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KLEM News Update, July 5, 2011

Veterans Memorial Park ceremony welcome by Don Law

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At the Independence Day program at the Veterans Memorial Park, Lieutenant Colonel Merrill Muller, Chaplain attached to the 185th Refueling Wing, Iowa Air National Guard in Sioux City spoke about sacrifices made by the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  Retired United States Navy Master Chief Wayne Schipper dedicated the Anchor Memorial, the latest addition to the Veterans Park.

(Le Mars) The Le Mars City Council will meet at noon today.  Action will be taken on a proposal to abolish City wards and have all Council Members elected at-large.  A petition requiring fifteen signatures would put the question on the November 1, 2011 ballot.  Other action items on the council agenda include an Iowa Highway 3 trail, drainage improvements on Business Highway 75 south, ATV's on rec trail, stop sign request, Le Mars housing incentives and storm water issues.

(Undated) Akron and Hinton fire departments were kept busy over the 4th of July weekend.  The Akron fire department responded to a dumpster fire on Sunday, and grass fire on Monday.  The Hinton fire department also responded to a grass fire around 3:30 Monday afternoon.  According to written reports from the Le Mars Com Center, no damage or injuries were reported in any of the fire calls.

Congested Missouri River threatens tributaries

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Hundreds of tributaries that feed the congested Missouri River face a greater-than-normal flood risk this summer because of water levels that have kept smaller rivers from draining.

Flood experts and emergency officials say backed-up water channels in South Dakota and Missouri have already caused flooding at points where they meet the Missouri River. In Hamburg, Iowa, work crews are keeping close watch on the Nishnabotna River to their east, as they battle the Missouri River from the west.

Hydrologists say tributary backups generally do not stretch more than a few miles from the point where rivers meet. But with floodwaters expected to stay through at least August, forecasters say the lesser-known tributaries could pose a significant threat as well if Missouri River flows increase or an intense storm strikes.

Iowa DOT: US Highway 30 closure postponed

AMES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Transportation says it will delay the installation of a flood wall along parts of U.S. Highway 30.

The work closure had been scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, west of Missouri Valley. Because of the delay, the road will remain open to travel on Tuesday.

The department says flood water is still filling the basin that extends north and south of the highway, but appears to be leveling. Water has stabilized south of the highway, and is only rising slightly to the north.

Department officials say they will notify the public of any future flood work along the highway after the department further assesses the site conditions.

Demolition begins on flooded homes on Iowa island

(Information in the following story is from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier,

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Homes damaged in 2008 flooding on San Souci Island in Waterloo are being torn down.

Twenty houses in the island were turned over to the city in the buyout program authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A city contractor has started tearing down houses on San Souci that were flooded by the Cedar River. City planner Aric Schroeder told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that demolition could continue until next spring.

Jim Hackett was among the homeowners displaced from the island. He now lives across the river from his old home.

Hackett says it's tough to see his old neighborhood torn down. He'd lived there for 40 years and he says every house on the island holds a memory for him.

3-year-old Iowa girl hospitalized after fall

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) Council Bluffs police say a 3-year-old girl was hospitalized after she fell out of a window while watching fireworks.

Investigators say Aliyah Polascik fell 9 feet out of a window on Sunday night. Police said she was apparently watching fireworks on the street from a porch window. The girl was standing on the sofa with her hands on the screen when it gave way.

Police said they believe the fall was an accident, but still have interviews to do. The girl was listed in stable condition.

Fallen Iowa soldier's family releases statement

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) The family of a fallen U.S. Army soldier says the 27-year-old died doing what he loved.

The Iowa National Guard released a statement from Capt. Matthew Nielson's family Sunday evening. Nielson was killed last week in Badrah, Iraq, during an indirect fire attack by insurgents.

Nielson's family said he had loved all things military-related since his childhood. They said his calling to service was of utmost importance to him, and how he wanted to spend the rest of his life.

Funeral arrangements are pending. The National Guard says details will be released as they become available.

Nielson was born in Omaha, Neb., and raised in Lincoln, Neb., Ogden, Iowa, and Jefferson, Iowa.

Iowa man arrested for alleged campground sex abuse

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

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) A second man has been arrested for the alleged sexual abuse of a woman at an eastern Iowa campground.

Cedar Rapids news station KCRG-TV says Thomas R. Auner of North Liberty was arrested Thursday on a third-degree sexual abuse charge. The alleged assault happened Sunday night at Scales Pointe Campground, near Coralville Lake.

Another man, Timothy T. Wehmeyer of Conesville, was arrested on the same charge earlier this week.

The news station reports that the alleged victim was in a camper with the two men when she fell asleep on the couch. She said she was woke up to discover Wehmeyer having sex with her.

Iowa doctor's 100-year drug sentence upheld

(Information in the following story is from: The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier,

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A judge has ruled that a former Waterloo doctor isn't entitled to a lighter sentence for his conviction on drug charges.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says Mark Louviere is appealing the decision.

Louviere is serving up to 100 years in prison in connection with the seizure of almost $1 million worth of methamphetamine in April 2007. He had challenged his sentence on drug and firearms charges.

Louviere claimed the court wrongly tacked years onto his sentence because guns were found in his home. He argued that the enhancement shouldn't apply, because there was no evidence linking the guns to narcotics dealing.

District Court Judge Richard Stochl dismissed the doctor's request in a June 7 order.

Former employee sues Iowa marketing company

(Information in the following story is from: The Newton Daily News,

NEWTON, Iowa (AP) A Newton marketing and advertising company has been named in a sexual discrimination and equal-pay lawsuit.

The Newton Daily News reports that former employee Kathy McMahon filed the suit against Newton Manufacturing Company in Jasper County District Court. McMahon contends in the lawsuit that the company pressured her to testify against a subordinate in a 2008 discrimination case against the firm, retaliated against her for that testimony and paid her a lower wage than male co-workers doing equal or lesser work.

The lawsuit claims that McMahon, who says she worked at the company for 19 years, was gender-motivated. She is seeking damages for emotional distress, lost wages, benefits and future earnings.

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

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