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Thursday News, August 21

Archer-Daniels-Midland To Close Le Mars Feed Mill

(Le Mars) -- Archer-Daniels-Midland has announced it intends to close the A-D-M Alliance Nutrition Incorporated feed manufacturing facility located in Le Mars.  In a statement issued by the company, the closure will be permanent and will occur in September.  The facility has 15 employees.  A-D-M says the employees will receive a severance package and they will have the opportunity to apply for other positions with A-D-M.  The company statement says the closure of the this facility will not affect Alliance Nutrition, Incorporated's customers.  Customers impacted by this change will be contacted by their sales representative to discuss options going forward.

 

School Begins Today

(Le Mars) -- Today is the first day back to school for Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic. Many parents were seen escorting their small children to school, taking photographs, and finding both the locker and the classrooms. Students of all ages were carrying backpacks ready for their first day.   Floyd Athey serves as the principal for both Franklin and Clark elementary schools.  He says the first day back ususally serves as an orientation.

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At Gehlen Catholic, the day started with announcements and a prayer.  Principal Jeff Alesch read the announcements to start the first day of school.

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Alesch says Wednesday served as orientation for the students as they met their teachers and were handed their class schedules.  For today, well...the homework begins.

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The Gehlen junior high and high school principal says students are usually ready to begin school, and he adds, it doesn't take too long for the students to be get adjusted to the daily routine.

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Workforce Development Sends Out Benefits To Wrong People

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Internal emails show Iowa's workforce agency provided unemployment benefits earlier this year to people who didn't seek them and that staff was urged to stay quiet about what had happened.
     Iowa Workforce Development spokeswoman Kerry Koonce confirmed Wednesday that 85 people received excess unemployment payments in early March. Officials issued benefits to everyone who got them the previous week after a system malfunction meant they couldn't process updated information from recipients. Koonce stressed that about 30,000 received accurate payments.
     Agency emails provided to the Iowa Senate Government Oversight Committee show that after the malfunction, a manager emailed some staffers instructing them to provide no information about what happened and to blame "technical difficulties."
     The Oversight Committee is set to review what happened at hearings next week.

 

Consulting Firm Fired

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A consulting firm hired to review academic programs at Iowa's three public universities has been fired.
     The Des Moines Register reports an Iowa Board of Regents member confirmed Wednesday that KH Consulting, a Los Angeles-based company, had been fired by Deloitte Consulting.
     KH Consulting was working on a three-phase academic review. It recently collected massive amounts of data on programs at Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.
     Deloitte is overseeing a wide-ranging study on the three schools as part of a major cost-cutting review. The newspaper reports the New York-based company halted collaboration with KH Consulting because of a time conflict. The company did not elaborate. They are now searching for another firm to finish the work.
 

 

 

   

Wednesday Afternoon News, August 20

Autopsy Report Shows Donald Neunaber Died Of Natural Causes

(Le Mars) -- Autospy reports on Donald Neunaber of rural Akron have been returned from the State Medical Examiner's office.  Donald Nuenaber, along with his wife Esther, were found dead in their rural Akron home on July 9th.  Jonathan Neunaber, the son, has been charged with first degree murder in the death of his mother, and is currently in the Plymouth County Jail under a bond of $100,000.  His trial has been scheduled for December 9th.  Autopsy results show Donald Neunaber died from natural causes. The Plymouth County Sheriff Office and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Plymouth County Attorney's office are working cooperatively to investigate the case.

 

Owen Awarded The "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- An employee of the Hospice of Siouxland at Le Mars is the latest recipient for the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce Employee of the Month.  Val Owens has been an employee of the Siouxland Hospice for the past six years as a Volunteer Coordinator.  According to the nomination submitted by her colleagues, Val Owen has developed and grown the volunteer program.  She has been the driving force in establishing the Vet to Vet program in this area.  She is involved in Hospice of Siouxland Camp Courage and is a patient advocate for the program.  Val is passionate about her job and her volunteers feel she is gifted at making them feel comfortable and openly shows them her appreciation.  She provides a positive expereince for her patients and their families.  Val volunteers her time for her church, community, and school.  She has been active in the Girl Scouts for many years.  She also volunteers her time annually with Oktoberfest in Remsen.  Her co-workers of Hospice of Siouxland in the Le Mars feels she personifies what a positive and true employee of the month should be.  Our congratulations to Val Owens for being named the August "Employee of the Month". 

