Michigan based Trinity Health completed its acquisition of the Iowa-based MercyOne medical system. MercyOne C-E-O Bob Ritz says the first stage of transition is merging operating systems to help patients. He says that will take two years and patients will see a marked improvement in their ability to move their information with them wherever they go in the systems 400 locations. These include MercyOne Medical Center in Sioux City, the Baum Harmon Hostpital in Primghar. MercyOne also manages the Hawarden Hospital and partners with Dune Surgical Hospital in Dakota Dunes SD. Ritz says their transition should be complete by the spring of 2024. Ritz says patients won’t notice any changes for now as they plan to keep the hospital logo the same.
Officials in the Glenwood area are discussing what may happen to the property once the state facility that provides residential care to adults with intellectual disabilities is closed in 2024. Devin Embray, the superintendent of Glenwood schools, says his district had developed plans to build a new elementary school, but they’re now evaluating whether a building on the Glenwood Resource Center campus can be renovated.
Embray says the state would have to agree to turn over a building that’s ready for development, however.
The Glenwood Resource Center campus covers a thousand acres and at one time the middle school for the Glenwood Community School District was on the property. The Glenwood School District has just under two-thousand students and officials are concerned about enrollment losses as employees at the Glenwood Resource Center leave the community for work elsewhere. Embray says his district is working with Iowa Western Community Community College and Iowa Workforce Development about retraining programs for the state employees.
EMMETSBURG FUNERAL HOME
The Iowa Insurance Division is beginning to reimburse customers who had prepaid for services from an Emmetsburg funeral home. A district court ruling approved the request to process the claims against Andrew Joyce of the Joyce Funeral Home. The Iowa Insurance Division says its investigation revealed a number of deposits that could not be matched to a burial, which suggested that thousands of dollars from pre-purchased agreements had not been placed in trust as required by Iowa law. The Insurance Division charged Joyce with first and second-degree theft, ongoing criminal conduct, and failure to create a trust for preneed funeral services. The Insurance Division sent letters to customers — and asks anyone who bought services from the Joyce funeral home in Emmetsburg to file a claim on the Division’s website.
Iowa State University researchers are studying challenges facing Ukrainian refugees who settle in Iowa and they hope to build an app that will help groups to identify housing for refugees in the future. I-S-U civil engineering professor Cristina Poleacovschi wants to document the experiences of the refugees. She says stable housing is foundational to a refugee’s integration, but it’s not always readily available in the resettlement process.
She says the researchers will bring their work to policy-makers in hopes of improving conditions. I-S-U political science professor Scott Feinstein says the team will document what the refugee are going through in hopes of bringing their often-marginalized voice to the forefront.
He says the project will also explore how refugee arrivals shape our national identity.
DE JEAR CAMPAIGN
The Democratic candidate for governor, is spending a couple of days campaigning in a southeast Iowa county where there are more than twice as many Republicans as Democrats. Deidre DeJear urged a small crowd in a coffee shop in Pella not to get discouraged as they talk with their neighbors about voting for her. She says it’s not going to be easy but says it’s going to be worth it. DeJear will be making stops in Knoxville today (Wednesday), the county seat of Marion County.
Jury selection began yesterday for the trial of Thomas Knapp of rural Merrill. It will continue this morning. Opening arguments will begin once the jury is chosen. Knapp is charged with first-degree murder and willful injury in the death of 52 year old Kevin Juzek, and an assault on his wife during the same disturbance. The indicent took place in 2020.
SIOUX CITY SHOOTING
Sioux City Police made two arrests in a drive by shooting at North Middle School yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.
Sgt. Jeremy Mc Clure says students from a sixth grade P-E class were walking back to their building when a car drove by and someone shot BB’s at them:
McClure says school liason officers responded immediately, and two suspects were arrested a short time later. They are described as two males, age 16 and 14.
The suspects were taken to Woodbury County Juvenile Detention on multiple counts of assault.
The two are also alleged to have shot another high school student and a delivery driver in the area of Glenn Oaks and Indian Hills Boulevard around the same time as the school incident.
The school district placed all elementary schools on a lockout until near dismissal time when it was reported that individuals involved were in custody.
Police determined that the “gun” was a splat-r-ball gun, which is similar to an airsoft gun.
The names of the two juveniles in custody aren’t being released yet.
Sioux City Police say the 15-year-old boy injured in a skateboarding crash early last Thursday morning has died. Police say a decision was made last Friday to remove the boy from life support so that his organs could be donated. The boy was skateboarding in the middle of the 2400 block of South Lewis Boulevard around 4:45 AM last Thursday when he was struck by a vehicle. Investigators say the driver of the vehicle was unable to avoid a collision because of the dark conditions on that stretch of the roadway. The name of the teenager is not being released.
A George Iowa man was injured in a crash yesterday afternoon in Sioux County. The Iowa State Patrol says the crash occurred at the intersection of B40 and Fig, 5 miles west of Sioux Center. A tractor driven by 62 year old Mark Sneller of Sioux Center turned off of Fig onto B40, into the path of a pickup driven by 24 year old Devin Gerloff of George. Gerloff was transported to Sioux Center health by ambulance. He was later flown to Sanford Sioux Falls for treatment of his injuries. The accident remains under investigation by the State Patrol.
The U-S Senate returned to work Tuesday with two months until the midterm elections. US Senator Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa says he has just two legislative priorities between now and then. One is passage of a bipartisan measure called the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. Grassley says it aims to restore competition online by stopping giant digital platforms from giving unfair preferences to their own products and services. Grassley, a Republican, is co-sponsoring the bill with Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar.
Grassley says those internet Goliaths have deep pockets and they’ve been waging an expensive and extensive campaign against the legislation.
Grassley says his second priority over the coming weeks is passage of his Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act. It would force the nation’s largest beef packers to buy a percentage of their cattle through negotiated-type trades in order to level the playing field for more smaller producers.
GORDON DRIVE VIADUCT
Bridge pier condition issues will require the closure of the eastbound outside lane of the Gordon Drive Viaduct and eastbound to southbound ramp until a bridge repair project can be completed. The Iowa Department of Transportation’s District 3 Office says during this project, eastbound Gordon Drive to southbound Lewis Boulevard traffic will be detoured onto southbound Fairmount Street, to Leech Avenue, and to southbound Lewis Boulevard.
LOESS HILLS GRANT
The Loess Hills Audubon Society announces that there is 4 million dollars available to organizations or individuals to pursue projects which focus on education and conservation of birds, wildlife and plants in the Siouxland area. Applications will be accepted between October 1 and January 31, 2023. Application forms can be obtained through the Loess Hills Audubon Society website and Facebook page.