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Des Moines: Economy

Des Moines: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

The Des Moines economy consists of a balance among the manufacturing, services, government, wholesale and retail trade, medical, insurance and financial services, printing, publishing, and agribusiness sectors. Manufacturing, while comprising a relatively small percentage of the city's total employment base, has a significant impact on the area economy. Manufacturing firms buy many of their supplies locally, generating more secondary jobs than any other industry. In addition, most of the goods produced are shipped outside the metropolitan area, and approximately 10 percent of manufacturing production is exported, thus contributing to the development of the local shipping industry. Some of the area's best-known manufacturers are Pella windows, Maytag and Amana appliances, and Rockwell Collins avionics equipment.

With the headquarters of nearly 70 insurance companies and the regional offices of 100 other firms located in the metropolitan area, Des Moines is a major insurance center. Other service businesses, including the health care industry, employ nearly one fourth of the work force. Many area firms are active in biotechnology, conducting research in such fields as human, plant, and animal disease cures; safer pesticides and herbicides; and new, higher crop yields.

A statewide employer based in Des Moines is Meredith Corporation, a diversified communications company specializing in printing, publishing, broadcasting, and real estate. An emerging industry in the Greater Des Moines area is fiber optics telecommunications, which is expected to replace conventional communications systems. Government employs a substantial portion of the city's work force, with the state of Iowa being among the largest employers.

Items and goods produced: flour, cosmetics, furnaces, stove and furnace parts, agricultural implements, automotive and creamery equipment, leather products, medicine, brick, food items, paint, electric switches, and elevators

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Businesses

The Greater Des Moines Partnership assists firms with an interest in applying for economic development financial assistance programs. Other public and private sector groups offer a variety of business assistance programs to businesses expanding in or relocating to Des Moines.

Local programs

A corporation intending to create 100 jobs may be eligible to receive a $400,000 low-interest or forgivable loan to help reduce its relocation cost. The City of Des Moines Office of Economic Development assists businesses in a variety of ways, including project management; identification of land, financing and other resources to facilitate projects; liaison with other city departments; referrals for business licenses; job training and recruitment; and redevelopment assistance. Qualifying Des Moines businesses are able to take advantage of several helpful tax policies, including single factor corporate income tax; tax abatement for new construction; and no property tax on machinery and equipment. Several small business loan programs and funds are available to assist qualifying small businesses in building improvements, equipment purchases, and operating costs.

State programs

Two areas within the City of Des Moines are designated as Iowa Enterprise Zones. New commercial and industrial businesses making a capital investment of at least $500,000 and creating 10 new jobs meeting wage and benefit targets within these designated areas may be eligible for a package of tax credits and exemptions. The State of Iowa New Jobs and Income Program provides a package of tax credits and exemptions to businesses making a capital investment of at least $10 million and creating 50 new production jobs meeting wage and benefit targets. The Iowa New Jobs Training Program offers funds for screening and assessment; travel for the purpose of training; on-the-job training; training facilities or supplies costs; and others. Qualifying businesses utilizing the Iowa New Jobs Training Program may take advantage of the New Jobs Tax Credit of $1,224 per new employee. Iowa's Regulatory Assistance Program offers assistance to businesses in filling out permit applications for Iowa regulatory agencies.

Job training programs

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) has provides a variety of business training programs. A portion of the training dollars may be used for salary reimbursement.

Development Projects

Approximately $1.5 billion in construction projects were completed or underway in 2004 and into 2005, marking a renaissance for Des Moines. Among those projects were the new Science Center of Iowa, featuring an IMAX theater; a new riverfront amphiteater; the new downtown library; and the Jordan Creek shopping complex in West Des Moines.

Construction at the Iowa Events Center, a four-venue multiuse complex, has city planners expecting record numbers of both conventions and convention attendees. The new HyVee Hall opened in winter 2004 at the complex, featuring 250,000 square feet of exhibit space 14,000 square feet of meeting room space, and another 23,700 square feet of pre-function space. Hy-Vee also contains the Iowa Hall of Pride, an interactive center that honors the people and places of Iowa's history. The Wells Fargo Arena at the complex is slated for debut in July 2005. The new arena will seat 17,000 for sports and entertainment events and will be home to the Iowa Stars hockey organization.

