Story1Alliant unveils 5th project in 1,000-MW Iowa wind expansion
Alliant Energy's Iowa utility and Invenergy, a Chicago-based developer of renewable energy projects, this week signed contracts to complete development of the 210-megawatt (MW) Richland Wind Farm in Sac County.
Located in west-central Iowa, Richland Wind Farm is expected to be completed by early 2020, and will produce enough clean energy to power 80,000 average Iowa homes a year.
It is part of Alliant Energy's plan to add 1,000 MW of new wind generation for its Iowa customers by the end of 2020, or enough to power 430,000 average Iowa homes. Richland, which will be constructed and owned by Alliant Energy, represents the fifth and final wind farm in that expansion project.
"Wind energy is a win for Iowans and especially our customers," Doug Kopp, president of Alliant Energy's Iowa energy company, said in a statement. "Because there is no fuel cost associated with wind generation, when complete, our five new wind farms will produce cost-effective, clean energy for our customers for decades."
This spring, crews began construction on Alliant's Upland Prairie Wind Farm, located in Clay and Dickinson counties in northwest Iowa. Later this year, construction is expected to start at English Farms Wind Farm, located in Poweshiek County in central Iowa.
Through the expansion, combined with existing wind farms and market purchases, the company expects wind to account for approximately one-third of its Iowa total capacity by the end of 2020.

This week, we're wrapping up the CBJ's annual survey of the best businesses, professionals, organizations and ser­vices in the Corridor chosen by our readers.
If this is your first encounter with our Best of the Corridor awards, they're the culmina­tion of our May balloting process, in which we asked readers to vote for their fa­vorites across 50 different categories ranging from Best Accounting Firm to Best New Restaurant.
Much like last week's edition, the 21 winners profiled in this week's edition range from premier Cor­ridor brands like TrueNorth Compa­nies and Skogman Realty to emerging standouts like Aerotek and Marketing Innovations. It makes for an interest­ing, eclectic mix of companies that we hope you will enjoy.
Among the notables from this batch of Best of winners are Shive-Hattery, Tallgrass Business Re­sources and Hills Bank & Trust, all of which won in new categories for the first time since entering our CBJ Best of Hall of Fame - an honor bestowed on companies winning a specific catego­ry 10 or more times.
The CBJ would like to thank the nearly 3,000 people who voted in this year's Best of the Corridor survey. We hope you'll en­joy learning about all of our winners in this week's issue, and encourage you to start taking note of those Corridor busi­nesses that go above and beyond, as it's never too soon to start thinking of your entries for next year!
See the full list of this year's 2018 Best of the Corridor here. 
Tom Brooks 
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Biodiesel Board Chair Tom Brooks are among those testifying at a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearing in Michigan today regarding the Renewable Fuel Standard.
The EPA is holding the public hearing to gather input on its proposed rule to set 2019 renewable volume obligations (RVOs) under the RFS. The agency in June proposed increasing the volume of biofuels blended into the nation's fuel supply by 3 percent in 2019, to 19.88 billion gallons, mainly through increased use of advanced biofuels that can be manufactured from non-food biomass. They call for maintaining "conventional" renewable fuel volumes, such as corn-based ethanol and biodiesel, at the Congressionally mandated level of 15 billion gallons.
The EPA also pledged to improve the transparency of the renewable fuels market, but decided against a plan forcing large refiners to blend extra volumes to compensate for the hardship waiver exemptions granted to small refineries - a decision that did not sit well with Iowa's ag and political leaders.
"EPA's current proposed volumes, at face value, may seem like growth. But they effectively hold us flat - again - at a time when we are operating below capacity," Mr. Brooks said in his prepared remarks. "Under the recently departed Administrator, EPA granted exemptions to an unusually high number of refiners. This undercut biodiesel demand by an estimated 300 million gallons.
"That happens to equal Iowa's 2017 production, almost exactly," he added. "So the impact of these exemptions is like wiping out a year's worth of production in the nation's top biodiesel-producing state."
Mr. Brooks, who is also general manager of Western Dubuque Biodiesel in Farley, has asked the EPA to set the 2020 biomass-based diesel volumes at 2.8 billion gallons, rather than the 2.43 billion gallons currently proposed.
Ms. Reynolds, who will testify at 2 p.m. today, did not release her remarks, but is expected to advocate for a "robust Renewable Fuel Standard." A live feed of her remarks will be available here.
Iowa is the nation's leader in the production of biofuels, accounting for 4.2 billion gallons of ethanol and 305 million gallons of biodiesel in 2017, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. Biofuel production now accounts for $5 billion, or 3.4 percent, of Iowa's GDP and supports roughly 50,000 jobs across the state.

