(LE MARS)–Workers for Plymouth County’s largest employer have a new contract.
Wells’ Dairy employees, represented by the United Dairy Workers, ratified a three-year contract. The approval followed voting from Tuesday through Thursday.
The new agreement includes wage increases for 14-hundred workers at the family-owned and managed ice cream and frozen novelty manufacturer.
Beginning January 1st, Wells’ Dairy employees will receive a three percent increase in pay. In the second year of the contract agreement, the increase will also be three percent. The third year includes a wage increase of three-and-a quarter percent.
The current two-year contract expires at the end of December.
ECO Center groundbreaking expected this fall
(HINTON)–A building project west of Hinton will move forward and be under budget.
The Plymouth County Conservation Board Wednesday night voted to proceed with construction of the ECO Center.
The proposed outdoor environmental education center at the Conservation Board’s Hillview Recreation area has been discussed for several weeks because bids exceeded the budget by thousands of dollars.
According to Conservation Board Director Dennis Sohl, the board has agreed to deduct about 70-thousand dollars. The dollar amounts trimmed from the plans for the center range from $300 to 27-thousand dollars. The apparent low bid was about 523-thousand dollars.
Sohl says the board action won’t change the size or function of the ECO Center. The changes bring the project back under the one-half million dollar mark for construction and the architect’s fees.
Sohl expects groundbreaking yet this fall for construction by the low bidder, H-W Design Build of Sioux City.
The board’s action preserves an 85-thousand dollars Vision Iowa Community Attraction and Tourism or CAT grant for the ECO Center.
There are plans to continue fund raising for the project because the contingency amount is so small that it does not cover furnishings.
Water, equipment needed for anhydrous safety
(SIOUX CENTER)–An agronomy manager recommends protective equipment, water and caution around slow moving vehicles for the safe use of a valuable crop production tool.
Farmers Coop Society agronomy manager Stan Feekes expects vehicles towing anhydrous tanks to travel at about 25 miles an hour.
Anhydrous converts to a gas after it is released from storage as a pressurized liquid. Due to the potential for a burn from the nitrogen fertilizer, Feekes emphasizes the need to keep anhydrous down wind.
Feekes says large amounts of water should be used on any anhydrous burn.
If someone notices a release from an anhydrous tank and no one is around, Feekes says that can be reported by calling 9-1-1.
Railroad crossing at C-70 reopens
(JAMES)–Railroad work is complete in southern Plymouth County.
The Burlington Northern railroad crossing on county road C-70 was replaced this week. The crossing just east of James, south of Hinton, was closed from Highway 75 to Imperial Road.
The crossing reopened Thursday afternoon.
Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice speaks in Sioux City October 27
(SIOUX CITY)–Courts and the Constitution will be the focus of a presentation by the Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court in Sioux City this month.
Marsha Ternus presents the public lecture at Morningside College’s Olsen Student Center on October 27th at 7:30 in the evening.
An Iowa native, Chief Justice Ternus was appointed to the state Supreme Court in 1993. She’s served as chief justice since 2006.
Her presentation will address the constitutional role of the Iowa courts and the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary in fulfilling the role. The lecture is sponsored by the Morningside College Civic Union.
Committee to report on new jail options for Clay County
SPENCER, Iowa (AP) A county jail in northwest Iowa doesn’t meet standards and requirements.
A committee in charge of finding information about building a new jail in Clay County has met and has a goal to present a plan to the Clay County Board of Supervisors sometime this fall.
According to Associated Press, Clay County Sheriff Randy Krukow (crew-KO) says the committee hopes to finalize a site and narrow down costs by November. Krukow says a referendum is possible next spring. Clay County supervisor Ken Chalstrom says the county only has two options, building a new jail or housing prisoners someplace else. Housing prisoners elsewhere would cost more than double the cost of housing them in Clay County.
The current jail was built more than 60 years ago in 1938.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Justice Alito offers concerns over hearings on TV
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito Jr. says televising Supreme Court hearings could provide a glimpse into the function of the court but could also give viewers the wrong impression that everything the court does is wrapped into what they see on TV.
