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Wednesday Afternoon News, October 23

Hospital Trustees Review Contractor Bids For Expansion Project

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees met this morning for a special meeting to review the three bids submitted for the construction of the north addition expansion project.  The trustees did not award a contract to any of the bidders, as of yet, that will happen on November 19th.  The three contractors included Wiltgen Construction Company from Le Mars with a bid of $15,766,000; L and L Builders from Sioux City submitted the lowest bid at $15,101,000; and Donlar Construction Company, a Minnesota based contractor, submitted a bid of $16,072,600.  Daryl Friedenbach, Director of Financial Services for Floyd Valley Hospital explains what course of action was taken by the hospital trustees.

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A question was raised during the meeting if the contract stipulates any provisions to have local workers perform the construction project?  Friedenbach says since the hospital is getting a loan from the U.S.D.A. the mandate is to accept the lowest bid.

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As mentioned, L and L Builders submitted the lowest bid, and Friedenbach says the hospital is comfortable with the contractors, since L and L Builders is working on the new loading dock for the hospital.

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Several building projects within the area, including a new fertilizer plant, a new Sioux City downtown casino, and the construction of an elementary school in Sioux City, plus many smaller projects had hospital officials wondering if they would have had enough submitted competitive bids for the hospital expansion.

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DCI Agent Found Having An Affair

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An assistant director of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was disciplined for violating department policies by having a personal relationship with a subordinate employee, but moved to a high-profile job months later.
A disciplinary notice shows David Jobes was given a last-chance warning in February after superiors learned of the relationship. It says Jobes discredited the department by having a relationship with an employee within his chain of command and failing to tell his supervisor.
The document was obtained by The Associated Press through the public records law. The subordinate employee was not identified in the notice.
In May, Jobes was transferred to gaming operations, assuming responsibility for overseeing the integrity of Iowa's casinos and other forms of gambling.
Jobes declined comment.

 

Bomb Threat at Indianola High School

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) - Students at a high school in Indianola are returning to class after a bomb threat temporarily evacuated the campus.
Students at Indianola High School were given the clear Wednesday morning.
Indianola Community Schools briefly evacuated students to nearby buses after a bomb threat written on a note was found in a campus bathroom. Authorities say they did a thorough sweep of the building before allowing students to return.
The district said in an email it was taking the bomb threat seriously although it questioned its credibility.
Parents were allowed to dismiss students early.
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Iowa Companies Sign Agreements With China

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa companies and organizations have signed 20 cooperative trade
agreements with their counterparts from the Chinese province of Hebei solidifying a 30-year
sister city relationship between Iowa and the province.
The value of business investment involved in each cooperative agreement was not disclosed by the Iowa Economic Development Authority, but the agency's officials estimated the total at $1 billion.
Executives from Iowa-based companies including Principal Financial Group and grain bin
manufacturer Sukup Manufacturing say the trade deals will mean jobs and significant business investment for Iowa and the Chinese province.
China is one of Iowa's largest trading partners. The state exported $751 million worth of products to the growing nation last year including machinery, vehicles, processed meat, cereal, and animal feed.
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Former Mingo City Clerk Cannot Sue According To Appeals Court

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Court of Appeals says the former city clerk of Mingo cannot sue city and Jasper County officials for malicious prosecution, false arrest or defamation.
Amy Berkey was charged with theft and misconduct in November 2008 after officials investigated allegations missing deposits based on a state audit that found several problems including poor record-keeping. A state prosecutor, citing insufficient evidence, dropped the charges in 2009.
Berkey sued the city, Jasper County and officials but a district court judge dismissed the lawsuit. Berkey appealed.
The appeals court justices on Wednesday upheld dismissal saying there was probable cause for Berkey's arrest, foreclosing the malicious prosecution and false arrest claims. The justices also say the officials did not defame her because statements were made in good faith as part of the investigation.

 

U of I Teaching Assistant Sends Inappropriate E-mails

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The University of Iowa says that a teaching assistant sent an email with files depicting inappropriate sexual content to her students by accident.
University spokesman Tom Moore said the teaching assistant "regrets her actions" and the school is asking those who received the message to delete it and not share the files with anyone.
Moore said the incident was inappropriate, and university officials are investigating. He said the school would "take appropriate actions under our policies and procedures."
No other details were immediately released.

