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Iowa businesses seek state incentives to expand

News

January 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa Economic Development Authority is considering financial incentives for several proposed business expansions, including one in Pottawattamie County. Carter Lake steel fabricator Owen Industries is proposing a $34 million project to build a new factory adding 16 jobs. The company seeks a $50,000 forgivable loan and $2 million in tax credits.

General Mills Cereals is proposing to convert warehouse space in Cedar Rapids to a food manufacturing area. The project cost is $58 million. The company wants a $200,000 loan, $3.2 million in state tax credits, and $85,000 in Alliant Energy tax rebates. The project creates 41 jobs.

Loffredo Gardens, a fresh produce distributor, proposes to build a $7 million food processing facility in Norwalk. The company, creating six new jobs, seeks up to $401,000 in tax credits.

IA West Foundation Announces 4th Qtr grant recipients

News

January 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Daily NonPareil reports officials of the Iowa West Foundation, headquartered in Council Bluffs, have announced the awarding of nearly $4.3 million in grants for the fourth quarter of 2013. The grants will be used to assist 32 nonprofit organizations and governmental entities with funding for area projects, especially in the areas of economic development and education.

The largest grant award is for the creation and operation of Advance Southwest Iowa, a partnership with the Greater Omaha Economic Development. Advance Southwest Iowa isa unique public-private partnership including the city of Council Bluffs, the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, the Iowa West Foundation, Pottawattamie County and the Western Iowa Development Association. Iowa West’s grant is for $2.2 million over the next five years.

In the area of education, the Iowa West Foundation says it will continue to fund two of its own initiatives, which were initially announced in 2009 – the Iowa West Opportunity Scholarship Program and the College Access Program (CAP). The 2014 scholarships will be funded with $495,000 and CAP with $345,000. Both programs are designed to assist local high school students who might not otherwise go to college.

There are 25 scholarships available for seniors currently attending Pottawattamie County high schools. The scholarships are for $16,000, paid over four years. The program is administered by the Iowa College Foundation. Additional information on the criteria for the program and how to apply for Iowa West Opportunity Scholarships is available at www.iowawestfoundation.org.

Funding for the foundation’s grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contracted license fees from Council Bluffs’ casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. The Iowa West Racing Association distributes funds to the Iowa West Foundation – an independent 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS code. The foundation makes grants throughout southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

Requests for Iowa West grant applications for the second quarter of 2014 will be taken beginning March 1 and will be accepted through April 1. Completed applications will be due April 15. The deadline to request applications for the first quarter has passed. For more information including deadlines, interested organizations may visit the foundation’s website at www.iowawestfoundation.org or contact Deb Debbaut, director of grants administration, at (712) 309-3003. Guidelines and procedures can be viewed on the website, and applicants can apply online.

Here is the partial list of grant recipients for the 4th quarter:

• Center for the Advancement of Self-Sufficiency, technology upgrades for Atlantic facility serving the disabled, $15,000

• City of Corning, computers for patrons and staff at library, $1,700

• City of Red Oak, implementation of downtown revitalization plan, $50,000

• Food Bank for the Heartland, “Weekend Food for Kids” in Omaha metro area, $15,000

• Green Hills Area Education Agency, planning for a career technical institute in southwest Iowa, $50,000

• Indian Creek Historical Society and Museum, restoration of barn for museum near Emerson, $10,000

• Southwest Iowa Nature Trails Inc., maintenance equipment for the Wabash Trace, $4,300

The Danish Immigrant Museum, Curatorial Center addition with “green roof” at museum in Elk Horn, $50,000

• The Nature Conservancy, fire management education for the Loess Hills of western Iowa, $10,000

CA truck driver injured when his semi is blown over near Underwood

News

January 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

A truck driver from California was injured Thursday, when the semi he was driving was blown over on Interstate 80 in Pottawattamie County. The Iowa State Patrol says 60-year old Kenneth Alan Acquistapace, of Goleta, CA, was traveling west on I-80 at around 3:35-p.m., when the rig was hit by strong crosswinds, causing the driver to lose control about five-miles south of the Underwood exit. The semi rolled onto the driver’s side and came to rest blocking both westbound lanes of I-80.

Acquistapace, who was wearing his seatbelt, suffered non-life threatening injuries, and was transported by Underwood Rescue to Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. Another semi was blown over in the eastbound lanes of I-80 near the same location, but reports say the driver was not injured. Wind speeds at the time approached 60-miles per hour.

 

Head of renewable fuels group to run for US House in 3rd District

News

January 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A longtime Republican activist who serves as the head of a pro-ethanol trade group is entering the race for the U.S. House seat being vacated by retiring Rep. Tom Latham. Monte Shaw announced Thursday that he will step down from his role on the GOP State Central Committee so that he can pursue the seat. The 41-year-old Shaw says he must leave because he promised to remain politically neutral while in a party office.

