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KLEM News Update April 10, 2010

 (LE MARS)--One side of a downtown Le Mars street is temporarily marked as a no-parking area.

City administrator Scott Langel says that's one step the Police Department took after a discussion Tuesday when the Le Mars City Council heard about congestion on Lincoln Street Southeast. In addition to truck traffic to businesses and industry, there is car traffic and motorists choose the street to get around train traffic.

"They given staff direction to take a serious look at the no parking, at the widening and the relocation of intersections as well as placement of parking facilities to help those business that are along the stretch just because of the close proximity," Langel explains. "That whole thing had matured since the early days of Le Mars. I think that we can do a better job of setting that up such that the traffic that does use it can use it in a safe, organized and non-congested manner."

Another solution Langel has discussed with the council is requesting a parking easement from the railroad behind the commercial buildings. That was done at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in the 1990s.

(LE MARS)--New rural driveways may be the starting point to improve traffic safety around mailboxes on some narrower, paved roads in Plymouth County.

Supervisors were asked by Del Kellen of rural Le Mars last month about passing an ordinance to move back mailboxes. Kellen told the board it's difficult to pull farm equipment off some roads to allow traffic to go around.

Barry Snyder is supervisor of customer service for the Le Mars Post office. Snyder says recent improvements (done through road project planning) in engineer Tom Rohe's office on C-12 in the Craig area also benefitted safety for mail delivery.

"We want the carrier to be as safe as possible so our interest is to get them as far off the traveled road surface as possible. Now, without a wider shoulder--I looked at specifically K-49, C-38 we got about a three-foot shoulder--that's going to be impossible unless the county builds drive-outs. I spoke with county engineer Tom Rohe; they've done that on C-12, C-16, they've really accommodated us well where they've put new surfaces down."

Supervisor Craig Anderson suggested it would be a good start to begin with new houses when the driveway is put in.

"I think we should start with that," Anderson said.

"That would a good start," Snyder responded. "That actually would assist us also in providing an easier mode of delivery for the newer because there are a lot of people moving out.

"I agree with you, Barry, it would be hard to go to people that even have been getting mail service for even 30 years and say, 'today you've got to move your box,'" Anderson said.

Snyder explained the process for changing the location of an established mailbox when he met with supervisors this week.

(LE MARS)--The 11th Gehlen Catholic Mission Honduras student trip helped to bring clean water to a village and provided funds for high chairs at a malnutrition center and emergency food aid.

Richard Seivert is the co-director of Gehlen Catholic Mission Honduras. In a written report, Seivert says the 29 students and chaperones helped place a five-thousand gallon water tank and related equipment to provide clean, drinkable water for 155 people in a village.

As part of their mission friendship experience in the village, they provided donated items ranging from toothpaste to shoes collected in the United States.

The student team voted to buy new high chairs for a malnutrition center. The team also decided to buy immediate food aid for the Tolupa people who've experienced an eight-month drought.

The 11-day trip also gave the group experiences with the culture of poverty, the faith of the Honduran people, and an opportunity to communicate using Spanish.

(HOSPERS)--A Minnesota man was injured in a two-vehicle collision on Highway 60 near Hospers Thursday night.

The Sioux County sheriff's office reports a car driven by 16-year-old Matthew Bootsma of Sheldon and a pickup truck driven by 23-year-old Gregory Scanlan of Eyota, Minnesota collided on Highway 60. The accident happened at the intersection of the state highway and 400th Street.

Authorities report Bootsma refused medical treatment while Scanlan was taken to the Orange City Area Health System by Hospers Ambulance. Scanlan's injuries were reported as non-incapacitating.

(LE MARS)--An Easter holiday delayed collection of paper and cans is being held today in Le Mars and Remsen.

The Le Mars Community Elementary Schools paper recycling project is this morning. Paper may be dropped off at O'Toole Park in Le Mars from 8-10 a-m. Other pickup sites are at the Struble and Craig Banks, the Brunsville Bank corners and at Kissinger School in Merrill form 8-9 a.m.

Gehlen Catholic School's can drive is today from 8-10 a.m.

The Remsen-Union Family Connection and St. Mary's School Board collect paper from 8-11 a.m. at the Marion Street permanent location.

Boy Scouts in Le Mars are collecting donations of food items today at Hy-Vee and Fareway and from Le Mars residents who leave the items outside them homes by eight this morning.

(SPENCER)--A Spencer man is charged with felony identity theft after an investigation by the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities issued written information that they received a report that someone working at an area business was using a fraudulent name.

Based on the investigation, 32-year-old Gabriel Jaimes-Hernandezwas arrested Thursday on a charge of felony identity theft.  Jaimes-Hernandez is accused of using Social Security information from another person to get a job.

He is being held in the Clay County Jail. 

