The Sterilite Corp. of Townsend, Massachusetts, is the largest plastics housewares company in North America and has been in operation for more than 75 years.

Kevin E. Schmidt, QUAD-CITY TIMES

Thumbs up to plastic container-maker Sterilite and its $73 million facility planned for Davenport.

Company executives and city officials announced the project this week. It's anticipated to bring 500 jobs to the Quad-Cities within its first five years of operation, officials said.

The details are still being hammered out, including a city-subsidized incentive package, likely in the form of a TIF district.

Love incentives or hate them, the private investment, and the jobs it could create, are certainly welcome. 

Thumbs down to a sudden spike in traffic fatalities in Iowa.

At least 400 people died on Iowa highways in 2016. That's a 27 percent increase over the previous year, says data released by Iowa Department of Transportation. The final tally for the year will probably be even higher, as the state's information didn't include the final days of 2016.

It ends a four-year decline in traffic deaths. But it also poses serious questions as state lawmakers prepare to gavel in next week faced with a $100 million budget shortfall. 

At least one ranking Republican has called for more state troopers, which could assist on drunken driving enforcement, accounting for about 30 percent of the total number of traffic deaths. Further, state and federal officials have for years eyed improvements to Interstate 80. A recent report detailed a spate of improvements that would make the corridor safer for motorists. But funding for transportation always seems to get the short shrift.

Thumbs up to Dana Waterman for decades of community involvement and leadership.

Davenport-based law firm of Lane & Waterman announced this week that Waterman's cousin, Bob, will succeed him as managing partner. Waterman has earned the downtime.

Waterman is a secretary and counsel for the corporate board of Lee Enterprises, which owns the Quad-City Times. 

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