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.
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.
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.