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Wednesday Afternoon News, October 8

Le Mars To Conduct A City Energy Audit

(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars has entered an agreement with the Iowa Economic Development Authority to audit the electrical usage through an energy management program.  City Administrator Scott Langel says the program will evaluate the energy usage by the city, and determine where savings may be possible.

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The city administator says the city of Le Mars has a large expense when it comes to energy usage, and he would like to see it reduced if possible.

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Adler Comments On Regional Entrepreneurship Project

(Sioux City) -- Economic development groups in three northwest Iowa counties are partnering with the University of Northern Iowa's Business & Community Services group to launch a new initiative to support and encourage entrepreneurship and start-up businesses.
Woodbury, Monona, and Plymouth counties as well as Sioux City and Le Mars are taking part in the Regional Entrepreneurship Project.

UNI will work with regional leaders over the next four years to grow more start-up businesses and enhancing efforts through four ways to foster the area's business culture:
Neal Adler serves as the executive director for the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce as well as the Le Mars Business Inititative Corporation.  He says there are several agencies to assist with start-up businesses, but he believes this new effort will "solidify" those efforts.

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Adler says Plymouth County already is a member of the Northwest Iowa Development which consists of six counties.  He says by belonging to this regional entrepreneurship project will also benefit Le Mars and Plymouth County.

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Adler says the new project, that is funded through a grant, should appeal to any type of new business venture, or an existing business wanting to expand.

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The program is provided through a grant to UNI from the US Economic Development Administration University Center Program.

 

Fired Iowa Worker To Be Compensated

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An administrative law judge says an Iowa government worker whose co-workers lied in an effort to get him fired will be reimbursed more than $263,000.
     Records released Tuesday show the money owed to Ken Morrow will include funds for home costs and health care premiums.
     Morrow, an employee for the state Department of Transportation, was fired in 2012 along with worker Steven Scott. Morrow was reinstated in July and Scott returned to work in September.
     The men claimed they were treated like outsiders because veteran employees resented that they were hired as managers. Administrative Law Judge Bob Wilson ruled in favor of Morrow and Scott earlier this year.
     Scott was reimbursed $158,000. The Des Moines Register reports (http://dmreg.co/1vVJVJD ) both men are now seeking additional pay for their legal expenses.
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New Prison Encounters More Construction Problems - Delays Opening

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Corrections is disclosing more design problems at the state's new but empty $132 million maximum-security prison.
     Department officials said Wednesday that the smoke control system inside inmates' housing units at the new Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison failed during a July test.
     The system wasn't removing smoke well enough and inmates could've had problems exiting during a fire.
     Officials say they've found a temporary fix, and the system passed a recent test. Still, it isn't clear whether that brings the building up to code. More permanent changes may be necessary.
     There's still no timeline for transitioning inmates from the old Iowa State Penitentiary. The prison was supposed to open last spring, but problems in the geothermal heating and cooling system made it uninhabitable.

 

Argosy Pulls Away From Sioux City Dock

   SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The former Argosy riverboat casino has pulled away from its dock in Sioux City and started a long journey to a shipyard in Illinois, where it will be sold or salvaged.
     The floating casino closed this summer after the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission ordered it stop its operations. It said the business wasn't partnered with a state-licensed nonprofit group as required by Iowa law.
     The Sioux City Journal reports the riverboat's voyage began Tuesday and will likely take about a week to arrive in Wood River, Illinois.
     Mike's Inc., which bought the casino, says crews are working on dismantling the other two barges that housed casino offices. The marine company's owner says he wants to move the barges out of Sioux City before Dec. 11.

 

University Of Iowa Legacy Students To Receive Scholarships

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - New students with parents or grandparents who have degrees from the University of Iowa will automatically receive a $6,000 scholarship over four years when they enroll.
     University President Sally Mason said Wednesday that she expects hundreds of first-year and transfer students will receive the Iowa Heritage Award next fall.
     Mason told reporters that the scholarship is a piece of the school's strategy to increase its enrollment by attracting more students from Iowa and beyond.
     Any student with a parent, stepparent, legal guardian or grandparent who received an undergraduate, graduate or professional degree from UI will be eligible.
     Within that pool, up to 20 of the highest-achieving students will receive the President's Heritage Award, which will award another $6,000 over four years.
     Mason said private donations will help pay the cost.

 


 

 

 

   

Wednesday News, October 8

University Of Northern Iowa Establishes Regional Entrepreneurship Project

(Sioux City) -- Economic development groups in three northwest Iowa counties are partnering with the University of Northern Iowa's Business & Community Services group to launch a new initiative to support and encourage entrepreneurship and start-up businesses.
Woodbury, Monona, and Plymouth counties as well as Sioux City and Le Mars are taking part in the Regional Entrepreneurship Project.  Rob Williams of UNI says his group will work with regional leaders over the next four years to grow more start-up businesses and enhancing efforts through four ways to foster the area's business culture:
 
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Neal Adler of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce says that networking is a key to the project:

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Adler says he will be contacting several businesses in Le Mars and around Plymouth County to take part in the effort:

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The program is provided through a grant to UNI from the US Economic Development Administration University Center Program.