Economic Development Information: Greater Des Moines Partnership, 700 Locust Street, Suite 100, Des Moines, IA 50309; telephone (515)286-4950; email info@desmoinesmetro.com. City of Des Moines, Office of Economic Development, 400 E. First Street, Des Moines, IA 50309; telephone (515)283-4004; email oed@ci.des-moines.ia.us

Commercial Shipping

Des Moines is served by four major railroads that provide full-time switching and piggyback ramp service. A host of motor freight carriers provide overnight and oneto fiveday shipping to points throughout the United States; more than 50 terminals are maintained in the community. The Des Moines airport serves as a regional hub for UPS' second-day air service. Approximately 100 companies in the Des Moines area engage in export or import activity.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Local analysts contend that the best measurement of the quality of the work force is the site location decisions made by businesses. They say the greatest testimony to the quality of the Des Moines work force is that once a company locates in Des Moines, it continues to expand. Beyond a higher-quality work force, a low crime rate, short commute times in metro Des Moines, affordable housing, a broad array of education options, and attractive quality of life help local businesses recruit employees.

The major employment industries in Des Moines are financial services, insurance, government, manufacturing, trade, and services. Des Moines businesses draw employees from a five-county area consisting of more than 500,000 residents; in addition, Iowa's work force, with an 80 percent high school graduation rate, ranks among the top five states. Wages are somewhat lower than the national average in Des Moines. Vocational and technical skills training programs are widely available.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Des Moines metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual average:

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 298,900

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 16,900

manufacturing: 19,700

trade, transportation and utilities: 64,100

information: 9,200

financial activities: 46,800

professional and business services: 30,700

educational and health services: 34,700

leisure and hospitality: 26,500

other services: 12,100

government: 38,200

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $17.47

Unemployment rate: 5.1% (March 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees
Principal Life Insurance Co. 7,900
Iowa HealthDes Moines 4,750
Mercy Hospital Medical Center 4,500
Hy-Vee Food Stores Inc. 4,475
City of Des Moines 1,852
United Parcel Service 1,800
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. 1,675
Pioneer Hi Bred International Inc. 1,450
Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc. 1,320

Cost of Living

Des Moines is often ranked in the top metro areas for housing affordability and a favorable cost of living. State and local taxes are lower than the U.S. average.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Des Moines area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $266,690

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 94.9 (U.S. average = 100.0)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 0.36% to 8.98%

State sales tax rate: 5.0% (2005)

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: $17.04857 per 1,000 of assessed valuation (2005)

Economic Information: Greater Des Moines Partnership, 700 Locust Street, Suite 100, Des Moines, IA 50309; telephone (515)286-4950; email info@desmoinesmetro.com

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Des Moines: Recreation

Des Moines: Recreation

Sightseeing

The starting point for a tour of Des Moines is the State Capitol, one of the nation's most beautiful public buildings and one of the largest of its kind. The 275-foot main dome is covered with 23-karat gold leaf and is flanked by four smaller domes. The capitol's interior features more than 10 different wood grains mixed with 29 types of marble in detailed stone and wood carvings, ornately painted ceilings, and mosaics and murals. Another popular site is Terrace Hill, the present residence of Iowa's governor; considered to be one of the finest examples of Second Empire architecture in the country, Terrace Hill was designed by W.W. Boyington, architect of the Chicago Water Tower. Donated to the state by the Frederick M. Hubbell family, the mansion has been refurbished to its original Victorian elegance.

In both the Courthouse and Sherman Hill districts of Des Moines, residential and commercial buildings dating to 1850 reflect changing tastes and styles in architecture; especially interesting are doorway and entrance designs. The Hoyt Sherman Place, home of one of Des Moines' most successful businessmen and an example of ornate Victorian design, is now owned by the city and open for tours. The Iowa State Historical Building, completed in 1987 and housing the State Historical Library, is dedicated to Iowa's past with exhibits on natural history, Indian lore, and pioneer life. A large outdoor neon sculpture named Plains Aurora is displayed on top of the building.

