Dec 03

U.S. unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent in November

unemploymentWASHINGTON, D.C. – The nation’s unemployment rate declined to 4.6 percent in November, and total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 178,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment gains occurred in professional and business services and in health care. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 28

Fareway stores to support Toys for Tots this Holiday season

Fareway store in Mason City, Iowa

Fareway store in Mason City, Iowa

BOONE, IOWA – Fareway Stores, Inc. is partnering with the U.S. Marine Corps on their 2016 Toys for Tots campaign. The program provides toys to less fortunate children during the holiday season. Stores are selling paper trains in $1 and $5 increments, as well as collecting new, unwrapped toys at all 116 Fareway locations from Monday, November 28 through Saturday, December 24. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 28

Alliant Energy creates new opportunity for Iowa jobs with unique industrial park

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS – A new industrial park in the Cedar Rapids metro area will combine innovative features and expansive space to attract new businesses and jobs to the state. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 22

Charles City poultry plant to reopen in December

Poultry plant at 901 North Main Street in Charles City, Iowa (cedarvalleyiowarealty.com)

Poultry plant at 901 North Main Street in Charles City, Iowa
(cedarvalleyiowarealty.com)

CHARLES CITY – Simply Essentials, LLC announced the purchase of the Cedar River Poultry chicken processing plant in Charles City, Iowa. The company will invest in excess of 30 million dollars with plans to reopen the plant in December of 2016, it was announced this week on KCHA radio. Once open, the plant will be a state-of-the-art, innovative chicken processing plant producing high-quality, premium chicken products that meet the demands of the health focused consumer. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 22

Iowa Congressmen urge Trump to dump WOTUS Rule

screen-shot-2016-01-29-at-12-29-37-am-2WASHINGTON, D.C. – Iowa’s U.S. Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley and Representatives Rod Blum (R-01), David Young (R-03) and Steve King (R-04) sent President-elect Donald J. Trump a letter urging him to scrap the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule in the first few days of his presidency. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 22

JPMorgan Chase slapped with $264 million settlement for government corruption

jp-morganWASHINGTON, D.C. — The Securities and Exchange Commission recently announced that JPMorgan Chase & Co. has agreed to pay more than $130 million to settle SEC charges that it won business from clients and corruptly influenced government officials in the Asia-Pacific region by giving jobs and internships to their relatives and friends in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 20

Nora Springs, Forest City receive grants for town projects

DES MOINES – The Enhance Iowa Board awarded $878,616 in Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grants to a fine arts center in Forest City, a pedestrian bridge in Nora Springs and a theater renovation project in Audubon. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 20

Mason City receives Healthy Hometown Founder award

New trail installed on South Monroe Avenue in Mason City

New trail installed on South Monroe Avenue in Mason City

DES MOINES — Mason City was presented a Healthy Hometown POWERED BY Wellmark award at the Iowa Healthiest State Initiative Bringing it Home conference on Nov.1, 2016. The award recognizes Mason City for their dedication and accomplishments toward meaningful health improvement initiatives in their community. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 20

Winnebago names Jeff Kubacki as Vice President – Information Technology, Chief Information Officer

jeff_kubacki-10-13FOREST CITY – Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO) announced it has hired Jeff Kubacki to the position of Vice President – Information Technology, Chief Information Officer effective November 14, 2016. Kubacki will report to President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Happe and will be responsible for overseeing the Company’s Information Technology infrastructure and articulating a clear future state enterprise information architecture. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 20

Iowa Receives $1.8 million Grant to Expand Registered Apprenticeship Opportunities

apprenticeshipDES MOINES – Recently, the United States Department of Labor announced that more than $50 million dollars is being distributed to states to increase access to Registered Apprenticeships. Iowa is one of 36 states to receive grant funding that will result in new registered apprenticeships created in diverse industries, including health care, advanced manufacturing, and information technology. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 20

Economic Development Board approves awards to support over $83 million in capital investments in Iowa

dollars-moneyDES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to six companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 108 jobs, retention of eight jobs and will result in over $83 million in new capital investment for the state. The board also approved innovation funding for nine startups. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 18

Iowa’s unemployment rate decreases to 4.1 percent in October

unemploymentDES MOINES – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased slightly to 4.1 percent in October. The state’s jobless rate was 3.5 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate was little changed at 4.9 percent in October. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 16

