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Wednesday News, September 3

Wells To Close St. George, Utah Plant

(Le Mars) -- Wells Enterprizes Incorporated, makers of Blue Bunny ice cream has announced it has decided to close its ice cream plant in St. George, Utah. This decision will enable the Company to optimize its existing capacity in Le Mars, Iowa to more efficiently serve customers and support Wells’ long-term growth strategy. The decision also allows Wells to more effectively compete in the ice cream category that has been flat to declining for several years, and has been further challenged by unstable commodity costs. Approximately 90 individuals are employed at the St. George facility.
Wells also recently completed a review of our corporate center structure to ensure that we remain well positioned to drive our strategy. As a result, 10 positions previously held have been eliminated, and the headcount repurposed to new roles in the organization.
Wells is mindful of the impact changes of this nature have on employees and their families and is committed to helping impacted employees through this transition.  The Utah plant started production in 2003, and according to Wells officials, the transition to shut down the facility will occur over the next few months and be completed before the end of the year.

 

KC Phone-a-thon Scheduled For Today

(Le Mars) -- Today, marks the day for the annual KC Phon-a-thon where members of the Knights of Columbus from Plymouth County help raise money for the Life Skills Training Center.  Shelly Thomson, serves as the Life Skills Marketing and Development Coordinator.  She says the annual fund raising campaign is important to the financial survival for Life Skills.

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Thomson says the Knights of Columbus hopes to raise $50 thousand dollars.

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The Life Skills executive says more people have cell phones and have dropped their land lines which may make it that much more difficult to reach past donors.

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City Council Approves New Lower Speed Limits For Business Highway 75

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council met yesterday, and approved the ordinance to change the speed limits as it pertains to Business Highway 75.  The new speed limits will now be 45 mph from Blue Bunny Drive to Airport Drive.  35 mph will be the limit from Airport Drive to Fourth Street North, and 40 mph from north of Fourth Street to the Floyd River Bridge, and 55 mph from the Floyd River Bridge to north to the city limits.  Following the vote, Mayor Dick Kirchoff addressed the subject.

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The city council requested the new posted speed limit signs have red flags in order to call more attention to the changes.  According to the Le Mars Police, that stretch of highway has had 72 accidents with 29 personal injuries during the last three and a half years.

 

New Waste Water Treatment Facility Now In Operation

(Le Mars) -- During yesterday's city council meeting, the council heard a report from Greg Sindt, the engineer for the new waste water treatment facility. Sindt informed the council the facility is now in full operation.

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Sindt says the facility is operating at full capacity and is working well with no problems. An open house is scheduled for September 18.

 

Chamber Of Commerce Looking For Little Ambassadors

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Committee is sponsoring a contest to select ten children who will serve as the 2015/2016 Le Mars Chamber Little Ambassadors.  Children must be 4 to 6 years of age and reside in the City of Le Mars or rural Le Mars.  Now through October 1, 2014 the Chamber will be accepting nominations for Little Ambassadors.  No late entries will be accepted.  Please submit a color 5X7 photo – and include the name of the child and parents, address and phone number with the submission.  Do not write on the photo.  Photos will not be returned.  They can be dropped off or mailed to the Chamber of Commerce, Attn: Mary Reynolds, 50 Central Ave SE, Le Mars, IA 51031.  They can also be dropped at Floyd Valley Hospital to the attention of Mary Helen Gibson or Prime Bank to the attention of Becky Klohs.

A selection committee will choose five boys and five girls to serve as the Le Mars Little Ambassadors.  The children will participate in Le Mars Chamber events such as Ice Cream Days Parade, Scoop the Loop and other community events.

The Main Street selection committee will contact the chosen children.  If you have questions about the Little Ambassadors, please contact the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce at 546-8821 or Mary Helen Gibson at 546-3389.

 

Le Mars Community Schools Announce Latest "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District has honored Gretchen Utesch as the school district's employee of the month.  Utesch serves as a teacher Associate and a paraprofessional for Clark Elementary.  In the submitted nomination, it says Gretchen is a dedicated employee who puts the needs of all students first.  She team teaches in various classrooms providing assistance to the classroom teacher assuring the students she works with understand and are successful with daily lessons and assessments.  Gretchen is compassionate and patient as she works with individual students.  She is able to adjust her instruction to meet each child's learning style.  She takes her job, and the education of all students, very seriously.  The nomination further states, Mrs. Utesch is a testimony tot he quality of employees at LCS.  It is because of people like her that our students progress year to year in their education.  Gretchen's positive attitude, work ethic, expereience, and character make her deserving of the honor of "Employee of the Month".  Our congratulations to Gretchen Utesch for being honored as the Le Mars Community School District Employee of the Month.

 

Woodbury County To Add More Nurses For Jail

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Woodbury County plans to add more nurses to treat inmates at the county jail, following pleas from the sheriff for more support.
     The  county board voted Tuesday to have four full-time registered nurses on staff. That's a jump from two full-time nurses and a part-time nurse.
     The board will use general basic fund reserves to cover the additional cost of about $115,000 in the middle of a budget year.
     County Sheriff Dave Drew told board members recently that he needed additional personnel to properly oversee inmates at the jail. He said the staffing level was not sufficient for the inmates' medical needs.
     Board Chairman George Boykin said the vote on Tuesday will relieve "a little bit of the pressure."

