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KLEM News PM Update March 10, 2011

A Le Mars Police Sergeant, Jim Hinds, plans to retire. The new budget did not include funds for a promotion of another officer to sergeant, but did include 14 officers.

City Administrator Scott Langel explains action by the Iowa Legislature that would have a financial impact on the city will help determine whether there are 14 officers.

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Langel emphasized that a decision to reduce the number of police officers has not been made by the Council.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) Authorities are investigating the death of a 6-year-old Sioux City boy.

The death is being labeled suspicious by police, and an autopsy was being performed.

The child's name has not been released.

Police say they were called to the home on Monday around 9 p.m. The boy was found unresponsive in a bathroom.

He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

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

(ORANGE CITY)--Forecasts are the focus of planning for flooding in Sioux County.

Emergency Management Coordinator Nate Huizenga reports predictions from the National Weather Service that the Big Sioux River will exceed flood stage around April 1st. The projections indicate there is a 55-50 chance of exceeding the record stage of 24-point-nine feet with a 95 percent chance of experiencing major flooding.

At Akron the National Weather Service forecasts a 60 percent chance of exceeding the record stage of 23-point-four feet with a 100 percent chance of major flooding.

Huizengais encouraging Sioux County residents who may be affected by flooding to be aware of the potential and monitor ongoing forecast information.

(SIOUX CITY)--A bridge project on Interstate 29 near Little Sioux will reduce the number of lanes on the roadway beginning Monday.

According to Dean Herbst of the Iowa Department of Transportation, the project will affect I-29 between exit 95 which is Harrison County Road F-20 and exit 105 which is Monona County Road E-60. An 11-foot-six-inch width lane restriction will be in place.

Weather permitting, Herbst expects the lane restrictions to end August 26th.

(SPIRIT LAKE)--A driver was trapped in a vehicle that rolled on icy roads in Dickinson County Wednesday night.

The sheriff's office reports a pickup truck being driven east by 67-year-old Arnold Rinke of Superior went into the north ditch. The pickup truck rolled and ended on its side.

Rinke was freed from the pickup using extrication equipment and was taken by ambulance to Lakes Regional Health in Spirit Lake.

HOPKINTON, Iowa (AP) The Department of Human Services is trying to determine whether the fatal attack by two Rottweilers on a 3-year-old Hopkinton girl amounts to abuse.

The state officials must conclude that a person either caused abuse or failed to take reasonable action to prevent the abuse.

Vanessa Husmann died Saturday after being attacked by the two dogs, which had gotten loose from a locked, fenced kennel in her backyard. The dogs have been euthanized.

The child's mother, Rhonda Marty, has said she doesn't know how the dogs got out of the kennel. She was not home when the attack occurred. The girl was under the care of a baby sitter.

Vanessa's funeral is scheduled for Friday afternoon at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Hopkinton, which is in northeast Iowa.

HARLAN, Iowa (AP) Harlan police and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation are looking into the death of a 39-year-old man.

Jay Casali (cuh-SAH'-lee) was found unresponsive on a couch at a friend's home a residence on Sunday night. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to The Daily Nonpareil of Council Bluffs, there were no signs of a struggle. But DCI spokeswoman Jessica Lown (lohn) says Casali was involved in an altercation on Friday.

On Thursday, Lown said investigators are looking into what is described as an ``unattended death'' and would not characterize it as suspicious or otherwise.

An autopsy was performed on the body. A representative of the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) A 40-year-old Mason City woman has pleaded guilty to two counts of forgery.

According to the Mason City Globe Gazette, Jennifer Collins pleaded guilty after making a deal with prosecutors that other forgery counts would be dropped.

Her sentencing is set for April 18.

Prosecutors say Collins and 44-year-old Brian Edmonds forged checks to businesses in Mason City and nearby towns.

Court records say Edmonds has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) The owner of a Mason City home damaged in 2008 flooding has lost an appeal of his lawsuit against the city.

The Iowa Court of Appeals affirmed a district court judgment for the city in the lawsuit filed by William Plymat. He alleged the city's negligence caused $28,500 damage to his property.

The Mason City Globe Gazette says the city had installed culvert pipes near Plymat's home so rainwater and snowmelt could drain through the city's levee into the Winnebago River.

Automatic culvert valves were installed to prevent floodwater from the river from reaching nearby land.

Plymat's lawsuit said the valves didn't function the morning of June 8, 2008. The appellate court says Plymat never proved they weren't working properly, so the court upheld the district court's ruling.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a Cedar Rapids woman facing animal neglect charges.

Jennifer Wood was scheduled to be in court on Tuesday on charges of animal neglect and failing to dispose of animal carcasses. Iowa County Sheriff Robert Rotter says the warrant was issued after Wood missed her court appearance.

The charges were filed after authorities found the carcasses of three llamas and a potbellied pig on her farm near North English. Rotter says it appears the animals had been dead for several months.

Wood voluntarily surrendered seven dogs and two horses that were also on the property.

On Feb. 17, animal control officers seized 32 dogs, two cats and a parrot from Wood's home in Cedar Rapids. No charges have been filed in that case.

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) A 59-year-old man faces three charges after his homemade cannon exploded and damaged a vehicle in Charles City.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reports that Benjamin Bradley was charged with criminal mischief, reckless use of explosives and possession of an explosive.

Charles City Police Capt. Brad Gibson says Bradley had fashioned a pipe into a rudimentary cannon, but it exploded Saturday and a part of it struck a vehicle parked nearby.

Attempts to reach Bradley by phone were unsuccessful. The online record of the case doesn't list his attorney. There was no answer Thursday morning at the office of his attorney in a recent case.

Bradley's next hearing is set for Wednesday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A lawyer who is suing the Iowa Judicial Nominating Commission for some Iowa clients has been named to the commission by Gov. Terry Branstad.

In their lawsuit, the clients of William Gustoff allege that the makeup of the commission is biased against nonlawyers because they have no say in the selection of half the commission.

The Des Moines Register says that half the commission is lawyers, elected by lawyers; the other half traditionally is made up of nonlawyers appointed by the governor. Gustoff's appointment is a departure, but it is not barred by Iowa law.

Gustoff says he has almost nothing to do with the lawsuit now.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says Gustoff was selected because ``we thought he was a good person to do the job.''

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

Submit your news release, photo, 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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