NIACC to host UNI MBA program

NIACC

NIACC

MASON CITY – The University of Northern Iowa (UNI) is partnering with North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) to offer its MBA degree program on the NIACC campus. The first cohort of students will begin the program in January 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 16

California tax relief company behind look-alike government tax notices to cease Iowa mailings

scam-alertDES MOINES – A California tax relief company that mailed look-alike government overdue tax notices to Iowa taxpayers and businesses will cease sending the mailings to Iowans, through an agreement with Attorney General Tom Miller. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 15

Miller announces strengthened consumer protection efforts for Iowa’s veterans and service members

Tom Miller

Tom Miller

DES MOINES – Attorney General Tom Miller today announced a series of special consumer protection efforts designed to assist Iowans who are active duty service members or veterans. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 15

Ernst: Regulations, low commodity prices are key challenges for Iowa ag

Iowa farmland

Iowa farmland

By Senator Joni Ernst, guest columnist

As the nation’s leading producer of pork, corn, soybeans, and eggs, Iowa’s agriculture industry has an enormous impact on the country and the world. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 09

Winnebago completes acquisition of Grand Design

winnebagoFOREST CITY, IOWA – Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO) today announced that it has completed the previously announced acquisition of Grand Design RV, LLC (“Grand Design”), a manufacturer of towable recreation vehicles (RVs), for approximately $500 million in cash and Winnebago shares. The Company also entered into a seven-year $300 million term loan and five-year asset based lending facility for up to $125 million arranged by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 07

USDA provides $3.6 billion for electric projects in 31 states, including Iowa

dollars-moneyWASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is providing $3.6 billion in loans to fund 82 electric projects in 31 states. These loans will finance infrastructure upgrades, create jobs and improve system operations for rural electric customers nationwide. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 30

First Future Ready Iowa Alliance meeting brings together leaders from across Iowa to address skills gap

Beth Townsend

Beth Townsend

DES MOINES – The initial meeting of the Future Ready Iowa Alliance took place today in Des Moines. Business, community, government, workforce leaders, elected officials and educators are beginning work to create a blueprint for Governor Terry Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds’s Future Ready Iowa initiative. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 27

Alliant Energy to advance wind project in Iowa

iowa-wind-farmCEDAR RAPIDS – Alliant Energy’s Iowa utility is moving forward with its New Wind Project, which will bring up to 500 megawatts of new wind generation to Iowa. That’s enough to power 215,000 homes. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 25

Company Selling Envelope Stuffing Scheme to Cease Marketing to Iowans

scam-alertDES MOINES – An Arizona company advertising that consumers can earn thousands per week by stuffing and mailing envelopes at home will cease marketing to Iowans, through an agreement with Attorney General Tom Miller.

The company, called Saguaro, of Scottsdale, collects up-front “application fees” of $100-$400, and claims to pay consumers $10 each time Saguaro receives a response to a mailing sent by that consumer. Saguaro suggests consumers can earn $1,000-$5,000 per week. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 24

Economic Development Board approves awards to support $93 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 six companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 198 jobs and will result in $93 million in new capital investment for the state. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 24

Iowa Tourism Organizations, Individuals Receive Awards at 2016 Conference

park_inn_stretch_limoBETTENDORF, IOWA — The Iowa Tourism Office and the Travel Federation of Iowa presented 27 awards recognizing excellence in the tourism industry at a ceremony this evening in Davenport during the 2016 Iowa Tourism Conference. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 22

Iowa receives $1.8 million grant to expand Registered Apprenticeship opportunities

dollars-moneyDES MOINES – Friday, the United States Department of Labor announced that more than $50 million dollars is being distributed to states to increase access to Registered Apprenticeships. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 22

Democrats say expanding skilled workforce is key to growth in Iowa

Youth worker performing unskilled labor

Youth worker performing unskilled labor

DES MOINES – Iowa’s shortage of skilled workers has been our biggest obstacle to economic growth, Democrats say. Investing in education and job training can change that. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 22

Economic Development Board approves awards to support $93 million in capital investments in Iowa

dollars-moneyDES MOINES – The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board awarded direct financial assistance and tax benefits to six companies for job creation and expansion projects. These awards will assist in the creation of 198 jobs and will result in $93 million in new capital investment for the state. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 20

