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Tuesday Afternoon News, November 4

Falling Corn And Soybean Commodity Prices Hurting Midwest Economy

(Omaha) -- A monthly survey of business leaders and supply managers in Iowa finds the state's leading economic indicator fell for the fourth straight month in October. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says Iowa's Business Conditions Index for the month was, in a word, "tepid." Goss says the entire nine-state Midwest region is experiencing a similiar downward slide, as new export orders are dropping.

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The U-S dollar is becoming stronger though, which Goss says has an impact across the board.

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 After rising to its highest level in more than three years in June, Goss says the overall index reading has hovered in a range pointing toward positive -- but slower -- growth for the regional economy over the next three to six months, with agriculture being key.

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Durable goods producers in Iowa, including ag equipment makers and nondurable goods manufacturers, especially food processors, reported much slower growth than earlier in the year.


New Fish Farm To Be Developed At Webster City

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) - A company is planning to build a large indoor fish farming operation in Webster City that will employ 150 people.
      VeroBlue Farms is preparing to purchase two buildings in the central Iowa city, including the former Beam Building more commonly known as the Kenco Building. 
     The company's president, Keith Driver, says the 270,000-square-foot building will have about 215 fish tanks that can each store about 10,000 gallons of water. Driver says about 20,000 pounds of fish each year can be raised in each tank. 
     The fishing farm will raise Barramundi, which Driver says is meaty and popular in Australia.


Story City Says No To New Truck Stop

STORY CITY, Iowa (AP) - The City Council has voted against a truck stop at the Story City ramp off Interstate 35.
     People jammed the council meeting Monday night and shared their concerns before the vote. 
     Opponents said the truck stop would mean an increase in pollution and crime, including sex trafficking. Supporters said the truck stop would spur economic growth and bring about 50 new jobs to town.
      Mayor Mike Jensen says he had favored building the truck stop because his city needs the development, but he now thinks that "with all the oppositions and the emotions in this, the council made the right decision."


Marshalltown Proposed Cancer Center Rejected

  ANKENY, Iowa (AP) - A state council has denied the approval of a certificate sought by a new Marshalltown hospital to operate a cancer treatment center.
     The State Health Facilities Council voted 3-1 to deny the certificate for the Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center. The hospital's CEO, John Hughes, says it's disappointing that the panel rejected them but respects their process.
     Leaders with the hospital say one of the main reasons they wanted to open the center was to decrease the travel burden on cancer patients and offer treatment locally. 
     Council chairman Bill Thatcher says Marshalltown hospital's center would have been too close to Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, which already offers high-quality services.




Tuesday News, November 4

Plymouth County Polling Locations

(Le Mars) -- Today is election day with the polls having opened at 7:00 a.m. and will remain open until 9:00 p.m. Plymouth County has 13 precincts. 

Precinct 1 - Portland township and the City of Akron will cast votes at the Akron Public Library.

Precinct 2 - All of Garfield, Meadow, Henry and Remsen townships will vote at American Bank in Remsen.

Precinct 3 - City of Struble, all of Elgin, and America townships (excluding census block 191499702002047) will vote at the Courthouse Annex.

Precinct 4 - City of Brunsville and Craig, all of Washington, Johnson, Grant, and Preston townships will vote at the Brunsville Legion Club.

Precinct 5 - All of the city of Remsen and Oyens, Fredonia, and Marion townships will vote at Remsen Public Library.

Precinct 6 - City of Westfield, all of Sioux and Westfield townships will vote at the Westfield Community Center.

Precinct 7 - City of Merrill, all of Liberty, Stanton and Plymouth townships will vote at Kissinger Community Center in Merrill.

Precinct 8 - All of Hancock and Perry townships including portions of Sioux City within Perry township will vote at the Perry Township Hall. (4 miles west of Hinton on C-60)

Precinct 9 - City of Hinton, all of Hungerford and Lincoln townships including portion of Sioux City within Hungerford township will vote at the Hinton Community Center.

Precinct 10 - City of Kingsley, all of Union and Elkhorn townships will vote at the Kingsley Community Center.

Precinct 11 - 1/3 of the city of Le Mars will cast their vote at the Le Mars Convention Center (lower level).

Precinct 12 - 1/3 of the city of Le Mars will cast their vote at the Le Mars Convention Center (lower level)

Precinct 13 - 1/3 of the city of Le Mars will cast their vote at the Le Mars Convention Center (lower level)


Several Unopposed Political Races In Plymouth County

(Le Mars) -- This year there are no contested races in Plymouth County, other than for residents living in the eastern edge of Plymouth County who will decide between incumbent Republican Dan Huseman of Aurelia and his opponet Greg Fritzsche, a Democrat who are seeking State House District 3. Otherwise, voters will notice Supervisors Don Kass and Craig Anderson are seeking re-election.  Supervisor Jack Guenthner has decided to retire from the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors after his current term is completed.  John Meis' name will appear as a Republican candidate for the County Supervisor position. County Attorney Darin Raymond is seeking re-election and is running unopposed.  JoLynn Goodchild is unopposed for the County Recorder position, and Shelly Sitzmann is running unopposed for the County Treasurer position. Bill Anderson is unopposed as a Republican candidate for State Senator, and Chuck Soderberg is again seeking the position for State House Representative for District 2.


