more than once over the life of the loan, clarifies borrower protections when the servicing of a loan is transferred, and provides important loan information to borrowers in bankruptcy. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 06

NIACC to offer graphic design program

NIACC

NIACC

MASON CITY – North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) is excited to once again offer a degree in Graphic Design. The program is being offered as an Associate in Applied Science degree and as a Certificate. Students can still enroll for the fall semester with classes beginning on August 29. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 03

Des Moines suburb Johnston hires economic development manager

Adam Plagge

Adam Plagge

JOHNSTON, IOWA – Monday night the Johnston City Council appointed Adam Plagge as its new Economic Development Manager. Plagge comes with strong credentials in urban planning and community development, including: Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 01

Feds consider proposal to overhaul debt collection market

wallet moneyWASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently outlined proposals under consideration that would overhaul the debt collection market by capping collector contact attempts and by helping to ensure that companies collect the correct debt. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 01

Lee names Biondi as publisher for Waterloo and Mason City

Roy Biondi

Roy Biondi

DAVENPORT, IOWA — Lee Enterprises, Incorporated (NYSE: LEE), a provider of local news, information and advertising in 50 markets, announced that Roy D. Biondi has been named publisher of The Courier in Waterloo, Iowa and The Globe Gazette in Mason City, Iowa. He succeeds David Braton, who became publisher of The Bismarck Tribune in March. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 01

Feds propose updates to “know before you owe” mortgage disclosure rule

house-for-saleWASHINGTON, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently proposed updates to its Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule. The proposed amendments are intended to formalize guidance in the rule, and provide greater clarity and certainty. The changes proposed today would augment implementation of the Know Before You Owe rule, which took effect last year, and help facilitate compliance within the mortgage industry. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 27

Alliant Energy announces $1 billion wind project to advance clean energy in Iowa

iowa-wind-farmCEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – July 27, 2016 – Iowans will soon see a significant increase in clean, economical wind generation from Alliant Energy. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 26

Economic Development Board approves awards to support nearly $456 million in capital investments in Iowa

dollars-moneyDES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to eight companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 308 jobs, retention of four jobs and will result in nearly $456 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for four startups. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 26

Three Iowa restaurants resolve access complaints under the American with Disabilities Act

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office recently settled access complaints against three local restaurants under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The Hacienda Las Glorias, Lone Star Steakhouse, and The Irish Democrat, all covered under Title III of the ADA, agreed to comply with the Act’s provisions ensuring equal access within the restaurants. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 23

Iowa Joins Two Joint Federal-State Lawsuits Challenging Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana Mergers

gavel-justiceDES MOINES – Attorney General Tom Miller today joined two joint federal-state antitrust lawsuits seeking to block two proposed mergers between four of the nation’s largest health insurance companies. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 22

New grant opportunity to help small Iowa communities with abandoned commercial properties

An abandoned commercial building in Iowa

An abandoned commercial building in Iowa

DES MOINES – Starting Aug. 1, Iowa communities with populations of 5,000 or smaller can apply for special funding to inspect abandoned commercial buildings. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 16

Root beer float promotion at Fareway stores this July to help free kids and adults from muscular dystrophy

Fareway store in Mason City, Iowa

Fareway store in Mason City, Iowa

IOWA – All Fareway locations are raising funds this July to help free kids and adults from muscular dystrophy, ALS and related life-threatening diseases.
Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 16

Free Start Smart Workshop to be offered in Mason City

pappajohn-niaccMASON CITY – The North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) Pappajohn Center and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering a free two-hour workshop designed for anyone who is considering starting a business. At Start Smart, participants will learn how to create a business plan, do market research, consider different types of business ownership, and learn how to register a business. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 14

Grant funding approved for public transit infrastructure in Iowa

transitAMES, Iowa – July 12, 2016 – The Iowa Transportation Commission today approved more than $1.5 million in funding to support five public transit projects. The projects are funded under the state Public Transit Infrastructure Grant Fund. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 13

Iowa gasoline prices fall

Fueling up

Fueling up

DES MOINES – The price of unleaded gasoline in Iowa dropped $.05 per gallon, closing the week at $2.21. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 13

Cambrex completes $50 million upgrade to Charles City plant

Photo from deansnyderconst.com

Photo from deansnyderconst.com

CHARLES CITY, IOWA – Cambrex Corporation, the leading manufacturer of small molecule innovator and generic Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, today announced the completion and validation of a $50 million state-of-the-art production and warehousing expansion at its Charles City, Iowa site. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 11