The Des Moines Botanical Center cultivates plants and flowers under one of the biggest geodesic domes in the nation. The Center preserves a permanent collection of more than 1,000 different species of tropical and subtropical plants and cultivars, growing in their natural cycle; six thematic displays are presented each year. Living History Farms in nearby Urbandale is a 600-acre agricultural museum focusing on the history and future of farming in the Midwest; buildings, planting methods, and livestock are authentic to the five time periods represented. At Adventureland Park, more than 100 theme park rides and activities combine with permanent exhibits germane to Iowa. Salisbury House, a 42-room country manor, patterns itself after King's House of Salisbury, England, duplicating Renaissance luxury and splendor; it is owned by the Iowa State Education Association, which arranges tours. Temporarily closed in mid-2005 for interior renovations, the home had undergone exterior renovations two years prior. The Science Center of Iowa covers all fields of science; the center's new facility opened to the public in May 2005, featuring a 226-seat IMAX Dome Theater, a 175-seat theater for live performances, and a 50-foot Star Theater, in addition to six "experience platforms" and a changing exhibition platform. At Blank Park Zoo, where more than 1,400 animals from 104 different species inhabit 49 acres, special attractions include the Myron and Jackie Blank Discovery Center, featuring a butterfly garden and a bat cave.

Arts and Culture

One beneficiary of the city's development has been its cultural life. Funds have been invested to house the city's cultural institutions in architecturally significant facilities. The most impressive is the Des Moines Art Center, designed by international architects Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. Housing art of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in a permanent collection, the Center also sponsors international exhibits, educational programs, and film and music series. Nollen Plaza, adjacent to the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines, is a block-square amphitheater and park with a tree-lined "peace garden," a waterfall, and a reflecting pool; Claes Oldenburg's sculpture The Crusoe Umbrella is on view in the plaza.

The Des Moines Symphony performs at the Civic Center. The Des Moines Playhouse produces a main stage season of drama, musicals, and light drama as well as Theatre for Young People. The Ingersoll Dinner Theater presents a ten-show season, which features local and guest artists in Broadway musicals and plays, in addition to special attractions.

Festivals and Holidays

In February the downtown skywalk is transformed into a 54-par putt-putt golf course for a tournament with more than 1,300 players competing for prizes. The Drake Relays Downtown Festival, a week-long celebration in April, pits city corporations against one another in the "Fake Relays"; other festival events include a whimsical "most beautiful bulldog" contest, mascot relays, and musical entertainment. The Des Moines Arts Festival features three days of art, entertainment, and children's activities in late June. July's Taste of Des Moines offers visitors a taste of local fare. Summer ends with the Iowa State Fair in August. The Festival of Trees raises money for a local hospital with the decorating of 100 downtown trees in November during Thanksgiving week.

Sports for the Spectator

For nearly 100 years, the Drake Relays hold the distinction of being the country's largest such event, with more than 200 colleges and universities participating from nearly every state and more than 60 countries. The relays, held in Drake Stadium at Drake University the last weekend in April, sell out each year; the competition also includes track and field events. A variety of other events are held throughout the city, making the Relays the focal point for an entire festival.

In addition to the Drake Relays, Drake University offers sporting events, including basketball, football, soccer, tennis, track, crew, softball, and golf.

The Iowa Cubs, the National League Chicago Cubs's top farm team, compete in baseball's Triple A international professional baseball league at Sec Taylor Field at Principal Park. The Des Moines Menace offer soccer action at Waukee Stadium, and the Des Moines Buccaneers, part of the United States Hockey League, play at Buccaneer Arena.

Sports for the Participant

The Des Moines Parks and Recreation Department maintains 62 city parks with a variety of facilities, including softball fields, horseshoe pits, volleyball courts, tennis courts, fitness and bicycle trails, golf courses, trails, soccer fields, play equipment, swimming pools, community centers, gardens, and an amphitheater. The city offers swimming and tennis lessons and arts and crafts programs; softball, volleyball, and tennis leagues are also sponsored by the recreation department. The Des Moines metro area offers nearly 100 public tennis courts, and many golf courses, swimming pools, and country clubs. Both indoor and outdoor sports can be enjoyed during the winter at community center gyms and ice rinks. Swimming, water skiing, fishing, and boating are popular at local rivers and lakes.