 

 

   

Wednesday News, October 23

Main Street Organization To Celebrate Halloween On Saturday

(Le Mars) -- Halloween is just around the corner, but Le Mars children will have the
opportunity to do Trick or Treating on Saturday morning.  Local businesses will be at the
Olson Cultural Event Center to distribute candy and other items.  Mary Reynolds, coordinator
of the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce and Mainstreet Organization says the fun will start at the Le Mars Arts Center.

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Reynolds says many of the community business people will also dress in costume to help
celebrate the Halloween festivities.  She says there will be volunteers stationed at various
strategic locations to help guide the young ghosts, goblins, witches, superheros, and other
costumed children to find their way. The face painting begins at 9:45 a.m. and the distribution of candy at the Olson Cultural Event Center will start at 11:00 a.m.

 

Le Mars To Feature Two Haunted Houses

(Le Mars) -- If you're ready for a good scare, you have two opportunities in Le Mars this year to walk through a Haunted House.
After years at the Shelter House at the Le Mars Pit, HYPER's Haunted House has moved downtown to 24 Plymouth Street SW right next to Bad Habit Boutique. HYPER secretary Miranda Hall says that the new location was sought out so that more people will be able to attend.

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Hyper's Haunted House, The Little Shop of Horrors, has 50 people involved in it's set up and execution. Hall says that younger kids are welcome to this Haunted House, but she warns there will be graphic content that could be pretty scary.

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Also new this year for HYPER is the addition of the Haunted House being open Halloween Night 7-10pm as well as the Saturday night before Halloween, Saturday October 26th from 7-11pm. Admission is $3.
HYPER, which stands for: Helping Young Professionals Energize the Region, is a non-profit group that organizes events and fundraisers to give back to the community.

And then, just blocks away, there's a Haunted House at the Plymouth County Museum.  In it's second year, this scary night at the museum will be put on for one night only, Saturday, October 26th from 7-11pm.
Karen Paulson and Brian Nitzschke are co-chairing the Museum's Haunted House and Brian says working on something like this a labor of love for him.

 

Gehlen Catholic To Participate In "Celebrate My Drive" Competition

(Le Mars) -- To help increase awareness of student safe driving, Gehlen Catholic School is
partnering with State Farm and the Michael Crank agency to participate in the “Celebrate My Drive” competition.
According to State Farm Insurance’s website, “Car crashes are the leading killer of teens
and the first year on the road is the most dangerous. Research shows that sharing and
celebrating positive teen driver safety messages with today’s young drivers is more powerful
than scaring them with the possibility of negative outcomes.”
To help increase awareness of student safe driving, Gehlen Catholic School is partnering
with the Michael Crank agency to participate in the “Celebrate My Drive” competition.

Now through October 26th, students and adults ages 14 and older are asked to make a commitment for the school of their choice.  Gehlen Catholic 7-12 Principal, Mr. Jeff Alesch, said, “Go to celebratemydrive.com and click on the tab ‘Make My Commitment.’ Enter your email address and birth date. After that you will be asked for the state of Iowa, your affiliation with the school and the city.  We have to put the space in Le Mars.” Then you can select Gehlen Catholic School.  Answer two questions about driving safely and then click on the submit box. Your commitment is a vote for Gehlen Catholic.”

The winning large and small school will win $100,000 grant and a concert featuring Grammy Award winner, Kelly Clarkson.  The other top 49 schools in the large and small school competitions have a chance to win $100,000 or $25,000.

 

BPI Lawsuit Against ABC News Scheduled For December

ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) - Oral arguments are scheduled for December in a motion to dismiss a
defamation lawsuit over ABC News' coverage of a meat product produced by B-P-I.
The lawsuit filed by Beef Products Inc. was moved in June from federal court to circuit court. ABC is asking the circuit judge to dismiss the case.
Dakota Dunes-based BPI claims the TV network damaged the company by misleading
consumers into believing that its signature product - lean, finely textured beef - is unhealthy and unsafe. It is seeking $1.2 billion in damages.
BPI officials say the product is safe and the coverage led to the closure of three plants and roughly 700 layoffs.
The Union County Clerk of Courts office says the hearing is scheduled for Dec. 17 at 1 p.m.


   

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