Home News Friday Afternoon News, October 26th

Friday Afternoon News, October 26th


Iowa Business Council Hosts Economic Forum At Le Mars

(Le Mars) — The Iowa Business Council, along with Wells Enterprises, hosted a forum Thursday afternoon discussing ways to encourage economic growth within the Siouxland area. Several civic, business, and educational leaders attended the conference. Georgia Van Gundy is the executive director with
the Iowa Business Council and explains the purpose for yesterday’s forum.

Prior to the panelists discussion, the Iowa Business Council presented a series of visual slides showing the business climate for Iowa. Van Gundy says the state’s low unemployment rate serves both as a blessing and as a curse.

Van Gundy discusses some of the state’s business and economic strengths and weaknesses, as identified by the Iowa Business Council.

The Iowa Business Council executive says employers are looking for among other things is an educated work force when they are searching for new locations to set up business.

The panelists during the Iowa Business Council forum included: Mike Wells, C-E-O of Well’s Enterprises, Chris McGowen, Executive Director of the Sioux City Chamber of Commerce and Siouxland Initiative, Dr. Steve Webner, Superintendent of Schools for Le Mars Community School District, and Neil
Adler, executive director with the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce and the LBIC.

Mike Wells talks about the challenges he faces when trying to recruit employees, and operate his business.

Wells says local high school and college graduates should take a look at the opportunities that are available within the immediate area, as opposed to seeking employment in larger metro areas.

One topic that was discussed at great length was finding suitable employees who are able to pass a drug test. Wells says it is a challenge for his business, just like others.




Le Mars Chamber of Commerce to Host “Trick or Treat” Event

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce is again hosting a “Trick or Treat on Main” event scheduled for this Saturday morning in the downtown region. With nearly 40 businesses participating, children should be able to
fill their bags with lots of sweet treats. Mary Reynolds with the Le Mars Chamber office says the event will begin at the Le Mars Public Library.

Hy-Vee will be located at the Le Mars Welcome Center, the old depot building. Reynolds says following the library visit, the trick and treating will begin at around 11:00 a.m. She says maps will be available for the first 200 people.

Reynolds is encouraging the youngsters to dress in costume for the Saturday Trick or Treat program.

If you have questions, you can contact the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce office at 546-4121.



Sioux City Man Accused Of Ramming Police Cars From A Chase Is Sentenced To Five Years In Prison

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) – A Sioux City man accused of ramming police cars on a chase that began in Nebraska has been sentenced to five more years in an Iowa prison.
Woodbury County court records say 43-year-old Larry Johnson II
pleaded guilty to felony eluding after prosecutors dropped an assault charge. His plea agreement says the sentence must be served after the remainder of his 15-year sentence for forgery. He was on parole when the chase occurred July 6.
The Nebraska State Patrol says a Nebraska trooper tried to stop
Johnson’s pickup truck being pursued by South Sioux City police. Officials say the truck rammed the trooper’s car before crossing into Iowa.
Officials say the truck again rammed both the trooper’s car and a
sheriff’s vehicle before becoming stuck on a median.
His Nebraska case is pending.



Hospital Suing Health Insurance Carriers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – An eastern Iowa hospital is suing the insurance companies that oversee the Iowa Medicaid program claiming they have cost the small rural hospital thousands of dollars in patient revenue by refusing to fully pay for services provided to Medicaid-covered patients.
Virginia Gay Hospital located in Vinton also alleges the appeals
process set up by Amerigroup, UnitedHealthcare and AmeriHealth Caritas was “virtually a sham.”
The lawsuit, initially filed in September in state court, was moved on Thursday to federal court because the lawsuit alleges violations of federal law.
Iowa privatized its state-run Medicaid program in April 2016. A year later the hospital says the insurers given management control of patient care violated their contracts and federal laws by keeping a portion of patient reimbursements claiming there had been overpayments.  Attorneys for AmeriHealth deny wrongdoing. The company withdrew from Iowa Medicaid in November 2017.
Amerigroup and UnitedHealthcare have not yet responded.
Medicaid cares for 680,000 poor and disabled Iowans.



Fort Dodge Man Arrested For Killing Two Brothers

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) – A 28-year-old man has been accused of killing two brothers who lived in Fort Dodge.
Police say Tanner King, of Fort Dodge, was arrested Thursday night.
Webster County court records say he’s charged with two counts of first- degree murder and one of attempted murder. The records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.
He’s accused of Monday’s fatal shooting of 37-year-old Marion and 34-year-old Eldominic Rhodes. A criminal complaint says the younger man’s body was found in an alley and his older brother’s body was found in a nearby apartment parking lot.
Police say King fired a shot at another man but missed.



New Rules For State Employees On Sexual Harassment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – New rules about sexual harassment of Iowa state government workers could make it tougher for taxpayers to learn about the cases and what the state is doing about the allegations.
Ten Iowa lawmakers voted unanimously to approve the rules Thursday amid complaints about a hurried process.
The Des Moines Register reports the new rules say sex harassment complaint records can’t be released unless a court orders such. The old rules allowed state officials some discretion on any releases.
The new rules were proposed by the Iowa Department of Administrative Services, which handles human resources issues for state government workers.
The changes come in the wake of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ firing of Iowa Finance Authorities director Dave Jamison, who was accused of sexually harassing and assaultive behavior toward female employees.