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Friday Afternoon News, March 29

Le Mars and Wells Enterprises Sign Agreement On Waste Water Treatment Facility

(Le Mars) -- The city of Le Mars recently signed an agreement with Wells Enterprises and
anticipates a similar agreement with Dean Foods with regards to the construction of the new waste water treatment facility.  City Administrator, Scott Langel explains.
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Langel says the agreements with the two industrial businesses essentially will have Wells Enterprises and Dean Foods help pay for the waste water treatment facility.
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You may wonder if the city plans to form a similar agreement with BoDeans Baking Company, another of Le Mars' large employers.

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Union Pacific To Replace Rail Crossings

(Le Mars) -- Its been a long wait, but the city of Le Mars is finally having some railroad crossings being repaired and replaced.  Union Pacific railroad officials were in Le Mars on Thursday making repairs to the Central Avenue crossing.  City Administrator Scott Langel says it was by coincidence that those repairs corresponded to other planned railroad crossing replacements.

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City officials recently met with Union Pacific rail officials to discuss other crossings that needed to be replaced.  The question, according to Langel, was which entity would pay for the repairs?
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The Le Mars city official says motorists will appreciate the rail crossings once work is completed.
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Band Director Arrested For Theft

(Sioux City) -- The band director at Sioux City North High School has been placed on leave by the school district after his arrest on a theft charge.  39 year old Kevin Massey has been charged with felony first degree theft.  He was arrested Wednesday and has been released on bond from the Woodbury County jail.  Investigators says several band instruments were allegedly stolen from the school and put up for sale on an internet website.  School district spokesperson Alison Benson confirms that Massey has been placed on leave.  She says the school district is cooperating fully with Sioux City Police regarding the investigation, but declined to further comment.  Benson could not say if Massey was on paid or unpaid leave.  Massey's next court hearing is scheduled for April 14th.

 

USDA Issues Plantings Intention Report

(Le Mars) -- The U-S Department of Agriculture issued its plantings intention report on Thursday, and according to the report, the nation's farmers intend to grow the most corn since 1936.  Nationally, the figure indicates corn growers will plant 97.3 million acres to corn.  Here in Iowa, not much change is expected as Iowa farmers intend to plant corn on 14.2 million acres.  Joel DeJong, Iowa State University extension crop specialist says the planting intention report is an early indicator, but often times the actual number changes.
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There is wide speculation that last summer's drought may continue through this summer, and DeJong says people are concerned about the available water supplies, not only to produce a crop, but for general usuage.
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DeJong says there are some farmers trying to locate drought resistant seed, but he believes those hybrids and varieties are perhaps already committed.

 

Ottumwa Hospital To Lay-off 30 Employees

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) - The head of an Ottumwa hospital says the organization is firing 30 people in an effort to find "the right number of people to do the job."
Ottumwa Regional Health Center chief operating officer Phil Dionne tells the Ottumwa Courier (http://bit.ly/107j3YD ) that the 30 people losing their jobs are from a variety of hospital
departments.
Dionne notes that the people being fired represent a small percentage of the 785 people employed at the hospital.
Dionne says the decision came after a long look at staffing.
He says there is no chance the hospital will close, noting it's "very strong as an organization and continuing to grow."
The hospital began working Thursday with employees losing their jobs to provide help finding other employment.
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