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Wednesday Afternoon News, November 27

Bixenman Honored As "Boss Of The Quarter"

(Le Mars) -- A Le Mars insurance agent has been selected as the "Boss of the Quarter".  The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce made the presentation earlier this morning to Rob Bixenman, owner of Bixenman Insurance Company.  Lori Steffen nominated Bixenman for the honor and says the company got its start in 2009 when Bixenmen purchased the agency.  She says When it comes to insurance, Rob knows his stuff!  He truly cares about his customers, and takes the time to get to know them so he can provide them with the proper coverage to suit their individual needs.  He strives to ensure their experience with the agency and with insurance in general is a good one.  He runs the agency with integrity and upholds good moral standards, which is refreshing to see in the industry.  Rob can also be commended for his involvement in the community—he actively gives his time, talents, and generosity for the betterment of the community.

Rob not only cares about his customers & community, he also cares about his employees as well.  He treats us with respect & kindness, and provides us the tools and motivation that allow us to do the best job we can in helping run a successful business.  Rob shares his vision of the agency, and will ask us for our thoughts, input, and opinions, making us feel like we are an integral part of the agency.  At the same time, his door is always open, and we can feel comfortable about coming to him for his thoughts and input as well.
Rob has always been very flexible, fair and understanding.  Even with his busy schedule, he will take the time to visit with us about our families and interests, and can also have some fun and share a good laugh now and then.  We truly enjoy working with Rob, and are grateful to have him as a boss and as a friend.  Our congratulations to Rob Bixenman for being named "Boss of the Quarter."


School Board Hears Report From Advisory Committee

(Le Mars) -- Earlier this week during the Le Mars Community School Board meeting, Dr. Todd Wendt, superintendent of schools reported to the board of directors the findings of the district's advisory committee, known as DLIIT Team.  Wendt says the advisory committee was split into two groups.  The first group focused on the data and the second group looked at the strengths and recommendations of school programs and curriculm that will help with student achievement.  Wendt informed the school board the school district is questioning students, parents, and faculty to see if the school is providing enough access for techonology.  The school advisory committee also suggested to the school to breakdown its collected data to further see where and how students can better achieve.


Sioux City Hotel To Be Renovated

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Sioux City officials say the city has reached a deal for a Florida-based company to buy and renovate a downtown hotel.
     Officials announced Wednesday that Conor Acquisitions, of Fort Myers, Fla., would buy the property for $4 million and spend another $6.5 million on renovations. The 193-room hotel, now an independent, would be converted to a national brand.
     Jonathan Chang, of National Hospitality Design Group, which is handling the renovation, says three national chains are being considered.
     Under the agreement, the city would contribute $1 million to hotel renovations. The city also would provide a property tax rebate and designate parking in a city ramp.
     The City Council will vote on an amendment to the downtown urban renewal plan Monday.


Expanded Corn Acreage Hurts Pheasant Populations

 SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Since the government began requiring ethanol be added to gasoline, the states of Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska have lost 2.8 million acres of land set aside in the U.S. Conservation Reserve Program. 
      Hunters, who are big business in that part of the country, say they have felt the loss of habitats for ducks, pheasants, grouse and other wildlife as native grasslands that provided shelter to the birds have been overtaken by corn and soy crops, the main feedstock used to produce ethanol. 
     Pheasant harvests in the region have declined by 44 percent since 2006. 
     The owner of a Nebraska hotel popular among hunters says, "Everything's against the pheasants right now."


 Des Moines Police Investigate Knife Wounds

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police are investigating whether a domestic dispute led to knife wounds for two people at a home.
      Police say the two people were taken to a local hospital Wednesday morning with injuries that were not life-threatening. Police say the people had superficial knife wounds.
     The names of the people hurt have not been released. Additional information about the incident is unavailable, and the incident remains under investigation.









Wednesday News, November 27

City Council Sets Date For Public Hearing On Pedestrian Bridge And Trail

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council has established December 17th as the date for a public hearing regarding the Highway 3 West recreation trail which would include a pedestrian bridge allowing residents living west of the Floyd River to cross the river without having to use the highway bridge that is used by vehicle traffic.  A few residents appeared before the council asking questions about the project.  City Administrator Scott Langel made the comparison of this proposed pedestrian bridge and trail to others that have been previously built.  He urged the council to consider where future expansion may take place.

