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KLEM News PM Update Sept. 1, 2010

(LE MARS)--The summer of 2010 will enter the record books as the second wettest in Iowa history.

Wet seasons are a reason Superintendent of the Le Mars Wastewater Treatment Facility Ron Kayser continues to ask Le Mars residents not to have their sump pumps connected to the sanitary sewer system.

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To be good citizens for the sanitary sewer system, Kayser reminds Le Mars residents not to pour cooking grease down the drain.

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Kayser points out other items can harm the treatment process.

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The annual cleaning of sewer lines for about one-fourth of the city began for a six-week period today.

Iowa family survives house explosion

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A Sioux City family of five has escaped what could have been a deadly explosion at their home.

Authorities believe natural gas caused the blast Tuesday night.

The homeowner, Cuong Phung, his three children, ages 1, 6 and 9, and his mother-in-law escaped without suffering serious injuries. His mother-in-law and children were taken to a hospital as a precaution.

The blast, which happened about 6:15 p.m., shook the split foyer home off its foundation.

Phung says there was a ``big boom,'' and the ceiling fell down. He says there was a repairman at the house Tuesday afternoon working on the air conditioning.

Neighbor Kelsey McCann says the family is ``lucky to be alive.''

The state fire marshal is investigating.

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

Farrer is Fair checkers champ

(HINTON)--A Hinton Community School student knows his crowns, captures and jumps on the black-and-red- squared board.

Eleven-year-old Izaak Farrer won first place in the ages 6-12 category in the Youth Checkers Tournament at the Iowa State Fair.

The son of Steve and Candice Farrer of rural Hinton claimed the checkers championship for his age group on August 20th.

Yankton awarded funds for street in industrial expansion area

(YANKTON)--The state of South Dakota is partnering with a Yankton business expansion by funding improved access to an industrial park.

South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds announced the 142-thousand dollars financial assistance grant to extend Gehl Drive by 750-feet.

The street extension will allow the city of Yankton to provide water, sewer and transportation services to Dakota Trailer Manufacturing, which is expanding. The street will also serve future commercial projects in the East Side Industrial Park.

Dakota Trailer's new 46-thousand square foot building will result in an additional 25 to 49 jobs in Yankton and represents a private investment of about 2.43 million dollars.

Sweet corn arrives for Iowa troops in Mississippi

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Iowa National Guard troops training in Mississippi are in for a taste of home.

About 400 dozen ears of Iowa sweet corn have been delivered to Camp Shelby, where 3,000 Iowa troops are training for their deployment to Afghanistan.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Braley says the corn was made possible by Iowa farmers, businesses and veterans group. The Democratic congressman from Waterloo organized the delivery. Braley says he got the idea from Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Miss., who delivered shrimp and gumbo to Mississippi Guard members in Iraq.

Braley, who's visiting Camp Shelby to observe training, says the corn was to be shucked and served on Wednesday.

The deployment, the largest of Iowa National Guard members since World War II, is expected to last a year.

Iowa judge wants mental test for accused kidnapper

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A judge has ordered a mental evaluation for a man accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a convenience store clerk in Cedar Rapids in May.

Court documents show Keith Elson Jr. plans to claim insanity, diminished capacity and intoxication as his defense.

Elson is charged with first-degree kidnapping. He's accused of kidnapping the woman employee at knife point from a Kwik Shop in the early-morning hours of May 17. Police found the woman and Elson at his apartment about seven hours later.

Assistant Linn County Attorney Jason Burns filed an application for an evaluation. Judge Denver Dillard approved it on Monday. The order shows Elson's attorney, Mike Lahammer, had no objections.

Elson's trial is Nov. 29.

PA Gov. Rendell to headline Iowa Dem dinner

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell will headline the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson Jackson Dinner next month, the party's biggest annual fundraising event.

Rendell is a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and has been a prominent voice in party affairs for years. He'll be the featured speaker at the Oct. 16 event, which usually draws prominent figures.

Vice President Joe Biden headlined last year's dinner. Many credit then presidential candidate Barack Obama's strong performance at the 2007 dinner with giving him momentum that spurred him to a win in Iowa's leadoff caucuses.

The party announced Rendell's visit in a news release Wednesday.

FEMA extends funding to raze flooded homes in CR

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The Federal Emergency Management Agency has beat a deadline and extended funding to demolish flood-damaged homes in Cedar Rapids.

A late-afternoon decision by FEMA on Tuesday will continue the funding to raze the worst-damaged homes through Nov. 27. The money had been slated to run out Tuesday night, which would have stopped the demolition project in the short run.

Cedar Rapids has 198 more homes to tear down that have been deemed an ``imminent threat'' to the public's health and safety. About 500 already are down.

Greg Eyerly, the city's flood-recovery director, says weather delays and historical reviews of properties have slowed the demolition process.

The homes were swamped in June 2008, when the Cedar River flooded, covering about 10 square miles of the city.

Couche Tarde raises buyout offer for Casey's


NEW YORK (AP) Convenience-store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard is raising its bid for Casey's General Stores to $38.50 per share in its latest effort to win over shareholders.

Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. had previously offered $36.75 per share, but Casey's said that is too low.

The latest offer, announced Wednesday, is valued at about $1.47 billion, excluding about $528 million in Casey's debt.

Couche-Tard on Tuesday extended its hostile bid through Sept. 30. The offer has steadily lost favor with investors who originally tendered 19.2 percent of shares when the bid was first extended.

Casey's is based in Ankeny, Iowa.


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

Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email klemnews@lemarscomm.net, by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.




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