Recent Articles

Bettplex developer states he's 'offended' by city 'worrying about less than $600,000 of cost overruns'

Bettplex developer Doug Kratz – signing emails "frustrated" and demanding city legal staff rather than his attorneys draft revisions for an amended development agreement – stands to get an additional $1 million subsidy from city taxpayers for his sports complex.

The amended development agreement – scheduled for consideration by the city council Tuesday (March 5) – increases the city's cap to pay for streets, sewers, sidewalks and storm water infrastructure at the sports complex from $3.78 million to $4.65 million.

Anonymous millionaires funneling 'dark money' into push to re-write Iowa's non-partisan selection process for state Supreme Court nominees

A right-wing conservative Republican group funded by anonymous millionaires is funneling some of its "dark money" into the push to re-write Iowa's non-partisan selection method for the supreme court.

Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) in Washington, D.C. set up a web site at "fairjusticeforiowa.com" disparaging Iowa's current nomination process, long-heralded as the most non-partisan system for selection of new justices in the country.

Ironically, JCN's mission states the organization is ". . .dedicated to the rule of law; with a fair and impartial judiciary."

Read what Drake Law School professors/administrators think about the proposed overhaul of Iowa's judicial selection system.

Lee Enterprises, Inc. touts 8 percent increase in digital revenue during first quarter, but total company revenues fell more than 5 percent from a year ago

Lee Enterprises, Inc. – owner of the Dispatch/Argus and QC Times newspapers – Thursday (2/7) reported first quarter earnings of $10.7 million, or 18 cents per cent share, while touting its 8 percent increase in digital advertising revenue from a year ago.

Despite the improved performance of digital advertising, Lee's total revenue fell 5.3 per cent to $136 million for the three-month period. Digital advertising now accounts for nearly 34 percent of the media company's total ad revenues, according to the Lee news release.

Proxy battle heats up for three Lee board seats

An activist shareholder who owns nearly 5 percent of Lee Enterprises, Inc. stock has stepped up his proxy fight to oust three board members – including the board chairman and the CEO/president of the Davenport-based media company.

J. Cano Cannell who operates Cannell Capital LLC Monday (1/28) filed additional reasons his firm is seeking to replace Board Chairman Mary Junck, CEO/President Kenneth Mowbray and board member Herbert Maloney at Lee's February 20 board meeting.

Activist investor seeks to remove three from Lee Enterprises' board, including chairman and CEO

A Wyoming-based activist investor – who has publicly feuded with James Cramer of CNBC's "Mad Money" – wants Lee Enterprises, Inc. shareholders to replace three members of the Davenport media company's board of directors, including chairman Mary Junck and President/CEO Kevin Mowbray.

J. Caro Cannell in a filing Wednesday (1/16/19) with the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) labeled the Lee board "stale, lethargic and devoid of any skin in the game." He urged shareholders not to re-elect Junck, Mowbray and board member Herbert W. Maloney III at the upcoming Lee annual meeting in February. Lee owns 46 daily newspapers, including the QC Times and the Dispatch/Argus.

Bettendorf sports complex developer wants to split future sales tax rebates rather than pay $556,000 due under development agreement with city

The developer of the Bettendorf sports complex wants the city to accept a portion of state sales tax rebates over a 10-year period, rather than pay $556,000 now owed under terms of the 2017 agreement.

The agreement with developer Doug Kratz set a cap of $3.87 million on city paid infrastructure for the so-called Bettplex at Middle Road and I-80. However, the cost of the streets, sewers, storm water detention and walkways exceeded that by $844,000.

Lee Enterprises' print circulation falls another 8 percent; company looks to future 'inflection point' where digital revenue will surpasses print ad dollars

Lee Enterprises, Inc. Executive Chairman Mary Junck told stock analysts last week the media company – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch/Argus – remains "steadfast in our optimism" with "a growth strategy aimed at achieving a digital inflection point when digital-related revenues exceed print-related revenues."

The company also reported higher earnings for the fourth quarter ($4.4 million versus $3.5 million a year ago) and for the full fiscal year ($28.6 million versus $18.4 million) ended Sept. 30.

The positive comments and financial results, though, weren't enough to lift the firm's stock price, which fell to a 52-week low of $1.87 Tuesday (12/18).

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