Home News Friday News, March 11th

Friday News, March 11th

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High Price Of Diesel Fuel Negatively Affecting Trucking Industry

(Le Mars) — We all have felt the pinch in our pocket books and wallets with the rapidly rising cost of gasoline, but what about trucking companies?  Diesel fuel is rising just as fast as gasoline costs.  How does the rise in fuel prices affect trucking companies?  Jeff Arens serves as the general manager of the locally owned Schuster Trucking firm.  He says rising fuel prices are hurting truckers, just as they are hurting everyone.

Arens says with the price for fuel changing, sometimes as often as hourly, the trucking firm has to eat the over-run expense cost of their original delivery contract.

The Schuster Trucking official says the higher fuel prices will quickly mean higher prices for the products they haul that appear on a shelf whether that be Wells Blue Bunny ice cream, or hardware tools for Bomgaars.  He says higher petroleum prices goes beyond just the cost for diesel fuel, but extends to many components on the truck.

Arens says Schuster’s tries to have back hauls when ever possible, but with the higher fuel prices, it is even more important to have a full truck on the return route, and not to run over the highways with an empty load.

Arens says Schuster’s is trying to make certain each truck and trailer are aerodynamic, so to help reduce the amount of fuel needed to run on the highways.

Arens says Schusters operates more than 450 trucks and purchases up to 150,000 gallons of diesel fuel, each and every week.

 

 

 

Siouxland Energy Cooperative Signs On With Summit Carbon Solutions

(Sioux Center) — Last week the Summit Carbon Solutions Company held a news conference at the Siouxland Energy Cooperative, west of Sioux Center.  Summit Carbon Solutions is one of three proposed pipelines to go through Iowa transporting compressed carbon dioxide to an underground storage facility.  Siouxland Energy Cooperative is one of 31 ethanol processing plants to sign up with Summit Carbon Solutions.  Jeff Altena, is the general operations manager with Siouxland Energy Cooperative.  Altena says every ethanol processing plant produces carbon dioxide and most of it is emitted into the atmosphere.  He says the ethanol facility has been marketing its product to the west coast states that require a low carbon source of fuel.  Altena explains why the proposed pipeline is a good idea, and why the Siouxland Energy Cooperative ethanol facility has signed on with Summit.

Construction has already begun at the ethanol plant to pressurize the carbon dioxide and transport it through the pipeline.  Altena tells of the physical modifications that will take place.

Little Sioux Corn Processing of Marcus is another area ethanol plant that has signed up with Summit Carbon Solutions to transport pressurized carbon dioxide.

 

 

 

 

Dordt University Promotes 100 Percent Graduate Placement

(Sioux Center) — Dordt University of Sioux Center is reporting 100 percent of the university’s class of 2021 were employed or were accepted into graduate school within six months of graduation. This statistic is based off a knowledge rate of 98 percent, which means that there were only six students from the entire graduating class that Career Development was unable to connect with following commencement. 

Amy Westra, associate director of career development says, “We are so pleased with the outcomes for our graduates. This data shows the hard work and dedication of Dordt students and also the value of a Dordt education.” 

Dordt’s mission is to equip students to work effectively toward Christ-centered renewal in all areas of contemporary life—which includes the workplace. This means sending out students who serve well, no matter what their area of expertise. 

Chloe Hansum (’21) serves as a fish and wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Sierra and Cascades Mountain division, which is based in Sacramento, California. Hansum finds that most days she can relate her work back to something she learned in her classes at Dordt. 

“Creation care is an essential part of Christianity,” says Hansum. “My job is a way that I can love my neighbors—my non-human neighbors, to be exact.” 

She credits Dordt’s faculty for making a big impact on her journey. 

“I would not be where I am today without the professors at Dordt. From answering my many questions on class material, to chatting about Christianity; to talking about the cultural context of Sioux County and the United States as a whole, the professors always took the time to not only invest in my education but also invest in me as a person.” 

Alicyn Gerhardt (’21), who now studies law at Southern Illinois University School of Law, is grateful for her Dordt education. 

“Transitioning from undergraduate coursework to a fast-paced and highly competitive environment seemed overwhelming at first, but my academics at Dordt prepared me well for the skills I would need to succeed in legal writing and researching, enabling me to quickly excel to the top of my class,” shares Gerhardt. 

Gerhardt found that professors in both the agriculture and business departments pushed her to succeed. 

“Coming from a small, Christian university and entering law school, I quickly realized I had gained many unique experiences, unlike many of my new peers,” says Gerhardt. “Dordt connected me to friends, students, and professors with experiences all over the nation, as well as internationally; provided many activities and clubs for me to become involved in; and gave me a well-rounded experience both academically and spiritually. Being in a close-knit community where it was easy to get involved helped make my law school application stand out more.” 

Consistently high career outcomes are a testament to the collaborative and supportive environment at Dordt, says Westra.  

“Everyone at Dordt wants to see our students grow into the men and women they are designed to be. The whole campus truly envelops our students and everyone – from faculty to coaches to on-campus work supervisors, support staff, and alumni – pulls together to help our students reach their goals.” 

