Home News Tuesday News, April 16th

Tuesday News, April 16th


Wells Enterprises Acquires Fieldbrook Foods

(Le Mars) — Wells Enterprises, Incorporated has acquired Fieldbrook Foods headquartered in Dunkirk, New York from Arbor Investments effective April 15, 2019.  This purchase expands Wells’ current manufacturing capacity, diversifies its ability to support customers geographically to help meet future demand and adds an important footprint on the East Coast.

Mike Wells, CEO and president of Wells Enterprises says, “The combination creates a stronger platform for growth and positions us to better serve our customers, as well as providing a more geographically diverse footprint for us.”  Wells continued, “We’re excited for the future and growing our business together.”

Wells and Fieldbrook have highly complementary businesses.  Wells is the #3 ice cream manufacturer in the U-S with a strong house of brands including signature brand, Blue Bunny, along with private label and co-pack business.  Fieldbrook is a strong private label/contract manufacturer located in the Northeast.  Fieldbrook operates two manufacturing facilities, one in Dunkirk, another in Lakewood, New Jersey.  Together, Wells and Fieldbrook will employ over 3,800 people and produce close to 200 million gallons of ice cream.

“We have confidence in the local Fieldbrook team, and are excited to have them join Wells.  We’re focused on our shared commitment of quality, service and food safety and look forward to continuing to fulfill Wells’ purpose of bringing joy to everyday life because of the love of ice cream,” said Mike Wells.



County Supervisors To Take Off This Week

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will not meet today. They will take up business next week.



City Council To Decide On Water Engineering Services Agreement

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars city council is scheduled to convene at the city council chambers at noon. Mike Donlin, the president of the Le Mars Area Betterment Foundation is scheduled to appear before the city council to offer an update regarding the Betterment Foundation. The council is prepared to
discuss the water rate ordinance and sewer rate ordinance, along with a propose increase with the Landfill rates. The city council will discuss whether the city will enter into an engineering agreement with McClure Engineering for the city’s water system engineering services.



Fire Destroys Building At Sloan

(Sloan) — Woodbury County Deputies and Sloan Fire and Rescue, were dispatched to a structure fire at 219 Beall Street in Sloan, Iowa. The fire was reported on Monday at about 10:12 a.m. As a result of the size of the fire, fire and rescue units from Salix, Whiting, Hornick, Sgt. Bluff, and Woodbury County Emergency Services assisted.
One subject was transported by ambulance to Mercy Medical Center with undisclosed injuries.
The fire is under investigation by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office and the Sloan Fire Department. The structure appears to be a total loss.



Governor Reynolds Sets Up Flood Advisory Board

(Des Moines) — Governor Kim Reynolds is creating a new state board to oversee the response to last month’s catastrophic flooding.

Reynolds issued an executive order this (Monday) morning, establishing a 15-member Flood Recovery Advisory Board. She’ll be the board’s chairwoman.

The governor also is asking legislators to set aside 25-million dollars in state funds for flood recovery. The first 15 million would be used for flood mitigation, including help in making levee repairs.

House Speaker Linda Upmeyer, a Republican from Clear Lake, says responding to the housing need in flooded areas is a priority.

Senate Republican Leader Jack Whitver of Ankeny says there’s room in the budget for this extra spending.

The governor says she’s asked federal officials if there are ways the state can line up contractors or take other steps that would speed up the process of buying out flood-ravaged properties. FEMA’s website indicates it’s a lengthy process that can take a year to 18 months. Reynolds says she’s asked FEMA to set up a “mini processing center” in Council Bluffs where flood victims may find out what disaster assistance may be available.



Grassley Says He Is Disappointed With Senate Democrats For Failing To Pass Flood Relief Assistance

(Washington) — Congress is now in recess and lawmakers are back home for the Easter Holiday. U-S Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa told reporters during his weekly news conference on Monday, he is deeply disappointed with
the Democratic Senators that twice voted down the bill that would have provided disaster relief assistance to flood victims living in southwest Iowa, eastern Nebraska, and northwest Missouri. Grassley explains what is the next step in order to provide assistance to those flood victims.

Grassley was also asked about the shake-up within the Trump administration with the Homeland Security Department, and with all the other cabinet or high-level leadership posts that have been fired, or have otherwise walked away from their positions.

Grassley says he will utilize the time back home in Iowa to conduct a series of town hall meetings across the state.

The Iowa Senator says he will conduct 20 different town hall meetings within the next two weeks.



State Senate Passes Industrial Hemp Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The Iowa Senate has sent a bill legalizing the growing of industrial hemp to the House for consideration.
The Iowa Hemp Act passed the Senate Monday 49-1.
Sen. Kevin Kinney, a farmer from Oxford says he hopes to make hemp a third leading commodity in Iowa in addition to corn and soybeans.
The bill allows licensed growers to cultivate the crop on up to 40
Industrial hemp can be used in food, fiber, paper and other products and Kinney says it’s been estimated it could grow to be a $1.9 billion market by 2022.
The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 38 states considered legislation last year after the federal government eased restrictions in the Farm Bill on commercial production.
Nebraska lawmakers gave a bill its first-round approval Monday but it must pass twice more before it goes to the governor.



Union Official Pleads Guilty To Mail Fraud

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – A Des Moines union official has pleaded guilty to mail fraud and embezzlement from his union.
Prosecutors said in a news release that 54-year-old Theodore Watson entered the pleas Monday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines. His sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 23.
He was employed as business manager for Local 74 of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers.
Prosecutors say Watson defrauded United Way of Central Iowa by sending fraudulent requests for grant funds to train adults. In one instance, he received a $19,000 check from United Way that he used for himself.
Prosecutors also say Watson took cash advances and made unauthorized purchases on a union credit card and then submitted altered credit card statements and false monthly reports to the union.