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Ark. firm recalls 29,200 pounds of chicken product

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas firm is recalling about 29,200 pounds of seasoned raw, chicken breast strips due to misbranding and an undeclared allergen.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said Friday the recall involves George's Inc. of Springdale.

The products are formulated with soy protein, a known allergen, and monosodium glutamate. But they were released with a label for George's boneless skinless breast pieces with rib meat, which does not declare soy or MSG on the label.

The products were produced and packaged from Dec. 21 through Dec. 23 and were sold to distributors in Tennessee and Iowa for further distribution. The recalled products bear the establishment number "P-13584" below the USDA Mark of Inspection and "Packed on" date in the format of "month-day-year" on the carton label.

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Iowa health officials report data breach DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Iowa health officials say a breach of personal information relating to some child and dependent adult abuse cases in Polk County took place over five years.

The state Department of Human Services announced Friday that the information of more than 2,000 individuals was included in the breach, though there are no reports it's been misused.

The agency says two workers used personal emails accounts, storage accounts and electronic devices for work purposes, beginning in 2008. That is a violation of department policy.

The information included names, mailing addresses, Social Security numbers and other data. Letters have been mailed to the affected individuals to alert them, and they've been offered free credit monitoring.

Officials say appropriate personnel action has been taken, but they did not elaborate.

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Iowa riverboat casino lawyers scrutinize documents ALTOONA, Iowa (AP) — Lawyers for the owners of a riverboat casino in Sioux City have scrutinized the wording of documents by officials who later denied renewing their gaming license.

Lawyers for Penn National Gaming made the arguments Thursday during a two-day hearing that took place before the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission and Administrative Law Judge Christie Scase.

The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1dA9KJ0http://bit.ly/1dA9KJ0 ) Penn is challenging the commission's decision to reject a one-year license renewal for the Argosy riverboat casino. The commission says it had issue with the Argosy's dissolving partnership with a nonprofit group.

Penn has also criticized the bidding process for a license that later went to another developer for a Hard Rock casino in downtown Sioux City.

The commission will make a ruling on the renewal issue in April.

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Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.comhttp://www.siouxcityjournal.com

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Sibley hospital settles discrimination lawsuit DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A northwest Iowa hospital will pay a woman $75,000 to settle a disability discrimination lawsuit after she was denied a job because she has cerebral palsy.

As part of the court settlement Osceola Community Hospital in Sibley must adopt and distribute to employees a policy prohibiting discrimination, must train employees, and report regularly to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on its compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Court documents say the EEOC filed a lawsuit in 2012 claiming the hospital's day care program, Bright Beginnings, discriminated against Jodene Kruse in 2007 by failing to hire her "out of an unfounded fear that her disability meant she could not safely care for the children."

The EEOC says Kruse volunteered at the day care center and worked as bus driver.

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Iowa lawmakers clash over competing bullying bills DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Cracking down on bullying in Iowa schools has been a priority this year for Gov. Terry Branstad, but lawmakers have criticized two competing bills and are seeking changes to the proposals.

A bill in the House and another in the Senate both focus on giving schools the tools and authority to better address bullying, but neither seems close to being approved and sent to Branstad.

Lawmakers have promised to propose amendments to the House bill, and Republicans on the Senate Education Committee have been outspoken in their opposition to the Senate bill.

"I know that there are numerous amendments out there," said Rep. Quentin Stanerson, R-Center Point, who sponsored the bill in the House. "One of the things that we're doing now is just looking at all those amendments and seeing which ones could possibly make the bill better and which ones we're not going to accept."

Branstad has made bullying prevention a priority this year after a failed effort during the 2013 session. Following some high-profile bullying incidents in Iowa, including the 2012 suicide of a 14-year-old boy in western Iowa who had been bullied, Branstad organized an anti-bullying summit. He held another such gathering last fall.

The bills now before lawmakers share four key policy components to curtail bullying: broadening the definition of bullying to include bullying on social networking sites; requiring parental notification in instances of bullying; granting school officials the authority to handle bullying incidences that occur off-campus if they affect students on school grounds; and training teachers and administrators on the best practices and procedures to respond to bullying cases.

Beyond those shared goals, the bills take different approaches to dealing with the problem.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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