Floyd Valley Hospital Recognized By Press Gainey For Guardian Of Excellence

(Le Mars) – Floyd Valley Hospital is proud to announce it has been named a 2014 Guardian of Excellence Award winner by Press Ganey Associates, Inc. The Guardian of Excellence Award recognizes top-performing facilities that consistently achieved the 95th percentile of performance in Patient Experience in the Emergency Department.
The Press Ganey Guardian of Excellence Award is a nationally-recognized symbol of achievement in health care. Presented annually, the award honors clients who consistently sustained performance in the top 5% of all Press Ganey clients for each reporting period during the course of one year.
Press Ganey is the nation’s leading health care performance improvement company and partners with more than 11,000 health care facilities, including more than half of all U.S. hospitals, to reduce suffering and improve the patient experience.


Flu Vaccine Clinics Rescheduled

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital has announced the dates for re-scheduled flu vaccine clinics. Friday, November 14th between 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. flu vaccines will be dispensed at the Hinton Community Center and Tuesday, November 11th from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. health officials will dispense flu vaccines at the Rejoice Church of Le Mars.


School Bell Returns To Plymouth County

LE MARS, Iowa (AP) - A Mississippi woman has returned an old bell from the long-closed Seney school to the Plymouth County Historical Museum, decades after she bought it for $8.50.
     Sarah and Larry Voas brought the bell to the museum in October. Many of Sarah Voas' relatives had attended the Seney school since it opened in 1880 and closed in 1964.
     In October 1965, she won the bell at a school auction after bidding against a religion professor at Westmar College. She said she wanted the bell because her mom attended the school.
     The couple moved to Biloxi, Mississippi, and kept the bell in their garage.


Ernst And Braley In Dead Heat Senate Race

(Des Moines) -- Latest polls show the U-S Senate race between Democrat Bruce Braley and Republican Joni Ernst is a dead heat race.  The state of Iowa does not have a law for a recount of votes.  If a recount should happen, political party officials would need to request the votes from each of Iowa's 99 counties.


Harkin Apologies To Ernst

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin is apologizing for calling Republican Joni Ernst attractive, but "wrong for the state of Iowa."
     Harkin, who is supporting Democrat Bruce Braley to succeed him, made the remarks at a recent Democratic dinner. Video of the speech was posted on the Buzzfeed website Sunday.
     In the video, Harkin says it doesn't matter if Ernst is "as good looking as Taylor Swift or as nice as Mr. Rogers," if she's going to be a conservative vote in the Senate.
     Ernst decried the remark as sexist, saying he would not have made the same comments about a male candidate.
     In a statement released Monday, Harkin said he "shouldn't have said those things," and that he regrets "any time someone feels offended by what I have said."


Weekly Crop Update Shows Harvest Progressing

(Des Moines) -- On Monday we reported that Plymouth County harvest would wrap up within a few days.  Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist Joel Dejong estimates that more than 90 percent of the county's soybean crop has been harvested, and he believes that more than 75 percent of the county corn crop has been harvested.  Today, the weekly crop report is issued.  Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey reports that 91 percent of the state's soybean crop is in the bin, and 61 percent of the state's corn crop has been harvested.  Northey says the corn harvest is now just 10 days behind the five year average, and the soybean harvest is now slightly ahead of average pace.  


Sac County Motor Vehicles Employee Fired For Pushing Home Business During Work Hours

     SAC CITY, Iowa (AP) - An audit shows a former employee at the motor vehicle department in Sac County was fired because officials suspected she was promoting a personal business while at work.
     A state audit released Monday says the department for the Sac County Treasurer's Office had more than $3,500 in improper disbursements and deposited collections between January 2010 and the end of February of this year. Most of the money was paid to Lisa Phillips, the department's former deputy treasurer, for compensatory time.
     Phillips is accused of promoting a personal business during normal working hours. County workers told officials they saw her spending two to three hours per day doing non-county activities.
     A public number for Phillips is not available. The audit has been sent to the county attorney's office and other agencies. 


Prisoner Pleads Guilty To Escape

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) - A man who broke his arm while climbing out of a vent at the Webster County Jail has pleaded guilty to escaping.
     32-year-old George Johnson entered the plea Monday on charges of escape from custody and second-degree criminal mischief. 
     Johnson and another man escaped the jail in Fort Dodge in August while doing laundry. They used sheets they tied together as a makeshift rope to escape through a vent. Johnson fell three stories and was taken to an area hospital. 
     The other man was captured a few days later and has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for the escape. 
     Johnson faces up to 15 years in prison on each charge when he is sentenced later this month.


Teenage Girl Faces Arson Charges For Setting Fire To School

 EVANSDALE, Iowa (AP) - A 14-year-old girl faces a first-degree arson charge in connection to a small fire at a middle school in northeast Iowa.
     Evansdale Fire Chief Kent Smock said Monday that the girl was taken into custody.  The case has been sent to the juvenile court system.
     The Associated Press generally does not name minors accused of crimes.
     The small fire was reported on Oct. 22 inside a bathroom at Bunger Middle School in Evansdale. No injuries were reported.
     The fire caused school officials to dismiss students and staff.








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