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Wednesday Afternoon News, October 16

Floyd Valley Hospital To Host "Raise A Glass" Fundraiser

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital will be hosting a new type of fundraiser this Saturday
called "Raise a Glass".  Chuck Jespersen, the hospital's foundation manager says it will be
a fun evening of beer and wine sampling.

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Jespersen says the proceeds from the evening's activities will go toward cancer services
provided by Floyd Valley Hospital.

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Jespersen says a portion of the evening will feature local cancer survivors sharing their stories.  He says the evening will be both fun and meaningful.
Jespersen says tickets are selling for $35 a piece, and he urges people to contact the
hospital foundation office by the end of Wednesday to secure a spot for Saturday's
festivities. The "Raise a Glass" sampling will begin at 7:00 p.m. at the upper level of the Le Mars Convention Center.
The hospital foundation manager says the "Raise a Glass" event is replacing the traditional
hospital gala.

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Conservation Leaders To Discuss Management Of Little Wall Lake

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa officials and conservation leaders have met to discuss management of Little Wall Lake in Hamilton County.
The state Department of Natural Resources met with Hamilton County Conservation Board
members Tuesday to work on a management plan for the 256-acre lake.
The two sides have disagreed on water level issues. DNR has been in favor of the
shallow lake experiencing natural drought cycles. Lake residents want to increase the water
level for recreation during drought years.
DNR was against pumping water from a source with high levels of phosphorus. Among the proposals by DNR on Tuesday was a cool weather low dose chemical treatment plan.
The working group will continue to search for an alternative outside water source.


Iowa State University Research Foundation Celebrates 75 Years

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa State University holds the patent for the process that led to making the world-famous Maytag blue cheese. The university's research foundation also holds patents for lead-free solder used in most of today's electronics, and the algorithm that made a faster fax machine.
The Iowa State University Research Foundation is observing its 75th anniversary as the
organization that receives, protects, and licenses inventions resulting university research.
The blue cheese patent awarded in 1938 was one of the first issued to the university.
Since then other ISU scientists have created a vaccination for kennel cough and
developed Allsweet hybrid watermelon varieties.
Over the last 10 years, the foundation has returned over $55 million to inventors,
colleges and research centers.


Iowa State Offers Stand-up Comedy Course

AMES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa State University course is teaching stand-up comedy to help students with their public speaking.
Students are learning to write and tell jokes during the Comedy College course being
taught at the Ames campus. They're also learning to improve their sense of humor.
Gavin Jerome, a professional entertainer who is helping to teach the course, says humor
has practical applications for any student in any major. He also says there are techniques
and formulas to being funnier.
The course's final test will have students performing a stand-up routine at a campus
nightclub in early December.


Suspicious Package Found At Iowa State

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A suspicious item found at Iowa State University has been determined to be non-explosive.
The Iowa State University Police Department says further investigation of the item found Wednesday will continue off the Ames campus.
Authorities earlier posted a picture of the item on its Twitter and Facebook pages in an effort to identify the item. The State Fire Marshall's Office was also called in.
The incident temporarily closed an area near a dining facility and library.


Grain Manager Admits He Accepted Bribes

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former manager at one of the nation's largest grain cooperatives has reached a plea agreement on charges that he accepted $480,000 in bribes from an Iowa farmer in exchange for deep discounts on crop seed.
Chad Hartzler, former sales manager at West Central Co-Op in Ralston, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Sioux City for a plea hearing Thursday.
He was charged last week with wire fraud. His attorney, Chris Cooklin, said Wednesday that his client has reached a plea agreement with the U.S. Attorney's Office, the detail of which have been filed under seal.
A charging document says Hartzler accepted $480,000 in bribes from 2005 to 2011 from Lake View farmer Bill Wollesen.
Wollesen hasn't been charged and denies any wrongdoing, saying the payments weren't bribes.



Wednesday News, October 16

Supervisors Approve Funding For Floyd Valley Hospital

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Supervisors approved a plan to provide up to $400,000 over the
course of a three-year period to help finance the Floyd Valley Hospital's expansion project.
Floyd Valley Hospital Administrator Mike Donlin first appeared before the supervisors a couple of weeks ago to ask if the county would assist with the expansion project. Donlin returned on Tuesday to learn of their decision.  He says the county is funding the hospital expansion project utilizing two revolving accounts from the Local Options Sales Tax fund.

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Donlin says the hospital trustees approved to extend the date for the bid letting.  He says this was done to accomodate more contractors.

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Despite numerous other construction projects within the region, Donlin is confident the hospital project will lure contractors to have competitive bids.


