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Wednesday Afternoon News, April 10

Ice + Wind = Power Outages

(Orange City) -- The spring storm that dumped up to an inch of ice on parts of northwest Iowa is creating problems for the local rural utility providers.  More than 1300 customers throughout northwest Iowa are without power as a result of the storm.  Gaylene Eshuis (Es-hise) is the Operations Coordinator with Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative. 

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Northwest Rural Electric Cooperative, based at Orange City, has pulled crews from other service areas to assist with the restoration of power.

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Eshise doesn't have a cost estimate as to how much damage was done by the storm.  The Rural Electric official says they hope to have power restored to all customers by late afternoon or early evening.


Downed Power Lines Start Tree Fires

(Le Mars) -- As a result of the ice storm, fire department crews have also been busy this morning extinguishing tree fires.  Both the Le Mars Fire Department and the Akron Fire Department responded to separate incidents where power lines being weighed down by the ice had sparked trees to catch on fire.   

 

Floyd Valley Hospital Ready To Launch Capital Campaign For Expansion

(Le Mars) -- The Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees met Tuesday to be briefed on the latest developments regarding the possible expansion of the hospital.  Hospital administrator Mike Donlin says recent surveys conducted by the Renaissance Group, a consulting firm, and community meetings hosted by hospital personnel, show a wide range of support for the future expansion.

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Donlin says the hospital wants to move ahead on at least 12 percent of the expansion project, noting it is a small piece of the entire project, but never-the-less, and important part of the expansion.  Donlin says the hospital will consult again with the Renaissance Group,before officially launching the capital fund-raising campaign, but he says it may occur within the near future.

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Donlin reported to the hospital trustees another customer satisfaction survey conducted by the Healthgrades organization, once again shows the hospital staff excelling with personalized health care.

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Band Instructor Accused of Theft Quits Teaching

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City high school band director accused of stealing more than $50,000 in instruments from the school and pawning them has resigned.
39-year-old Kevin Massey, of Sergeant Bluff, resigned from North High School on Monday. Massey has agreed to pay $5,000 in restitution to the school district.
Massey was charged last month with first-degree theft and is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing on April 15 in Woodbury County Court.
School officials became aware of the matter after another teacher shopping for musical instruments online noticed some that looked familiar.
Sioux City police say Massey pawned the instruments to cover gambling debts. Police have recovered 62 instruments from three pawn shops. It's not clear how many instruments are still missing.
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Judge Blocks Records on Fine Lean Textured Beef

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A judge has blocked Iowa State University from releasing documents about food safety research conducted for the maker of the beef product that critics call "pink slime."
District Judge Dale Ruigh ruled last month that releasing the information would cause "irreparable harm" to Dakota Dunes, SD-based Beef Products, Inc., by revealing information about proprietary food-processing techniques.
BPI filed legal action seeking to block the release in 2010 after the records were requested by a Seattle law firm specializing in food safety. The New York Times later sought the documents.
The research was conducted by professor James Dickson, who was hired by BPI as a consultant in 2002. Dickson says his research has found that a process in which ammonia is applied to meat makes the product safer by killing bacteria.

 

Marion Woman To Win $1000 For Knowing When Car Fell Through Ice

OKOBOJI, Iowa (AP) - A Marion woman has won $1,000 for predicting when a car would fall through the ice on West Lake Okoboji (oh-koh-BOH'-jee) in northwest Iowa.
Paula Schwers hit it right with her guess of 1:51 a.m. on Thursday last week.
The Spirit Lake Sunrise Kiwanis Club and American Red Cross sell tickets as a fundraiser each year. Buyers record their best guesses for when the car placed on ice in Smith Bay will fall through. The
car engine and all fluids are removed from the car so it won't pollute the lake.
Last year it plunged by mid-March. It took until April 4 this year.
A search and rescue team and a towing company recovered the car so a clock rigged to record the plunge could be checked.


Ankeny Man Sentenced For Stabbing Ex-Girl Friend


ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - An Ankeny man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for stabbing his ex-girlfriend multiple times.
Michael Stewart appeared Wednesday at a Polk County courtroom for the sentencing.
Police say Stewart stabbed the woman in October 2011 at a residence she shared with the couple's three children. The woman had recently moved out of their home after breaking up with
Stewart.
The children were at home during the stabbing. The station reports the woman's 3-year-old son helped comfort her. Her other children had a neighbor call 911.
The woman was taken to a Des Moines hospital and has recovered from her injuires.
Stewart was sentenced on charges of attempted murder, third-degree sexual abuse, willful injury and going armed with intent.
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