 

City Approves Office Lease For Extension Services

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council gave its approval to extend the lease agreement to the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach for Plymouth County for a term of five years.  The Plymouth County Extension Services has leased office space in the lower level of the Le Mars Convention Center for the past five years.  The agreement shows the Extension office will lease the office space for the amount of $1,000 per month, plus an additional $200 per month for use of the convention space for meetings, seminars, and conferences.  The financial impact is a gross revenue of $16,800 annually into the Convention Center fund.  The city council also discussed the city energy management program agreement.  The agreement is between the city of Le Mars and the Iowa Economic Development Authority.  Members of the city council and staff will meet with Regional Energy Managers to determine the energy needs and goals for the city of Le Mars. 

 

City To Flush Water Mains

(Le Mars) -- City water officials have announced they will conduct flushing of water mains within the coming days.  The water department will start flushing the Northeast part of town on Wednesday and the Northwest part of town this Thursday. Flushing will start at 8:00 AM and continue through 3:30 PM.  Customers need to monitor their water for clarity during that time. If discolored water is noticed please use the outside hose bib and when it is clear the home or business should clear up shortly. If discolored water is noticed please refrain from using hot water till the cold hard water has cleared up. This will help  to keep the discolored water into the water heater. The city will continue flushing next week in the southwest part of town. City water superintendent, Gayle Sitzmann says perhaps later this month, the city will be installing the new booster station online. He says this will change the flow of the pressure zone coming from the corner of 4th Ave & 12th street SE to 7th Ave or K-49 and 200th street SE.

 

"Project Safe Meds " To Be Held At Well Aware Community Health Fair

(Le Mars) -- People who have old and expired prescription medications can bring them to today's Well Aware Health Fair to properly dispose of the pills and capsules.  Kari Daale, Education Coordinator with the Floyd Valley Hospital explains the Le Mars Police Department is assisting with this program.

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The Well Aware Community Health Fair begins at 2:00 p.m. and will continue until 6:00 p.m. at the upper level of the Le Mars Convention Center. 

 

Construction Worker Killed At Work Site Near Correctionville 

CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a construction worker has died after he was pinned under a piece of equipment in northwest Iowa.
     Woodbury County Sgt. Don Armstrong says authorities responded Tuesday to a construction site near Correctionville where a new bridge is being built.
   Authorities found the man pinned under a piece of construction equipment. He was airlifted to a Sioux City hospital but was pronounced dead before the helicopter landed.
     The worker's name has not been released. Additional information is not available.
     ---

 

Shine Brothers Recycling Fined By Environmental Protection Agency

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) - A commercial recycling facility in northwest Iowa will pay $120,000 to settle allegations it violated federal clean water regulations.
     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Region 7 says the administrative settlement with Shine Bros. Corp. means the company will remove contamination that allegedly migrated from its Spencer facility to an adjacent public park.
     The EPA says Shine Bros. Corp.'s stormwater control tools were ineffective in handling pollutants. The agency says an investigation determined stormwater carried pollutants off the facility into a park and through the city's storm sewer system to the Little Sioux River.
     The company has agreed to update its pollution prevention plans and move some operations into enclosed structures. Plant manager Mike Wycoff says the company has also removed materials from the park and reseeded the affected area.

 

Alons Reports Having Cancer, But Will Continue With Legislature

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State Rep. Dwayne Alons says he has been diagnosed with renal cancer but plans to continue to serve in the Legislature.
     Alons, a Republican from Hull, announced his diagnosis in a news release Tuesday. He says he had cancer in his left kidney and will undergo treatment in the fall. He thanked his family for their support and expressed a desire to continue working on behalf of Sioux County. 
     Alons is running unopposed for a ninth term. He is a retired farmer and former Iowa Air National Guard brigadier general. 

 

Trial Date Set For Rayhons Sexual Abuse Case

  GARNER, Iowa (AP) - A trial date has been set for an Iowa lawmaker accused of sexually abusing his wife at a care center.
     The trial against Republican State Rep. Henry Rayhons is scheduled to start Jan. 28 at the Hancock County District Court in Garner.
     Officials have accused the 78-year-old Rayhons, of Garner, of having sexual contact in May with his wife, Donna Rayhons, while she was a resident of a care center and not able to give consent. Donna Rayhons died in early August.
     Rayhons is charged with third-degree sexual abuse. He has pleaded not guilty.

 

Sysco Foods Suing To Keep Price Bids Secret

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A nationwide food distributor is suing to try to block the release of its contracts with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
     Sysco's Iowa subsidiary argues in court documents filed last month that releasing the documents would reveal the company's tightly-guarded pricing information, including profit margins.
     Sysco argues the information is a trade secret and should be exempt from a public records request filed by The Gazette, saying competitors would use it to undercut bids in the future or copy incentives offered to customers.
     Meanwhile, Sysco says it would be put at an "extreme disadvantage" in negotiations with other customers who may demand similar pricing.
     The University of Iowa acknowledges that the contracts have a confidentiality provision, but says they'll be treated as public records unless a court intervenes.

 

 



 

 


 


 

   

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