Ken Nelson favors the project and represents the area for the proposed pedestrian trail and bridge. He says the trail and pedestrian bridge are needed for safety purposes.

The proposed trail and pedestrian bridge is estimated to cost more than $205,000.


Tips On Thawing The Thanksgiving Turkey

(Le Mars) -- So, you have that prized turkey at home and you want to cook it for Thanksgiving, but there is just one problem...it is frozen hard as a rock, and you're not certain if it can thaw in time for you to prepare it for your dinner.

Renae Swears, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Nutritional Health Specialist has some suggestions.  Swears says having a frozen turkey in a refrigerator may not be enough to adequately thaw the bird.  She suggests to place the frozen turkey in a sink of cool water.  Swears says you will need to drain the sink every 30 minutes and refill it again with cool tap water.  She suggests to keep the wrapper on the turkey when thawing.

Swears says larger and heavier turkeys will take longer times to adequately thaw.  She says a 12 to 15 pound frozen turkey may take between six and eight hours to thaw.  Larger birds may be up to twelve hours to thaw.

The Iowa State Extension Nutritional Specialist says to make certain your turkey is completely thawed before cooking, otherwise your Thanksgiving entree' could encounter other problems.  Swears says a turkey that is not completely thawed will be dry.

Swears says Iowa State University has an Answer Line available for questions relating to preparing the Thanksgiving meal.  That number is 1-800-262-3804.  Staff will be available to on Wednesday from 9-12 and again from 1 to 4.


DNR Establishes Deer Donation Program

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A popular deer donation program is starting up again in Iowa.
     The state Department of Natural Resources says the program, Help Us Stop Hunger, involves hunters bringing in a whole deer that will be processed into packages of ground meat.
     The Food Bank of Iowa coordinates the distribution of the meat to local food pantries.
     Jim Coffey, who coordinates the program, says hunters simultaneously reduce the deer herd and provide needed protein to the food bank.
     Iowa hunters have donated more than 56,000 deer to the program since it began. More than 5,200 deer were donated last year, resulting in 800,000 meals.


Grain Bin Fire

SHELBY, Iowa (AP) - Firefighters from several departments have been battling a blaze in a grain bin near Shelby in western Iowa.
     Atlantic radio station KJAN says (http://bit.ly/1aY6MLM ) fire crews from Shelby and Avoca were on the scene east of Shelby on Wednesday morning. The bin sits about a half-mile north of Interstate 80.
     The Harlan, Minden and Defiance departments were asked to send pumper trucks and other fire vehicles to help fight the flames.
     No injuries have been reported.


Theft Of Copper Wire Results In Burned Hand

 COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa man suspected of trying to steal copper is being treated in Omaha, Neb., for a badly burned hand.
     A power pole was cut down northeast of Council Bluffs on Saturday. Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker says deputies soon learned that a man in his 40s had been admitted to Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital in Council Bluffs for treatment of a burned hand. 
     Danker says investigators think the man and an accomplice cut down the pole to gain access to copper in a transformer. Danker says the burned man was driven to the hospital and dropped off by his accomplice. 
     The injured man was taken to a burn unit in Omaha for further treatment, which could include amputation of parts of the hand.

Fluoride In Drinking Water Revisited

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The issue of water fluoridation has bubbled up in Des Moines.
     A period of public comment runs through Saturday for customers of Des Moines Water Works. CEO Bill Stowe says sentiment is running 3-1 against adding fluoride to water used by more than 500,000 people in the Des Moines area.
      Dentists and some health experts say fluoridation dramatically reduces tooth decay. Opponents say fluoridation has harmful consequences and also amounts to forced medication of people. Des Moines has been adding fluoride since 1959.
     The issue has been raised elsewhere in Iowa. In April the Hampton City Council decided to continue adding fluoride to city water. The mayor had raised objections to fluoridation, saying that adding such medicine infringed on the rights of residents.






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