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KLEM News Update, July 9th, 2011

Only local traffic will be allowed from C-38/K-64 to the Plymouth Cherokee County Line...the road is completely closed at specific points.  The east five miles of the project were closed on June 16th for construction and remain closed.   The 10 mile project had a staggered closing to inconvenience the smallest about of people possible.  The entire 10 mile stretch will re-open all at once, the anticipated date for re-opening is sometime in August.  For more information call Plymouth County Secondary Road Department 712-546-4559.

DES MOINES) - Due to the recent flooding- Plymouth, Cherokee and six other area counties have been granted a disaster designation by proximity. 

The United States Department of Agriculture has approved Gov. Branstad's request for disaster designation in six Iowa counties affected by the Missouri River flooding. The letter, which was received yesterday at The Gov. Branstad's office, gives disaster designation to Freemont, Harrison, Mills, Monona, Pottawattamie and Woodbury counties.

In addition to granting disaster designation to the six counties, USDA officials also named Cass, Cherokee, Crawford, Ida, Montgomery, Page, Plymouth and Shelby counties as contiguous disaster areas.

A disaster designation makes farm operators in both primary and contiguous counties eligible to be considered for assistance from the FSA, provided eligibility requirements are met. The assistance includes FSA loans and Supplemental Revenue Assistance Payments Program, known as the SURE program.  Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of a disaster declaration to apply for emergency loan assistance. SURE Program applications for 2011 crop losses will be accepted in 2012, when the 2011 farm revenue data required by statute becomes available.


Part of 12th Street in LeMars Closed Beginning on Monday

(LE MARS) -- A portion of 12th Street in Le Mars will be closed beginning Monday morning.  City Adminstrator Scott Langel anticipates the stretch will be shut down anywhere from two to four weeks.

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Langel says the first 500 feet will remain open starting at 7th will remain open for residents who live on 8th Avenue, residents beyond 8th will need to park elsewhere and walk to their homes.

He says the lowering of the that stretch of 12th Street is necessary for safety reasons.

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Again, on Monday 12th Street SE in Le Mars will be closed 4-5 blocks east starting at 7th Ave.


Minnesota Woman Still Missing...Last Known to be in Rock Valley

(ROCK VALLEY) Iowa authorities have joined in the search for a missing Minnesota woman that was last known to be in Rock Valley.   The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation said yesterday that it is helping Minnesota law enforcement in its search for 41-year-old Lucia Perez of Worthington, Minn.

Lucia is described as a Hispanic female, approximately 5'2", 140 pounds with long black hair, she has not been heard from since Monday.

Lucia was traveling with a man by the name of Bernardino Ramirez-Perez who is described as a short, dark skinned Hispanic male, with a full beard and long hair; he is approximately 35 to 40 years old. Ramirez-Perez is considered to be a person of interest, as he has since fled the area in an attempt to evade law enforcement authorities.

The Sioux County Sheriff's Office is also assisting with the investigation.  The public is asked to contact them with any information you may have on their where-abouts.


Orange City's Hawkeye Center Open to Public Yesterday

(ORANGE CITY) -- There was a celebration downtown Orange City yesterday when the new Hawkeye Center was opened to the public.  There was a ribbon cutting celebration in the morning followed by tours through three of the five condos, the parking garage and a peek into the ground floor retail space.  Three years ago a fire destroyed the historic Hawkeye Building in downtown Orange City.  Ground was broken last fall on the new building that now has three condo dwellers and a spoken for retail space.  Evie's Hallmark will open there soon, Phoenix Project Committee Chair Marty Guthmiller said he expects that they will be ready to open the doors in September. 

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The building is Phase 1 of the Phoenix Project, an initiative that “rose from the ashes” of the Hawkeye Building following the fire in the summer of 2008.   Phase 2 of the Phoenix Project — a “destination” event center — is currently underway.  Guthmiller said eventhough the project is a bit behind schedule due to all the rain, workers are going full force to keep project completion date on time.

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To ensure that everything is done and ready to go before events are booked at the center, the advisory committee feels they'll wait until July 1st of 2012 to take bookings. 

According to Guthmiller Phase 3 of the Phoenix Project will start construction in spring 2012.

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The performing arts center plans include seating for 750 people. 


Flags ordered to half-staff for slain Iowa soldier

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad has ordered all flags in Iowa flown at half-staff in honor of an Iowa soldier

Army Capt. Matthew Nielson was killed June 29 during an attack by insurgents in Badrah, Iraq. He was assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas.

Branstad issued the order Friday to fly flags in the state at half-staff until 8 a.m. Monday.

Memorial services for Nielson will be held Sunday at the Greene County Community Center in Jefferson. He will be buried at the Iowa Veterans Cemetery near Van Meter.

The 27-year-old Nielson was born in Omaha, Neb. and lived in Lincoln, Neb., before moving with his family to Jefferson. He graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2008, and then joined the Army.

Lifeguard injured in 15-foot fall at water park

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A lifeguard has been injured when he fell 15-feet from a platform at the Lost Island Water Park in Waterloo.

The accident happened Friday morning. KWWL-TV is reporting that the lifeguard was at the top of a racing slide, standing at the slide's entrance when he slipped and fell 15-feet to a platform below.

Six other lifeguards placed their co-worker on a backboard and moved him to the parking lot where an ambulance was waiting.

His name or condition have not been released.

Tanker truck explodes in Blakesburg

BLAKESBURG, Iowa (AP) Residents in the small southeast Iowa town of Blakesburg are being allowed to return home after they were evacuated when a tanker truck exploded at a local oil company.

The explosion was reported about 8:30 a.m. Friday at Blakesburg Oil Company in the town of fewer than 300 people. The fire was extinguished by mid-day and firefighters were conducting assessments to make sure the area was safe.

The Des Moines Register is reporting that one person was injured. Shortly after the explosion a helicopter ambulance was called in.

Ag secretary questions Corps on Missouri flooding

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is taking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to task for its handling of the Missouri River, which has flooded thousands of acres of farmland in seven states.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of a June 28 letter in which Vilsack questions the Corps' decision not to release more water from dams earlier in the spring to prevent prolonged flooding this summer. The flooding followed spring rains and the melting of a deep Rocky Mountain snowpack.

The letter to the Corps' acting commander also says farmers and ranchers didn't receive timely information about the Corps' water releases.

Vilsack spokesman Justin DeJong declined to comment on the letter.

Corps spokeswoman Jasmine Chopra defended the agency's river management, saying this year's flooding was unprecedented.


Dubuque airport awarded $4.8 million grant

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) Dubuque Regional Airport has been awarded a nearly $4.8 million grant for work on a new terminal building.

The funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Airport Improvement Program were announced Friday. The city will match the funds with about $250,000 from the airport's passenger facility charge.

Sen. Tom Harkin says in a news release that Dubuque's old terminal is inadequate and after years of waiting a new facility is becoming a reality.


OSHA investigating Casey's store fire death

LA PORTE CITY, Iowa (AP) State workplace safety officials are investigating a fire at a La Porte City convenience store that killed a woman earlier this week.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported Friday that 53-year-old Colleen Paradine, of La Porte City had gone in to the Casey's General Store early Wednesday morning to make doughnuts when the fire broke out. She used her cell phone to call for help but was unable to get out of the building. The store was closed at the time.

Firefighters found Paradine unconscious. She was pronounced dead at a Waterloo hospital.

Jens Nissen, an executive officer with the Iowa Division of Labor, says the agency was notified to look into the fire. He says an investigator was at the scene Thursday.

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

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