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Tuesday Afternoon News, May 12

Supervisors Approve 83 Property Tax Credits Applications

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved 83 property tax credit applications during their weekly meeting held at the county courthouse Tuesday morning.  In other action, the county governing board approved the first reading of an ordinance vacating certain platted lots, streets and alleys. The area in question rests on the southern edge of Plymouth County where the county borders with the city of Sioux City.  The Board of Supervisors also signed the contracts with Richards Construction of Sac City.  Richards Construction was awarded three bids on three separate culvert projects.

 

 

 

 

Wellmark Blue Cross - Blue Shied Chooses Not To Carry Insurance Coverage For Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Wellmark Blue Cross & Blue Shield has opted for the third straight year to not sell health insurance to Iowa residents on the federal online marketplace.

Another large insurer, UnitedHealthcare, has announced it will begin offering plans to residents on the Healthcare.gov website.

Coventry Health Care said residents can continue to shop for its policies on the exchange. Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said he expects a third, unidentified company to file an application this week to sell health coverage to Iowa residents.

Wellmark disclosed Monday that it wouldn't offer policies to Iowa residents next year on the federal website. The company's vice president said, "It's not a matter of if we will participate, it is really a matter of when."

 

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Sioux City Man Pleas Not Guilty To Trash Bin Arson Fires

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 24-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to several arson charges stemming from several trash bin fires and other blazes.

Darin Morey entered written pleas last week in Woodbury County District Court. He faces six counts of arson and one of criminal mischief.

Authorities say the fires damaged trash bins, two garages, two commercial buildings and a fence. The damage total is estimated at more than $10,000. No injuries were reported.

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Chapman Attempts To Escape Crawford County Jail

DENISON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a 20-year-old man convicted last week of killing two elderly people in Deloit has tried to escape the Crawford County Jail.

The Crawford County Sheriff's Office says Jayden Chapman assaulted a jailer on Monday while trying to flee.

Chapman faces two life terms for the slayings of 80-year-old Marvin Huesling and 81-year-old Alice Huisenga in Deloit. Authorities say Chapman and Michael Schenk shot the pair in March 2014 at a trailer home and then set it on fire. Schenk was sentenced in March to two life terms for his role in the slayings.

 

 

 

Landfill Rejects Dead Poultry

JACKSON, Neb. (AP) - A northeast Nebraska landfill has declined to accept poultry from northwest Iowa killed due to the bird flu virus.

The landfill's owner told the Sioux City Journal that he considered disposing some of the carcasses at the site, but decided against it after Nebraska officials raised objections.

Spokesman Brian McManus with the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality said officials worried that transporting the birds could expose poultry farms along or near the route to the landfill to the virus. He said that's why the department strongly recommends on-site burial of such carcasses.

Iowa officials announced on Friday that two more farms holding a total of 4 million chickens tested positive for the virus. If confirmed, the birds will be euthanized and Iowa's chicken loss will approach 25 million.

 

 

 

Football Injury Lawsuit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A jury has awarded a former Bedford High School football player almost $1 million in a case involving the school's response to head injuries.

18-year-old Kacey Strough had a pre-existing medical condition known as a "cavernous malformation," or abnormally formed blood vessels, in his brain.

Strough's attorney argued a head injury aggravated his condition, but he was allowed to continue playing.

Jurors Monday found the school district and a school nurse were negligent for failing to notify coaches of Strough's potential injury and consult with Strough's grandmother to ensure treatment.

The lawsuit originally accused teammates of throwing footballs at his head, but the claim was ultimately dropped.

Strough had a blood clot removed in November 2012. He has permanent injuries and uses a wheelchair.

 

 

 

   

Tuesday News, May 12

City Crews Pick Up Downed Tree Limbs

(Le Mars) -- City crews have been busy picking up tree limbs and branches that fell as a result of the strong winds from Sunday afternoon.  Scott Kneip, city public works director, says the work will continue today.

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Kneip says if the tree fell on the parking area, it is the city's responsibility to remove.

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The Public Works Official says if a tree is resting on the lawn between the sidewalk and the home, then it becomes the responsibility of the homeowner to remove and dispose. Kneip says he knows of four large trees, mainly located in the southeast area of town, that had toppled due to the strong winds. Kneip reminds Le Mars residents the tree, limb, branch, and leaves disposal site located on the west side of town is open Wednesdays and Saturdays.

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Kneip says if residents are able to place their large tree limbs that fell during Sunday's winds, alongside the curb, then the city will assist with the disposal. City crews will travel the streets Tuesday morning finishing up on the removal of downed trees.