Obama Administration Announces New Actions to Spur Competition in the Airline Industry, Give Consumers the Information They Need to Make Informed Choices

air-asia-planeWASHINGTON, D.C. – Actions taken this year by the Obama Administration are meant to create a better experience for airline passengers. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 19

Police in West Des Moines say 11 businesses failed alcohol compliance checks

boozeWEST DES MOINES – Dozens of businesses were checked for alcohol compliance in West Des Moines and 11 failed, resulting in penalties. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 18

Pump Prices Drop Nine Consecutive Days

gas-pumpDES MOINES – The national average price for regular unleaded gasoline has dropped for nine consecutive days, reaching today’s price of $2.24 per gallon. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 18

Small Business: Get Tips on Winter Weather Survival At Free Webinar

snow-on-roof-of-car-vanWASHINGTON – Whether it’s pounding, relentless rainstorms or massive snowstorms, winter weather presents many risks for business shutdowns, property damage and even loss of life. Now is a good time to make a plan to stay open for business, while protecting your employees and customers from the dangers of severe winter weather. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 16

Gov. Branstad announces 5th project awarded from the Iowa History Fund 

dollars-moneyDES MOINES –  Gov. Branstad announced that the Abigail Adams Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution would be the 5th award recipient of private funds used to promote historical projects around Iowa.  Kristine Bartley, Regent of the Abigail Adams Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) joined Gov. Branstad in the announcement. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 16

Action taken by U.S. government against Iowa business for violations of the Renewable Fuel Standard

gavel-justiceCEDAR RAPIDS – The Department of Justice and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today the filing of a complaint against NGL Crude Logistics LLC (NGL) and Western Dubuque Biodiesel LLC, and a settlement with Western Dubuque to address alleged violations of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 13

Insurance company says Iowa is fourth most-likely state for a deer collision

mcpd-investigates-deer-shot-2012-12-27MASON CITY – Iowa is the fourth most-likely state for a deer collision, a big insurance company says. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 12

Shamed Wells Fargo Chairman, CEO John Stumpf leaves company

STRUMPF

STRUMPF

SAN FRANCISCO – Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) announced today that Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf has informed the Company’s Board of Directors that he is retiring from the Company and the Board, effective immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 12

Possible listeria contamination reported in cookie dough made in Garner, Iowa

cookiedough.com

cookiedough.com

GARNER, IOWA – Cookie dough supplier Aspen Hills of Garner, Iowa, has expanded its cookie dough recall as one of its customers, Blue Bell ice cream, is recalling all products made with Aspen Hills cookie dough due to potential health risk. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 05

Free Start Smart Workshop to be offered in Mason City

pappajohn-niaccMASON 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.  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 »

Oct 05

Harrison Truck Centers donates new truck to NIACC

NIACC Diesel Instructor Dennis Salz receives the new truck plates from Chad Harrison, Vice President of Harrison Truck Centers.

NIACC Diesel Instructor Dennis Salz receives the new truck plates from Chad Harrison, Vice President of Harrison Truck Centers.

MASON CITY – Harrison Truck Centers has joined in support of the Keeping NIACC First capital campaign by donating the use of a brand new Freightliner Cascadia truck to North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC). The gift is intended to enhance the Diesel Technology program and bring more visibility to the College. This gift is a yearly commitment for use of a new truck each year for five years at a value of $75,000 over the course of the five years. Read the rest of this entry »

Oct 04

Branstad to lead trade mission to China and Japan focusing on beef and pork exports

Iowa hogs. Meat from these and millions more hogs here in Iowa could end up in China.

Iowa hogs. Meat from these and millions more hogs here in Iowa could end up in China.

DES MOINES – At his weekly press conference today, Gov. Terry Branstad announced he will lead a trade mission to China and Japan in mid-November. Gov. Branstad was joined by President of the Iowa Pork Producers Association, Al Wulfekuhle and Executive Director of the Iowa Beef Industry Council Chris Freland. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 30

Attorney General warns Iowa flood victims and “storm chasers” about consumer protections

Flooding in Cedar Rapids

Flooding in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS – Attorney General Tom Miller today cautioned both consumers and contractors that certain consumer protection laws are in place to safeguard Iowa’s flood victims. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 28

Wells Fargo CEO John Strumpf shamed in to stepping aside, forfeits $41 million golden parachute

wells_fargo-tax-scandal-2011NEW YORK – Wells Fargo CEO John Strumpf has been forced out of an investigation at the bank and forfeited his $41 million golden parachute after thousands of customers were wronged. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 28

After getting caught red-handed ripping off thousands of customers, Wells Fargo says it will eliminate product sales goals for retail bankers

wells_fargo-tax-scandal-2011SAN FRANCISCO – Wells Fargo & Company announced recently that it will eliminate all product sales goals in retail banking, effective January 1, 2017.

