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Sen. Chuck Grassley wants a "more targeted" COVID relief package

Sen. Chuck Grassley wants a more targeted stimulus that would forgo lost revenue for states.

Feb 18, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

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Polk County, Iowa's 5 most valuable business properties

Prairie Meadows in Altoona. Photo courtesy of the Polk County Assessor

Last week, Axios reported how certain commercial property segments in Polk County, Iowa, will increase in value by as much as 35% in upcoming reassessments expected to come before April 1.

What's happening: Now, we're showing you the businesses that are currently sitting on Polk County's priciest parcels, according to Polk County Assessor.

Early-voting bill goes to Reynolds' desk

Gov. Kim Reynolds during the 2020 RNC. Photo: Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Committee via Getty Images

All eyes are on Gov. Kim Reynolds' desk, where a bill scaling back early voting in Iowa awaits her signature after it passed the state Legislature late Wednesday.

Why it matters: Iowans cast a record-breaking 1 million early votes in 2020. But under the bill, they would have less time to send out their absentee ballots if they want to vote by mail in future elections.

Prices will climb even higher for new homes in Des Moines

A newly constructed home from Hubbell Homes' Discover Series. Photo courtesy of Hubbell Homes

We're nearly a year out from the start of the pandemic, but the material costs for new home construction are still abnormally high, according to Rachel Flint, vice president of Hubbell Homes.

Why it matters: Those costs will be absorbed into homes under construction this year, meaning already sky-high prices will rise in the future.

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Feb 25, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Greene, Iowa butcher shop takes meat hyperlocal

A cut of meat from West Forty Market. Photo courtesy of West Forty Market

West Forty Market, a rural butcher shop in Greene, is opening a new 1,200 square-foot store in uptown Ankeny at 315 Southwest Maple.

Why it matters: The coronavirus pandemic has exposed the volatility of relying on national meatpacking plants, especially in the early days when consumers experienced meat shortages and price gouging.

Linh Ta, author of Des Moines
Feb 24, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

The 5 best chicken sandwiches in Des Moines

A fried chicken sandwich from Angry Goldfish in Des Moines. Photo: Linh Ta/Axios

McDonald's is entering the chicken sandwich wars today, but I was wondering — what is the best *local* sandwich?

  • My first job was at Chick-fil-A in WDM, so you can trust my taste.

My methodology:

  1. Ask DSM Dining Discoveries for recommendations.
  2. Drive around town eating five chicken sandwiches in three hours.
  3. 🌸 Drown in Pepto-Bismol.

Here are my top five picks in alphabetical order:

Angry Goldfish:

In my first bite, there was a rewarding “crunch.” (We’re in it for the *fried* part, right?)

  • Beyond the patty, I liked the thick-cut veggies, especially the red onions.

Price: $11 w/a side.

Address: 2301 Southwest 9th St., Des Moines; 515-288-2358

Feb 22, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Des Moines to vote on its first public electric car charging stations

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Two public electric car charging stations would be built under a proposal that goes before the Des Moines City Council this evening.

Why it matters: They would be the first charging stations in city-owned garages, at 9th and Locust Streets and Fourth Street and Grand Avenue.Construction would be phased in over the next two years.

Feb 22, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Cure Violence courts Des Moines as city sees rise in homicides

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Chicago-based Cure Violence is assessing Des Moines as a possible new site for its global program to reduce violence in major cities, Charlie Ransford, the group's senior director of science & policy, told Axios.

Why it matters: Des Moines homicides have increased in recent years — 21 in 2020 compared to 14 cases in 2019 — and the organization's approach has proven effective at reducing crimes like shootings.

Des Moines moves to reduce lanes on major roads for safety

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Des Moines is trying to shrink the number of lanes on major roadways, especially four-lane undivided thoroughfares.

Why it matters: Safety is the primary motivator, city engineer Steven Naber tells us.

Polk County, Iowa's 5 most expensive homes

Photo courtesy of the Polk County Assessor

Axios Des Moines combed through the Polk County Assessor's website to find the area's five most expensive homes — at least in terms of their officially assessed value.

Foot traffic drops in Des Moines malls

Foot traffic significantly dropped for malls in the Des Moines metro in 2020 compared to the year prior, according to cell phone data analyzed by geospatial analytics company Orbital Insight.

Why it matters: Troubled chain retailers and big-box stores were already filing for bankruptcy prior to 2020, resulting in huge mall vacancies. (Just look at Younkers.)

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