MONDAY, DEC. 17, 2018  |  IN THIS ISSUE  

Jason Drewelow
Primus Companies Inc. has announced that Chief Business Development Officer Jason Drewelow will become CEO, succeeding Bart Woods.
The transition will take place June 1, 2019. Mr. Woods will remain with the company, serving as director of community relations and market strategy, a role that will allow him to utilize his networking strengths.  
Mr. Drewelow has been with Primus for 15 years, most recently leading its sales efforts and overseeing a successful expansion into several Midwestern and southeastern states.  
"I've been actively engaged with Jason and the executive team in crafting a detailed succession plan over the past year," said Mr. Woods. "We have a strong leadership team in place ready to support Jason through this transition. Jason is a proven leader and I am highly confident he has the right skills to succeed in his new role."
The balance of the executive leadership team will remain in place. Primus Companies is a regional design-build firm headquartered in Cedar Rapids. It works across a 10-state area, with additional offices in Des Moines, Minneapolis, Omaha, Kansas City and Nashville.

Alliant Energy Transportation (AET), a wholly owned subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corp., has entered into a purchase agreement with Business Transportation Solutions (BTS), located in Stoughton, Wisconsin.

The freight-management company opened in 2002 and has 12 employees.

The purchase follows AET's recent acquisition of Hybrid Transit Solutions in Cedar Rapids. The addition of Hybrid Transit and BTS are a key part of AET's strategic growth plan to provide industry-leading customized supply chain solutions to customers, according to the company. 

Headquartered in Cedar Rapids, AET has long operated two companies: the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway (CRANDIC), and IEI Barge Services in East Dubuque, Illinois.  
In a news release, AET President Kevin Burke said the company sees this as the right time to take advantage of the synergies created by AET's existing and new services. 

"BTS opens doors to new markets in Wisconsin and beyond," Mr. Burke said. "They have an exceptional reputation and we're excited to utilize their expertise as we offer customers expanded supply chain solutions."
Alliant Energy said no utility customer dollars are being used in the deal, which is expected to close within 90 days.   
ICR Iowa has launched , a new career-connected learning hub for Iowa City-Cedar Rapids (ICR). 
The hub offers career pathway information and salaries, high demand career needs in the region, opportunities for internships and job shadows, and a calendar of career exploration and skill-building programs and camps ideal for students in grades 6-12. 
ICR Director of Career Development Kate Moreland said the goal of the effort is to better prepare students for the future and develop the region's talent pipeline with skills employers need. 
The new website is a project of the ICR Future Coalition, a group of 70-plus educators, employers and nonprofit professionals working together to develop the Corridor's future workforce. The work of the coalition is aligned with the state's Future Ready Iowa initiative, which calls for 70 percent of Iowa's workforce to have education or training beyond high school by 2025.
"Our region is uniquely positioned to develop a talented future ready workforce, which affords our K-12 students a competitive advantage," said Laurie Worden, director of  Workplace Learning Connection, in a release . " is an excellent resource for all our regional stakeholders and shines as an example of effective collaboration and shared responsibilities within the regional goal of offering world-class career-connected learning."
A Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers and a Panera Bread are coming to the Old Capitol Town Center in Iowa City. The center's management team says the two restaurants will open in the mall in 2019. The team says both spots are expected to add more variety to the Town Center's food options and will be on the Clinton Street side of the mall. Freddy's Frozen Custard and Steakburgers will sit between Silver Spider and Panera Bread. Shop owners say in addition to variety, these two new restaurants will bring in more people, which will help the center overall. Watch the full report here.
IIowa County named Home Base Iowa Community

State officials on Friday announced that Iowa County has received designation as the state's 90th Home Base Iowa Community.
The statewide program assists veterans and transitioning service members by helping to connect them with more than 2,100 Iowa businesses statewide that have pledged to hire over 10,000 veterans.

