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Friday News, May 15

Bird Flu Strikes Plymouth County Poultry Operation

(Des Moines) -- The bird flu has now struck Plymouth County.  Iowa Department of Agriculture officials have confirmed the avian flu virus H5N3 has been detected in a pullet operation. The pullet farm has experienced increased mortality.  An estimate on the number of birds at the site is still pending.  Sioux County is also reporting another case of the bird flu at a pullet operation.  With the two new cases, that brings the total number of 52 cases for the state of Iowa.  Agriculture officials have quarantined the premises.  The Center of Disease Control says there is no risk to humans.  No human infections with the virus have ever been detected, and there is no food safety risk for consumers.

 

 

Gehlen Catholic Awards 40 Scholarships To 25 Seniors

(Le Mars) -- 25 seniors from Gehlen Catholic High School received scholarships during the awards program held Thursday morning. The school awarded 40 different scholarships that totaled $27,750.

 

 

 

Gehlen Announces 5 Valedictorians And 2 Salutatorians

(Le Mars) -- Commencement activities have been finalized for the Class of 2015, the 138th graduating class of Gehlen Catholic School. The week will conclude with Commencement exercises on Sunday, May 17, at 12:30 p.m. in the LeRoy Kellen Memorial Gym.  Commencement will be broadcast on KLEM. Due to the high academic caliber of this year’s graduating class, as determined by their Grade Point Average (GPA), Gehlen Catholic has five (5) Valedictorians and two (2) Salutatorians.  They are:

Valedictorians:

o Michaela Bretey, daughter of Dr. Keith and Mrs. Teri Bretey of Le Mars;

o . Aaron Britt, son of Mr. David Britt and Mrs. Tamie Britt, both of Le Mars;

o Nathan Klein, son of Mr. James and Mrs. Mary Klein of Le Mars;

o David Puhl, son of Mr. Nick and Mrs. Deb Puhl of Le Mars; and

o Ryan Stoll, son of Mr. Dan and Mrs. Betsy Stoll of Granville.

Salutatorians:

o Matthew Holzman, son of Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Mary Holzman of Alton, and

o Ashley Weber, daughter of Mr. Jeff and Mrs. Tracy Weber of LeMars.

This year’s Commencement Speaker is former Gehlen Catholic Coach, Mr. Erv Whitehead of LeMars.

 

 

 

 

New Sioux City Pork Processing Plant Will Employ 1100 People

(Sioux City) -- Over 1100 new jobs will soon be coming to Sioux City.

Triumph Foods and Seaboard Foods will construct a nearly 250 acre state-of-the-art pork processing facility in the Bridgeport West Industrial Park area north of Sioux Gateway Airport.

The $264 million project will create 1,110 new jobs and will initially operate a single shift processing approximately 3 million hogs annually.

Seaboard Foods President & C-E-O Terry Holton is originally from Cherokee, Iowa and lived in South Sioux City for 13 years while working at the IBP beef plant in nearby Dakota City, Nebraska.

Holton says the chance to build a plant in his home area was a key point in Sioux City's landing the project:

 

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The plant will produce a full line of fresh pork products for international, retail, food service, and further processing markets.

Triumph Foods C-E-O Mark Campbell says the facility will be similar to their St. Joseph , Missouri plant, with an environmentally friendly design including modern odor abatement:

 

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City manager Bob Padmore says the plant will add to the property tax base and also have a ripple effect of the city economy:

 

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The City Council will vote on a development agreement with Triumph Foods and Seaboard Foods at Monday's City Council meeting.

That includes the property sale, various tax incentives, and approval of an application for state program benefits.

Upon Council approval of support, the Iowa Economic Development Authority Board will consider a business assistance package at their May 22 board meeting.

Construction of the new facility is projected to begin this fall with completion anticipated by summer 2017.

 

 

 

Des Moines Wants To Keep Using Traffic Cameras

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines officials intend to keep operating its traffic cameras along Interstate 235 while the city goes to court, challenging a state ruling that the cameras must be turned off.

