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Friday News, July 12

Floyd Valley Hospital To Receive USDA Loan

(Le Mars) -- U-S Senator Tom Harkin will be in Le Mars on Saturday morning to deliver some good news for the Floyd Valley Hospital.  Harkin is expected to announce the U-S Department of Agriculture's Rural Development will extend a loan of $15 million to the hospital on a 35 year term for construction of the new addition.  Floyd Valley Hospital officials have been anxiously awaiting the news from the USDA.  Mike Donlin is the administrator for Floyd Valley Hospital. 

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In addition to announcing the loan for the Floyd Valley Hospital, the Democratic Senator
will be reviewing the historic renovation of the American Legion Wasmer Post #241.  Harkin was responsible for securing grant money for Mainstreet renovations programs.  The American Legion was able to utilize grant money with a federal challenge grant of $30,000, plus $15,000 from the city of Le Mars, and $15,000 in private donations for the total historic restoration project of over $60,000.  Harkin will make both announcements from the American Legion Hall beginning at 9:00 a.m.

 

Scaled Down Farm Bill Passes

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has passed a scaled-down version of a massive farm bill, putting off a fight over food stamp spending and giving Republican leaders a victory after a decisive defeat on
the larger bill last month.
The GOP leaders scrambled to get the bill to the floor Thursday and gather enough votes this week after making a decision to drop a politically sensitive food stamp section of the bill and pass
legislation that contained only farm programs.
The plan faced opposition from Democrats, farm groups and conservative groups. But Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia navigated his colleagues to a 216-208 vote by convincing Republican
members that this was the best chance to get the bill passed and erase the embarrassment of the June defeat.

 

Crop Report Shows Less Corn To Be Produced

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has slightly lowered its estimate of the corn crop, reflecting late planting in the Corn Belt caused by a wet spring.
Farmers are now expected to harvest 13.95 billion bushels, 55 million fewer bushels than predicted in June. That still beats the 2009 record by about 858 million bushels.
The supply of corn is likely to shrink this summer because of last year's small, drought-affected harvest of 11 billion bushels and this year's delayed planting, so prices will likely remain high.
That's good for farmers selling grain, but will increase the cost of corn-based feed for livestock producers raising cattle, chickens and pigs.
Food prices aren't likely to be affected much by the change.

 

Northey To Announce Future Plans At Fundraiser

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will reveal his 2014 election plans at a Saturday fundraiser.
Northey says in a news release Thursday that he will make the announcement at an annual fundraiser at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
Northey announced in May that he would not seek Iowa's open U.S. Senate seat next year, citing his preference to remain in his current role. He was one of several top-tier Iowa Republicans who
declined to run for the seat after Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin announced he would not seek a sixth term.
Northey is currently serving his second term as agriculture secretary. He was first elected in 2006.

 

Year Has Passed Since Missing Cousins Case - Still No Suspects

EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - Nearly a year after the abduction of two eastern Iowa cousins, authorities investigating their deaths say most details surrounding the case remain confidential.
The Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office says officials continue to aggressively investigate the slayings of Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook, but they have no additional details to release at this time. They called the case very complex.
Captain Rick Abben said in a statement released Thursday that much of what is known in the case must remain confidential in order to preserve the integrity of the case.
Elizabeth was 8 and Lyric was 10 when they were last seen in July 2012 riding their bikes near Meyers Lake in Evansdale. Their bodies were later found in a wooded area in December.

 

UNI President Wants Students

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The new president of the University of Northern Iowa wants more students to attend his school.
William Ruud says  that he's challenged his admissions office "to set foot in all 348 school districts in Iowa this year."
Fall enrollment at the Cedar Falls university is projected at 11,800 students. That would be the fewest since 1989.
The projected 4 percent decline in enrollment could result in a $6.1 million decrease in the university's $166 million budget.
Ruud became UNI president last month, replacing Benjamin Allen.
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Supreme Court To Review Immigration Case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court is ruling on whether a couple from Ecuador may sue a lawyer for emotional pain for giving them bad advice which caused them to be separated from
their children and grandchildren in Iowa for at least a decade.
A district court jury in 2010 ordered Des Moines attorney Michael Said to refund the family's legal fees. The Iowa Court of Appeals ordered in June 2012 a new trial to determine whether he
also should pay for emotional distress. Said appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court.
Said told a Klever Miranda and Nancy Campoverde in 2005 they could gain U.S. citizenship if they returned to Ecuador and filed certain immigration documents, however, once in Ecuador federal
rules prohibited them from returning to the U.S. for 10 years.

 

Supreme Court To Again Review "Too Attractive" Case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Supreme Court will decide for a second time whether a dentist acted lawfully when he fired an assistant for being too attractive.
The court is expected to issue a ruling Friday in a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by Melissa Nelson, who was fired by Fort Dodge dentist James Knight despite being a stellar employee.
Justices ruled 7-0 in December that Knight didn't commit discrimination when he fired Nelson, saying bosses can terminate workers that they find too irresistible because those decisions are
based on feelings, not gender.
The court withdrew that opinion amid criticism and will issue a new decision Friday.
Knight and his wife said the dentist had become too attracted to Nelson and believed her continued employment would threaten their marriage. Her replacement was a woman.