Iowa ag director says crops continue to make good progress statewide

Northey

Northey

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service.  The report is released weekly from April through October. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 11

La’ James International College of Fort Dodge to forgive $2.1M in student debts, change business practices through consumer fraud settlement

La James International College of Fort Dodge

La James International College of Fort Dodge

FORT DODGE, IOWA – Fort Dodge-based cosmetology school La’ James International College will forgive $2.1 million in student debts, significantly change its business practices, submit to outside oversight, and pay $550,000, through a settlement with Attorney General Tom Miller. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 08

Free energy assessments available to local small businesses

Anne Flynn, vice president of Clear Lake Bank & Trust

Anne Flynn, vice president of Clear Lake Bank & Trust

MASON CITY – Energy experts with Alliant Energy will be in the area over the next few weeks conducting free energy assessments (worth up to $500) for small business customers. The energy assessments are performed by skilled energy assessors that evaluate the building’s construction, lighting, heating and cooling systems, insulation and appliances. Installation of free energy-saving products like compact fluorescent light bulbs and programmable thermostats are also included. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 07

Supreme Court approves grants to support civil legal services for low income Iowans

gavel-justiceDES MOINES — The Iowa Supreme Court has approved $239,998 in grants to nonprofit programs that provide legal assistance to low income Iowans with civil legal problems. The court awarded grants to fourteen different organizations throughout Iowa. The grants are funded by the Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Account (IOLTA) program. With this year’s grants, the supreme court has awarded more than $24.4 million in IOLTA grants since the program began on July 1, 1985. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 07

Branstad announces Iowa awarded more than $25 million for Intermodal Transportation Facility in Cedar Rapids

cedar rapidsDES MOINES – Today, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that the Iowa Department of Transportation has been awarded $25,650,000 to build a full service intermodal facility in Cedar Rapids. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 04

Young entrepreneurs awarded scholarships during Pappajohn camp

2016 Youth Entrepreneurial Academy Pictured from left to right: Sami Shupanitz, Alissa O’Dell, Mariah McKenzie, Katie Hirv, Blake Buttweiller, Trevor Singh, Morgan Krull, Ethan Evans, Carsen Johnson, Kelley Crane, Jim Elias, Tyson Stromer, Travis Brick, Alex Kreitlow, Melonie Gretillat, Holden Nyhus, Jeffrey Short

2016 Youth Entrepreneurial Academy
Pictured from left to right: Sami Shupanitz, Alissa O’Dell, Mariah McKenzie, Katie Hirv, Blake Buttweiller, Trevor Singh, Morgan Krull, Ethan Evans, Carsen Johnson, Kelley Crane, Jim Elias, Tyson Stromer, Travis Brick, Alex Kreitlow, Melonie Gretillat, Holden Nyhus, Jeffrey Short

MASON CITY – The North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) held its annual Youth Entrepreneurial Academy (YEA) on June 20-24. Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 04

Winnebago names new Vice President

Scott Degnan

Scott Degnan

FOREST CITY – Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO) has announced the appointment of Scott Degnan to the position of Vice President & General Manager, Towables Business, effective immediately. Former president of the Towables Business, Johnny Hernandez, will leave Winnebago Industries to pursue other professional interests. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 27

Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds to lead Trade Mission to South America to expand trade and investment opportunities

Reynolds

Reynolds

DES MOINES – Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds announced today at the Administration’s weekly press conference that she will lead a trade mission to Argentina and Uruguay on October 1-8, 2016. The trip is aimed at expanding trade and investment opportunities for Iowa businesses and is being coordinated by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 22

Feds look to protect intellectual property rights

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.35.00 AMWASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s head intellectual property rights enforcer told representatives from the Senate Finance Committee last week that the agency had launched initiatives and backed external efforts that empower industry to protect the online marketplace against counterfeit goods. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 22

Mason City Motor Company Grand Opening to be held this weekend

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 11.17.58 AMMASON CITY – Now under new ownership, Mason City Motor Company will officially unveil its new Nissan facility during its Grand Opening event Friday and Saturday, June 24 and 25. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 20

Iowa’s May unemployment rate remains stable at 3.9 percent

unemploymentDES MOINES – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained at 3.9 percent in May. The state’s jobless rate was 3.6 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 4.7 percent in May compared to 5.0 percent in April. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 19

