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Wednesday Afternoon News, February 10

Wells Enterprises Introduces New Logo For Blue Bunny Ice Cream

 

(Le Mars) -- Well's Enterprises, makers of the famous Blue Bunny ice cream have changed its logo and packaging.  The new logo, which features a cursive letter "B" with rabbit ears and a cottontail, was unveiled Wednesday morning during the Le Mars Chamber Coffee. Liz Croston, Senior Manager Corporate Communications with Wells says the idea behind making the change is to have ice cream be fun.

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Croston says the concept was a collaboration of in-house marketing and a public relations agency. In addition to the new logo, Wells will now be using a mascot ambassador character for its advertising and marketing.  The character, known as "Blu", appears to be a live rabbit, but actually is a computer generated image.

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The ice cream spokesperson says people won't be able to hear Blu speak, but we will know what he is thinking.

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She says consumers want to see the item they are purchasing, and that is the reason for the change of packaging.

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Croston says consumers will begin seeing the new logo and transparent packaging almost immediately.

 

 

 

 

Richter Leads Group To The Holy Land

(Le Mars) -- Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lenten season, or the time we acknowledge leading up to the death of Jesus Christ and his rise to heaven.  A journey to the Holy Land is something many of us can only dream about.  However, a group of 39 people from Le Mars and the surrounding area recently completed a pilgrimage to Israel to see many of the sites that are referenced in the Bible.  Father Kevin Richter of the All-Saints Parish of Le Mars helped organize the tour and led the group to the Mideastern region.  Richter says he had a desire to visit the Holy Land and he says the journey far exceeded his expectations.

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For many decades there has been unrest in the Mideast, with political violence between Israel and the Palestine nation, but Richter says the group never encountered any hostilities, and they felt safe at all times.

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The Catholic priest says he had always wanted to see the area where Jesus Christ had lived his life.  For Richter, the Sea of Galilee served as a special site, and as a bit of a surprise.

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Richter says it was particularly emotional for him to see the different sites within Jerusalem consisting of Jesus Christ's final days leading up to his crucifixion.

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Many people who have not visited the region may wonder if the area is still authentic, genuine, and sacred, or has it fallen victim to tourists' commercialization.

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Richter says he was somewhat surprised at the actions of the people of Jerusalem, as they proceeded to go on with their daily lives, and not be concerned of the traveling visitors, even though they were re-enacting the final steps of Jesus, by carrying a cross.

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The group had visited Israel for one week.

 

 

 

Johnson Awarded School District "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- A Family and Consumer Sciences teacher has been awarded the honor of Le Mars Community High School "Employee of the Month".  The honor was presented to Joann Johnson Wednesday morning.  Johnson has been teaching at Le Mars Community for the past six years, and according to the nomination submitted by Gale Horan, Joann Johnson works diligently all year to give her students the best of real life experiences.  She has her Child Development students take home the electronic babies, job shadow daycare, and help with pre-schools.  Her culinary students prepare food products for donation and for sale to help students understand the importance of quality control and time management.  She helps our buildings by offering treats for conferences, Employee of the Month recognitions and Foundation dinners.  She has fundraised for Christian Needs by allowing her students to hone their skills by selling seasonal treats.  She is a great colleague and helps with all the necessary documentation of Careers classes and serves on the LEEP Committee. Our Le Mars Community High School students receive an outstanding education because of having Mrs. Johnson on staff.  Congratulations go to Joann Johnson for being named LCHS "Employee Of The Month"


   

Wednesday News, February 10th

Ruhland Named "Employee Of The Month"

(Le Mars) -- A Park Place Estates staff member has been nominated as the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce February "Employee of the Month".  Tammy Ruhland has been an RN at Park Place Estates since July of 2012.  She was a Certified Nursing Assistant before graduating in 1992 with her RN degree.  Ruhland was nominated by her fellow colleagues at Park Place Estates.

Tammy’s love of nursing is obvious.  She would much rather spend her time working with our residents than in the office doing paperwork.  Her patience and compassion for those she works with is evident. We have had numerous residents on Hospice that have spent their last days with us at Park Place Estates and it takes a special type of person to help not only the resident but also the family go through the end of life process.  Tammy is this person.

Tammy is a fair boss. Even though she is the leader she treats everyone like they are equally important.  She always listens when staff has a concern for the residents and acts on it.  She always lets the staff know she thinks what they have to say is important.  She always is complimenting everyone on how well they work as a team.