 

Gay Men's Group Plan To Protest Blood Center

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A Des Moines blood donation center is one of 53 sites targeted for a nationwide protest by gay men.
The men will offer their blood at the downtown LifeServe Blood Center on Friday but expect to be turned away.
The Food and Drug Administration barred blood donations from gay men in 1984 as the number of AIDS cases rose among people who'd received blood tainted with HIV, the virus that causes the disease.
Greg Gross works for a Des Moines AIDS prevention group, and he says the ban no longer serves a legitimate public health purpose.
He says most gay men don't have the AIDS virus although gay men, as a group, have a high infection rate.
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Thursday Afternoon News, July 11

Steve Schuster Honored With "Boss Of The Quarter"

(Le Mars) -- The owner of a Le Mars Trucking firm was honored this morning as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce's "Boss of the Quarter".  Steve Schuster was presented with a plaque acknowledging his honor.  Schuster was nominated by Erica Wenzel, Human Resources Director, with the Schuster Company.  She says: "when you look up the traditional definition of "boss" - someone dominant who tends to make decisions and give instructions, those are not the first qualities I would use to describe Steve.  Although he does those things when needed, his love for the people who work for him are what drives him.  He always makes time for his over 300 plus employees, and still carries on his father's tradition of delivering the mail to everyone each day.  Steve has managed to grow Schuster Company during some tough economic times all while keeping the small business atmosphere.  He provides benefits that don't exist at other companies such as longevity bonuses, Christmas bonuses, Company picnics, company golf outing, a bowling night, Halloween Trick or Treat in the office for employee's children.  In 2012

, Steve helped three employees and their extended family members through fundraising efforts while they were dealing with cancer related illnesses.  Steve is the first to lead by example, serving as the 2013 Committee Chairman of the Board for the Iowa Motor Truck Association.  Steve "thinks with h

is heart".  He is a wonderful leader, not only at Schuster Company, but in the community he loves, and the state he resides in."

(Steve, Shawn, and Danna Schuster)

Photo submitted.


Gospel Music Festival At Remsen Farm Scheduled For This Weekend

(Remsen) -- This coming weekend, gospel music fans will want to attend the 6th annual Country and Gospel Music Festival to be located on a farm near Remsen.  Cheryl Juhl and her husband, Mark, serve as the host for the festival.  Cheryl highlights the two day event.

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Juhl says the headliner performer comes from Nashville, Tennessee and is familiar with this area, as he has appeared several times at the Old Time Country Music festival held in Le Mars.

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Juhl says the proceeds of the gospel music festival will go to help the church of the Damascus Road.

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The music festival host says statistics show when an inmate is able to attend church, that inmate is more likely to stay away from committing crimes.

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Admission to the music festival is $15 for a one-day pass and $25 for a two-day pass.

 

USDA Expects Lower Corn Crop

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has slightly lowered its estimate of the corn crop, reflecting late planting in the Corn Belt caused by a wet spring.
Farmers are now expected to harvest 13.95 billion bushels, 55 million fewer bushels than predicted in June. That still beats the 2009 record by about 858 million bushels.
The supply of corn is likely to shrink this summer because of last year's small, drought-affected harvest of 11 billion bushels and this year's delayed planting, so prices will likely remain
high.
That's good for farmers selling grain, but will increase the cost of corn-based feed for livestock producers raising cattle, chickens and pigs.
Food prices aren't likely to be affected much by the change.

 

Des Moines Finds High Levels Of Nitrates In Water

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines Water Works has asked customers to reduce water use because of persistently high nitrate concentrations in nearby rivers.
The utility announced Thursday that customers have been told to reduce the time sprinklers are on because of highly polluted water in the Raccoon and Des Moines Rivers. They've also been asked to
water their lawns on odd or even days.
Officials say the record-setting concentrations in the rivers require extensive treatment at a nitrate removal facility that's operating at maximum capacity. The utility has been using alternate sources of water, but they're not adequate to meet a customer demand of 70 million gallons per day.
Des Moines Water Works says if water use does not decrease, the utility will be unable to meet the federal contaminant level for nitrate.

 

Des Moines Man Sentenced 35 Years For Murder 20 Years Ago

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A man accused of killing a Des Moines businesswoman nearly 20 years ago has been sentenced to 35 years in prison as part of a plea deal that will likely have him released
this month.
36-year-old David Flores was sentenced Thursday in connection to the 1996 death of Phyllis
Davis.
The sentence is part of a deal with prosecutors that allowed Flores to give an Alford plea. It means he doesn't admit to the act but he acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict him.
Davis was killed after her car was struck by crossfire between rival gangs.
Flores was later convicted for her death based on circumstantial evidence. He was granted a new trial in 2009 after additional evidence and testimony was presented.

 

Wright County Murder

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - A man whose 1997 murder conviction was overturned in 2011 has sued Wright County and officials involved in his original prosecution.
The Mason City Globe Gazette says 59-year-old Jose Aguilera filed his federal lawsuit earlier this month. It alleges malicious prosecution, false arrest and conspiracy among its claims and seeks
punitive and compensatory damages for Aguilera.
In December 2011 the Iowa Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Aguilera, who was convicted of second-degree murder in a 1996 shooting near a party in Rowan. The court ruled prosecutors improperly suppressed a state investigative file that bolstered Aguilera's statements that the shooting was accidental.
Last year Aguilera was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and soon was released from prison.

 





   

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