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KLEM News Update, July 3, 2011

Soldier from Jefferson, Iowa, killed in Iraq

A soldier from Iowa was among three service members killed in an attack in Iraq.

The U.S. Department of Defense identified him as 27-year-old Captain Matthew Nielson, of Jefferson. All three soldiers were assigned to the 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Hood, Texas.

Military officials say the men died Wednesday when enemy forces attacked their unit with indirect fire.

Man questioned in Iowa case dies during standoff

(Information in the following story is from: The Hawk Eye,

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) Autopsy results indicate a ``person of interest'' in an Iowa investigation died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Fred Kientzle of the Adams County, Illinois sheriff's office said that 24-year-old Benjamin Biggs, of Mount Pleasant, died during a Wednesday standoff. Kientzle says a gun was found near Biggs' body.

Authorities say Biggs led a chase through western Illinois in a stolen car. Police say Biggs drove into a cruiser and shot at an officer before crashing the car and fleeing on foot. Police say Biggs hid in house and led a six-hour standoff, during which he shot another officer. Biggs was later found dead. The officer is expected to survive.

Biggs is a ``person on interest'' in the May disappearance of 24-year-old Jackie Leigh Douthart, of Mount Pleasant.

Minn. man drowns at while swimming Iowa campground

Authorities have released the name of a Minnesota man who drowned at an Iowa campground.

The Worth County sheriff's office told KIMT-TV that the victim of Friday's drowning at Happy Time Resort was 53-year-old Richard Sharpsteen of Albert Lea, Minnesota.

Iowa man on tractor dies after being rear-ended

(Information in the following story is from: KCCI-TV,

OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) An Oskaloosa man has died after his tractor was struck by a pickup truck.

Iowa troopers told KCCI-TV that 71-year-old James Vanmersbergen was driving his tractor Friday night along Highway 163 in Oskaloosa when it was rear-ended. Both the tractor and the pickup ended up in a ditch.

Vanmersbergen suffered fatal injuries. The driver of the pickup, identified as 26-year-old John Lovell of Ankeny, was hurt. Details of his injuries weren't released.

GOP's Bachmann rallies tea party members in Iowa

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann is scrambling to harness support in Iowa this weekend, just six weeks before a critical test in the leadoff caucus state.

The Minnesota representative headlined a tea party rally in Des Moines on Saturday, capping her first full day of campaigning in Iowa since declaring her candidacy Monday.

Bachmann ranked near the top in a recent poll of Iowa Republicans and is trying to parlay that into a strong finish in the state Republican party's straw poll on Aug. 13.

She started the day with a stop at a popular diner in Iowa City, signed autographs and posed for pictures at Cedar Rapids' farmer's market, and then popped into the popular Taylor's Maid-Rite restaurant Marshalltown.

In Iowa, Perry finds voters like those in Texas

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) As Texas Gov. Rick Perry ponders whether to throw his cowboy hat into the GOP presidential ring, he and his recently reunited team of advisers are looking hardest at Iowa.

They've got a good reason. The voters who stand up on the cold caucus night of an Iowa winter bear a striking resemblance to voters in the Texas Republican primaries.

And those voters have re-elected Perry three times in the past decade, making him the longest-serving governor in Texas history.

Pollsters and strategists familiar with Iowa's politics say that would give Perry a natural edge should he jump into the race months after other candidates have opened offices and hired staff.

Cain reports $2.5 million for presidential bid

Businessman and former conservative talk show radio host Herman Cain has raised almost $2.5 million in the first weeks of his presidential bid and says he has no campaign debt.

Spokeswoman Ellen Carmichael says the total includes more than 27,000 nationwide online donations. Carmichael says Cain did put some of his own money in, but described it as ``only a fraction'' of the total and ``modest seed money.''

The latest fundraising quarter ended Thursday. The official deadline to file with the Federal Elections Commission is July 15.

The former Godfathers Pizza CEO draws much of his support from tea party groups. Cain has steadily gained momentum with more mainstream conservatives and this week he finished third in The Des Moines Register's poll of Iowa caucus participants.

Missouri River runoff hit new record in June

Runoff into the Missouri River basin above Sioux City has hits its highest level since 1898.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says runoff for that part of the basin was 13.8 million acre feet in June. The previous record was 13.2 million, set in April 1952.

May runoff was recorded at 10.5 million acre feet, the third-highest month on record.

The combined runoff for May and June was 24.3 million acre feet, just shy of the normal total run for the entire basin, which is 24.8 million.

The corps is releasing massive amounts of water into the Missouri River from dams upstream because of heavy run and melting snowpack. Those releases will keep the river above flood stage in many areas at least into August.

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

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