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KLEM News Update February 12, 2011

The Sioux County Sheriff's Office investigated the collision between a semi pulling a load of grain and a car about 7:15 Friday morning.

Authorities report 17-year-old Trisha Wood of Sheldon lost control of her car and entered an eastbound lane in the path of a semi. Wood died. The drive of the semi-36-year-old Mark Breuer of Rock Valley was not injured.

The Iowa State Patrol, Iowa Department of Motor Vehicle Enforcement, Sheldon Police, Ambulance and Fire and the O'Brien County Sheriff's office assisted the sheriff's office.

Le Mars residents set new record for recycling in January

(LE MARS)  Le Mars residents recycled in unprecedented amounts in January.

Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole reports 111-thousand 400 pounds went into blue totes or blue bags when an experiment with every other week trash collection started.  

City administrator Scott Langel says it looks like the mandatory recycling was a step in the right direction.

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Questions about the process dominate contacts with city hall about mandatory recycling.

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According to the assistant city administrator's figures, ninety-five percent of the city's 33-hundred households have a blue tote. There's no charge for anyone who'd like more than one. The arrangements to get another blue tote may be made by contacting city hall Monday through Friday between eight in the morning and five in the afternoon.

Next week, February 14-18 will be a trash collection week.

Census: 9,826 residents in Le Mars

(LE MARS)--Trending upward is the direction of the latest population count in Le Mars.

The 2010 U-S Census tallied Le Mars population at 9,826 which is up 589 from 10 years ago.

Le Mars isn't the only city in Plymouth County on the grow.

 Kingsley gained 166 residents for a new count of 1,411. Hinton's new population of 928 is up more 120.Westfield grew by 22 people for a total of 211. Brunsville's increase of five residents  means a Centennial celebration in June with a Census of 151.

Merrill held its own with a gain of one for a new population total of 755. Akron lost three people for 1,486. Craig saw a change of 13 fewer residents for a new count of 89. Oyens is down 29 for 103 residents, according to the latest Census. Remsen's 2010 count of 1, 663 is down 99.

Spring flood outlook predicts flooding from the Big Sioux, Floyd Rivers

(DES MOINES) The National Weather Service recently issued its first flood outlook for spring, and it shows a couple areas on opposite ends of the state that appear to pose the biggest risk. Senior hydrologist, Jeffrey Zogg, helps put the outlook together.

Zogg says the it shows a "near normal risk" of flooding over much of the state, with the highest risk along the Mississippi River in eastern Iowa and along the Big Sioux and Floyd Rivers in northwest Iowa. The forecast says there is greater than 50-percent chance of major flooding from the Minnesota border all the way down to Burlington on the Mississippi. And at many locations along the Mississippi, the risk exceeds 70-percent. Similar risk levels exist along the Big Sioux and Floyd Rivers. Zogg says the flood forecasts always try to anticipate forecast snowfall levels,- so the big recent blizzard shouldn't changes things a whole lot.

 He says the eastern part of Iowa did receive a lot of snow from the blizzard, but they are expecting the snow to melt and run off before the Mississippi River comes up to the flooding levels that raise concern in the forecast. Zogg says the conditions are such that a wet spring could change things.

 Zogg says soil moisture is running high and streams are running higher across the state, so we could be susceptible to flooding if there are heavy rains after the snow melts. Zogg says the snowcover, and the temperatures heading into spring are always a key issue in flooding.

He says it all comes down to how the snow melts. Zogg says there was a lot of snow in the Des Moine River basin last year that indicated the potential for flooding, but we ended up with nearly ideal snowmelt conditions, which caused less flooding. The National Weather Service will update its flood forecast later this month. (Radio Iowa)

Islam is Sanford Museum program focus

(CHEROKEE) Islam is often looked upon as an extremist, terrorist, or fundamental religion. These misconceptions are part of the reason that The Sanford Museum in Cherokee is featuring a session this Saturday night called "Understanding Islam." Museum Director Linda Burkhardt says that Dr. Jessica deVega, Assistant Professor of Religion at Morningside College, will be leading the talk.

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Dr. deVega, a Cherokee resident, says that an important part of her presentation is helping people understand that Islam is a non-violent religion.

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deVega said her talk will include a question and answer period. "Understanding Islam" is free and open to the public. It begins at 7:30pm this Saturday. The Sanford Museum, located on Willow Street in Cherokee, is home to a planetarium, regional art displays, exhibits on the history on northwest Iowa, and other programs featuring speakers from around the area. For more information visit: (Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Hotel revenues spike in Sioux City

(SIOUX CITY)  Sioux City's Convention and Tourism executive director is touting a spike in hotel revenues.

Aran Rush reports a 24 percent increase in hotel revenue in the last two quarters compared to the previous year. The increase was 20 percent over the same four quarters a year ago.

Rush says Sioux City is starting to build the demand to fill the larger capacity that exists. Rush points to many factors, including a strong recovery from economic issues in 2008 and he says the RAGBRAI--the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa starting in Sioux City did not hurt.

 Sheriff's Deputies arrest Hospers man after burglary report

(HOSPERS)--A Hospers man was arrested after reporting a burglary in progress early Thursday morning.

The Sioux County Sheriff's Office charged 24-year-old Matthew James Schipper with providing a false report to law enforcement.

Deputies went to 3837 Kiwi Avenue, five miles northwest of Hospers, and determined that the report of a burglary in progress was false.

Schipper was arrested about an hour after the report was made to the Sioux County Communications Center.

Sioux City work-release inmate listed as escaped

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa officials say a 23-year-old inmate has been listed as escaped from a Sioux City work-release facility.

