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Wednesday Afternoon News, Nov. 21

Floyd Valley Hospital Swaps Land

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital officials have made a deal with the city in the transfer of a small parcel of land which hopefully will clear the way for an addition to the hospital.  When land surveys were recently conducted it was learned that a portion of Floyd Valley's property was located within a flood plain, as well as a wetland. Mike Donlin, administrator for Floyd Valley Hospital explains the situation.
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Donlin says meetings have been scheduled for this week with USDA officials to address the flood plain issue.  Donlin says he is hoping Rural Development officials will set aside the necessary funds that Floyd Valley is seeking for a loan, with the hopes that they will be notified in either December or January.  Floyd Valley officials are finalizing the process for the loan application.  The hospital administrator says a consulting firm has been hired to help raise local capital for the expansion project.
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New Doctor Joins Staff At Floyd Valley Hospital

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital officials have announced a new doctor will be joining the staff next July.  Dr. Andrew Geha will provide all facets of family healthcare services from pre-conception to end of life services.  Dr. Geha earned his undergraduate degree at Creighton University.  He received his Masters Degree and Doctor of Osteopathy from Des Moines University.  He is currently in the Family Practice Residency Program with the Siouxland Medical Education Foundation.

 

Volunteers Prepare Community Thanksgiving Meal

(Le Mars) -- Thanksgiving is a time to offer our blessings.  Tradition dictates that we celebrate by feasting on turkey, stuffing, potatoes, side dishes, and a variety of desserts, that often includes pumpkin pie.  Several volunteers from local churches are busy preparing for the Community Thanksgiving meal which will be served from the Rejoice Church Thursday between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  Donna Britcher coordinates the project.
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Britcher says it takes about one hundred volunteers in order to feed the expected 700 plus people.  The Community Thanksgiving started seven years ago, with the idea to offer a Thanksgiving meal to those that have no family, or to shut-ins, but Britcher says it has expanded.
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The meal is free of charge.  If you would like a Thanksgiving meal delivered to your home, simply call the Rejoice Church at 548-4430.


Thanksgiving Holiday Means More Traffic and More Accidents

(Le Mars) -- Thanksgiving weekend ranks as one of the most heavily traveled times with estimates of up to 44 million extra people on the nation's highways.  Because of that extra amount of traffic, it also ranks as one of the deadliest for vehicle accidents.
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Iowa State Patrol trooper Vince Kurtz reminds motorists that Iowa roads will have extra patrol units watching traffic.  His first suggestion to holiday motorists is not to speed and allow for extra time for your destination.
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Kurtz says avoid the distractions.  He says statistics show that up to 80 percent of today's accidents are due to distractions. So, put away the cell phone and don't text messages while driving.  The other major consideration is alcohol.

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The state patrol trooper says generally Iowans rank high for seat belt usage, but he reminds motorists to always "buckle up".

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Kurtz says we can all be thankful for when we make a safe journey.


Jurors Find University of Iowa Denied A Law Professor A Promotion Based On Politics

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Jurors say they believed the University of Iowa law school denied a promotion to a conservative because of her politics, but were split on whether the former dean could be held responsible.
Jury forewoman Carol Tracy of Davenport tells the Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/10teffS ) that "everyone in that jury room believed that" Teresa Wagner was discriminated against when
she was passed over for teaching jobs.
But jurors say they believed the school itself - not former dean Carolyn Jones - should've been named as the defendant. Wagner's lawsuit named Jones because federal law does not recognize
political discrimination by institutions.
Jurors returned a verdict finding Jones didn't violate Wagner's free speech rights, but deadlocked over whether Wagner's equal-protection rights were violated. A judge declared a mistrial
on the second count.
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Wednesday News, November 21

Le Mars Fire Department Respond To Three Calls On Tuesday

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire Department had to respond to three calls last evening.  The first and second calls were close to being the same time.  At nearly 4:30 p.m. yesterday the fire department responded to a spill that was reported at the north plant of Wells.  Fire officials were on the scene for about 25 minutes. At about the time the fire department were returning back home, a second call came in at about 4:50 p.m. requiring their services at Cleveland Park to extinguish a small fire.  Fire officials were at that scene for nearly 15 minutes.  The fire department was later dispatched to the residence located at 424 Lee Drive at about 7:30 last evening to help ventilate smoke from the home's basement.  No word as to how much damage there was as a result from that call.

