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KLEM News AM Update February 2, 2011

This was the second day in a row that delays turned to cancellations for schools such as Akron-Westfield and Kingsley-Pierson. At about mid-morning, most of the public schools in Sioux County shut down plans to have classes today.

At 10:30 Tuesday night, the wind chill reading from the KLEM Weather Station was -47. Relief in in Friday's forecast--a high of 31. Puxatawny Phil's lack of a shadow show today forecasts an early spring, but for now wind chills will be down to twenty-seven below.

Fire-Rescue chief: keep snow from doorways, use heaters carefully

(LE MARS)--Safety is the focus of reminders related to severe cold weather this week.

Le Mars Fire-Rescue Chief David Schipper says heaters need to be used properly and snow should be removed from home or business doorways.

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Carbon monoxide detectors are recommended.

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Schipper made his comments as part of an annual report on the Fire-Rescue Department Tuesday.

Maurices may make another move

(LE MARS)--Owners of a Le Mars retail business plan to relocate.

Maurices and United Development Group need city approval to vary from regulations that require a 25 foot front yard setback along Holton Drive.

If the Le Mars Board of Adjustment votes to reduce the setback by 15 feet to 10 feet, Maurices would be located on the east end of property near the Wal-Mart Supercenter. The address would be 1183 Holton Drive.

Maurices left downtown Le Mars and is now in retail space at 973 Hawkeye Avenue Southwest, in the Le Mars Plaza near McDonald's Restaurant, on Business Highway 75 South.

City staff recommends that the variance for Maurices reducing the setback along Holton be approved.

The variance will be considered February 15th during a public meeting in the Council Chambers at City Hall beginning at 8:15 a-m.

House endorses proposed constitutional amendment on gay marriage by 62-37 vote

(Le Mars)-- Three Democrats joined with 59 Republicans in the Iowa House Tuesday to pass a resolution on gay marriage. The proposed constitutional amendment would ban same-sex marriages, as well as civil unions and domestic partnerships. Representative Dwayne Alons a Republican from Hull, said Iowa should join the states which have passed similar restrictions.

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(as said) "We are not stepping off a cliff into a deep, dark hole and doing something that's totally unusual or odd or strange compared to a number of other states that have done this exact same thing where the people of their states have amendment their constitution," Alons said at the conclusion of today's debate. "In fact, to the number of 30 have done that already."

Representative Greg Forristall, a Republican from Macedonia, said since the legislature and the Supreme Court disagree on the proper definition of marriage, Iowa voters should decide the matter.

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(as said) "This is not a debate about taking a right away from anyone," Forristall said. "This is a debate about whether a right exists."

Representative Richard Anderson, a Republican from Clarinda, said if the line isn't drawn at traditional marriage, then what happens when brothers and sisters or polygamists ask to marry?

Alons, the proposal's lead sponsor, urged Iowans to pressure the Democratic leader in the state senate who has vowed to block the proposal from advancing.

State Representatives Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars and Dan Huseman of Aurelia also voted for the measure, according to statements issued Tuesday afternoon.

After the House vote, Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs indicated he won't change his mind. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Northey visits Cherokee, Paullina today

(DES MOINES)--Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture will be in northwest Iowa today.

Bill Northey tours American Natural Soy in Cherokee this afternoon at two.

Northey will speak at a crop fair hosted by the Iowa Corn Growers Association at the American Legion Hall in Paullina at 11:30 this morning.

The Spirit Lake farmer visits each of Iowa's counties yearly. He says the meetings give him an opportunity to hear from Iowans and discuss agriculture and issues facing farmers.

Blizzard response brings together state agencies

(AMES)--The Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa National Guard and Iowa State Patrol established joint emergency Highway Assistance Teams (HATs) yesterday due to the blizzard. Those teams remain stationed in Davenport, Oakdale/Iowa City and Mount Pleasant in eastern Iowa.

The following missions have been completed so far by these teams. The times noted are when the teams were dispatched.