Deputy city attorney Carol Moser says that the cameras "are in our jurisdiction, and we enforce traffic violations in that area."

The Iowa Transportation Department recently rejected requests from Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Muscatine and Council Bluffs to keep operating their camera systems.

Council Bluffs Mayor Matt Walsh said his city likely won't challenge the state directive. Officials in Cedar Rapids haven't decided on whether to appeal, and Muscatine Mayor DeWayne Hopkins has said the city is considering its options.

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Thursday Afternoon News, May 14

Floyd Valley Hospital Auxiliary Donates $1000 To Hospital Education Department

(Le Mars) -- The Floyd Valley Hospital Auxiliary has donated $1,000 to the Floyd Valley Hospital Education Department to be used for hospital staff training. Floyd Valley Hospital Education Coordinator, Marlys Van Otterloo, explains.

 

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Van Otterloo talks about some of the items that have been purchased in past years, and how it has benefitted Floyd Valley Hospital and its staff.

 

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Le Mars Community And Gehlen Catholic Seniors Awarded Scholarships

(Le Mars) -- Last evening, the Le Mars Community School Foundation awarded 110 scholarships to 65 students.  The total amount awarded was $60,900.  90 students had applied for the scholarships, with 65 receiving at least one scholarship. Earlier this morning, Gehlen Catholic High School had their awards program.

 

 

Body Found In Sioux City Marina Now Identified

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police have identified the dead man's body found in the marina on Wednesday.  An autopsy was performed by the Woodbury County Medical Examiner's department.  The man is identified as Christopher J. Maciel. Pathologists have ruled out any indications of foul play as being a part of Maciel's death.

 

 

 

Orange City Tulip Festival Celebrates 75 Years

(Orange City) -- Its tulip time again in Orange City as the Sioux County town celebrates 75 years of its Dutch heritage.  The annual Tulip Festival begins today and continues through Saturday. Juliana Pennings serves as the Tulip Festival Coordinator and she says the community is excited to celebrate the milestone.

 

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Pennings says many of the Orange City residents will be dressed in the authentic traditional costumes and outfits, including wearing the famous wooden shoes.  She says the different styled and colorful costumes reflect which territory of the Netherlands the family originated from.

 

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Speaking of those wooden shoes, that is one of the major attractions during the festival.  Visitors have the opportunity to see how a wooden block is shaped and carved into a shoe.  Pennings says this year the festival has created a new place to view the carving of the wooden shoes.

 

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Pennings says one of the highlights to the annual festival are the twice daily parades.

 

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The Tulip Festival coordinator says the festival actually started as a flower show for Orange City, then evolved to how we now know it.   Since the festival is based on tulips, the Dutch national flower, will visitors have the opportunity to see the popular flower in full bloom?

 

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State Report Shows More Water Is Polluted

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A new state report says the number of lakes, rivers and streams in Iowa impaired due to some level of pollution has climbed 15 percent in two years, prompting environmental groups to say Iowa's voluntary farm nutrient reduction strategy isn't working.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says 725 impaired water bodies will be included in a report it must submit to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The 2014 number is up from 630 reported in 2012.

Bacteria and fish kills, largely from manure spills or waste storage leaks from large hog or cattle operations, are the leading river problems.

Gov. Terry Branstad says he's budgeted $57 million over two years for water quality programs.

 

 

 

New Pork Processing Facility To Locate In Sioux City

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Two pork processing companies have announced their plans to build a $264 million plant in Sioux City that is set to hire up to 1,100 people.

Officials with Triumph Foods and Seaboard Foods said Thursday that construction of the pork processing plant is slated to begin in late fall north of Sioux Gateway Airport, with an anticipated mid-2017 opening.

The project would be among the largest private investments in Sioux City history.

Triumph Foods has only one other processing plant in St. Joseph, Missouri, where millions of hogs are slaughtered and processed each year. The meat produced is then marketed by Seaboard Foods.

The new Sioux City plant will be built on a 250-acre site in the Bridgeport industrial area.

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