A chart showing the top 10 states with the most digital sellers on Amazon per capita. CREDIT AMAZON 
A new analysis by Amazon finds that Iowa leads the nation in the per-capita number of small and medium-sized businesses selling through the tech giant's online platform, and that Iowa businesses are growing their sales the fastest on average among Amazon stores.
Iowa is home to nearly 10,000 small and medium-sized sellers on Amazon, earning it the top ranking for the most digital entrepreneurs per capita. That was followed by Delaware (with more than 3,000 sellers), California (over 100,000) and Wyoming (more than 1,000).
Iowa sellers also reported the fastest year-over-year growth, at 57%, as shoppers increasingly shifted their purchases online amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That was followed by sellers in Washington (56% growth), Alabama (53%) and Virginia (50%).
"Iowa is home to thousands of small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon's stores, and we're working hard to support their growth despite the global pandemic," said Keri Cusick, head of small business empowerment at Amazon, in a release. "Both top 10 lists we revealed today demonstrate innovation in every corner of the country, with states like Iowa, Delaware, Wyoming, and Alabama coming out on top."
Tahmi DeSchepper, one of more than a dozen Fairfield-based retailers selling products through Amazon, was quoted saying that her handmade jewelry business doubled its sales last year, and that she is expecting another 50-75% increase in sales this year, despite the pandemic.
"It's always surprising to see what interesting businesses selling in Amazon's stores are hidden in all the different nooks and crannies around town," Ms. DeSchepper added.
Small and medium-sized businesses selling in Amazon's stores come from every state in the U.S., and more than 130 countries around the world. In 2019, more than 15,000 American small and medium-sized businesses exceeded $1 million in sales in Amazon's stores worldwide, and nearly 25,000 surpassed $500,000 in sales. Products from small and medium-sized businesses make up more than half of all items sold in Amazon's stores worldwide.
The company has been ramping up its operations in Iowa in recent years, and in February announcing plans to open a 780,000-square-foot fulfillment center in the state in the city of Bondurant. The company has also added delivery stations in Iowa City and Grimes. 
KKregel named interim provost as Fuentes takes new role 

Kevin Kregel
Kevin Kregel has been named interim provost by University of Iowa President Bruce Harreld last week with the reassignment of Montse Fuentes, provost since spring of 2019, as special assistant to the UI president.

Mr. Kregel has been executive vice president and senior associate provost for faculty since 2019. He received a bachelor's degree and doctorate (physiology and biophysics) from the UI and joined the faculty at Iowa in 1993 after completing a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Arizona. He served as department executive officer in the Department of Health and Human Physiology before he was appointed associate provost in 2014.

The UI announced Ms. Fuentes will lead a team updating the university's strategic plan and dedicate part of her time to her research, while retaining her current salary of $439,000.

Mr. Harreld praised both leaders in a news release, saying Ms. Fuentes' work will help the UI's colleges identify trends that will provide a "roadmap for the future success of our students and faculty." He said Mr. Kregel and his experience in multiple university positions over the past two decades will make a steady hand during one of the most turbulent times in the university's history.

