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Monday Afternoon News, November 17

Floyd Valley Hospital Again Honored By Press-Ganey

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital of Le Mars was recently again recognized for its excellence in health care from the pretigous Press-Ganey firm.  Hospital Administrator, Mike Donlin says the latest honor is a bit different than previous Press-Ganey awards.

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Donlin says Press-Ganey also recognizedFloyd Valley for its In-patient care.

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Donlin reports that despite the recent four inch snowfall, and the colder than normal temperatures, contruction on the new hospital expansion addition is continuing.

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Mercy Medical Breast Care Center Honored 

SIOUX CITY, IOWA:  Mercy Breast Care Center has been awarded a three-year term of accreditation in stereotactic breast biopsy as the result of a recent review by the American College of Radiology (ACR).  Mercy Breast Care Center is the only ACR accredited Breast Center of Excellence in the tri-state area.  This represents accreditation in Mammography, Ultrasound, and Stereotactic breast biopsy.

A breast biopsy is performed to remove cells — either surgically or through a less invasive procedure involving a hollow needle — from an area in the breast suspected to be cancerous. These cells are examined under a microscope to determine a diagnosis. In stereotactic breast biopsy, a special mammography machine helps guide the radiologist’s instruments to the site of an abnormal growth.

The ACR gold seal of accreditation represents the highest level of image quality and patient safety. It is awarded only to facilities meeting ACR Practice Guidelines and Technical Standards after a peer-review evaluation by board-certified physicians and medical physicists who are experts in the field.

 

Iowa National Guard May Be Deployed To West Africa To Assist With Ebola

 JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - About 80 soldiers in an Iowa Army National Guard unit may be sent to West Africa to help respond to the Ebola outbreak there.
     The Iowa National Guard said Sunday that members of the 294th Area Support Medical Company are being notified that they may be deployed next spring for six months to a year.
     The Iowa soldiers would provide medial support to the humanitarian effort to help. The deadly Ebola virus has killed more than 5,000 people since the outbreak began.
     The National Guard says the Iowa solders would only provide care to Defense Department personnel and others sent to help, but they wouldn't be treating residents of West Africa.

 

Shootings In Des Moines Suburb Shuts Down School

PLEASANT HILL, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man with a gun drove around a Des Moines suburb and randomly opened fire, injuring two people.
     Pleasant Hill police say the man was taken into custody for questioning following the Monday morning shootings. Two men have been hospitalized.
     Public Information Officer Adam Choat says the suspect has been linked to three shootings that were reported within a 12-minute span. One man was fired at but was not hurt. Choat says it appears all three men were not targeted prior to the shootings.
     Authorities say the shootings are not related to threats made on social media against a local high school. Still, the Southeast Polk Community School District canceled classes following the shootings. Superintendent Craig Menozzi says classes likely will resume Tuesday.

 

Des Moines Schools Were Locked Down Due To Area Shootings

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities in Des Moines say a middle school and a high school were briefly locked down because of a nearby shooting.
     Police say Hiatt Middle School and East High School were put on lockdown Monday morning following reports of a nearby shooting. Resource officers were dispatched to both schools to provide additional security.
     The lockdown was later lifted. No suspects have been identified in the shooting, which police believe involved a dispute between several people. No injuries have been reported.
     Authorities say there is no connection between the lockdown and shootings in nearby Pleasant Hill, which led to the cancellation of school for several area schools.

 

 

Police Departments Say Applications Need To Be Streamlined

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some Des Moines police departments are studying ways to join forces and streamline the hiring process in an effort to save money and hire a more diverse force.
     Ankeny officer Jacob Miller says he spent a year applying for job openings at law enforcement agencies until he was hired in the central Iowa city. He says he filled out more than 10 different applications and took several written exams and physical fitness tests. 
     The 24-year-old said all of the departments had the same criteria for job applicants. 
     Police chiefs in the Des Moines-metro area began meeting this fall in finding ways to cut costs and end duplication of some procedures. They hope to set up a system where candidates only have to fill out one application and undergo the written exams just once.
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Des Moines To Host NCAA Basketball Tournament

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines will host first and second-round games of the NCAA men's basketball tournament in 2016.
     The NCAA announced Monday that Iowa's capital city will be among eight sites to host early-round games next season.
     Landing such a prestigious event is a major coup for Des Moines, which has hoped to host the NCAA tournament ever since Wells Fargo Arena opened in 2005.
     The arena hosted the NCAA women's basketball tournament - which included legendary Tennessee coach Pat Summitt's last game - and the NCAA wrestling championships in 2013.
     Iowa State will serve as the tournament host, so the Cyclones can't play in Des Moines in 2016.

    

 

 

 


 

 

 

   

Monday News, November 17

Sioux City Residents To Receive Money Back From Illegal Franchise Fees

    SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa judge has approved the settlement of a class-action lawsuit in which the city of Sioux City agreed to pay nearly $6.5 million it overcharged in franchise fees to city residents and businesses.
     Judge Jeffrey Neary of Woodbury County District Court approved the deal on Friday. The lawsuit was filed in 2006 class-action by Sioux City resident Kathleen Sweisberger on behalf of all households and businesses that paid the 2 percent franchise fees for gas or electricity to MidAmerican Energy  or Woodbury County Rural Electric Cooperative from September 5th, 2001 to May 25th, 2009. Lawyers say nearly 62,000 individuals and businesses will qualify for settlement payments.
     Iowa courts have ruled that the franchise fees were illegal when first imposed.

