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  • Plea hearing set for ex-manager in halal food case Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 4:01 PM ET

    IOWA CITY, Iowa— A former manager at an Iowa- based halal food supplier is expected to plead guilty as part of a federal criminal investigation into the company's exporting and marketing practices, according to court documents filed Thursday. Conspiracy charges filed against Philip G. Payne are the latest involving the Midamar Corp., which is accused of...

  • CHICAGO, Dec 18- The average price of Iowa farmland slumped 8.9 percent in 2014, the largest annual decline since 1986 as crop prices fell, according to the Iowa Land Value Survey released on Thursday. It is only the second year since 1999 that the benchmark survey, conducted in November by Iowa State University researchers, has shown a decline in farmland values.

  • DAVENPORT, Iowa, Dec 18- Life-long Republican Bob Shelley neatly folds his newspaper and uses it as a coaster, placing his coffee mug over a photo of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who just announced he will explore a bid for the White House in 2016.. In Iowa, which holds the first presidential nominating contest in early 2016, voters are used to hearing out...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- There are plenty of lists proclaiming "The Best Places to Retire." Designed by real estate information company Zillow.com for Reuters, it incorporates reams of data on more than 15,000 locales across the United States. For instance, if you find all of the screening categories to be very important, and you are looking for a reasonably-priced home,...

  • Wisconsin ranks 32nd in private-sector job growth Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 10:01 AM ET

    MADISON, Wis.— Wisconsin ranks 32nd in private-sector job growth and lags behind the national average for the 12- month period that ended in June, according to the latest figures released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers are consistent with where Wisconsin has ranked in recent years. Wisconsin ranked 32nd nationally in...

  • Winnebago misses Street 1Q forecasts Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 7:12 AM ET

    FOREST CITY, Iowa _ Winnebago Industries Inc. on Thursday reported net income of $9.9 million in its fiscal first quarter. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 45 cents per share. Analysts expected $234.5 million, according to Zacks.

  • YOUR MONEY-The best place to retire? You get to pick Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 2:00 AM ET

    NEW YORK, Dec 18- There are plenty of lists proclaiming "The Best Places to Retire." Designed by real estate information company Zillow.com for Reuters, it incorporates reams of data on more than 15,000 locales across the United States. For instance, if you find all of the screening categories to be very important, and you are looking for a reasonably-priced home,...

  • DAVENPORT, Iowa, Dec 18- Bob Shelley neatly folds his newspaper and uses it as a coaster for his coffee mug. By no coincidence, it covers the face of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who just announced he will explore a bid for the White House in 2016.. Carol Crain, a volunteer at the Scott County Republican headquarters in downtown Davenport, says Republicans "are...

  • In final 2014 push, Congress renews tax breaks Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 | 2:07 AM ET

    WASHINGTON— Banks, retailers, commuters and teachers will keep their temporary tax breaks for another year after Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a massive tax package affecting millions of businesses and individuals. More narrow provisions include tax breaks for filmmakers, racehorse owners and rum producers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

  • Congress votes to extend tax breaks through 2014 Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 | 7:32 PM ET

    WASHINGTON— Banks, retailers, commuters and teachers will keep their temporary tax breaks for another year after Congress gave final approval Tuesday to a massive tax package affecting millions of businesses and individuals. More narrow provisions include tax breaks for filmmakers, racehorse owners and rum producers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

  • Halal beef supplier vows to contest fraud charges Monday, 15 Dec 2014 | 2:00 PM ET

    Midamar Corp., based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, denies the allegations that it sold at least $4.9 million in beef to customers in Malaysia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and elsewhere that did not follow the halal practices promised in its labeling and advertising. Also indicted is another company the brothers operate, Islamic Services of America— one of the few...

  • DES MOINES, Iowa— A tiny beetle known for destroying ash trees is spreading in Iowa, state officials said Monday, and they predict infestations of the pest will pop up at a higher rate in 2015.. Larvae from emerald ash borer was found recently in Appanoose, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion and Monroe counties in the southern part of the state, according to a group that includes...

  • People finding their 'waze' to once-hidden streets Sunday, 14 Dec 2014 | 9:49 AM ET

    LOS ANGELES— When the people whose houses hug the narrow warren of streets paralleling the busiest urban freeway in America began to see bumper-to-bumper traffic crawling by their homes a year or so ago, they were baffled. You can't even walk your dog, "said Paula Hamilton, who lives on a once quiet little street in the Santa Monica Mountains in a neighborhood...

  • Fish farming finds its way to land-locked Midwest Saturday, 13 Dec 2014 | 10:22 AM ET

    OMAHA, Neb.— The latest of five generations who have worked the same ground in northeastern Nebraska, 52- year-old Scott Garwood, isn't growing corn or cattle— it's fish. And such tank systems can be placed almost anywhere— from Minnesota to Florida— because temperature and water quality can be controlled. Globally, aquaculture supplies more than 50 percent of all...

  • Auto dealer chain to pay fine for deceptive ads Friday, 12 Dec 2014 | 12:22 PM ET

    IOWA CITY, Iowa— A family-owned chain of automobile dealerships located in Iowa, Montana and South Dakota will pay a $360,000 civil penalty for running misleading ads, federal regulators announced Friday. The complaint named Billion dealerships in Iowa City, Clive and Sioux City, Iowa; Sioux Falls, South Dakota; and Billings, Montana. Their ads routinely reach...

  • Casey's beats 2Q profit forecasts Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 | 4:15 PM ET

    ANKENY, Iowa _ Casey's General Stores Inc. on Wednesday reported net income of $49.9 million in its fiscal second quarter. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.12 per share. Analysts expected $2.18 billion, according to Zacks.

  • USDA sees higher corn, soybean demand in report Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 | 3:09 PM ET

    Some analysts expect that the USDA may adjust the number of corn acres planted, which currently exceeds the agency's estimates by about 5 million acres. But there was no such adjustment, and Iowa State University agricultural economist Chad Hart believes the USDA will wait to do in January, if necessary. Changing the number of acres planted— which are reported on...

  • WASHINGTON, Dec 10- President Barack Obama's nominee to head the U.S. Senator Charles Grassley, incoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in opening remarks that he expected the Senate would not vote on the nominations this year and that incoming committee members may also have questions for Lee. Grassley, an Iowa Republican, also pressed Lee on a report...

  • Railroad settles Mississippi River oil spill claim Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 | 10:37 AM ET

    IOWA CITY, Iowa— A railroad has agreed to pay $625,000 to settle allegations that it failed to adequately clean up a 2008 oil spill that damaged the shoreline and aquatic life in the Mississippi River between Iowa and Wisconsin. The Dakota Minnesota and Eastern Railroad, a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific, would make the payment without admitting wrongdoing to...

  • Lawsuit accuses Maker's Mark of false advertising Tuesday, 9 Dec 2014 | 3:07 PM ET

    LOUISVILLE, Kentucky— Two California consumers sued one of Kentucky's best-known distilleries, saying Maker's Mark tries to spike demand and sticker prices by falsely promoting its bourbon as being handmade. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Diego, accused the distillery of deceptive advertising and business practices with its "handmade" promotion...