For the complete list of this week's Movers & Shakers, see the July 16 edition of the CBJ.  
Story5MidWestOne appoints new director, sets dividend 
Larry Albert, a retired executive vice president with MidWestOne Financial Group, was appointed as a member of the company's board of directors, effective upon the retirement of John Morrison, who is expected to leave the board this fall.
Mr. Albert currently serves on the board of MidWestOne Bank, which he joined following the competition of the institution's merger with Minnesota-based Central Bancshares in May 2015. He previously served as CEO and director of Central Bank from 1996-2015.
"Larry has been a very good board member of MidWestOne Bank and has gained the respect of all of his fellow board members," MidWestOne President and CEO Charlie Funk said in a statement. "He will now bring his expertise to the MidWestOne Financial Group board of directors."
The MidWestOne Financial Group board also set its cash dividend at $0.195 per common share, which is the same as the dividend paid in the past two quarters. It will be payable on Sept. 17 to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 1, 2018. At this quarterly rate, the indicated annual cash dividend is equal to 78 cents per common share.
July 19
Open Coffee, by Washington Chamber of Commerce, 8-9 a.m., Dodici's Shop, 120 S. Iowa Ave., Washington. Join an open discussion about fostering creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in Washington. Free. For more information, visit or call (319) 653-4712.

Why Mapping Organizational DNA is Vital to Small Businesses , by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, 8-9:15 a.m., Economic Alliance, 501 First St. SE, Cedar Rapids.This interactive workshop, led by James Mayhew of Mayhew Coaching, is designed for businesses of 5-50 employees, and will put to rest myths like culture is something only larger companies need to worry about and small businesses don't have time to work on culture. Free. To register, visit
EPIC Summer Semi-Annual Bash , by Empowered Professionals of the Iowa City Area, 5-7 p.m., MidWestOne Bank, 500 S. Clinton St., Iowa City. Join EPIC on the rooftop of MidWestOne Bank for a summer social event with live music, drinks and networking. Free. For more information and to register, visit
BizMix: Fiesta Block Party , by Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and Marion Chamber of Commerce, 5-7 p.m., 700 11th St., Marion. BizMix brings together area professionals for an evening of casual networking over complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cocktails and is hosted by a different member business each month. Free.
June 20
Ribbon Cutting: Z's Catering, by Iowa City Area Chamber of Commerce, 9 a.m., 760 Nathan Ave., Unit 9, North Liberty. Help welcome Z's Catering and BBQ to the North Liberty business community. Free. For more information, visit
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Headlines from CBS2/FOX 28
These news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28  
After the Sunday shooting on the 100-block of 15th Street NE that injured a woman who wasn't the intended target, residents and officials alike are once again turning to the issue of safety on Cedar Rapids' northeast side. Robert Jackson works across the street from where that latest shooting happened, and has lived in Cedar Rapids for the past 25 years. While he has seen the neighborhood change, he is also more concerned about safety. "It makes you apprehensive, it makes you kind of insecure because you never know, it makes you more aware of your surroundings and people, be careful of how you come and go," Mr. Jackson said. Data compiled by the Cedar Rapids Police department shows that things are improving, however. From 2014-2017, aggravated assaults are down in both Wellington Heights and Mound View. Robberies are steady in Mound View and down in Wellington. Overall, the numbers indicate a steady decrease in crime across the city. "It is a priority for the police department to put an end to this type of activity and it's a priority for the city council and we are allocating any resources that we need to do to make sure neighborhoods like mine and any others throughout town enjoy the quality of life that they should," District 3 Representative Dale Todd said. Mr. Todd also noted that shots-fired calls are down in the city and that recent meetings with other community leaders indicate a clear priority to work on safety across the board.

A Metro High School teacher in Cedar Rapids could lose her job after being accused of using inappropriate teaching methods in the classroom. Cedar Rapids Superintendent Brad Buck recommended officially terminating Tammy Ryan's teaching contract in a statement during Monday night's school board meeting. Some people in the community who know Ms. Ryan are now standing up in her defense. "I knew I wasn't going to stand by and let my friend's character be impugned by the Cedar Rapids Community School District," said Halane Cummings. Ms. Cummings, who is a teacher in Center Point, has known Ms. Ryan since middle school. She is among several people now standing up for Ms. Ryan, since CRCSD first launched an internal investigation into her teaching methods. The district said an investigation found there was "inappropriate use of an African-American baby doll" in her classroom. School leaders would not comment any further on the investigation, but people in the community still say there are many unanswered questions as to what exactly happened in her classroom. "I know I'm frustrated, and I know Tammy is frustrated, [as are] community members frustrated in that no information is forthcoming," Ms. Cummings said. Read the full story here.

T hese news items are provided by CBS2/FOX 28 
CBS2 Chief Meteorologist Terry Swails' Weather First Forecast

The nice weather continues today as high pressure remains in control. Temperatures will climb into the low to mid 80s with partly cloudy skies. Humidity remains relatively low today but will be increasing tonight into tomorrow. High pressure moves east and moisture will return to Eastern Iowa. A warm front will lift north early tomorrow and humidity will go up. There may be a few showers early in the day Thursday with the higher chances for rain in the afternoon and evening. The cold front associated with this system with come through late Thursday and bring showers and thunderstorms. Some strong storms, along with heavy rain, will be possible. A few showers linger into Friday morning and then it will dry out.