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Wednesday News, July 10

Floyd Valley Hospital Holds Public Hearing

(Le Mars) -- Only one person appeared last evening for the Floyd Valley Hospital public hearing regarding the new addition.  Lois Bauer of Kingsley appeared before the board of trustees with questions regarding the new proposed facility. She asked to have the project manager and architect present the proposal for the new addition, which is estimated to cost more than $25 million. Larry Peterson, a hospital trustee, informed the trustees that he has heard a great deal of support coming from the community approving the proposed addition.  Peterson made the motion to approve the addition project, with Trustee Bill Young seconding the motion.  The hospital trustees unanimously voted to approve the project.  Bids will now be accepted with bid letting to be announced sometime around September 21st.

Law Enforcement Officials Conduct Active Shooter Training

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's Department along with officers from each of the Plymouth County communities and the Conservation Board are participating in an active shooter training seminar today using the Clark Elementary School as the scenario of an active shooter.  Le Mars Police Officer Jeff Cramer is conducting the special training and explains the most likely of places where an active shooter may be located.

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Officer Cramer says the purpose of the training is so each law enforcement official knows exactly how to proceed in a building and secure it, and take down the shooter or shooters.

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Cramer says some students from Le Mars Community volunteered to role play in the scenario offering the officers assistance with their training.

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Hampton Inn and Casey's General Store To Build In Orange City

(Orange City) -- The Orange City Development Corporation announced on Tuesday two significant projects designed to contribute to economic growth, residential and visitor services, and tourism for the community and northwest Iowa.  The first project is the development and construction of a new $6.2 million Hampton Inn hotel adjacent to the $4 million Prairie Winds Event Center that opened last summer on Highway 10 east.  The three-story, 60-room hotel will serve the needs of visitors, businesses, and tourists to the town of 6,000.  The Hampton Inn will include an indoor pool, breakfast area, and other important amenities.  Orange City Development Corporation vice president Marty Guthmiller says "a recognized hotel brand like Hampton will perfectly complement the event center. 
Together, the event center and hotel will enhance the "destination" aspect of our community, boosting our ability to host a variety of corporate and private events and meeting the needs of both residents and visitors.

The second announcement involved the acquisition of a 44,000 square foot site, also on Highway 10 east, by Casey's General Stores.  The Dutch Colony Inn now sits on the property. The OCDC purchased the property with the portion of the site sold to Casey's for the construction of a new 4,200 square foot store.


Sioux City Manager Being Sued For Sexual Harassment

(Sioux City) --  Sioux City Manager Paul Eckert is being sued by a city employee for sexual harassment.  Britany Scott filed the lawsuit in federal court Tuesday morning.  Mayor Bob Scott says Eckert remains on duty as City Manager.  Brittany Scott, no relation to the mayor, is asking for unspecified monetary and punitive damages and wants the city manager to be fired.  Court documents state that Brittany Scott claims the sexual harassment began in the fall of 2000, after she was divorced.  She also claims Eckert created a hostile work environment and he retaliated against her in reduced pay and benefits when she rejected his alleged advances.  Scott also claims she was denied promotions and given undesirable assignments.  Mayor Scott says no one to his knowledge has asked for Eckert to resign.  The mayor says he expects Eckert to continue to manage the city until the legal process plays out.


Former Bremer County Recorder Given Probation

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) - A former Bremer County recorder who admitted stealing office funds has been given up to three years of probation.
59-year-old Donna Ellison had faced up to seven years in prison when she was sentenced on Monday. Ellison was given the probation and a deferred judgment and was ordered to pay restitution of at least $524. Under the deferred judgment, the convictions will be removed from Ellison's record if she successfully completes probation.
Ellison pleaded guilty in May to misconduct in office and third-degree theft. Authorities say Ellison took the money between May 2012 and February 2013 and altered records to disguise the
Ellison had been Bremer County's recorder since 1995.


Mason City Farmer Pleads Guilty To Loan Fraud

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A Mason City man has been sentenced to federal prison after pleading guilty to making a false statement related to farm loans.
U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade sentenced 41-year-old Raymond A. Schaefer to two years in prison, and he was ordered to make about $370,000 in restitution to MidWestOne Bank and the Farm
Service Agency.
Schaefer pleaded guilty in March, when he admitted to making false statements to creditors in 2008 to cover up that he'd lost a large amount of money by gambling.
Schaefer was released and will surrender to the U.S. Marshals Service on July 29.


Secretary Of State To Re-write Voter Registration Form

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Secretary of State's Office will rewrite its new voter registration form after complaints that it could confuse people and prompt them not to register.
The secretary of state legal counsel Charlie Smithson said Tuesday his office agreed with concerns raised by the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa.
The ACLU had argued the new form gave the impression registrants must provide a driver's license or identification card number and their Social Security card in order to register. State law actually requires a Social Security number only if registrants don't have a state-issued identification.
Smithson says the Voter Registration Commission will rescind rules enacting the new form, which was set to become an official state document on Aug. 1.

Disciplinary Action Withdrawn For U Of I Doctor

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Regulators have withdrawn disciplinary action against a University of Iowa doctor whose attorney says she was unfairly accused of abusing alcohol.
The Iowa Board of Medicine last month abandoned disciplinary cases against Wendy Smoker it filed in 2011 and 2012.
The step came after an appeals court blasted the board in May for mishandling allegations that Smoker, a recovering alcoholic, had resumed drinking. The court said the board conducted a
"blatantly subpar investigation" and unfairly sanctioned Smoker despite no evidence that her ability to practice medicine was compromised by a 2009 relapse in which she drank wine at a
professional dinner.
The Iowa Supreme Court let the ruling stand.
Smoker's attorney, David Brown, said Tuesday the board will have to pay back more than $12,000 in settlements and court costs.






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