Lawrence A. Erickson and Jerry N. Currie Announce Retirement From the Board of Directors Effective December 2016

winnebagoFOREST CITY, IOWA – Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO), a leading United States recreation vehicle manufacturer, announced that Robert M. Chiusano was elected chair of the Company’s board of directors effective June 15, 2016. Mr. Chiusano will continue to serve as the chair of the Human Resources Committee until at least December of 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 15

NIACC John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center to Host Youth Entrepreneurial Academy June 20-24

pappajohn-niaccMASON CITY – This summer, area high school students have an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of starting a business and becoming their own boss, and it won’t cost them a cent. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 15

Iowa Certifies Site on the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant campus

(http://www.commercecenterseiowa.com)

(http://www.commercecenterseiowa.com)

MIDDLETOWN, IOWA – Governor Terry Branstad announced today that the Commerce Center of Southeast Iowa is the latest industrial site to achieve certification through the Iowa Certified Site Program that is administered by the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA). Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 14

McKesson CEO John Hammergren visits Clear Lake, tours new distribution facility

McKesson distribution center in Clear Lake, Iowa

McKesson distribution center in Clear Lake, Iowa

CLEAR LAKE, IOWA – The CEO of one of Clear Lake’s most important employers came to town Monday and visited with city and state officials. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 02

Iowa receives $200,000 accelerator grant from U.S. Department of Labor to Increase Number of Registered Apprenticeships

dollars-moneyDES MOINES – The United States Department of Labor announced today that Iowa will receive part of a $10.4 million ApprenticeshipUSA State Accelerator Grant to expand and expedite apprenticeship programs in Iowa and across the country. Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) will receive $200,000 to help integrate apprenticeships into education and workforce systems, conduct outreach, work with employers to start new apprenticeship programs, and promote greater inclusion and diversity. Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 02

Feds look to end payday loan traps

DebtWASHINGTON, D.C. — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today proposed a rule aimed at ending payday debt traps by requiring lenders to take steps to make sure consumers have the ability to repay their loans.  Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

Grassley named “Hero of Main Street” by National Retail Federation

grassley-2014-01-31WASHINGTON – The National Retail Federation today acknowledged Sen. Chuck Grassley as a 2016 recipient of the “Hero of Main Street” award for his support of legislation critical to the retail industry. Read the rest of this entry »

May 23

Employers must protect workers from excessive heat

Youth worker

Youth worker

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Under OSHA law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards. This includes protecting workers from extreme heat. Read the rest of this entry »

May 22

Hy-Vee Voluntarily Recalls Six Trail Mix Products Due to Possible Health Risk

hy-vee-west-shopping-cartDES MOINES – Hy-Vee, Inc., based in West Des Moines, Iowa, is voluntarily recalling six trail mix products across its eight-state region due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Read the rest of this entry »

May 17

Iowa State study: Majority of technologies aimed at reducing odor and gas emissions from livestock production never see field-scale testing

iowa-state-universityAMES, Iowa – A review of hundreds of academic journal articles studying technologies to reduce odor and gaseous emissions from livestock and poultry operations shows that most such technologies undergo lab testing but never reach farm-scale study. Read the rest of this entry »

May 16

Winnebago Industries Names Ashis Bhattacharya Vice President of Strategic Planning and Development

winnebagoFOREST CITY, IA — (Marketwired) — 05/16/16 — Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO) has announced the appointment of Ashis Bhattacharya to the position of Vice President of Strategic Planning and Development, effective June 1, 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

May 12

Forest City site recognized as an Iowa Certified Site

DES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) announced that Forest City Rail Park is the latest industrial site to achieve certification through the Iowa Certified Site Program. It joins 11 other sites in the state that have been designated as project-ready. Read the rest of this entry »

May 12

More than $1.8 million in CAT Grants awarded to four projects

dollars-moneyWINTERSET, IOWA – The Vision Iowa Board awarded $1,821,174 in Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants to a park project in Sioux City, environmental learning center in Allamakee County, skate park in Winterset and a trail and library project in Bloomfield. The grants were approved by the Vision Iowa Board at a recent meeting in Winterset. Read the rest of this entry »

May 12

Construction Certificate Program Coming to NIACC in June

niacc-admin-bldg-2012-no-snow

NIACC

MASON CITY – If you have an interest in construction, an Iowa community college has a program just for you. Read the rest of this entry »

May 04

Students help raise thousands for Mercy Cancer Center

13086736_1165034500203033_2042433143872983588_oMASON CITY – A check was presented to the Mercy North Iowa Cancer Center after a fundraiser.

