Monthly Archive: December 2015

Dec 31

DuPont and Dow to combine in merger of equals

WILMINGTON, DELAWARE and MIDLAND, MICHIGAN – DuPont (NYSE:DD) and The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE:DOW) announced this month that their boards of directors unanimously approved a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine in an all-stock merger of equals.

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Dec 30

Iowa lifts ban on poultry exhibitions, in place after blind flu scare

DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship today announced that the order cancelling all live bird exhibitions at county fairs, the Iowa State Fair, livestock auction markets, swap meets, exotic sales and other gatherings of birds due to avian influenza will be lifted on January 1, 2016.

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Dec 30

Need a job? Iowa needs many more “snow fighters”

DES MOINES – They are called “snow fighters” and Iowa needs lots more of them, the Iowa Department of Transportation says.

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Dec 29

Company with Iowa ties fires employee for racist remarks aimed at Black Lives Matter

MANKATO, MINNESOTA – A company with at least 9 locations in Iowa has taken action and fired an employee who wrote a racist message to the controversial group Black Lives Matter.

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Dec 29

Iowa postal facility exposes mail handler to excessive heat

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Des Moines Area Office cited the U.S. Postal Service, Ottumwa, Iowa facility for three safety and health violations, one repeated, one serious and one other-than-serious.

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Dec 29

Chambers of commerce in Iowa say workforce development, education key to Iowa’s economic potential

DES MOINES – For Iowa to achieve its full economic potential, workforce development and education remain a top priority for the Iowa Chamber Alliance. At a news conference held in December, the Alliance outlined key policy recommendations for workforce development and education, as well as, other strategic initiatives crucial to fostering healthy economic growth.

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Dec 27

Student loans putting the hurt on your pocketbook? Feds announce flexible payment plan that might help

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the availability of an additional flexible repayment plan that may help borrowers manage their student loan debt.  

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Dec 27

Grant will expand mission of ISU plant breeding outreach in Africa

AMES, IOWA – An Iowa State University effort to kick start a new generation of plant breeding in Africa is expanding its mission.

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Dec 26

Diesel prices in Iowa trending downward

DES MOINES – The price of retail diesel in Iowa dropped $.09 this week, closing at $2.16 per gallon.

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Dec 26

Beef product recalled by Iowa meat processor

DES MOINES – The Edgewood Locker in Edgewood, IA today announced a recall of approximately 207 pounds of beef sticks with cheese due to possible contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.

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Dec 23

Travelers take note: TSA will decide who gets scanned and who can get a pat-down before boarding planes

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Transportation Security Administration policy regarding body scanners has been changed in favor of tighter security, and it might be harder than ever to avoid a body screening before boarding an airplane.

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Dec 23

Congress bans microbeads in cosmetic products

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congress took action last week to ban microbeads from cosmetic products, tiny particles that can threaten the environment and pose dangers to delicate ecosystems.

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Dec 23

Contract opportunities for small businesses get boost

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Small businesses will have more contracting opportunities beginning in FY 2017 thanks to a law President Obama signed recently that increases the maximum Small Business Administration surety bond guarantee percentage by 20 percent.

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Dec 23

Large Iowa co-ops approve merger

AMES, IOWA – The members of Farmers Cooperative Company (FC), of Ames, Iowa, and West Central® Cooperative, of Ralston, Iowa, have both approved the merger of their cooperatives effective April 1, 2016.

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Dec 23

20 questions before starting your business

So you’ve got what it takes to be an entrepreneur? Now, ask yourself these 20 questions to make sure you’re thinking about the right key business decisions:

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Dec 23

JPMorgan Chase Bank ordered to pay $100 million for failure to disclose conflicts of interest

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently issued an Order filing and settling charges against JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. (JPMCB). The Order finds that JPMCB failed to disclose certain conflicts of interest to clients of its U.S.-based wealth management business, J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

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Dec 22

Southwest Airlines – which serves Des Moines – agrees to pay $2.8 million settlement

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Southwest Airlines Co. (Southwest) and the United States settled a lawsuit involving allegations that Southwest violated Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) safety regulations in its maintenance of its Boeing 737s, as well as other pending administrative matters, announced the Department of Justice.

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Dec 22

Ragan: Iowa short on jobs needed to keep up with population growth

From Senator Amanda Ragan of Mason City – We should do all that we can to help more workers and their families join Iowa’s middle class.

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Dec 22

Police: Beware of fake Iowa auto dealership selling cars

AMES – Police in Ames are warning of an auto dealership with a website that is attempting to sell cars – but the business doesn’t actually exist.

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Dec 22

Data shows U.S. manufacturing sector in good shape

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Census Bureau recently released statistics from three 2014 Annual Survey of Manufactures files: General Statistics for Industry Groups and Industries, Value of Products Shipments and Geographic Area Statistics.

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Dec 22

Feds say minority entrepreneurship is growing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Commerce today released the final results of the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners (SBO), which found that business ownership in our nation is mirroring our increasingly diverse population. 

