IOWANS URGED TO SHOP LOCAL ON THIS SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
While many thousands of Iowans hit the malls on Friday, today’s the day they’re encouraged to shop local as part of Small Business Saturday. Jayne Armstrong, the Iowa district director of the U-S Small Business Administration, says today’s the real kickoff to the holiday shopping season for locally-owned stores of all kinds. Armstrong says when our small businesses do well, our communities do well.
Nationwide last year, an estimated 112-million consumers reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, spending an estimated 15-billion dollars. While it may be easy to point and click, Armstrong says online shopping lacks what “shopping small” can deliver.
Iowa has more than 266-thousand small businesses which account for more than 99-percent of all businesses in the state and employ nearly half of the state’s private-sector workforce.
Surveys show 72-percent of consumers say Small Business Saturday inspires them to “shop small” all year long.
CHURCH FUNDS MISSING IN IOWA CHURCH
GRAETTINGER, Iowa (AP) – Officials say a church in northwest Iowa is missing as much as $470,000.
Bethel Lutheran Church officials in Graettinger say the money loss dates back to 2007. A suspect has been identified, but no arrest has been reported.
A local bank tipped church leaders about the loss after discovering suspicious account activity.
IOWANS WARNED TO BEWARE OF PUPPY-SELLING SCAMS
Dogs may be a man’s best friend but puppy sellers can be among our worst enemies. Iowans are being warned about a series of scams involving online dog sales. Jim Hegarty, with the Better Business Bureau in Omaha-Council Bluffs, says a three-month study of internet puppy ads brought very discouraging results.
Still, the ads all claim they’re based in the U-S, often in Texas. Initially, Hegarty says customers are often asked for a deposit. Later, they’ll be notified the puppies are ready to be shipped and full up-front payment is needed, typically for several hundred dollars.
Hegarty says customers are then told by an alleged shipping company that a special crate is needed, for an extra fee. They may also get a call from the airport, claiming the animal is in quarantine and requires a vet check prior to release, yet another scam. Omaha resident Judy Stroy says she and her husband wanted to buy a beagle puppy from a breeder in Texas and had to send 400-dollars via wire transfer, which they did.
They lost the 400-dollar deposit and never got the dog.
IOWA SENATORS MADE SEXUAL COMMENTS ON CHAMBER FLOOR
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa Senate Republicans have released findings from an internal investigation into alleged workplace misconduct that says state senators have made “sexually suggestive comments” or discussed “sexual preferences” on the chamber floor.
The three-page internal review released Friday spans a period between the end of 2012 and half of 2017. It doesn’t break down how many senators took part in such activity or when. Several Senate GOP staff members also indicated they fear retaliation in reporting workplace misbehavior.
Senate Republican leaders released the findings amid pressure from within the party, including from GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds, to disclose more information about the in-house investigation. Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix says he didn’t provide more information earlier, because he wanted to protect employee confidentiality.
FENCE PICKETS TO HELP FUND IMPROVEMENTS AT DREAM PLAYGROUND
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – A Council Bluffs group working to update and expand the Dream Playground at Lake Manawa State Park intends to use fence pickets to help fund the project.
The plans call for a picket fence to surround the playground. The Dream Playground Re-imagined group intends to let individuals, community groups and businesses pay $100 each for the nearly 1,400 pickets, which can be engraved with a maximum of 22 characters.
The playground was built in 1993 and was named the Dream Playground because its features were conceptualized by elementary students. The same design process was repeated last March, when students were asked to redesign the playground as they think it should be.