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KLEM News Update June, 25th 2011

The event, organized by Plymouth County Cyclists, is done to raise funds to increase awareness of biking as hobby and way to get out and exercise.  Committee chair Nikki Claussen explains.

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The event has two routes, one that is 60 miles and goes through Oyens and stops in Remsen and Kingsly. The other is 25 miles.  Both routes leave from Hy-Vee Le Mars at 8am and end at Cork It on Prospect Street.  Breakfast will be served at Hy-Vee, so participants are invited to come early and fuel up. 

Claussen says that a new element to Tour de Plymouth is the raffle. 

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If an adult does win the youth Jamis bike, they can name a youth to receive the bike. 

The cost to participate in Tour de Plymouth is $25, but if you register before the end of the day today the fee is just $20. Riders 12 and under are $10, and you may register the day of the event. Claussen says those who wish to participate in Tour de Plymouth on July 2nd can register online by visiting www.allsportcentral.com.

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Local transportation business affected by floods 

(LE MARS)-Flooding is adding to the time a Le Mars transportation business needs to serve customers.

Schuster Company of Le Mars is an over-the road nationwide trucking company specializing in refrigerated shipments and deep frozen products from meat to ice cream and produce.

Schuster General Manager Jeff Arens  this week said the impact on the business with 325 trucks, at this point, been a more regionalized effect.

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As Arens explains, added time is a challenge because there are federal restrictions on drivers' time.

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He added that means the money a driver is able to make on a daily basis is restricted due to the longer time it takes to get from one location to another.

Arens describes this summer's flooding as different than other flooding challenges.

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Overall, Arens says the customer reaction to the longer travel times has been fairly good.

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5-1-1 and other online information and what other drivers pass along helps keep businesses like Schuster current on road conditions.
 

 

Le Mars residents have the opportunity to vote on ward system

(LE MARS)--If Le Mars residents want to vote on whether to drop the ward system for City Council, this is the time to submit a petition.

That's the direction from Le Mars City Administrator Scott Langel.

The Council has set a public hearing July 5th for comments about a plan to elect all five Council Members at-large. Three of the five Council Members now are elected from specific areas of the city which are called wards.

Langel says timeliness of a petition for an election is key for a November 8th vote.

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The deadline to submit a petition would be between 45 and 71 days prior to the November election. Langel explains the Council would need to address it in July so the question on the ballot could be formulated in August. It would then be submitted to the Plymouth County Auditor. A petition would need 14 signatures.

 

Dick Vitale to speak at Sioux City Event

(SIOUX CITY)--The featured speaker at the 15th annual "Bishop's Dinner for Catholic Schools" is college basketball analyst Dick Vitale.

The annual Bishop's dinner is Sunday, October 9th at the Sioux City Convention Center.

The headline speaker was announced by Bishop Walker Nickless and the Catholic School Foundation for the Diocese of Sioux City.

Almost 150-thousand dollars was raised at the 2010 dinner. The fund raiser provides revenue for the 17 school systems in the diocese.

Ticket sales begin August first. Information is available through Mary Klein or Lisa Niebuhr at Gehlen Catholic

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.

 

Flood mitigation measures being taking along Highway 175

(ONAWA) -- The Iowa Department of Transportation will be implementing flood mitigation measures along Iowa 175 to help keep the road open as long as possible. This road is an important transportation connection between Onawa, Iowa, and Decatur, Neb., as well as other communities along the Interstate 29 corridor.

The success of these mitigation strategies remains dependent on the level of continued rising river and ground water levels. They are being deployed at this time due to the increased release of water by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is projected to raise river water elevations from .5 to 1 foot. Those levels would cause inundation of portions of the roadway.

Preliminary sandbagging will be performed this weekend along the shoulders of the roadway in lower-lying areas. Starting Monday, additional measures will be taken to address a rise in river water levels of up to 1 foot.

For those who may be traveling this weekend, a 4 mile stretch of I-680 remains closed from the I-29/680 interchange (exit 61 near Crescent) in Iowa to North 30th Street in Omaha, Nebraska. This closure includes the Mormon Bridge across the Missouri River.

For continous information regarding road closings caused by flooding in the area visit www.iowa.gov.



NY Gov. signs law legalizing gay marriage

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed New York's gay marriage bill, starting what is expected to be a crush of gay weddings starting in 30 days.

