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KLEM News Update August 14, 2010

(LE MARS)--Is contracting for fuel a way to trim Plymouth County's budget?

Kenny Hoefling  represents Gasrite which was started in 2006 in Omaha and is now new in the Sioux City area.

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Hoefling offered information about Gasrite when he met with Plymouth County Supervisors this week. Contracts range from three months to a year and are a minimum of 50 gallons a month.

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Hoefling explained the fuel use requirements.

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Supervisors asked County Attorney Darin Raymond about potential risks from a contracted fuel. Supervisors also plan to review information Hoefling provided to Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo. The sheriff's department uses 17-thousand to 18-thousand gallons of fuel a year.

(LE MARS)--The court administrator expects the Plymouth County Courthouse Annex Building to enhance the ability to do additional programming for youth and families. Juvenile Court staff will be housed in the Annex to be built on the southeast corner of the Courthouse block.

The 637-thousand dollar building will have offices and meeting room space.

Juvenile Court staff work from the main floor of the Courthouse in an area Court Administrator Leesa McNeil said is really designed for one person.

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According to McNeil, Juvenile Court staff and the Court system staff are looking forward to having the new facility next to the Courthouse.

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Courthouse Annex building construction is slated to begin Monday.

Airport snow removal equipment is grant-funded

(LE MARS)--The city of Le Mars is gearing up for a season that's the opposite of this week's sweltering heat and humidity. Bids will be opened Monday for snow removal equipment for the Le Mars Airport. The City Council considers the bids Tuesday.

The city was awarded a Federal Aviation Administration( FAA) grant of about $111,000 for the equipment .

City officials say the single axle dump truck with a plow, blade, and attachments for salt and sand, if needed, will look just like the newer vehicles public works staff uses to plow the streets.

The only differences will be the color due to federal requirements and limitations on where the equipment can be used.

City officials say the equipment is limited to any route serving the airport such as Highway 75, the street from the highway into the airport as well as the runway, taxi ways, and aprons.

The grant is to provide 95 percent of the cost of the equipment with the city picking up five percent.

Vehicles damaged at Le Mars businesses

(LE MARS)--A Le Mars teen is charged with burglary and criminal mischief after damage to vehicles at two Le Mars businesses.

Police report vehicles at Motor Inn and Cars Inc. on Business Highway 75  were damaged when someone tried to break into them and steal them. The damage was reported last Saturday.

Seventeen-year-old Anthony Peterson faces two charges of criminal mischief in the second degree and three charges of burglary in the third degree and possession of stolen property.

He was taken to the juvenile detention at the Youth Emergency Services (YES) facility in Cherokee.   
Hare sentenced for drug conviction

(SIOUX CITY)--A judge has ordered a Cherokee County man to serve more than 10 years in prison for a drug conviction.

The U-S attorney's office issued written information about the sentence in Federal Court in Sioux City for 29-year-old Scott Alan Hare of Cleghorn.

Hare pled guilty to making and distributing meth within one-thousand feet of the Marcus-Meridan-Cleghorn Elementary and High School. The crime occurred from October of 2005 through February of last year and involved others.

Hare was ordered to serve more than 11 years in federal prison. He is being held for the U-S Marshal's Service until he is taken to a federal prison .

Jurors are not reporting Tuesday

LE MARS)--Plymouth County jurors do not need to report for jury duty on Tuesday, August 17th. Jurors are asked to call the Clerk of Court's office after 3 p.m. on Monday, August 23 to find out whether to report on Tuesday, August 24.

The newest Excellence in the Media winners will be honored at USD next month

VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) Media executives Cathie Black and Frank Vega are this year's winners of the Al Neuharth Award for Excellence in the Media.

Black is chairwoman of Hearst Magazines, and Vega is chairman and publisher of the San Francisco Chronicle.

The annual lifetime achievement award is named for USA Today founder Al Neuharth, a South Dakota native and 1950 University of South Dakota graduate.

The presentation is scheduled Sept. 30 at USD's Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.

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

Warning system hit by lightning

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) A civil defense siren in the eastern Iowa town of North Liberty is out of commission after being hit by lightning.

Lightning struck the outdoor siren about 2:30 p.m. Friday. Johnson County Emergency Management says the lightning caused a malfunction in the siren and set it off.

The siren will be offline until repairs are made next week. The siren is one of six in North Liberty and 51 in Johnson County.

