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Wednesday News, August 19

Governor Jindahl Speaks At A Campaign Stop In Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- Louisiana Governor and republican presidential hopeful Bobby Jindahl made a campaign appearance in Le Mars this afternoon. Jindahl spoke for nearly two hours before approximately 70 people with the theme "The American Dream is not about government dependence."

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During his appearance, the Louisiana Republican made several references to former president Ronald Reagan.  Jindahl spoke about reforming immigration.  He is a son of Indian immigrants who came to the United States, and he says the United States currently has a "dumb immigration policy".  Jindahl says the United States was, and still is, and always should be the melting pot of the world.  He says immigrants need to follow his parent's example, and come to this nation legally.  The Louisiana governor says the U-S needs to secure our borders, and do away with sanctuary cities.  Jindahl also says the nation needs to shrink its 18 trillion dollar debt, and he claims to be the only candidate that actually has reduced spending.

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Jindahl offers several examples as to where the federal government can reduce its size.

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Jindahl points to his experience as governor of the delta state and says it is possible to have both affordable energy and a clean environment.  He says he favors an "all of the above" energy policy, which would also includes ethanol.

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The Louisiana politician also favors the Keystone XL pipeline.

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The presidential candidate told the gathering he is opposed to Common Core in education, and favors increasing the military both in spending and in numbers, and says the U-S should do a better job of caring for its veterans.

 

 

 

City To Conduct A Housing Assessment Study

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council approved a plan on Tuesday to contract with Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council, or SIMPCO, to conduct a housing assessment study.  Mayor Dick Kirchoff says Le Mars has a shortage of available housing, and due to that fact, the city has had some difficulty in recruiting additional industries.

(sot) Kirchoff housing1

Mayor Kirchoff says another problem facing the city is when people decide to work in Le Mars, but can't find affordable housing. Instead they choose to live in another surrounding community.

(sot) Kirchoff housing2

City code ordinance officer Jason Vacera answered the mayor's question by saying once SIMPCO completes the housing study and offers suggestions, it then becomes the responsibility of the city council and other city officials to implement those suggestions.
City councilman Clark Goodchild, who is a real estate agent, says there are no houses to sell.  Goodchild questioned the need for a study when city officials already know the results.

(sot) Goodchild housing1

The housing assessment study will cost the city $6500 and is expected to be completed by mid-January.

In other action, city officials approved a request by Wells Enterprises to submit a High Quality Jobs application with the Iowa Economic Development Authority allowing for Wells to obtain financial assistance with an expansion project that will add more jobs.  Wells will be making an estimated investment of $19,000,000.  Wells will receive a tax abatement for five years amounting to nearly $91,980.

 

 

 

 

Opponents Of Oil Pipeline File Lawsuit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some Iowa landowners are taking a different legal approach against a proposed oil pipeline, arguing in a lawsuit that a state board has no authority to grant access to private property for the project.
The lawsuit filed in district court in Cherokee County in late July says the Iowa Utilities Board has no legal authority to give developers like Dakota Access LLC the right to use private property for the pipeline. The lawsuit says Dakota Access is not an Iowa utility so it can't utilize such options.
The three-member board filed a motion Friday to dismiss the lawsuit. An attorney for the board says they do not comment on pending litigation.
Dakota Access, a unit of Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners, wants to build a pipeline from North Dakota through Illinois.

 

 

 

 

Bird Flu Economic Study Released

(Des Moines) - A study by the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation shows the avian bird flu that struck Iowa's poultry industry and resulted in the loss of 34 million birds on 77 farms, will cost the state dearly in lost jobs and lost revenue. Spencer Parkinson executive director of Decision Innovation Solutions, the company contracted by Iowa Farm Bureau to conduct the economic study shares the results.

(sot) Parkinson1

Parkinson says it could be a few years before the state fully recovers from the economic setback.  The economist says egg prices are likely to peak this summer, but the elevated price for eggs is likely to linger for a minimum of 12 months and could last for two to three years. Parkinson says the economic recovery will be different for turkey producers than for the layer industry.

(sot) Parkinson2

Parkinson says more than just poultry farms and their workers were affected.  Other Iowa businesses including veterinarians, trucking companies, processors, and lenders were feeling the economic results of the bird flu. Parkinson says grain farmers, feed companies, and other businesses that sell products and services to poultry operations couldn't continue to make and sell products to the poultry industry like they did prior to the bird flu outbreak.

 

 

 

 

Iowa Medicaid Program Cutting Ties With Management Company

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Medicaid program is planning to cut ties with a company that has managed mental health and substance abuse benefits for its members for two decades.
Magellan Health, Inc. was one of six companies passed over Monday when Iowa officials announced four winning bidders to operate the $4.2 billion Medicaid program.
The Iowa Department of Human Services said Tuesday that Magellan's contracts would expire Dec. 31 and its services will be turned over to the new vendors.
Department spokeswoman Amy McCoy said Magellan has been a "valued partner" since the 1990s but scored lower than the winning bidders.
The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company's stock price dropped after Monday's announcement, which surprised many providers. Magellan said its Iowa contracts generated $262 million in revenue in the first six months of 2015.

 

 

 

 

Sioux City Man Sentenced For Hitting Son With Binder Notebook

 

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man has been sentenced to four years in prison for repeatedly hitting his 13-year-old stepson with a three-ring binder.

