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KLEM News PM Update June 14, 2011


Le Mars businessman John Grosenheider is working with businessmen from the Netherlands and India to form a partnership centering around an industry that converts waste to fuel.

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Grosenheider explains the waste is municipal solid waste or human and animal waste converted to fuel using a process similar to a pressure cooker.

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Grosenheider and his partners are interested in talking with the city of Le Mars which faces expansion of the Waste Water Treatment facility. The discussion may occur at an upcoming City Council meeting.

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The city's waste water treatment plant isn't large enough for the project. That's led to discussion about linking with the multi-county landfill group based in Cherokee to add solid waste to the renewable energy project.

The process requires a fair amount of water which Grosenheider said means the perfect scenarios could be pairing with a waste water plant.

Hinds retires from career of traffic investigation, task force and safety project work

(LE MARS)--It's easier to get information than 27 year ago when a police officer began his career in Le Mars.

Many of us find information at our fingertips with the Internet, Twitter and Facebook. Police Sergeant Jim Hinds explains that's true for law enforcement today, too.

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Also part of the technology change, Hinds has prepared tickets and accident reports using a laptop in a patrol car that eventually are sent electronically to prosecutors and the courts.

About half of Hinds' Le Mars Police career involved answering "What happened" questions.

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The Special Traffic Safety Enforcement projects and the Drug Task Force were other areas of emphasis for Hinds.'

Hinds has seen a reduction in serious accidents after the highway bypass and changes in some city intersection configurations.

Le Mars mirrors other towns' trends.

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Hinds appreciates his co-workers.

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The retiring police sergeant received the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce "Employee of the Month" award Monday afternoon.

Shanks is new Le Mars Community administrator

(LE MARS)--The Le Mars Community School Middle School Principal position will be familar with the community.

Steve Shanks of Moville was hired during the Le Mars Board of Education meeting Monday night. Shanks is the Woodbury Central sixth through 12th grade prinicipal. He is a former administrator at Gehlen Catholic School.

Superintendent Todd Wendt told the board there were 13 applicants for the opening created by the resignation of Steve Webner who begins work as the Le Mars Community Assistant Superintendent July 1st. Four were interviewed.

 Shanks will be paid 93-thousand dollars a year.

All board members voted in favor of hiring Shanks with Board President Patrick Murphy abstaining from the vote.

Nebraska governor to visit South Sioux City

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (AP) Nebraska's governor and top emergency management officials will visit South Sioux City today to see how well a new levee is holding back Missouri River flood waters.

Gov. Dave Heineman plans to take a helicopter tour of the South Sioux City area.

The swollen Missouri River is already more than 3 feet above the 30-foot flood stage at South Sioux City, so part of the city has evacuated and a new 7,000-foot-long levee was built to protect the community.

The river is expected to continue rising through the week because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing more water from the dams upstream.

The National Weather Service predicts the Missouri River will rise above 34 feet at South Sioux City by the end of the week.

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

Crews continue to build up new Hamburg, Iowa levee

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) Crews are working to strengthen the last line of flood defense around the southwest Iowa town of Hamburg as water from a failed Missouri River levee approaches.

Workers supervised by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are trying to add another 3 feet of height to the new levee by Wednesday night to protect the town of 1,100.

Iowa emergency management spokeswoman Lucinda Robertson said levee work started Monday night and continued Tuesday.

The Corps started building this new Hamburg levee last week after finding problems in the main levee in Missouri that failed Monday.

If Hamburg's new levee doesn't hold back the flood water later this week, parts of the town could be covered by as much as 10 feet of standing water for months.

Rain runoff forces closure of Iowa highway

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Rain runoff from powerful storms that moved across Iowa has forced state transportation officials to shut down a stretch of Iowa Highway 92 in Mahaska County.

The Iowa Transportation Department says traffic is closed in both directions between County Road T-25 and Iowa Highway 163. The department says the closure could last into Wednesday.

A flash flood warning remained posted for Mahaska and northeastern Marion counties, southeast of Des Moines. The National Weather Service says up to 5 inches of rain fell in some areas.

Thunderstorms were blamed for power outages in the Des Moines area on Monday, and strong winds knocked the roof off a building at Kalona in rural Johnson County.

Earlier Monday, the storms caused minor street flooding in Carroll and Manning.

Dubuque school board terminates school principal

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) The Dubuque Community School Board has approved the firing of an elementary school principal who's charged with receiving child pornography.

The Telegraph Herald in Dubuque says the school board officially approved the termination of Sageville Elementary School principal Robert Burke Monday.

School district officials say the board did not receive a request from Burke to review his termination so it moved forward with ending his contract.

The 43-year-old Burke had been on paid administrative leave.

Court records show Burke allegedly installed a hidden camera in a boys' restroom at the school. A criminal complaint alleges an FBI agent downloaded depictions of child pornography from a computer that was traced to Burke's home. He has pleaded not guilty.

A telephone listing for Burke has been disconnected.

Marion man pleads guilty to child-porn charge

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a 25-year-old Marion man has pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography following an earlier conviction.

A news release from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa says Justin Hinz made his plea Monday in U.S. District Court in Cedar Rapids.

His sentencing date has not been set. The U.S. attorney's office says Hinz faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.

At his hearing Monday, Hinz admitted that in 2004 he was convicted of sexual exploitation of a minor in Linn County and admitted that, in early 2010, he obtained child pornography over the Internet.

Search for body in Des Moines River to continue

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities resumed the search for the body of a man who jumped into the Des Moines River after a crash on Interstate 235.

Search teams had no success Monday as they searched for the body of 23-year-old Dax Bell.

Police say Bell fled from the crash scene Saturday morning and jumped into the river. Bell was seen struggling in the water and then going under.

He's believed to have drowned.

Des Moines Police Sgt. Chris Scott says the search for Bell's body will continue all week.

Iowa work-release inmate listed as escaped

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An Iowa prison inmate has been reported as escaped after he didn't return from work release.

The Iowa Department of Corrections says 25-year-old Daniel Avery didn't return to the Fort Des Moines Work Release Facility on Sunday. He was transferred there in April from another state facility.

Avery is serving a 15-year sentence for robbery, assault and other convictions out of Polk County. His sentence began in October 2002.


Mason City robber wishes he'd listened to his mom

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) A Mason City man who faces up to 10 years in prison for robbing a convenience store says he wishes he'd listened to his mother.

The Mason City Globe Gazette reports 20-year-old Rory McClendon was sentenced Monday for the Feb. 27 armed robbery in Mason City. He'd pleaded guilty.

Before he was sentenced, McClendon apologized to his mother. He also acknowledged he'd been ``quite a handful as a boy.''

McClendon says his mother had always told him that honesty was important. He told the court that he was taking responsibility for his crime and was not asking for mercy.

McClendon then said, ``I just wish I had listened to her when I was little.''

(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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