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Tuesday Afternoon News, January 14

Plains Area Mental Health Requests Funding From County

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors continue to work on the county's budget.  On Tuesday morning, Patrick Schmitz of Plains Area Mental Health along with Sharon Nieman appeared before the supervisors to request funding for the county's mental health services.  Schmitz made the request for $89,850 which is lower than last year's budget request of more than $143,000.  Schmitz informed the supervisors why the mental health services budget request is reduced.

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The mental health services are now under a regional supervison.  Schmitz informed the supervisors the total of the mental health services is more than $930,000.  Schmitz says the mental health services have been able to save money by moving more to an outpatient program.

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The mental health official told the county supervisors that the regional mental health program is charging each participating county a fee of $2.75 per person living in the county.  Plymouth County has a population of about 24,000 people.  Schmitz told the supervisors that the mental health clinic has increased its staff, and intends to add more staff people in the coming weeks. 


Farmers Reminded Of Pending Deadline For FSA Ballots 

(Le Mars), Jan. 14, 2014 – USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) Executive Director, Jeff Davis, today reminded farmers, ranchers and other agricultural producers that they have until this Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, to return completed ballots to FSA. Eligible voters who have not received a ballot can obtain one from their local USDA Service Center. The last day for voters to submit completed ballots in person to local USDA Service Centers is Jan. 17, 2014. Ballots returned by mail must be postmarked no later than Jan. 17, 2014.
County committee members are an important component of the operations of FSA and provide a link between the agricultural community and USDA.  Farmers and ranchers elected to county committees help deliver FSA programs at the local level, applying their knowledge and judgment to make decisions on commodity price support programs; conservation programs; incentive indemnity and disaster programs for some commodities; emergency programs and eligibility. FSA committees operate within official regulations designed to carry out federal laws.


Gehlen/Spalding Musicians Selected For Honor Band

(Le Mars) -- 20 Gehlen and Spalding Catholic 7-12th grade students will be amongst musicians performed Wednesday, January 15, during the 18th Annual CYO Honor Band Festival.  The evening concert will be held on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake. Those students selected to participate in the honor band include: Carlyn Bretey, Jovanny Vera, Evan Niebuhr, Nathan Klein, TJ Kruse and Meredith Kellen, Andrew Kordick, Michelle Klein, Emily Pratt, Malayna Hanks, Jordan Larson and Rachel Kellen, have also been selected. Ashley Schmit; Megan Kellen, Michaela Bretey, Kaitlyn Norfolk and Kathryn Ripley.  Tyler Zenk, Kennedy Heying, and Thomas Pohlen also have been selected.


MRHD To Hold Off Making Casino Revenue Payments To Charities

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The nonprofit organization that holds the gambling license for the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino has voted to stop sending grants to local charities and governmental bodies for now.
     Lawsuits over which gambling operator has the right to run a casino in Sioux City has prompted the Missouri River Historical Development board to temporarily stop approving grants.   
      The board is the nonprofit holder of the gambling license for the casino operated by Penn National Gaming Co. 
     Iowa law requires casino operators to contract with and share a portion of their revenues with licensed nonprofit organizations such as the development board.
     However, Penn National has withheld more than $900,000 from the board since May after Penn National filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the nonprofit.


Branstad Submits State Of The State Address And Budget Requests

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is offering a budget proposal that includes a tax break for veterans and incentives to encourage Internet expansion in rural Iowa. 
     Branstad unveiled his roughly $7 billion financial plan Tuesday. It also includes proposals to combat school bullying, freeze tuition at state universities and increase funding for apprenticeship programs. 
     Branstad is talking about those goals in his annual "Condition of the State" speech before a joint session of the state legislature. 
     In his prepared remarks, Branstad - who is expected to run for a sixth term - repeatedly uses the phrase, "Iowa is working." 
     Branstad's efforts are more modest than last year, when he collaborated with lawmakers on a property tax cut, new education spending and an expansion of low-income health care.




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