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KLEM News AM Update July 15, 2010

(CEDAR RAPIDS)--An alternative energy project in northwest Iowa will receive state funds.

The Iowa Power Fund board Wednesday awarded a 300-thousand dollar grant to Tri-Phase Drying Technologies. The grant, with about 329-thousand dollars in matching funds, will be used to install the first full-scale commercial Tri-Phase II Dryer in Cherokee.

The energy-efficient dryer will be used at American Natural Soy, an organic processor of oils, flour and meal from soy, flax, canola, safflower and sunflower seeds.

The project includes the final design, construction, installation, and monitoring of the energy-efficient dryer. The new system will produce energy savings of about fifteen-to-twenty thousand dollars a year and reduce CO2 emissions by 220 tons per year.

According to The Power Fund website, the fund was created about three years ago to create new jobs, draw the attention of renewable energy companies and the private investments they bring as well as the growth of an industry that has made the state a leader in cutting-edge, value-added agriculture.

I-JOBS II Funds eyed for Plymouth County Annex Building Project

(LE MARS)--An effort to trim the county cost of a Plymouth County Courthouse Annex building is moving forward.

The Board of Supervisors this week approved paperwork a Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO) staffer will use for a notice of intent to write a grant for state I-JOBS funds. The newest I-JOBS program addresses disaster preparedness.

The building on the Courthouse block will have a publically accessed storm shelter in the basement with restrooms and ground level access.

As Supervisor Craig Anderson explains this is one of two options that could reduce the 637-thousand dollar cost for the office and storage building. Anderson told Supervisors' chair Jim Henrich a decision on the funds would be made sooner than a federal funding request, but neither grant is guaranteed to be awarded to the county.

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The I-JOBS grant request deadline is August sixth. A funding decision could be made in late September or early October

Cherokee Fair awarded 4-H Expo Center funds

(Fairfield)--The Vision Iowa Board Wednesday awarded one Community Attraction and Tourism (CAT) grant to a project in Cherokee County. Vision Iowa Board spokesperson Jessica O'Riley says the grant will help the Cherokee County Fair Association construct a new 4-H Expo Center.

O'Riley says the 16-thousand square foot facility would be used primarily as a livestock show arena.

The total project cost is around 257-thousand dollars . The CAT grant for Cherokee is worth 52-thousand dollars. The board also awarded funds to a library project in Hubbard. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Teens charged with car burglaries in Le Mars

(LE MARS)--An investigation into a rash of items taken from vehicles led Le Mars Police to charge four teens.

According to written information released today (July 15), fifteen-year-olds Austin Sitzmann; Riley Schilmoeller; Jeremy Singer; and Jeremy Klingbeil, all of Le Mars, are each charged with burglary in the third degree and theft in the fourth degree.

Police report Sitzmann, Schilmoeller, Singer and Klingbeil were cited into juvenile court Wednesday and released to their parents.


Appeals Court: Pocahontas Jury Verdict Upheld

(Des Moines)--The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the 2006 convictions of a man in Pocahontas County who was charged with attempting to kill his ex-wife, her boyfriend and his son.

Richard Guidry was charged with three counts of attempted murder and five other charges after he allegedly fired a shotgun into his ex-wife Holly's car -- injuring Holly, his son, and Holly's boyfriend. The case went to the jury at five p-m on Friday July 21, 2006 and the jury deliberated until around 10 p-m before breaking and coming back Saturday morning at 11 a-m.

After two hours of deliberation Saturday they told the judge they had reached a unanimous decision on the lesser charges, but were at a standstill on the three counts of attempted murder. The judge met with the lawyers from both sides and instructed the jury to continue deliberating. After three more hours of deliberation, the jury sent the judge a note saying they were still deadlocked on two attempted murder charges and they wanted to go home and come back Tuesday. The judge again met with the lawyers and then sent the jury the instruction to continue deliberating as he found "great risk" in adjourning for a period two days.

The jury then deliberated for another hour before returning a verdict of guilty on seven of the original counts while reducing one count of attempted murder to a lesser charge of assault with intent to inflict serious injury. Guidry appealed saying his lawyer should have objected to the judge's second instruction as it was improperly coercive. He says the jury was clearly deadlocked and the second instruction was an attempt to pressure the jurors to reach a verdict. He points out that the jury was deliberating on a weekend and it reached a verdict soon after the second instruction. The appeals court ruled the jury took a reasonable amount of time to reconsider the issue after the judge's second instructions and those instructions were not coercive. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Football coach's murder inspires legislation

WASHINGTON (AP) A year after the murder of Aplington-Parkersburg football coach Ed Thomas, U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley has introduced legislation to help ensure the safety of families and communities.

