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KLEM News AM Update September 23, 2010

(LE MARS) Fire damaged a house in southwest Le Mars last night (Wednesday).

Fire-Rescue Chief David Schipper reports Troy and Tammy Ahlrich and their two children were in their rental home at 227 Second Street Southwest and smelled smoke in the upstairs of the house.

Fire fighters responding around 10:45 last night found heavy smoke coming from the roof of the home on the north side second story. The upstairs had heavy smoke damage. Schipper reports there was very little , if any, damage to the first floor and basement. Firefighters were out on the call for more than two hours.

Schipper's investigation determined the accidental fire started in the upstairs stairway behind a wall and the cause was electrical. He reports a window air conditioner was plugged into an extension cord and the cord failed where the two were connected.

The family was able to get out of the home and they were checked by a Le Mars Ambulance crew. Damage to the house owned by Chris Lipp is estimated at 15-thousand dollars. Le Mars Ambulance, Police, MidAmerican Energy, Le Mars Water and the Siouxland Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted fire fighters.

 Children's Museum of Siouxland plans to be introduced today

(SIOUX CITY) The Children's Museum of Siouxland is holding a press conference at noon today (Thursday) at Stoney Creek Inn in Sioux City to introduce the finished concepts of the museum to the public.

The plans include 10 different galleries that are drawn out and explained in detail. Lily Higman of Akron, founding board member of the Children's Museum, says that one of the exhibits will be highly interactive. It's called "The Real You."

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Other galleries will teach about farms, construction, and life along the river. There will also be a grocery store that will be stocked with local food products like Wells' Blue Bunny Ice Cream.

A main concern when designing the galleries was to make sure that children of all ages could enjoy them. Higman says the museum wants parents to understand that even though the exhibits don't change, kids interact with the exhibits in different ways at different ages.

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The new Children's Museum in Sioux City is expected to be completed in the next couple of years. It will be located at the former Condon building on Pearl Street and is part of the Pearl Street redevelopment project.

Currently The Children's Museum of Siouxland is in the silent phase of fund raising . As early as spring they may turn to the public for support of the 6 million dollar renovation. More information is availalbe from the website www.childrensmuseumofsiouxland.org or on Facebook.  (News report by Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Aurelia driver injured Wednesday night

(CHEROKEE)--A driver was injured when he was ejected after losing control of a truck four miles southwest of Cherokee last night.

According to the Iowa State Patrol,  59-year-old Timothy Nelson of Aurelia was traveling north on Cherokee County road L-51 when a right side tire dropped off the roadway.

The Patrol reports Nelson overcorrected and the truck slid into the ditch and rolled causing Nelson to be ejected.

Nelson was taken to Cherokee Regional Medical Center by Cherokee Ambulance.

Auger company to move from Cherokee to Storm Lake

CHEROKEE (AP) An auger manufacturer will relocate from Cherokee to Storm Lake.

Harvest International purchaser Sue Richardson says the company is moving its headquarters about 25 miles away from Cherokee because it will give the company the chance to ``expand and grow.'' The move to a new 74,000-square-foot facility in Storm Lake is planned for sometime in May of next year.

The company also plans to hire about 10 more employees, adding to its 30-member workforce. Richardson says the company is seeing an increased demand for augers and has been ``challenged to keep up.'' The company produces about 1,000 augers a year and wants to make that number 1,200.

Storm Lake city leaders say they wooed the company with a forgivable loan and tax rebates.


(Copyright 2010 by Associated Press. All rights reserved)

 Two more arrests in ongoing drug investigation

(LE MARS)--Two Le Mars residents are free on bond after their arrest on felony drug charges.

Information about more arrests in an ongoing investigation by Le Mars Police was released Wednesday.

Twenty-three-year-old Sharon Schmidt of Le Mars is charged with delivery of meth and two charges of delivery of a prescription drug. Twenty-one-year-old Aaron Schmidt of Le Mars is charged with delivery of meth, two charges of delivery of a prescription drug and failing to have a drug tax stamp.

They were arrested on September 14th at a Le Mars residence.

Former northwest Iowa opera house collapses

CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa (AP) A couple has escaped the collapse of their home, a more than century old brick building in downtown Correctionville.

Associated Press reports that the building was an old opera house built in 1893. The couple that lived there bought the building five years ago and renovated the main floor into their home.

