Recent Articles

Iowa's greenhouse gas emissions back on the rise, 3.5 percent increase in 2017 to 131 million tons

Increased use of coal- and natural gas-power plants for production of electricity and two new fertilizer plants helped pushed up Iowa's greenhouse gas emissions by 3.5 percent in 2017.

The hike in emissions came after two years of statewide declines. Even with the increase, total greenhouse gas emissions in 2017 were nearly 6 percent lower than 10 years ago.

Bettendorf, Riverdale, Panorama Park sewage pumped into Mississippi River for 14 days

Bettendorf, Riverdale and Panorama Park sewage was flushed into the Mississippi River between April 29 and May 9.

The City of Bettendorf pumped 179 million gallons of untreated sewage mixed with stormwater runoff into the river, according to reports filed with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. Neither the city or the state estimate how much actual sewage is pumped directly into the river as a result of such "Sanitary Sewer Overflows" (SSO's).

Lee Enterprises' news release buries second quarter earnings number on second page, 17th paragraph

Lee Enterprises – owner of the Quad City Times and Dispatch-Argus – reported its second quarter earnings last week (5/10), but readers had to plow through 16 paragraphs of information to find the financial bottomline buried at end of page two of the news release.

The company lost $2.7 million, 5 cents a share, in the second quarter ended March 31, compared with a gain of $2.2 million, 4 cents per share, for the same period a year ago. When including re-valuation of company stock warrants, earnings totaled $75,000, compared with $1.7 million, 3 cents per share, a year ago.

No one home at the REAL Coalition; MidAmerican admits to being part of 'solar tax' lobbying campaign

Iowa's largest utility MidAmerican Energy got $308 million in state and federal tax credits in 2018 for generating wind energy, then hid behind a front organization called the REAL Coalition to push legislation to add a tax on customers who install rooftop solar panels.

The utility admits it is a member of the shadowy lobbying organization. However, that's about the only thing the privately held utility – part of the conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway run by Warren Buffett – will disclose about the secretive lobbying effort.

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.

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