“Our objective has always been and continues to be to meet our customers’ financial needs and drive customer satisfaction,” said CEO John Stumpf (who resigned not long after this announcement). “We are eliminating product sales goals because we want to make certain our customers have full confidence that our retail bankers are always focused on the best interests of customers.” Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 27

Iowa State, Chevron team up to develop pilot plant, advance biofuel technology

Lysle Whitmer, Ryan Smith and Martin Haverly, left to right, led the development of a pilot plant as part of a joint biofuels project with Chevron U.S.A. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

Lysle Whitmer, Ryan Smith and Martin Haverly, left to right, led the development of a pilot plant as part of a joint biofuels project with Chevron U.S.A. Photos by Christopher Gannon.

AMES, IOWA – Iowa State University’s Lysle Whitmer walked the length of the bio-oil production line – from the 55-gallon solvent tank to the twin-screw extruder with its mixing, chopping, heating and pressurizing functions to the reactor in the middle and then to the product separators and the solvent recycling system. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 27

Iowa farmland values drop, according to survey of experts

Iowa farmland

Iowa farmland

DES MOINES – Iowa farmland values have dropped nearly 9 per cent over the past year, according to a survey of experts.

The Iowa Chapter of REALTORS Land Institute announced the results of its September 2016 Land Trends and Values Survey. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 26

Iowa’s unemployment rate trends up to 4.2 percent in August

unemploymentDES MOINES – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly to 4.2 percent in August from 4.1 percent in July. The state’s jobless rate was 3.6 percent one year ago. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent in August. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 26

Expect moldy corn and other complications in Iowa’s crop harvest, ISU says

Photo: Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

Photo: Integrated Crop Management News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

AMES – Wet weather is creating challenges for Iowa’s crop harvest, according to Integrated Crop Management News, and the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

The 2016 growing season was wet with two distinct temperature patterns—hot during early pollination and cooler in August. Most of Iowa had 125% up to 200% of normal rainfall up to Labor Day, and even more after Labor Day.  Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 26

Monsanto announces $1.6 million investment to help reduce greenhouse gas reductions

harvested-fall-corn-fieldST. LOUIS – The U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Partnership (SHP) a $1 million Conservation Innovation Grant (CIG) to help farmers better understand and adopt farming practices that help reduce climate change impacts. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 26

Consumers of Iowa soybeans are indeed ‘real pigs,’ analysis finds

Iowa hogs

Iowa hogs

DES MOINES – When it comes to providing a market for Iowa-grown soybeans, the primary customers are indeed “real pigs,” the Iowa Soybean Association says.

An analysis of how Iowa’s soybean production is utilized, reported to directors of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) today in Ankeny, finds that nearly one of every four rows is fed to the more than 38 million pigs raised annually in Iowa. This equates to roughly 116 million bushels of the state’s soybean crop. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 25

Grants available to help small Iowa communities with abandoned commercial properties

dollars-moneyDES MOINES – Funding is still available to Iowa communities with populations of 5,000 or smaller to inspect and properly remove asbestos from abandoned commercial buildings. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 25

Winnebago Industries names Chris West Vice President of Operations

chris_west-af3309a930168f3ab8487c52c381895bFOREST CITY, IA – Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE: WGO) has announced the appointment of Chris West to the position of Vice President of Operations, effective September 26, 2016. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 24

Alliant Energy advises caution around flooded homes and businesses

alliant-light-poleCEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – September 23, 2016 – With severe flooding happening and predicted in Iowa and Wisconsin, Alliant Energy is giving a few reminders to keep customers safe. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 24

Iowans with Yahoo accounts urged to change identical login information used in other accounts

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-3-30-08-pmDES MOINES – Attorney General Tom Miller urges Iowans with Yahoo accounts to review other usernames, passwords and security questions they may use, in the wake of the company’s announcement of what may be one of the largest data breaches ever.
Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 23

