KXEL Midday News for Fri. Sep. 18, 2020

KXEL Midday News for Fri. Sep. 18, 2020

THERE ARE HEADWINDS, BUT THERE IS ALSO OPTIMISM. THE IOWA ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY HAS RELEASED A QUARTERLY SURVEY OF MANUFACTURERS LOOKING AHEAD TO THE FINAL MONTHS OF 2020. MIKE RALSTON IS IOWA ABI’S PRESIDENT. RALSTON DID INDICATE THAT THE IMPACTS OF COVID-19 AND SOCIAL UNREST ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF AFFECTING EMPLOYEE WELL-BEING AND ENGAGEMENT. HEAR MORE FROM RALSTON DURING THE IOWA BUSINESS REPORT ON KXEL: TOMORROW MORNING AT 7 AND SUNDAY MORNING AT 11.

A CEDAR RAPIDS WOMAN DROVE OVER A ROUNDABOUT AND TURNED OVER HER VAN ON THURSDAY NIGHT. THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED JUST AFTER 10:30 AT THE INTERSECTION OF DEAN ROAD AND WILLIAMS BOULEVARD; THAT’S NEAR WHERE U.S. 151 MEETS U.S. 30 IN SOUTHWEST CEDAR RAPIDS. TINA BLACKFORD WAS THE DRIVER AND THE ONLY PERSON IN THE VEHICLE. THE 46-YEAR-OLD BLACKFORD WAS TAKEN TO A LOCAL HOSPITAL WITH NON-LIFE-THREATENING INJURIES. LINN COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPUTIES ARE STILL INVESTIGATING THE SINGLE VEHICLE INCIDENT.

THE BLACK HAWK COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS MAKING SOME CHANGES TO THE COVID-19 DATA IT RELEASES. IN AN ANNOUNCEMENT THURSDAY, HEALTH OFFICIALS SAID THEY WILL BE CHANGING SOME INFORMATION POSTED ONLINE TO BE PRESENTED IN A FORMAT SIMILAR TO THE STATE COVID DASHBOARD. DAILY REPORTED CASES WILL NO LONGER INCLUDE THOSE CONFIRMED THROUGH SEROLOGY TESTS. DETAILS ABOUT CASES DIVIDED BY RACE, ETHNICITY, AND ZIP CODE WILL ALSO BE UPDATED.

MORE THAN THREE-QUARTERS OF IOWANS THINK SMALL BUSINESS IS BEING OVERLOOKED BY CONGRESS. ACCORDING TO A NEW SURVEY, THOSE NUMBERS CUT ACROSS POLITICAL PARTIES AND PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCES. 61 PERCENT THINK MORE FEDERAL ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED, AND AN EVEN BIGGER MAJORITY THINKS THAT – IF THAT HELP DOESN’T ARRIVE – THE GAP BETWEEN BIG AND SMALL BUSINESSES WILL WIDEN. 500 IOWANS WERE SURVEYED ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT’S POLICIES TOWARD BUSINESS EARLIER THIS MONTH. THE POLL WAS SPONSORED BY THE GOLDMAN SACHS 10,000 SMALL BUSINESS VOICES INITIATIVE.

BLACK HAWK COUNTY AUDITOR GRANT VEEDER SAYS A NEW ABSENTEE BALLOT DROP BOX IS IN PLACE AT THE COURTHOUSE IN WATERLOO. VEEDER RELEASED A STATEMENT ON THURSDAY AND NOTED THE SECURITY PRECAUTIONS AROUND THE BALLOT REPOSITORY. A CAMERA WILL BE MONITORING THE BOX AROUND THE CLOCK. IT IS DOUBLE-LOCKED AND BOLTED INTO THE SIDEWALK BELOW TO PREVENT TAMPERING OR REMOVAL. ELECTION OFFICIALS WILL EMPTY IT AT LEAST THREE TIMES PER DAY AFTER ABSENTEE BALLOTS ARE SENT OUT OCTOBER 5TH. THEY CAN BE RETURNED TO THE DROP BOX, OR BY MAIL, OR IN PERSON AT THE BLACK HAWK COUNTY ELECTION OFFICE.

THE RIBBON WAS CUT AT CORALVILLE’S NEW XTREME ARENA THURSDAY. JOHN LUNDELL IS CORALVILLE’S MAYOR AND TALKED ABOUT THIS ADDITION TO THE CITY. AS PART OF THE CEREMONY, OFFICIALS ANNOUNCED THAT XTREME ARENA WILL HOST A NEW PRO HOCKEY TEAM. THE UNNAMED CLUB WILL PLAY IN THE ECHL AND WILL TAKE THE ICE IN THE FALL OF 2021.

MORE THAN HALF OF IOWA MANUFACTURERS EXPECT TO INVEST IN THEIR BUSINESS BEFORE THE YEAR IS OUT. A SURVEY FROM THE IOWA ASSOCIATION OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY SAYS 57 PERCENT OF COMPANIES ARE PLANNING CAPITAL EXPENDITURES. IOWA ABI PRESIDENT MIKE RALSTON SAYS, THAT’S NOT ALL, WITH POSITIVE EMPLOYMENT INDICATIONS. RALSTON WAS A GUEST FOR A RECENT TAPING OF THE IOWA BUSINESS REPORT. HEAR MORE FROM HIM ABOUT WHAT THE SURVEY SAYS ABOUT EXPECTED SALES DURING NEXT HOUR’S NEWS.

A NEW MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY COULD BE COMING TO IOWA CITY. STATE HEALTH OFFICIALS APPROVED A LICENSE FOR THE IOWA CANNABIS COMPANY ON THURSDAY, AS WELL AS FOR AN APPLICATION TO OPEN ANOTHER DISPENSARY IN WESTERN IOWA. IF BOTH LICENSES ARE ACCEPTED, THAT WOULD BRING THE STATE TO ITS MAXIMUM CAPACITY OF FIVE LICENSES. TWO OTHER DISPENSARIES IN THE QUAD CITIES AND COUNCIL BLUFFS CLOSED EARLIER THIS YEAR, OPENING THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE NEW OPERATIONS. THE OTHER LICENSED DISPENSARIES IN IOWA ARE IN WATERLOO, SIOUX CITY, AND THE DES MOINES METRO AREA.

TONS OF DERECHO DEBRIS HAVE BEEN SHIPPED OUT OF LINN COUNTY PARKS. IN AN UPDATE, LINN COUNTY CONSERVATION PROVIDED THE NUMBERS: 7,619 LOADS TOTALING OVER 370 THOUSAND CUBIC YARDS OF DOWNED TREE LIMBS AND OTHER BY-PRODUCTS OF THE STORM. SOME PARTS OF MORGAN AND SQUAW CREEK PARKS REMAIN CLOSED. LINN COUNTY SAYS THE CEDAR VALLEY NATURE TRAIL AND THE GRANT WOOD TRAIL ARE OPEN, ALTHOUGH DEBRIS IS STILL BEING REMOVED ALONG THOSE PATHWAYS.