Tammy always looks out for the best interest of the resident - that they are happy and receive good care.  She works together with the staff and treats us like family.Congratulations to Tammy Ruhland, LeMars Area Chamber of Commerce February 2016 Employee of the Month.


 

 

 

Plymouth County Finances Are In Good Shape

(Le Mars) -- Plymouth County's financial situation is in good shape, that according to Jeff Peters of Williams and Company auditing firm.   Peters appeared before the county supervisors Tuesday morning to review the county's finances following a recent audit performed by the Le Mars company.

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The supervisors were told by Peters that accounting requirements now include a new category regarding pensions and other benefits as provided to county employees by IPERs.  Peters says Iowa and Plymouth County are in a good position to meet the payments of pension holders.  The certified public accountant says the issue was brought to light when other states or municipalities are unable to meet the obligations of funding pension benefits.

 

 

 

Supervisors Approve Land Sale To South Dakota DOT

(Le Mars) -- In other action taken by the county supervisors, the supervisors approved an easement agreement with the South Dakota Department of Transportation regarding land adjacent to the Big Sioux River near Akron.  A total of 14.23 acres will be sold to the South Dakota Department of Transportation for the amount of $135,000.  Plymouth County will still have access to the land in order maintain the drainage area.  The purpose behind the agreement is so the South Dakota DOT can abide by federal regulations requiring entities to replenish or replace lost wetlands.

 

 

 

 

Supervisors Approve Sheriff's Employees Contract

(Le Mars) -- The county governing board also gave approval to a new three-year collective bargaining contract with employees of the Sheriff's office.  That  contract agreement, covers sheriff's deputies, correction officers and communication personnel.  Salary and benefits are based upon the employee's job, rank, as well as their longevity time with the Sheriff's Department. Kurt Hatting, Director of the County Communications Division, and representative negotiator for the Sheriff's Employees made the comment that it is a fair agreement.

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Supervisors Approve Banks For County Funds To Be Deposited

(Le Mars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved the list of local financial institutions to serve as the depositories for Plymouth County funds in conformance with all applicable provisions of the Iowa Code.  Plymouth County Treasurer Shelly Sitzmann has been authorized by the county board to deposit in amounts not to exceed the maximum approved for each respective financial institution as set.

Northwest Bank   $18 million
Primebank   $18 million
American Bank   $15 million
Iowa State Bank   $10 million
Kingsley State Bank  $10 million
IPAIT    $ 2 million
People's Bank   $ 2 million
Iowa Prairie Bank  $ 2 million
Northwest Iowa Credit Union     $   500,000

 

 

 

Wells Enterprises To Unveil New Logo At Chamber Coffee

(Le Mars) -- Officials with Wells Enterprises intend to unveil their new Blue Bunny logo during this morning's Le Mars Chamber of Commerce coffee.  The chamber coffee will be held at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor and will begin at 9:30 a.m.  The logo looks like a cursive letter "B" with bunny ears and a cottontail, and of course is in the color of blue.

 

 

 

Legislators Introduce Bill That Would Allow Iowa To Dispense Medical Marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Some Republican House lawmakers are supporting legislation that would create a system for manufacturing, distributing and possessing some forms of medical marijuana in Iowa, though it's unclear what type of support the bill will get from party leaders.
The bill would expand the state's current law on medical marijuana, which allows some epilepsy patients to use cannabis oil. The new legislation would expand it to include more products and patients, though it would prohibit the smoking of medical marijuana.
Rep. Peter Cownie, chairman of the House Commerce Committee, discussed the bill during a press conference Tuesday while surrounded by a handful of Republican lawmakers. The West Des Moines Republican was vague when asked about the bill's support within his caucus. He asked lawmakers to keep an open mind.

 

 

 

 

Lawmakers Propose Raising Speed Limits On Rural Roads

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa lawmakers have advanced bills that would raise the speed limit on rural roads despite warnings that the change could lead to more fatal crashes.  
A three-person subcommittee approved two bills Monday that would raise the speed limit on rural, two-lane roads. One bill would increase the speed limit from 55 mph to 60, and another would bump it up to 65 mph.
The bills now go to the full Transportation Committee.  
Steve Gent, with the Iowa Department of Transportation, cautioned that increased speed limits are linked to a higher number of fatal crashes. He also noted it would cost roughly $5 million to implement changes including new mileage signs and road markings.
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