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KLEM News - July 23, 2011

(Hull) -- Fire officials from three northwest Iowa communities were called to fight a machine shed fire on Thursday afternoon.  Evan Wielenga, the Assistant Fire Chief for the Hull Fire Department, says fire fighters from Hull and Doon responded to the blaze and the Boyden Fire department was called to help transport needed water.  The structure, located near the Lyon-Sioux county line, was owned by Darrel Maas-sen.  The structure was fully engulfed when fire officials arrived at the scene.  Wielenga says fire officials realized the building and its contents were going to be a total lost, so the  priority was to protect surrounding structures from catching fire.  The builing contained farm equipment and building materials, and the damage estimate is thought to be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Sheriff's office has released the details of a one-car accident that occured Wednesday afternoon.  52-year old Roger Armstrong of Merrill was driving west on County road C-60 when apparently a front tire blew out causing the vehicle to lose control and rolling over in a ditch.  Armstrong was able to exit the vehicle through the passenger window.  He was taken to Floyd Valley hospital by a private vehicle.


(LeMars) --  Homecoming Ceremonies are taking place all across Iowa welcoming home soldiers from the various Iowa National Guard Units returning from Afghanistan.  Troop C of the 113th Calvary based in LeMars is due to come home on Sunday afternoon.  The festivities will occur at the Jim Lorenzen Field - LeMars community Football Stadium.

Monica Hanson serves as the Family Readiness Group leader, she explains what will take place at the Homecoming ceremony.

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Hanson says the troops will receive a formal escort starting near the Iowa border and it will continue right up to the LeMars Community football field.

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Regardless whether or not you have a loved one involved with the Guard unit, Hanson urges all community people to show up for the Homecoming and show your patriotic pride. Other homecomings are scheduled for Sunday at the Tyson Events Center in Sioux City, and on Monday at the Storm Lake Elementary school in Storm Lake,


JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) Troop C is due back home on Sunday, but Troops A and B of the 1st Squadron, 113th Calvary will celebrate their homecoming tomorrow afternoon at Camp Dodge in Johnston.

(LeMars) -- First responders may know how to respond to such emergencies as  fires...tornadoes...or even floods.  But imagine what might happen if a local farm were to contract a deadly disease? How would it affect the local farming community, neighboring towns, the food supply, and the consumer?  That scenerio was discussed at a workshop seminar held yesterday .for local producers, commodity leaders, government officials, health officials and emergency management staff.

Danelle Beckett-Widdle is with Iowa State University Center for Food Security and Public Health.  She says the first step to preventing the spread of the disease is to stop the movement, or possible carriers of the disease.

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The veterinarian says many times when an outbreak of a disease occurs, government officials may mistakenly make a blanket ruling that perhaps could have negative consequences for the agricultural industry.

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Efforts have been under way to organize different entities to handle such a problem if it was to ever happen.


(LeMars) -- The LeMars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street program has been designated as an accredited National Main Street Program for meeting the commercial district revitalization performance standards.  The local program had to meet 10 performance standards set by the National Trust Main Street Center.  The LeMars Main Street programs performance is evaluated by the Iowa Department of Economic Development Main Street Program, which works in partnership with the National Trust Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet 10 performance standards.

Sioux City, IA: Bishop Walker Nickless has selected  Michael and Janet Flanagan of Sioux City as the chair for the 2011 Bishop’s Dinner for Catholic Schools.

Each year a couple is chosen to chair his dinner based on involvement within one or more of the eight Catholic high schools and 17 grade schools throughout the Diocese of Sioux City.

The Flanagan’s are life-long members of Sioux City Catholic parishes, graduates of Bishop Heelan High School and strong supporters of Catholic education.

The Bishop’s Dinner is an annual fundraiser that supports more than 6,000 students who attend Catholic schools throughout the Diocese of Sioux City.  The dinner will be held at the Sioux City Convention Center on October 9th with Dick Vitale delivering the key-note address.

Tickets are $125 per person with $80 of each ticket going back to the schools.  Last year, over $150,000 was distributed to Catholic schools because of the success of the Bishop’s Dinner.


Man charged with hitting wife and son, killing dog

(Eds: Adds date of arrest; APNewsNow.)

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

EARLY, Iowa (AP) A northwest Iowa man has been charged with hitting his wife and son and killing the family's poodle.

The Sac County Sheriff's Office says 39-year-old Jose Manuel Torres Ortiz also known as Andres Juan Mateo was arrested July 17 and charged with two counts of domestic abuse and one count of animal torture.

