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Friday Afternoon News, Jan 11

Floyd Valley Hospital Seeks Opinions of Public

(Le Mars) -- In the near future, representatives of the Floyd Valley Hospital will hold a series of meetings in which hospital officials will invite various people from the community to an informative seminar asking residents questions about the hospital and the possible expansion of the facilities.  Mike Donlin, Floyd Valley Hospital administrator says the meetings will take place in January and February and will be helpful in determining the level of support from Plymouth County residents before any final decision is made to start a capital fundraising campaign.
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Donlin says the feasibility studies will confirm whether or not the people support the expansion of the hospital's facilities and services, but he does say initial conversations have been positive.  Although, he admits, many people have questions.  The hospital official is hoping the U-S Department of Agriculture's Rural Development will support the plan and offer a guaranteed loan to help with the financing of the potential project.

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Donlin says during the feasibility study meetings, the hospital will not be asking for financial pledges and commitments, only to gather information and feedback.  But he anticipates sometime in the spring, should the study indicate positive reaction, is when the hospital will begin its capital campaign.  He says the hospital staff and the board of trustees believe this is the perfect time, and the perfect size of project, to position Floyd Valley hospital to provide health care in the future.

 

Sioux City Man Given 10 years In Prison

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 24-year-old man has been given 10 years in prison on charges stemming from a drive-by shooting in Sioux City.
Patrick Craft, of Sioux City, was sentenced on Thursday. He'd pleaded guilty last month to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a domestic abuser.
Authorities say Craft was a passenger in a vehicle driven by 20-year-old Melvin Spencer on Sept. 16 when Spencer drove by a house and fired a handgun at it. Three people were outside. Two
children and an adult were inside.
Authorities say Craft fired at the house after Spencer turned around and drove past the house again.
No injuries were reported.
Spencer, also of Sioux City, has been given seven years in prison.
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35 Female Lawmakers Ready For General Session To Begin

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The 35 women who will serve in the Iowa Legislature this year ties the state record for most female legislators.
The 25 women elected to the Iowa House and the 10 women elected to the Iowa Senate ties
a record set in the 2009 session.
Two women also will hold top legislative leadership roles. Republican Rep. Linda Upmeyer of Garner will serve as House majority leader and Democrat Sen. Pam Jochum of Dubuque will be
Iowa Senate President.
Political experts say a record number of female candidates ran for office in Iowa this year. And they received a boost from a post-redistricting election that meant more open seats.
Iowa mirrors national trends. More than 1,700 female legislators will serve across the country this year.
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EPA Tells Iowa To Strengthen Rules On Run-off Pollution

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Federal regulators have told Iowa that the state's plan to stem runoff pollution lacks an adequate system to measure results.
The Environmental Protection Agency told state officials that they shouldn't have any doubts about setting numeric standards for nitrogen and phosphorous, which are key fertilizer components.
Under the Iowa plan released in November, wastewater treatment and industrial plants would be asked to make costly upgrades to cut pollution while farmers would do so voluntarily in an effort to
reduce harmful nutrients in Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico.
In 2008 the EPA ordered Iowa and 11 other states along the Mississippi River to develop strategies to prevent nitrates and phosphorous from reaching the gulf, which experiences a seasonal
dead zone.
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Sediment Increases In Iowa Lakes

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A new study says sediment buildup in Iowa's natural lakes has accelerated despite soil conservation efforts.
The  Iowa State University study authors say the buildup could damage wildlife habitat and contribute to other environmental problems.
In the study, core samples from 32 natural lakes were taken to track sediment deposits over the past 150 years.
ISU professor John Downing says the study showed that in 1900 it took more than 23 years for an inch of sediment to settle at the bottom of a lake. He says it takes only four years for that to
occur now.

Bird Conservation Area Created

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is proposing to establish a bird conservation area in a wildlife management area along the Chariton River in southern Iowa near
Moulton.
Bird conservation areas are at least 10,000 acres and include permanently protected bird habitat.
The proposed location is part of the Sedan Bottoms Wildlife Management Area, a 5,500-acre region of grassland, woodland and wetlands home to at least 113 nesting bird species.
DNR Wildlife Biologist Bruce Ehresman says many are declining in population at an alarming rate. They include the red-shouldered hawk, wood thrush, red-headed woodpecker, northern mockingbird, the northern bobwhite and bobolink.
The DNR plans a public meeting Jan. 24 at the Rathbun Lake Fish Hatchery to discuss the plans.
If approved, it would be Iowa's 18th bird conservation area.

