News Minute: Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Pr - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

News Minute: Here is the latest Iowa news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. CDT


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's unemployment rate remained at 2.9 percent in February. Iowa Workforce Development announced Friday the rate remained unchanged from January even as the number of unemployed residents dropped slightly to 47,900 people. The number of people with jobs increased by 500 and stood at about 1.6 million. Iowa's rate was tied with Maine and Wisconsin for the nation's sixth lowest. The national unemployment rate in February was 4.1 percent.

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Inmates from an eastern Iowa prison have spent weeks preparing to make their opera debut in New York City as part of a broadcast performance of Beethoven's "Fidelio." Heartbeat Opera invited the Oakdale Community Choir to perform the "Prisoner's Chorus" for its New York City live production in May. The production's director traveled to the prison Wednesday to record the choir. One inmate says any humanizing depiction of inmates is good for both them and the communities they'll re-enter.

RICHLAND, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa state auditor's office says it's identified nearly $58,000 in improper disbursements and undeposited collections in a special investigation requested by city of Richland officials. The auditor's office said the city had concerns about credit card purchases and other actions by a former city clerk, Chris Thomann. She declined to comment Friday.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - An official for an Omaha homeless shelter says a casino proposed nearby in Iowa would be a problem for people the shelter serves. The Omaha World-Herald reports that the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska is moving toward opening a casino in Carter Lake, Iowa, which is about a mile from Open Door Mission. The shelter's president and CEO says studies show that homeless people are more likely to gamble than the general population.

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