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KLEM News PM Update January 19, 2011

Le Mars Police arrested 45-year-old Mark Starman of Le Mars Tuesday afternoon. Starman faces four charges of sexual abuse in the third degree. The charges are felonies.

Starman is accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old child four times within the last four to five months.

Dodge sentenced for drug delivery conviction

(ORANGE CITY)--A Rock Valley man will spend up to 10 years in prison for a drug delivery conviction.

According to written information from Sioux County attorney Coleman McAllister, 32-year-old Dalles Dodge was convicted of delivery of methamphetamine.

Authorities charged Dodge after they said he sold less than five grams of crystal methamphetamine to a confidential informant in Hull in October of last year.

A judge ordered Dodge to serve at least one-third of a 10- year prison sentence. He was also fined one-thousand dollars.

South Dakota woman taken to Sioux Falls hospital

(ROCK RAPIDS)--A southeast South Dakota woman was injured when she lost control of her vehicle Tuesday morning.

The Lyon County Sheriff's office reports a vehicle driven by 31-year-old Sarah Ripplinger of Harrisburg, South Dakota struck a snow drift.

Authorities report that caused her to lose control and enter the south ditch. Ripplinger was taken to Sanford in Sioux Falls.

The accident was reported about seven Tuesday morning.

One injured in O'Brien County accident

(PRIMGHAR)--A Hartley man was injured in a one-car accident on Highway 18 in O'Brien County Monday morning.

The sheriff's office reports Jason Gillespie was driving east on Highway 18 and struck a guardrail after losing control due to icy road surfaces.

Gillespie was taken to Sanford Sheldon Hospital.

Move to exempt active duty pay from state income taxes

(Des Moines) Hundreds of veterans are at the statehouse today (Wednesday), asking legislators to give priority to military-related issues. The chairmen of the House AND Senate Veterans Affairs Committees say legislation that exempts active duty military pay from state income taxes already is on their priority list. 
Royd Chambers, a Republican from Sheldon, is chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and he's filed a bill to accomplish that goal.

"The situation that we have going on is that people on active duty will be serving in another state, obviously. They'll change their residency to a state that has no income tax and then we never see them again," Chambers says. "There's no incentive to come back, so we want those people to come back to Iowa."

Governor Branstad has promised to sign such a bill into law. Chambers, who is a member of the Iowa Air National Guard, was deployed Kyrgyzstan in 2009. He spoke to the crowd of veterans, too.
Five veterans service organizations are co-sponsoring today's "Veterans Day at the Capitol." The groups are lobbying to exempt the pay military retirees receive from state income taxes, too. (RADIO IOWA)

UP chooses Kansas City to Little Rock route

(LE MARS)--Dreams of a steam locomotive riding the rails through Le Mars were dashed, but the route will be in the Midwest.

The Union Pacific had an online contest to determine the route. Jessica Lingren of the Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau promoted voting for Le Mars. The Ice Cream Capital of the World missed the number needed for final balloting for one of four routes.

More than 76,000 votes were cast this month for the Little Rock Express route that the Omaha-based railroad created. That option beat three other possible steam locomotive routes in the online contest.

The trip will begin in Kansas City, Mo., and continue east to St. Louis before turning south to Little Rock. The exact dates for the trip will be set later.

UP maintains the No. 3985 ``Challenger'' and the No. 844 steam locomotives.

The Challenger is the world's largest operating steam locomotive. The No. 844 locomotive began duty in 1944 and pulled both passenger and freight trains.

(Associated Press contributed to this report)

Jury resumes deliberations in Iowa assault trial

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Jurors have resumed deliberating in the case of a former University of Iowa football player who is charged with sexually abusing a female athlete while she was passed out in 2007.

Former Hawkeye Cedric Everson has pleaded not guilty to third-degree sexual abuse, which could send him to prison for up to 10 years if he is convicted.

Prosecutors say Everson snuck in a dorm room where his teammate Abe Satterfield was in bed with the woman and assaulted her while she was asleep. Prosecutors say Satterfield had assaulted the woman first, but Satterfield testified the sex was consensual.

Everson's defense lawyer argued the woman was in a ``functional blackout'' and doesn't remember having consensual sex with his client.

Jurors are back to discussing the case after beginning deliberations Tuesday

Iowa tallies record number of polluted waterways

WINDSOR HEIGHTS, Iowa (AP) Officials say Iowa had more polluted waterways last year than any year since the state started compiling records 14 years ago.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the number exceeded 570 in 2010.

The Mason City Globe Gazette says the numbers were presented Tuesday at a meeting of the Environmental Protection Commission in Windsor Heights.

The DNR says common problems afflicting streams and rivers include E. coli bacteria and fish kills.

For lakes, the main problems cited are algae, bacteria and non-algal turbidity.

Iowans' garbage may help fuel power plant

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Linn County garbage someday could help light the lights and power the machines needed by local residents and businesses.

The Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency board on Tuesday took a step toward providing the refuse as fuel for a proposed power plant.

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids says a board committee will check the ramifications of sending garbage to the plant, which would be built by Plasma Power LLC, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The plant would use mostly natural gas to generate electricity, but synthetic gas created from the garbage could provide up to 19 percent of the plant fuel.

The company is seeking a garbage commitment from the agency so it can obtain financing for the plant project in Marion. Cost estimates range up to $172 million.

Republican wins Iowa's 35th Senate District seat

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) A Republican businessman from Ankeny will be filling Iowa's 35th Senate District seat.

In Tuesday's special election, Jack Whitver handily beat Democratic candidate John Calhoun of Polk City.

The Polk County website says that with 31 of 32 precincts reporting, the 30-year-old Whitver had just under 63.5 percent of the votes.

The post was vacated by Larry Noble. He was chosen by Terry Branstad, now governor, to become Iowa's public safety commissioner.

The 35th Senate District covers the northern half of Polk County.

Calhoun is director of the Polk City Community Foundation and Polk City Development Corporation. He is a former Sioux City resident.

Whitver's company is Acceleration Iowa. It's a training and fitness center.

Poverty a growing challenge to Iowa schools

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Suburban Des Moines and other school districts are taking steps to help the growing number of children whose family incomes are declining or already low.

The Des Moines Register reports that more than 180,700 Iowa children qualified for free or reduced-price meals last school year. That's up nearly 32,000 from the 2004-05 school year.

In the suburban Johnston district, 14 percent of the students qualified for free or reduced-price meals last school year. That's more than double the rate in the 2004-05 school year.

The district has given teachers training to better understand the challenges facing low-income families.

Des Moines bedbug case seeks class-action

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Attorneys are seeking class-action status for a lawsuit filed on behalf of 300 current and former residents of two Des Moines apartment complexes who say managers ignored a bedbug problem.

The Des Moines Register reports the request was made Tuesday in a March 2010 lawsuit in Polk County. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of residents of Elsie Mason Manor and Liguitti Towers, which serve elderly and disabled residents.

The lawsuit alleges that managers knew about the infestation for more than two years but refused to warn tenants or properly treat it until they were sued. Attorneys say class-action status would kick-start the slow-moving case.

American Baptist Homes of the Midwest manages the building. An official there acknowledged the buildings are not bedbug-free but stressed his agency's tremendous progress.

(Copyright 2011 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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