 


 

   

Friday News, January 11

Plymouth County Supervisors Making Progress On Budget

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have been working on the budget for the next fiscal year.  Unlike some neighboring counties that are dealing with financial shortfalls, Plymouth County is in an envious position.  Supervisor chairman Jim Henrich explains.
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Henrich says the county has been able to build its cash reserves to the point that the county could meet its expenditures for at least three months. Henrich says he anticipates the cash reserve may be able to grow even more this year.  Henrich says the requests that came before the Supervisors have been on target.

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The Supervisor chairman says the big unknown is with the mental health services.  Mental health accounts for a major portion of a county's expenses, and the county is still waiting on the state to learn how much funding will be allocated and appropriated to the counties.


Anderson and Soderberg Host Legislative Forums

(Le Mars) -- State Senator Bill Anderson and State Representative Chuck Soderberg will hold a series of legislative forums scheduled for Saturday.  The lawmakers want to hear from the public their views on the key issues about to face the legislators as they begin a new session on Monday.  The times and locations are at 8:30 a.m. at the Plymouth County Energy headquarters at Merrill, 10:00 a.m. the lawmakers will hold a forum at the Habitue Coffeehouse and Creperie at Le Mars and the last forum is scheduled to begin at 12:00 noon at the Akron Public Library.  Anderson says the forums serve as an important tool.
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Registration for Living Healthy Iowa 10-Week Challenge Is Easy

(Le Mars) -- Efforts to get Plymouth County in a healthy state of wellness are continuing.  A ten-week wellness challenge starts on January 28th and organizers are wanting everyone in Plymouth county to consider participating in the wellness challenge.  Carol Schneider of the Plymouth county Extension Service says registration is quite simple.
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Iowa State University Extension and Outreach of Plymouth County, Floyd Valley Hospital, and the Le Mars YMCA are the local organizations spearheading the local efforts.  Schneider says when you register on-line, be sure to use the Plymouth County code.
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Schneider says once you have registered under the Plymouth County code, you are then ready to submit your team name and members names.

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Once you have registered, Schneider says one of the benefits is a magazine subscription for an entire year.  She says the magazines offered are popular magazines often found on magazine racks.  For additional information regarding the Living Healthy Iowa ten-week challenge, you can contact Floyd Valley Hospital, the Le Mars YMCA, or the Plymouth County Extension services.


New Farm Organization Created To Educate Producers and Consumers On Animal Care

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A group of farmers and industry leaders has announced a coalition aimed at providing Iowa residents with more information on farm animal care.
The Iowa Farm Animal Care Coalition announced its launch Thursday. It says it's designed to help farmers and consumers know more about the latest science-based animal care standards.
An independent team of experts also will offer voluntary on-site evaluations.
IFAC includes farmers from the Iowa Farm Bureau and the Iowa Pork Producers Association. It also includes Iowa State University colleges of Veterinary Medicine and Agriculture and Life Sciences,
as well as the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

 

Website Addresses Child Abuse

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new Iowa website offers advice on how people can prevent or report sexual or other abuse or neglect of children.
The site was launched by a private group, Prevent Child Abuse Iowa.
The site includes advice and provides links to groups with counselors. The site also has advice for community groups in preventing abuse of children involved with the groups.
The group's website address is http://www.pcaiowa.org/.
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Des Moines Schools Decide NOT To Hold Classes On MLK Day

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - School officials in Des Moines have reversed a decision to hold classes on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The Des Moines school district unanimously voted Thursday to cancel its plans to hold classes on Jan. 21. Officials had previously announced that students would attend classes on the
holiday to make up a snow day.
A local NAACP youth group criticized the district's move and collected hundreds of signatures for a petition against the decision.
Another snow day was scheduled for Presidents Day in February.
The district now plans to make up the snow days in June.
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Former Obama Campaign Manager Announces He Will Run For Secretary of State

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Democrat who is the former director of President Barack Obama's Iowa campaign has announced his candidacy for Iowa secretary of state.
Brad Anderson made the announcement Thursday during a press conference at the Capitol. If Anderson wins the Democratic nomination, he could challenge Republican Secretary of State Matt
Schultz.
Schultz declined to comment, saying he hasn't decided whether he will seek re-election in 2014.
Anderson says he disagrees with Schultz's strong support for voter identification. He labeled Schultz's efforts to track down voter fraud "fruitless investigations" that waste money and
intimidate Iowans from voting.
Anderson says he would tackle voter fraud by installing an electronic voter eligibility check-in system at the polls.
Anderson has garnered support from Democrats like former Iowa governors Tom Vilsack and Chet Culver.

 

 

   

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