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Friday Afternoon News, Sept 21

Steen and Ellefson Named Homecoming Royalty

(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Community High School is celebrating its Homecoming festivites today. Earlier this afternoon the coronation and pep rally took place at the new Le Mars Community Gym.  Here's the announcement..

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J.D. Steen is the son of Jon and Ida Steen.  And Emily is the daughter of Rich and Rosalie Ellefson.


Auto Accident On Hwy 75 & 24th Street SW Injures Two

(Le Mars) -- Shortly after 12:30 p.m. this afternoon, emergency crews responded to an auto accident at the intersection of Highway 75 and 24th Street Southwest.  Two people were injured as a result of the accident and they were transported to the Floyd Valley Hospital by the Le Mars Ambulance.  22 year old Clayton Boyle of Sioux City was heading southbound on Highway 75 waiting for the traffic to clear before he made a left-hand turn on to 24th Street Southwest when 21 year old Tasha Wurth of Remsen also heading southbound, failed to see Boyle had stopped and rear-ended Boyle.  Traffic on Highway 75 was backed up for few minutes as a result of the accident.  The Le Mars Ambulance, Le Mars Fire and Rescue, Le Mars Police and the Plymouth County Sheriff's department all responded to the accident scene.


ATV Accident Injures 19 year Old Le Mars Man

(Le Mars) -- An ATV accident occurred south of town at the 2000 block of Lynx Ave.  The accident happened at about 1:45 p.m.  When Plymouth County Sheriff's deputies arrived they found 19 year Cody Ortmann of Le Mars lying in a cornfield and a Yamaha 450 four-wheeler in the ditch.  Ortmann indicated that he had been traveling south on Lynx Avenue when he lost control on the gravel road where he was thrown from vehicle.  Ortmann was taken to Floyd Valley Hospital by the Le Mars Ambulance with a lower left leg injury.  Ortmann was then transferred to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.  The accident remains under investigation and charges are pending.


Propane Explosion Injures Storm Lake Man

(Storm Lake) -- An explosion on a Buena Vista county farm resulted in serious injuries to a Storm Lake man.  The explosion occurred in an outbuiding at about 8:45 p.m. Thursday evening.  Initial investigation lead officials to believe that a propane line in the basement of the outbuilding caused the explosion.  The Storm Lake Fire and Rescue Department, along with the Buena Vista Sheriff's office and ambulances from both the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center and Newell responded to the scene.  Injured in the explosion was 72 year old Leonard Hartje.  Hartje was first transported to the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center at Storm Lake, then flown to an Omaha hospital.  He is now being treated at a hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska.  Damages to the outbuilding are estimated to exceed $50,000.  The incident remains under investigation by the Buena Vista County sheriff's office and the Storm Lake Fire Department.

Sibley Man Found Guilty Of Methamphetamine Distribution

(Sioux City) -- A man who conspired to distribute methamphetamine pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Sioux City.  48 year old Esmelin Belloso-Valle of Sibley was convicted of conspiring to distribute methamphetamine and distributing methamphetamine.  On three occassions, Belloso-Valle distributed more than 200 grams of pure methamphetamine during controlled drug transactions with law enforcement officials.  During one transaction was within 1000 feet of a Sioux City park.  Belloso-Valle faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a possible maximum sentence of life imprisonment, along with a $10 million fine.


Iowa's Unemployment Rate Rises

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a point from July to hit 5.5 percent in August.
A Friday news release from Iowa Workforce Development says August's rate was a half percentage point under the 6 percent of August 2011.
The agency says the number of unemployed people rose to 90,000 in August, compared with 87,900 in July. A year ago the figure was 99,900.
Agency director Teresa Wahlert says an uncertain economic outlook is restraining job growth and that the Iowa economy "is reacting to the effects of drought conditions, a global economic
slowdown and the national uncertainty surrounding taxes and expenditure cuts."
The national rate fell to 8.1 percent in August from 8.3 percent in July.