Senators want Labor Department to investigate Wells Fargo’s potential violations of Fair Labor Standards Act

wells_fargo-tax-scandal-2011WASHINGTON, DC – United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Bernard Sanders (I-Vt.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) today sent a letter to Department of Labor (DOL) Secretary Tom Perez and Wage and Hour Division Administrator David Weil requesting that DOL investigate whether Wells Fargo violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) with respect to its account executives, bank tellers, branch managers, and customer service representatives. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 22

Sixth annual Fareway Stores MDA Golf Classic raises more than $78,000 for the Muscular Dystrophy Association of Iowa

Fareway store in Mason City, Iowa

Fareway store in Mason City, Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS – Fareway Stores, Inc. recently partnered with the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) to host the 6th Annual Fareway Stores MDA Golf Classic at the Tournament Club of Iowa in Polk City. The event raised over $78,000 for MDA of Iowa, making it the best year for the golf tournament. Funds raised at this event will fund research and provide health care services and support for MDA families across the state. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 22

Iowa Attorney General reaches agreement with “sucker” list seller

gavel-justiceDES MOINES – Attorney General Tom Miller today filed consumer fraud lawsuits against two out-of-state mailing operations that Miller alleges are predatory businesses that use deceptive mailings to profit from the elderly and other vulnerable Iowans. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 22

Flights from Mason City to Minneapolis now available

mason-city-airportMASON CITY – A new destination for travelers in North Iowa using the Mason City Airport was announced Thursday. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 22

Up to 500 million Yahoo accounts hacked

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-3-30-08-pmSUNNYVALE, CA – A recent investigation by Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has confirmed that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from the company’s network in late 2014 by what it believes is a state-sponsored actor. The account information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 15

Income up, more health insurance coverage in the United States, census data shows

reportWASHINGTON, D.C.  — The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that real median household income increased by 5.2 percent between 2014 and 2015 while the official poverty rate decreased 1.2 percentage points. At the same time, the percentage of people without health insurance coverage decreased. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 11

Wells Fargo fined $100 million for secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts for customers and then charging them fees

wells_fargo-tax-scandal-2011WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) fined Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. $100 million for the widespread illegal practice of secretly opening unauthorized deposit and credit card accounts. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 06

Tourism in Iowa Generated $8 billion in Expenditures for Second Consecutive Year

dollars-moneyDES MOINES — Tourism-related expenditures in Iowa in 2015 totaled $8.06 billion, according to a new study from the U.S. Travel Association. This marks the second consecutive year expenditures have topped the $8 billion mark. Read the rest of this entry »

Sep 01

Eighth annual Golfweek Conference Challenge heads to Iowa

golfORLANDO, FL — Golfweek is gearing up for its eighth annual Conference Challenge Sept. 30-Oct. 2 where 12 top collegiate men’s teams will gather to compete at Spirit Hollow Golf Course in Burlington, Iowa. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 31

Gov. Branstad requests U.S. Small Business Administration disaster assistance

Governor Terry Branstad

Governor Terry Branstad

DES MOINES – Gov. Terry E. Branstad today requested the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) to make low-interest federal disaster loans available to Iowa residents and business owners affected by recent severe weather and flash flooding in northeast Iowa. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 27

Feds propose rule to welcome international entrepreneurs

usa-flagWASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is proposing a new rule, which would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole (temporary permission to be in the United States) so that they may start or scale their businesses here in the United States. Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 24

USDA to Purchase Surplus Cheese for Food Banks and Families in Need, Continue to Assist Dairy Producers

Department Also Will Extend Margin Protection Program for Dairy Enrollment Deadline 

tumblr_static_cheese_205_1362800142WASHINGTON, Aug. 23, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced plans to purchase approximately 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories to assist food banks and pantries across the nation, while reducing a cheese surplus that is at its highest level in 30 years. Read the rest of this entry »

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 22

Unanimous Vote From Wright County Board of Supervisors Gives Go-Ahead for the Prestage Foods of Iowa Pork Processing Plant

Facility-Rendering-1024x570EAGLE GROVE, IOWA — Today the Wright County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve the development agreement enabling Prestage Foods of Iowa to build a $240 million pork processing plant near Eagle Grove. During the past six weeks, several public hearings have taken place to provide information and answer questions about the project. Many business leaders, community organization members, farmers and citizens have spoken in favor of the project. 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 »

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