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Business Record
Monday PM Daily | July 3, 2017
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Happy Fourth of July; no dailies on Tuesday

Due to the Fourth of July holiday, our office will be closed on Tuesday, as we celebrate the holiday by responsibly testing out a variety of the latest Iowa-made (well, Iowa-bought, anyway) fireworks. As a result, we will not be publishing the Daily AM and PM Business Record e-newsletters on Tuesday. Worried for our safety? At least we didn't draw an assignment like the crack team of reporters at The New York Times who had the dietary privilege of taste testing the best and worst hot dogs in the country. Don't get me wrong; as a Chicago-suburb native I love a good hot dog (Vienna Beef is the way to go), but the poor folks at the Times had to subject themselves to hot dogs they described as "funky, and not in a good way," "soft and mortadella-like," and well, "flaccid." I think we'll stick to firecrackers and sparklers. So on behalf of the Business Record, we hope you have a happy, fun and, most important, safe Fourth of July.

- Chris Conetzkey, publisher of the Business Record

Winnebago stock price jumped nearly 43 percent in June, leading Iowa companies
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Winnebago Industries Inc., six months after eliminating retiree health benefits and confirming a temporary layoff of about 25 workers at its Forest City manufacturing operation, posted a 42.86 percent increase in its stock price for June, leading the Business Record's Iowa Index, an unweighted average price of 23 Iowa-based public companies.

Winnebago saw its stock price increase $10.50 per share last month, boosting its overall performance over the last year by $12.08 per share, or 52.7 percent. That is good news for the company, which has been pestered by analysts and whose decision to allow new CEO Mike Happe to maintain his office in Minnesota, rather than at corporate headquarters in Forest City, has caused jitters among workers.

Winnebago stock closed at $36.40 per share today after starting the day $35.25.

Overall, the Iowa Index advanced 33 cents per share in June, or 0.89 percent, and was up $4.50 per share, or 13.68 percent, last month from a year ago. Fourteen Iowa companies reported increases in their stock price in June.

Lincoln Savings Bank

NCMIC names Pearce-Karrick senior vice president, chief marketing officer
NCMIC Group, a malpractice insurance provider, announced the hiring of Cindy Pearce-Karrick as the group's new senior vice president and chief marketing officer. Pearce-Karrick was most recently the principal of PearceKarrick Consulting, and had previously been a senior marketing leader at Wells Fargo. "The NCMIC organization is focused on strategic business growth and conducted an extensive search for our new CMO," CEO Mike McCoy said in a statement. "Cindy's wealth of experience, in-depth background in the financial services and insurance industries, as well as her outstanding performance record, made her the logical and unanimous choice."

American Republic renovation receives state historic preservation award
What has been called the "invisible rehabilitation" of the American Republic Insurance Co. building in downtown Des Moines received the William J. Wagner Award, which recognizes projects that exemplify use of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, during the State Historical Society of Iowa's recent Preserve Iowa Summit. Led by the Des Moines office of BNIM and Ryan Cos. US Inc., with more than a dozen subcontractors and historical consultants, the project included a dramatic update of the building's mechanical systems and a reconfiguration of office space without altering interior or exterior spaces in what many people regard as more of a museum than a corporate headquarters. The original designer was Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, and when it was completed in 1965, the building was heralded for its 90-foot clear spans, efficient working environment and dramatic setting for the company's collection of modern art. Projects in Cedar Falls, Davenport, Perry, Remsen and Washington also received awards. In addition to meeting the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings, the projects also used the State Historic Preservation and Cultural and Entertainment District Tax Credit Program.

Iowa index of economic activity posts fifth gain out of last six months
The Iowa Leading Indicators Index increased 0.1 percentage point to 106.8 in May from 106.7 in April. This was the fifth positive change in the index in the past six months, according to a release from the Iowa Department of Revenue. The monthly diffusion index increased to 56.3 in May from 37.5 in April. Making a positive contribution to the leading indicators index were average weekly unemployment claims, the agriculture futures profits index, residential building permits, the new orders index and average manufacturing hours. Read more

Kindred Healthcare divests skilled nursing center business
Kindred Healthcare Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to sell its skilled nursing facility business for $700 million in cash. The sale to BM Eagle Holdings LLC includes 89 nursing centers with 11,308 licensed beds and seven assisted living facilities with 380 licensed beds, which collectively have about 11,500 employees in 18 states. Based in Louisville, Ky., Kindred last week broke ground for a 50-bed inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Clive that it will operate in a joint venture with Mercy Medical Center-Des Moines.

Broadlawns Medical Clinic
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Guest Opinion: For those women who came before us
"It's no accident I'm here ..." That thought occurred to Michelle DeClerck as she stood at a flip chart documenting statistics just over a month ago. She was selected by Goldman Sachs, representing the only Iowa company to participate in their 10KSB program. "This gave me the opportunity to collaborate with 149 other business owners -- 42 in my cohort -- at Babson College, the leading business entrepreneurial college in the nation," she writes. Read more

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July Fourth gas hasn't been this cheap in years
CNNMoney: Drivers are enjoying the cheapest Fourth of July gasoline in more than a decade. Enjoy it while it lasts: Experts say prices will start inching higher soon.

Burger costs hit a 3-year low ahead of Independence Day
Bloomberg: With beef this cheap for the Fourth of July, you might as well invite the whole neighborhood over for burgers. Thanks to a boom in supply, retail beef prices are at a three-year low — low enough to compete with pork and poultry.

U.S. factory activity jumps to near three-year high
Reuters: U.S. factory activity rose sharply in June to its highest level in almost three years suggesting economic growth in the second quarter gained some steam, while construction spending held steady in May.

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Program to spur low-income housing keeps cities segregated

BY CHRIS CONETZKEY: The New York times recently reviewed federal data as part of an exploration into the use of tax credits for affordable housing. The article found that "low-income housing projects that use federal tax credits — the nation's biggest source of funding for affordable housing — are disproportionately built in majority nonwhite communities." The article goes on to evaluate the nuances, but builds a case supported by fair-housing advocates "that the government is essentially helping to maintain entrenched racial divides, even though federal law requires government agencies to promote integration." In particular, the article explores a theme developers and city officials are familiar with here in Des Moines as well: tacit, or in some cases outright, opposition of plans to build low-income housing in predominantly wealthy neighborhoods. Here's the full piece.

KCCI Top Stories

Iowa State worked with utilities to uproot key energy center
Newly released emails show Iowa State University officials worked with utilities lobbyists for weeks to draft a law uprooting the state's top renewable energy research center. Iowa State lobbyist Kristin Failor noted in emails that the school's cooperation to transfer the Iowa Energy Center would help gas and electric utilities avoid allegations of a "power grab." Read more

Woman charged with arson after she admits setting house on fire
A Creston woman faces arson charges after she admitted intentionally setting a house that she wanted condemned on fire. Sheila Shoults, 42, told police that she set the house on fire, according to a police report. Creston police and fire personnel were sent to the house Sunday afternoon. When they arrived, they found it engulfed in flames. Read more

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Partly to mostly cloudy with a chance of thunderstorms. High 89. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 40 percent.

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The Iowa Index is an unweighted average of all 23 Iowa-based public companies. Below is a live look at those 23, plus 14 additional companies with large operations in Iowa.
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