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KLEM News Update, December 19, 2010

(REMSEN)--A Remsen woman is the 2010 Honored Volunteer for Hospice of Siouxland. Myrt Hansen is recognized as a dedicated volunteer who visits at least three patients on a regular basis, makes Eleventh hour visits and is involved in non-direct service.  This is Hansen's third year as a Siouxland volunteer. Her efforts were recognized at the Iowa Hospice organization's Fall Conference.

(SPENCER) On Thursday The Iowa Department of Economic Development Board approved $750,000 in direct financial assistance to the city of Spencer to rehabilitate a city-owned industrial rail spur. The improvements are expected to ensure shipping vitality for Morton Buildings, which currently uses the rail line. Morton currently has 62 employees and has approximately 100 railcars per year brought into their manufacturing facility in north Spencer.  The City plans a replacement of more than 17,800 feet of section rail, replacement of crosstie timbers, the renewal of 21 rail crossings and other upgrades. Work is expected to be completed in 2011.

Pilot walks away from small plane crash in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Three people have walked away from a single-engine plane crash at the Des Moines airport.  City aviation director Don Smithey told WHO-TV that the private plane crashed about 3 p.m. Saturday as it hit a fence short of the runway during a land attempt. The pilot and two passengers weren't hurt.  Smithey says the pilot reported engine troubles soon after taking off and was heading back to the airport.

Information from: WHO-TV, http://www.whotv.com

2 Iowa cities could be immigration sanctuaries

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Officials in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City are considering policies that would make their cities sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports that the policies will likely be discussed at council meetings in January.

If approved, the policies would prohibit city employees, including police, from notifying federal authorities of illegal immigrants and from denying services based on immigration status.

Marlon Pierre-Antoine, a Haitian-American advocating the sanctuary policy in Cedar Rapids, says the working poor cannot get ahead under current immigration law.

In Iowa City, Mennonite pastor Karla Stoltzfus Detweiler says the policy is needed to allow illegal immigrants to become participants in the community and to allow them to feel safe from deportation when reporting crimes.

Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/

Grassley, Harkin introduce Feller resolution

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin have introduced a resolution honoring baseball great Bob Feller, who died last week.

Grassley and Harkin introduced the resolution in the Senate on Friday, calling him a great Iowan, a great baseball player and a great patriot.

Feller, a Van Meter native, died Wednesday.

He pitched 16 seasons for the Cleveland Indians, recording more than 2,500 strikeouts and winning 266 games. Feller was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

He missed four seasons after he enlisted in the Navy after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Iowa City bars consider changes after age rule

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Bar owners in Iowa City are considering food sales and switching to private clubs to lure patrons after voters upheld an age ordinance for entry.

The Cedar Rapid Gazette reports that several business owners on Friday told the Partnership for Alcohol Safety that bars are planning changes to combat the slump in sales caused by the ordinance. The group formed last year to reduce heavy drinking.

The ordinance prohibits those younger than 21 from being in a bar after 10 p.m. There is an exemption for businesses that can show more than 50 percent of their sales were for items other than alcohol, such as food or merchandise.

A handful of struggling bars have already closed, and some are predicting other bars whose clientele included underage drinkers will follow suit.

Information from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/

Iowa county judge to stay on bench despite charges

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Black Hawk County judge charged with drunken driving is expected to remain on the bench at least until his case is settled.

Thomas Bower, chief judge for the 1st Judicial District that covers Black Hawk County, told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that there are no rules barring a judge who's been charged or convicted from serving on the bench unless the offense puts his law license in jeopardy.

Still, the state's Judicial Qualifications Commission could seek to have Daniel Block removed for misconduct. The Iowa Supreme Court has the final say.

Block, an associate juvenile judge, was arrested in Hamilton County in north-central Iowa on Nov. 26. He's charged with operating while intoxicated and open container. Online court records show his arraignment is set for Dec. 27.

Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com

Court throws out evidence found in illegal search

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Supreme Court has ruled evidence found during a search of a parolee's motel room should be suppressed.

The court on Friday ruled a search of James Ochoa's Bettendorf motel room was done without his consent.

Court records show a police officer was conducting a routine check of the motel and learned Ochoa was staying there. Ochoa was on parole from a conspiracy conviction.

Records show Ochoa denied the officer's request to search the room but was told by the officer that he would search Ochoa's room with or without his consent. Drugs were found in the room and Ochoa was charged with drug possession. He pleaded guilty, was fined and sentenced to probation.

Ochoa's attorney was not unavailable for comment.

Iowa attorney general spokesman Geoff Greenwood says the decision differs from others across the country and gives greater protection to parolees.

Iowa recycler fined $42,000 for violations

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An Iowa recycler has been fined $42,000 for violations at its Fort Madison and Lockridge facilities.

The state attorney general's office says a consent decree approved Thursday in Lee County District Court resolves a lawsuit brought against Feinberg Metal Recycling Corp. and its owners.

The state had filed the lawsuit over violations of solid waste and storm water management regulations. The state says Feinberg didn't properly store or dispose of appliances and didn't implement pollution-prevention plans at its facilities, among other things.

Under the settlement, Feinberg must pay the fine, refrain from further violations and submits pollution-prevention plans to the state Department of Natural Resources within 30 days. PRISONER DIES

Iowa prison inmate dies of natural causes

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A 45-year-old prison inmate has died at an Iowa City hospital.

State Department of Corrections officials say John Boland died Thursday of natural causes a combination of pneumonia and cardio pulmonary obstructive disorder.

Boland had been serving a 17-year sentence at the Iowa Medical Classification Center. He'd been in prison since 2004 and was deemed a habitual offender.

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

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