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BC-IA--Iowa Weekend Exchange Digest, IA

March 4, 2019

AP-Iowa stories for March 9 and March 10. Members using Exchange stories should retain bylines and newspaper credit lines. If you have questions, please contact the desk at 515-243-3281.

For use Saturday, March 9, and thereafter.


DES MOINES, Iowa _ Just over a decade ago, Raygun founder Mike Draper was a struggling entrepreneur trying to get people to buy T-shirts with hyperbolic positive messages about Des Moines. Fast forward 14 years, 70 employees and four retail locations later, and he is ready to open the company’s first store in Chicago this summer. By Linh Ta, Des Moines Register. SENT IN ADVANCE: 799 words.


BETTENDORF, Iowa _ Seven years ago, the historic Forest Grove School in Bettendorf was barely standing. But it had an iconic look that made it easy to love, and a story to tell about rural life and education during the late 1800s and into the 1950s, when state-wide school consolidation changed everything. With those two qualities in mind, Sharon Andreen of Bettendorf spearheaded a multi-year campaign to save and restore it. By Alma Gaul, Quad-City Times. SENT IN ADVANCE: 510 words.

For use Sunday, March 10, and thereafter.


FARLEY, Iowa _ Many school districts in the tri-state area are in need of bus drivers. The situation has become so dire that some area districts are relying on bus mechanics, custodians and other school employees to make do. Causes for the shortage include low unemployment in the strong economy; the extra certification and training needed to become a bus driver; the unique hours; and, in some instances, a lack of insurance or benefits. By Erica Lyons, The Telegraph Herald. SENT IN ADVANCE: 769 words.


SIOUX CITY, Iowa _ For years, when people pushed to get U.S. Highway 20 moved from two to four lanes in northwest Iowa, supporters said it would make for a safer thoroughfare and bring increased traffic, which could boost economic development. In the few months since the Highway 20 modernization was finished with a final project covering 40 miles from Woodbury to Sac counties, that prediction has panned out, as Iowa Department of Transportation statistics show a spike in traffic. By Bret Hayworth, Sioux City Journal. SENT IN ADVANCE: 600 words.