The Home Base Iowa website provides an automated process to put veteran resumes directly into the hands of Iowa businesses with matching criteria. Information is also sent to Home Base Iowa communities that match the veteran's selected locations. In addition, IowaWORKS workforce advisors contact veterans to offer resume, interviewing and local job placement assistance.
Home Base Iowa designates qualified communities as centers of opportunity for military veterans based on four standards: 
  • Within a designated community, 10 percent of the businesses must become Home Base Iowa businesses
  • Community must develop its own incentive package for veterans
  • Community prominently displays its Home Base Iowa Community designation
  • Community must obtain a resolution of support from the appropriate local governing body
Iowa County joins Benton County and the city of Marion as the Corridor's third Home Base Iowa Community. The region is also home to several Certified Higher Academic Military Partners (CHAMPs), which provide qualified vets, their spouses and dependents with in-state tuition at Iowa colleges and universities. Corridor CHAMPs include Kirkwood Community College, Mt. Mercy University, Purdue University Global, the University of Iowa and Eastern Iowa Community College.

For more about the program, visit the Home Base Iowa website.
Dec. 17
Coralville Roundtable, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., Brown Deer Golf Club, 1900 Country Club Drive, Coralville. Roundtables are social lunches over the noon hour. All are invited to network, keep up-to-date with Chamber and community events and frequent a member restaurant or business. Free. For more information visit .
Dec. 18
Iowa City Roundtable, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, noon-1 p.m., Blackstone, 503 Westbury Drive, Ste. 1, Iowa City. Roundtables are social lunches over the noon hour. All are invited to network, keep up-to-date with Chamber and community events and frequent a member restaurant or business. Free. For more information visit .
Dec. 19
1 Million Cups , by 1MC, 9-10 a.m., Geonetric, 415 12th Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids and MERGE, 136 S. Dubuque St., Iowa City. Join for community connections, startup pitches and free coffee. Free. For more information, visit
Dec. 20
Small Business Roundtable , by SCORE, noon-1 p.m., Scott's Family Restaurant, 1906 Blairs Ferry Road NE, Cedar Rapids. A business topic will be discussed, along with networking among participants. Free. For more information or to pre-register, visit
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Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
A woman that suffered-life threatening injuries after a fire inside her Cedar Rapids apartment has died. The Cedar Rapids Fire Department says 43-year-old Sharon Garnett died on Saturday. Fire crews were called to the Gateway Apartments in the 3000-block of Sixth Street SW Friday afternoon for a report of a fire. When they arrived, they found fire on the first floor in the kitchen. During a search of the apartment, Ms. Garnett was found on the second floor in a bedroom. She was given CPR at the scene and transported to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where she died. Investigators say the fire started on the stove top in the kitchen.

It has been more than six years since the Janda family started a holiday light show tradition outside their home. Now, hundreds of cars come to see the Gordon Avenue Lights each Halloween and Christmas season in Cedar Rapids. Yet, this year's display, which is synchronized to music on their radio station, 88.7 FM, was a little bit different. The family is still recovering from an EF1 tornado, which touched down in Linn County and on their home this past September. "It was trashed. We had siding gone, shingles, and then the tree fell on the house," said Amy Janda. "We had patio furniture that was across the street. We had other people's glass that is all over the backyard that we're still picking up." The first order of businesses, however, was not just picking up the pieces of their home. It was also making sure their light show would still be able to go on. Ben Janda said their display is not as large as it usually is so crews can continue to work on rebuilding their home. "We had big plans to add some different things and different parts and elements this year, but we weren't able to do that," said Ben. Despite that, dozens of people continue to come out to show their support for this tradition and for the family who put it together. Read the full story here

T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

High pressure will be in control for the start of the week and keep the weather calm and mild. With sunny skies, temperatures will be in the upper 30s north to mid-40s in the south. Winds will turn more out of the south tomorrow and it will be a tad warmer with temperatures in the mid to upper 40s. A weak cold front will move through the Upper Midwest during the middle of the week. Ahead of it on Wednesday temperatures will climb into the mid to upper 40s. Then a few rain showers will be possible in the late afternoon/evening. Some cold air will wrap around the system Wednesday night into Thursday. There may be enough cold air for a rain/snow mix in parts of the area on Thursday. Little snow accumulation is expected right now.