Shopping and Dining

The Des Moines downtown shopping district is 20 square blocks connected by a second-level skywalk system that encompasses 150 shops. Altogether, more than 40 shopping squares and plazas serve shoppers throughout the metropolitan area, including five major enclosed malls, one of which is located downtown. The Downtown Farmers Market runs May through October on Saturday mornings and offers shoppers fresh fruits and vegetables, home-baked breads and pastries, hand-made clothing and jewelry, specialty cheeses and wines, and music and entertainment.

Des Moines restaurants offer choices ranging from American and Midwestern fare to ethnic and continental cuisine. Prime rib and steak entrees are specialties at a number of the better restaurants. Chinese cuisine is another local favorite; barbeque, sandwich shops, cafes, vegetarian eateries, and other ethnic restaurants are popular as well. A local seafood restaurant is considered to have one of the largest selections of fresh seafood in the Midwest. Imported Italian pasta is the specialty at one of the city's oldest and most popular eateries.

Visitor Information: Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, 405 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, Des Moines, IA 50309; toll-free (800)451-2625; email info@desmoinescvb.com

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Des Moines: Education and Research

Des Moines: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Des Moines Independent Community School District, the largest in the state, is governed by a seven-member board of directors who are elected at large to three-year staggered terms. The head administrator is the superintendent of schools.

The Des Moines public schools implement a variety of curriculum options for students at all levels. The district's Central Academy, established in 1985 for gifted students in grades 8 through 12, brings students together for half of the school day to learn among other gifted students; the other half is spent at their home school. At the middle and secondary levels, several school-to-work programs bring students into the real world of health care, agriculture, and business. The unique Downtown School offers small classes (16:1 student/teacher ratio), a year-round calendar with a six-week summer break and week-long breaks throughout the year, in three downtown locations accessible by skywalk to many downtown businesses. The Downtown School utilizes local businesses and the surrounding neighborhood as opportunities for learning; its locations are accessible to parents working downtown as well. Students in the Downtown School program number 160 and are ages 5 to 11. These and other innovative programs are possible because of the cooperative spirit between the school district and business community in the greater Des Moines area.

A "Schools First" plan is underway, utilizing some $317 million in funds to renovate or replace all schools in the district over a period of 10 years. By August of 2004 construction was completed on 14 schools.

The following is a summary of data regarding Des Moines public schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 32,150

Number of facilities elementary schools: 40

middle schools: 10

senior high schools: 5

other: 10 special schools and programs

Student/teacher ratio: 13.5:1

Teacher salaries

minimum: $29,863

average: $43,174

Funding per pupil: $7,098

Five private and parochial school districts providing the Des Moines metropolitan area with educational alternatives are Des Moines Christian, Diocese of Des Moines Catholic Schools, Des Moines Jewish Academy, Grandview Park Baptist, and Mount Olive Lutheran. These schools educate approximately 5,700 students in the Des Moines area.

Public Schools Information: Des Moines Public Schools, 1801 16th Street, Des Moines, IA 50314; telephone (515)242-7911; fax (515)242-7579

Colleges and Universities

Drake University, a private institution founded in 1881, enrolls about 4,300 students and grants undergraduate and graduate degrees in a range of disciplines through the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business Administration, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the School of Education, the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and the Law School. Drake operates a work experience program that includes cooperative education and internships.

Grand View College, a private, Lutheran-affiliated liberal arts school, educates approximately 1,750 students and awards associate and baccalaureate degrees in several fields of study; cross-registration with Drake University and Des Moines Area Community College is available. The Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine offers baccalaureate, master's, and first-professional degrees in a variety of health care areas such as osteopathic medicine and surgery, podiatric medicine and surgery, health care administration, and physical therapy.

Vocational, technical, and pre-professional education in Des Moines is provided by Des Moines Area Community College and AIB College of Business. Within commuting distance of the city are Iowa State University, an internationally renowned research university in Ames, Iowa, and Simpson College, a four-year liberal arts college in Indianola, Iowa.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Public Library of Des Moines houses more than 500,000 volumes and about 950 periodical subscriptions in addition to audiotapes, videotapes, audio CDs, and CD-ROMs. The library system includes five branches in addition to its main building. As part of a $48 million renovation, building, and expansion project, construction on the New Central Library began in 2004 and is expected to be completed in 2005. Renovations at other branches were underway at that time as well. The library system is a depository for federal and state documents and government publications. The State Library of Iowa is also located in downtown Des Moines in the State Capitol Building; holdings include more than 453,000 volumes as well as a complete range of audio-visual materials and special collections on state of Iowa publications, law, medicine, public policy, and patents and trademarks. The library is a depository for state and patent documents.

The Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped provides Braille books, large print books, and cassettes and disks. The Drake University Library houses extensive holdings in all major department areas; the law library maintains an Iowa legal history collection. The Iowa Genealogical Society Library and the Grand View College Library also serve the community. The State Historical Society of Iowa Library maintains several collections, some of which reside in Des Moines.

A variety of specialized libraries and research centers located in the city are affiliated with hospitals, corporations, government agencies, law firms, the Blank Park Zoo and the Des Moines Art Center.

Public Library Information: Public Library of Des Moines, 100 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309; telephone (515)283-4152

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Des Moines: History

Des Moines: History

River Fort Becomes State Capital

The city of Des Moines originated with the building of Fort Des Moines in 1843, at the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers, as a military garrison to protect the rights of Sak and Fox tribes. Debate surrounds the correct origin of the name of Iowa's largest city. The Moingona, a native group, had located a village on the river and it appeared on the map of Jacques Marquette, the French explorer. The French expression "la riviere des moines" translates to "the river of the monks," but may approximate the name of the Moingona, who inhabited the riverbank. "De Moyen," meaning "middle," was understood as a reference to the Des Moines River being the middle distance between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers.

The Iowa River Valley was opened to new settlers in 1845; a year later, when Iowa gained statehood, the population of Fort Des Moines numbered 127 residents. After the city charter was adopted in 1857, the word Fort was dropped from the name. Des Moines officially became the state capitaland its future growth was guaranteedin January 1858 when two oxen-driven bobsleds hauled the state's archives into the city from Iowa City.

Des Moines played an active role in the Civil War. In May 1864 Des Moines women signed a petition pledging to replace working men to free them to fight for the Union cause, but enough male recruits were found to fill the quotas. After the Civil War, in 1875, Des Moines was the site of a nationally significant speech by President Ulysses S. Grant to a reunion of the Army of Tennessee, wherein he reiterated a commitment to universal equality.

During the last quarter of the nineteenth century, wood-frame buildings in Des Moines underwent extensive construction and renovation. The impressive state capitol building, situated on an 80-acre park and featuring a gold-gilded central dome of the revived classical Roman style, was completed in 1884. In the 1880s and 1890s, local businessmen built mansions and the city's cultural life continued to flourish.

Hospitality and Development Shape Des Moines

The history of Des Moines is filled with colorful events such as the arrival in the spring of 1894 of Kelly's Army, 1,000 unemployed men on their way to Washington, D.C., and led by Charles T. Kelly, "King of the Commons." Citizens greeted them with hospitality to prevent trouble. When Kelly's Army seemed reluctant to leave, however, the townspeople bought lumber to construct an "industrial fleet" of 150 flatboats, under local union direction, to transport the men out of the city. Each man was issued a small American flag, and the waving of the flags was the last sight of Kelly's Army. Among them was the American writer Jack London.

Des Moines has distinguished itself in various ways throughout its history. The Des Moines Plan, one of the first of its kind in the nation, streamlined municipal government and charted development, taking into consideration the city's natural setting. Fort Des Moines, dedicated as a calvary post in 1903, became the first training center for the Women's Army Corps, which gained national attention. The economic base of Des Moines was substantially expanded when the city became a national insurance and publishing center. In 1949, Des Moines was named an All-America City by the National Municipal League. The honor was repeated in 1971, then again in 1981 after Des Moines had addressed urban renewal issues by committing $313 million to the restoration of the historic districts of Court Avenue and Sherman Hills.

The city of Des Moines was immobilized in the summer of 1993 by flooding of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers. The state of Iowa was declared a national disaster area, and preliminary estimates indicated the city alone suffered more than $253 million in damages. By the year 2000 Des Moines was humming with construction activity.