 

   

Tuesday Afternoon News, September 2

Sixth Avenue To Be Closed

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars city work crews have announced the closing of 6th Ave southwest between 18th Street and 24th Street.  The road will be closed both today (Tuesday) and Wednesday for the installation of a new water main.  The road will be opened at night for travel.

 

Waste Water Plant To Use Hydrant

(Le Mars) -- The city waste water department will be using a fire hydrant in the northwest portion of town on Wednesday.  Water Superintendent Gayle Sitzmann says anytime a fire hydrant is open there is a chance of discolored water.  Residents are reminded if they do have discolored water to refrain from using the hot water until the water has cleared.  Sitzmann says the waste water department will be using quite a bit of water, so in turn, the water should clear before they are done using the fire hydrant.

Sioux Center Grain Fire (Updated)

(Sioux Center)  -- Fire broke out Monday evening at a grain warehouse storage facility located at the Farmer's Co-op Society of Sioux Center.  Initally, three fire departments, Sioux Center, Orange City and Hull responded to the blaze. Rock Valley and Ireton have both been called to offer additional assistance. Le Mars Fire Chief Dave Schipper and former fire chief Wayne Schipper were asked to the scene to offer advice as to the best manner to fight the fire.  The fire started at about 5:30 p.m.  Dump trucks and payloader tractors were also called to help with the removal of the burning grain.  Sioux Center Fire Chief Dave Van Holland assess the situation.

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The grain storage facility is larger than a football field and holds up to four million bushels of corn, and currently it has 2.7 million bushels. Van Holland says so far, they have been able to remove about 300,000 bushels and it may be a week before all the corn can be removed.

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The Sioux Center Fire Chief says co-op officials are trying to separate the good grain from that which has been burnt.  In addition to the fire that continues to burn, fire figthers have another problem...having enough water.

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Van Holland believes the corn started on fire through spontaneous combustion.  Fire officials remained on the scene throughout the evening.

 

DNR Director To Speak At Farm Bureau Meeting

(Le Mars) -- The director of the State's Department of Natural Resources will be in Le Mars this evening speaking to farmers.  Chuck Gibb is scheduled to address the membership of the Plymouth County Farm Bureau during their annual meeting which will be held at the Century Hall at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds.  Gibb says he will speak about the new water quality initiative program.

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The D-N-R official offers an explanation of the difference between point-source and non-point source pollution.

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The program is voluntary, but Gibb says farmers and landowners have got to realize they need to start monitoring thier own situation for non-point source nitrate pollution.

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LIfe Skills Training Center Phone-a-thon Scheduled For Wednesday

(Le Mars) -- Wednesday marks the day for the annual KC Phon-a-thon where members of the Knights of Columbus from Plymouth County help raise money for the Life Skills Training Center.  Shelly Thomson, serves as the Life Skills Marketing and Development Coordinator.  She says the annual fund raising campaign is important to the financial survival for Life Skills.

Listen to

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Thomson says the Knights of Columbus hopes to raise $50 thousand dollars.

Listen to

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The Life Skills executive says more people have cell phones and have dropped their land lines which may make it that much more difficult to reach past donors.


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Regents Plans May Affect Admissions And Hiring

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - It might get easier for students to apply to Iowa's three public universities, and for those schools to hire employees.
     The Iowa Board of Regents released details of plans Tuesday that may be implemented during an ongoing efficiency review.
     They include creating a program that would allow students to apply to the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa at once. Currently, students have to apply separately even though the schools use the same admissions scoring index.
     Another change would require the schools to calculate students' admissions scores uniformly. Each school currently computes them differently for students whose high schools don't keep class rankings.
     A third plan would eliminate search committees for some professional and scientific openings. A review found that step frequently causes delays.

 

Building Collapses In Toledo, Iowa

   TOLEDO, Iowa (AP) - A state inspector will survey several buildings in the east-central Iowa city of Toledo after the partial collapse of a two-story building.
     Toledo Fire Chief Joe Boll says an inspector from the State Fire Marshal's office will arrive Tuesday afternoon. The inspector is set to look at the collapsed building as well as surrounding structures.
     Officials say the building in the downtown area collapsed Monday night. A wall and part of the roof fell into an alley.
     Boll says several people in an upstairs apartment got out safely. Police evacuated an apartment next door to the building as a precaution.
     Boll says it's unclear what caused the collapse. It remains under investigation.

 

Grant To Help Reduce Infant Mortality

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines-based health care organization is receiving money from the federal government to fund a program aimed at reducing infant mortality.
     U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell says in a statement Tuesday the agency is providing $65 million to 87 organizations in 33 states.
     In Des Moines, Visiting Nurse Services will receive more than $852,000.
     The money supports Healthy Start, a program launched by HHS in 1991. It provides resources for vulnerable mothers and infants in areas of the country with disproportionately high rates of infant mortality.
     Burwell says 56,000 women nationally will benefit from the money.
 

 

 


 

 

   

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