KCCI reports that deputies accused Ortiz of killing the dog by hitting it on a picnic table. Authorities charge Ortiz assaulted his wife and his 20-year-old son at their home in Early.

Ortiz remained in the Sac County Jail without bond on Friday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has placed a deportation detainer on Ortiz. ICE officials say they believe he's a Guatemalan national.

War veteran acquitted of murder files suit

(Information in the following story is from: The Des Moines Register,

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An Iraq War veteran acquitted of a 2005 murder has filed a federal lawsuit charging the city of Altoona, a pair of police officials and a video expert alleging they violated his civil rights.

Twenty-eight-year-old Justin Pollard was twice charged and eventually acquitted in the death of 46-year-old Annamarie Rittman.

Rittman was hit by a pickup that swerved into her she walked through a parking lot around 5:30 in the morning.

The Des Moines Register says that Pollard contends in court papers that Altoona police were ``without probable cause to reasonably believe that plaintiff had committed the crime'' when they arrested him.

Altoona police chief John Gray, who's among those charged, declined comment to The Register Friday.

Ethics panel settles campaign contribution issue

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) State ethics regulators say they have reached a settlement with a gambling company over charges of illegal contributions to former Gov. Chet Culver's campaign.

Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board officials announced Friday they reached a settlement with Peninsula Gaming LLC over allegations the company illegally made contributions in the name of another person and didn't report it.

In the settlement, the company acknowledged it gave Webster County Entertainment $25,000 with the expectation that group would give the money to Culver's campaign.

The announcement says the company agreed to pay an administrative penalty of $4,000. That's the maximum penalty the board could impose in this case.

Police say botanical center in D.M. burglarized

(Information in the following story is from: The Des Moines Register,

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Police say burglars have broken into the Des Moines Botanical Center.

Police say the unidentified perpetrators may have found an unlocked door to get in, since they found no signs of forced entry.

Intruders made their way through the facility, taking coins from a jar, a projector and speakers. Glass in a vending machine was smashed and candy was stolen.

The projector was valued at $1,500.

The botanical center was opened in 1979 in downtown Des Moines.

Berm that collapsed at Neb. nuke plant replaced

A flood berm that collapsed last month at the Fort Calhoun nuclear station has been replaced.

The Omaha Public Power District said Friday that the berm is keeping Missouri River floodwaters away from the plant.

The 2,000-foot berm collapsed June 26, allowing water to surround the auxiliary and containment buildings. OPPD has said the berm was an extra protection that wasn't mandated in its flood plan, and federal regulators said the failure caused no threat to the public.

The Fort Calhoun plant was shut down in early April for refueling. OPPD has said the complex will not be reactivated until the flooding subsides.

ISU Foundation to put hotel on the market

(Information in the following story is from: The Tribune,

AMES, Iowa (AP) The board of directors of the Iowa State University Foundation is putting the Gateway Hotel up for sale.

The Ames Tribune reports that the board has instructed foundation staff to put the 33-year-old hotel, conference center and restaurant on the market.

Lisa Eslinger, a senior vice president at the foundation, says recent board discussions concluded that the hotel business outstrips their skill base and knowledge.

Eslinger says the decision was made to sell the hotel to someone with more experience in the field.

The complex is owned by the university foundation.

Gateway manager Jean McBreen says the complex, which rests just south of Jack Trice Stadium, has building has 187 rooms and 16,000 square feet of conference space.

Key U. of Iowa dean to step down after 15 years

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The dean of the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences says she's stepping down with ``mixed emotions'' after a noteworthy 15-year tenure.

Dean Linda Maxson announced Friday she'll resign next summer when her third, five-year term running the school's largest and oldest college concludes. She says she's proud of her accomplishments, which include hiring half of the college's faculty and developing new academic programs and centers.

Maxson told college employees they've ``survived painful budget cuts, a devastating flood, and a major recession'' together. She said she's asked Provost Barry Butler to start a search for her successor, and that she'll work to ``ensure a seamless transition.''

Drake center VanDeest out 4-6 months

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Drake center Seth VanDeest could miss the start of next season because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

VanDeest had surgery Thursday and is expected to need four to six months to recover.

Drake officials say the junior aggravated a previous shoulder injury during summer league play in late June.

VanDeest has started 62 games for the Bulldogs and is averaging 8.8 points and 4.3 rebounds.

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



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