At the dawn of the twenty-first century, residents were enjoying a changing landscape in downtown Des Moines as new buildings were erected or underway, including a new science museum, new main library branch, and new conference venues. In 2003 Des Moines was again named an All-America City by the National Municipal League. Residents today appreciate the small-town atmosphere with big-city amenities afforded them in Des Moines in addition to the city's educational and cultural amenities and well-recognized quality of life.

Historical Information: State Historical Society of Iowa, 600 East Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50319; telephone (515)281-6200. Polk County Historical Society, 317 SW 42nd St. Des Moines, IA 50312; telephone (515)255-6657

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Des Moines: Population Profile

Des Moines: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 368,000

1990: 392,928

2000: 456,022

Percent change, 19902000: 16.1%

U.S. rank in 1980: 86th

U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported

U.S. rank in 2000: 91st

City Residents

1980: 191,000

1990: 193,189

2000: 198,682

2003 estimate: 196,093

Percent change, 19902000: 2.8%

U.S. rank in 1980: 74th

U.S. rank in 1990: 80th

U.S. rank in 2000: 106th (State rank: 1st)

Density: 2,621.3 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 163,494

Black or African American: 16,025

American Indian and Alaska Native: 705

Asian: 6,946

Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 95

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 13,138

Other: 6,987

Percent of residents born in state: 70.7% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 14,893

Population 5 to 9 years old: 13,945

Population 10 to 14 years old: 13,049

Population 15 to 19 years old: 13,314

Population 20 to 24 years old: 15,198

Population 25 to 34 years old: 32,450

Population 35 to 44 years old: 30,760

Population 45 to 54 years old: 25,037

Population 55 to 59 years old: 8,689

Population 60 to 64 years old: 6,788

Population 65 to 74 years old: 11,934

Population 75 to 84 years old: 9,008

Population 85 years and older: 3,617

Median age: 33.8 years

Births (2002)

Total number: 3,446

Deaths (2002)

Total number: 1,904 (of which, 31 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $19,467

Median household income: $38,408

Total households: 80,621

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 7,298

$10,000 to $14,999: 5,246

$15,000 to $24,999: 11,813

$25,000 to $34,999: 12,177

$35,000 to $49,999: 15,330

$50,000 to $74,999: 16,929

$75,000 to $99,999: 6,728

$100,000 to $149,999: 3,448

$150,000 to $199,999: 729

$200,000 or more: 923

Percent of families below poverty level: 7.9% (44.1% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 13,776

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Des Moines: Communications

Des Moines: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The daily newspaper in Des Moines is the morning The Des Moines Register, many time Pulitzer Prizewinner. Des Moines Business Record, a weekly newspaper, covers local business news and banking and financial information. Cityview, an alternative newspaper featuring investigative journalism, is distributed free throughout the metro area.

Home to the Meredith Corporation and other printing and publishing firms, Des Moines is a major center for the publication of nationally-circulated magazines. Among the popular magazines produced in the city are Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, Country Home, Midwest Living, and Successful Farming. A wide range of special-interest publications based in Des Moines are directed toward readers with interests in such subjects as religion, agriculture, hunting, education, and crafts.

Television and Radio

Five commercial television stations are based in Des Moines. Cable service is available. Radio listeners receive programming from 13 AM and FM stations.

Media Information: The Des Moines Register, Gannett Co., Inc., PO Box 957, Des Moines, IA 50304; telephone (515)284-8000

Des Moines Online

City of Des Moines home page. Available www.ci.desmoines.ia.us

City of Des Moines Office of Economic Development. Available www.dmoed.org

Des Moines Public Library. Available www.pldminfo.org

Des Moines Public Schools. Available www.dmps.k12.ia.us

The Des Moines Register online. Available www.dmregister.com

Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau. Available www.desmoinesia.com

Greater Des Moines Partnership. Available www.desmoinesmetro.com

Public Library of Des Moines. Available www.pldminfo.org

Selected Bibliography

Friedricks, William B. Covering Iowa: The History of the Des Moines Register and Tribune Company, 1849-1985. Iowa State University Press, 2000.

