Iowa News

Citigroup to lay off 370 Des Moines area workers
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Citigroup says it plans to lay off 370 employees in the Des Moines area by the middle of next year. The company tells the Des Moines Register the decision came from "ongoing efforts" to increase efficiency of its operations. Affected employees come from the company's consumer banking business section. They represent more than two-thirds of Citigroup's workforce in the Des Moines area. Employees were told of the layoffs last week.

GOP gathers voting, recount data in Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — With Election Day just around the corner in the competitive Iowa Senate race, Republicans are requesting information from state and local voting officials about polling places, voting rules and recount procedures. The GOP says it just wants to be prepared in case there is any question about the outcome between Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Bruce Braley. The National Republican Senatorial Committee recently requested materials from the Iowa secretary of state's office and the Ernst campaign has reached out to county auditors, seeking information. The NRSC has made similar requests to secretary of state offices in 10 other states with tight Senate races. Democrats have not made such extensive record requests of Iowa officials. They say they are focused on winning, but will be ready for a recount situation.

Poll: Economy, other issues overshadow abortion
DENVER (AP) — A new Associated Press-GfK Poll shows that candidates will have a hard time rallying voters around social issues on Election Day. The poll found that likely voters' top issues are the economy, health care, Ebola and the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Those issues largely favor Republicans. Democrats have tried to rally their base of single women by focusing on abortion rights and other social issues. But last month's poll found only 43 percent of likely voters found abortion an important issue. Democrats have the advantage on that subject and same-sex marriage, but those issues are not priorities for voters.

Ex-Iowa coach, administrator confirm relationship
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A top University of Iowa athletic administrator and the college's recently fired women's field hockey coach say their long-standing relationship was not a conflict of interest. The relationship between senior associate athletics director Jane Meyer and coach Tracey Griesbaum has come under scrutiny following Griesbaum's recent firing over allegations of player mistreatment. At least one parent of a former player and one professor have claimed that the couple's relationship created the appearance that complaints about Griesbaum's coaching would be ignored. Griesbaum and Meyer confirmed their decade-long relationship Wednesday, saying they live together but aren't married. They say they weren't required to disclose or take steps to manage the relationship because Griesbaum didn't report to Meyer, who had been the department's number two official until an August reorganization.

Kum & Go chain settles disabilities lawsuit
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Kum and Go convenience store chain will spend millions of dollars to make changes at more than 400 stores in 11 states to settle a lawsuit that claimed its gas stations failed to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act. A Clinton, Iowa, man who uses a wheelchair filed the class-action lawsuit in April 2013 on behalf of all Kum and Go customers who use wheelchairs or scooters. A federal court judge on Thursday approved the settlement negotiated by attorneys for the company and the man, Gary McDermott. It specifies the company will bring 100 stores into compliance within two years and 75 additional stores each year until modifications are made at all stores. Modifications include fuel assistance calling devices at gas pumps and relocated fuel pump controls.

2-vehicle collision in Iowa kills 1, injures 2
YARMOUTH, Iowa (AP) — A two-vehicle collision in southeast Iowa has killed a 39-year-old man. The Des Moines County Sheriff's Office says James Wishmeier was driving a minivan Thursday morning near Yarmouth when he failed to stop at a stop sign. A semi-truck pulling a grain trailer struck the car, causing it to catch fire. Wishmeier was killed. A juvenile in Wishmeier's car and the driver of the semi-truck received non-life-threatening injuries. Both were taken to hospitals. The crash remains under investigation.

Iowa officials hope new overpass reduce crashes
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — Officials are hoping that work to raise overpasses on Interstate 29 will reduce frequent crashes by vehicles hauling tall loads. The Sioux City Journal reports that on Tuesday, a sand silo being carried on a tractor-trailer struck the bottom of an overpass near Salix. The silo landed in the interstate's median, and then the semitrailer struck a crane in a ditch. The driver was taken to and later released from a Sioux City hospital after the accident. Dakin Schultz of the state's transportation department says the overpass that was struck by the silo will soon be gone and replaced with a taller one set to open later this year. Another overpass near Salix is expected to be replaced in 2016.

Iowa pizzeria says manager stole nearly $18,000
CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) — A former manager at a pizzeria in Cedar Falls has been accused of stealing nearly $18,000 from his employer. The Cedar Falls Police Department says 23-year-old Tyler Boyd Kobliska was arrested Wednesday. He faces one count of first-degree theft. Court records do not list an attorney. The Godfather's Pizza chain discovered the theft in June. Kobliska of Cedar Falls had worked for the restaurant for nine years. Kobliska was booked into the Black Hawk County Jail and later released after posting bond.

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