Megan Merfeld and Alanna Monson, students from Clear Lake High School, along with their sponsors and other contributors to the 2016 M&M Golf tournament raised $2,840 for the Mercy Cancer Center.

A check was presented to employees at the Mercy Cancer Center Wednesday, April 27.

The donation will be used to help provide transportation services for cancer patients.

May 04

New library under construction in Garner

deansnyderconst.com

deansnyderconst.com

GARNER, IOWA – The Garner, Iowa Public Library is being renovated at this time.

Dean Snyder Construction is in charge of the addition/renovation project. A total of 1,949 SF will be added onto the existing 6,233 SF building along with a new roof covering both. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 24

Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $89 million in capital investments in Iowa

des-moines-1DES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to nine companies for job creation and expansion projects. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 24

Top 10 ways to prepare for retirement

wallet moneyFrom the U.S. Department of Labor:

Financial security in retirement doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and commitment and, yes, money. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 21

Branstad, Reynolds unveil new State of Iowa website

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 3.14.52 PMDES MOINES – Today, Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds unveiled a new website for the State of Iowa enabling citizens, visitors, and businesses to have greater access to information and services. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 20

Free Start Smart Workshop to be offered in Mason City

niacc-admin-bldg-2012-no-snowMASON CITY – North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is offering a free two-hour workshop designed for anyone who is considering starting a business.  Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 20

Fareway says everyday practices conserve natural resources, reduce carbon footprint

Faraway store in Mason City, Iowa

Fareway store in Mason City, Iowa

BOONE, IOWA – Fareway Stores, Inc.’s tradition of employing cost saving measures in order to pass along the savings to each customer, has been a common practice since 1938. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 14

Fareway unveils new digital coupon system

Faraway store in Mason City, Iowa

Faraway store in Mason City, Iowa

BOONE, IOWA – Fareway Stores, Inc. recently deployed a new digital coupon system that enables manufacturer and private-label coupons from a customer’s mobile device to be redeemed automatically at checkout. The new platform from Invisipon provides shoppers an alternative to clipping paper coupons or carrying a loyalty card. Coupons are unique to each user based on their profile and redemption history. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 13

Iowa business receives certification from Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

Sarah with SBDC Award

Sarah with SBDC Award

MASON CITY – Legacy Logistics Freight, Inc. of Mason City was recently certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a woman-owned business enterprise. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 12

Be Wary of Tax Return Scams, Pay Your Federal Income Taxes On Time and In Full

tax-return-prepCEDAR RAPIDS – Federal officials in Cedar Rapids are offering a public service announcement as this year’s tax season begins to wrap up.

With April 18th (the federal tax filing date) just around the corner, now is a good time to talk about careful and timely filing of tax returns. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 11

Wells Fargo Bank to pay $1.2 billion penalty for lying about mortgages

wells_fargo-tax-scandal-2011WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice announced last week that the United States has settled civil mortgage fraud claims against Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (Wells Fargo) and Wells Fargo executive Kurt Lofrano, stemming from Wells Fargo’s participation in the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Direct Endorsement Lender Program. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 07

New CEO/General Manager at Five Star Co-op

Ken Smith

Ken Smith

NEW HAMPTON – Five Star Cooperative announced recently that its board of directors has named Ken Smith to succeed Ron Pumphrey as Chief Executive Officer/General Manager effective April 4, 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 31

Branstad, Reynolds announce statewide public-private initiative supporting women in leadership

Governor Terry Branstad

Governor Terry Branstad

DES MOINES – As part of their Iowa economic development and workforce strategies, Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, in conjunction with Iowa Women Lead Change (IWLC), are launching a statewide public-private partnership called The EPIC Corporate Challenge. This effort teams state government with Iowa businesses to grow and retain women at all leadership levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 30

Charles City company among other Iowa firms to receive state economic incentives

dollars-moneyDES MOINES, IOWA – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board on Tuesday awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to four companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 1,219 jobs and will result in over $290 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for four startups. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 30

Pork producer approved for $15 million in state incentives

PFoodsofIA-Facility-Rendering1-300x170DES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits worth nearly $15 million to Prestage Foods, slated to build a massive pork processing plant in Mason City. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 29

