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Wednesday News, July 11th


(Le Mars) Plymouth County was able to collect more than $114,000 during this last quarter through the county recorder's office.  JoLynn Goodchild, the county recorder delivered her quarterly report to the county board of supervisors during their regular weekly meeting.

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Goodchild offers a more detailed account of the revenue.

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Due to a workshop training session held in Storm Lake, the Recorder's office will be closed today between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.




(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital has hired a Foundation Manager.  Accepting the position is Chuck Jespersen of Sioux City.  This is a new position for Floyd Valley Hospital, and Jespersen will coordinate all gifts to Floyd Valley Hospital including planned giving and estate planning.  Jespersen received his Bachelor's of Science Degree from the University of South Dakota.  He worked in donor recruitment at the Siouxland Community Blood Bank and most recently, served as the Director of Student Ministries at Sunnybrook community Church for the past eleven years.



(Le Mars) -- Today is the day Le Mars' new assistant fire chief, Mike Wise, will be officially sworn in for his duties.  Wise started working for the fire department on July 2nd.  He has been a fire fighter for more than twenty years, most recently serving at Omaha and Red Oak, Iowa.  Swearing in ceremonies will occur at Fire Station number 1 and will take place at 10:00 a.m.  The ceremonies are in conjunction with the Fire Station hosting the Chamber of Commerce coffee.






(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Sheriff's Office has released the details concerning a farm accident that happened last week.  At about 1:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon, 72 year old William Renken of Brunsville was working on his tractor when it unexpectedly lunged forward and ran over him.  Renken was transported to Mercy Medical Center by the Le Mars Ambulance.




DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines-based Planned Parenthood

affiliate faces allegations that it fraudulently billed Medicaid

from 2002 to 2009 for nearly $28 million.

A federal whistle-blower lawsuit filed by a former clinic

director, Sue Thayer, says Planned Parenthood of the Heartland

billed Medicaid for blood tests and other procedures related to

elective abortions but not for the actual abortions.

The lawsuit was filed in March 2011 but didn't proceed until

federal and state prosecutors decided against intervening.

A Planned Parenthood representative, Shelby Cloke, said the

organization hadn't had a chance to review the allegations but said

the lawsuit "follows a pattern of harassment" against Planned

Parenthood affiliates.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland has medical centers and

education and resource centers in Des Moines and the Nebraska

cities of Lincoln and Omaha.



ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - Fire officials say a bottle under pressure

exploded in a lab and may have exposed a worker to vapors at a

Monsanto Co. facility in Ankeny.

The Des Moines Register ( ) says the bottle

was under high pressure during a chemical process when the incident

happened Tuesday afternoon.

Ankeny Fire Chief Rex Mundt says the bottle was less than a

gallon in size. He couldn't immediately say what chemicals it


Monsanto spokeswoman Kelly Clauss says one worker was taken to a

hospital for observation and was released.

Clauss says the procedure being done when the bottle ruptured

was a normal one and the chemicals are regularly used.

According to the seed company's website, the facility is a

global hub for breeding research.





DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state worker's union has filed a

complaint against Gov. Terry Branstad over asking workers to pay

part of their health care premiums.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees

filed a complaint with the Iowa Public Employee Relations Board on


The complaint says health insurance is covered under collective

bargaining laws and the governor is prohibited from approaching

workers about making changes.

Branstad signed an executive order last week allowing state

workers to voluntarily pay 20 percent of their premiums. He says he

and the lieutenant governor will do so beginning Aug. 1.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says it's outrageous that

Iowans, who pay their own health care costs, are forced to foot the

bill for state workers.



DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some corn farmers are mowing down fields

as the drought in the middle of the country worsens.

The most severe drought in nearly 25 years spreads from Ohio to

California. Some of the hardest hit areas are in the corn belt,

where the lack of rain has combined with unusual heat to damage


David Kellerman says he and the neighbor he farms with cut down

their corn near Du Bois, Ill., after more than a week of

temperatures over 100 degrees.

Corn doesn't develop properly if temperatures rise above 95

during pollination.

Matt Johnson's popcorn fields in Redkey, Ind., have been burning

up by day, and he expects his insurance adjuster to tell him to mow

them over if no rain comes by next month.






