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KLEM News AM Update, July 15, 2011

Anywhere from three to six inches of rain deluged the area on Thursday morning, falling over already saturated ground from weekend storms. Since Sunday, Clay and Dickinson Counties have reported from four to eight inches of rain with much heavier amounts recorded over isolated areas.

"It's a case of where there is just way too much water for the systems to be able to handle. We don't like to see it, but in conditions like this, the excess water needs to be released or it will back up into homes and businesses," said Ken Hessenius, supervisor of the DNR's field office in Spencer.

Hessenius said the DNR has extensive water monitoring data that indicates that in extremely wet conditions, the impact of bypassing untreated wastewater on water quality is minimal.

"But we also have a lot of monitoring that shows we tend to get higher bacterial levels after heavy rainfall just from normal runoff during rain events," said Hessenius.

Hessenius said swimmers and others who will be in the water over the next couple of days in the Great Lakes area will want to be aware of the conditions.

Very small children, people with weakened immune systems and others who do not understand about not ingesting water should be cautious of swimming and other on-the-water activities when bacterial levels may be high. People with open wounds should also be cautious because high bacterial levels can increase the chances of infection.

(ORANGE CITY) -- For the second year in a row the Sioux County Sheriff's Office is increasing law enforcement on the roads during the warm months.  In early May the first of four saturation projects kicked off, with the third happening this past weekend.  The emphasis of patrol was in the Rock Valley area.  Chief Deputy Jason Bergsma says the Sioux County Sheriffs office wasn't happy about the level of collisions and death on their roadways so they came up with the saturation projects as an effort to keep people safe.  

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84 citations were written and 163 warnings were given over a two day period.  77 of those warnings were repair memos. The numbers didn't surprise Bergsma.  

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The Plymouth County Sheriffs Office also conducts saturation projects from time to time with the Le Mars police department as well as other smaller agencies.  They  team up with other counties especially when it comes to efforts focused on highways 75 and 60.

The Sioux County patrol project is being conducted in association with the Iowa State Patrol and the states Department of Motor Vehicle Enforcement. The final phase is scheduled for August 26th with the patrol efforts focused on the southern half of Sioux County.

(Le Mars) -- Inadequate immunizations can lead to diseases like mumps and whooping cough, and immunization schedules are changing as a result.   According to the Iowa Department of Public Health the 2010 Iowa Surveillance of Notifiable and Other Diseases Report says that the number of vaccine-preventable diseases dropped compared to a three year average, but mumps and whooping cough, otherwise known as pertussis, increased.  Pertussis was up 229 percent across the state and mumps were up 73 percent.

Rhonda Lassen, Home Health Nurse with Floyd Valley Hospital, says that Plymouth County didn't have any cases of pertussis or mumps, however a large percentage of the mumps cases for the whole state were in Sioux County.

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The cause of that outbreak is not known, as the disease usually pops up if immunizations are not current.  In the Sioux County situation, Lassen says that most of students were immunized, but may not have had the second "booster" shot. 

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is showing up more in smaller children who are not fully immunized. NIne cases of pertussis were reported in Woodbury County last year.  Lassen says they're getting it from parents or care-takers.  

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 Health Care professionals are also encouraging families with infants to get shots called a T-DAP, to help protect the young child.  And of course washing hands and preventing contact with those who are sick are important for staying healthy.

 

(LE MARS) -- We've been talking about the impending heat all week.  We know when we're hot and seek water and air conditioning to remedy that, but do we think about our pets and keeping them cool? Dr. Angela Marthaler of Town and Country Veterinary Clinic in Le Mars says that water and shade are priorities in keeping pets cool.

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Fans are also a great way to keep outdoor pets cool.  Marthaler says getting the kiddie pool out for dogs isn't a bad idea either.

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She says not to be surprised if cats and dogs aren't quite as active and eat a little bit less when it's hot and humid.  Marthaler also discourages excess excise for pets when it's warm, and if you need to get them out do so in the early morning or evening hours.

Finally, Dr. Marthaler says to not leave your pets in the car when the summer heat is extreme.

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Large animals also need to have shade, cool water and air movement available to them.   


Groundwater bubbling is concern at Iowa apartment

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) Residents of a Council Bluffs apartment are moving because of concerns about a sewer line.

City leaders have told residents of the Riverbend Apartments to leave because of a growing sand boil compromising the line.

KETV-TV in Omaha, Neb., reported Thursday that a malfunctioning private pumping station and sewage line due groundwater bubbling is causing the concern. The TV station reports fixing the problem isn't an option because the work could threaten a nearby levee along the flooding Missouri River.

About 70 families are affected. Some are moving to a nearby apartment complex or staying with friends, while others are staying at a Red Cross shelter.