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Des Moines

Des Moines

Des Moines: Introduction
Des Moines: Geography and Climate
Des Moines: History
Des Moines: Population Profile
Des Moines: Municipal Government
Des Moines: Economy
Des Moines: Education and Research
Des Moines: Health Care
Des Moines: Recreation
Des Moines: Convention Facilities
Des Moines: Transportation
Des Moines: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1843 (incorporated, 1851; chartered 1857)

Head Official: Mayor Frank Cownie (since 2004)

City Population

1980: 191,000

1990: 193,189

2000: 198,682

2003 estimate: 196,093

Percent change, 19902000: 2.8%

U.S. rank in 1980: 74th

U.S. rank in 1990: 80th

U.S. rank in 2000: 106th (State rank: 1st)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 368,000

1990: 392,928

2000: 456,022

Percent change, 19902000: 16.1%

U.S. rank in 1980: 86th

U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported

U.S. rank in 2000: 91st

Area: 76 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 838 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 49.7° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 33.12 inches of rain, 33.3 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Services; trade; finance, insurance, and real estate; government; manufacturing

Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (March 2005)

Per Capita Income: $19,467 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 13,776

Major Colleges and Universities: Drake University, Grand View College, Des Moines University

Daily Newspaper: The Des Moines Register

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Des Moines: Convention Facilities

Des Moines: Convention Facilities

Several meeting and convention facilities serve Des Moines. Opened in 1985, the Des Moines Convention Center offers the Polk County Convention Complex and the new Hy-Vee Hall, opened in 2004. Two levels furnish space for trade shows, conventions, meetings, banquets, and other activities at the Polk County Convention Complex, including a 47,000-square-foot exhibit hall with up to 27 meeting rooms. The new Hy-Vee Hall offers 100,000 square feet of expo hall space, up to 150,000 square feet of contiguous expo space, 14,000 square feet of meeting room space, and 23,700 square feet of pre-function space. Also part of the Des Moines Convention Center complex, Veterans Memorial Auditorium provides seating for 7,200 to 14,000 people; a total of 98,000 square feet of space can be used for exhibitions, sporting events, and entertainment. Two other principal meeting places in the city are the Civic Center, located downtown, and the Iowa State Fairgrounds. Area hotels and motels maintain banquet and meeting facilities for large and small groups. Nearly 9,000 rooms (1,500 of them downtown) in 82 hotels and motels are available for lodging in metropolitan Des Moines.

Convention Information: Greater Des Moines Convention and Visitors Bureau, 405 Sixth Avenue, Suite 201, Des Moines, IA 50309; toll-free (800)451-2625; email info@desmoinescvb.com

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Des Moines (city, United States)

Des Moines (dĬ moin´), city (1990 pop. 193,187), state capital and seat of Polk co., S central Iowa, at the junction of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers; inc. as Fort Des Moines in 1851, chartered as Des Moines in 1857. Iowa's largest city, it is an industrial, transportation, cultural, and governmental center in the heart of the Feed Grains and Livestock Belt. Printing and publishing, agricultural processing, and the manufacture of transportation equipment, machinery, metal and plastic products, textiles, and apparel are among its industries. The city is also home to many insurance and other financial services companies.

Settled by homesteaders, Des Moines became the capital of Iowa in 1857. It is the seat of Drake Univ., the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery, and Grand View College, among other educational institutions. Places of interest include the capitol (1871–84); the Des Moines Art Center; the Center of Science and Industry; the Iowa Museum of Agriculture; the Des Moines Central Library; and the state fairgrounds. The city suffered several floods in the 1950s, and despite flood control measures constructed on the Des Moines River, was again inundated in 1993.

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Des Moines: Transportation

Des Moines: Transportation

Approaching the City

Des Moines International Airport, 10 minutes from downtown, is served by 12 commercial airlines with daily flights handling nearly two million passengers annually. The airport recently added direct flights to Washington, D.C.

Principal highways that intersect northeast of the city are I-80, running east to west, and I-35, extending north to south. Federal highways include east-west U.S. 6 and north-south U.S. 69.

Traveling in the City

Downtown Des Moines is laid out on a grid pattern; in the northeast sector, streets near the Des Moines River, still conforming to a grid, follow the configuration of the river. North-south streets are numbered and east-west streets are named.

Des Moines is noted for its more than 3.5-mile skywalk system, which makes the city virtually "weatherproof." Forty-four climate-controlled, glass-enclosed bridges provide access to 30 blocks that comprise the downtown core.