Time running out to claim $950 million in refunds for 2012 tax returns

WASHINGTON, D.C. – If you did not file a tax return for 2012, you may be one of nearly one million taxpayers who may be due a refund from that year. If you are, you must claim your share of almost $950 million by April 18. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 29

Iowa Business Council supports action on water quality in 2016

DES MOINES, IOWA, March 28, 2016 – Today the Iowa Business Council (IBC) expresses its support for action by the Legislature and Governor Branstad during the 2016 Session that addresses water quality needs in the state.
Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 28

Committee Awards Nearly $225,000 in Grants to Enhance Swine Industry

dollars-moneyDES MOINES – A statewide program to educate pork producers about manure pit safety, and research projects to combat E. coli in piglets and to help diagnose sow lameness, will share nearly $225,000 in the final allocation of a ten-year, $1 million program to advance and enhance swine production in Iowa. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 28

Online internet marketing training seller to refund Iowans and cease soliciting in Iowa

investigateDES MOINES, IOWA – A Mesquite, Nevada-based Internet marketing training company will refund Iowa consumers and is prohibited from soliciting its online services to Iowa residents, through an agreement with Attorney General Tom Miller. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 26

Iowa’s unemployment rate increases to 3.7 percent in February

unemploymentDES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 3.7 percent in February. The state’s jobless rate was 3.7 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent in February. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 21

Fresh pork processing facility to be built in Mason City

PFoodsofIA-Facility-Rendering1-300x170MASON CITY, IOWA – Prestage Farms announced on March 21, 2016, the forming of a new company, Prestage Foods of Iowa, LLC, and its intent, pending finalization of necessary state permits and approvals, to build a new, state-of-the-art fresh pork processing facility in Mason City, Iowa, and we wanted to share this exciting news with you directly.
Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 12

Attorney General files lawsuit against New Jersey man for role in allegedly defrauding elderly Iowans

gavel-justiceDES MOINES, Iowa — Attorney General Tom Miller today filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against a New Jersey man for his role in sweepstakes-related mail solicitations that allegedly misled and cheated elderly Iowans. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 09

North Iowa’s largest hiring event to be held at NIACC on March 23

niacc-snow-3MASON CITY – Whether you’re looking to find a fresh start, a better job, or a new career direction, job seekers will find many exciting opportunities at the North Iowa Regional Career Fair, hosted by North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) and IowaWORKS North Iowa. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 08

Over a dozen jobs coming to Clarksville for door plant

Photo from Butler County Development Corporation

Photo from Butler County Development Corporation

CLARKSVILLE, IOWA – A door plant coming to Clarksville, Iowa will employ over a dozen people. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 03

Iowa State University to host regional center for food safety, receives FDA grant

iowa-state-universityAMES, Iowa – Iowa State University will become a regional center for food safety in an effort to help businesses that grow and process food comply with new federal regulations in the coming years. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 01

Feds punish Citibank with millions in fines for illegal practices

citibank-logo-vector-400x400WASHINGTON, D.C. –The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently took two separate actions against Citibank for illegal debt sales and debt collection practices. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 01

United States sues Iowa dairy farmer over Clean Water Act violations

An Iowa waterway

An Iowa waterway

CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – Meadowvale Dairy, LLC (Meadowvale), and its owner, Sjerp Ysselstein, have been sued by the United States on four counts of alleged Clean Water Act violations.­ Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 01

Employment protections for Iowa workers who are pregnant or nursing

pregnancy pregnantKnow the employment protections for workers who are pregnant or nursing in Iowa: Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 29

New Iowa Travel Guide available

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 2.41.16 PMDES MOINES – The latest edition of the Iowa Travel Guide is now available. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 29

Henkel Construction wins awards

Henkel Construction is constructing new apartments in downtown Mason City for senior citizens

Henkel Construction is constructing new apartments in downtown Mason City for senior citizens

DES MOINES, IOWA – Henkel Construction, Inc. has been recognized with awards recently at a conference in Des Moines. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 29

Seasonal jobs now available in Iowa state parks

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is filling about 50 summer recreational aide openings in 22 parks around the state. Jobs duties include assisting park staff in patrolling the park, helping visitors, monitoring reservations, registering campers and doing seasonal park maintenance. Application can be made to the individual parks. For a detailed job description, list of parks with openings and their contact information, visit www.iowadnr.gov/About-DNR/Employment.

