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KLEM AM News Update, July 11, 2011

(LE MARS) -- Severe weather moved through the KLEM listening area around 1:30 am.  The National Weather Service issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning at 1:27 am.  Wind gusts up to 56 mph were recorded at the KLEM studios.  Some tree damage was reported in Le Mars. 

As a result of the storm North West R-E-C reports as many as 200 of their members were without power this morning. The majority of the power outage lasted for two hours, with some up to five hours. Many of those without power were located west and south of LeMars. Crews worked through the night to restore power, and as of 8:00 this morning, all but three members had electricity.

(LE MARS) -- Fire officials from Le Mars and Merril responded to a shop fire on Sunday afternoon.  The fire was reported at a Le Mars address on the northeast side of town.  Officials were at the scene for nearly two hours before containing the fire.  However, Le Mars fire officials returned to the address at 7:40am this morning.  No other details are known at this time.  In addition to Sunday's fire, the Merrill Fire Department was called to fight a fire early this morning when apparently a deck was a fire.  Within a few minutes the fire was under control and extinguished.

 (PLYMOUTH COUNTY) -- The west five miles of C-38 from K-64 east to Hwy 140 will be closed beginning TODAY (Monday). Only local traffic will be allowed from C-38/K-64 to Plymouth Cherokee County Line...the road is completely closed at specific points. The east five miles were closed on June 16th for construction and remains 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.

(LE MARS)--Those interested in being on the ballot for a position on the Le Mars Community Board of Education can file nomination papers beginning today.  Four directors will be elected to the Le Mars Community Board of Education in the fall.  School Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt says that in order to run for school board you must be an eligible elector.

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There are two at-large openings as well as two openings that are from specific geographic areas.

Mark Hemmingson of Le Mars is the District 3 board member. District 5 board member Dan Smith of Merrill has announced he will NOT seek re-election. The two at-large directors are Patrick Murphy and Mark Stelzer.  According to Dr. Wendt, Murphy and Stelzer have not said whether or not they are running for re-election.

Wendt says there are two locations to pick up nomination papers.

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At least 50 signatures are needed on the nominations papers, the district recommends that people get 10-15 above the requirement.

The last day to file is August 4th at 5pm.  The school board election is September 13th.

(AMES) The Iowa Department of Transportation announces that, beginning today the color of the alpha-numeric characters and other text on newly issued license plates will change from dark blue to black.

This change affects only standard plates and specialty plates that have a blue and white background. This does not affect specialty plates that use a special color for the alpha-numeric characters as part of their design, such as collegiate plates and firefighter plates.

Changing to black will increase the contrast with the background and make the alpha-numeric characters easier to read, which is important to law enforcement. It will also make plate production more consistent and cost-effective. This will not affect the design on the plates.

Iowa Army Guard soldier killed in Afghanistan

Friends of an Iowa National Guard soldier recently killed in Afghanistan say he was an upbeat, religious man who planned to retire from the military next year.

The Guard announced Sunday that 39-year-old Sgt. 1st Class Terryl Pasker of Cedar Rapids was killed when enemy forces attacked his unit Saturday in the Panjshir province. Pasker was on his second deployment to Afghanistan and was expected to leave within a couple of weeks.

Pasker was assigned to the 334th Brigade Support Battalion of the 34th Infantry Division based in Cedar Rapids.

His friend, Sgt. 1st Class Michael Gronewold, says Pasker was a hard worker who owned a contracting business and wanted to start a family after retiring from the Army.

Neb. nuclear plant sets up new flood barrier

BLAIR, Neb. (AP) The Omaha Public Power District has installed a new barrier around its Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant and is now pumping out Missouri River floodwaters.

OPPD installed the new 8-foot-tall; water-filled barrier around the plant to replace a similar one that failed two weeks ago after a worker inadvertently punctured it with a bobcat.

OPPD pumped out about half the water behind the new barrier Sunday. It will continue pumping to create a dry area around the plant to make it easier for workers to get around.

Both OPPD and federal regulators have said Fort Calhoun is safe even without this barrier. Officials say all the key areas of the plant have stayed dry inside.

The plant will remain shut down until after floodwaters subside in the fall.

Insurance agents complain FEMA creating confusion

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Insurance agents in states along the swollen Missouri River say federal officials are causing widespread confusion by pushing the sale of flood insurance policies that might not cover damage from the current flooding.

The insurance companies say policies specify that only those bought at least two months before the damage happened will cover it. But the Federal Emergency Management Agency is telling landowners to buy the insurance anyway, and that some damage might be covered under the insurance program's complicated rules.

The confusion is increasing anxiety along the river as the flooding continues. The flood is expected to last another two months and affect six states, from North Dakota to Missouri.

Pawlenty blasts Bachmann's ``nonexistent' record

WASHINGTON (AP) Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty says 2012 rival Michele Bachmann has a ``nonexistent'' record of accomplishment during her three terms in Congress.

Pawlenty, who's behind in the polls and lagging in fundraising, says that as a former Minnesota governor, he has executive experience and achieved results under challenging circumstances.

A poll last month in early-voting Iowa put former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and tea party favorite Bachmann at the top. Pawlenty was back in the pack despite an aggressive campaign in the state.

He tells NBC's ``Meet the Press'' that early polls aren't good indicators of anything.

Pawlenty says that over the next 60 days, he needs to show ``significant progress.'' He's pointing to the Iowa Republican Party's straw poll on Aug. 13 and thinks he'll prevail.

2012 could bring unusual Iowa congressional races

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa congressional races are typically low-key events, but next year's election is shaping up as anything but typical.

Thanks to redistricting, all of Iowa's congressmen will be in new or reshaped districts.

Because Iowa dropped from five congressional seats to four, Rep. Dave Loebsack is moving to a new district to avoid facing Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, and Republican Rep. Tom Latham is moving to the 3rd District rather than face GOP Rep. Steve King.

Latham will likely face Democratic Rep. Leonard Boswell and King will go against Christie Vilsack, the wife of former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. She's moving to Ames.

Police investigate shooting in Des Moines

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

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police are investigating a shooting incident that injured a man, but they aren't sure the man was injured by a gunshot.

Police say a domestic dispute contributed to the incident on Saturday afternoon at an apartment complex in central Des Moines.

When officers arrived to investigate a report of gunshots they found a man lying on the ground in the parking lot with a head wound. A loaded handgun was found nearby.

The man has been hospitalized, but his injury doesn't appear life threatening.

Police say the man had gone to his former girlfriend's home to confront her current boyfriend. The man has not been identified, but police say he will likely face charges after he gets out of the hospital.

Fire damages restaurant in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Fire damaged a Cedar Rapids restaurant Saturday night but no one was injured.

Firefighters were called to Tommy's Restaurant around 10 p.m. after the flames triggered a motion sensor alarm inside the business.

Fire investigators believe the fire started by a dryer that was started before the last employee left around 8:15 p.m.

The restaurant sustained significant damage in the fire, and a vacant damage nearby was damaged by smoke.

Iowa officials say water at Big Creek park is safe

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says test results prove that the water at Big Creek State Park is safe.

Officials had previously warned people not to go swimming in the lake because a significant blue-green algae bloom was found on Friday.

But district parks supervisor Greg VanFosson said Sunday that tests on samples taken Saturday showed the water was safe for swimming, boating and other activities.

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



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