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IOWA CITY, Iowa
(AP) U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke has announced $30 million in federal aid to help Iowa recover from the devastating floods of 2008.

Speaking Friday in Iowa City, Locke noted $25 million would go to raise one of the city's main streets that runs along the Iowa River, raise a bridge and relocate a water treatment plant.

Locke says $2.9 million will go to Columbus Junction, where the Iowa and Cedar rivers join, to move that town's wastewater treatment plant out of the flood plain. Another $1.5 million will go to Dubuque to build a multilevel parking garage with outlets for electric vehicles.

And $232,000 will go to Shenandoah, in southwest Iowa, to help rebuild that city's storm sewer system.

Locke was joined by Gov. Chet Culver, Rep. Dave Loebsack and other officials.


WEST BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) A West Burlington tavern owner says he won't appeal an Iowa District Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of the state's Smokefree Air Act, which bans smoking in most public places.

Darwin Bunger, an attorney for tavern owner Larry Duncan, said Friday that Duncan still believes the smoking ban is unconstitutional, but there was no guarantee that he would have won an appeal. Losing an appeal would have resulted in a two-year liquor license revocation.

Bunger said that in a settlement with the state, Duncan will accept a 60-day license suspension and will agree to comply with the smoking ban in the future. The suspension will be cut to 50 days because Duncan's tavern, which is known as Otis Campbell's Bar and Grill, was already shut down for 10 days last year.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Police in Waterloo say four people were injured there in an apparent stabbing incident.

Authorities say the incident occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Friday.

There had been no arrests by Friday evening, and the investigation was ongoing.

Upon arrival, officers located one victim, 25-year-old Andre Maurice Hamilton, still at the scene. Hamilton had a six-inch laceration across the right side of this back and a two-inch cut on his chest. He was transported to Allen Hospital by ambulance.

A short time later, three other victims arrived at Covenant Hospital by private vehicle. They were identified as 31-year-old Christopher Alexand Thompson, 18-year-old Antwone Charles Rucker, and 22-year-old Antonio Clinton Rucker.


MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) A Mechanicsville woman has pleaded guilty to charges she tried to extort an anti-tax group.

The Muscatine County attorney's office said Friday that 51-year-old Mary Kathryn Moravek pleaded guilty in Muscatine County District Court to felony extortion. Authorities say Moravek is accused of attempting to extort $1 million from Iowans for Tax Relief and its co-founder, David Stanley of Muscatine.

Extortion is a Class D felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of between $750 and $7,500. Moravek is to be sentenced May 21.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Former Cedar Rapids gymnast and businessman George Nissen, who built the world's first modern trampoline, has died at age 96.

International Gymnastics Magazine reports that Nissen died Wednesday in San Diego, Calif., from complications of pneumonia.

The Blairstown, Iowa, native came up with the trampoline idea while training as a gymnast at the University of Iowa, basing it on the safety nets used by circus performers. He and his coach, Larry Griswold, built their prototype in Nissen's mother's garage during the late 1930s. In 1941, their Griswold-Nissen Trampoline Tumbling Co. began commercial manufacture in Cedar Rapids.

In 2000, Nissen was a special guest at the Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia the first to include trampoline as an official sport.

Nissen is survived by his wife, Annie, and two daughters.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley says the U.S. Department of Commerce has awarded the City of Dubuque $1.5 million for the construction of a new downtown parking facility.

The Iowa Democrat says the parking facility is critical to Dubuque's ability to accommodate the hundreds of new jobs coming to the area as a result of IBM's move to the city.

Braley says the state-of-the-art, city owned, multi-level parking facility will feature sustainable design concepts, including electrical outlets for hybrid vehicles. He says it will add 730 parking spaces to be leased to IBM employees and other downtown patrons.

AMES, Iowa (AP) Workers at Reiman Gardens in Ames say rabbits damaged trees during the winter months at the popular attraction.

Workers say the trees include 15 conifers and 35 trees. The trees will have to be cut down and replaced. The workers say the trees have no chance of survival. The workers also say it can cost at least $300 to replace one tree.

Reiman Gardens wants to raise $15,000 to start replacing the trees. The site features live butterflies and sprawling gardens.


AMES, Iowa (AP) There's a new gnome at Iowa State University's Reiman Gardens, and he's a big one.

Crews used a crane Friday morning to place the gnome in the garden and set his hat in place. The gnome is made from concrete, is 15 feet tall and weighs in at more than 3,500 pounds.

Sculptor Andy Kautza, who designed Iowa State's gnome, says he intended it to be the world's largest, but when he was about halfway done he learned that someone in Poland had created an 18-foot one.

Kautza notes, though, that the Polish gnome is made of Fiberglas, so Iowa State still has the world's biggest concrete gnome.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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