The strong economy kept the nation's top trucking companies growing in the past year, including Cedar Rapids-based CRST International, Transport Topics reports. The trade magazine ranked CRST 24th in its newly released 2019 Top 100 For-Hire Carriers list, with revenue of $1.685 billion. It also ranked ninth on a separate sublist of dedicated carriers, with revenues of $1.011 billion, while its CRST Malone division ranked No. 16 among flatbed/heavy specialized carriers. 
Two city blocks near Drake University in Des Moines will be transformed by a  $63 million mixed-use project planned by the university and Merge Urban Development of Cedar Falls, the Des Moines Business Record reports. The project will include the construction of six five-story apartment buildings between Carpenter and University avenues, and a mix of townhomes, commercial spaces and a parking garage in the area bounded by 24th and 25th streets and Forest and University avenues. Construction will begin next summer. Drake President Marty Martin told the Des Moines Register that selling the land for the project will help bring more people, vitality and jobs to the area surrounding it, explaining, "We're an urban campus without all the amenities that you'd want to find in an urban campus."

Eldorado Resorts, which owns two Iowa casinos, plans to acquire Caesars Entertainment in a deal that will create the largest gambling company in the United States. NPR reports that the $17.3 billion deal to acquire the venerable Caesars name will bring together 60 properties in 16 states, including Caesars Palace, Harrah's and Bally's in Las Vegas. Eldorado's Iowa holdings include the Isle of Capri in Waterloo and the Isle Casino Hotel Bettendorf, which the company acquired in 2017, according to the Courier.

Besides pairing off with Caesars, Eldorado plans a separate partnership with VICI Properties, under which VICI will a cquire property "associated with Harrah's Resort Atlantic City, Harrah's Laughlin Hotel & Casino, and Harrah's New Orleans Hotel & Casino." It will generate more than $3.2 billion for Eldorado to use in its acquisition of Caesars.

Wisconsin-based Quad/Graphics Inc., which previously closed printing plants in Marengo and Dubuque, may not complete its massive acquisition of LSC Communications if the U.S. Department of Justice gets its say in the matter. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that the DOJ has sued to block the $1.4 billion deal, which would combine the only two significant magazine, catalog and book printers in the country. "If this deal were allowed to proceed, Quad would dominate the markets for magazine, catalog and book printing services and be able to raise prices and reduce quality at the expense of publishers, retailers and ultimately American consumers," Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said in a news release. Among the many groups that have weighed in against the merger are the Authors Guild and PEN America, two authors groups that said it would stifle competition, according to Printing Impressions.
Story5Former IC mayor Wilburn declares run for Iowa House

Ross Wilburn, who became the first African-American mayor in Iowa City's history in 2006, is aiming for elected office again after his move to Ames. The Ames Tribune reports that Mr. Wilburn has announced for the Democratic nomination to the Iowa House District 46 seat formerly held by Lisa Heddens. He's campaigning on a platform to reverse Iowa's Medicare privatization, ensure action on climate change, improve public investment in K-12 education and to make sure the state provides comprehensive mental health care, the Tribune reports. Mr. Wilburn last took a swing at public office just over a year ago when he joined a five-way race to be the Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, the Register reported.   
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Waze users are reporting heavy traffic on I-380 northbound just outside of Cedar Rapids, drive with care. See the DOT's interactive road conditions map here. 
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