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Thursday News December 19


Primebank offers a new financial and privacy education program

(Le Mars) — Primebank has unveiled a new financial and privacy education service titled “Money IQ”.  “Money IQ” is a a great resource for anyone to use to gather information about a wide variety of topics that affect your personal financial matters.  Examples of the topics that are on the site include : developing a household budget, understanding your credit score, how to be smart with your credit card, and a number of other timely topics, according to Matt Ahlers, president and CEO of Primebank.  “Money IQ is featured on the Primebank website, but anyone can use the service, not just customers.  Money IQ can be accessed by visiting www.primebank.com.  At the time “Money IQ” was added to the primebank, only two other banks in the nation offered the service.


Toel Is Named Chamber Employee Of The Month

(Le Mars) — The December Chamber Employee of the Month has been awarded to Mary Toel.  On November 30th 2014, Mary Toel celebrated her 30 year employee anniversary with Good Samaritan Society-Le Mars.  Mary has been Director of Social Services since 1983.

Mary makes it her mission to do what she can to promote a high quality of care for the residents she serves.  She treats all of the residents as family.  Her first priority is the welfare of the residents and their families that call Good Samaritan Society-Le Mars their home.  Mary was also a huge advocate and integral part of planning for the addition and renovation project that transformed the traditional skilled nursing environment into our current neighborhood living environment.  She understands that with change in senior wants and needs, also comes a change in delivery of senior services.  Mary has been nominated by her peers and honored with “Employee of the Quarter” and “Employee of the Year”.  In 2006, Mary was also awarded the “Excellence in Long Term Care Award” for Social Services from the Iowa Health Care Association. “I have worked with Mary as Medicare Director for over 15 years. Mary’s expertise on this subject and patience with helping me learn the process was much appreciated.  I consider Mary my mentor.  I admire her for patience and kindness to the residents and their families.  She works many long days at times, but never turns away a resident, resident’s family member or staff member if they need her”, expressed Connie Ortmann, Neighborhood Director/Case Manager. Our congratulations to Mary Toel for being named the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce December Employee of the Month. 


Miracle League To Build Baseball Field To Accommodate Players With Disabilities 

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – Organizers of an effort to build a baseball field in Sioux City for people with physical and mental disabilities says they’re having success raising money for the project.
      Kevin Negaard, who leads the nonprofit Miracle League of Sioux City, told the City Council on Monday that the organization had raised about $175,000 in two weeks. The total cost is expected to be $400,000.
     The  local Miracle League volunteers plan to build the field at Riverside Park. It will have a rubberized field and could be used by children and adults, including those who rely on wheelchairs.
      Similar fields have been built in Des Moines, Omaha, Nebraska and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
      Negaard says he hopes the field will be open by fall of 2014.


Brandstad Suspends Driving Limits for Propane Delivery Drivers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Terry Branstad has suspended rules limiting the work hour of truck drivers who haul propane.
     Branstad announce his action Wednesday evening. It’s effective Thursday and will continue through Jan. 2.
     Branstad signed a proclamation saying the suspension of work rules is necessary because of a shortage of propane. That’s due in part due to a late harvest that caused demand in the fall for the fuel, which is used by farmers to dry crops. Demand for propane is strong throughout the state, leading to some shortages.
    Drivers must still abide by standard rules and can’t drive if they’re ill or overly sleepy. 


Montana’s Gov. Schweitzer Says He `Can Connect’ With Iowans

DES MOINES (AP) – Former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer isn’t saying if he’ll run for president in 2016. But if he does, he thinks he can connect with Iowa voters.
      Schweitzer, a Democrat who served as governor from 2005 through early 2013, visited Iowa on Wednesday. He spoke in front of about 100 people at an event hosted by a liberal advocacy group.
      Schweitzer talked about his investments in education and efforts to reduce the prison population in Montana. He also criticized the Iraq War, noting that he had not supported it.
      Iowa is expected to be the leadoff nominating caucuses ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
      The popular, outspoken ex-governor has been mentioned as a possible candidate, but he says he hasn’t made any decisions.

Incidence Of Syphillis Spikes in Des Moine

 DES MOINES,  (AP) – Polk County’s health department is reporting a spike in the area’s number of syphilis cases.
      Health department officials tell Des Moines television station KCCI (http://bit.ly/1fHC23R) that they have confirmed 130 cases this year. In a normal year, there are 10 to 20 cases.
      As concerning, says health department official Sarah Boese, is that there has been an increase in the re-infection rate, where people who receive treatment contract the disease again.
      The disease causes sores on various parts of the body. The sores can disappear, though syphilis bacteria continue to attack internal organs. They can cause damage to bones, the heart and the brain.

Woman Charged After Making Facebook School Shooting Comments

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – The mother of a Council Bluffs high school student has been arrested for a Facebook post that made reference to a school shooting, but the woman’s attorney says she was simply venting frustration that her son is being bullied at school.
      Police say 39-year-old Teri Pallat was arrested Monday on suspicion of making terroristic threats and first-degree harassment. Her arrest came after she posted a message on her Facebook page that said “this is exactly why” school shootings happen.
      Pallat’s attorney, Michael Murphy, that Pallat’s son has been the target of bullying and at least one assault at school, and that school officials have done nothing to stop it.
      Lewis Central High School Principal Joel Beyenhof says the school looks into every bullying accusation.

Honey Creek State Park Operating At Deficit

  RATHBUN LAKE, Iowa (AP) – The Honey Creek Resort State Park in southern Iowa still has a deficit but is chipping away at the problem.
      The resort on Rathbun Lake near Centerville reported about $6 million in revenues and about $5.8 million in expenses during the fiscal year that ended June 30th.
      The state auditor’s office says the resort still had a deficit of about $165,000 because of a deficit from the year before.
      The resort has struggled financially since it opened in September 2008 but appears to be making progress.
      The more than $6 million in operating revenue included $3.3 million from lodging, $1.6 million from restaurant and banquet operations and $666,183 from golf course operations.

IDNR Will Stock Trout In Area Lakes 

DES MOINES (AP) – The Iowa Department of Natural Resources plans to release trout in seven spots around the state this winter.
      The program, which is financed by trout fishing fees, places the fish in areas where they couldn’t survive in warmer months.
      The trout will be released Jan. 10 in Fort Dodge’s Moorland Park and Big Lake West in Council Bluffs.
      On Jan. 18, the fish will be released at Blue Pit in Mason City and Bacon Creek in Sioux City.
      Trout will be released Jan. 25 at Lake Petoka in Bondurant and at Spencer’s Scharnberg Pond.
      On Feb. 8, fish will be released at Ada Hayden Pond in Ames.
      Anglers must have a fishing license and to have paid a trout fee.


UNI Students Study The Artic
   CEDAR FALLS (AP) – A group of researchers have established a center for Arctic studies at the University of Northern Iowa.
      The National Science Foundation awarded a $749,000 grant to Andrew Petrov, a UNI assistant professor of geography, to run the program over the next five years.
      The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that on Tuesday, Arctic researchers came to Cedar Falls to celebrate the new center, called Arctic-FROST.
      Petrov says the international environmental and social scientists who will work through the center will focus on what sustainability means to the Arctic community. That will include plenty of research on global warming, but that won’t be the sole focus.
      Gail Fondahl, who heads the International Arctic Science Committee, says Arctic residents are marginalized and have high rates of suicide and domestic violence.