The appointment of Mr. Kregel is pending approval by the Iowa Board of Regents, and will also carry a $439,000 salary.
Para3Corridor tech companies receive IEDA support
The Iowa Economic Development Authority on Friday approved innovation funding in support of seven startups in the state, including Higher Learning Technologies and STRATAFOLIO in the Corridor.
Higher Learning Technologies (HLT), based in Coralville's University of Iowa Research Park, creates professional education solutions for health care providers. The company received a $400,000 Innovation Acceleration Expansion Fund loan for the refinement of its core technology platform, which bundles test prep, continuing education and lifelong learning inside one app. HLT was recently nominated for Technology Company of the Year - Small/Medium as part of the Technology Association of Iowa's annual Prometheus Awards.
STRATAFOLIO, based in Cedar Rapids, is a cloud-based platform providing asset and property management analytics for commercial real estate owners and developers. The company was awarded a $100,000 Demonstration Fund loan for product refinement, market planning/entry and the hiring of key personnel. Stratafolio was a finalist in the last statewide John Pappajohn Iowa Entrepreneurial Venture Competition, and was also nominated as Tech Startup of the Year as part of the Prometheus Awards.
Other startups receiving funding in the latest round of IEDA awards included 3D Health Solutions Inc. of Ames; Aeroseeder, of Garnavillo; Gross-Wen Technologies, of Slater; Armorloy, of St. Charles; and VEMTOWA, of West Des Moines. 
Anne Harris 
Grinnell College has named Anne Harris as the college's 14th president, the Des Moines Business Record reports.
Ms. Harris, who joined Grinnell College last year as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, has been the acting president since July 1 and will assume office immediately.
Ms. Harris, Grinnell's second female president, spent nearly 20 years at DePauw University in Indiana as a faculty member and eventually vice president for academic affairs before coming to Grinnell in 2019. The private liberal arts college in Grinnell enrolls about 1,700 students from around the world.
Her unanimous appointment by the board of trustees follows the tenure of Raynard Kington, who led the college for a decade before becoming head of school at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, earlier this summer.
"Anne Harris is a scholar, a teacher, a leader and a builder - without question, she is precisely the right president for Grinnell College at this time in our history," said David Maxwell, chair of the Grinnell College board of trustees. "She is consistently guided by Grinnell's institutional values of excellence, diversity and social responsibility, dealing gracefully and decisively with hard issues as the college navigates the challenges before it, and recognizes Grinnell as a place where we can experience and investigate, where we can deliberate and discern, and where we can put our values, knowledge and commitment together for the greater good."
As vice president for academic affairs, Ms. Harris worked in partnership with more than 200 faculty members to deliver on Grinnell's academic mission, the college said in a press release. In this role, she led a number of initiatives tied to the excellence, health and well-being of the Grinnell community, including directing the academic response to the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the development and implementation of a First Year Experience, chairing the search for a chief diversity officer, and overseeing the implementation of a $1 million Mellon Foundation Humanities in Action grant.
Her appointment comes after an extensive national search that resulted in more than 30 interviews of candidates from peer institutions, Grinnell officials said.  
GGrant to help ISU researchers harness biomass to fuel farms