County Supervisors Approve Painting Highway Markings

(Le Mars) -- In other action taken by the Plymouth County Supervisors, the county governing
board approved the painting of highway markings for 126 miles of Plymouth County highways. 
The cost runs approximately $770 per mile for a total investment of just short of $100,000.  The supervisors also discussed the Riverbend lake project which involves a
land swap of about 20 acres between the county and Higman Gravel and Sand Company of Akron. 
Chairman Jim Henrich reported that work has begun on the project to convert the once gravel
pit into a county-owned, conservation park managed lake.  According to calculations by
supervisors Don Kass and Craig Anderson, it may be more than 116 days before final
preparations are completed on the long over-due project.  Kass and Anderson believe it may
take a total of 11,200 side dump truck loads of dirt and gravel to be removed from the area.
A few weeks back, the county conservation board approached the supervisors to inquire about
the status of the project that was to have been completed in five years, but is now on its
ninth year.


City Council Sets Hearing Date For Hospital Funding

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council also discussed a financing plan for the municipal hospital.  The council approved a hearing date of November 5th regarding loans for the hospital that will not exceed $26 million.


First National Bank Becomes Northwest Bank

(Le Mars) -- You may have noticed a name change with what was known as First National Bank. 
As of Monday, the bank is now known as Northwest Bank.   Northwest Financial Corporation,
one of Iowa's largest family-owned bank holding companies announces the merger of two of its
banks, First National Bank with offices in Sioux City, Le Mars, and Sioux Center and
Northwest Bank have been completed.  A news release states the joining of these two
organizations will provide additional products, services, and banking locations to the
entire customer base.  The expanded organization will be one of the 10 largest banks in
Iowa, with $1.3 billion in assets and over $123 million in capital, serving 13 of the 19
counties in northwest Iowa.  The transition will provide the operation with new growth
opportunities, and allow Northwest Bank to increase lending capabilities and provide new
products and services.  The change will also strengthen the bank's ability to re-invest into
its communities and employees. 
Kevin Eekhoff, President of Northwest Bank in Le Mars, says customers will be able to keep
banking the way they always have...maintaining the same account numbers and services.

Woodbury County Jail Renovation To Be Delayed

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Completion of the first phase of a $1.2 million project to
modernize the Woodbury County Jail will be delayed by a couple months because officials want
to install a certain kind of air-duct covers.
Thecounty board on Tuesday approved the new completion date of Jan. 10. That's a delay from the earlier target of Nov. 15.
The extra wait will enable officials to order industrial-grade air-duct covers, which take about four weeks to arrive.
Regina Smith, of RML Architects, says ceiling work can't be completed until the covers
are installed.
The first phase of the project will cost about $688,000. It includes renovations to the
inmate booking area, utility updates and the replacement of cameras and intercoms.
The jail was built in 1987.


Council Bluffs To Pay $6 Million For Wrongful Conviction Suit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The city of Council Bluffs will pay $6 million to settle a lawsuit
with two Omaha, Neb., men who sued after the courts concluded they were wrongfully convicted
and imprisoned for 25 years.
Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee will be paid $2.3 million immediately and the
remainder in six annual payments of more than $528,500. A final payment of just over
$728,500 will be made in July 2020.
The agreement splits the money evenly between the two men in exchange for dismissal of
the lawsuit.
The agreement specifies no admission of fault or liability by any party or implies
Details, initially sealed on Friday, were ordered unsealed Tuesday after The Associated
Press filed a freedom of information request under Iowa's open records law.


Officials Consider Closing Des Moines Human Rights Office

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Officials are examining the possible effects of essentially closing the Des Moines Human Rights Commission.
Some people say the commission is duplicating work being done by the Iowa Civil Rights
The city commission closed or resolved 33 complaints in the fiscal year that ended June 30. The Iowa commission processed 306 complaints from Des Moines over the same period.
Money is an issue, too.
The Des Moines cost per case based on its entire budget was $10,333. The state commission's cost was about $595 per case for nearly 2,200 cases statewide.
Des Moines Human Rights Director Rudy Simms says the per-case cost comparisons include
his commission's other activities, such as community education.


Gold Star Military Museum To Stay Open

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Gold Star Military Museum at Camp Dodge in Johnston will remain open thanks to volunteers and support from the state.
The Iowa National Guard announced Tuesday the museum, which had been set to close beginning Sunday due to the federal shutdown, would instead remain open.
In a news release, the Guard credited museum volunteers and the backing of Gov. Terry
Branstad, who said at a Monday news conference that he would keep the museum open. Col. Greg
Hapgood says the state will pay a part-time staffer and volunteers will fill in as needed.
The museum is open Mondays through Saturdays.
The museum was established in 1985 and is the only federally recognized repository for military artifacts in Iowa.








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