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KLEM News - August 12, 2011

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann isn't ceding ground in her Iowa birthplace to possible presidential rival Rick Perry.

Bachmann announced Thursday that she will appear at a GOP fundraiser in Waterloo on Sunday, the same event that will serve as the Texas governor's Iowa debut. Both will speak at the Black Hawk County GOP Lincoln Day Dinner.

Perry is making quick visits to Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in coming days as he gets ready to announce his 2012 intentions. All three states hold early votes in next year's nominating process.  Bachmann is a frontrunner in Iowa thanks in part to her strength among evangelical and tea party voters.


ConAgra closing microwave popcorn plant in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - ConAgra Foods Inc. is closing its microwave popcorn plant in Hamburg and cutting 95 jobs, a move the company says is needed to improve efficiency.  The company, based in Omaha, Neb., says it will close the plant in October and move the operations to its other popcorn facilities.

They are in Marion, Ohio, and Rensselaer (ren-suh-LEER'), Ind. The Hamburg plant makes Orville Redenbacher's and ACT Two microwave popcorn. The company announced the closing on Wednesday.  Spokesman Chris Whitehair says the company wishes the decision wasn't necessary, especially with the "challenges" Hamburg has faced with flooding along the Missouri River. But, he says, closing the plant was the most economically viable option.

ConAgra's separate bulk popcorn plant will remain in Hamburg. It has about 45 employees.


Part of Iowa sand mine reopens

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

CLAYTON, Iowa (AP) - A company has reopened parts of its sand mine in northeast Iowa after an agreement was reached with federal officials over a safety issue.

KWWL-TV in Waterloo says Pattison Sand Co. reopened the mine on the Mississippi River on Wednesday. It came a week after the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration closed it following a routine inspection, idling 160 workers. The agency cited concerns over underground support and scaling.

The company challenged the closure, and a hearing was scheduled for Wednesday before an administrative law judge of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission. The parties settled the case before the hearing.

The settlement allows operations to resume in a part of the mine, while the company inspects the rest for any concerns.


Illinois man falls at lock and dam in Iowa

(Information in the following story is from: Telegraph Herald,

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Officials say an Illinois man was injured after falling about 30 feet at a lock and dam on the Mississippi River in Dubuque.

The Telegraph Herald says Tom Groharing, of Fulton, Ilinois, fell on Tuesday, landing on the concrete from Lock and Dam No. 11.  Groharing works for Midwest Companies in Tremont, Ilinois.

Company President Tim Troyer says Groharing was taken to a Dubuque hospital and transported to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. The hospital says Thursday it has no information on Groharing.



Man returned to Iowa from SD to face murder charge

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a man accused of killing his wife and kidnapping their son is back in Iowa from South Dakota where he was taken into custody.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety says Thomas Petersen, of Greene, was returned to Iowa on Thursday. He's being held in the Butler County jail in Allison pending a court hearing on Friday.  Petersen is charged with first-degree murder in the June 4 stabbing death of his wife, Judy Petersen. Authorities say he fled with the couple's 2-year-old son. He was stopped by police near Kadoka, South Dakota several hours later.

A South Dakota judge signed the extradition order on Aug. 4


Sentencing reset for man in Iowa killing

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

MARENGO, Iowa (AP) - Sentencing is reset for a rural Blairstown man convicted of first-degree murder in the fatal 2009 shooting of a woman who was involved in a relationship with the man and his wife.

The Gazette says Thursday that sentencing for 39-year-old Tonch Weldon, which had been set for Aug. 15, has been delayed until Aug. 29 in Iowa County District Court in Marengo.  Weldon was accused of killing Amy Gephart in front of his wife, Amanda, in their home after his wife threatened to leave him for Gephart. Tonch Weldon then shot himself. A jury convicted Weldon on July 26 after deliberating the case for almost five days.


Iowa LB DiBona likely out for season

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa reserve linebacker Shane DiBona will likely miss the 2011 season after injuring his achilles in practice.  The school says DiBona suffered the injury during practice Wednesday and underwent surgery Thursday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

DiBona, a redshirt sophomore from Duxbury, Massachusetts, started two games last season.  The Hawkeyes open the season on Sept. 3 when they host Tennessee Tech.


"Tiny" wins big boar crown at Iowa State Fair

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - "Tiny" beat "Fatty" to win the Biggest Boar crown at the Iowa State Fair.The biggest boar competition was held Thursday at the fair and "Tiny," a Hampshire boar tipped the scales at 1,196 pounds to win the crown. He is owned by Blake Everman of Postville.

"Fatty," who is owned by Ben and Neal Wikner of Farmersburg, came in second despite his name at 1,174 pounds.  Meanwhile, the winner of the Big Ram contest is one for the record books. "Lover Boy," a Hampshire ram, weighs 483 pounds.  The previous record for the big ram was 479 pounds in 1999."Tiny" can be seen in the Swine Barn, while "Lover Boy" is in the sheep barn through Aug. 21.


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


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