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Friday Afternoon News, May 15

Bird Flu Strikes Plymouth County

(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 chicken operation.  Dustin Vande Hoef is a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

 

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The pullet farm has experienced increased mortality, and Vande Hoef says the farm will be quarantined, and the birds will be euthanized.   An estimate on the number of birds at the site is still pending. Vande Hoef says officials believe the bird flu virus will greatly slow down, or go away all together, once the weather warms up.

 

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Most of the reported bird flu cases have been from larger commercial size operations,  But, Vande Hoef says the bird flu is also affecting smaller-sized backyard poultry operations.

 

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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.

 

 

 

State Fair Undecided Whether To Cancel Poultry Show

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - While several state fairs around the country are calling off poultry shows because of the Midwest bird flu outbreak, the Iowa State Fair is taking a wait-and-see approach.

Spokeswoman Mindy Williamson says officials are monitoring the bird flu outbreak and coordinating plans with the state veterinarian and other agriculture officials.

She says poultry show entries are not due until July 1 giving fair officials time to monitor the situation and make a decision.

Scientists say warmer weather and an end to wild waterfowl migration is likely to stop the virus spread.

Bird flu has affected more than 33 million birds in 15 states hitting Minnesota and Iowa turkey and chicken flocks hardest.

Minnesota, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia are among states to have canceled poultry shows at state fairs.

 

 

 

Area Schools Prepare For Graduation Ceremonies

(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 12:30pm, in the LeRoy Kellen Memorial Gym.

There will be 51 seniors that will graduate from Gehlen Catholic High School.

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 include:

 

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 Le Mars.

 

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

 

 

 

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Community High School will hold its Commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 17th at 3:00 p.m. from the new High School gymnasium.  This year, 167 seniors will receive their diplomas. Valedictorian speakers include: David Barker, Brett Marek, Ellen Meis, Peter Meis, Allison Perera, and Dayton Rand. Both Gehlen and Le Mars Community graduations will be broadcast on KLEM radio.

 

 

(Remsen) -- At Remsen, graduation ceremonies for Remsen-Union begin at 1:00 p.m. with 27 seniors, and across town at Remsen St. Mary's, their commencement ceremony is scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. at the Vern, Dan, Joy Bunkers Memorial Gym.  Remsen St. Mary's will have 24 graduating seniors. Guidance counselor Eric Huechen will serve as the speaker.

 

 

 

Siouix City Man Given Probation For Car Theft

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - An 18-year-old has been given four years of probation and two suspended prison terms for car theft and setting a fire inside a vacant Sioux City apartment building last fall.

Dominique Whitebeaver was sentenced on Thursday in Woodbury County District Court. She'd pleaded guilty to arson and theft charges.

Court documents say Whitebeaver and another juvenile set fire to the building on Oct. 28. Firefighters also responded to a December blaze at the building. The building was demolished in March.

 

 

 

Des Moines Police Investigating Found Dead Body

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police are investigating the discovery of a body found in a home thought long abandoned.

A report filed Thursday says three people with the Neighborhood Finance Corporation went to the house on 37th Street after the organization had gained ownership. Taxes had not been paid and the owner wasn't seen for more than a year.

They found a body in extreme decomposition on a couch. Officers say the home appeared to be a hoarder house with stacks and piles of trash and boxes.

No foul play is suspected and an autopsy is planned.

The home was owned by Paul Jennett, who neighbors say never left the house and hadn't been seen in more than a year. Police say the most recent papers found were 3 years old.

 

 

 

 



 

   

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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