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Thursday News, October 23

State Senator Hatch Visits Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- State Senator Jack Hatch, a Democrat from Des Moines, stopped in Le Mars late Wednesday afternoon as he campaigned in northwest Iowa seeking the position of Governor.  Hatch appeared at the Plymouth County Democratic headquarters.  Hatch told supporters that if elected, he would propose raising the fuel tax by ten cents a gallon over the next five years in order to finance Iowa's deteriorating infrastructure system.  He says Iowa is in desperate need to repair our roads and bridges. 

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Hatch's message to allocate state funds for repairing roads and bridges resonated with the gathered supporters.  Nate Summerside, a bridge inspector for Plymouth County, was at the event and informed the Democratic gubernatorial candidate that Plymouth County ranks first in the state with more than 400 bridges that have a span of at least 20 feet. Summerside says the total number of bridges in Plymouth County is close to 600.  Hatch says the need to repair Iowa's roads and bridges would help the rural agricultural economy, but he says it also becomes a public safety issue.

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Hatch also discussed education and health care for rural Iowans, saying Governor Branstad has failed to implement any meaningful programs.

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The Democratic candidate spoke passionately about the short-comings of Branstad's health care plan.

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Hatch also addressed the minimum wage issue, saying to his supporters "Iowans that work 40 hours a week should not have to be listed as poverty level."  He favors a proposal by U-S Senator Tom Harkin to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour over a two year time period.

 

Flu Vaccination Clinics Postponed

(Le Mars) -- Due to the unforeseen delay shipment of the influenza vaccine, Floyd Valley Hospital has had to postpone both the flu vaccine clinic scheduled for Friday at Hinton, as well as the flu clinic originally scheduled for next Tuesday at the Rejoice Church in Le Mars.  The Hinton clinic has been rescheduled to occur on Friday, November 14th between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.  The vaccination clinic for the Rejoice Church has not yet been rescheduled.

 

Regents Consider 1.75 Percent Tuition Increase

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The governing board for Iowa's three public universities will discuss a plan that would raise tuition and fees by 1.75 percent next year.
     The Iowa Board of Regents will meet at the University of Iowa on Thursday for the second of a two-day meeting.
     Regents are expected to consider the tuition plan, but not vote on it until December.
     It would raise the cost of tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduates from Iowa to $8,220 at the University of Iowa, $7,851 at Iowa State and $7,933 at the University of Northern Iowa.
     The proposal comes after the board has frozen tuition rates for the prior two years, for the first time since the 1970s.
     The increase would cover the expected cost of inflation and generate $14.5 million in new revenues.

 

Regents Study Voluntary Payment Agreements

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Agreements by Iowa's three public universities to make voluntary payments to cities instead of property taxes would receive closer scrutiny under a policy recommended Wednesday.
     The policy backed by an Iowa Board of Regents committee comes after the University of Iowa faced criticism over a $1 million annual payment to the city of Coralville for a tax-exempt medical clinic.
     The regents agreed to the payment in 2010 as part of a plan for a $73 million University of Iowa ambulatory care clinic at Coralville's Iowa River Landing development.
     Critics have called it overly generous. A report by Iowa City suggested it was out of step with the payments that other college towns receive.
     The new policy would require universities to justify such agreements and how the payments are calculated.

 

Iowa Splits Votes Evenly Between Democrats And Republicans

 CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - The politically savvy state of Iowa prides itself on purple voting, boasting a congressional delegation evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. But this year, with a closely matched Senate race and three competitive House seats, the GOP sees an opportunity to turn the state a vibrant shade of red.
     Big bucks and big-name politicians are helping. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul was in Cedar Falls Wednesday, stumping for Republican businessman Rod Blum, who is running against longtime Democratic state lawmaker Pat Murphy in the 1st Congressional District. The seat is open because Democrat Bruce Braley is running for Senate.
     Republicans are also spending heavily in the state's 2nd and 3rd Congressional Districts. But Democrats questioned how good the GOP chances really were of securing all four House seats.

 

Two Men Charged With Baby's Death

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Two men have been charged in connection with the death of a baby boy who was run over in his child seat in a Des Moines driveway.
     Des Moines police say in a news release that 26-year-old Brian Garrett and 33-year-old Deanthony Clark have been arrested. Jail records say both remained in custody on Thursday.  Court records don't list the men's attorneys.
     Police say Garrett was the father of the 4-month-old child, Breland Garrett. Brian Garrett is charged with child endangerment. Clark's charges include operating while intoxicated and five counts of neglect of a dependent.
     Police say Breland was placed on the driveway in front of a sport utility vehicle as several children were being loaded on Aug. 30. The SUV subsequently moved forward and ran over Breland.

