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Wednesday Afternoon News, March 12

Le Mars Community Honors Its Nurse As "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- This month's Le Mars Community School District's employee of the month is awarded to its nurse.  Stephanie Feenstra was presented the honor.  Gale Horan submitted the nomination.  She says Stephanie is responsible for our individual and collective health here at Le Mars Community School.  For the students, she takes care of students when they fall ill, or have sudden personal health emergencies.  She takes care of daily situations for students such as keeping track of meds for students, tracking paperwork for vaccinations, and making sure to keep track of all supplies.  Her job has become more complicated as we deal with more severe injuries and ailments with health issues, as well as with sports injuries.  She helps the AEA with testing at certain times of the year and she helps bring in the blood bank and helps organize the donating so that our students learn about community service.  She has students who want to follow her example and go into the health care fields.  Stephanie helps staff to track blood pressures and encourages us in healthy lifestyle choices such as walking and excerising.  Stephanie is a wonderfully kind-hearted person to whom the students feel comfortable going when in ill health.  Horan adds he is extremely thankful to Stephanie for all she brings to the the staff and to the students. Our congratulations go to Stephanie Feenstra for being honored as the Le Mars Community School District's "employee of the month."

 

Cellular Connection Donates To Animal Rescue Facility

(Le Mars) -- At Wednesday morning's Chamber of Commerce coffee, the host made a donation to an area animal rescue facility.  Cellular Connection of Le Mars presented a check for the amount of $250 to Noah's Hope of Sioux City.  The local cellular phone retailer started the program nearly eight months ago.  Anytime a customer upgrades their cellular phone, or becomes a member of Verizon Cellular Phone Service, or signs up for Direct TV satellite service, Cellular Connection makes a contribution to Noah's Hope.  Today, marked the first donation Cellular Connection has made to Noah's Hope.  

 

Sioux City Man Accused Of Beating Grandson

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 43-year-old Sioux City man has denied accusations that he used an extension cord to beat his grandson.
     Dayle Webbs pleaded not guilty on Monday to child endangerment resulting in injury. His trial is scheduled to begin June 24.
     Court documents say that on Jan. 5 Webbs hit his 6-year-old grandson on a shoulder and thigh and on his neck, back and stomach after the boy got out of bed to get a drink of water. The documents say open, bleeding wounds on the boy's shoulder and thigh were still visible 20 days later.
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Democrats Pushing House Republicans To Approve Six Percent School Funding Bill

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - House Democrats have tried once again to push Republicans to debate a bill that would provide school districts with a 6 percent increase in funding for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015. 
     The attempt by Rep. Sharon Steckman, a Mason City Democrat, to pull the bill out of committee and place it on the House debate calendar failed to get the required 51 votes Tuesday. Steckman is the leading Democrat on the House Education Committee. The Democratic-controlled Senate approved the bill February.
     Leaders in the Republican-majority House don't want to consider it until next year even though state law requires the Legislature to set school funding schools more than a year in advance. 
     Republican House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says he wants to know available tax revenues before making commitments.

 

State Helping Inmates Obtain Health Insurance

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - State officials say they are setting up a process in which inmates will be enrolled in a public health insurance program upon their release from prison. 
     Katrina McKibbin, an assistant deputy director for the Corrections Department, says the new effort is intended to help former inmates cope with life outside prison and obtain services, such as mental health and drug addiction treatment.
     The initiative is possible because of the federal Affordable Care Act, which has funded an expansion of Iowa's Medicaid program. Most adults previously didn't qualify for Medicaid, but single adults now qualify if they earn less than about $16,000 annually.
     Officials will help inmates complete applications soon before they're released and notify human services officials so coverage can begin when inmates are paroled.
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Iowa Air National Guard Training On Drones

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Nearly 300 people have been training on a new mission for the Iowa Air National Guard in Des Moines: drone control.
     Since the end of the manned F-16 flight program for the National Guard's 132nd Fighter Wing was announced a year ago, 290 people were chosen for training and full-time work on controlling the four MQ-9 Reaper aircraft.
     Col. Kevin Heer says that of the 1,002 personnel at the local base, more than 600 did not have the skill set needed for the new missions.  More than half of the base was trained and transferred from the F-16 program to another mission. Those waiting for assignments are still performing maintenance on aircraft from other states.
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Protesters Interrupt Regents Meeting

 IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Protesters have disrupted the Iowa Board of Regents meeting to demand an end to a consultant's $2.5 million study of operations at the state's three public universities.
     Four University of Iowa graduate students interrupted Wednesday's board meeting at the Iowa Memorial Union in Iowa City by loudly chanting, "Ditch Deloitte. Stop the audit."
     The chants referred to the regents' decision last month to hire Deloitte Consulting LLP to study all aspects of the universities and recommend ways to cut costs and increase revenue. 
     The consultants are just beginning their work, but their recommendations could lead to closing inefficient programs and the sale of some public assets.
     The protesters were eventually escorted out of the building by security officials. They won't face criminal charges but could be sanctioned by the university.

 

Mason Under Pressure For Comment Regarding Campus Sexual Assaults

  IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A controversy surrounding University of Iowa President Sally Mason illustrates the pressure that college administrators are facing to crack down on campus sexual assault.
     Mason had taken steps that made the 30,000-student university a model on the issue, hiring an administrator to coordinate help for victims and mandating prevention training for employees. Yet she faced protests last month after telling the student newspaper that ending sexual assault was probably unrealistic "just given human nature and that's unfortunate."
     Some students called it a hurtful remark that exemplified the university's insensitivity. Mason apologized and took action, but she was still chastised by the university's governing board.
     Well-organized student activists and an increasingly active federal government are putting pressure on college leaders to stop what the White House calls a public health epidemic.

 

UNI Reports To Staff About Identity Theft And Data Breach

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) - Employees at the University of Northern Iowa say they're victims of identity theft following some sort of data breach at the school.
     Affected employees and others attended a public forum Tuesday to discuss the issue.
     Experts on computer science, tax fraud investigation and information technology served as a panel to answer questions. UNI President Bill Ruud opened the forum with an apology.
     Many employees reported incidents of fraud after filing tax returns earlier this year. A school official says UNI doesn't know where the data was compromised.
     Michael Hager, vice president of administration and financial affairs, says all employees should assume they have been affected and take necessary steps to secure their identity. Free credit monitoring has been offered.
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