Q. It seems that the nesting boxes have been removed from the back of Iowa highway signs. Why are they not being replaced or more added? -- Donald
A. We contacted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to find out. Alex Murphy, Iowa Department of Natural Resources director of communications, responded:
"Because of growing concerns of increased traffic (and the safety of citizens checking nest boxes on highway sign posts) and due to the rebound of the American Kestrel population during the course of the program, the Iowa DOT, with input from the Iowa DNR, discontinued use of the boxes. The remaining boxes along Iowa’s interstates and other major highways are being removed by Iowa DOT, as opportunities or circumstances occur for their own crews to do so. Many of the boxes have been removed as repair work is done to various signs."
Q. What is the new business going up on corner of East 53rd Street and Eastern Avenue in Davenport? -- J.W.
A. If you are asking about the area on the southeast corner of 53rd Street and Eastern Avenue across from Smart Toyota, Gurley-Leep Automotive, the owners of Lujack Auto Plaza, Davenport, are building a luxury automotive facility to house its European brands: Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Volkswagen and Porsche franchises. Quad-City Times reporter Jennifer DeWitt wrote an article about the facility published on May 8, 2018. The article said the facility will open this summer.
Mike Leep Jr., president of Lujack's and Gurley Leep Automotive, said with 20 different dealerships across three states, the company is routinely expanding, building or remodeling, Leep said.
The new construction projects bring the Mishawaka, Indiana-based Gurley Leep Automotive's investment to more than $30 million in it's Quad-City facilities, Leep said.
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In addition to the expansion plans, Gurley-Leep announced new partnerships with local charities and a new scholarship program for its Iowa team members' children.
"We have challenged each of our dealership teams to partner with a local charity with a $10,000 donation to each stores' charity of choice as well as hands-on involvement in those charities," Leep said.
The Quad-City facilities are partnering with Friendly House, Make-A-Wish, Riverbend Food Bank, March of Dimes, Honor Flight Quad-Cities and the Quad-Cities Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.
The scholarship program will support the children of any full-time employee who has been with the company for two years with a scholarship of $5,000 per year for four years. Leep said the program was announced to Iowa employees in April.
Gurley Leep Automotive also owns Smart Honda in Des Moines. The company employs a total of 1,300 people, including 350 in Davenport.
To read the full article by Jennifer DeWitt, visit qctimes.com/askthetimes