Heinz-Muscatine in Line to Add 100+ New Jobs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ The Iowa Economic Development Authority has approved tax credits for an expansion by H.J. Heinz that could mean more than 100 jobs at the company’s plant in Muscatine. The Des Moines Register reports the agency approved $825,000 in tax credits for the Pittsburgh-based food maker, which has plans for a $24.5 million expansion of its plant, which produces ketchup and mustard as well as other items.

To receive the tax credits, the company must create 106 jobs. The state award also must be matched by an award by the city of Muscatine. The state agency also awarded $75,000 in loans to ConnectFive, an Iowa City computer design firm that plans to move to a larger building in Coralville.   ConnectFive must create 10 jobs. Continue Reading

Iowa Juvenile Home May Have Broken Federal Law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ The Iowa Department of Education has found that the state-run Iowa Juvenile Home violated federal law when it denied youths educational services and transition planning to help them succeed in life. The Des Moines Register reports that the Education Department issued the ruling
Friday following its investigation into a complaint filed by the nonprofit
organization Disability Rights Iowa. In its ruling, the department verified that the home had written up education
and behavior-intervention plans that used the same “cut-and-paste” boilerplate
language for each youth, instead of individualized plans required by law. Governor Terry Branstad announced earlier this month that state officials will
close the troubled facility next month, relocate the children and lay off the
staff of 93 employees. Continue Reading

Iowa Capitol Focus: Tom Latham

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) _ U.S. Rep. Tom Latham’s announcement that he won’t run for re-election in 2014 comes as Congress is wrapping up one of its most contentious years in recent history. But the longtime Iowa lawmaker says his decision to retire is personal, not political.  Latham says that he and his wife made the decision together, calling it the right time to go. Latham’s announcement took many people by surprise. The 65-year-old Republican
from Clive will have spent 20 years in Congress and is Iowa’s senior U.S. House
member. Continue Reading

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Man Jumps From Muscatine Bridge

Fire officials and witnesses say a man jumped from a Muscatine bridge that spans the Mississippi River and couldn’t be found despite a quick response by rescuers. The Muscatine Journal says authorities received reports yesterday morning of suspicious activity at the Norbert F. Beckey Bridge, a more than 3,000 foot bridge between Muscatine and Rock Island County, Ill. Police found a man near the center of the bridge and called for rescue workers. After the man jumped, rescuers immediately tried to reach him, but he was swept under ice downstream from the bridge. A search continued through yesterday afternoon without success Continue Reading

Palmer Re-elected IGA Chairman

IOWA’S GAMING ASSOCIATION HAS NAMED ITS 2014 OFFICERS…AND GARY PALMER OF PRAIRIE MEADOWS HAS BEEN RE-ELECTED CHAIRMAN.  

THE OTHER EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE OFFICERS ARE VICE-CHAIR TOM TIMMONS OF WILD ROSE ENTERTAINMENT…TREASURER KIM PANG OF DIAMOND JO WORTH…AND SECRETARY NANCY BALLENGER OF ISLE OF CAPRI. CATFISH BEND CASINO IN BURLINGTON IS REPRESENTED ON THE I-G-A BOARD BY CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER JERRY BAUM.  

GAMING ASSOCIATION PRESIDENT AND C-E-O WES EHRECKE SAYS SIX OF THE 18 BOARD MEMBERS WILL NOW BE WOMEN. THAT’S A NEW HIGH. Continue Reading

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Identities Stolen at Iowa Target Stores

There’s no word yet on how many Iowans may have had their identities compromised by shopping at Target stores in the past few weeks. The Target stores in our area are located in West Burlington, Ottumwa, and Galesburg. Radio Iowa’s Matt Kelley reports:

The Twin Cities-based retailer confirms, as many as 40-million customers may be at risk after a security breach that started on Black Friday and wasn’t discovered until this past Sunday. Target has 22 stores in Iowa. The company says the breach only impacted customers who were swiping their cards in person at the checkout and online customers were evidently safe. Continue Reading

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Freezing Rain and Winter Weather Headed to SE Iowa

The National Weather Service is advising many counties in southeast Iowa of some weather heading out way that could be dangerous to drivers. There is a freezing rain advisory from midnight tonight to 6am tomorrow morning for Des Moines, Henry, Jefferson, Washington, Van Buren, and Louisa counties in Iowa. There is also the same advisory for Warren county in Illinois. Continue Reading

More Iowa Travelers to Hit Roads for Holidays

About one in three Iowans will be taking a road trip during the final two weeks of the year, according to a motor club survey.  

Gail Weinholzer,  spokeswoman for Triple-A-Iowa, says travel is expected to be up slightly compared to last year for the holiday period that starts this Saturday and runs through New Year’s Day.  

 

The upward trend marks the fifth consecutive year of increases and the highest travel volume recorded for the year-end holiday season. Weinholzer says about nine-in-ten Iowans who are traveling over Christmas or New Year’s will be on the road, not a runway.  

With more people driving, she says it’s a plus that gasoline prices have been dropping since Thanksgiving. Continue Reading

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New Illinois Laws

Several new laws will take effect January 1st in Illinois. Two may be particularly hard habits to break. Throwing a cigarette butt on the ground will now be considered littering in the state. Also, talking on the phone while driving will be illegal. Illinois State Police are reminding motorists that unless you are using a hands free or voice operated mode on your phone, you will be fined for holding it up to your ear and driving with one hand on the wheel. Continue Reading