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KLEM News PM Update March 30, 2011

Mark Kunkel manages the Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency.

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With a move to recycling and sorting materials hauled to rural Le Mars, the landfill's life is projected at up to another 70 years. That's a sharp contrast to 15-20 year longevity predicted when the facility opened as a place to bury garbage in 1974.

Supervisor Mark Loutsch has had phone calls about Marble Avenue and 150th Street and drove the route beginning last Monday.

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County officials said the miles on Marble would require more grading and are greater in length to pave than 150th Street. Supervisors Jack Guenthner, Craig Anderson and Jim Henrich talked about the request.

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One of the neighbors, Bob Puetz, told supervisors a lot of landfill traffic travels north past the west side of the park and east onto 150th Street.

Earlier in the discussion, Supervisor Don Kass talked with the landfill manager about traffic from the eastern part of the county.

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The cost of grading and paving the routes was roughly estimated at two-and-three quarters million dollars. Supervisors asked for new traffic counts this summer to update four-year-old Department of Transportation figures.

They're also working with Engineer Tom Rohe on changing the maintenance schedule for the gravel roads. Rohe's received a number of paving requests throughout the county. He'll review those when he proposes the annual five-year road program next week.

(LE MARS)--The process of drawing new voting precinct and supervisor district lines using 2010 Census Figures will begin soon in Plymouth County.

Supervisor Don Kass said that was one of the items he brought home from a recent Iowa State Association of Counties meeting.

Kass offered to make some initial contacts with county residents from each of the political parties and said the county's information technology director, Shawn Olson, would also need to know of the deadlines. Olson is the county's resource for mapping-related projects.

Kass said the drop dead date is October 15th, but suggested the County Precinct Boundary and Supervisor District Boundary Changes should be completed prior to that.

(LE MARS)--Property owners in Plymouth County have a March 31st deadline to make their property tax payments without penalty.

Treasurer Linda Dobson says payments may be made at the Treasurer's office at the Courthouse or by mail with a postmark no later than March 31st.

Dobson says another option is using the online system by making a payment before midnight tomorrow. The web address is

Anyone with questions by call the treasurer's office.

(SERGEANT BLUFF)--A conservation and development group serving northwest Iowa may soon be out of business.

Supervisors' chair Jim Henrich of Akron is a board member of Sioux Rivers Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) based in Sergeant Bluff. The group works to improve the quality of life through natural resources conservation and community development.

With federal budget cuts, Henrich said it doesn't look good for Sioux River R-C-and D, but they'll know in a couple of days.

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Henrich says the Gramm Wetland Educational area is near Salix. The agency also has $50,000 in certificates of deposits.

Sioux Rivers provides assistance to Plymouth, Monona, Woodbury, Ida and Cherokee Counties and recently added Lyon and Sioux Counties to the R-C-and D.

POCAHONTAS, Iowa (AP) The restoration of a Pocahontas County lake is set to begin this spring. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says fishing regulations at Lizard Lake have been suspended while it is drained. The suspension will remain in place until July 1.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) At least two of Iowa's sitting congressmen will be tossed together in the same district when a proposed new map of legislative and congressional districts is released on Thursday.

The state is losing a seat in Congress and will have only four congressional districts in the next election, meaning one sitting member will lose his job.

Nonpartisan legislative staffers will deliver the proposed map to the Legislature on Thursday morning. Lawmakers will hold a series of public hearings on the new map and will vote on whether to implement it in mid-April. Lawmakers can't amend the first map but can only vote yes or no.

If the first map is rejected, staffers will prepare a second map, which lawmakers would consider in a likely special session of the Legislature.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A new report finds that people who live in poorer parts of Iowa are statistically less healthy than Iowans who live elsewhere.

The report by the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation shows the disparities between Iowa counties. It shows the healthy counties are mostly in northeast Iowa. Meanwhile, the least healthy are mostly in southern Iowa, where family incomes historically have been lower.

Delaware County tops the list of the relatively healthy counties; Appanoose County rates the least healthy.

Researchers say they gathered several statistics to assess the health of Iowa's counties, including the rates of deaths before age 75 and the percentage of residents who reported being in fair or poor health.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A Dyersville man is facing 10 federal counts of wire fraud after prosecutors say he used an office credit card for personal purchases and illegally setting up payments on it from his employer's checking account.

Bruce Troyer also was indicted on a charge of using someone else's identity to accomplish the alleged wire fraud.

A news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa says the 42-year-old Troyer faces up to 202 years in prison if convicted on all 11 counts. His trial is scheduled to begin on May 31.

The indictment says Troyer was managing a doctor's office in Cedar Rapids when the crimes occurred from November 2008 through September 2009.

Attempts to reach Troyer were unsuccessful. His attorney declined to comment.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Two men charged in the slaying of a Cedar Rapids man during a robbery have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against a co-defendant in the case.

Gabriel Taylor and Johven Lee pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery on Tuesday for their role in the Jan. 11 robbery and slaying of Kevin Bell. Police say Bell was shot in the head and died the next day.

The Gazette reports that Taylor and Lee will testify against Denem Null, whose first-degree murder trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Linn County. He is accused of firing the shot that killed Bell.

Prosecutors say the plea agreement is contingent on Taylor and Lee testifying truthfully at Null's trial. First-degree murder charges against the men will be dismissed at sentencing.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority's board has decided to pay $350,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by a blind man who was struck by a bus more than three years ago.

The Des Moines Register says a trial on the lawsuit by Roger Christenson had been scheduled for later this year.

Police say Christenson had the right of way when the bus hit him as was turning a corner in 2008. Christenson recovered after being hospitalized.

The bus driver was Susan Jane Leveke-Meyers (LEHV'-kee MY'-urs). She was ticketed and fined for failing to have control of the vehicle. She was later fired by the district. Officials say she had eight other on-the-job accidents in about seven years with the district.

AMES, Iowa (AP) Assistant coach Elwyn McRoy is leaving the Iowa State basketball program.

McRoy says he'll be pursuing other coaching opportunities after spending just a year in Ames, working for head coach Fred Hoiberg (HOY'-burg).

Hoiberg says he'll be in Houston for the Final Four at the end of the week and is sure he'll be talking to coaches there.

The past season was Hoiberg's first at the Iowa State helm. The team finished 16-16.

McRoy joined the Cyclones after two seasons at Arkansas State. He has 15 years of college coaching experience.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa high school basketball star Peter Jok (jahk) is transferring schools.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore guard averaged 18.5 points and seven rebounds a game for Des Moines Roosevelt last year. He'll play for West Des Moines Valley next season.

Jok's guardian is Mike Nixon. He tells the Des Moines Register that Jok and his son Peter Nixon are changing schools because they need a fresh start.

Valley is coached by former Iowa point guard Jeff Horner.

Jok has two years of high school basketball left, is believed to be a top-level recruit for the class of 2013.

(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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