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Tuesday Afternoon News, April 21

Arrest Made On Sioux City Hit And Run Accident

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City Police have arrested a 74 year old man in connection with the hit and run accident that injured two juvenile girls last Saturday.  Thomas Scheitler of Sioux City has been charged with Aggrevated Leaving the Scene of a Personal Injury Accident due to the injuries suffered by the victims.

 

 

 

Iowa's Unemployment Rate Falls

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state report released Tuesday shows Iowa's unemployment rate dropped for the third-straight month this year, down to 4.0 percent in March.

Iowa Workforce Development data shows the rate improves upon February's 4.1 percent and the March 2014 rate of 4.4 percent. It is also under last month's national average of 5.5 percent.

Iowa lists approximately 1.65 million people as employed in the state, 600 more than in February and 25,500 higher than last year. The report also shows the education and health services sector posted the most job gains in March with an increase of 2,300.

Agency director Beth Townshend says consistent growth in Iowa's nonfarm workforce shows such employment has expanded to an all-time state high, boosting the overall number of nonfarm jobs to about 1.57 million.

 

 

 

Five Upstart Businesses To Compete For Development Contest

(Le Mars) -- Northwest Iowa Development is holding a contest which encourages entrepreneurs to create new small businesses.  The program is referred to as "Dream Big - Grows here".  Le Mars Chamber and LBIC Executive Neal Adler serves as a director with the Northwest Iowa Development.  He says the program has been active for several years.

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There are five finalists within northwest Iowa.  They include: American Hero Clothing from Michelle Sanderson of Larchwood, Marto Brewing Company from Erik Martin of Onawa, Dave Winslow is presenting the Jackson Street Brewing from Sioux City, Mud on Main is a new business in Aurelia and is being presented by Jessica Kannegieter.  The fifth finalist is TreePans from Bill Brown in Akron.

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Adler says there were more than 20 businesses in northwest Iowa competing for the "Dream Big - Grow Here" contest.  The winner from northwest Iowa will advance to the state competition.  Each of the five will have the opportunity to present their idea to a panel of judges in Sioux City.
Numbers Are Lowered For Chickens Infected By Bird Flu
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The number of chickens at a northwest Iowa farm that will need to be killed because of the bird flu virus has been reduced to 3.8 million.
Sunrise Farms announced Tuesday that it houses 3.8 million laying hens, all of which will need to be killed after a routine test confirmed the virus in the flock. That's less than the 5.3 million that government officials had estimated Monday.
The chickens will be killed and composted on the farm as part of the containment process.
The Iowa infection is the latest to hit eight Midwestern states, where the virus is dooming about 6.3 million chickens and turkeys.
The virus is deadly for birds, but appears to be little risk to people.
Wrongful Death Lawsuit Filed Against Veteran's Home
MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - The wife of a former Iowa Veterans Home resident has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility, alleging its staff didn't properly care for her husband.
Sharon Greer, who is representing Rose Wilson, tells the Marshalltown Times-Republican that the lawsuit stems from medication issues and how care was handled after Vern Wilson allegedly fell at the veterans home located in Marshalltown.
A representative at the facility declined to comment on the allegations and pending lawsuit, which was filed April 10. The Iowa Attorney General's Office didn't return a message from the newspaper prior to publication Tuesday.
The Iowa Veterans Home is the largest in the U.S. and the only such facility in Iowa. It houses and cares for eligible veterans and their spouses.
Dependent Adult Abuse Arrest
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa City caretaker tasked with caring for several dependent adults at a group home has been accused of slapping a mentally disabled resident.
Police say 62-year-old Christopher Ngu Tangang was arrested Monday and charged with dependent adult abuse. Online court records indicate Tangang's case has been assigned to the public defender's office but don't specify an attorney who could be reached for comment on his behalf.
Police say the resident tried to enter the kitchen at the house April 8 when Tangang allegedly grabbed the man and shoved him into a bedroom. A police complaint says Tangang then scolded and slapped the man in the face "with an open hand."
The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports a supervisor reported the incident.

 

 

   

Tuesday News, April 21

Another Iowa Poultry Farm Infected By The Bird Flu

(Le Mars) -- Another case of the bird flu has been detected in Iowa.  This time it has struck a chicken layer farm in Osceola county.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture says the bird flu virus has been found at a farm holding nearly 10 percent of Iowa's egg-laying chickens.