A new federal grant will allow a research team led by Iowa State University, Penn State and Roeslein Alternative Energy to develop new methods of turning biomass and manure into fuel, ISU's news service reports.
The five-year, $10 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute for Food and Agriculture will power the Consortium for Cultivating Human and Natural reGenerative Enterprise (C-CHANGE) as it works to develop new ways for farmers to produce renewable natural gas that could be used as an energy source both on and off farms.
The project, led by Lisa Schulte Moore, a professor of natural resource ecology and management and associate director of the Bioeconomy Institute at ISU, centers around anaerobic digestion, or the process by which microorganisms break down biomatter and produce biogas. With new separation technologies, biogas can be upgraded to renewable natural gas and distributed through the gas pipeline network.
Researchers are experimenting with how to optimize digesters, or the containers where the biomatter is broken down into methane. They will test variables such as feedstock mixture, pretreatment, digester temperature and water content to make the process as practical as possible.
Anaerobic digestion has been promoted as a way to produce renewable energy for more than 50 years, according to Tom Richard, director of Penn State's Institutes of Energy and the Environment, but its adoption has been limited by high capital costs and management complexity.
"We will be working with farmers and other industrial partners to update anaerobic digestion for the 21st century, applying the principles of process intensification, automation and economies of scale to reduce costs, simplify operations and expand digester feedstocks beyond manure to incorporate perennial grasses and winter crops into their operations as a source of biomass for the digesters," Mr. Richard said in a release.
St. Louis-based Roeslein Alternative Energy is already doing pioneering work in the area of the grant, according to ISU officials. The company has worked with hog producer Smithfield Foods since 2012, adjusting its manure practices to create a profitable natural gas enterprise. Company founder Rudi Roeslein said energy production from biogas could spark significant job creation in the alternative energy and agriculture sectors while also providing new habitat for threatened wildlife, including pollinators.
"With this grant, we hope to demonstrate that land unprofitable for annual crops could be used for renewable energy production from native grasses and forbs through the anaerobic digestion process," Mr. Roeslein said. "Ecological services from this perennial biomass crop would prevent flooding, reduce nutrients running into our streams and rivers that could save hundreds of billions of taxpayer money on water treatment facilities while improving the health of our future generations."
The consortium will engage producers, commodity groups and companies to see how receptive farmers and businesses are to implementing management practices and other knowledge emerging from experiments.
In addition to ISU, Penn State and Roeslein Alternative Energy, other institutions involved with the new C-CHANGE grant include FDCE of New Albany, Ohio; the USDA Agricultural Research Service National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, and 33 partner organizations.
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U.S. Bank USB 36.61 1.04 2.92%
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West Bank WTBA 17.50 0.80 4.79%
Whirlpool WHR 143.86 0.80 0.56%
Short-Term Event Planner
July 21 
Innovation Roundtable, by the Technology Association of Iowa, 4-5:30 p.m., online. This session will feature a virtual tour of Generate at UnityPoint Health, Cedar Rapids, led by Rose Hedges, nursing research and innovation coordinator, and Clayton Skousen, fabrication fellow. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/2WjudxW
July 22
Training Requirements for Mobile Elevating Work Platforms, by Kirkwood Corporate Training, 8-8:30 a.m., online. The webinar will cover types of training required for MEWPs, special training needs that align with ANSI procedures, and how to complete the appropriate risk assessment prior to starting on the job site. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/32lDEkj
1 Million Cups, by 1MC Iowa City, 9 a.m., online. Join for community connections and presentations by entrepreneurs, established companies, experts and more. Free. For more information, visit facebook.com/1MillionCupsIC .
Iowa Fraud Fighters - Shield Your Savings Series, by Iowa Insurance Division, 10-11 a.m., online. This webinar focuses on consumer scams perpetrated online, such as impostor scams, identity theft and investment fraud. Free. To register, visit bit.ly/3gBQX41
July 23
Ignite Your Shift: Overcoming the Discomfort of Change, by Women Lead Change, 8-10 a.m., online. Anne Bonney, author of "Get Over It!," will speak. Learn how to shift your culture to one of acceptance and engagement, alleviate the burden of stress caused by change, and reduce talk that negatively influences attitudes, communication and results. Tickets: $50. To register, visit bit.ly/2WkTM1H
Remote Leaders Online Roundtable, by Executive Coach Jennifer Zach, 10-10:20 a.m., online. Touch base with other leaders who are leading remote teams, exchange resources and share what's on your mind. Free. To join, visit bit.ly/3j5gXqm.  
Headlines from KCRG-TV9  
These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9
The mayor of Iowa City on Tuesday issued a face mask mandate. It requires residents to wear a mask that covers the nose and mouth while in public spaces including stores, public transportation and when outside when keeping six feet apart from others isn't possible. Mayor Bruce Teague announced the new proclamation during a livestream Tuesday. The order defies Gov. Kim Reynolds' order, which says local officials do not have the authority to mandate masks.
Police in Waterloo are investigating an overnight shooting that resulted in the death of a 15-year-old boy, according to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. Officials said the shooting happened in the 2800 block of East Fourth Street at about 10:12 p.m. Police said neighbors reported hearing gunshots and seeing someone on the ground, but officers were unable to find anyone there when they arrived. The Courier reported the teen went to a UnityPoint-Allen Hospital where he later died of multiple gunshot wounds. Investigators said they found numerous shell casings at the scene, and a home in the area of the shooting had been hit by a bullet. Police have not made any arrests in the case. The investigation is ongoing.
These news items are provided by KCRG-TV9 
Your KCRG-TV9 First Alert Forecast
Rainfall totals look pretty light overall and the risk of severe weather is extremely low. All the clouds will hold temperatures back to the upper 70s primarily, with a few lower 80s also possible. This front sinks to the south tomorrow and it continues to look like a good one with highs around 80. This same front moves north as a warm front later Thursday night into Friday which represents our next storm chance as well. This weekend, plan on hot weather conditions.