 

Six Plymouth County Farms Honored As Century Farms

(Des Moines) -- Six Plymouth County Farms were honored as a century farm during the recent Iowa State Fair.  Century Farms must have ownership remained in the same family for at least 100 years. Heritage farms are those that have remained in the same family for at least 150 years.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey congratulated those families with century and heritage farms during a ceremony at the Iowa State Fair.  The six families honored from Plymouth County include: Keith and Kristen Koerselman and their farm located at 10705 Juniper Avenue.  Timothy and Debra Lang with their farm at 33026 270th Street, Leonard Langel with his farm at county road C-30 and Nature Avenue, Dean and Linda Mohning with their farm of 100 years located at 45525 County road C-38, Keith and Marilyn Richardson was honored for having a century farm located between 310th and 320th streets on Noble Avenue.  Jerry and Eilene Rolling of 38625 200th Street and John Willer's farm at 20461 Dogwood Avenue.  Secretary Northey says the Iowa State Fair is a celebration of Iowa and Iowa Agriculture, so its a great place to recognize the Century and Heritage Farm Recipients.   

 

Environmental Group Opposes New Water Quality Rules

   DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A citizens group opposed to new rules approved Tuesday by the Iowa commission regulating water quality has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to stop implementation of the rules.
     Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement Action Fund asks a judge to void the rules approved unanimously by the nine-member Environmental Protection Commission. 
     The rules, supported by farm groups, establish new inspection and permit processes for livestock farms.  
     Iowa CCI and three of its members claiming they have been personally affected by farm pollution say in the lawsuit the commission vote was illegal because five members of the EPC have a financial stake in livestock farming. 
     The lawsuit says they should have recused themselves from voting on the rules they claim are too weak. 
     The commission's spokesman did not immediately return a message.

 

Adel Under Boil Water Advisory

    ADEL, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials say a boil advisory has been issued for the city of Adel's water system.
     The state Department of Natural Resources says one of Adel's water towers was being serviced when the city lost electrical service Wednesday morning. This created a pressure loss in the distribution system.
     The pressure has been restored, but water must be tested for bacteria before the boil advisory can be lifted.
     City officials and the DNR recommend that residents boil their water for drinking and cooking. They're also encouraged to use bottled water.

 

Baby Left At Hospital Under Safe Haven Rule

    DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state Department of Human Services says someone left a baby at an Iowa medical center under Iowa's safe haven law.
     The agency announced Wednesday that someone brought the boy to a medical center Aug. 13 and asked that he be declared a safe haven baby. State law allows parents or their authorized representatives to leave a baby who is 14 days or younger at a health care facility and remain anonymous.
     The state withholds details about such infants. A court will terminate parental rights within a month.
     This is the 20th time the law has been used since its passage following a case in 2001, when a teen mother in eastern Iowa killed her home-delivered infant.
     In all the previous cases, the babies have been adopted.

 

Iowa State University Is Full With Student Housing

 AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University has turned away more than 200 applications for on-campus living due to a housing shortage.
     Nearly 12,500 students signed up to live on campus this fall. University officials are now planning to build another residence hall due to the record number of housing applications.
     More than 400 students will temporarily live in makeshift dorm rooms set up in the common spaces of residence halls. The university also leased space in several apartment buildings to house over 1,000 students.
     On-campus housing is guaranteed to freshmen and transfer students.
     Officials say an increase in enrollment is responsible for the housing dilemma.
     About 33,250 students enrolled at Iowa State University last year.
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