Wednesday News, September 3
Wells To Close St. George, Utah Plant
(Le Mars) -- Wells Enterprizes Incorporated, makers of Blue Bunny ice cream has announced it has decided to close its ice cream plant in St. George, Utah. This decision will enable the Company to optimize its existing capacity in Le Mars, Iowa to more efficiently serve customers and support Wells’ long-term growth strategy. The decision also allows Wells to more effectively compete in the ice cream category that has been flat to declining for several years, and has been further challenged by unstable commodity costs. Approximately 90 individuals are employed at the St. George facility.
Wells also recently completed a review of our corporate center structure to ensure that we remain well positioned to drive our strategy. As a result, 10 positions previously held have been eliminated, and the headcount repurposed to new roles in the organization.
Wells is mindful of the impact changes of this nature have on employees and their families and is committed to helping impacted employees through this transition. The Utah plant started production in 2003, and according to Wells officials, the transition to shut down the facility will occur over the next few months and be completed before the end of the year.
KC Phone-a-thon Scheduled For Today
(Le Mars) -- Today, marks the day for the annual KC Phon-a-thon where members of the Knights of Columbus from Plymouth County help raise money for the Life Skills Training Center. Shelly Thomson, serves as the Life Skills Marketing and Development Coordinator. She says the annual fund raising campaign is important to the financial survival for Life Skills.
Thomson says the Knights of Columbus hopes to raise $50 thousand dollars.
The Life Skills executive says more people have cell phones and have dropped their land lines which may make it that much more difficult to reach past donors.
City Council Approves New Lower Speed Limits For Business Highway 75
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars City Council met yesterday, and approved the ordinance to change the speed limits as it pertains to Business Highway 75. The new speed limits will now be 45 mph from Blue Bunny Drive to Airport Drive. 35 mph will be the limit from Airport Drive to Fourth Street North, and 40 mph from north of Fourth Street to the Floyd River Bridge, and 55 mph from the Floyd River Bridge to north to the city limits. Following the vote, Mayor Dick Kirchoff addressed the subject.
The city council requested the new posted speed limit signs have red flags in order to call more attention to the changes. According to the Le Mars Police, that stretch of highway has had 72 accidents with 29 personal injuries during the last three and a half years.
New Waste Water Treatment Facility Now In Operation
(Le Mars) -- During yesterday's city council meeting, the council heard a report from Greg Sindt, the engineer for the new waste water treatment facility. Sindt informed the council the facility is now in full operation.
Sindt says the facility is operating at full capacity and is working well with no problems. An open house is scheduled for September 18.
Chamber Of Commerce Looking For Little Ambassadors
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Chamber of Commerce, Main Street Committee is sponsoring a contest to select ten children who will serve as the 2015/2016 Le Mars Chamber Little Ambassadors. Children must be 4 to 6 years of age and reside in the City of Le Mars or rural Le Mars. Now through October 1, 2014 the Chamber will be accepting nominations for Little Ambassadors. No late entries will be accepted. Please submit a color 5X7 photo – and include the name of the child and parents, address and phone number with the submission. Do not write on the photo. Photos will not be returned. They can be dropped off or mailed to the Chamber of Commerce, Attn: Mary Reynolds, 50 Central Ave SE, Le Mars, IA 51031. They can also be dropped at Floyd Valley Hospital to the attention of Mary Helen Gibson or Prime Bank to the attention of Becky Klohs.
A selection committee will choose five boys and five girls to serve as the Le Mars Little Ambassadors. The children will participate in Le Mars Chamber events such as Ice Cream Days Parade, Scoop the Loop and other community events.
The Main Street selection committee will contact the chosen children. If you have questions about the Little Ambassadors, please contact the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce at 546-8821 or Mary Helen Gibson at 546-3389.
Le Mars Community Schools Announce Latest "Employee Of The Month"
(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Community School District has honored Gretchen Utesch as the school district's employee of the month. Utesch serves as a teacher Associate and a paraprofessional for Clark Elementary. In the submitted nomination, it says Gretchen is a dedicated employee who puts the needs of all students first. She team teaches in various classrooms providing assistance to the classroom teacher assuring the students she works with understand and are successful with daily lessons and assessments. Gretchen is compassionate and patient as she works with individual students. She is able to adjust her instruction to meet each child's learning style. She takes her job, and the education of all students, very seriously. The nomination further states, Mrs. Utesch is a testimony tot he quality of employees at LCS. It is because of people like her that our students progress year to year in their education. Gretchen's positive attitude, work ethic, expereience, and character make her deserving of the honor of "Employee of the Month". Our congratulations to Gretchen Utesch for being honored as the Le Mars Community School District Employee of the Month.
Woodbury County To Add More Nurses For Jail
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Woodbury County plans to add more nurses to treat inmates at the county jail, following pleas from the sheriff for more support.
The county board voted Tuesday to have four full-time registered nurses on staff. That's a jump from two full-time nurses and a part-time nurse.
The board will use general basic fund reserves to cover the additional cost of about $115,000 in the middle of a budget year.
County Sheriff Dave Drew told board members recently that he needed additional personnel to properly oversee inmates at the jail. He said the staffing level was not sufficient for the inmates' medical needs.
Board Chairman George Boykin said the vote on Tuesday will relieve "a little bit of the pressure."