The couple was inside the building when it began to collapse at 6 a.m. Tuesday. The top floor of the building slid into the street.

According to fire officials say the construction and age of the building were likely to blame for the collapse.

A damage estimate wasn't immediately available.

(Copyright 2010 by Associated Press. All rights reserved)

 Nelson pleads guilty to federal charges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A bankrupt used-car dealer from South Dakota has pleaded guilty in Iowa to conspiring to lie on financial reports.

Dan Nelson had been indicted on 28 counts of bank, wire and mail fraud. He was accused of causing a coalition of banks to lose $21 million. Nelson agreed Tuesday to spend no more than three years in federal prison. Nelson once owned vehicle dealerships in Iowa and South Dakota.

Nelson was to go to trial next month. He is to be sentenced in January.

Nelson acknowledges he gave the banks false information, which brought on more loans. The Des Moines Register reports that court documents show the banks lost about $21 million.

Nelson's defense attorney says Nelson wasn't trying to steal and instead was trying to keep his business afloat.

2 Iowa counties get disaster declaration

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) The Federal Emergency Management Agency says two Iowa counties have received presidential disaster declarations.

FEMA said Wednesday that damage inspections are going on in both Appanoose and Wapello counties. FEMA officials say residents should register to find out if they will qualify for grant money.

So far FEMA has approved about $159,000 in grants for Wapello County and $84,000 for residents in Appanoose County.

The damage stems from storms and flooding in June, July or August.

FEMA says Iowans living in the two qualifying counties have until Oct. 13 to register for assistance.

To register, residents may call 1-800-621-3362.

More security planned for the fair

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Visitors to the 2011 Iowa State Fair should expect to see more police officers and security cameras at the fairgrounds.

The changes are in response to assaults the last weekend of this year's fair that officials say may have been racially motivated. Two police officers were assaulted during the fights, which included a pair of stabbings.

Police and Iowa State Patrol officials say the plan will include increased police visibility and the use of cameras around the perimeter of the fairgrounds.

Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw says there also will be increased communication between state troopers inside the fairgrounds and police officers patrolling the perimeter of the fairgrounds.

Bradshaw says officials also will be seeking input from residents and business owners in the neighborhood.

Iowa City supports lawsuit against EPA

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) An Iowa League of Cities' federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency has received support from Iowa City.

The Iowa City City Council said Wednesday that members have approved a resolution that provides financial support to the league as it pursues the lawsuit against the EPA. The league filed the lawsuit in federal court in July. It claims the EPA has reinterpreted certain federal rules regarding cities with wet weather collection issues.

Iowa City leaders have approved spending $25,000 toward litigation expenses. City leaders say Iowa City has many old sewers and groundwater infiltration issues. Other Iowa municipalities sharing costs include Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Des Moines, Ames and Dubuque.

Phone and e-mail messages seeking EPA comment were not immediately returned. BAR ENTRY AGE

Iowa City could OK under-21 bar areas

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) City Council members in Iowa City have given initial approval to a plan that would let bars admit people under age 21 if the establishments wall off an alcohol-free area.

The ordinance received approval Tuesday and would allow the separation during city-sponsored special events. The ordinance needs two more approval votes to pass. The proposed ordinance comes after the city approved a law this spring that prevents those younger than 21 from being in a bar after 10 p.m. The age limit had been 19.

A petition drive led by University of Iowa students and downtown bar owners collected enough signatures to force the council to either repeal the law or send it to voters. The Council voted to put the measure on the November ballot.

Calls increase to Iowa domestic violence hotline

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The nonprofit group Children and Families of Iowa says calls to its Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline have increased 31 percent so far this year over the same time last year.

Hotline coordinator Diana Smith said Wednesday that the number of calls is a ``significant increase,'' but she says it's ``not a surprise'' because of the poor economy and unemployment. She says those pressures can make a bad situation worse. The increase was measured from Jan. 1 of this year through June 30.

The group also says it has served an increasingly number of people at its domestic violence shelter. The shelter manager says it has been at and over capacity nearly every night.

The domestic violence hotline is funded by the Iowa Department of Justice's Crime Victim Assistance Division. It is available toll-free, 24 hours a day at 1-800-942-0333.

(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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