Home News Wednesday News, November 13th

Wednesday News, November 13th


Dean Foods Declares Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

(Undated) — Dean Foods, America’s largest milk processor has filed for bankruptcy. Part of the problem, according to industry officials, are fewer people are consuming cow’s milk, and instead are turning to plant based alternatives, such as soy milk, almond milk, and rice milk. According to CNN Business, Dean Foods lost seven percent of sales in the first half year of 2019, and profits fell by 14 percent. Dean Foods stock has lost 80 percent this year. The company has more than 30 different brands nationwide, including those familiar to this area: DairyPure, Land O’Lakes, TruMoo and Meadow Gold. The company has not been able to fund all of its retired employees pensions, and on Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in order to keep the company operating.
Dean Foods also announced that it is engaged in advanced discussions with Dairy Farmers of America,
Inc. (“DFA”) regarding a potential sale of substantially all assets of the Company. If the parties ultimately reach agreement on the terms of a sale, such transaction would be subject to regulatory approval andwould be subject to higher or otherwise better offers in the bankruptcy.
Dean Foods is operating in the ordinary course of business and remains focused on providing its customers with wholesome, great-tasting dairy products and the highest levels of quality, service and value. The Company has received a commitment of approximately $850 million in debtor-in-possession (“DIP”) financing from certain of its existing lenders, led by
Rabobank. Following court approval, the Company expects to use the DIP financing, together with cash on hand and operating cash flows, to support its continued operation throughout this process, including payment of employee wages and benefits without interruption and payment to suppliers and vendors in full under normal terms for goods and services provided on or
after the filing date.”

KLEM news reached out to Dean Foods to inquire about the Le Mars processing plant. Anne Divjak, the Vice President of Government Relations and External Communications responded in an email message saying, “It remains business as usual for us. We are continuing to provide customers with an uninterrupted supply of high quality dairy products and are relying on our dedicated employees and valued milk suppliers to help us do this. Any future decisions regarding our plants, including the one in Le Mars, will be based, on market conditions and the needs of the business.”



Plymouth County Supervisors To Hold Meeting Today

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will meet this morning at the Plymouth County Courthouse Board Room. The county governing board will initially canvass the 2019 city and school election results. The supervisors will hear from Kelly Beitelspacher seeking approval of JBD Pork Addition in Johnson township. Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo is scheduled to appear before the county supervisors to offer a jail update. Tom Rohe, the county engineer, will also appear before county supervisors. The meeting was moved to today, Wednesday, due to the courthouse was closed on Monday for Veterans Day.



Floyd Valley Healthcare Auxiliary To Hold Book Sale

(Le Mars) — Floyd Valley Healthcare Auxillary will be holding a book sale this morning at the Conference Room. Amy Harnack, the hospital’s Foundation Manager says the hospital auxillary conducts a fundraiser both in the spring and in the fall. She tells of the book sale fundraiser.

Harnack says in addition to books, and educational games, people may find various types of occasion and gift cards. The book sale will continue until 4:00 p.m. today. Last weekend was Floyd Valley’s main fundraiser event, “An Evening in Tuscany.” Tickets were sold out for the event. Harnack reviews
the event.

More than $50,000 was raised during the event, and Harnack says sponsors helped with the evening’s expenses. She explains the raised money will go to purchase needed medical equipment.



Fuel Association Official Explains Propane Shortage Issue

(Le Mars) — The cold temperatures of these past few days makes us appreciate the heat from our furnaces, and suppliers of propane fuel have been scrambling within the last few weeks, trying to make certain everyone has propane. A short-term shortage of propane fuel has erupted due to the high demand for the fuel. Homes and businesses are needing propane fuel to
help heat their buildings. Meanwhile, country grain elevators and farmers are needing propane in order to dry their grain. Officials say there isn’t a real shortage, but rather a logistic problem. John Mayne is the Regulatory Affairs Manager with Fuel Iowa. He offers an explanation to the current situation.

Maynes says there is plenty of propane fuel available to last well into the future. However, it has been a logistic problem facing the industry.

The Fuel Iowa official says the situation is starting to affect other
states, and not limited to just Iowa. He says how long the situation lingers may depend upon when harvest can be finished.

Maynes says fuel suppliers have needed to short-fill their customers propane requests, in order to make certain everyone has propane.

Maynes says fuel suppliers are working hard at obtaining sufficient amounts of propane to meet all the demands. He says state officials have helped by extending the length of time drivers can be logged on driving the product.



One Person Injured From Mobile Home Fire

GILMAN, Iowa (AP) – Authorities in central Iowa say at least one person was injured in a mobile home fire.
Firetrucks were sent to the home in Gilman around 3 p.m. Tuesday. Fire Chief Randy Mommer told station KCCI that the injured person was being treated and likely would be sent to an Iowa City hospital.
The fire cause is being investigated.



Lawyers Want Evidence To Be Thrown Out In Mollie Tibbitts Case

MONTEZUMA, Iowa (AP) – Lawyers for the man charged with killing University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts are asking a judge to throw out evidence discovered during a faulty interrogation, including the victim’s body.
A court hearing is scheduled Wednesday to consider the matter.
Tibbetts disappeared in July 2018 while out for a run in Brooklyn,
Farm worker Cristhian Bahena Rivera allegedly implicated himself in her death during a lengthy interrogation one month later. The 25-year-old eventually led detectives to her body in a cornfield.
A prosecutor has acknowledged that officers mistakenly failed to
read Rivera all of his legal rights during that interrogation.
Rivera’s lawyers argue that means his statements and evidence
related to the body must be suppressed. But prosecutors say the body would have inevitably been discovered.
Rivera is scheduled to stand trial for first-degree murder in



Unity Point and Sanford Hospitals Break Off Merger Talks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Iowa’s UnityPoint Health and South Dakota-based Sanford Health have abruptly halted plans to merge.
The Des Moines Register reported the development Tuesday, saying Sanford CEO Kelby Krabbenhoft confirmed the news. UnityPoint officials declined to immediately comment.
No reason for the decision was given, but Krabbenhoft said in a
statement that those who worked on the merger “are disappointed that the UnityPoint Health board failed to embrace the vision.”
In June, the two regional health care systems announced they would be combining to create one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, with more than $11 billion in operating revenue.
The merged organization would have employed more than 83,000 staff and 2,600 physicians.
UnityPoint operates 32 hospitals and has relationships with 280
physician clinics throughout Iowa, western Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
Sanford Heath’s organization includes 44 hospitals, 1,400 physicians and more than 200 Good Samaritan Society senior care locations in 26 states and nine countries.



World War II Iowa Marine Remains To Return Home

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – The remains of a Marine from Iowa will soon return to his home state 76 years after his death in World War II.
The Defense Department used DNA from a niece to identify the remains of 18-year-old Pvt. Channing Whitaker, of Granger, Iowa. Whitaker died on Nov. 22, 1943 during the Battle of Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands in the South Pacific.
Whitaker’s niece Marla Brubaker tells KCCI it is a miracle that her
DNA was able to identify Whitaker’s remains.
Archeologists have been working since 2009 to dig up and identify the remains of soldiers who were buried in a previously undiscovered burial trench on the Gilbert Islands.
Whitaker’s family will hold a funeral with full military honors in
Des Moines on Nov. 22.