Tuesday News, July 10

Roll-Over Accident Being Investigated

(Akron) -- A roll-over accident occurred Sunday evening at about 10:20 p.m. at 130th Street and County Road K-22 when a vehicle, driven by 16 year old, Alexander Foley of Le Mars failed to stop at an intersection.  Foley was then hit by a vehicle driven by 29 year old Erin Rodriguez of Sioux Center.  Following the collision, Foley's car ended in the ditch on its wheels after rolling.  Foley was transported to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City by the Akron Ambulance.  Rodriguez did not sustain any injuries.  Assisting at the scene was the Akron Fire and Rescue Department, Akron Ambulance, and the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office.

Floyd Valley Board of Trustees To Meet

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Board of Trustees are scheduled to meet this evening, and on their agenda they will continue to discuss the proposed north addition.  The trustees will hear quarterly reports on the Community Health Advisory Board, as well as the Quality Improvement Board.  That meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. at the hospital board room.


Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Reconvene

(Le Mars) -- After taking off last week for the Independence Day holiday, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to reconvene today at the courthouse.  The supervisors have a relatively light agenda.  They will hear from County Recorder JoLynn Goodchild give her quarterly report, and they are scheduled to meet with County Engineer Tom Rohe regarding an update on construction projects.

Applications Being Accepted for Sioux City Land-based Casino

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - State regulators are accepting applications for a land-based casino in Woodbury County.
     The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission posted the paperwork on its website last week. The commission is expected to talk about the process at Thursday's meeting in Des Moines.
     The board voted last month to allow other operators to submit applications after the two partners in the Sioux City riverboat casino couldn't agree on a new contract. The next day Penn National accepted a previous offer from nonprofit partner Missouri River Historical Development to extend the current agreement until 2015.
     The commission will be asked to ratify the pact Thursday. It may consider a shorter term deal, allowing the boat to stay open while it seeks bids for a land-based casino.

Kiron Waste Entered Otter Creek 

KIRON, Iowa (AP) - An electrical problem is being blamed for the release of partially treated sewage near the western Iowa city of Kiron. The Iowa Natural Resources Department says the problem shut
down a pumping station, releasing the wastewater into East Otter Creek. The city expects power to be restored today.


Hot and Dry Weather Causes Crop Conditions to Decline

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Not since 1988... that's the phrase that is being heard by farmers as they describe the current hot and dry conditions as it is taking a toll on Iowa crops. The condition of corn and soybeans continues to decline.  1988 was the last time Iowa suffered a major state-wide drought.
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in Monday's weekly report that only 46 percent of the corn is in good to excellent shape. That's the lowest level for the first week of July since
1993. A week ago, it was 62 percent.
     Forty-eight percent of soybeans are in good to excellent condition, down from 59 percent last week.
     The USDA says 88 percent of topsoil moisture and 82 percent of subsoil moisture are short or very short.  Roger Elmore is the corn specialist for Iowa State University Extension.  He says corn yield loss is probalbly at nine percent, and will continue to decline with everyday without moisture.

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Mark Licht serves as an extenion crop specialist.  He says farmers can calculate the amount of yield loss by counting the number of hours corn leaves are rolled.

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Iowa had 100-plus temperatures from Wednesday through Saturday.  The highest temps so far this year were on Saturday with eight communities reaching 105 degrees. There was no widespread rain.


Williamsburg Shuts Off Water

WILLIAMSBURG, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials have closed a motel, restaurant and waterpark until the water supply can be made safe to drink.
     The businesses in Williamsburg include the Clarion Inn, which houses the Wasserbahn Waterpark and Seven Villages Restaurant.
     The Gazette says a water test reported to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources showed E. coli bacteria in motel's well water.
     Public health officials say no one has reported being sickened during or after a recent visit to the motel or nearby businesses.
     Toxic strains of E. coli can cause severe diarrhea, kidney failure and even death, especially in young children.
     DNR officials can't say yet how the bacteria are entering the water system.
     The waterpark manager has declined to comment.


Branstad Opposes Expansion of Medicaid

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad isn't wavering in his opposition to expanding the state's Medicaid program calling it a federal straitjacket that the state and federal government can't
     The federal Affordable Care Act recently upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court encourages states to cover more uninsured people.  About 150,000 additional Iowans would be covered initially at
federal expense. The state now has 450,000 people on Medicaid.
     Branstad says he favors an Iowa-based program that requires everyone to pay something and works with insurers and medical providers to cut costs. He addressed the issue at his Monday news
     Democratic State Senator Jack Hatch says he'll push the Legislature to expand Medicaid saying it would save those who pay premiums money and help hospitals by providing care for those who cannot afford it. He says the state not only can afford to expand the Medicaid services, but adds it should be done.

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