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KLEM News PM Update May 5, 2011

City Administrator Scott Langel says the first 500 feet of the 12th Street Southeast project, east of Seventh Avenue, is curb and gutter work on the north side only. The contractor will work only on that part of the project for now.

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Some small areas of street surfaces are also being repaired around Le Mars.

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Langel says a water main project will be completed on Second Avenue Southeast between fifth and sixth and may start next week.


(LE MARS)--City officials are considering fines and restrictions on winter use of an area of the Le Mars nine-mile recreation trail.

Portions of the trail are being used by ATV's, snowmobiles and other vehicles which is illegal.

Anyone convicted of violating trail vehicle restrictions could be fined up to 750 dollars the first time and up to one-thousand dollars the second time.

Councilman John Leonard suggested offering a reward for information about violators.

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Police Chief Stuart Dekkenga said his department had not received a complaint in over a year.

Councilman John Rexwinkel didn't see staff or funds for a formal enforcement program.

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City attorney Joe Flannery said someone reporting the trail violators could be asked to testify in court.

The trail bridge across the Floyd River shows wood surface damage from snowmobile use. Council members Rex Knapp and Delana Ihrke asked about state approval of blocking off the route in the winter.

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The Council will discuss the issue again when more information is available.

(LE MARS)--Gardeners are delayed in their spring planting due to wet, cool conditions.

Margaret Murphy is a horticulture educator with Iowa State University Extension in northwest Iowa. Murphy says working the soil when it is too wet can harm the soil structure.

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Murphy suggests this week would be a good week to get going on tilling.

Murphy tells gardeners this spring weather may be typical for this year's garden production.

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Murphy suggests companion planting.

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When is it dry enough to plant? Murphy says when you can pick the soil up and you are not squeezing any water out of it.

(LE MARS) Contracting for fuel is an option the City of Le Mars agreed to consider.

The Council authorized the option last year by contracting with Gas-Rite for vehicle fuel to be purchased at locations of the city's choice.

As fuel prices edge toward four dollars a gallon, Councilman Rex Knapp this week asked Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole about the program.

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The Plymouth County Sheriff's office is not participating in the program either. Supervisors' action had given the elected official the option.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Details contained in a search warrant show a man who was shot by Marion police assaulted three people and raised a hammer toward officers after telling them he wanted to die.

The Gazette in Cedar Rapids is reporting that 41-year-old Christopher Lang also started cutting his neck with a broken bottle before officers tried to use a stun gun to subdue him.

Documents show Lang became angry and violent after finding he had insufficient funds in his bank account and thought someone had stolen money from the account.

He's been charged with assault on a peace officer while displaying a dangerous weapon, three counts of assault while displaying a dangerous weapon and one count of interference with official acts.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A Department of Corrections official says a paperwork delay that helped keep a criminal suspect free before he allegedly stabbed a Cedar Rapids cab driver wasn't that significant ``in the great scheme'' of things.

Gary Hinzman is the director of the district's Department of Correctional Services. He says Thursday that his staff completed the pre-sentence investigation report shortly before the hearing last Friday where Johnathan Mitchell was expected to receive a possible prison sentence in an assault case.

Typically, those reports are finished three days beforehand and Hinzman said ideally that should have happened. Mitchell's attorney requested a delay so he could have time to review the report.

Hinzman says Judge Mitchell Turner could have gone on with the hearing, or it could have been delayed for other reasons.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A former University of Iowa worker has been charged with felony theft, accused of stealing tools and supplies from the university and pawning them for cash.

University public safety official David Visin told The Gazette of Cedar Rapids that Jeremy Olson is accused of taking 83 items. In a preliminary report, the items were valued at more than $3,800 total. Visin says it appears the items have been returned.

The university personnel office says Olson was an employee from August 2004 until November 2010, when he resigned his job as an environmental systems mechanic.

A Johnson County jailer said Thursday that Olson remained in custody, pending $15,000 bail. Online court records don't list the name of Olson's lawyer.

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) Police have arrested a man in a fire that damaged a church in Burlington last month.

The Hawk Eye newspaper says 43-year-old Victor Clegg Jr., of Burlington, was charged Wednesday with second-degree arson and second-degree burglary in the April 16 fire at Union Baptist Church.

Authorities estimate the damage could reach $225,000.

Clegg is being held in the Des Moines County jail on $25,000 bond. The sheriff's office had no information on whether he had an attorney. His case wasn't listed on the state's online court system.

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) A 43-year-old Keokuk woman who stole money from a girls basketball organization has been ordered to make restitution of nearly $8,600.

The Daily Gate City of Keokuk is reporting that Lori Kayvan (KAY'-vuhn) was sentenced to a year in Lee County jail. But Judge Michael Schilling suspended all but 45 days of it and is allowing work release. Schilling fined Kayvan $625 and gave her two years of probation.

Kayvan also must do 80 hours of community service and write a letter of apology to each parent and each girl who was participating in the Keokuk Girls Youth Basketball program when Kayvan was stealing the money.

She was arrested last July and later pleaded guilty after a deal with prosecutors.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The University of Iowa says a $10 million donation from two longtime supporters will be used to endow two faculty positions and to promote faculty and staff research and services at UI's Children's Hospital.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen is reporting that the gift comes from Jerre (JEHR'-ee) and Mary Joy Stead (stehd), of Scottsdale, Ariz. They are natives of Maquoketa (muh-KOHK'-ih-tuh) who attended the university and have been major benefactors. In 2003, the couple gave $25 million to the university's business college.

Jerre Stead is chairman and CEO of IHS Inc., a global information company. Mary Jo Stead has served on the foundation board of directors since 1999.

An official at the UI Foundation says the $10 million is the largest donation yet to UI for pediatric medicine.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Actor Michael J. Fox has signed on to play in the Principal Charity Classic pro-am golf event next month.

Tournament officials say Fox and actor Steven Weber have agreed to participate in the June 1 pro-am at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines.

Fox will be making his second appearance in the event. He says he's come to love golf in recent years.

Weber has starred in several TV shows during his career, including the hit ``Wings.''

The Principal Charity Classic, a Champions Tour event, will run from June 3-5 at Glen Oaks.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A 23-year-old woman has been arrested, accused of failing to return more than $380 worth of materials from the library in Iowa City.

Cedar Rapids television station KGAN says Whitney Marquez was arrested on Tuesday.

Authorities say Marquez checked out DVDs, videotapes and books on Dec. 2, 2009. They were due back on Dec. 21, but authorities say Marquez didn't return them.

The Iowa City woman is charged with fourth-degree theft.

A jailer said Thursday that Marquez was no longer in custody. A public phone listing for Marquez could not be found. Online court records don't list the name of her attorney.

(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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