48-year-old Michael Bardwell was sentenced Friday on two counts of child endangerment. He had pleaded guilty.

Court documents say Bardwell struck the boy in the head several times on May 15 while they were in a Sioux City hotel room. According to authorities, the boy placed his hands over his head for protection and suffered a fractured middle left finger.

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Free Preach Lawsuit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A federal appellate court has ruled that state troopers didn't violate an evangelist's First Amendment rights by asking him to stop preaching near state fairgrounds in 2013.

A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also ruled that Jason Powell's lawsuit should go back to district court for a judge to decide whether unwritten policies fair officials use to manage protesters and advocacy groups are too vague to be enforceable.

Powell sued state and fair officials in June 2014, saying his rights to free speech were violated when law enforcement personnel during the 2013 Iowa State Fair asked him to leave the publicly owned grounds because he stood wearing Christian clothing and holding up a sign.

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Tuesday News, August 18

Jindahl To Campaign In Le Mars

(Le Mars) -- Louisiana Governor and presidential hopeful Bobby Jindahl is scheduled to make a campaign stop in Le Mars today.  The republican will be at the Four Brothers restaurant between 12:00 noon and 1:30 p.m.

 

 

 

City Council To Hold Public Hearing On Ethanol Storage Facility

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council is scheduled to convene at the City Hall Council Chambers beginning at noon.  The city council will hold a public hearing regarding the urban revenue tax increment revenue bond.  The hearing will hear public comment on the proposal to take action on not to exceed $2,500,000 taxable urban renewal tax increment bond for funding a project in the Le Mars Highway 75 By-pass urban renewal area consisting of providing an economic development loan to the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation in connection with the construction and development of ethanol storage and loading facilities and related rail improvements in the urban renewal area.  In action items, the council will discuss the energy audit recommendations for the public library.  The city council will also consider a request from Wells Enterprises.  Wells is proposing expansion of its business operations and creation of additional jobs.  Wells is pursuing financial assistance for a portion of the costs of this project, and as such, is requesting approval from the city to submit applications to the Iowa Economic Development Authority for funding through the High Quality Jobs Program.  The council will also discuss whether a new housing assessment study should be conducted.

 

 

 

 

 

Supervisors To Consider Renewing Leases With Pride Group

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County Board of Supervisors is scheduled to hear from Anne Rust this morning during their weekly meeting.  Rust, is with Pride Group, Incorporated, and the county governing board will consider renewing commercial leases.

 

 

 

 

Former Water Officials Tampered With Samples

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Officials say two former Sioux City employees tampered with samples at the city's wastewater treatment plant.
Iowa Department of Natural Resources spokesman Kevin Baskins said Monday former plant superintendent Jay Niday and shift supervisor Pat Schwarte treated wastewater with chlorine only on days when samples were tested for E. coli. Baskins said the wastewater, which is released into the Missouri River, could have higher E. coli levels on days when chlorine isn't added and could pose a risk to those who drink the river water.
Baskins said the employees have been sent a letter telling them the state plans to revoke their wastewater treatment certifications, which the two can appeal.
An investigation was launched after a complaint about the wastewater was sent to city

officials.

 

 

 

 

Branstad Wants A Review Of Funding To Planned Parenthood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad says he wants state agencies in Iowa to review its contracts with the local Planned Parenthood affiliate to ensure no funding is going to abortions.
Branstad said Monday the health care provider does not receive a state appropriation and no Medicaid dollars go to abortions in Iowa. Branstad said most money going to Planned Parenthood is federal.
Branstad spokesman Jimmy Centers says the governor will determine his next move after the review.
Suzanna de Baca, president of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, says the organization has helped reduce unintended pregnancies and sexually-transmitted infections.
Branstad's move comes after the release of videos by an anti-abortion group showing Planned Parenthood officials in Texas describing how they provide fetal tissue from abortions for medical research.

 

 

 

 

Quality Food Processors To Expand And Add Jobs At Denison

DENISON, Iowa (AP) - Good news for the town of Denison.  Just days after Tyson closed its beef slaughtering facility, officials for the small western Iowa city of Denison say a local meat processor plans to add about 200 jobs as part of an expansion.
The Chamber & Development Council of Crawford County says Quality Food Processors LLC wants to start hiring for the jobs in 2016. The company currently has about 100 employees in Denison.
Evan Blakley, executive director for the chamber, says Quality Food Processors is still seeking local tax incentives and state grant money to move forward with the project.
The announcement comes just days after Tyson Foods said it will close its plant in Denison. It employed about 400 people.
Blakley says the expansion at Quality Food Processors and pending announcements from other employers offering local jobs is a sign there are work opportunities in Denison.

 

 

 

 

Four Companies To Manage Iowa's Medicaid Program

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad's administration will turn over management of Iowa's $4.2 billion Medicaid program to four companies beginning Jan. 1.
The Iowa Department of Human Services announced Monday that Amerigroup Iowa; AmeriHealth Caritas Iowa; United Healthcare Plan of the River Valley; and WellCare of Iowa were selected after a bidding process.
The announcement marks a key point in Branstad's transformation of Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled that serves 560,000 Iowans.
The companies will coordinate services for beneficiaries through networks of providers.
Branstad argues that having managed care organizations run the program will contain costs that have risen sharply while improving outcomes. The state says patients will receive the same benefits but the new system should reduce unnecessary services.
Critics worry the shift will hurt patients.



 




   

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