Mortgages, Debt Collections & Cars Top Consumer Complaints List

Complaints about home mortgages and debt collection topped the list in the last year for the Consumer Protection Division of the Iowa Attorney General’s office.  

Bill Brauch leads the division and says over 300 of the complaints to his office involved home mortgages and 171 involved debt collection.   The total number of complaints did drop 10-percent last year to under three-thousand. Complaints about cars were third on the list.   That includes things like a car that may have been in a major wreck was fixed up and then sold the buyer without disclosure, or dealers charging fees that were not disclosed. Continue Reading

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ISU, Drake Presidents Testify in D.C.

Iowa State University President Steven Leath and Drake University President David Maxwell were at the White House Thursday for a summit about expanding the opportunity for low income students to attend college.  

Leath says ISU is focusing on fundraising to provide scholarships for needy students and that fundraising effort is off to a good start. ISU also plans to hire an additional staff member to work directly with recruitment and the application process for low income students. Maxwell used the summit to introduce a project to bring more low income students to the Drake campus in Des Moines. With help from Drake counselors and students, these 20 low income students will be mentored throughout high school and college. Continue Reading

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Blizzards, Mini-Blizzards & Thunder-Snow Hit IA

Blizzard conditions hit southeast Iowa for a brief time early last(Thurs) nite, as close to an inch of snow fell and was blown around by sporadic, up-to-40-mile-per-hour winds.  

A similar scenario struck parts of northwest Iowa…and “thunder snow” in central Iowa created hazardous driving conditions Thursday afternoon. A 25-vehicle pile-up on Interstate-80, near the Waukee exit, closed eastbound lanes. Near DeSoto, on Highway 169, 30 vehicles crashed. On Interstate 35, a semi jack-knifed near the Cumming exit and northbound lanes were closed until the semi was moved. Continue Reading

Western, Central IA in Path of High Winds

A rarely-issued High Wind Watch is posted for a large portion of western and central Iowa for much of today (Thursday).  

Meteorologist David Pearson, at the National Weather Service, says motorists can expect to be dodging garbage cans, recycling bins and anything else that’s not nailed down.  Some of the alerts say winds may reach 60 miles an hour — or stronger. At 74-miles an hour, it would be considered hurricane strength. Blowing snow or dust could make driving hazardous. Continue Reading

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Gas Prices Expected to go Back Up

The holidays are over, and gas in Burlington is once again under $3 a gallon. Unfortunately, Senior Petroleum Analyst, Gregg Laskoski, says you can expect those prices to go back up… “This has really been the results of very little consumer demand in January, that has been magnified by the pretty severe weather that we’ve experienced. I don’t know if we should read too much into this. We still expect gas prices to probably start climbing during the first quarter of this year. Continue Reading

target

IA A-G Tells Customers to Take Target Deal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is urging residents who shop at Target to take advantage of free credit monitoring being offered in the wake of a massive date breach.  

Miller says Tuesday that Target customers should sign up for the monitoring even if they haven’t seen any suspicious account activity. He also recommends that people change passwords and pin numbers and be watchful of their personal information. Target Corp. initially disclosed that about 40 million credit and debit cards may have been affected by the security lapse between Nov. Continue Reading

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Former UI Football Coach Dies

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Former Iowa defensive coordinator Norm Parker has died. He was 72.  

School spokesman Steve Roe told The Associated Press that Parker died early Monday. Roe says more details should be available later in the day. Parker began his college coaching career in 1968. Continue Reading

guns

Illinois Concealed Carry Already Changing

Illinois residents have just begun applying for licenses to carry concealed weapons. But lawmakers have already begun tinkering with the new law. The Daily Herald reported today that legislators have introduced bills to increase penalties for carrying guns where they’re not allowed; punish instructors who don’t carry out training; and lower the legal age for carrying. Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow concealed carry last July. It allows anyone with 16 hours of training to pay a $150 fee to get a license. Continue Reading

Sioux City Tries to Keep Up with Technology

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Sioux City is nearing a deal with a contractor to install radio transmitters on all residential water meters.  

 

The Sioux City Journal says the city has already budgeted $1.5 million for the project. Sioux City spent $5.9 million in 2002 to install landline water meter readers, but then people started dropping home landlines to rely solely on cellphones. Residents who dropped landlines and don’t have radio transmitters on their meters have to submit their water usage to the city each month. Sioux City has about 28,000 residential customers. Continue Reading