The Iowa Democrat says the Ed Thomas Act he introduced Wednesday will clarify existing privacy requirements to allow law enforcement agencies and medical providers to communicate more effectively when patients pose an inherent risk to the community.

Thomas was fatally shot last June by former student Mark Becker.

Becker had an earlier run-in with police and was hospitalized in a mental health unit. He was released several days before the shooting, and police weren't notified.

Braley says Iowa recently passed legislation that gave the state's law enforcement officers assistance in preventing similar tragedies, while also protecting the rights of medical patients.


Marshall County approves wind farm


MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) A proposed wind farm in southern Marshall County has been approved by the county's board of adjustment.

The board on Tuesday approved a special use permit that will allow RPM Access to build a wind farm near Laurel that will generate about 121 megawatts of electricity using approximately 67 turbines.

Marshall County's zoning administrator John Knuc says the special use permit met the requirements of the county's ordinance.

The permit includes 42 separate conditions related to county roads and other matters of special concern to residents. Federal and state governments requirements also must be met.

Bill Gerhard of the Iowa State Building Construction Trades Council says construction of the wind towers will be an immediate benefit to the community.

Branstad: Immigrants should have to prove status
.

CLARINDA, Iowa (AP) Republican gubernatorial candidate Terry Branstad says people in Iowa stopped on traffic violations should have to prove their citizenship status.

Branstad made the assertion during a visit Wednesday to Clarinda. He said if a person is pulled over for a traffic or criminal violation and they cannot show they are legally in the United State, they ought be detained and turned over to the federal government for deportation.

However, Branstad added he didn't want Iowa taxpayers to be left paying the bill for the process.

Immigration and deportation has traditionally been left to the federal government.

Branstad expressed frustration about the state's limited ability to enforce immigration law. He says if elected governor, he will join other states in pushing the federal government to take action.

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

 McWane resolves environmental violations

WASHINGTON (AP) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Justice Department and the state of Iowa have resolved more than 400 violations of federal and state environmental laws by McWane Inc.

Birmingham, Ala.-based McWane, manufacturer of cast iron pipes, valves, fittings, fire hydrants and propane tanks, agreed to pay $4 million to be divided between the United States, Alabama and Iowa.

A division of McWane, Clow Valve a manufacturer of gate valves and fire hydrants operates in Oskaloosa, Iowa.

The settlement resolves civil violations over the past decade of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and other environmental laws.

The settlement, filed in federal court Wednesday, covers 28 of McWane's manufacturing facilities in 14 states. It also requires the company to perform seven environmental projects valued at $9.1 million to end pollution.

Muscatine Journal publisher to retire

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) Bob Blackman, who began his newspaper career nearly 40 years ago, is retiring as publisher of the Muscatine Journal and from its parent company, Lee Enterprises Inc.

The 62-year-old Blackman announced Monday that he's leaving on Sept. 30.

Blackman joined the Journal in September 2009. He began his career in 1972 with the McCook Daily Gazette in McCook, Neb., as an advertising sales representative.

He held management positions at newspapers in Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas.

Blackman joined Lee Enterprises in 1984 as retail advertising manager for the Quad-City Times in Davenport.

Lee Enterprises, based in Davenport, operates 53 daily newspapers, online sites and 300 specialty publications in 23 states.


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

Man whose pacemaker was cut out dies

MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) A Manchester man who's son is accused of cutting the man's pacemaker from his chest with a pocketknife has died.

Charles A. Fierstine  Jr. died Monday at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City.

Jesse Fierstine, also of Manchester, is scheduled to go on trial in Delaware County District Court on Aug. 4 on attempted murder charges. Mental health evaluations have delayed the case. In February a judge ruled Fierstine competent to stand trial.

Jesse Fierstine is accused of attacking his father on April 25, 2009. Authorities say Fierstine also struck his then 63-year-old father on the head with a flashlight and firewood. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

Authorities have not indicated a possible motive, but relatives have said the 33-year-old Fierstine suffers from mental illness.

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

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