 

Plymouth County 4-H Recognizes Leaders, Alumni, and Members

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County 4-H organization held its annual awards program on Sunday evening.  Several county 4-H members were recognized for their achievements during this past year.  Some special adult awards were also given.  4-H leader of the year was awarded to Phil and Gail Schoenrock of the Lincoln Toppers,  4-H alumni was given to Brett McNaughton of rural Kingsley, and John Ahlers was recognized as the Honorary 4-H member.  ICON Ag and Turf was presented the Partner in 4-H.  Leaders were honored for their years of service.  Becky Beitelspacher, Tyler Dimig, Karen Bogenreif, Gary Larson, Brian Collins and Kris Collins received the Silver Clover pin for five years of service.  Denise Anthony, and Brenda Phelan received the Pearl pin for 15 years of service.  Julie Beitelspacher, JoAnn Casper, Jennifer Linton, and Gail Schoenrock received the Diamond clover pin for 20 years of service.  Linda Beitelspacher received the Ruby pin for 30 years of service to 4-H.

 

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Dispute Medicare's Claim of Overcharging

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is disputing a federal audit's finding that it should repay more than $550,000 for accidentally overbilling Medicare for a
common cancer drug.
The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report Tuesday concluding that billing errors caused UIHC to receive $826,000 more from Medicare
in 2009 and 2010 than it was eligible.
The amount questioned is a tiny fraction of the $659 million that UIHC received from Medicare in those years for nearly 547,000 claims.
The hospital's response agrees that errors caused overbilling totaling about $271,000. But it is challenging a finding that seeks the repayment of $555,000 more, saying it accurately billed for
Lupron injections based on the federal guidance available at the time.

 

Iowa State Names New Foundation Director

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A fundraiser for the University of Arizona has been named president of the Iowa State University Foundation.
Roger Neuhaus will oversee the foundation, which is a private, nonprofit corporation that solicits and manages gifts and grants that benefit Iowa State University.
At Arizona, he was the senior executive in charge of fundraising for the university's foundation.
Neuhaus has held fundraising positions at Verde Valley Medical Center in northern Arizona, The Finley Hospital and Loras College, both in Dubuque; and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale,
Ill.
Neuhaus, a Dubuque native, begins at Iowa State on Jan. 23.
The foundation manages an endowment of about $480 million and administers about 5,000 gift accounts.
The organization is governed by an 18-member board.


Three Northern Iowa Men Arrested For Numerous Charges

GARNER, Iowa (AP) - Three north-central Iowa men are in jail on numerous charges including burglary and ongoing criminal conduct.
Hancock County Sheriff Scott Dodd says the arrest of the three men from Klemme is the result of a two-year investigation.
Thirty-year-old Christopher Bachman is charged with arson, 26 counts of burglary, carrying weapons and theft. Also in custody is 25-year-old Nicholas Wayne Ulrich, who is charged with burglary, possession of a firearm by a felon, theft, and possession of methamphetamine.
The third man facing charges is 22-year-old Mark Gouge, II, who is facing drug possession and burglary charges.
The men are in custody on $25,000 cash bond. They are expected to appear in court on Wednesday.
Attorneys have not yet been assigned to them.

 

Six Iowa Teenagers Charged For Sexting On Phone

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa (AP) - Six northeast Iowa teenagers have been charged with misdemeanors stemming from distribution of an obscene photo taken by a fellow student.
The case began with a teen girl taking her own picture with a cellphone and sending it to a teenage boy at Independence Junior/Senior High School in Independence. He forwarded it to
several friends, who sent it on to several others.
Buchanan County Attorney Shawn Harden says a student who received the forwarded photo reported it to his parents, who then contacted the school. The school reported it to law enforcement
officials.
The Des Moines Register reports the six students were arrested last week and soon released to their parents.
Iowa law bars using a phone to send obscene material to a minor.


Will Next Year's State Fair Have Deep Fried Twinkies?

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The fate of deep-fried Twinkies on a stick may be tied to the financial future - if any - of Hostess Brands.
On Wednesday a judge in New York could decide whether the bankrupt company can shutter its operations.
The decision matters greatly to Larry Fyfe, the concessionaire who introduced deep-fried Twinkies to the Iowa State Fair in 2003, a year after the concoction debuted at the Texas State Fair.
Fyfe told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/Qa2Cst ) that he sells up to 7,000 of them each year.
Fyfe says he hopes another company will acquire the Hostess product lines. He says using a knockoff cream-filled spongecake "would not be one of my first choices."
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