Just off Highway 20 outside of Galva, Iowa in Ida County, Quad County Corn Processors is one of 32 facilities partnering with Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed carbon capture and storage project. Wednesday morning they invited stakeholders and members of the media to the facility for a tour to see how this partnership could benefit Iowans.
In operation since the 2000s, QCCP is a leader in ethanol production in Iowa. They've partnered with Summit Carbon Solutions and their proposed pipeline to capture the CO2 the plant creates. "We actually use every piece of the kernel of corn all the way from protein to converting the fiber to cellulosic, so low carbon intense ethanol and also now the co2 value," said Delayne Johnson, CEO of Quad County Corn Processors.
Currently, about 60% of that CO2 is released into the atmosphere. Johnson wants to change that. "This is going to bring our carbon intensity of our fuel down," he said. "And it really just brings more to our bottom line and allows us to have a good bid for our farmers for the corn that they produce."
During our tour of the processing plant, we had the chance to see the corn processing systems up close. Johnson says capturing their CO2 instead of releasing it will help Northwest Iowa's Ag community in the future.
"If there's lower demand for ethanol at times when people have to produce less, it'll be the plants that are not connected to the CO2 pipelines that will actually reduce their run rates or have to shut down," said Johnson, "so we see this as a way to add competitiveness to quad county value proposition which also adds value to the farmers in the local communities."
"But these proposed CO2 pipelines aren't being well received by some landowners in their path. There are lawsuits against Summit and Heartland Greenway, the other proposed CO2 pipeline in several Iowa counties. Summit says they are still pushing forward.
"There are about 170,000 miles of pipelines across the five states in which we operate. There are over 5000 miles of co2 pipelines in operation in the US currently," said Jim Pirolli with Summit Carbon Solutions. "And a lot of these projects have been in service for many, many years."
Summit says they have almost 52% of the easements needed from landowners for the entire project.
"Across the entire project, we're about 52% of the easements have been signed. That's over 2,050 miles," said Pirolli, "so well over 1,000 miles of voluntary easements had been signed almost 60% in Iowa, and that's over $100 million spent paid to landowners for those easements just in this state. About $240 million of easement payments across the entire system."
Summit is confident in its pipeline and Quad County Corn Processors are eager to get started with the project ultimately capturing 100% of their CO2 emissions.
"We see this as adding about $4-5 million to our bottom line every year as we go forward. And that's a very unique opportunity," Johnson said. "We don't get those types of opportunities often. We also believe that being on a pipeline is critical to be part of the future.
Summit Carbon Solutions hopes to have the permits needed by next summer with construction beginning fall of 2023. Their goal is to be fully operational by the year 2024.
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The Sioux City Police Department Citizen Police Academy has been part of the department since 1995 with the 44th class graduating earlier this month after 11 weeks of training.
This fall, Siouxland News Anchor Katie Copple went through the citizen academy to learn a little more about the work our brothers and sisters in uniform do.
The academy is held each fall, and after a pause for COVID-19, the 44th academy class met in August for the first of 11 weeks of hands-on training.
"It was very eye-opening to learn all the process they had to go through and we only got a glimpse of it." Kristen Sweeney is one of roughly two dozen Siouxlanders who took part. "It was just so exciting to go through some of the steps they went through in the training and it just really opened my eyes to the whole process together."
Each week brings a different lesson.. sometimes multiple in a night. We drove police cars through an obstacle course. Officers took us through firearm training giving us a chance to fire several different weapons. The Department's SWAT team suited up for a breaching drill at the training facility. They even showed us some of the equipment they have on hand for any scenario they may face.
And yes, we had the chance to try it all ourselves.
Department veterans teach specialized classes. Each one is tailored to give a first-hand look at how the men and women in uniform keep the community safe.
Trust is everything.
"In any relationship, the foundation is going to be trust and we have to have trust amongst each other of course, but if the police can't do the job of the public, it's the foundation of that relationship. The foundation of being able to operate in our society together. So we can't do without the citizens and the citizens from time to time need us and we need them and it's just a reciprocal relationship." Lieutenant Ryan Bertrand led several courses throughout the academy.
He and the other department leaders put us through scenarios officers could face showing how even a call that may seem minor can turn in an instant, making you think on your feet, trust your training and your gut.
