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KLEM News AM Update December 30, 2010

Drivers will encounter dense fog until about three this afternoon (Thursday).

The National Weather Service in Sioux Falls has issued a Winter Storm Watch for New Year's Eve through New Year's Day. A Winter Storm watch means there is a potential for significant snow, sleet or ice accumulations that may impact travel.

Snow and sleet will become widespread across the area Friday morning and continue into Friday evening. After that snow is expected. Accumulations of sleet and snowfall are projected at three to five inches. Wind chills of 10-20 below zero will be possible Friday followed by 20-30 below Friday night into Saturday morning.

Eral nominated to Naval Academy by Senator Tom Harkin

(WASHINGTON, DC)--Senator Tom Harkin is nominating a Gehlen Catholic senior to a military academy.

According to Senator Tom Harkin's office, Christopher Eral has been nominated to the U-S Naval Academy. He is the son of David and Susan Eral of Le Mars.

In order to be nominated, Harkin said a student must demonstrate superior leadership, academic and athletic ability.

Academy nomination finalists are interviewed by Senator Harkin's Academy Selection Board. The board evaluates the nomination finalists for their motivation, poise and self-expression.

Bishop Heelen High School senior Katie Doughterty has also been nominated to the Naval Academy along with Colton Van't Hof of Sioux Center; South O'Brien Senior Knute Klinker of Primghar; and Woodbury Central senior Dylan Bechen of Moville.

MOC-Floyd Valley High School senior Wyatt Vander Voort has been nominated to the Air Force Academy.

Randolph-Macon Academy High School senior Kalie Plasier of Sioux Center has been nominated to the U-S Military Academy.

From nominees such as Senator Harkin's, the academies select the final candidate who will be offered an appointment.

Judge Poulson will receive Oath of Office January 7

(SIOUX CITY)--The newest judge in northwest Iowa will take the oath of office next week.

Attorney Jeffrey Poulson of Sioux City will be sworn in at the Woodbury County Courthouse on Friday, January 7th at 2 p.m.

Poulson fills the position created by the retirement of Gary Wenell.

A public reception will follow the swearing-in ceremony.

Poulson was a member of the law firm of Thomas and Poulson. He has a law degree from Drake University.

Vander Plaats wants funds to oust remaining justices

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats, who led the effort to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices for their role in a decision legalizing same-sex marriage in Iowa, has begun raising money to try to remove the remaining four justices.

Vander Plaats, who heads the group Family Leader, put out a plea on the organization's website asking for help to raise $8,000 by Jan. 1.

He says the money would pay to gauge interest in convincing the four justices to resign and efforts to impeach them if they don't step down.

Vander Plaats says the funds will be used for direct mail, robo-calls, polling and online ads. He says feedback received from supporters will help develop a strategy to remove the justices that will be presented to the Legislature next month.

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

Collision closes Highway 18 for hours

(SPENCER)--A two-vehicle accident north of Everly closed Highway 18 for about eight hours Tuesday morning.

The Clay County Sheriff's office reports a truck driven by 32-year-old David Betz of Rolfe was stopped on Highway 18. Betz was preparing to turn north onto 130th Avenue.

According to the sheriff's office, an eastbound truck driven by 47-year-old Mark Limkemann of Harper's Ferry struck the rear of the truck Betz was driving. The impact caused the semi Betz was driving to be pushed about 265 feet, spin and come to rest in the ditch.

Limkemann was taken to the Spencer Municipal Hospital.

Report lays out problems in Indian Health Service

WASHINGTON (AP) A key senator overseeing American Indian issues says the Aberdeen Area of the Indian Health Service is in a ``chronic state of crisis'' stemming from serious management problems and a lack of oversight.

Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota said in a statement Wednesday that a Senate investigation reveals the health of American Indians in the region in the Upper Midwest is being hampered by mismanagement. Dorgan says fixing the problem must be an urgent, national priority.

The Aberdeen Area serves more than 100,000 Native Americans from 18 tribes in North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa. IHS facilities in the area have been criticized for years over allegations of mismanagement and substandard services.

Branstad names Glass to head Iowa education agency

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) Gov.-elect Terry Branstad has named Jason Glass as director of the Iowa Department of Education, calling him a reform-minded leader for the agency.

Branstad announced his selection at a news conference Wednesday in Urbandale.

Glass has been working at Battelle for Kids, an Ohio-based non-profit group. He previously worked in human resources and education in Colorado.

The job of education department director has been vacant since May, when Judy Jeffrey retired.

Branstad says Glass will bring accountability to the position as he works to make Iowa's schools the best in the country.

Glass faces Iowa Senate confirmation proceedings.

Ames nursing home fined after resident disappears

AMES, Iowa (AP) An Ames nursing home has been cited by the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals and fined $3,500 for an incident where a resident wandered away from the facility.

The Abington on Grand received the citation earlier this month. A telephone message left for its administrator Wednesday was not immediately returned.

The Tribune reports the man, who has Alzheimer's and was depressed over his wife's declining health, was discovered missing on Nov. 1.

A report by state inspectors shows he was found seven hours later in a ditch about a mile from the center. He was suffering from hypothermia and a mild heart attack.

The report shows that while crews looked for the man his wife died at the nursing home, where the couple shared a room.

Name of Blockton, Iowa, fire victim released

BLOCKTON, Iowa (AP) Authorities have released the name of the man killed in a fire at a mobile home near Blockton in southwest Iowa.

A news release Wednesday identified the man as 74-year-old Kenneth Nielsen, who owned the home.

A news release from the Iowa Public Safety Department's Division of the State Fire Marshal says investigators aren't sure what caused the fire on Monday morning. They noted, however, that several extension cords and eight space heaters had been used to heat the home.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission urges consumers to be careful with how they use electrical space heaters, which can present extra fire dangers if improperly deployed or inadequately tested.

Neb. man charged in Iowa crash faces 4 lawsuits

Iowa judge gets probation for drunken driving

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) A Black Hawk County judge has been fined $625 and given a year of probation after pleading guilty to drunken driving.

It was Daniel Block's first such arrest and conviction. Block's attorney entered the guilty plea on Monday. Block was given a deferred judgment, meaning the charge would be removed from his record if he successfully completes probation.

Block, an associate juvenile judge, was arrested on Nov. 26 in Hamilton County.

Thomas Bower is chief judge for the 1st Judicial District that covers Black Hawk County. He says a judge who's been convicted can still serve, unless the offense jeopardizes his or her law license.

Iowa's Judicial Qualifications Commission could press for Block's ouster. A commission representative said Wednesday that any complaints are confidential.

Iowa man injured when snowmobile hits cow

CASTALIA, Iowa (AP) A man was injured when the snowmobile he was riding hit a cow in northeast Iowa.

The Fayette County sheriff's office says 49-year-old Kevin Mack, of Fayette, was operating a snowmobile on a trail near Castalia when the cow wandered onto the trail and was struck by the snowmobile.

The sheriff's office says it didn't know what happened to the cow.

The Gazette in Cedar Rapids says Mack was taken to a hospital for treatment of his injuries following the accident Sunday night.

The investigation is continuing.

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

Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email klemnews@lemarscomm or by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.



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