The confirmation of the highly infectious and deadly H5N2 virus means up to 5.3 million hens must be destroyed at the farm in northwest Iowa's Osceola County.

Iowa is home to roughly 59 million hens that lay nearly one in every five eggs consumed in the country.

It's the first chicken farm in Iowa to be affected by the virus, which was confirmed at a Buena Vista turkey farm in the state last week.

Several Midwestern states have been affected by the outbreaks, costing poultry producers nearly 7.8 million birds since March.

The latest farm experienced a high number of chicken deaths and sent samples to labs.

Dr. Hans Koehnk is a veterinarian that specializes in poultry diseases.  He says although the disease is deadly to poultry, people don't need to worry about being infected.

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He says the bird flu is thought to be transmitted by way of migratory birds, particularly ducks and geese.

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Some people are wondering how is it that ducks and geese can carry the flu virus, but not be affected?

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Today's turkeys and chickens are primarily produced indoors to prevent an outbreak of diseases, so how are the migratory ducks and geese infecting the nation's poultry?  Koehnk says ducks and geese are attracted to the facilities because of the available feed.  He says when the wildlife fowl molts its feathers it also releases respiratory droplets that can be transmitted through the air.

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Again, Dr. Koehnk emphasizes that this particular strain of bird flu does not affect humans, nor does it hurt the safety of our food supply.


Supervisors Have Light Agenda For Today's Meeting

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors are scheduled to meet this morning at the county courthouse board room. The supervisors have a short agenda for this week.  They are expected to approve a tile crossing permit in Elkhorn township, and they will hear from Doug Webb as he is seeking approval for a sub-division.


Sioux City Traffic Cameras Back On

(Sioux City) -- Sioux City's traffic cameras that were ordered to be shut down by the Iowa Department of Transportation are being turned back on. Justin Vondrak of the city attorney's office says a court order has been issued to allow the speed cameras placed on Interstate 29 to be reactivated by city police.
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Red light cameras at intersections on Outer Belt Drive and Lewis Boulevard will also be turned back on. Vondrak says the hearing originally set for Tuesday will now take place May 11th.
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Police say those cameras went back into operation at one minute past Midnight last night, early morning.


Iowa DOT To Spend $700 Million On Road Repairs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Transportation says it plans to spend a record $700 million on construction on state and interstate highway projects this year.
The department spent $656 million on road projects in 2014. A 10-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax increase, which took effect March 1, will provide about $200 million annually to cities and counties across the state. There are statewide plans to fill potholes, repair aging bridges and install new concrete and asphalt pavement.
Officials say that up to 500 work zones will be set up statewide from now until the end of the road construction season in November.
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Workforce Director Breaks Ties

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The new director of Iowa Workforce Development is cutting ties with a longtime agency employee who was recently named head of the division that oversees unemployment insurance disputes.
Director Beth Townsend told employees Monday she will follow guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor and make the job overseeing administrative law judges available only to lawyers. The job is being posted Monday.
Townsend says 26-year employee Steve Slater has left the department. Slater was promoted to the administrator job months ago by then-director Teresa Wahlert but isn't a lawyer.
The Department of Labor last month said that Wahlert created perceived pressure on judges to favor employers over workers. Wahlert laid off the administrator who oversaw judges in 2013 and took on that role herself before naming Slater to the job.


Jurors To Deliberate Lawmaker's Sexual Abuse Case

GARNER, Iowa (AP) - Jurors are set to resume deliberating in the trial of a former Iowa lawmaker accused of sexually abusing his wife, who was suffering from dementia.
Closing arguments were delivered and jurors deliberated Monday before adjourning. They will resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday.
The case centers on the question of when a person is no longer capable of giving consent for sexual relations.
Prosecutors say 78-year-old Henry Rayhons had sex with his wife at a nursing home May 23 after being told she was no longer mentally capable of consenting. He's testified that he and his wife had no sexual contact that day.
Rayhons, who served nine terms in the Iowa House, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of third-degree sexual abuse.
His wife, Donna Lou Rayhons, died in August.
   

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