THURSDAY, FEB. 8, 2018  |  IN THIS ISSUE  
Story4Stamats expanding Minneapolis presence  
 
First & First Building, 811 Glenwood Ave., Minneapolis
Stamats
has announced the expansion of its office in Minneapolis, doubling the current space.  

The new space will be used to accommodate growth of the employment base for Stamats ' national brand engagement agency, The Thorburn Group.  Stamats also plans to base recently-hired market research professionals in the new space, marking the introduction of the Stamats brand in Minneapolis.

Stamats' Minneapolis office is located in the First & First Building at 811 Glenwood Ave, across the street from the International Market Square, one of the Midwest's largest interior design centers.

In making the announcement, Stamats  president and CEO Guy Wendler said, "We have seen sales at The Thorburn Group triple since our acquisition in 2014 and space requirements have increased proportionally with that growth. We have also found the Minneapolis market to have an ample supply of candidates to meet the hiring demands of our growing market research department."

Stamats plans to keep its headquarters in Cedar Rapids for the foreseeable future. Employees are located in 15 different states throughout the country.  Stamats is a leading marketing and research company that provides a complete range of services including websites, digital marketing, demand generation, content marketing, email, magazines, video, market research, analytics, traditional media, live events and database management services.
   
A newly released audit of the city of Marion shows revenues climbed a strong 6.5 percent from the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, to the year ending June 30, 2017.

The city recorded revenues of $48.788 million for the year. Top revenue categories were $23.2 million in property tax and tax increment financing, $5 million in local option sales tax, $5.2 million in other city tax and special assessments and $10.1 million from charges for services. 

Expenses were up 2.7 percent for the latest fiscal year, to $42.17 million. They included $13.5 million for public safety, $8.6 million for public works and $4.3 million for culture and recreation.

The city's general obligation debt declined by nearly $4 million during the year, and no new general obligation debt was issued. At the end of the fiscal year, the city's unassigned general fund balance was $7 million, or 34.4 percent of total general fund expenditures.

To see the full city audit report from  Hogan-Hansen, A Professional Corporation, click here.
 
Professor James Zachos
Coe College will host a climate change presentation Feb. 12 by Phi Beta Kappa visiting scholar James Zachos, a professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California-Santa Cruz.

Mr. Zachos' presentation is titled "Greenhouse Warming and Intensification of the Hydrologic Cycle in Deep Time: Lessons for the Future."  The event will be held Feb. 12, beginning at 7 p.m. in Kesler Lecture Hall in Hickok Hall. It is open to the public at no charge.

Much of Mr. Zachos' research has centered on ocean, climate and carbon cycle dynamics during the past 65 million years, with a specific focus on periods of extreme warming. He reconstructs past ocean temperatures and carbon chemistry via analysis of microfossils recovered from deep-sea sentiments.
  
He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011 and is the recipient of the 2016 Milutin Milankovic Medal of the European Geosciences Union for outstanding research in long-term climate change. He is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, which recognized him with the Emiliani Award for scientific contributions to the understanding of past oceans and climates. He is also a member of the Geological Society of America and the California Academy of Sciences.

For more information, call (319) 399-8605 or visit coe.edu  

Nearly 150 Iowa credit union advocates visited the Capitol in Des Moines during the Iowa Credit Union League's (ICUL) annual Legislative & Regulatory Issues Conference held Feb.  6-7.  During the visit, advocates met with lawmakers and asked them to preserve the tax structure of Iowa credit unions.

"Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives that save more than 1.1 million Iowa credit union members $100 million annually through lower rates and fewer fees than they would get through banks," Murray Williams, chief operating officer for ICUL, stated in a press release. "Credit unions put people before profits. We are here this week to remind our legislators of the differences between credit unions and banks - and while bankers continue to enjoy record profits, we are here to protect the financial choice of Iowans."

The day began at the Des Moines Marriot Downtown, where attendees heard from Gov. Kim Reynolds. During her speech, Gov. Reynolds said she recognizes the value credit unions provide to Iowans and stated that no changes to credit unions were included in her proposed tax legislation.

"We greatly appreciate the Governor taking time to speak to our credit union leaders.She is an advocate for all Iowans having access to affordable financial services," Mr. Williams state. "We look forward to continuing to partner with her to help Iowans keep more of their hard-earned money in their own pockets."

ICUL is the trade association that represents the interests of Iowa credit unions and their more than 1.1 million members. Credit unions are not-for-profit, financial cooperatives owned and operated by their members. 
 
The Iowa Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting Feb. 20 to discuss an Interstate 380 corridor study area that extends from south of U.S. 30 in Cedar Rapids to north of Forevergreen Road in North Liberty and to discuss upcoming fieldwork associated with this project.

All interested persons are invited to attend this meeting anytime between 5 and 6:30 p.m. at the Iowa DOT District 6 Office, 5455 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. The meeting will have an open forum format. Iowa DOT staff will be present to informally discuss the proposed improvements. No formal presentation will be made.