He was identified as Humberto Garcia. A news release from the Iowa Department of Corrections on Friday says Garcia was convicted of two weapons charges and a gang-participation charge in Woodbury County.

He was transferred to the work-release program in October after beginning his seven-year sentence in March 2008.

The department says Garcia went on the escaped list after he didn't return to the Sioux City facility at the end of his workday.

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

Vilsack approves industrial biotech corn

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has approved a biotech corn variety that was engineered solely for producing ethanol.

The Des Moines Register says Vilsack approved it Friday.

The corn, a product of Syngenta, contains an enzyme that reduces the costs of turning it into the biofuel. The same enzyme can make the corn unsuitable for some food products.

Companies that mill corn for breakfast cereals and other foods have been fighting the move, fearing will contaminate their supplies. Syngenta insists the corn will be kept away from food channels.

The corn, which will go by the trade name Enogen, is to be grown this year only in western parts of Kansas and Nebraska. Syngenta hopes to eventually offer it to areas near ethanol plants in Iowa and other states.

Plane makes emergency stop in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a Delta Airlines flight en route from Minneapolis to Memphis, Tenn., made an emergency stop in Des Moines after a child experienced a seizure on board.

The Des Moines Register says the incident happened Friday morning about an hour after Flight 1981 took off from Minneapolis. The plane landed at the Des Moines International Airport about 7:50 a.m. The child was taken to a hospital. The child's name and age have not been released.

Delta spokeswoman Susan Ellliott says after the flight continued on to Memphis, arriving about two hours late.

Police say mom sent kids to store during blizzard

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) A Muscatine woman is charged with child endangerment for allegedly sending her children to a convenience store at night during a blizzard that dumped nearly 2 feet of snow on southeast Iowa this month.

The Muscatine Journal says Julie Jimenez was charged after she allegedly sent her 14-year-old daughter and 8-year-old son to the store during the storm on Feb. 2.

Police Lt. Steve Snider says Friday the children wanted snacks and walked about two blocks to the store. The city was under a snow emergency and sidewalks were impassable because of the snow drifts.

Snider says a store clerk called police, who picked up the children and took them home.

Online court records don't show an attorney for Jimenez, and there is no phone listing for her.

Muscatine woman accused of neglecting her grandma

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) A Muscatine woman faces a felony charge of neglecting her 90-old-grandmother.

Muscatine County court documents say 38-year-old Tabatha Pineda was the caregiver for her grandmother from Sept. 24 to Sept. 30.

According to the Muscatine Journal, court records say Pineda's lack of care caused her grandmother to suffer severe dehydration, malnutrition and severe bed sores. Records say the grandmother continued to suffer from those problems until she died in December.

Pineda is due back in court on Monday to face a felony charge of neglecting a dependent person.

There is no publicly listed number for Pineda, and court records don't list her attorney's name.

Hearing waived for Iowa man in brother's death

ALBIA, Iowa (AP) A southern Iowa man accused of gunning down his brother, who was a respected doctor, has waived his preliminary hearing.

The Ottumwa Courier says 73-year-old Richard Davis, of Albia, was to appear in Monroe County District Court on Feb. 15 on a first-degree murder charge. Davis' attorney, Allen Cook III, requested Wednesday that the hearing be waived. No new court dates were scheduled.

Davis is accused of killing 60-year-old Gary Davis on Feb. 5. Gary Davis was shot in his driveway in Albia. Richard Davis was arrested about an hour later.

Richard Davis remains in the county jail on $2 million bond.

A telephone message for Cook on Friday was not returned.

Judge rejects Iowa man's request for resentencing

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) A judge has rejected a request by a man for reconsideration of his sentencing for robbing a bar and shooting a police officer in Dubuque.

Seventy-two-year-old Eddie Chest, of Dubuque, was sentenced last month to 50 years in prison for his role in the December 2009 armed robbery and shootout at Knicker's Saloon. Chest and police Lt. Scott Baxter were wounded in an exchange of gunfire.

After a plea deal, prosecutors recommended Chest receive concurrent 25-year terms.

Judge Monica Ackley imposed the maximum. Chest's defense attorney asked the judge to reconsider for several reasons, including his cooperation with the investigation.

The Telegraph Herald says Ackley denied the request in a ruling filed Wednesday, saying she considered all the available information at sentencing.

Fired official testifies in film office trial

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A former official of the Iowa Department of Economic Development who was fired during an investigation into a tax credit program administered by the Iowa Film office says the film office manager was largely left alone to manage the program.

Vince Lintz, testified Friday in the trial Windy Weiner Runge, a Minnesota filmmaker charged with misusing tax credits designed to lure filmmakers to Iowa.

The film program was created by the Legislature in 2007, and gave a 25 percent discount off expenditures on films made in Iowa and another 25 percent for investment.

The Des Moines Register says Lintz testified that he believed it was Wheeler's responsibility to review expenditures claimed by moviemakers for credits.

Wheeler was also fired, and faces several felonies in connection with the mismanagement.

Wells Fargo Home Mortgage gives notice to workers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Wells Fargo Co. says 142 interim workers in its home mortgage division in the Des Moines area have been given notice that they will be let go from the company.

Spokesman Jason Menke (MEN'-kee) says Friday the employees were given a 60-day notice. The positions were filled to help Wells Fargo with a large number of home refinancing applications over the past year.

Menke says the workers are based at two locations. He says they were hired specifically for short-term assignments, and they were aware the jobs would be ending at some point. Menke says the company has notified the state.

Wells Fargo employs about 13,000 in the Des Moines area.

KCCI-TV in Des Moines first reported the layoffs.

(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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