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KLEM PM News Update, July 6th 2011

According to the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Terrance James Gardner, age 31, of Henry, South Dakota was arrested on a felony warrant for manslaughter in the first degree, or alternatively, manslaughter in the second degree with possession of marijuana and interference with emergency communication. A warrant for his arrest was issued on June 27th by the state of South Dakota, in the county of Lincoln.  Terrance James Gardner is being held in the Cherokee County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond. Gardner waived extradition back to South Dakota.


Administrators Salary Approved by Slight Margin

(LE MARS) The Le Mars City Council approved the wages of both the City Administrator and the Assistant City Administrator in closed session yesterday.

Both approvals were by a slight margin with a 3 to 2 vote.

Councilman Knapp moved and Nelson seconded that Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole's salary level of $88,000 plus mileage for city business at the approved city rate for fiscal year 2012 be approved.  Council members Leonard, Knapp and Nelson voted in favor.  Rexwinkel and Ihrke voted against. 

Knapp moved, Nelson seconded that City Administrator Scott Langel's salary level of $125,600 plus mileage for city business for fiscal year 2012 be approved. Leonard, Knapp and Nelson voted in favor. Rexwinkel and Ihrke voted against. 

Also in closed session yesterday, all Le Mars city council members voted in favor of City Attorney Joe Flannery's retainer of $7,250/mo. plus $185/hour for extra hours for fiscal year 2012 be approved with a reconcilement every six months based on actual hours. 


Temporary Fix for Downtown Intersection

(LE MARS) -- The intersection of Plymouth and Central Avenue in Le Mars continues to be a concern- and the problem runs deeper than just the cracks, chips and lack of sealant at the joints.

City Administrator Scott Langel says his concern with this intersection, and other parts of Plymouth Street, has to do with the use of liquid salt during the winter months and what it's doing to the underlying pipes.

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He adds...

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There were multiple options before the council yesterday that would put a band-aid the issue until the intersection can be completely re-worked. The council unanimously approved the most inexpensive repair method.  Langel explains what will be done each time and that talking to the DOT about the use of the liquid salt will have to be priority.

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Each time the fix is made at the Plymouth/Central Avenue intersection it costs the city $1,000. 


Branstad to visit flood-damaged towns

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is set to visit three flood-damaged towns in western Iowa.

Branstad and Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Administrator Brig. Gen. Derek Hill are set to visit with local officials in Blencoe, Missouri Valley and Pacific Junction on Wednesday.

Branstad's office also says that state and local emergency officials will start conducting assessments in six counties starting Wednesday.

Branstad asked U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last week for a Secretarial Disaster Designation for Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties.

Red Cross opens Council Bluffs shelter

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) The Red Cross has opened a 24-hour shelter in Council Bluffs to help people affected by the flooding along the Missouri River.

Red Cross officials say the clinic opened Tuesday evening at First Assembly of God Church in Council Bluffs. The shelter will provide meals, minor first aid, referrals and a safe place to stay.

Officials say other shelters remain on standby in counties along the river in both Iowa and Nebraska.

Harkin urges crop disaster relief for western Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin is urging U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to approve crop disaster relief for western Iowa in the wake of flooding along the Missouri River.

The Democrat made his plea in a letter to Vilsack, a former Iowa governor. Harkin says a secretarial disaster designation would provide money to help producers recover from loss of crops and damage to farmland, livestock facilities and buildings.

Harkin says designated counties would include: Fremont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury.

Gov. Terry Branstad recently began the process to secure a disaster designation.

After new map, congressman buys home in Iowa City

(Information in the following story is from: Iowa City Press-Citizen,

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Democratic U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack says he's purchased a home in Iowa City so that he can run in next year's elections and continue representing his newly-redrawn district.

Under a redistricting plan approved in April, Loebsack's home in Mount Vernon fell in the same district as that of a fellow Democrat, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley of Waterloo.

Rather than run against each other in a primary, Loebsack said he would move south in hopes of representing the newly-drawn 2nd Congressional district that covers southeastern Iowa.

Loebsack told the Iowa City Press-Citizen on Tuesday he has closed on a home on Iowa City's east side. He says he could have moved anywhere in the district, but chose Iowa City in part because his daughter, son-in-law and grandchild live there.

2 found dead in Des Moines suburb of Urbandale

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) Police in Urbandale say two people have been found dead in a duplex, and authorities are treating the deaths as suspicious.

A news release from Urbandale Officer Jeff Casey says police received a call from a landlord around 12:20 p.m. Tuesday to report the deaths. Police arrived to find a man and a woman dead in the duplex. Authorities are not yet releasing their names pending notification of their families.

Casey says autopsies will be conducted.

Employee pulled from burning northeast Iowa store

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

LA PORTE CITY, Iowa (AP) Firefighters have pulled an employee from a burning convenience store in northeastern Iowa.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the woman was trapped Wednesday morning inside a Casey's General Store at La Porte City as the store burned.

Authorities have not identified the worker, but the newspaper says she phoned for help from inside the store just before 4 a.m. She was taken to a Waterloo hospital.

Police Officer Andrew Nissen was the first to arrive at the scene and says the fire was too intense for him to get close to the store.

La Porte's volunteer firefighters soon arrived and were able to rescue the woman.

The cause of the fire wasn't immediately known. An investigator from the Iowa State Fire Marshal Division was called to help investigate.

Railroad doubts train passed over drunk teen

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An Iowa Interstate Railroad official doubts a train passed over a teenager in downtown Des Moines who was passed out between the rails, leaving him with only minor injuries.

Mick Burkart is the railroad's chief operating officer. He says there's about 10 inches of clearance between a locomotive and railroad ties. That's little space for someone to lie safely beneath the rails.

However, 17-year-old Christian Michael Latshaw told police that's what happened Sunday night. He says he was drunk and passed out, only to awake under the train.

Train engineers saw someone on the tracks but couldn't see what happened.

Burkart told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday it's more likely Latshaw stood up and was knocked clear of the train.

Latshaw was treated for head cuts and a thigh bruise.

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