The meeting space is accessible for persons with disabilities. However, if you require special accommodations at the meeting, notify the Iowa DOT contact listed below by Feb. 16.  For general information regarding the proposed improvements or public meeting, contact Catherine Cutler, transportation planner, Iowa DOT District 6 Office, 5455 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52404, phone (319) 364-0235 or (800) 866-4368, email  catherine.cutler@iowadot.us .  
Tax Reform Legislation for Global Businesses, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 2-4 p.m., Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids. Jim Loizeaux, managing director of global tax services for CliftonLarsonAllen, will share information and answer questions about the 2017 tax reform legislation's impact on global businesses. Free. Register by Feb. 6 at bit.ly/2FQ79NF

Feb. 13 
Iowa City Toastmasters Open House, by IC Toastmasters, 10-11 a.m., Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., Iowa City. Come learn what Toastmasters is all about at this area open house. Free. Feb. 13 Coaching Up Seminar, by Eastern Iowa Human Resource Association, 7:30-9 a.m., The Hotel at Kirkwood, 7725 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. This membership meeting with feature Kim Wilkerson of Wilkerson Consulting. Cost: Free for members, $15 for non-members. For more information or to register, visit eihra.shrm.org

Hiawatha Business Summit, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and the Hiawatha Economic Development Corp., 8-9 a.m., Munson Electric, 1704 Commerce Blvd., Hiawatha. Enjoy a morning of networking with the Hiawatha business community, plus a presentation on workforce initiatives by Jennifer Daly, CEO of Cedar Rapids Iowa City Corridor Development to hear more about their workforce initiatives. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/2m2SJ3l

TechBrew AM, by Technology Association of Iowa and Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 8-9 a.m., Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids. TAI President Brian Waller will conduct a casual interview with a local executive as part of this informal networking event. Free. Register at technologyiowa.org/events

Internship Program Best Practices, by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and The Higher Education Connection, 8-11:45 a.m., Iowa Hall at Kirkwood Community College, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids. Learn from experienced participants, build your network and discuss recruiting, hosting and developing interns. This half-day event will include a keynote speaker, panel of recent interns and breakout sessions. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/2CCflQg
 
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Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  

The Iowa House approved $32 million in state supplemental aid for K-12 schools across the state Wednesday, but the Senate approved the plan with an amendment a few hours later, leaving the chambers at odds over funding.  The Senate approved the House K-12 bill totaling $32 million with an amendment addressing some inequities like school transportation costs, making the total funding amount $46 million. House Republicans say they have plans to tackle those problems, but those plans will come in other legislation.  House debate lasted over two hours with Democrats lamenting that $32 million in new money for schools - a one percent increase - is not adequate funding for schools. Rep. Sharon Steckman, D-Mason City, proposed an amendment boosting that number to three percent, though that was voted down and the Republican version advanced.  "One percent doesn't even hit inflation for these schools. It's going backwards," Ms. Steckman said. A retired teacher, Ms. Steckman says she's spoken to school districts across the state that could make cuts to staff and other programs because the money is inadequate.  Rep. Cecil Dolecheck, a Republican from Mount Ayr, said that they were limited to one percent within the constraints of the budget.  To read the full story, click here .
 
 
After a week of physical and mental strain and stress, Deb Carneol returned home to a surprise.  About two dozen family members and friends greeted Ms. Carneol at the Eastern Iowa Airport on Wednesday, two days after  she completed the World Marathon Challenge  - running seven marathons in seven days on all seven continents.  "A lot of text messages from all these people saying, 'Keep going! Keep going!'" Ms. Carneol said while describing the effort needed to run the 183.4 miles. "I didn't wanna let anybody down." She added,  "It was definitely mentally challenging. "Physically, I was in some struggling parts through the third, fourth, and fifth marathons. Had some pretty bad leg pain - but made it through. Ms.  Carneol was one of two Eastern Iowans that completed the Challenge. Cedar Rapids police officer and "Survivor" champion Sarah Lacina arrived home on Tuesday. Ms. Carneol and Ms. Lacina  trained for the marathons together
 
T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

Several inches of snow will fall through Saturday across Eastern Iowa. Moderate to heavy snow will be likely this afternoon through Friday afternoon.  Snow will begin south of Highway 20 this afternoon and will become more widespread, heavier and steadier after 5 p.m. Much of Eastern Iowa will be seeing snow through the evening hours making for a slick and tricky commute home. Snow could be heavy at times which will reduce visibility and make it difficult for crews to keep up with clearing the roads.  Moderate to heavy snow will fall through the night and into Friday morning. It will still be slick and visibility may be reduced at times during the Friday morning commute. Snow will begin to wind down early Friday evening.  Another system arrives Saturday with additional snow possible. However most of the snow will likely fall south of Highway 30. There is still a bit of uncertainty with the track of this storm and it still could still shift.  Snowfall accumulation of 4-8 inches will be possible in near Highway 20 and down to I-80.