Shaw, an Iowa native who lives in West Des Moines, serves as executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. He has worked on GOP campaigns in the past. Shaw says the race presents an opportunity to work for Iowa.

Latham announced last month his plans to retire after finishing his 10th term.

Iowa News Headlines: Fri.,Jan. 17th 2014

News

January 17th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press…

WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa State Patrol says dozens of cars were involved in a crash on Interstate 80 near Waukee. KCCI-TV reports that 25 to 40 vehicles were involved in the crash on I-80 near mile marker 117. The crash came amid snow and strong winds that settled over the Des Moines area late Thursday afternoon.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Corn is the top crop for U.S. farmers but the golden luster has faded with much lower corn prices prompting many to consider switching to more soybeans this year. A December survey of more than 1,600 producers by Farm Futures, an agriculture-focused publisher, indicated farmers intend to reduce corn planting 3 percent from last year and boost soybeans about 7.6 percent.

NASHUA, Iowa (AP) — Investigators have identified a suspect in the death of a retired northeast Iowa grocery store owner found dead in his burglarized home in October 2012. Chickasaw County Sheriff Todd Miller said Wednesday that Randy Lee Patrie of Charles City is under investigation in the death of 70-year-old Carl Gallmeyer in Nashua. Patrie has not been charged but is being held in federal custody on burglary and firearms charges.

Slower growth likely in rural areas of 10 states

Ag/Outdoor, News

January 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Economic growth will likely slow in rural parts of 10 Midwest and Western states in the months ahead. A monthly survey of rural bankers released Thursday shows the region’s overall economic index falling to 50.8 in January from December’s 56.1. The index ranges from 0 to 100, and any score above 50 suggests growth in that factor in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says declining farm prices are hurting the economy. And most bankers say they expect the economy to be hurt by the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to reduce the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline.

The report covers rural parts of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Boil Advisory remains in effect for the City of Prescott

News

January 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Officials with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources say a Boil Advisory remains in-place for the City of Prescott. The Southern Iowa Rural Water Association (SIRWA) and DNR reported Wednesday that a contractor had struck a water main, causing it to rupture and for the City to lose water pressure, which could have introduced bacteria into the drinking water.

The line was fixed and pressure restored, but the Boil Advisory remains in effect until test results on samples of the water come back clean for bacteria. If all the samples come back bacteria free, the advisory will be lifted, most likely sometime late on Friday.

Residents of Prescott should continue to boil their water intended for consumption. Once it comes to a boil, they should let it continuing boiling for one minute and then let it cool. It is then safe for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth and food preparation.

Accident and arrest reported in Atlantic

News

January 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

The Atlantic Police Department reports an accident and arrest occurred, Wednesday. Taken into custody for Driving While Revoked, was 56-year old Douglas Howard, of Atlantic. Howard was booked into the Cass County Jail.

The accident happened at around 1:25-p.m. near the intersection of 10th and east Mahogany Streets. Officials say a vehicle driven by Lee Clarken, of Atlantic, was headed west on 10th when he became distracted. His vehicle hit a legally parked car registered to Scott Wood, of Atlantic. There were no injuries reported, and the damage amounted to $6,000. Clarken was cited for Striking an Unattended Vehicle.

Public hearing in Atlantic on zoning request set for Jan. 22nd

News

January 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Atlantic Zoning Administrator John Lund reports the Atlantic City Council will hold a public hearing beginning at 5:30-p.m., Wed., Jan. 22nd, with regard to a request from Plummer Investments to rezone a lot of land from R-3 (High Density Single Family), to C-1 (Highway Commercial). The meeting will take place in the City Council Chambers, at City Hall.

A change in the zoning designation for the section of land will allow Plummer Investments, of Atlantic, to remove a 133-year old structure in poor condition on the southwest corner of the intersection of 7th and Olive Streets, and allow the lot to continue natural expansion of the Highway Commercial zone abutting 7th Street (Highway 6). Lund says in addition, “It will expand upon the commercial investments already made in the immediate vicinity, and improve the general condition of the neighborhood.”Questions regarding the rezoning proposal should be addressed to Zoning Administrator John Lund, at 243-4810.

Glenwood woman arrested for probation violation

News

January 16th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

Sheriff’s officials in Mills County report a Glenwood woman was being held on $15,000 bond in the Mills County Jail, for allegedly violating the terms of her probation. 35-year old Wendy Lynn Meadows was taken into custody at the Mills County Jail, after a warrant was issued for her arrest.