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KLEM News PM Update June 17, 2011

Corps of Engineers maps indicated one area in Harrison County could be under six to eight feet of water.

With that possibility, NIPCO General Manager Kent Pauling says equipment was removed from the substation west of Modale.

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Pauling explains most of the equipment can probably withstand the water. But NIPCO is concerned about trees, steel and other debris coming down the river which could hit and put a hole in a transformer.

NIPCO staff is making more checks in flood-prone areas.

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You can learn more about NIPCO flood fight work on YouTube...NIPCO provides the information

Pauling describes this preparation as very unusual, in part, because the flooding is going to last for two to two-and-a-half months.

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The flooding has a personal side as well. A NIPCO employee from Blencoe was given time to protect his family and his home.

Pauling shares an idea that can help prevent delays and wasted time--stopping the spread of rumors about flooding.

Power problem for Remsen customers

(REMSEN)--Work is underway to find out what caused about a five-hour power outage in parts of Remsen last (Thursday) night.

Steve Pick of Remsen Utilities says the outage began at around 5:25 Thursday afternoon. Pick says a 24-hundred volt transformer blew two fuses which shut off the overhead side of the power distribution system. At about the same time, there was also power lost on another line.

Orange City Municipal Utilities,  NIPCO and Remsen residents with electrical background  assisted Remsen Utilities in assessing the power loss.

Service was restored between ten and ten thirty last night when Remsen Utilities back-fed customers from a backup transformer.

Crews are on-site trying to assess what caused the outage.

 Surface look expected in search for answers

(LE MARS)--A to-do list for the Le Mars City Administrator involves contacts with contractors about the Business Highway 75 surface.

More than a mile-and-a-half of the highway was repaired and chip sealed last year.The surface is peeling off and bleeding--especially in certain sections.

City Administrator Scott Langel is looking for answers from the contractor and the supplier of the asphalt product.

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Langel and other city staff will take their search for answers right to the roadway.

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Sand is being applied to the surface.

Iowa soldier escapes serious injury in helmet shot

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) With just weeks remaining in his deployment in Afghanistan, an Alton soldier was fired on during foot patrol.

20-year-old Iowa Army National Guard Specialist Tom Albers escaped serious injury when a bullet passed through his helmet during the recent firefight in Afghanistan.

Albers says he felt like he was hit in the head with a ``wooden baseball bat.''

When the firefight subsided, a medic looked at Albers' helmet and realized a bullet had passed through it. Albers was taken to a hospital, where it was determined he suffered little more than a burn mark on the top of his head.

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

Jurors won't report June 21

(Le Mars)--Plymouth County Jurors do not need to report for Jury Duty on Tuesday, June 19, 2011. Jurors are asked to call the Clerk of Court's Office after 3 p.m. on Monday, June 25th to find out whether to report on Tuesday, June 26th.

Crews fix leak in levee protecting Hamburg

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) Officials say a leak in a levee protecting the southwest Iowa town of Hamburg from the flooding Missouri River has been fixed.

The seepage began Thursday evening in an area around a farm drainage pipe. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers district construction chief Robert Michaels says the leak has been fixed and crews were reinforcing the sandy ground on the levee's northern edge.

Michaels says the corps will build a 50-foot long berm along the levees edge to reinforce it against any water pushing under the levee.

Corps spokeswoman Sarah Gross says work on the levee was substantially done Friday morning.

Michaels says the corps will continue to monitor and strengthen the levee until the water recedes.

Red Cross sets up shelter at Peru State

PERU, Neb. (AP) Another American Red Cross shelter has been set up for Nebraska and Iowa victims of Missouri River flooding.

The Red Cross says the new one is in southeast Nebraska, at Peru State College in Peru.

Another 24-hour Nebraska shelter is at Fort Calhoun High School at Fort Calhoun, north of Omaha. Two 24-hour shelters have been set up in Iowa: at Missouri Valley High School in Missouri Valley and at Sidney High School in Sidney.

Other shelters are on standby in Cass, Cedar, Dixon, Douglas, Sarpy and Thurston counties in Nebraska, Pottawattamie County in Iowa.

Regulators: Neb. nuclear plants prepared for flood

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Federal regulators say the utilities running both of Nebraska's nuclear power plants have taken the steps needed to protect them from flooding from the Missouri River.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Victor Dricks said Friday that Omaha Public Power District's Fort Calhoun plant near Blair and Nebraska Public Power District's Cooper plant near Brownville are safe.

Floodwaters are already surrounding the Fort Calhoun plant. The river has risen 1.5 feet higher than Fort Calhoun's 1,004-foot elevation above sea level, but the water is being held back by an 8-foot-tall flood barrier.

Dricks says the Omaha Public Power District's preparations would keep Fort Calhoun safe if the river rose another 8.5 feet. The river is not expected to rise more than 1 foot above its current level.

Iowa's May jobless rate holds steady at 6 percent

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities say Iowa's unemployment rate remained steady at 6 percent in May.

Iowa Workforce Development said in a report issued Friday that the state added 4,400 nonfarm jobs over the month.

The state's manufacturing sector contributed more than half of the gain: 2,500 jobs. Leisure and hospitality contributed 2,300 new jobs.

The sectors that lost jobs included education and health services, 1,100 jobs; and professional and business services, 1,000 jobs.

The state says the total number of employed Iowans dropped by 900 in May, but the figure was nearly 15,000 higher than a year ago.

3 men charged in sexual assault at care facility

ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) Three men accused of taking part in the sexually assault a female resident at an Anamosa care center are in custody.

Police say the men have been committed to the Fairview Care Facility, which houses people with a variety of psychiatric needs.

Allen Franks of Cedar Rapids is charged with three counts of second-degree sexual abuse. Timothy Stromberg of Clinton is charged with four counts of second-degree sexual abuse and Bruce Becht of Marion is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit second-degree sexual abuse.

Police say Franks and Stromberg assaulted the woman on four different evenings over the past week, while Becht acted as a lookout.

The public defender's office has been assigned the cases.

Nearly 3,000 small Iowa charities lose tax status

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The Internal Revenue Service says nearly 3,000 small Iowa charities have lost their tax-deductible status for not filing the required IRS registration form.

Among them is Memorial Salute of Flags of Cedar Rapids. Its founder and president is Peter Teahen, and he says the person who is supposed to handle the registration task ``kind of missed it.''

The group displays about 300 donated American flags from downtown poles every Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day.

Groups that don't file the IRS form for three consecutive years lose their tax exemption.

Richard Koontz is director of the Larned A. Waterman Iowa Nonprofit Resource Center at the University of Iowa. He told The Gazette that many of those Iowa charities may no longer exist.

Makers of Palin film scouting Iowa premiere venues

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The filmmaker behind a new documentary on Republican Sarah Palin says his team is scouting Iowa farms, town squares and other casual settings for the upcoming premiere of ``The Undefeated.''

Stephen Bannon says he wants to debut the film somewhere that captures the ``Iowa-ness of it all'' and connects it to the message of populist ``grit and tenacity'' he's delivering about Palin. It traces Palin's life from before she became Alaska governor past her GOP campaign for the vice presidency.

Bannon insisted Friday that Palin had no editorial role in making the film. He says plans for debuting it in coming weeks in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina all presidential nominating contest battlegrounds is about building movie buzz and not coordinated with any possible Palin 2012 bid.

(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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