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KLEM PM News Update January 26, 2011

 According to a report from the Le Mars Police Department, 26 year old Andrew Bock of Le Mars, was chased west on Plymouth Street Monday night after a report that there was a disturbance at a residence in Armel Acres.  The resident told police that Bock caused a disturbance while trying to obtain prescription medication from the residence.  Officers were advised that Bock left in a blue mini-van which was located downtown Le Mars. 

The report says that during the pursuit Bock directed his vehicle intentionally at a Sheriff Deputy's patrol car and made contact, with minimal damage.  The pursuit continued west on Plymouth Street, but due to Bock's high speeds and the icy/snowy road conditions, officers discontinued the pursuit.  Information was later obtained in regards to Andrew Bock's whereabouts, and he was brought into custody and booked on nine misdemeanor charges and the Class D felony of assault using a dangerous weapon.


County discusses drastic reduction to economic development budget

(LE MARS) During 2011-2012 budget discussions yesterday (Tuesday), the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors talked about reducing the counties economic development budget.  For the current year that budget was just under $80,000, and as of now it is cut to $40,000.  This would eliminate the full time Economic Development Director position beginning in July of this year. That position is currently held by Andrea Westergard.  

The position was originally created with state grants and utility firms' financial support, it is now funded fully by the county.  Westergard was hired in March of 2009 and was the second person to have the job. Gary Tucker was the first economic development director for Plymouth County and resigned in January of 2009 after about nine years in the position.


Feds won't prosecute Iowa school boards group

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Association of School Boards officials have told legislators that state and federal prosecutors won't be taking any action against the association.

The association's use of public money has been questioned since a March story by The Des Moines Register on association salaries and spending.

The association is privately run but receives tax dollars.

Association officials told the Iowa Legislature's Government Oversight Committee on Tuesday that the U.S. Attorney's Office had reviewed an FBI report and found nothing to prosecute.

Association attorney Nolden Gentry also says the Iowa Attorney General's Office is taking no action on the association's nonprofit status.

Polk County prosecutors are still reviewing the FBI report, however.

Des Moines police commander resigns

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines police commander who was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by a drug task force has resigned.

The Des Moines Police Department issued a news release Wednesday saying Lt. John Scarpino's resignation was accepted by Chief Judy Bradshaw. The resignation was effective Wednesday.

The news release says no further action will be taken regarding the internal investigation and that the investigation is closed.

Scarpino declined comment.

The 54-year-old Scarpino had been with the department for more than 30 years and worked in the vice and narcotics units.

Mason City man pleads not guilty to theft charge

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) A 33-year-old Mason City man faces trial in May on allegations that he stole about $14,000 while managing a tire store in Clear Lake.

Court records say Jeffrey Frampton has pleaded not guilty to the theft charge. His trial is set for May 10.

Frampton is accused of taking the money from the Tires Plus store while managing it over 2008 and 2009.

Ankeny man pleads not guilty to fraud indictment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The owner of a Des Moines employment agency has pleaded not guilty to federal fraud charges.

Dinesh ``Dan'' Sethi is accused of scheming to defraud insurance companies out of workers' compensation premiums.

Sethi, of Ankeny, owns DES Staffing Services. The indictment charges him with five counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The U.S. Attorney's Office says Sethi created two other companies that he represented as being separate from DES Services and transferred the majority of his employees to those other companies to avoid rising workers' compensation premiums.

The Des Moines Register says the federal magistrate set a tentative trial date of April 4. If convicted, Sethi faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

DES Staffing has offices in five states.

Public hearing on marriage amendment set

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A public hearing on a bill proposing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Iowa is scheduled for Jan. 31.

The hearing is scheduled to be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Iowa House.

To amend the constitution, legislators elected in two consecutive elections would need to approve a resolution that would go before voters in the next general election. Under that process, the soonest voters could consider a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is 2014.

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The decision resulted in voters ousting three of the justices who participated in the decision.

Burst pipe forces Blue Man Group cancellation

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) Water damage from a burst pipe has forced cancellation of all three performances of the Blue Man Group at the Gallagher-Bluedorn Performing Arts Center at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

UNI spokesman Jim O'Connor says a sprinkler pipe broke Tuesday morning while gear was being moved in for what would have been Tuesday night's performance at the Great Hall stage.

Cedar Falls Fire Chief John Schilling says a curtain rigging system malfunctioned, causing the sprinkler pipe to break.

Water flooded the stage, hallways and equipment for the show.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says the arts center is trying to reschedule performances by Blue Man Group.

Iowa, South Carolina losing some UPS jobs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) About 80 mostly part-time jobs will be lost when UPS closes its Des Moines billing center.

UPS told Des Moines television station KCCI that it also will close a center in Columbia, S.C. That will cost Columbia about 110 full- and part-time jobs.

UPS says the closing won't affect the remaining 1,350 drivers and other workers in Des Moines.

The closing will take more than a year, and the company says it will try to find other UPS jobs for the 190 workers.

UPS says there will be severance packages.

The company says technological advances are allowing UPS to streamline some of its billing operations. It still will have eight U.S. billing centers and nine more overseas.

Iowa will learn from 12 players' illness

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A school official says Iowa will put in safeguards to protect students after 12 football players were hospitalized following offseason workouts.

Associate athletics director Fred Mims says the case is a ``good lesson'' for why university officials should ask players about how they are feeling after strenuous workouts. He said Wednesday that the school will also try to avoid problems after players return from breaks and might not have kept up with fitness routines by making sure expectations are clear.

The university said the 12 players were hospitalized and responding well to treatment at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and their undisclosed conditions were likely related to team workouts.

Several players wrote on their Facebook pages the workouts involved intense weightlifting.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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