116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
It's going to feel completely different on Wednesday than the day before it. According to the National Weather Service, the high in the Cedar Rapids area is predicted to be 73 degrees. There will be a slight chance of showers and thunderstorms for much of the day, otherwise it will be partly sunny. On Wednesday night it will be cloudy, with a low of around 51 degrees.
Representatives of Ingredion and the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union Local 100G — now in its seventh week of a strike against Ingredion’s Cedar Rapids facility — were asked to leave the Hotel at Kirkwood Center Tuesday morning after the two sides became heated over Ingredion officials bringing armed security professionals with them.
Mike Moore, the local’s principal and president, said in a news release sent to The Gazette that “the union views this show of intimidation as a sign of disrespect and a lack of intent to bargain in good faith.”
In an email to The Gazette Tuesday afternoon, Becca Hary, Ingredion corporate communications director, wrote, “We have been eager to resume negotiations in order to reach a fair agreement for the benefit of all. Unfortunately, throughout this process, Ingredion employees have received repeated threats of violence — in fact, approximately 100 have been received since Aug. 1.
Hary added that Ingredion officials “look forward to resuming negotiations as soon as possible. We have proposed alternative meeting options and stand ready to continue to bargain in good faith toward a new agreement.”
The union called a strike Aug. 1 over wages, overtime and health care benefits, among other issues.
No further meetings between Ingredion and the union have been scheduled.
It seems a utility-scale solar moratorium is in Linn County’s near future.
The Linn County Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the Board of Supervisors approve the moratorium. The commission voted 6-0 to recommend approval during its meeting on Monday night.
The proposed moratorium, if approved, would be in effect for 12 months, or whenever the code is changed if it’s sooner. A moratorium would allow current projects already approved to continue, but the county would not be accepting new applications during the time period.
The main sentiment behind the moratorium appears to be that the country needs to consider if its solar power procedures and implementation are as good as they could be.
“Our code language is good language. Most of the jurisdictions that have codes like ours are similar or less robust,” County Planning and Development Director Charlie Nichols said. “Nationally, it is good code. But staff recommends approval (of the moratorium) because we can make it better. My hope is we come out of this with a model not just for Iowa, but all across the nation.”
“We’ve learned a lot and we want to take those lessons and put them in our code,” Nichols said. “We want to look at vegetation under the solar panels, we want to take a closer look at screening. We want a more standardized approach with battery-storage systems because that’s not in our code and it needs to be.”
More than $2.6 billion of Iowa soybeans and corn will be purchased by Taiwan, according to letters of intent signed during a ceremony at the Iowa Capitol on Tuesday.
A trade delegation from Taiwan joined Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa agriculture secretary Mike Naig in signing the informal agreements, which state Taiwan’s intent to purchase over the next three years about 100 million bushels of soybeans valued at roughly $2 billion, and 59 million bushels of corn valued at roughly $600 million.
According to Randy Miller, president of the Iowa Soybean Association and a soybean farmer, more than 60 percent of U.S. soybeans are exported globally each year, making trade critical to soybean farmers.
According to the state economic development department, Taiwan is Iowa’s 12th-largest trading partner. In addition to corn and soybeans, Iowa exports meat, animal feed and pharmaceutical products to Taiwan, according to the department.