 

 

 

Supervisors To Discuss Budget Amendment

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet today at the county courthouse, and on their agenda, the supervisors will review and discuss a budget amendment for fiscal year 2014-2015 and set a public hearing date.  The supervisors will also read and review an ordinance for vacating platted lots, streets and alleys.  The supervisors are scheduled to review and possibly approve the 2015 Business Property Tax Credit applications. County engineer Tom Rohe will appear before the supervisors and submit construction contracts involving three culvert projects.

 

 

 

 

Floyd Valley Hospital Trustees To Meet Today

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees are meeting this morning for their monthly session.  The hospital trustees will hear a medical staff report. The hospital trustees will review and possibly approve Floyd Valley Hospital Auxiliary by-laws.  Trustee Larry Petersen will lead the discussion regarding the Quality Improvement Board Quarterly report.  Hospital Administrator Mike Donlin will lead the discussion for the general update.  The Board of Trustees will review and likely approve Lifeline program changes, capital acquisitions, and the change order requests.  Donlin will also update the trustees on the progress of the North Addition expansion project.

 

 

 

Hawarden To Expand Hospital

(Hawarden, IA) – Hawarden Regional Healthcare will be holding a Groundbreaking Ceremony, Thursday, May 21st to kick off their hospital expansion project. The event is to take place on the east side of the hospital at 10:00 a.m.  Hawarden Regional Healthcare’s nearly $14 million project will add approximately 20,000 square feet and remodeling other parts of the facility. Jayson Pullman, CEO of the Hawarden Hospital says, “This is a huge accomplishment for the town of Hawarden, to reinvest in the hospital's infrastructure that will provide healthcare to the region for the current and future generations.  The community support for this project has been incredible".

Hawarden Regional Healthcare, a city owned facility, has been in the planning stages for expansion for the last four years.  Over $2.5 million has been raised through pledges and donations from area community members and businesses. The expansion project is largely funded by a USDA loan and by two community banks. State and local lawmakers and community members will be in attendance.

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Life Skills Executive Director Tells People Of Mental Health Funding Changes

(Le Mars) -- Last evening, the Life Skills Training Center held its annual banquet and awards recognition.  Executive Director of Life Skills, Don Nore spoke to the gathering about the many changes about to occur with the local organization that focuses attention on adult mentally challenged.  Nore says the changes involve a shift from local financing and local control to more state and federal regulations.

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Nore informed the gathering the expansion of traditional Medicaid programs that were operated through the state, now may become under the control of private entities.

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Nore says the transition is scheduled to begin on July 31st of this year, and take full effect on January 1st of 2016. He says it will mean a big difference for thousands of people.

 

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The Life Skills Executive Director urged the families and those attending last evening's banquet and awards program to contact their legislative officials, as well as to contact Governor Branstad's office and the office of the State's Health and Human Services to stay informed about the changes and how those changes will affect services to the mentally challenged.

 

 

 

Roggow Awarded Life Skills Client Achievement Award

(Le Mars) -- During last evening's Life Skills banquet, Jayme Skadeland, the Rehabilitation Manager announced this year's recipient for the Client Achievement Award.

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Roggow began working at Life Skills when it originated in 1973.  For more than a decade she has been working alongside a special volunteer creating all of the labels needed on the laundry floor.

 

 

 

Official Says Department Of Human Services Still Placing Mental Health Patients

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The head of the Iowa agency overseeing the proposed closings of two state mental health facilities says officials are still finding placements for some long-term patients.

Charles Palmer, director of the Iowa Department of Human Services, says up to six patients in a specialized unit for the elderly at the facility in Clarinda may not have placements by June.

Gov. Terry Branstad removed funding in his budget for facilities in Clarinda and Mount Pleasant. He supports a proposal by some Republican lawmakers to keep them open through December, but it's unclear what support the measure will get from others.

Janice Scalise told lawmakers Monday her 63-year-old sister at Clarinda has yet to be placed and DHS officials have been unclear about the process. DHS officials say they're working hard.

 

 

 

 

Man And Estranged Wife Get Lengthy Prison Terms For Child Pornography

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man and his estranged wife have been handed lengthy federal prison terms on charges that they produced child pornography involving babies and young children.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Iowa says 42-year-old Bradley Jensen and 37-year-old Jennifer Jensen, both Panora residents, were sentenced Friday to 32 1/2 years and 20 years in federal prison, respectively. Bradley Jensen was convicted sexual exploitation of a child and production of child pornography. Jennifer Jensen was found guilty of receipt of child pornography.

Investigation unveiled that the couple produced images of Bradley Jensen sexually abusing a 3-month-old. It also revealed Bradley Jensen made child pornography with a 6-year-old girl, whom they are both accused of sexually abusing.

Attorneys for the couple weren't available Monday for comment on the sentences

 

 

 

 


 

   

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