Department of Human Services Says Woodbury County Must Remain In Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health Services
(Sioux City) — The head of the Iowa Department of Human Services has declared that Woodbury County must remain a part of the Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region.
You may recall, Woodbury County Board of Supervisors had voted last October to withdraw from the Sioux Rivers Mental Health region that is comprised of Sioux, Plymouth and Woodbury Counties. Woodbury County indicated they were disappointed in the way the regional mental health program was being managed and operated.
Woodbury County had asked if they could be their own separate mental health region, or join with the Rolling Hills Mental Health region. According to an article in Saturday’s Sioux City Journal, Jerry Foxhoven, the director of the Iowa Department of Human Services says Woodbury County must remain in the three-
county Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health and Disability Services. Foxhoven says he met with officials from all three counties, and determined that Woodbury County should remain with the three-county region. Foxhoven says the law doesn’t
even give him the power to offer a waiver right now. Foxhoven says he discussed the issue with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, to ask if he has the right to grant Woodbury County to be a stand-alone county for mental health services?
Foxhoven says the answer Miller gave was “No.”
Rolling Hills Region recently voted to accept Woodbury County, but not until July 1st of 2019. Foxhoven says before Woodbury County can leave the Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region, a plan must be in place to replace Woodbury County with another county. He says Plymouth and Sioux Counties would not be allowed to be a region by themselves. Mark Loutsch serves as a supervisor with the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors and also serves as chairman of the Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region. He says now that the decision has been made to have
Woodbury County remain as part of the region, he sees business should proceed as normal.
Loutsch says he hopes that he will be able to work with the Woodbury County supervisors that sit on the mental health services board. Loutsch says despite the turmoil that surrounded this contentious issue, the important thing is those
individuals needing mental health services are not to be denied.
Iowa Highway Patrol Offers Advice For Motorists During Weekend Blizzard. Trooper Vince Kurtz says to be properly prepared.
Holz and Carlin Cancels Legislative Forums Scheduled For Saturday Morning
(Le Mars) — State Representative Chuck Holz and State Senator Jim Carlin have cancelled their legislative town hall forums that were scheduled for this morning. Holz and Carlin had scheduled meetings for Hinton and Le Mars. Again, those legislative town hall meetings have now been cancelled.
Get Branded 360 Wins “Open 4 Business” Competition
(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Main Street organization held its “Open 4 Business” competition on Thursday evening. Four separate businesses competed for a grant to assist with either the start-up, or expansion of the business. The four businesses that competed include: Emma Rae’s restaurant, Iowa
Barbeque, Sugar-n-Spice, and Get Branded 360. Mary Reynolds, the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Main Street Coordinator tells what the judges were looking for during each business presentation.
Reynolds says each business had 15 minutes to offer their business plan and goals to the judges.
The judges included: Wade Druin, a professor at Northwestern College in Orange City, Renee Billings, Economic Development Specialist with Sioux City, and Denny Bixenman a certified public accountant and business consultant. Reynolds says the judges selected Tom and Lori Schuch of “Get Branded 360” as this year’s local competition winner.
The Schuch’s was presented with a check amounting to $500. They now must go through another level of competition before advancing to the regional. Each designated Main Street community across the state may submit one local business
to represent their community.
Last year the Brown’s Musical family with the Brown’s Century Theater won $18,500 and took second place at the state competition.
Jefferson, Iowa Reviews Policy On Feral Cats
JEFFERSON, Iowa (AP) – An Iowa city is reviewing its animal control policies and suspending its practice of trapping and fatally shooting feral cats.
City administrator Mike Palmer says Jefferson has had feral cat colonies for years. The city usually supplies traps to residents and businesses, and police then kill the captured cats.
Palmer says the officers are trained to recognize when cats are wild and that the department kills about one cat a month.
City Councilman Matt Wetrich says the city is looking to temporarily house up to 30 cats, pending the policy review.
Animal Rescue League of Iowa officials say they’re working with the city to find better solutions, such as trapping and neutering.
Jefferson is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northwest of Des Moines.