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Friday Afternoon News, Jan 11

Floyd Valley Hospital Seeks Opinions of Public

(Le Mars) -- In the near future, representatives of the Floyd Valley Hospital will hold a series of meetings in which hospital officials will invite various people from the community to an informative seminar asking residents questions about the hospital and the possible expansion of the facilities.  Mike Donlin, Floyd Valley Hospital administrator says the meetings will take place in January and February and will be helpful in determining the level of support from Plymouth County residents before any final decision is made to start a capital fundraising campaign.
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Donlin says the feasibility studies will confirm whether or not the people support the expansion of the hospital's facilities and services, but he does say initial conversations have been positive.  Although, he admits, many people have questions.  The hospital official is hoping the U-S Department of Agriculture's Rural Development will support the plan and offer a guaranteed loan to help with the financing of the potential project.

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Donlin says during the feasibility study meetings, the hospital will not be asking for financial pledges and commitments, only to gather information and feedback.  But he anticipates sometime in the spring, should the study indicate positive reaction, is when the hospital will begin its capital campaign.  He says the hospital staff and the board of trustees believe this is the perfect time, and the perfect size of project, to position Floyd Valley hospital to provide health care in the future.


Sioux City Man Given 10 years In Prison

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 24-year-old man has been given 10 years in prison on charges stemming from a drive-by shooting in Sioux City.
Patrick Craft, of Sioux City, was sentenced on Thursday. He'd pleaded guilty last month to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm by a domestic abuser.
Authorities say Craft was a passenger in a vehicle driven by 20-year-old Melvin Spencer on Sept. 16 when Spencer drove by a house and fired a handgun at it. Three people were outside. Two
children and an adult were inside.
Authorities say Craft fired at the house after Spencer turned around and drove past the house again.
No injuries were reported.
Spencer, also of Sioux City, has been given seven years in prison.


35 Female Lawmakers Ready For General Session To Begin

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The 35 women who will serve in the Iowa Legislature this year ties the state record for most female legislators.
The 25 women elected to the Iowa House and the 10 women elected to the Iowa Senate ties
a record set in the 2009 session.
Two women also will hold top legislative leadership roles. Republican Rep. Linda Upmeyer of Garner will serve as House majority leader and Democrat Sen. Pam Jochum of Dubuque will be
Iowa Senate President.
Political experts say a record number of female candidates ran for office in Iowa this year. And they received a boost from a post-redistricting election that meant more open seats.
Iowa mirrors national trends. More than 1,700 female legislators will serve across the country this year.


EPA Tells Iowa To Strengthen Rules On Run-off Pollution

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Federal regulators have told Iowa that the state's plan to stem runoff pollution lacks an adequate system to measure results.
The Environmental Protection Agency told state officials that they shouldn't have any doubts about setting numeric standards for nitrogen and phosphorous, which are key fertilizer components.
Under the Iowa plan released in November, wastewater treatment and industrial plants would be asked to make costly upgrades to cut pollution while farmers would do so voluntarily in an effort to
reduce harmful nutrients in Iowa waterways and the Gulf of Mexico.
In 2008 the EPA ordered Iowa and 11 other states along the Mississippi River to develop strategies to prevent nitrates and phosphorous from reaching the gulf, which experiences a seasonal
dead zone.

Sediment Increases In Iowa Lakes

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A new study says sediment buildup in Iowa's natural lakes has accelerated despite soil conservation efforts.
The  Iowa State University study authors say the buildup could damage wildlife habitat and contribute to other environmental problems.
In the study, core samples from 32 natural lakes were taken to track sediment deposits over the past 150 years.
ISU professor John Downing says the study showed that in 1900 it took more than 23 years for an inch of sediment to settle at the bottom of a lake. He says it takes only four years for that to
occur now.

Bird Conservation Area Created

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is proposing to establish a bird conservation area in a wildlife management area along the Chariton River in southern Iowa near
Bird conservation areas are at least 10,000 acres and include permanently protected bird habitat.
The proposed location is part of the Sedan Bottoms Wildlife Management Area, a 5,500-acre region of grassland, woodland and wetlands home to at least 113 nesting bird species.
DNR Wildlife Biologist Bruce Ehresman says many are declining in population at an alarming rate. They include the red-shouldered hawk, wood thrush, red-headed woodpecker, northern mockingbird, the northern bobwhite and bobolink.
The DNR plans a public meeting Jan. 24 at the Rathbun Lake Fish Hatchery to discuss the plans.
If approved, it would be Iowa's 18th bird conservation area.



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