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Dec 22

For fourth year, UNI is a top 100 ‘Best Value in Public Colleges’

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa — For the fourth year in a row, the University of Northern Iowa is ranked in the top 100 “Best Values in Public Colleges” by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance for 2016.

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Dec 21

Girl Scouts of Iowa announces new CEO

DES MOINES – Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa recently announced that Beth Shelton will be joining the organization as the new Chief Executive Officer.

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Dec 21

Wall Street oversight opponents get win with no extra funding for agency that oversees activities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Regulation of Wall Street didn’t advance in the bi-partisan omnibus spending bill passed last week by Congress, as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) got no funding increase.

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Dec 21

Gov. Branstad signs executive order to address cybersecurity

DES MOINES – Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced in their Monday morning press conference that Gov. Branstad has signed Executive Order Eighty-Seven that will combat cybersecurity threats in Iowa. 

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Dec 21

Winnebago announces new President and CEO, expansion to Twin Cities

FOREST CITY, IOWA – Winnebago Industries, Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Michael J. Happe as its President and Chief Executive Officer and a member of its board of directors, effective January 18, 2016. Mr. Happe will succeed outgoing interim CEO Larry A. Erickson. Mr. Erickson will continue to remain Chairman of Winnebago’s …

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Dec 21

Estate gift will allow agency to provide services for animals

CHARLES CITY – The Floyd County Community Foundation (FCCF) is excited to announce that the Floyd County (PAWS) Humane Society has started a permanent endowment fund. The endowment fund will support activities at PAWS such as veterinary care (including spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations and medication), food, supplies, and building/ grounds upkeep. An estate gift to PAWS …

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Dec 21

Follow these 10 steps when starting a new business

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Starting a business involves planning, making key financial decisions and completing a series of legal activities. These 10 easy steps can help you plan, prepare and manage your business. Click on the links to learn more.

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Dec 21

Hy-Vee announces online shopping now available in all 240 stores

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA — Earlier this year, Hy-Vee, Inc. launched Hy-Vee Aisles Online, a new service that allows busy customers to shop the way they want to shop — from anywhere and at any time. And now, just in time for the holidays, Hy-Vee Aisles Online is available in all of the supermarket chain’s 240 …

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Dec 21

ISU veterinarian urges pork producers to stay vigilant as Senecavirus strain grows more prevalent

AMES, Iowa – A once uncommon virus in pigs that’s appearing this year with greater frequency should keep pork producers and local veterinarians vigilant but is no cause for panic, according to an Iowa State University veterinarian.

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Dec 19

Federal spending bill gives billions to small business administration

WASHINGTON– President Obama signed the FY16 Omnibus bill. Below is a statement from the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Maria Contreras-Sweet.

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Dec 18

Iowa unemployment rate drops again

DES MOINES, IOWA – Iowa’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continued to drop in November, falling to 3.4 percent from 3.5 percent in October.

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Dec 18

FDA wants to ban indoor tanning for anyone under age 18

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Big government interference or just keeping kids cancer-free? That’s the question being asked today after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unleashed proposals to ban indoor tanning for youths under age 18.

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Dec 18

Iowa Economic Development Board approves awards to support capital investments in Cascade, Fort Madison, West Des Moines, and Bancroft

DES MOINES, IOWA – 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 70 jobs, retention of 13 jobs and will result in $7.5 million in new capital investment for the state. …

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Dec 16

Feds move to add more cybersecurity to Wall Street

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (Commission) today voted unanimously to approve two proposals for amendments to existing regulations addressing cybersecurity testing and safeguards for the automated systems used by critical infrastructures the Commission regulates. The proposals will be open for public comment during a 60-day comment period after their publication in …

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Dec 16

Iowa farmland values fall for second consecutive year

AMES, IOWA – Average Iowa farmland value is now estimated to be $7,633 per acre—having dropped in value for the second consecutive year. Per acre value declined $310, or 3.9 percent, since last year’s survey. Farmland values have now fallen almost 13 percent from the historically high 2013 values.

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Dec 15

27 beekeeper courses to be offered in Iowa

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today encouraged Iowans interested in beekeeping to consider enrolling in one of the beekeeping schools that will be held around the state again in 2016.  There are a record number of 27 courses that will be held across the state for both the beginner and advanced bee …

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Dec 11

Winnebago announces promotion of DeVries to product manager

FOREST CITY, IOWA – Winnebago Industries, Inc. (NYSE:WGO), a leading United States (U.S.) recreation vehicle manufacturer, today announced the promotion of Rick DeVries to the position of product manager. In his new position, DeVries is responsible for overseeing all product management decisions for the Company’s Class A front engine gas product lines. DeVries, a 33-year …

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Dec 04

U.S. jobs reports shows “steady growth in our economy”

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 211,000 in November, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.

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Dec 01

Winnebago to move production of select class A diesel motorhomes to new facility in Oregon

FOREST CITY, IOWA – Winnebago Industries, Inc.announced today its purchase of motorhome production facilities and equipment in Junction City, Oregon. In total, the investment to support this expansion is estimated to be between $15-20 million, including land, buildings, necessary modifications, production equipment and technology infrastructure.

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