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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,
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
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 ( ) 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."






Tuesday Afternoon News, November 20

Sioux Center Woman Sentenced To Five Years In Prison

(Orange City) -- Sioux County attorney Coleman McAllister has announced that 26 year old Elicia Sandbulte of Sioux Center pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Monday for the crimes of Burglary in the third degree, a class D felony, and criminal mischief in the fourth degree, a serious misdemeanor.  The case arose in May when the the Shell SiouxPer Center, a convenience store located in Sioux Center, discovered that someone had smashed a window, entered the business, and taken approximately $4,400 in cash and checks from the business during the night.  After reviewing video surveillance tapes, the Sioux Center Police Department identified Sandbulte as a possible suspect.  After being arrested, she admitted to the crime.  Sandbulte was sentenced to five years in prison, and she must pay restitution costs to the victim.


Iowa's Unemployment Drops In October

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's unemployment rate dipped again in October to 5.1 percent.
Iowa Workforce Development officials say the preliminary October rate was lower than last October's 5.8 percent rate and lower than this September's 5.2 percent.
The national unemployment rate registered 7.9 percent in October. That's down from last October's 8.9 percent but up slightly from September's 7.8 percent.
Workforce Development Director Teresa Wahlert says Iowa's job market looked a bit stronger in October as hiring strengthened across most industries.
The number of unemployed Iowans decreased to 83,800 in October, and the number of nonfarm jobs grew by 6,000 to 1,496,300 total.

Secretary of State Schultz Proposes Signature Verification for Voting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa secretary of state is considering a signature verification system to help ensure voters are who they say they are.
The Gazette reports ( ) that Secretary of State Matt Schultz on Monday said the idea springs from the general election earlier this month in which nearly half of Iowa's voters
cast their ballots early or absentee.
Schultz says he'd ask state lawmakers to consider legislation based on Oregon and Washington procedures. Those states use a machine to read a signature on an absentee ballot envelope and
verify it against the voter's signature on registration records.
Linn County Auditor Joel Miller says county auditors are working on a verification plan they'll present to the Legislature before the session begins in January.


U of I Psychiatrist Surrenders License

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A former psychiatrist at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has agreed to surrender his medical license to settle a complaint that he had an inappropriate
relationship with a female patient.
The Iowa Board of Medicine on Tuesday made public its settlement with 49-year-old Sergio Paradiso, who was accused of engaging in sexual misconduct with the mental health patient and violating professional boundaries.
The board filed its complaint against Paradiso in July, one year after the 30-year-old woman filed a civil lawsuit against Paradiso in Johnson County. That lawsuit remains pending.
The board alleged Paradiso encouraged the woman to drink alcohol even though she had a history of alcohol abuse, met with her outside of treatment settings, gave her gifts, and ultimately
engaged in a sexual relationship in 2010.

Groundbreaking Takes Place On Fertilizer Plant

WEVER, Iowa (AP) - State and local officials dug in deep as they broke ground for a $1.4 billion fertilizer plant in southeastern Iowa.
The ceremonial shovels were wielded Monday near the Lee County town of Wever.
Egypt-based Orascom Construction Industries and its subsidiary, the Iowa Fertilizer Co., acquired nearly three-quarters of a square mile of farmland just off U.S. Highway 61 for the factory.
When completed by summer of 2015, the plant is expected to employ about 165 full-time workers who will produce up to 2,200 tons of anhydrous ammonia a day.
The state offered $110 million worth of tax breaks, loans, job training funds and transportation improvements to get the company to build in Iowa. Lee County approved a property tax incentive that
is worth about $130 million over 20 years.




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