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KLEM News AM Update March 30, 2011

The tree removal work by Public Works staff is along 12th Street Southeast, from Seventh Avenue Southeast to 14th Avenue Southeast.

That area of 12th Street is closed from 7 this morning until 3:30 this afternoon. 

(LE MARS) When the general contractor begins work on a new church building in Le Mars next Monday, some of the dirt will already be moved.

Spades, shovels, scoops and anything else used for digging will be placed in the ground on the outline of the new St. Joseph Catholic Church Sunday afternoon at 12:30.

Everyone is being invited to the groundbreaking for the new nine-point-two-million dollar church, including the mayor of Le Mars and City Council.

Bishop Walker Nickless of the Diocese of Sioux City will attend.

Wiltgen Construction of Le Mars is the general contractor for the building project. Construction is being financed by gifts to a capital campaign, memorials and estate gifts. More than five-and-a-half million dollars has been collected to date.

The centerpiece of the new worship center will be the current high altar. According to the Reverend Kevin Richter, the structure features similar Gothic-revival architecture and steeple. Up to 700 people will be able to worship at the new church building with room in the parish hall for up to 300 people.

(LE MARS)--Road construction work option for the next five years will be reviewed with Plymouth County Supervisors next week.

The county is required to submit a five-year road program to the Iowa Department of Transportation by April 15th.

Engineer Tom Rohe and Supervisors Tuesday heard a presentation involving a paving request for roads to the rural Le Mars Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency.

Supervisors are asking for a new traffic count on the roads. Rohe said he has a list of paving requests throughout the county.

Uncertainty of state funds leaves the board uncertain about what mental health programs they'll have funds for. County officials hope to know more after Friday's next funnel deadline for legislation.

(SIOUX CITY)--About half of the workers at a closed Sioux City meat processor are involved in a retraining effort.

More than 14-hundred workers lost their jobs a year ago when John Morrell closed its Sioux City pork processing plant. Iowa Workforce Development received more than six-million dollars in a National Emergency Grant that included funds for a transition center for John Morrell employees.

Plymouth County Supervisor Craig Anderson serves as a chief elected official on the Regional Workforce Investment Board.

 

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Anderson says the goal is to serve 800 of the workers.

(WASHINGTON, D-C)-- The City of Sioux City Tuesday was awarded grant funds to support local economic recovery strategy due to the John Morrell closing.

The forty-thousand dollar award is from the U-S Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration.

According to Chris Meyers of the City of Sioux City, the investment will allow the city to move forward with a key strategic planning efforts, leading to significant job growth and new capital investment in the downtown area

(SIOUX CITY)--Briar Cliff University students are volunteering to feed hungry families in Honduras.

The Sioux City university's students will pack bags and boxes for the "Then Feed Just One" outreach program based in Le Mars.

Non-perishable items such as rice, vitamins, chicken flavoring and dried vegetables will be combined by volunteer meal makers at the Saint Francis Center at Briar Cliff from ten until six tomorrow.

A 2010 Briar Cliff graduate, Al Vonnahme of Le Mars manages "Then Feed Just One." According to Vonnahme, the Franciscan value of living simply so others can simply live fits wonderfully with the "Then Feed Just One" program. He said the meals will save lives.

ALGONA, Iowa (AP) A Minnesota teenager charged with killing two convenience store clerks in Iowa will face separate trials.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Swanson of St. Louis Park, Minn., faces two sets of first-degree murder and first-degree robbery charges in the November shooting deaths of 61-year-old Sheila Myers in Humboldt and 47-year-old Vicky Bowman Hall in Algona.

The Des Moines Register reports that Kossuth County District Judge David Lester ruled Tuesday that he can't merge the trials because the crimes happened in different counties and judicial districts.

Swanson's attorney, Charles Kenville, argued the trials should be merged because he plans to use the insanity defense in both cases.

Kenville's spokeswoman says he couldn't comment because he had not received a copy of the decision.

Kossuth County Attorney Todd Holmes says he's pleased with the ruling.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Work could begin as early as this fall on a parks project in Ankeny that could take over a decade to complete and cost nearly $9 million.

Ankeny Parks and Recreation Director Todd Redenius shared an overview Monday of the Woodland Reserve Greenway, a 108-acre project on the city's far north side.

Plans call for efforts to improve storm water runoff in the area, curb erosion of stream banks and preserve natural areas. Trails of gravel, grass and boardwalks are planned along with paved paths.

The Des Moines Register reports that Redenius says the size of the project and its estimated price tag of $8.84 million means it might take 10 to 20 years before all work would be finished.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The chief financial officer of Casey's General Store says the company plans to test out a pilot program for delivering pizza.

CFO Bill Walljasper says Casey's plans to test a delivery option at just one location, in Grimes near Des Moines.

WHO-TV says the company plans to hire two to three drivers for the Grimes store and deliver pizzas from 4-10 p.m. starting next month.

Walljasper says it hasn't been determined how long the test program will last.

Casey's, which has its headquarters in Ankeny, has more than 1,600 stores in 10 states throughout the Midwest.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines man who pleaded guilty to running over a teenager at a city park last year has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Fifty-five-year-old Joel Simpson was charged with hitting 14-year-old Melissa Ann Robinson, of Des Moines, on June 6 in Union Park. The car dragged Robinson for 75 feet, and she was severely injured.

Simpson pleaded guilty to four charges, including being under the influence of marijuana, last month.

WHO-TV says Simpson received a nine-year sentence Tuesday. Simpson had faced up to 14 years in prison.

COLUMBUS JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) Police have identified one of the two people who died in a fire in a downtown Columbus Junction apartment building over the weekend.

Police say 52-year-old Timothy Miles of Columbus Junction died in Saturday's blaze. The building's owner, 76-year-old, Paul Buffington, and resident Percy Taylor were injured.

Authorities are withholding the name of the second person killed in the fire pending notification of next of kin.

The Iowa State Fire Marshall's Office and the Louisa County Sheriff's Department say an investigation into the blaze is ongoing.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Authorities in Benton County say an 82-year-old man has died after trying to put out a fire on his farm.

The Benton County Sheriff's Office says the man was apparently burning off a garden area on his farm three miles west of Urbana on Tuesday when wind kicked up the flames.

Authorities believe the man, whose name is being withheld, was overcome by the blaze while trying to put it out.

KGAN-TV says crews arrived and got the fire under control.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) Fire has destroyed an apartment building in Davenport but the building's residents were able to escape unharmed.

WQAD-TV in Moline, Ill., reports that the fire was reported about 5 a.m. Tuesday. A resident who heard a smoke detector went door to door warning others in the 12-unit building.

Smoke and heavy flames were shooting from the building when firefighters arrived.

Early reports indicate the fire may have started on the building's third floor. A cause of the fire and an estimate of the damage have not been released.

(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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