"When we do the scenarios where we give a person like a fake gun that makes noise and we give them a scenario that they've never encountered before, it's so awesome to see like the genuine reactions to "how I would handle this" and sometimes it's over the top sometimes they don't do anything and sometimes they do way too much," Lt. Bertrand said. "But it's, either way, we all learn from it. That's the exact same process the police go through."
When we first gathered in August we were all strangers, but at graduation in November we left as friends with a new understanding of law enforcement.
"I think learning a lot about everything Police Department does I think we don't think about all the processes they go through and all the extra programs they do to help the community," said Sweeney. "So it really opened my eyes and realize that there's a lot that we can also volunteer to help it really out."
On the last week of class, I along with 5 others volunteered to be tased. You can see a video of that here!
The citizen police academy is a truly eye-opening experience and gave this journalist a new respect for our brothers and sisters in blue.
The Sioux City Police Department holds the academy each fall. Watch their Facebook page for when registration opens.
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Verizon is highlighting kindness this holiday season with local surprises that are set to be the talk around the Thanksgiving table and one of those surprises happened right here in Sioux City.
Verizon teamed up with Siouxland News and Hy-Vee to give out 25 $100 gift cards to unsuspecting customers at the local grocery chain. On Thursday, November 17th, Steve Van Dinter, Siouxland News Anchor Katie Copple hit the aisles of the Gordon Drive Hy-Vee to hand out those gift cards to those grabbing groceries.
This was all part of Verizon's nationwide Feeds the Love, Call for Kindness campaign, and the wireless retailer is stopping in cities all over the U.S. to spread a little holiday cheer.
Earlier this year Verizon and NextDoor conducted a research study with kindness.org to reveal the most appreciated and cost-effective ways neighbors can spread kindness in their communities. It turns out the #1 kindest act someone can do is buy groceries for a neighbor.
In the Kindness.org kindness project, Iowa ranked 47th out of the 50 states for the kindest people. Nebraska and South Dakota both were in the top 15. Read more about the project here.
Special thanks to Verizon, Hy-Vee, Siouxland News Anchor Diana Castillo, Siouxland News Reporter Taylor Deckert and Siouxland News Creative Services Producer Angel Morrow for their dedicated work in making this happen.
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Efforts have been launched to bring a beloved 9-year-old boy back to Sioux City after he abruptly disappeared earlier this year. Several staff members of V's former school are raising funds to bring him back to Sioux City.
A little boy from Africa captured the hearts of his teachers at Perry Creek Elementary a few years ago. "He came to us in 1st grade and didn't speak any English because he was new to our country," said Amy Denney, who was the Principal at Perry Creek at the time. "He quickly soaked up everything, he was a little sponge."
In April 2022, when V was in 3rd grade, he and his family moved back to their home country in Africa. But then his family returned to Siouxland and V wasn't with them. Then one day this August his school got a message from someone who had V.
"I'm looking for Mrs. Denney. I have V and I need to get him back to you. He needs to continue his studies in America. Can you help him?" Denney says a good samaritan had found V alongside the road took him in and was taking care of him. But V recently contracted malaria and because of a lack of resources where he is, has become malnourished.
"He's had a rough time there and he needs to get back here as soon as possible," Denney said it took her and others some time to verify the person they were talking to was real and had V. Since fall, she's been in contact with the good samaritan, and with V himself.
Now Denney and a few others who love V are working to get him back home to Perry Creek Elementary. They've launched a GoFundMe to help get him the paperwork he needs to come to the US and also the medical care and everyday items he will need once he comes home.
"The outpouring of love and support from Siouxland is overwhelming to me," Denney said. "I've been emotional about it because they don't know him. No one wants to see a child struggle and go through the trauma he's gone through."
Denney has been working with others in the community to get him back to Siouxland, to the family who will care for him, and get him into 4th grade at Perry Creek where he dreams of being.
"We're going to get him back here," Denney said. "And I want him to be able to be a happy, healthy boy who can go to school and someday he is going to do great things. I am certain. He is going to do great things someday."
To learn more about V and to help bring him home, you can find the GoFundMe here. Denney says V will need help once he is back in Siouxland, from medical and dental care, to emotional support and more and says the help she's already received from the Siouxland community will help give this little boy the life he dreams of and deserves.
Those working to bring V home are doing so on their own time, out of love for a little boy who captured their hearts just a few years ago.
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Web articles from my time at Siouxland News.