 

 

 

SkyWest Exiting Three Airports

(Undated) — Regional air carrier SkyWest Airlines has announced they are planning to pull their commercial service out of three Iowa airports. SkyWest has provided the U-S Department of Transportation with a 90-day notice of intent to discontinue service to 29 communities served by the Essential Air Service program, including airports in Mason City, Fort Dodge and Sioux City.  In its notice, SkyWest cites ongoing pilot staffing shortages as the reason for ending service. Last month the carrier announced they planned to reduce the number of weekly flights from Mason City to Chicago and from Fort Dodge to Chicago from 12 to 10 because of staffing issues. SkyWest had recently suspended one of its three daily flights from Sioux Gateway Airport to Denver, and Sioux City officials last month announced they were extending their service agreement with the air carrier.

 

 

 

Revenue Estimating Conference Expects Revenue To Grow Even Faster

(Des Moines, IA)  —  The Revenue Estimating Conference is predicting tax payments to the state of Iowa will grow more than it predicted three months ago.  It says the continuing increase in sales tax payments to the state is an indicator of consumer confidence.  The latest projections put total tax collections for the current fiscal year at four-point-two-percent higher than the previous one.  Republican lawmakers and Governor Kim Reynolds say the updated report shows there is room for the tax cuts that were approved last week.

 

 

 

Congressional Delegation:  Iowa To Benefit From Spending Bill

(Washington, DC)  —  Three members of the state’s congressional delegation are explaining how Iowa is going to benefit from the latest spending bill.  Democrat Cindy Axne says more than 10-million dollars is included for projects in her 3rd District – including a million for expansion of the Stanton Child Resource Center.  Republican Ashley Hinson says the bill includes 45-million dollars for Mississippi River locks and dams.  And, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks points out she has had to vote for nine emergency spending bills since she became a member of Congress in 2019.  The last time a federal budget was adopted before the deadline was in 1997.

 

 

 

Con Artists Taking Advantage of Ukrainian Relief Efforts

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowans who want to donate to Ukrainian relief efforts need to make sure those donations are actually going to help people in need and not to a crook. A-A-R-P-Iowa state director Brad Anderson says to be wary of how you’re being asked to donate — if someone urges you to use a payment app, an online app, or even gift cards, “that’s an immediate red flag.” Another warning sign is if someone is pressuring you into contributing.  Anderson also recommends NOT using debit cards to make donations, but credit cards — because money spent with credit cards can be recovered in cases of fraud. Also, bogus charities often use names similar to existing charities to legitimize themselves, so double-check before you double-click.

 

 

 

Gas Tax Holiday Unlikely in Iowa

(Des Moines, IA) — As gas prices surge, the Republican governors of Maryland, Virginia and Florida are supporting gas tax holidays. But Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley, a Republican, says it’s unlikely the Iowa legislature would vote to temporarily suspend the STATE gas tax. Grassley says a temporary hiatus for the state gas tax would delay financing for projects to improve Iowa roads and bridges. He also says the situation with rising gas prices has nothing to do with any decision the Iowa legislature has or has not made. Iowa’s gas tax is around 30 cents a gallon.

 

 

 

Congressional Delegation:  Iowa To Benefit From Spending Bill

(Washington, DC)  —  Three members of the state’s congressional delegation are explaining how Iowa is going to benefit from the latest spending bill.  Democrat Cindy Axne says more than 10-million dollars is included for projects in her 3rd District – including a million for expansion of the Stanton Child Resource Center.  Republican Ashley Hinson says the bill includes 45-million dollars for Mississippi River locks and dams.  And, Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks points out she has had to vote for nine emergency spending bills since she became a member of Congress in 2019.  The last time a federal budget was adopted before the deadline was in 1997.

 

 

 

DNR Director Says It Will Take Some Time To Clean Up Red Haw State Park Damage

(Chariton, IA)  —  Cleaning up tornado damage at Red Haw State Park is going to take time.  That’s the assessment of Iowa Department of Natural Resources Director Kayla Lyons.  She says the park near Chariton is going to be “closed for quite some time.”  Lyons says there was significant damage to the beach, the dock, the bait house, the beach shelter, and a storage building.  Lyons says the weekend tornado destroyed many trees and they were a key feature of the park.

 

 

 

Preliminary Hearings For 4 Shooting Suspects Set For Next Week

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Preliminary hearings for four shooting suspects are set for next week.  Octavio Lopez, Henry Valladares-Amaya, Manuel Buezo, and Romeo Perdomo will return to court March 18th.  They are each charged with first-degree murder and two counts of attempted murder.  The cases against the two youngest suspects are in juvenile court, for now.  The teens are accused of Monday’s deadly drive-by shooting outside Des Moines East High School that left 15-year-old Jose David Lopez dead.

 

 

 

St. Patrick’s Day Parades Return to Some Iowa Cities

(Des Moines, IA) — Iowa restaurants and bars were closed on St. Patrick’s Day 2020 due to the pandemic and crowds were sparce a year ago. But celebrations are expected to ramp up this year, with parades set for tomorrow in Cedar Rapids, Dyersville, and Denison. Iowa State Trooper Kevin Krull is expecting to see lots of traveling and bigger crowds because people are more able to get out and about. Krull warns that with increased parade attendance comes the likelihood of more drunk drivers on the road, and he urges those who plan to consume alcohol to have a designated driver beforehand. Nationwide records show that in 2019, more than three out of five traffic fatalities during the St. Patrick’s Day period involved a drunk driver.