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KLEM News PM Update November 16, 2010

Supervisors today (Tuesday) voted against a 50-thousand dollar request from the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation (LBIC). Supervisor Gordon Greene voted against the denial of funds. Earlier, Greene got no second on his motion to provide the funds to the LBIC as a five-year loan at a specific interest rate.

The funds were requested for plans to restore the Royal T III Theatre in downtown Le Mars. Supervisors cited taxpayer input, the county's tight financial position due to projected mental health fund shortages and concerns about providing funds to private business.

In other action today, the board heard a request for a fence or other improvements to prevent Plymouth Life residential care facility residents from walking into traffic on Highway Three East.


Le Mars Police last week reported the death of a Sioux City man who they said intentionally stepped into traffic and was struck by two different vehicles. Parents of those involved asked for supervisors' assistance.

Mike Porter of the Pride Group which leases the county facility reported a mail box had been relocated from the highway. This will eliminate a need for residents to walk down to the highway to place their letters in the box. The change was made after the accident last Thursday night. Plans to request a reduction in speed, sidewalks and increased lighting were discussed as efforts to improve safety.

"The Newcomers" welcome nearly 150 in two years

(Le Mars)-- The city of Le Mars has their very own "Welcome Wagon." They call themselves "The Newcomers" and have been welcoming people to the city for almost 2 years. Misty Szczech (Zeck), a realtor in Le Mars, came up with the idea for the group when she moved here.



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Co-organizer Karol Horken says that the process of welcoming a new face to Le Mars starts with a personal visit and a gift basket from the Chamber of Commerce.



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Jan Christensen attended Novembers LOFT meeting with her parents, who just moved to Le Mars this fall. Christensen is also a recent transplant who moved here about 2 years ago from Rapid City, South Dakota. She said Newcomers was a great resource when she first arrived.



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In just shy of 2 years, about 150 people have been welcomed through The Newcomer program. Misty says that no matter how long you've lived in Le Mars, you're always invited to the Newcomers networking group.



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If you're interested in the group, contact Misty by phone at 712-540-1941 or email misty@janwagnerrealestate.com. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Vander Plaats to head new group with eye on 2012 caucuses

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Bob Vander Plaats of rural Sioux City, who led the effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court judges in the Nov. 2 election, says he will have a new role with a conservative group aimed at Iowa's 2012 Republican presidential caucuses.

The Sioux City businessman and former GOP candidate for governor told The Des Moines Register on Monday that he will become head an umbrella group that includes the Iowa Family Policy Center, Marriage Matters and their political action committee.

He says the new coalition plans a more influential role in the caucus campaign, including an endorsement for the first time.

Vander Plaats led the opposition to the Iowa Supreme Court's 2009 decision allowing same-sex marriage into a successful effort to oust Justices Marcia Ternus, David Baker and Michael Streit.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Nebraska woman charged with child endangerment in Sioux City

 (SIOUX CITY) An Emerson, Nebraska woman was arrested on child endangerment and O-W-I charges Saturday night in Sioux City.

Police say 33-year-old Jacqueline Siegfried was driving drunk with her two children in the vehicle when she left the road and her Jeep Cherokee became stuck on railroad tracks. The kids are 6 and 11 years old. An officer reported Siegfried smelled of alcohol and staggered as she walked during the traffic stop. She's charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent person, operating while intoxicated and failure to have vehicle insurance. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Black charged after vehicle reported in ditch on Highway 12

(WESTFIELD)--A rural Westfield man is free on bond after his arrest Sunday for charges involving a report of an assault.

The Plymouth County Sheriff's office received a phone call reporting a vehicle in the ditch in the 25-hundred block of Highway 12. When a deputy arrived, the sheriff's office had received a call from the wife of the person driving the vehicle.

The driver, and two young children had been dropped off at home and the driver was accused of being intoxicated and assaulting the person making the call.

Based on an investigation, authorities report they charged thirty-nine-year-old Brent Edwin Black of rural Westfield with felony domestic assault, third offense; operating while under the influence; and two charges of child endangerment.

