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Wednesday Afternoon News, Jan 23

City Approves Concept Of Providing Funding For Hospital Expansion Project

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Administrator Mike Donlin appeared before the Le Mars City Council on Tuesday to offer an update on the status regarding the proposed north addition to the hospital. The hospital is asking the city to assist with the financing of the new addition.  Donlin says the hospital hasn't seen this type of expansion since 1972, and the expansion would keep Floyd Valley hospital competitive with other regional health care facilities.
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Donlin informed the city council that feasibility studies are on-going along with an application for a loan through the U-S-D-A's Rural Development.  City administrator Scott Langel reminded the council that Floyd Valley Hospital is the city's second largest employer.  He says historically it has been the city's position to help advance businesses in Le Mars, and he says the hospital would fall into that category.
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Langel believes more negotiations need to occur between city and hospital officials to jointly decide how much money the city should provide for the hospital's addition.  Mayor Pro-tem Rex Knapp informed the council that the hospital does not receive any taxpayer dollars in order to function. 
Council woman Delana Irhke asked Donlin if the hospital would be able to remain

competitive with all the changes in health care.  Donlin responded by saying the hospital constantly updates its status to reflect the changes in health care.  The council voted to approve the concept of the city providing some financial assistance to the Floyd Valley Hospital, although the specific amount will be determined at a later date.

Three Arrested For Drug Charges After Traffic Stop

(Le Mars) -- A traffic stop resulted in the arrests of three individuals for various drug charges.  On Tuesday afternoon, a Plymouth County Deputy stopped a vehicle on Highway 75 near Hinton.   As a result of the stop and  investigation at the scene, Plymouth County authorities arrested two people.
Gina McNabney, age 18, of Hinton, Iowa, and 18 year old Jeremy Klingbeil, also of Hinton, Iowa were both placed under arrest for delivery of marijuana to a person under 18, a Class B felony.  They both were charged with  possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a Class D felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.

McNabney and Klingbeil were taken to the Plymouth County Jail and held on a $25,000 bond.
Additionally, officers executed a search warrant at 118 Center Street in Hinton.  While the residence was being secured, an officer located Justin Erichsen.  While talking with Erichsen, he became aggressive towards officers kicking one officer in the chest, however, the officer was not injured.  Erichsen, age 20, of Le Mars was then arrested for assault on a peace officer, a serious misdemeanor; Possession of marijuana, a serious misdemeanor, and Possession of drug paraphernalia, a simple misdemeanor.  Erichsen was then taken to the Plymouth County Jail and is being held on a $1,000 bond.

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Hinton and Le Mars Police Departments.

"Boss of the Quarter" Announced

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce has announced its "boss of the quarter".  The honor has been awarded to John and Pam Hutchins, owners of Red's Printing Company of Le Mars.  As business owners, the Hutchins know the importance of having state of the art equipment and knowledgeable employees.  Along with their high standards for customer service, John and Pam are generous, caring, and respectful of their employees.  They show their appreciation to each one for their contribution to the company.  All of these characteristics, along with their outstanding personalities and generous community involvement have enabled John and Pam to make Red's Printing Company, a mainstay in Le Mars and the surrounding area.  Our congratulations to John and Pam Hutchins for being named the Chamber's "boss of the quarter".


State Plans To Close Prison Mental Health Center

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The state plans to close a 200-bed mental health center at Fort Madison, only 10 years after spending $26 million to build the facility.
Reports show prisoners will be transferred from the penitentiary's Clinical Care
Unit this spring. They will primarily be sent to state prison mental health units in Clarinda and Coralville.
State Corrections Director John Baldwin tells the newspaper that the move is part of an efficiency and security initiative. He says the plan is to gradually shut down the entire campus after a $117
million, 800-bed maximum-security prison opens about a mile away in
January 2014.
Some supporters say the plan will bring better mental health services. A union leader representing Fort Madison correctional officers says it's not a suitable move for prisoners.


Scarville Mayor To Serve 30 Days In Jail

FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) - The former mayor of Scarville has been given 30 days in jail and four years of probation for stealing from her northern Iowa town.
Forty-two-year-old Michelle Hermanson had pleaded guilty to theft and to tampering with records. She was sentenced Tuesday in Winnebago County District Court.
Authorities say Hermanson stole about $10,100 from the city. Her thefts were discovered during a special investigation by the state auditor's office. Hermanson must pay restitution as well.
Former city clerk Jolene Carter's crimes also were discovered by the investigation. In December, Carter was sentenced to jail and ordered to pay restitution.


Democrat Wins Special House Seat Election

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Democrats have retained the Iowa House District 52 seat in a special election.
Assistant Floyd County Attorney Todd Prichard beat Republican Dennis Litterer and independent Craig Clark in Tuesday's election.  The unofficial totals were 54.6 percent for Prichard, 43.7 percent
for Litterer and 1.5 percent for Clark.
The district is composed of all of Floyd and Chickasaw counties and part of western Cerro Gordo County.
Prichard replaces Brian Quirk, of New Hampton. The incumbent Democrat won re-election in November but resigned in December because of a new job.
With Prichard's election, the party balance in the House remains 53 Republicans and 47 Democrats.



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