Feb 29

Branstad announces State Innovation Model Initiative communities

Governor Terry Branstad

Governor Terry Branstad

DES MOINES – At the Administration’s Monday morning press conference today, Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds announced that six communities are receiving grants for the State Innovation Model (SIM) Initiative. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 26

John Deere announces factory layoffs in Iowa

Deere logoMOLINE, ILLINOIS — Deere & Company has informed approximately 100 manufacturing employees that they will be placed on indefinite layoff, effective April 1. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 21

More than $500,000 in CAT Grants awarded to two Iowa projects

dollars-moneyDES MOINES – The Vision Iowa Board awarded $524,238 in Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants to a library in Donnellson and sports complex in Parkersburg. The grants were approved by the Vision Iowa Board at today’s meeting in Des Moines. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 21

Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $53 million in capital investments in Iowa

dollars-moneyDES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to six companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 159 jobs, retention of 675 jobs and will result in over $53 million in new capital investment for the state. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 21

Summer seasonal positions available in Iowa state parks

logo-Iowa-DNRDES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources State Parks Bureau is looking for job applicants for approximately 50 summer recreational aide openings in 22 parks around the state. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 15

Iowa Senator says Iowa has skilled job openings to fill

From Senator Amanda Ragan –

Legislator Amanda Ragan

Legislator Amanda Ragan

One of the biggest challenges Iowa faces is ensuring students and workers have good career opportunities, and business have access to the skilled employees they need. But we are on the right track with Iowa’s Apprenticeship Training Program, STEM internships and programs at our community colleges preparing current and future workers. More than half of employment in Iowa is projected to be in middle-skill jobs by 2022, according to a report by Iowa Workforce Development. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 13

Iowa House Agriculture Panel hears advocates of industrial hemp production

state-capitol-iowa-nightDES MOINES – Iowa Republicans report that on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, the Iowa House Agriculture Committee had a presentation about the economic potential for industrial hemp production for fiber, energy and food purposes. Indus- trial hemp is a hemp plant that does not contain measurable amounts of the chemical intoxicant found in illegal marijuana. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 13

Debt many times comes with a college education, Democrats say

niacc-snow-3DES MOINES – Democratics in the Iowa legislature this week pointed out the benefits of a community college education and the importance of student loans to those seeking enlightenment.

Community colleges are among the most affordable options for students seeking to further their education and training, yet tuition and living costs remain out of reach for many Iowa families. These barriers are greatest for working-class students who, without financial aid, may not be able to enroll at all. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 13

Bill advances to expand state’s successful solar energy tax cedits with unanimous bipartisan support

On Tuesday, February 10, a subcommittee of the Iowa Senate unanimously approved a bill to expand solar energy tax credits in Iowa from $5 million to $7.5 million per year. Subcommittee chair Rob Hogg of Cedar Rapids said that since the solar energy tax credit was increased in 2012, it has been a part of 1,821 projects in 92 counties. “It helped create over 700 new solar energy jobs that did not exist before the credit,” Hogg said. “At a cost of $11.6 million in state tax credits, we have leveraged over $85 million in investment in solar power in Iowa.” From left to right: Ben Wollner head engineer at CB Solar of Des Moines, Senator Hogg, and Tyler Bacon, President of CB Solar.

From left to right: Ben Wollner head engineer at CB Solar of Des Moines, Senator Hogg, and Tyler Bacon, President of CB Solar.

DES MOINES – A Senate subcommittee unanimously approved a bill to expand solar energy tax credits in Iowa from $5 million to $7.5 million per year. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 12

Mason City’s Hampton Inn will open this spring and hiring is underway

12487210_1012878965425144_1493370365352205010_oMASON CITY – Construction of the brand new Hampton Inn & Suites in Mason City is moving along quickly, the company says, with hiring underway now. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 12

Mason City’s Highland Golf Course to launch new website

highland_park_golf_course-2MASON CITY, IOWA – Mason City’s only public golf course will soon be getting a new website as the spring golf season approaches. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 12

Iowa leads in wind energy

wind energy windmill iowaDES MOINES – Iowa has passed California to become the #2 ranked state nationally with more than 6,000 megawatts of installed wind energy capacity, according to a national report by the American Wind Energy Association. Wind now accounts for more than 28 percent of Iowa’s total electric production, generating enough energy to power 1.5 million homes. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 09

More than $2.6 million awarded from Linking Iowa’s Freight Transportation System Program