MidAmerican Performs Soil Studies For Proposed Nuclear Power Plant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - MidAmerican Energy Co. is holding meetings with landowners and residents in two locations in Iowa as part of a nuclear energy assessment study.
About 40 residents in Fremont County in western Iowa and a similar number in Muscatine County in eastern Iowa received invitations.
MidAmerican will discuss the purpose of soil samples the company is gathering for the study to assess the viability of nuclear generation in Iowa.
Spokeswoman Tina Potthoff says the company is taking five soil borings of nearly 100 feet deep in both locations. She says no decisions have been made to build a nuclear plant.
The Legislature in 2010 passed a bill allowing MidAmerican to recover up to $15 million in study costs from Iowa electric customers.
A report will be filed with lawmakers next year.

Restoration Company Examines Marshalltown  Murals To See If Painted By Grant Wood

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) - A restoration company will determine if murals painted by fame Iowa artist Grant Wood are hidden beneath panels in a Marshalltown building.
The possibility that murals by the artist who painted the iconic American Gothic were concealed in the Tallcorn Towers Apartment building arose after a story last year in the Times-Republican
That story noted a 1949 article in the newspaper, which reported Wood had been commissioned to decorate the Tallcorn's ballroom and restaurant.
The Times-Republican reports ( ) local historians aren't aware that Wood worked in the building, but speculation has centered on a hallway near a ballroom.
The building was recently sold, and Koester Construction Co. of Grimes will soon begin extensive renovations. Koester has hired Renaissance Restoration Inc. of Galena, Ill., to determine if the
murals exist.




Friday News, September 21

Le Mars Community Celebrates Homecoming

(Le Mars) -- Today is Homecoming day for the Le Mars Community Schools.  KLEM will broadcast both the coronation, as well as the Homecoming Day Parade. The crowing of the King and Queen will take place at 1:00 p.m. at the new Le Mars Community gym, and we will have the start of the parade at about 2:15 p.m.

King Holds Fundraiser and Features New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

(Sioux City) -- Congressman Steve King held a "Defenders of Freedom" fundraiser yesterday at noon, but he wasn't there.  New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie was in Sioux City afternoon campaigning for Republican Congressman Steve King.  King was not at his fundraiser as he had returned to Washington to fight for passage of a farm bill.  Christie told supporters he had the Congressman's back, while King was in Washington.  The governor says its critical that Republicans win the presidentcy and keep control of the U-S House because four more years of the Obama administration would mean "We the government" instead of "We the people..."

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The former federal prosecutor said he first met King at a Congressional hearing when Christie was running for Governor and being taken to task for his prosecution of a company involved in illegal business dealings.

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Christie says he got behind Mitt Romney early in the Presidential campaign and that Republicans need to fully unite behind him.

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Christie spoke for about a half-hour at the event hosted at Bev's On The River.



Christie Vislack Attacks King For Leaving Business Unfinished

(Ames) -- Democratic Congressional candidate, Christie Vilsack is criticizing Congressman Steve King for leaving unfinished business until after the election.  Vilsack, who is seeking to unseat King in the new Iowa 4th District says Congressman King remains unwilling to work in the best interest of Iowans.  She says if King was serious about passing a Farm Bill and supporting the rural economy, he would do the right thing and vote against allowing adjournment.  Vilsack says "Congressman King's actions today are a reflection of his ten years in office.  He has had ten years to stand up for the best interests of Iowa, but he has chosen not to."


Grassley Surprised By Iowa's "Battleground" Status

(Washington) -- Iowa has become known as a "battleground" state for the presidential election between President Barak Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, and that surprises Iowa Republican Senator Chuck Grassley.

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Grassley held a telephone news conference on Thursday.

Mercy Medical Center To Observe "Mercy Day"

(Sioux City) -- Mercy Medical Center of Sioux City will observe "Mercy Day" on Monday.  Its a special day set aside to observe the rich faith tradition created by founder of Mercy Hospitals Sister Catherine McAuley.  This year, Mercy Medical Center will honor the day with the dedication of the recently renovated Mercy Rehabilitation Courtyard.  Thanks to the generosity of the Gilchrist Foundation and the Mercy Medical Center Foundation, the hospital has completely redone its outdoor rehabilitation courtyard with new benches, artwork, a water feature and other amenities designed to enhance the experience of patients and their families.  The hospital community will gather at 10:30 a.m. on Monday to officially bless and dedicate the new courtyard.