Public transportation is provided by the Des Moines Metropolitan Transit Authority, locally known as The Metro; special service for the handicapped is available.

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Des Moines: Geography and Climate

Des Moines: Geography and Climate

Des Moines is situated on rolling terrain in south-central Iowa along the banks of the Des Moines River, the longest river in the state and an important tributary of the Mississippi River. Good drainage to the southwest produces fertile farmland, which is surrounded by coal fields. Marked seasonal changes occur in both temperature and precipitation. During winter, snowfall averages more than 30 inches; drifting snow often impedes transportation and sub-zero temperatures are common. Des Moines sits in a tornado zone. The growing season extends from early May to early October; approximately 60 percent of the annual precipitation occurs during this time, with maximum rainfall in late May and June. Autumn is generally sunny and dry, producing favorable conditions for drying and harvesting crops.

Area: 76 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 838 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 19.4° F; July, 76.6° F; annual average, 49.7° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 33.12 inches of rain, 33.3 inches of snow

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Des Moines: Health Care

Des Moines: Health Care

Providing all levels of care in more than 50 specialty fields, the health care network in metropolitan Des Moines consists of 8 hospitals with more than 3,000 beds. A regional trauma center and a helicopter ambulance service are also based in Des Moines.

Iowa Health Des Moines, with 3 hospitals and a total of 1,139 beds, is the city's largest medical group. The complex includes Blank Children's Hospital, Iowa Methodist Medical Center, and Iowa Lutheran hospitals. Mercy Medical Center, an acute care, not-for-profit Catholic-affiliated hospital with 917 beds, provides general care through its 3 Des Moines clinic and hospital campuses; the Des Moines Division of the Veterans Administration Central Iowa provides care to veterans; Broadlawns Medical Center consists of an acute care hospital; Mercy Capitol offers emergency, diagnostic, and surgical services and is a teaching hospital affiliated with Des Moines University's medical program.

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Des Moines: Introduction

Des Moines: Introduction

Des Moines is the capital of Iowa, the seat of Polk County, and the center of a metropolitan area consisting of West Des Moines, Urbandale, Ankeny, Johnston, Clive, Windsor Heights, Altoona, and Pleasant Hill. Des Moines is fixed in the national consciousness as the place where the Presidential race begins every four years. It is also acquiring a new identity as a "post-industrial urban center," a term used by experts to describe midwestern communities that, like Des Moines, have acquired the characteristics of East and West Coast citiesimpressive skylines, bustling commercial centers, suburban growthbut have at the same time retained their rural, agrarian roots.

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Des Moines: Municipal Government

Des Moines: Municipal Government

Des Moines operates under a mayor/council form of government. The seven-member council is comprised of six council persons and a manager, who are elected to staggered terms in non-partisan elections. The manager serves a term of indefinite length at the pleasure of the council.

Head Official: Mayor Frank Cownie (since 2004; current term expires January 1, 2008)

Total Number of City Employees: 1,852 (2005)

City Information: Des Moines City Hall, Mayor and City Council Office, 400 Robert D. Ray Drive, Des Moines, IA 50309; telephone (515)283-4944

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Des Moines (river, United States)

Des Moines, river, 535 mi (861 km) long, rising in SW Minn. and flowing SE across Iowa to the Mississippi River at Keokuk, SE Iowa. Flowing through fertile farmland, the river floods in the spring and is nearly dry in late September; dams were constructed to regulate its flow. It is the main source of water for Des Moines, Iowa.

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Des Moines

Des Moines Capital and largest city of Iowa state, USA, near the confluence of the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers. Founded in 1843, it is now an industrial and transport centre for the Corn Belt. Industries: mechanical and aerospace engineering, chemicals. Pop. (2000) 198,682.

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West Des Moines

West Des Moines (də moin´), city (1990 pop. 31,702), Polk co., S central Iowa, a growing suburb W of Des Moines; inc. 1893 as Valley Junction, renamed 1938. Hybrid seed corn and sorghum are grown, and there is diversified manufacturing.

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Des Moines

Des Moinesadjoin, Boulogne, coign, coin, conjoin, Des Moines, Dordogne, enjoin, groin, groyne, join, loin, purloin, quoin, subjoin •Burgoyne • Gascogne • tenderloin •sirloin • talapoin

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