AMES, IOWA – The Iowa Transportation Commission approved more than $2.6 million in grant funding for six transportation infrastructure-related development projects under the Linking Iowa’s Freight Transportation System (LIFTS) program. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 06

Distribution center coming to Lake Mills, Iowa

LAKE MILLS, IOWA – The city of Lake Mills and its chamber of commerce reported recently that a new distribution facility is coming got town. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 05

U.S. unemployment rate unchanged at 4.9%

unemploymentWASHINGTON, D.C. – Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 151,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job gains occurred in several industries, led by retail trade, food services
and drinking places, health care, and manufacturing. Employment declined in private
educational services, transportation and warehousing, and mining. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 04

Feds announce $20 million in grants available to create jobs for youths

Youth worker

Youth worker

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Labor is working to address the employment needs of young people with the announcement of up to $20 million in funding to support demonstration projects for youth in high-crime, high-poverty communities. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 04

MidAmerican Energy completes two major wind projects

wind energy windmill iowaDES MOINES – With the completion of the Highland wind farm in O’Brien County and the Adams wind farm in Adams County, MidAmerican Energy Company has wrapped up work on two major projects adding more than 1,200 megawatts of wind generation capacity for customers. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 04

Phishing remains on the IRS “dirty dozen” list of tax scams for the 2016 filing season

IRS logoWASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today warned taxpayers to watch out for fake emails or websites looking to steal personal information. These “phishing” schemes continue to be on the annual IRS list of “Dirty Dozen” tax scams for the 2016 filing season. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 03

UNI looks to offer MBA program in Mason City

niacc-snow-3CEDAR FALLS – UNIBusiness will be holding four informational sessions in Mason City for those interested in enrolling in a remote UNI MBA program on the North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) campus. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 29

Iowa Economic Development Board approves over $254 million in capital investments in Iowa

dollars-moneyDES MOINES, IA – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board today awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to four companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 241 jobs and will result in over $254 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for six startups. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 28

Feds offer tips to keep your data safe and private

Fiber optics background with lots of light spots

Fiber optics background with lots of light spots

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Department of Homeland Security talked about tips to keep your online data private and safe.

Andy OzmentAssistant Secretary, Cybersecurity and Communications, talked about this important subject which affects millions of Americans:

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 27

Billion Automotive acquires Pritchard’s of Clear Lake

CLEAR LAKE, IA – Pritchard Family Auto Stores announced today that its Clear Lake dealership will be acquired by Billion Automotive in late January.

Pritchard Family Auto Stores is a national leader in commercial vehicle sales, and the company will build on that performance. As a 5th generation family-owned and operated business, Pritchard Family Auto Stores is proud to provide North Iowa with quality, dependable automobiles and outstanding customer service since 1913. The company’s footprint expands across the United States with commercial locations in Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Orlando, Las Vegas, Baltimore, and Los Angeles.

“We are committed to continuing our successful, 102-year history of selling and servicing vehicles across Northern Iowa,” said Joe Pritchard, President of Pritchard Family Auto Stores. “As the industry and the business model for car sales evolves, we continue to look for strategic partnerships and alliances to ensure that we are best serving the needs of our customers, our communities and our employees.”

Additionally, Pritchard Family Auto Stores announced plans to expand their Forest City Auto Center dealership, and announced that new vehicles will no longer be sold at Clarion Auto Center. Pritchard Family Auto Stores currently has no plans to sell any of its six other automobile dealerships located in Northern Iowa.

Jan 24

Governors’ Coalition to advocate for wind and solar energy

iowa-wind-farmDES MOINES – The Governors’ Wind Energy Coalition announced today that it has added solar energy issues to the Coalition’s portfolio, following a unanimous vote from member governors. The Coalition also announced its new name: Governors’ Wind and Solar Energy Coalition. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 24

Iowa DOT offices consolidating into Mason City

Mason City DOT office on 43rd Street(photo courtesy of IA DOT)

Mason City DOT office on 43rd Street
(photo courtesy of IA DOT)

MASON CITY – The Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) announced Sunday the consolidation of area offices into one location in Mason City. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 21

New ISU research studies Iowa farmland that loses money

Iowa farmland

Iowa farmland

AMES, Iowa – A new study from a multidisciplinary team led by Iowa State University agronomists shows significant portions of Iowa farmland consistently lose money and could influence many farmers to change how they use some of the acres they devote to corn and soybeans. Read the rest of this entry »

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