Suspect arrest in series of burglaries

(SIOUX CITY)--A Sioux City man is being held in the Woodbury County jail as a suspect for burglaries in Sioux City and rural Woodbury County.

According to Deputy Don Armstrong of the Woodbury County Sheriff's Office, Sioux City Police and the sheriff's office have been working together to investigate a series of burglaries. The crimes were reported between September 8th and October 7th.

Forty-five-year-old Dennis Putzier of Sioux City is charged with the burglaries and additional charges may be filed.

Anyone with information about burglaries in Sioux City and rural Woodbury County is asked to provide that information to police or the sheriff's office.

MN teen charged in Iowa store shooting

ALGONA, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a teenager from suburban Minneapolis is charged in one of two store clerk killings in northern Iowa, and charges are pending in the second death.

Courtney Greene of the Iowa Department of Public Safety says 17-year-old Michael Richard Swanson, of St. Louis Park, Minn., was charged Tuesday as an adult in Kossuth County with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery.

He's accused of killing a clerk at the Crossroads gas station in Algona about 9 p.m. on Monday.

Greene says charges are pending against Swanson in the killing of another clerk at a Kum and Go in Humboldt about 10:30 p.m on Monday.

The names of the clerks haven't been released.

Obama awards Medal of Honor to Iowa staff sergeant

WASHINGTON (AP) President Barack Obama on Tuesday is awarding the Medal of Honor to an Army staff sergeant who placed himself in the line of fire in Afghanistan to save two comrades.

The soldier, Salvatore Giunta is the first living service member from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to receive the nation's highest military decoration.

The Army says that on Oct. 25, 2007, Giunta was serving as a rifle team leader in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan when an insurgent ambush split his squad into two groups.

The 25-year-old soldier from Hiawatha, Iowa, was under fire when he pulled a fellow soldier back to cover and rescued another who was being carried away by two insurgents.

Boil advisory lifted for Beaman in central Iowa

BEAMAN, Iowa (AP) Officials say the water is safe to drink again in the central Iowa town of Beaman.

The Times-Republican in Marshalltown says a boil advisory has been lifted. The advisory went into place last week when work started on replacing water mains.

The city says the project has been completed and water samples came back free of bacteria.

Iowan sentenced in credit union theft

NEVADA, Iowa (AP) A central Iowa woman convicted of stealing from a credit union where she worked as a branch manager has been sentenced to two years probation.

The Tribune of Ames says Rebecca Dirks, of Maxwell, was sentenced Monday for second-degree theft. She was arrested in April for allegedly stealing more than $10,000 from the River Valley Credit Union in Nevada.

Dirks was charged with first-degree theft, but a jury in October convicted of her the lesser charge.

Prosecutors wanted Dirks to be sentenced to five years in prison. Her defense attorney argued for a deferred judgment, which means the charge will be erased if she abides by the terms of her probation.

The judge suspended the five-year prison term and put her on two years probation.

Jury awards couple $129K in termite damage case

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) A federal jury has ordered Orkin, Inc. to pay a Bettendorf couple nearly $129,000 in damages after their home was damaged by termites.

The jury on Monday found Orkin had committed ``negligent misrepresentation'' in its work on the home owned by Lonnie and Terry Pool.

The couple signed a contract with Orkin in 1997 for routine treatment after a terminate infestation was discovered in the home.

The couple says they discovered extensive termite damage in 2005 to the home's structure, which required significant renovations and the couple to move out for months.

The jury awarded $86,640 in damages for repairs to the home, $37,100 for loss in fair market value after the repairs were done and $5,000 for the loss of use of the home during construction.
Feds say all motorcycle riders should wear helmets

State helmet requirements advocated by safety group

WASHINGTON (AP) Federal safety officials want states to require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, citing a surge in deaths since the late 1990s.

The National Transportation Safety Board says motorcycle deaths have increased over the last decade even as other traffic fatalities have declined.

The board said there were 4,400 motorcycle deaths in the U.S. last year, more than in all aviation, rail, marine and pipeline accidents combined. Head injuries are the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes.

The board said 20 states require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Most states have limited helmet requirements, and three states Iowa, Illinois and New Hampshire have no requirement.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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