 

Des Moines Man Told To Stop Playing Doctor

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Health officials are telling a Des Moines man to stop telling people he's a doctor or he could face jail time.
     The Iowa Board of Medicine sent a cease and desist letter to 60-year-old Jorrion Belinsky following an incident in June where he told a West Des Moines police officer that he was a psychiatrist whose public argument with a woman was a doctor and patient interaction.
     Police reported the incident to the medical board. Their letter states Belinsky has not graduated from an accredited medical school and does not hold an Iowa medical license. The letter also says a civil injunction or felony charge is possible if he doesn't stop portraying himself as a doctor.
     A public number was not listed for Belinsky.

 


 
 
 

 

 

   

Wednesday Afternoon News, October 22

Floyd Valley Hospital Releases Audit

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital officials were given the annual audit regarding the local hospital's financial condition, as composed by Denman & Company, an auditing firm from Des Moines.  Daryl Friedenbach, the Chief Financial Officer for Floyd Valley says the auditors did not find anything unusual with the hospital's finances.

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Friedenbach says the audit did note additional assets and expenses due to the construction of the north addition expansion project.

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The Floyd Valley Hospital CFO says the audit does reflect some small trends that are developing, and may be more noticable in future years.

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Friedenbach says the hospital did improve its financial situation over last year.

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Woodbury County Supervisor To Serve 30 Days In Jail

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Woodbury County supervisor accused of shooting a gun into the air near his wife has been given 30 days in jail.
     44-year-old David Tripp received the sentence Tuesday in district court for domestic abuse assault. He was ordered to report to jail by Friday.
     Tripp, a former jailer, was accused in December of firing a gun in the air in the driveway of his home. His wife was nearby but was not hurt.
     Tripp said Tuesday he had thought about aiming the gun at himself. His attorney says his client is seeing a psychiatrist after being diagnosed with depression. He is also seeing a counselor for alcohol abuse.
     Tripp was elected as a county supervisor in 2010. His term will end in January.

 

County Attorney Says Supervisor Has Conflict Of Interest With Charitable Organization

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Woodbury County's attorney says it's a conflict of interest for the county to give public money to an agency headed by the county board chairman.
     In a legal opinion released on Tuesday, county attorney P.J. Jennings said no more payments should be made to the Sanford Community Center. However, county finance director Dennis Butler says money paid over previous years need not be paid back to the county.
     Sanford operates after-school and summer programs for at-risk youth and coordinates numerous outreach efforts. It is headed by Woodbury County Board Chairman George Boykin.
     Boykin says he will seek regulatory changes so the center can still receive money for its gang prevention program. He says that without the county's funding, he'll have to cut as many as five positions.

 

Storm Lake Man Charged For Abusing Wife

 STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) - A 54-year-old northwest Iowa man has been accused of sexually abusing his wife and of forcing her to take pills that resulted in the termination of two pregnancies.
     Records say the Storm Lake man is charged with two counts of sexual abuse; five counts of termination of pregnancy - consent by force or intimidation; and one count of domestic abuse assault. The Associated Press is not naming the man, in order to protect the woman's privacy.
    The woman told police that between October 2012 and April 2014, her husband forced her to take pills on five occasions, resulting in the loss of two fetuses. She also says he threatened her with a machete during sexual assaults. 
     Efforts to reach his attorney were unsuccessful on Wednesday.

 

State Issues Emergency Alert System

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state has launched a new emergency alert system to warn residents of tornadoes, chemical spills or other dangers.
     It's called the Alert Iowa System, a program the Legislature approved earlier this year. According to Iowa officials, the annual cost of running the program is expected to be about $300,000.
     On Tuesday, the system was used for the first time at the Iowa Homeland Security Conference with Gov. Terry Branstad sending out a practice message. A chorus of cellphones chiming was soon heard in the conference room.
     About one-third of Iowa's counties will initially be served by the notification system. All counties will be later able to access the program that provides local officials control of how and when to issue emergency and public safety notifications to residents.
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Construction Of New Casino On Schedule

  JEFFERSON, Iowa (AP) - Officials say the construction of a casino in Jefferson remains on schedule despite some unfavorable weather.
     The Wild Rose Jefferson company says construction of a casino and resort of the same name is still set to be completed by Aug. 1 of next year.
     A wind storm on Oct. 13 knocked down five concrete panels at the construction site. Replacements were poured and delivered a few days later.
     Tom Timmons, president of Wild Rose Jefferson, says enclosure of the structure should be completed before Christmas.
     The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission awarded Wild Rose Jefferson a gambling license in June. A 71-room hotel also will be built.

 

 

 

 



 

 

   

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