Floyd Valley To Hold Stroke Screenings

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital and Northwest Iowa Diagnostics continues to provide stroke screenings.  The next screening will be offered Tuesday, September 25th from 12:00 noon to 2:15 p.m. at the Floyd Valley Hospital.  Participants are offered three separate screenings at $40 each, or all three stroke screenings are offered at $95.


Adams and Colt Join Floyd Valley Staff

(Le Mars) -- Floyd Valley Hospital has added two physical therapists to its staff.  Nick Adams and Tarah Colt, both doctors of phyical therapy, began their duties this summer.  Adams received his bachelors degree in Exercise Science from Northwestern College in Orange City.  He received his doctorate degree from Des Moines University.  Adams has special interests in balance rehabilitation and sports injury rehabilitation.  Colt received her bachelors degree in Biology from Briar Cliff.  She, also received her doctorate degree from Des Moines University. Colt has clinical training in orthopedics, traumatic brain injuries including strokes, and sports medicine.  She has special interests in outpatient orthopedics and sports rehabilitation.


Authorities Find Marijuana In Storage Unit

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) - Court records say an unpaid storage bill led investigators to a suburban Des Moines home and the hundreds of marijuana plants inside.
The records say the storage locker manager found gear used for growing marijuana inside the storage locker in November 2010.  Detectives traced names on the unit lease to a man linked by
utility bills to the house in Johnston that was raided Wednesday.
The hundreds of plants ranged from seedlings to specimens up to 6 feet tall. Officers also seized more items from a house down the street.
A man at the first house was arrested. He was identified as Timothy Lantz, who was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance.


BASF Acquires Becker-Underwood

AMES, Iowa (AP) - German-based chemical maker BASF had made a deal to buy Ames-based Becker Underwood, which makes seed treatment and other farm products.
BASF says the purchase price is $1.02 billion.
BASF is based in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and produces chemicals and plastics as well oil and gas and agricultural herbicides and fertilizers.
BASF spokeswoman Anne Burt says final decisions haven't been made about the future of Becker Underwood's chief executive officer, Peter Innes, other managers or other workers.
Becker has more than 210 employees in Ames; St. Joseph, Mo.; and Caldwell, Idaho; and nearly 270 more in several other countries.
Becker Underwood was formed in 1982 by Jeff Becker and Roger Underwood. They sold controlling interest to Norwest Equity Partners of Minneapolis in 2004.


Man Sentenced To Prison After Burning Women's Clinic

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A man who tried to burn down an Iowa women's health clinic that he mistakenly thought performed abortions has been sent back to prison after violating the terms of
his supervised release.
U.S. District Judge John Jarvey sentenced David McMenemy to 3 months in prison this week.
Federal probation officials say McMenemy failed to follow instructions or submit monthly reports and left their area without permission. McMenemy was arrested in Fraser, Mich., last month.
McMenemy pleaded guilty in 2007 to arson and sentenced to 5 years in prison and 3 on supervised release for his attack on the Edgerton Women's Health Care Center in Davenport. He crashed his
car into the lobby and lit a gasoline-filled bottle on fire.
The clinic doesn't perform abortions or make abortion referrals.


Rural Economy Shows Weakness

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The economy in rural parts of 10 Midwest and Western states continued to look weak in September as the drought weighed down agricultural businesses.
A new survey of bankers in the region released Thursday showed that the overall economic index remained in negative territory at 48.3 in September.
That was slightly better than August's 47.1 and July's 47.9, but any score below 50 on the 1-to-100 index suggests that the economy will contract in months ahead.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss in Omaha says the drought is already hurting businesses linked to agriculture like ethanol and farm equipment dealers.
The survey covers rural areas of the Dakotas, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, and Minnesota.
The confidence index was also weak at 43 in September, up from August's 39.6.





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