Tuesday News, August 18
Jindahl To Campaign In Le Mars
(Le Mars) -- Louisiana Governor and presidential hopeful Bobby Jindahl is scheduled to make a campaign stop in Le Mars today. The republican will be at the Four Brothers restaurant between 12:00 noon and 1:30 p.m.
City Council To Hold Public Hearing On Ethanol Storage Facility
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to convene at the City Hall Council Chambers beginning at noon. The city council will hold a public hearing regarding the urban revenue tax increment revenue bond. The hearing will hear public comment on the proposal to take action on not to exceed $2,500,000 taxable urban renewal tax increment bond for funding a project in the Le Mars Highway 75 By-pass urban renewal area consisting of providing an economic development loan to the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation in connection with the construction and development of ethanol storage and loading facilities and related rail improvements in the urban renewal area. In action items, the council will discuss the energy audit recommendations for the public library. The city council will also consider a request from Wells Enterprises. Wells is proposing expansion of its business operations and creation of additional jobs. Wells is pursuing financial assistance for a portion of the costs of this project, and as such, is requesting approval from the city to submit applications to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for funding through the High Quality Jobs Program. The council will also discuss whether a new housing assessment study should be conducted.
Supervisors To Consider Renewing Leases With Pride Group
(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hear from Anne Rust this morning during their weekly meeting. Rust, is with Pride Group, Incorporated, and the county governing board will consider renewing commercial leases.
Former Water Officials Tampered With Samples
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials say two former Sioux City employees tampered with samples at the city's wastewater treatment plant.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman Kevin Baskins said Monday former plant superintendent Jay Niday and shift supervisor Pat Schwarte treated wastewater with chlorine only on days when samples were tested for E. coli. Baskins said the wastewater, which is released into the Missouri River, could have higher E. coli levels on days when chlorine isn't added and could pose a risk to those who drink the river water.
Baskins said the employees have been sent a letter telling them the state plans to revoke their wastewater treatment certifications, which the two can appeal.
An investigation was launched after a complaint about the wastewater was sent to city
Branstad Wants A Review Of Funding To Planned Parenthood
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he wants state agencies in Iowa to review its contracts with the local Planned Parenthood affiliate to ensure no funding is going to abortions.
Branstad said Monday the health care provider does not receive a state appropriation and no Medicaid dollars go to abortions in Iowa. Branstad said most money going to Planned Parenthood is federal.
Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers says the governor will determine his next move after the review.
Suzanna de Baca, president of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, says the organization has helped reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually-transmitted infections.
Branstad's move comes after the release of videos by an anti-abortion group showing Planned Parenthood officials in Texas describing how they provide fetal tissue from abortions for medical research.
Quality Food Processors To Expand And Add Jobs At Denison
DENISON, Iowa (AP) - Good news for the town of Denison. Just days after Tyson closed its beef slaughtering facility, officials for the small western Iowa city of Denison say a local meat processor plans to add about 200 jobs as part of an expansion.
The Chamber & Development Council of Crawford County says Quality Food Processors LLC wants to start hiring for the jobs in 2016. The company currently has about 100 employees in Denison.
Evan Blakley, executive director for the chamber, says Quality Food Processors is still seeking local tax incentives and state grant money to move forward with the project.
The announcement comes just days after Tyson Foods said it will close its plant in Denison. It employed about 400 people.
Blakley says the expansion at Quality Food Processors and pending announcements from other employers offering local jobs is a sign there are work opportunities in Denison.
Four Companies To Manage Iowa's Medicaid Program
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad's administration will turn over management of Iowa's $4.2 billion Medicaid program to four companies beginning Jan. 1.
The Iowa Department of Human Services announced Monday that Amerigroup Iowa; AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa; United Healthcare Plan of the River Valley; and WellCare of Iowa were selected after a bidding process.
The announcement marks a key point in Branstad's transformation of Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled that serves 560,000 Iowans.
The companies will coordinate services for beneficiaries through networks of providers.
Branstad argues that having managed care organizations run the program will contain costs that have risen sharply while improving outcomes. The state says patients will receive the same benefits but the new system should reduce unnecessary services.
Critics worry the shift will hurt patients.