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Mr. Goodfellow: Siouxland Women's Health Care

DONOR: Siouxland Women's Health Care

AMOUNT: $1,000

ABOUT THE DONOR: Siouxland Women's Health Care, 1000 Jackson St., is a leader in providing obstetrical and gynecological services for the women of Siouxland. From annual wellness exams, family planning, having a baby or needing specialized care for women’s issues, you can trust in the expertise of our seven health care professionals to deliver superior medical services in a caring environment. Doctors Vereen, Hamburger, Schneider, LaFavor, Hay, Lohr and nurse practitioner Jodi Netley are dedicated to providing the best care for all stages of a woman’s life.

DONOR COMMENT: "Siouxland Women's Health Care is pleased to continue support of the mission of the Mr. Goodfellow Fund. What better way to enrich the lives of children at Christmas than to provide for presents under the tree that, without the help of Mr. Goodfellow, may not exist. We want to wish all families a safe, healthy and joyful Christmas."

Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal 

Jeff VanDenHul

top story
Shopko Hometown in Cherokee to close after 3 years; another blow for local retail trade

CHEROKEE, Iowa -- Shopko is closing its store in Cherokee, less than three years after it opened.

It will be the second loss of a major department store in the Northwest Iowa city of 4,900 in less than two months. Sears Holdings announced during its mid-October bankruptcy filing that it would shutter the Cherokee Kmart. 

Shopko, a Green Bay, Wisconsin-based chain, announced plans Wednesday to close 39 stores across the country, including two others in Iowa -- Webster City and Eldora; three in Nebraska -- Lincoln, Ord and Kimball; and four in South Dakota -- Redfield, Wagner, Webster and Dell Rapids.

With the exception of Lincoln, all are smaller formats Shopko Hometown locations.

"Despite all of the stores’ efforts, as we reviewed the long-term outlook on profitability, sales trends, and potential growth we came to the difficult decision that it was necessary to close these stores," Michelle Hansen, a Shopko spokeswoman, said in a statement. "Shopko will assist those who are interested in transferring to open positions at other locations, or will provide severance benefits according to our guidelines." 

Liquidation of merchandise will begin Friday, and begin Dec. 7, and the stores will be shuttered by the end of February, she said. 

The Shopko Hometown in Cherokee opened in the fall of 2015, in a $3 million, 25,000-square foot store, just south of the intersection of Highways 3 and 59. The store, open seven days per week, employs about 20, a mix of full- and part-time workers.

Cherokee has long been a retail hub for several smaller cities in portions of Cherokee, O'Brien and Buena Vista counties, and the longstanding Kmart was one of the biggest draws.

The Cherokee store is one of the last three Kmarts in Iowa. A K-Mart employee said Wednesday the store at 1111 N 2nd St. remains open, and the date of its closure remains uncertain. 

Sioux City diocesan officials to discuss clergy sexual abuse with AG

SIOUX CITY -- Leaders of the Diocese of Sioux City and the diocese's attorney will meet with Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller Thursday to discuss child sexual abuse allegations against clergy members.

Miller will meet with Bishop R. Walker Nickless, the Rev. Bradley Pelzel, vicar general of the diocese, and Sioux City attorney Mike Ellwanger. The four will discuss sex abuse issues in the diocese, how to move forward and the development of a list of priests who have been credibly accused, said Susan O'Brien, director of development and communications for the diocese.

Miller is meeting individually with each of the four Catholic bishops in Iowa. The meetings were requested by Archbishop Michael Jackels, archbishop of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, O'Brien said.

In a letter Tuesday to priests, deacons and other boards throughout the Sioux City Diocese, Nickless announced the meeting and other steps the dioceses is taking to address allegations of sexual abuse and the perception that church officials have kept information from the public.

"I know there is a lot of confusion, sadness and upset about clergy sexual abuse, past and present, as well as about information being shared in the news about clergy in our diocese," Walker wrote. "I am sorry that we are all going through this, and I am praying for all of you. I hope you also pray for me, our clergy, as well as the dedicated staff throughout our diocese."

Nickless shared a list of action steps the diocese is taking in addition to meeting with Miller.

-- A Diocesan Review Board of lay people has met twice in the past month and will meet again in two weeks to continue work on a list of credibly accused priests that will be released to the public, Nickless said. The diocese has said that it hopes to release the list by the end of the year.

-- The diocese is reviewing its policy of priests receiving pension benefits.

-- Nickless said the diocese continues to respond to those who contact the diocese with questions and concerns.

The diocese has come under scrutiny in the past month after a series of Associated Press reports disclosed that the diocese had covered up former priest Jerome Coyle's 1986 admission that he had sexually abused 50 boys during a 20-year period and the diocese had relocated him to a Fort Dodge, Iowa, retirement home across the street from a Catholic school without notifying school administrators or the public.

Another priest, Brian Danner, was removed from the ministry after a fourth-grader complained a year ago that he improperly rubbed the top of her leg while hearing her confession in Humboldt, Iowa. The diocese has denied that the public was kept in the dark about the case.

Most recently, the diocese acknowledged a five-year-old incident in which the Rev. Jeremy Wind, now assigned to the Cathedral of the Epiphany, was arrested in Sioux Center, Iowa, in 2013 while naked and after allegedly threatening to rape a woman. The diocese has said Wind had a mental health condition at the time and he has recovered through treatment and medication.

O'Brien said that in recent weeks, the diocese has heard from at least six adults who have reported incidents with priests that happened before 1985.

Nickless said anyone wishing to report an incident that occurred recently or in the past can call Angie Mack, victims assistance coordinator at Mercy Child Advocacy Center at (712) 279-5610 or toll free at 866-435-4397.


Amy Hynds / Steve Alexander