Three area banks — Central State Bank of Muscatine, Freedom Security Bank of Coralville and Kalona, and West Chester Savings Bank of Washington — will combine under a single charter on Tuesday, July 9th. The result will be an institution with eight area locations and nearly $440 million in assets, placing it in the top 10 percent in terms of size among Iowa’s more than 320 commercial banks. The merger represents a joining of forces of the three Iowa banks owned by Muscatine-based Central Bancshares Inc. Because no purchase or sale is involved, and because all three currently use the same company-owned data processing system, the transaction is expected to be extraordinarily smooth. Bob Howard is president and CEO of Central State Bank.

Howard says no action is required on the part of customers. Account numbers will not change, and they can continue using their existing debit cards, checks and other materials. Online and mobile banking usernames and passwords will remain the same as well.

 

Gov. Terry Branstad has received word that President Obama has approved his request for a Presidential Disaster Declaration for 47 Iowa counties impacted by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that began May 19th. Some of the counties included in the declaration include Des Moines, Henry, Johnson, Lee, Linn and Louisa. The governor sent the request for the declaration on June 19th in response to significant damage that was caused by heavy rains, thunderstorms and flooding in those counties between May 19th and June 14th. The declaration by the president will provide federal funding to the declared counties under the Public Assistance Program.

 

A 30-year-old Rock Island man is dead after being shot in central Davenport and taken to a hospital in a private vehicle Monday. The victim had surgery at the hospital but did not survive. His name is being withheld pending notification of his family.

 

The Quad-Cites’ largest employer is preparing for worker furloughs. The 6,000 furloughs at the Rock Island Arsenal begin July 8th, caused by Congress’ failure to stop automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. Arsenal employees will lose 20 percent of their wages – a total of $18 million -- over 12 weeks. Workers, who according to a union president are disappointed, will need to take 11 days off through September. The Arsenal has already trimmed more than 300 jobs since the fiscal year began.

 

The State Fire Marshal’s Office reminds Iowans to exercise care when using legal fireworks during the July 4th holiday. Legal fireworks include snakes, sparklers and caps. The fire marshal says to read the instructions carefully and do not modify or bundle individual fireworks. The fire marshal says those igniting illegal fireworks are subject to a fine for a simple misdemeanor. Should property damage or personal injury occur, the person igniting the illegal fireworks could be held criminally and/or civilly responsible as well. 

 

The West Liberty Gun Club, of West Liberty has received a Governor’s Volunteer Award for its support of hunter education and shooting sports in Iowa. Unfortunately, the facility was destroyed by fire in January of 2013.

 

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