 

DeCoster's Await Sentencing From Tainted Egg Scandal

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has scheduled a February sentencing for the father and son whose Iowa egg farms were linked to a huge 2010 salmonella outbreak.
     U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett ruled Thursday that Quality Egg owners Austin "Jack"  DeCoster and Peter DeCoster will be sentenced during hearings that begin February 9th in Sioux City and could last five days.
     The DeCosters pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce. They face up to one year in jail, but their attorney is arguing for a fine and probation.
     Quality Egg also faces a fine after pleading guilty to bribing a federal inspector, selling misbranded food and introducing adulterated food into interstate commerce.
     The outbreak sickened thousands of people nationwide and shook public confidence in the egg industry.

 

Hard Rock Casino Still Hiring Employees

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Those looking for a job at Sioux City's newest casino can count on more than Lady Luck.
     The downtown Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sioux City that opened nearly three months ago is still looking to fill 40 to 45 jobs, many of them front-line positions, including table game dealers, security officers, bartenders, servers, cooks and housekeepers.
     But some of the jobs are managerial. Hard Rock General Manager Todd Moyer says the casino is still looking for a purchasing manager, director of hotel operations and environmental services manager.
     Moyer says a tight local labor market has made recruiting more challenging. The Sioux City area unemployment rate recently stood at 4.4 percent.

 

Six Year Old Girl Seriously Injured While Sledding

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - A 6-year-old girl was critically hurt this weekend when she sledded into a street in Council Bluffs and was hit by a truck.
     The incident happened just before 1 p.m. Saturday.
     Council Bluffs Police say Kailey Maloney was sledding down the driveway of her grandfather's property. She was hit by a 2005 Chevrolet pickup truck after she slid into the street.
     Maloney was taken to the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha for treatment of life-threatening injuries.

 

Grassley Questions The Daily Cost To Feed And Clothe Illegal Immigrants

(Washington) -- President Obama has said he intends to use his executive powers to approve a plan allowing millions of undocumented immigrants, that have come to live in the United States, to be given legal status.  Many in Washington, especially Republicans, are opposed to offering what they call "amnesty" to illegal aliens.  One concern is the cost factor.  US Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews-Burwell estimates American taxpayers are paying between $250 and $1000 per child every day to house, feed and clothe children of undocumented immigrants.  During his weekly news conference, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says, if the estimates are accurate, he is astonished, and questions why it's so expensive. 

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Iowa 4th District Republican Congressman Steve King says President Obama will provoke a "constitutional crisis" if he follows through with an executive order that would shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation.

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Farm Bill Meetings Scheduled For Northwest Iowa

(Le Mars) -- Beginning today, and continuing through the month of December, the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach along with the U-S-D-A Farm Services Agency will host a series of meetings discussing the provisions of the new Farm Bill.  There will be a meeting for each county.  Melissa O'Rourke, is the farm management specialist with Iowa State University Extension.  She says this farm bill is a departure from previous farm program legislation.

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The Farm Management Specialist says farmers will have to know the new programs, since the decision they make will be for the next five years. She says farmers and landowners need to decide  whether they want to protect themselves from yield losses, or price loss.

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On the other hand, as O'Rourke explains, if farmers are more concerned about the revenue losses, they may want to sign up for PLC or Price Loss Coverage program.

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As mentioned, those farm bill meetings begin today at Cherokee and Primghar.  The Cherokee location will be at the Western Iowa Technical Community College starting at 9:00 a.m. and the Primghar meeting will start at 1:30 p.m. at the Primghar Community Center.  The Le Mars meeting is scheduled for December 3rd at the Le Mars Convention Center starting at 9:00 a.m.  For specific dates, locations, and times, contact your local Iowa State University Extension and Outreach office.

 

Farm Credit Official Says Land Values Still Holding Strong

(Kansas City) -- While land prices in many parts of the Midwest have come down from their record highs, there are no indications they’re going to collapse.  Doug Stark, president and CEO of Omaha-based Farm Credit Services of America, says there’s still a lot of strength under farmland overall.
 
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But Stark says if the profitability in farming remains low—and interest rates start to rise—it’s likely to have a dampening effect on land prices going forward.
Farm Credit Services of America serves farmers in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming.

 

Officials Worry About Available Water Supplies

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State officials may impose new limits on groundwater use to protect the underground aquifer that supplies drinking water to a half-million Iowans.
     Environmental leaders are concerned about the future of the Jordan aquifer that sits beneath most of Iowa because water use continues to grow.
     The Iowa Environmental Protection Commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss requiring additional conservation measures and possibly force some water users to seek other sources of water.
     Marion Water Department manager Todd Steigerwaldt says the lower the aquifer sinks, the worse the water quality will be.
     Since the 1970s, use of water in the aquifer has increased 72 percent to nearly 26 billion gallons last year. The growing ethanol industry has contributed significantly to the increase.
 
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