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Businesses: Economy improving

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The economy continues to recover in nine Midwest and Plains states, but businesses are still cutting jobs amid the ongoing impact of the coronavirus outbreak, according to a monthly survey of business leaders released Monday.

The overall index for the region improved to 57.4 in July from June’s 50.3. Survey organizers say any score above 50 suggests growth. A score below 50 suggests decline.

“While the June and July’s readings were much higher than I expected, they provide no grounds for celebration,” Creighton University economist Ernie Goss said.

The region’s overall index will have to remain above 50 for many months before the economy reaches the point it was at before states began imposing restrictions because of the coronavirus, Goss said.

The monthly survey covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

Job losses have slowed in the region, but they continue to be reported. The employment index improved to 48.5 in July from June’s 38.9, but it remained in negative territory.

But business leaders are optimistic about the next six months. The survey’s confidence index increased to a strong 68.3 in July from June’s 65.3.

Man fatally shot at son’s funeral

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) — A suspect has been arrested and charged after a man was fatally shot in the parking lot of an eastern Iowa funeral home where he was attending the funeral of his 8-year-old son, who died of cancer, police said.

Jeramie Shorter, 26, of Davenport, was shot Saturday morning outside Weerts Funeral Home in Davenport and later died, the Quad-City Times reported. Shorter was there for the funeral of Jermier Leon Shorter of St. Paul.

A possible motive for the shooting wasn’t immediately known.

Police who responded to the shooting said officers spotted the suspect in an Infiniti sedan without plates and attempted to pull the car over. But the car sped off, and police disengaged for fear that a high-speed chase through residential areas could injure bystanders.

Police later found the suspect, who fled on foot, but was caught and arrested. During the chase, the suspect — later identified as Nuemonei Tre Vonne Laster, 24, of Davenport — threw a bag containing a gun over a fence, police said.

Laster appeared in court Sunday on charges of first-degree murder, eluding, being felon in possession of a firearm and interference with a weapon. He is being held on a $300,000 cash bond.

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