Alito gave his own arguments in the debate over televising hearings Thursday during the Dwight D. Opperman Lecture in Constitutional Law at Drake University in Des Moines.
Alito gave a summary of the history of the Supreme Court and says he also worries that televised hearings would cause some attorneys to alter their arguments to play to viewers, similar to the early days of the court when attorneys would give colorful and flamboyant arguments to entertain the public that attended the hearings.
Iowa chief justice won’t fight ouster campaign
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus says she has no plans to launch a campaign against an effort from gay rights opponents to unseat her and two other justices.
Ternus told the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque on Thursday that she doesn’t want to have judges in Iowa “campaigning and raising money.” Ternus says it would be “horrible” if Iowans voted that cases be based on popular opinion rather than the law.
Gay rights opponents have promised an intense and well-financed campaign to oust Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit. The justices joined last year’s unanimous decision legalizing gay marriage in Iowa.
The campaign is led by Bob Vander Plaats, who lost the Republican primary for governor but has a strong following among social conservatives.
Life sentence for Iowan in girlfriend’s death
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines man accused of killing his girlfriend has been sentenced to life in prison.
A jury convicted 44-year-old Christopher Phipps in August in the death of 38-year-old Melissa Kay Dean. Officers found her body in the back of a pickup truck in a parking lot. She had been strangled and prosecutors said she suffered brain injuries, broken bones and a lacerated liver. Phipps claimed her death was an accident.
The Des Moines Register reports that the sentencing on Thursday drew about 40 people. Phipps apologized to both his mother and Dean’s mother.
Dean’s mother, Gloria Miller of Texas, said her daughter loved fishing with her dad. She told Phipps he took away “something very precious.”
Olin schools cancel classes after prank
OLIN, Iowa (AP) Officials with the Olin Community School District say classes will be canceled for another day after someone sprayed multiple fire extinguishers inside the building.
High school principal Jeff Nance tells The Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids that classes will be canceled again on Friday. The district canceled classes just before 8 a.m. on Thursday and sent all students home for the day.
Nance says particles from the fire extinguisher can cause breathing problems so that’s why the decision was made to send all teachers and students home. He says powder from the extinguishers is on floors at the school and in the air.
Bottle-making company to expand in eastern Iowa
PEOSTA, Iowa (AP) A bottle-making company in eastern Iowa is to expand and hire more workers.
Berry Plastics Corporation on Thursday announced the expansion of its manufacturing and warehousing operations in Peosta. The Telegraph Herald newspaper in Dubuque reports the company will create more than a dozen new jobs. The project is to begin immediately and should finish in the second quarter of 2011.
The project will receive an $8.8 million investment from Captive Realty, Inc. The plant makes bottles for the health care, food and personal care industries. The company’s headquarters are in Evansville, Ind.
Peosta is 12 miles west of Dubuque.
Experts moldy crops could cause health problems
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Public health experts say workers across Iowa who are removing moldy flood-damaged crops should wear respiratory protection.
The Iowa Department of Public Health said Thursday that workers should wear a federally certified respirator while they’re removing and destroying crops with extensive mold contamination. The department says moldy, damaged and dusty grains can cause significant health issues, including cough, headache, muscle aches and fever.
Health experts also say those who already have respiratory or cardiovascular issues should check with their medical provider before working with moldy crops.
They also urge workers who get sick while working near the crops to see their medical provider. Iowa woman wins 30th horseshoe championship
Horseshoe pitcher is a 30-time champ
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) A Council Bluffs woman has been the state horseshoe-pitching championship 30 times.
The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs reports that Cathy Carter won her 30th straight title at this year’s Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. Carter says she got her start with horseshoes from her father, who was an ace pitcher. Carter calls him her “idol.”
Carter says she compete against the same half-dozen women each year and calls it a friendly, respectful competition. She said she also sometimes compete in the National Horseshoe Pitchers Association world championships and goes to meets in West Des Moines, Stuart, Eldora and Fremont, Neb.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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