The Democratic governor signed the measure shortly before midnight today.

The Republican-led New York state Senate narrowly voted to legalize same-sex marriage last night.

New York becomes the sixth state where gay couples can wed and the biggest by far.

Four Iowa Supreme Court justices were voted out in 2010 for their ruling in support of gay marriage in 2009.


3 Iowa soldiers injured in Afghan explosion

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Three Iowa National Guard soldiers have been injured when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says the incident happened Tuesday.

National Guard Maj. Mike Wunn tells the Courier in an e-mail from Afghanistan that the three soldiers suffered minor injuries and have returned to duty.

Wunn says names of injured soldiers aren't released unless their injuries require evacuation and more extensive treatment.

The soldiers are members of the Waterloo-based 1st Battalion 133rd Infantry Regiment. They have been in Afghanistan since October and are expected to return home later this summer.

Tea party reps split on funding for US in Libya

WASHINGTON (AP) The House's tea party caucus is deeply split over whether to defund President Barack Obama's military intervention in Libya.

The 59 Republican caucus members oppose Obama's decision to participate in the NATO-led operation without consulting Congress. But only 31 members of the caucus voted for a bill to strip nearly all funding from American forces engaged there.

Missouri's Todd Aiken said he voted to strip funding for the NATO air campaign because he says U.S. interests are not clearly at stake in Libya. But Indiana's Mike Pence was one of 27 Republicans to vote against cutting off funding to the effort.

Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, the caucus' chairwoman and a GOP presidential hopeful, also voted against the spending cutoff. Her office did not respond to a call for comment on Friday.

Iowa lawmakers see progress in state budget talks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Democratic and Republican legislative leaders say are optimistic they can reach agreement on a budget and end this year's long-running session.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal noted that on Friday, the Senate overwhelmingly approved three budget bills without debate.

Although those measures haven't been at the center of disagreements between Republicans and Democrats, Gronstal predicted other budget bills could be approved next week.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen agreed, saying the mood at the Statehouse is shifting and lawmakers are making progress in negotiations over issues that have divided the parties for months.


Authorities identify Wis. man shot by Iowa trooper

FLOYD, Iowa (AP) Authorities have identified the knife-wielding suspect killed by a state trooper in northern Iowa as a 30-year-old man wanted for a probation violation in Wisconsin.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation on Friday said John Pekrun of Wauwatosa was shot by trooper Tyrel Williamson after a chase and violent confrontation near Floyd.

Troopers started pursuing Pekrun on Wednesday after learning Wisconsin had a warrant for his arrest for failing to check in with his probation agent.

Authorities say Pekrun lost control of the stolen car he was driving on a county road and came out armed with a hunting knife. They say Williamson shot Pekrun after he refused to drop the knife and a stun gun failed to subdue him.


Iowa inmate serving life sentence dies in prison

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa prison officials say a man serving a sentence of life in prison for killing his girlfriend and setting her house on fire in Polk County has died in prison.

Officials say 72-year-old William Heskett died of lung cancer on Thursday.

Heskett was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 1997 for shooting his longtime girlfriend in the head. He then set the house of fire with her body inside.

Dubuque suspects stoplight error in injury

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) Dubuque officials suspect a stoplight error led to a baby being injured when her stroller was hit by pickup.

Jayme Culbertson was pushing her daughter in a stroller on Tuesday. Police say she was heading east and pushed the crosswalk button at an intersection and then proceeded when the signal turned white. The driver of the pickup, Mitchell Billmeyer, was heading west and told police he had a green arrow to turn left.

Billmeyer's truck hit the stroller, but the baby suffered only minor injuries.

Billmeyer was cited with failure to yield to a pedestrian, but the city says both parties shouldn't have received green lights. Officials say there might have been a programming error when the signals were modified to include left-turn arrows.


Inspections set for historic hotel in Mason City

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) The Park Inn Hotel in Mason City, the last standing hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is getting closer to opening day.

The Globe Gazette says Friday that city building and fire inspectors will look at the hotel next week to determine if it meets safety standards for occupancy.

The hotel was designed by Wright and complete in 1910. It has been used as a hotel, apartments and a strip club. It fell further into neglect until a nonprofit group took over several years ago.

The renovation of the hotel is part of a project that also includes restoring the City National Bank that was designed by Wright.

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







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