Feb. 2

•3:30 a.m. - The Davenport team completed two rescue missions of persons stranded on I-80.
•2:59 a.m. - A rescue mission to I-80 near West Liberty was made by the Oakdale team, which included stops to check multiple vehicles along the roadway for stranded motorists.
•12:54 a.m. - The team from Oakdale escorted an emergency vehicle to Mercy Hospital.
Feb. 1

•8:28 p.m. - The Oakdale team rescued stranded motorists on U.S. 218.
•8:14 p.m. - The Oakdale team was dispatched to rescue motorists stranded on highways in the Iowa City area.
•7:05 p.m. - Motorists stranded on U.S. 6 in Johnson County were rescued by the Oakdale team.
These teams consist of support personnel from the respective agencies, as well as a snowplow truck, law enforcement vehicle, and National Guard High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV or Humvee).

Missions carried out by the HATs are identified by the Iowa State Patrol's command center and generally involve assisting with emergency transport of patients, fire and rescue escorts, transporting vulnerable populations during power outages, and rescue of injured motorists.

The primary goal of these teams is to accomplish missions that otherwise could not be carried out during a blizzard, with a focus on high-priority emergencies involving potential loss of life.

The HATs are not intended to provide general rescue to persons stranded in their vehicles who remain safe. (SOURCE: Iowa Department of Transportation)

For Road Surface Condition Reports:
**In Iowa

**In Minnesota
(800)542-0220 or 511

**In South Dakota
(866)697-3511 or 511

**In Nebraska
(800) 906-9069 or 511

**In Missouri

**In Illinois

"In Wisconsin

Senate Democrats propose $10 million jobs programs

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Senate Democrats are calling for the state to spend $10 million on two programs they say would help people gain skills and find jobs.

Senate President Jack Kibbie and other Democrats announced their plan Tuesday morning. It includes $5 million for a program to increase job skills and $5 million for a tuition assistance program.

Democrats say the programs would help unemployed and underemployed people.

The program is the latest in a series of proposals by Senate Democrats. Last week, they announced a plan they say would help small businesses. Next week, they say they will make their final economic development proposal.

Republicans who control the House have been focused on reducing spending and it's likely they will be skeptical about the Democratic proposal.

Iowan charged with vehicular homicide in crash

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) An Iowa man is facing vehicular homicide charges for an accident last May that killed a 5-year-old boy and his baby sister and injured two other family members.

The Polk County Attorney's office has charged Kevin Dalasta of Ankeny with two counts each of homicide by vehicle and serious injury by vehicle.

The criminal complaint alleges that Dalasta was driving recklessly, causing the deaths of 5-year-old Carson DeJoode and 5-month-old Claire DeJoode and serious injuries to mother Heather and 3-year-old brother Chase.

KCCI-TV reports that police say Dalasta drove a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado past a stop sign at an intersection and smashed into the family's van. Dalasta was also injured.

There was no phone number for him listed in Ankeny, and it wasn't clear whether he had an attorney.

Man injured in Iowa house fire charged with arson

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Waterloo police say a man who was injured in a house fire where a woman died is charged with first-degree arson.

Capt. Tim Pillack says Glenn Jackson was arrested on Tuesday after he was released from University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Jackson is charged in a fire that broke out early Monday. Firefighters found the body of Sandra Jo Nash in the burning home.

Another woman, Cheryl Roach, was injured, but was not hospitalized.

Pillack says investigators allegedly found accelerants inside the home and on Jackson's clothing. Pillack declined to elaborate further.

Pillack says Jackson was brought back to Waterloo and would be taken to the Black Hawk County jail. It was not clear if Jackson had an attorney.

Arrest made in car fires in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police say they've arrested a man in an investigation into two car fires at an apartment complex that officials say were started by homemade bombs.

Police say Tuesday that 44-year-old Gregory Harris of Pleasant Hill is charged with first-degree arson. He's being held in the Polk County jail. It was not immediately known if he had an attorney.

The fires started in the early morning hours of Jan. 3 at Deer Ridge Apartments. Police say it appears three Molotov cocktails were tossed at the manager's building. They bounced off and started fires on the ground. One of the devices rolled under a car in the parking lot and set it on fire. The blaze then spread to another car.

No one was injured.

(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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