Disaster order issued for Story, Marshall counties

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Governor Terry Branstad has issued emergency disaster proclamations for Marshall and Story counties because of damage from severe storms that hit the area earlier this week.

Branstad issued the proclamations Thursday.

Severe storms hit the area early Monday morning, creating wind gusts that topped 100 mph in some areas. The storms knocked down trees and power lines leaving thousands without electricity.

Earlier this week, Branstad issued an emergency disaster proclamation for Tama and Benton counties.

The proclamations allow state resources to be used to respond to and recover from the storms.


Fire destroys home of returning Iowa soldier

(Information in the following story is from: KCCI-TV, http://www.kcci.com)

DEXTER, Iowa (AP) Fire has destroyed the home of an Iowa Army National Guard soldier returning from Afghanistan.

KCCI-TV in Des Moines says Pfc. A-Jay Irelan is to arrive in Iowa on Sunday. His house in Dexter, about 30 miles west of Des Moines, was damaged early Wednesday.

His girlfriend, Erin Richey, says she got the call at work. The home they shared with her son, Layne, was engulfed in flames.

Richey says the hardest thing was telling Irelan about the fire. He's on his the way home after a yearlong deployment. Richey says he was just relieved that no one was hurt.

Richey says they don't have insurance, and have found a home in Stuart to rent for now.


More Iowa National Guard soldiers returning home

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)
Another homecoming ceremony is set for more Iowa National Guard soldiers returning from a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan.

The guard says about 105 soldiers will be welcomed home on Saturday in the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls. The soldiers are with the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion of the 133rd Infantry.

Homecoming ceremonies were held on Thursday in Cedar Rapids, Boone and Johnson for 185 soldiers.

Nearly 3,000 Iowa soldiers were sent to Afghanistan last year. It was the largest single deployment of Iowa National Guard troops since World War II.


Iowa, Illinois stand together for arsenal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Members of the Iowa and Illinois congressional delegation say any attempt to close or relocate the Rock Island Arsenal's Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center will be met with strong resistance in Congress.

Rep. Bruce Braley of Iowa says the delegations met with Gen. Ann Dunwoody, the commanding general of the Army Material Command, on Thursday in Washington, D.C.

Braley's office says Dunwoody reassured the delegation that the Army currently has no plans to close the center, but couldn't disclose the work of an internal task force charged with cutting $3 billion from the Army Material Command's budget.

The center has about 1,700 employees and operates the Army's only foundry. It specializes in manufacturing artillery, armor and small arms.


Iowa man pleads guilty to robberies

(Information in the following story is from: The Gazette, http://www.gazetteonline.com/)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) An Iowa City man suspected in a rash of robberies has pleaded guilty to three charges of second-degree robbery in Johnson County

Police believe 24-year-old Jay Harkless was linked to the robbery of several retailers and banks in Iowa City, North Liberty, Cedar Falls, Waterloo and Muscatine. He was arrested in January 2010.

The Gazette in Cedar Rapids says Thursday that Harkless pleaded guilty after a plea agreement. Johnson County prosecutors are recommending he serve two consecutive terms with a third running concurrently, for a total of 20 years in prison. No sentencing date was immediately set.

Harkless also faces second-degree robbery charges in Black Hawk and Muscatine counties.

Lawsuit in Clear Lake worker's death settled

(Information in the following story is from: Globe Gazette, http://www.globegazette.com/)

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) A lawsuit filed in the death of a 35-year-old worker at a Clear Lake concrete company has been settled for $500,000.

The Globe Gazette in Mason City is reporting Thursday the settlement will be split between administrators of Simon Trinidad's estate. He died in January 2009 after he fell into a hopper at Andrews Prestressed Concrete.

Trinidad's estate claimed negligence by the company's president led to Trinidad's death. They claimed sand was dumped on Trinidad after he fell into the hopper. They also claimed a confined space entry program approved in 2000 was never implemented.

The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Bureau fined the company $357,000 in 2009 because a 12-foot deep, open hopper wasn't protected by guardrails.

Anthony Hubbard leaves Iowa program

(Eds: Clarifies lead; APNewsNow.)

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa transfer Anthony Hubbard, who spent nearly four years in prison before earning a Division I scholarship, has left the program without ever suiting up for the Hawkeyes.

Iowa said in a statement released Thursday that Hubbard wants to explore playing for a school closer to his Virginia home.

The 26-year-old Hubbard pleaded guilty to a 2003 robbery and was released from prison in 2007. He later played at two junior colleges, starring at Frederick Community College (Md.) last season before landing a scholarship with the Hawkeyes.

Hubbard was expected to play a key role in 2011-12 for Iowa, which finished 11-20 last season.

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

 

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