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KLEM News PM Update March 21, 2011

Akron emergency services director Jon Coyle said the bridge was closed Sunday. He says the ground's very saturated, so there's nowhere for rain and snowmelt to go. It ends up in drainage ditches and streams that eventually empty into the Big Sioux.

Coyle says the river was expected to pass flood stage but that it would not pose a risk to homes or businesses in town.

He says the bridge likely will remain closed through the end of the week.

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

(DES MOINES)-- State officials are keeping an eye on the waterways on the western and eastern borders of the state as we enter "flood season." Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division (HSEMD) administrator, General Derek Hill, joined the governor today at his weekly news conference to talk about preparations for potential flooding. Hill says the latest information shows elevated river levels on the Big Sioux River in western Iowa as a result of snow melt.

 "Crest is expected on the Big Sioux River early this week, with mostly moderate flooding expected. The Big Sioux at the city of Akron should crest today, nearing reach major flood stage," Hill says. He says the state has talked with Akron officials to make them award of the flooding potential and the availability of supplies if needed.

Hill says eastern Iowa should also be on notice for potential flooding. Hill says they have been working closely with county officials along the Mississippi River. He says the city of Davenport and other cities in Scott County are working with citizens to fill sandbags and prepare for the flooding. 

 Hill says there are three steps all Iowans should take during flood season. The first is to create an emergency supply kit.

According to Hill, that kit should include all the things you need to take with you if you need to leave home for a few days. That includes prescriptions and important papers. The second step is to have an emergency plan and know where you will go if you have to evacuate your home. The plan should include a way to contact your relatives if you do evacuate. Hill says the third step is to be aware of the events happening in the community so you are prepared for change. He says you should know where you can go to find out information on flooding and other events. For more on information on family preparedness, go to: (News report by Radio Iowa)

(SIOUX CITY)--A Guatemalan man has pleaded guilty to illegally re-entering the United States.

The plea by 28-year-old Juan Peren-Luis was in federal court in Sioux City. Peren-Luis was convicted of illegally re-entering the United States after being deported for a felony conviction.

Homeland Security staff had contact with Peren-Luis while he was being held in the Woodbury County Jail on charges that included possession of marijuana. He'd been convicted in Woodbury County for possession of cocaine in February of 2006.

A sentencing date has not been set. He is being held for the U-S Marshal's Service.

(SIOUX CITY)--All full-time freshmen at Briar Cliff University in Sioux City will be getting i-Pads this fall. Steve Janowiak , Briar Cliff's vice president of student development, says the I-Pad offers several encouraging pathways.
Janowiak says those include classroom and curricular-based pathways, along with co-curricular and extra-curricular pathways, as students learn to better manage time, information and communication and develop their 21st century leadership skills. Janowiak says input from the professors and other teachers will be key in determining which classes will benefit most from i-Pad use.
The faculty members, many of whom teach freshmen courses, are helping to create a "pilot" this term so the program will be ready to roll out in the fall. Janowiak says tablets were picked for this expenditure instead of traditional notebook or laptop computers.
He says, "We chose to go with the iPad because we want our students to be working with leading edge technology, learning on technology we think is going to be more prevalent and common in the future." Sara Thompson, a librarian at the school, says they decided on the Apple iPad for several reasons. 
"But we are staying flexible and it might be a different tablet in the future," Thompson says. "It's more about helping the students be ready for that marketplace they're going to go into when they graduate that will probably be on tablets, no matter what kind of industry they go into." Students will pay for the iPads through the general fees they pay in tuition. Briar Cliff interviewed other institutions around the nation before deciding to go with the tablets. (News report by Radio Iowa)

NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) The city of Norfolk is getting a new semi-pro football team.

The Daily News reports the Alliance Football League's Dakota Lawdawgs are moving to Norfolk and will be known as the Nebraska Lawdawgs.

Coach Jordan Taylor says there's support for the team in Norfolk but some people are hesitant because of the history of the Norfolk Thunderbirds. That team, which later changed its name to the T-birds, was founded in 2001. It later moved elsewhere and folded.

The Lawdawgs was established in 1996 as the South Dakota Marshals. The team has 44 but wants to add at least a dozen more. Tryouts will be held April 10 and 17 and May 1.

The league has 57 teams. The Lawdawgs' season opens June 3.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad says he's willing to consider a measure being debated in the Legislature that would legalize Internet poker games.

Speaking at a news conference Monday, Branstad told reporters he would need to learn more about the proposal if it cleared the Legislature and reached his desk. But Branstad says many Iowans already play illegal poker games on the Internet from sites based outside the country.

During his earlier tenure as governor Branstad signed into law much of the legalized gambling law that's now on the books. He notes that Iowa is building its 18th casino and argues it is saturated with gambling.

He says that wouldn't deter him if the measure is approved because much of the Internet poker is already taking place.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A 19-year-old from Solon who's charged with attempted murder, burglary and other charges is expected to enter a plea deal.

Dakota Williams is accused of shooting an Iowa City apartment resident during an attempted burglary in February 2010.

Williams initially pleaded not guilty.

Police say Williams forced his way at gunpoint into the man's apartment and demanded money. The man resisted and was wounded in both hands.

Police say Williams fled, leaving the gun behind.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) City officials are still investigating what caused a fire at a Dubuque duplex.

City fire marshal Mark Ludescher said Monday that he has several witness statements to review and more work to do at the scene before he can determine the fire cause.

He says some neighbors reported an explosion before the fire, which broke out a little before 6:45 p.m. Sunday.

Ludescher says only one resident was home when the fire began and that the man was treated for minor injuries. Ludescher didn't have his name.

Ludescher also says no firefighters were hurt. No damage estimate is available yet.

SHEFFIELD, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a Sheffield man used pepper spray on a police officer.

Officers had been sent to a Sheffield residence just before 7 p.m. Sunday. The reason for the dispatch was not clear.

A 49-year-old man was arrested after the officer was sprayed. The man was identified as Robi Meyer.

Mason City television station KIMT says the officer is recovering.

A Cerro Gordo County jailer says Meyer remained in custody on Monday. Online court records don't list the case yet.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Cedar Rapids authorities are investigating a melee that broke out at a Cedar Rapids gas station.

Authorities say dozens of people had gathered at the Road Ranger station in southeast Cedar Rapids around 2:30 a.m. Sunday when several fights started.

One person was stabbed and at least three people were arrested.

Officers from Marion and the Linn County Sheriff's Department helped Cedar Rapids Police gain control of the scene.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) People who want Iowa to allow dove hunting may prevail this year.

The Des Moines Register says there are enough votes for Senate passage of a bill that would allow hunting of the winged peace symbol. Gov. Terry Branstad says he'll sign the bill.

But it's still unclear whether the House will approve the measure. Speaker Kraig Paulsen says Republicans, who hold the House majority, haven't talked about dove hunting yet this year.

Dove-hunting proposals draw heavy fire whenever they surface in the Capitol.

Sen. Pam Jochum says the passion on both sides is incredible.

Sen. David Johnson says all of Iowa's neighboring states allow dove hunting. He says that makes Iowa ``a sanctuary state for a species of bird that rarely lives more than a year.''

(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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