Questions Remain Over the Future Of Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health
(Le Mars) — July 1st is only a few days away, and that begins a new fiscal year for the Sioux Rivers Regional Mental Health Services. The region consists of Sioux, Plymouth, and Woodbury Counties. However, Woodbury County Board of Supervisors have voted to leave the three-county regional mental health program, and instead join the Rolling Hills Mental Health program
consisting of eight different west-central Iowa Counties. Iowa law requires at least three counties need to comprise a regional mental health program.
The Iowa Department of Human Services has not yet given final approval to Woodbury County to leave the program. During the monthly meeting held Tuesday, officials were still uncertain as to what exactly would happened to the program at the start of the new fiscal year. Plymouth County Supervisor Don Kass serves on the regional mental health board. He says services will still be provided.
Keith Radig is a county supervisor with Woodbury County. He says after July 1st, Woodbury County will not be bound to the agreement terms.
Some mental health providers are concerned as to whether or not they will be reimbursed for services. Siouxland Mental Health says after July 1st, they won’t be able to provide the 24-hour mental health care which includes the staffing of a nurse. A proposal by Woodbury County was introduced to allocate $150,000 to Siouxland Mental Health as a way to continue the
program. However, Plymouth and Sioux Counties voted against the proposal.
Kass says the region is seeking alternatives to the perceived problem.
Kass says only one other mental health region, besides the Sioux Rivers, has a full-time mental health nursing staff. He says that involves Polk County, which involves Des Moines. Kass says there are not enough patients within the Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region to justify full-time nursing staff.
Radig says the round the clock mental health nursing staff is needed. He says when a person is on the verge of committing suicide, you don’t want to turn those people away. Radig says he was disappointed in the vote that denied additional funding to Siouxland Mental Health.
Radig offers an explanation as to why Woodbury County wants to leave the Sioux Rivers Mental Health Region.
Semi Trailer Hauling Chocolate Catches On Fire
DEXTER, Iowa (AP) – That’s one way to burn calories.
Des Moines television station KCCI reports that a semitrailer carrying chocolate from Hershey, Pennsylvania, caught fire Wednesday on Interstate 80 near Dexter in west-central Iowa.
The Iowa State Patrol says the truck was headed westbound and had brake problems, eventually catching fire. The driver pulled off on the interstate onto a grassy area and was able to unhook the cab from the trailer before the trailer when up in flames.
There were no injuries, but the trailer and all of its chocolate were destroyed.
Governor Reynolds Declares Additional Counties As Disaster Areas
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation for three counties in the northwest quarter of Iowa in response to flooding and severe weather that began in mid-June.
The proclamation allows state resources to be used in Buena Vista, Cherokee and Webster counties and activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant and the Disaster Case Management programs.
The Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program provides grants of up to $5,000 for households with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level. The money can be used for such things as home and car repairs, temporary housing expenses or replacement of clothing or food.
Disaster Case Management offers case managers to work with clients to create a disaster recovery plan and provide guidance, advice and referral to obtain a service or resource.
Fugitive Living In Arizona Is Brought Back To Iowa
PHOENIX (AP) – A man who had been in an Arizona jail for three months after his arrest for escaping from an Iowa prison 37 years ago is being brought back to Iowa.
Officials say Charles Cagley was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service and expected to be brought back to Iowa within a few days.
Cagley believed he was no longer a wanted man, but was arrested in late March after authorities were notified that he was living 80 miles (132 kilometers) north of Phoenix in the town of Prescott Valley.
His wife says he fought his extradition.
Cagley went to prison in 1978 for a robbery conviction and escaped in 1981 from the Newton Correctional Facility.
He has lived in north central Arizona for more than a decade.
State Supreme Court Vacancy Generates Several Applications
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A commission will meet July 9 to evaluate 22 applications to fill a vacancy on the Iowa Supreme Court.
The nominating commission will select three finalists to replace Justice Bruce Zager, who will retire Sept. 3.
Gov. Kim Reynolds will have 30 days to make an appointment from among those finalists.
Written comments about the qualifications of applicants are being accepted through July 9. Information on the applicants is available from the Iowa Judicial Branch website .
The applicants are judges and attorneys living in Adel, Ames, Bettendorf, Cedar Rapids, Center Point, Corydon, Des Moines, Harlan, Iowa City, Lisbon, Sioux City, Tama, Waterloo and West Des Moines.
The nominating commission is comprised of eight lawyers elected by Iowa Bar Association members and eight non-lawyers appointed by the governor with Senate confirmation.
Nursing Assistant Pleas Guilty To Sexual Abuse
WEST UNION, Iowa (AP) – A nursing assistant accused of sexually abusing patients at a northeast Iowa mental health facility has pleaded guilty.
Fayette County District Court records say 44-year-old Carolyn Wiedrich, of Sumner, entered the plea Monday to sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist. She was given two to five years of probation and was ordered to register as a sex offender.
Wiedrich was one of five nursing assistants arrested earlier this year after an investigation of sexual assaults at Prairie View Residential Care Facility in Fayette. The facility provides services for adults with chronic mental illness.
Woman Dies After Being Submerged In Pond
WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) – Authorities say a woman died after being pulled unconscious from her submerged car in a pond near a vehicle dealership in central Iowa.
Police and firefighters were dispatched to the scene in Waukee around 1:50 p.m. Tuesday. The woman was sent to a hospital after being rescued from the car, but police say she didn’t survive.
Police identified her as 38-year-old Shessla Whitlow. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.
Waukee fire Capt. Tomme Tysdal says she may have suffered a medical problem before her car ran into the detention pond, which is believed to be about 8 feet deep (less than 3 meters) in the middle.