No sirens were intentionally sounded during the storm.

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

Funeral set for Iowa teen who drowned in flood

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A funeral will be held this weekend for an Iowa teenager who drowned when she was swept away by sudden floodwaters.

Sixteen-year-old Jessica Webb of Altoona was among eleven people caught in the rising waters of Mud Creek early Wednesday. She and her friends were driving from Altoona to Mitchellville when their vehicles were washed away. The other ten clung to logs and branches and were rescued.

Jessica's funeral is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Grace Church in Des Moines.

She was a student at Southeast Polk High School.

Two  shocked at Des Moines tire plant

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Two workers have survived an electrical jolt at a Des Moines tire plant.

Fire Department Capt. Steve Brown says one of the injured reportedly lost consciousness and stopped breathing for about 30 seconds before coming back.

It happened between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. Friday at Titan Tire on Des Moines' east side. The two workers were on a catwalk about 20 feet above the floor when they were shocked by 480 volts of electricity.

Names of the injured were not available. Their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening.

AP Interview: Gingrich eager to oust Iowa justices

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he wants to help remove three Iowa Supreme Court justices who joined a unanimous ruling that legalized gay marriage in the state.

In a telephone interview Friday with The Associated Press, Gingrich accused the justices of ``substituting their values for the values of Iowa voters,'' when they overturned a law banning same-sex marriage.

Gingrich says last year's decision was one in a series of cases in which judges exercised ``dictatorial'' power. He also noted a judge's ruling last week's that threw out California's ban on gay marriage.

Gingrich says he'd like to help a group formed to remove the Iowa justices when they come up for retention votes in the November general election.

Gingrich was in Des Moines to attend the Iowa State Fair.

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

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


KLEM News PM Update August 13, 2010

(SIOUX CENTER)--A new America's Best Colleges ranking by places Dordt College seventh in the state. ranked the top 15 percent of all undergraduate institutions. That puts the private Sioux Center college in the top 8.5 percent.

In a news release, Dordt President Dr. Carl Zylstra said it is always gratifying to realize that out of the thousands of colleges and universities in the United States, Dordt students rank the school well within the top 10 percent.

The Princeton Review recently named Dordt as one of the best colleges in the Midwest.

Le Mars business burglary investigated by Police

(LE MARS)--Le Mars Police are investigating a burglary at a Le Mars business.

A door was forced open at the Le Mars Agri-Center at 205 Seventh Avenue Southwest sometime after seven Tuesday night. Authorities say a lap top computer was taken and was located by an Alton resident on Wednesday. The loss, including damage to the door, is estimated at 11-hundred dollars.

Bruce Schmidt of Moville reported his personal laptop computer was stolen from the Agri-Center office during the same time as the break-in. The estimated value is $850.

The burglary occurred sometime between seven Tuesday night and seven Wednesday morning (August 10 and August 11).

Pleasantville couple injured Thursday near Sloan

(SIOUX CITY)--Two people were injured in a motorcycle accident near Sloan on Interstate 29 late Thursday morning.

The Iowa State Patrol reports 48-year-old Timothy Pinkerton of Pleasantville was driving south on I-29 when he lost control of the motorcycle.

Pinkerton and his passenger, 44-year-old Theresa Pinkerton, also of Pleasantville, were taken to Mercy Medical Center by Sloan Ambulance.

I-29 Construction Zone speed enforcement effort begins

(SIOUX CITY)--Sioux City Police will step up enforcement in a construction zone area where several traffic accidents have occurred.

Due to construction on Interstate 29, Sioux City Police says it is very important for drivers to observe the posted speed limit of 55 miles an hour. Traffic is head to head with no barrier between the northbound and southbound traffic lanes of Interstate 29 in the area of the Riverside exit.

Fines double in construction zones in Iowa. A citation for speeding five miles an hour over the limit will cost $107.

Iowa dad sentenced to 50 years in child's death

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A Woodbury County judge has sentenced a Sioux City man to 50 years in prison for the death of his infant daughter.

Twenty-year-old Paul Hill was convicted last month of child endangerment causing death in the 2009 death of his 4-month-old daughter, Tryniti. He was sentenced on Tuesday.

Police say Hill called 911, saying his daughter wasn't breathing. She later died a hospital. An autopsy showed the child died from a blow to her stomach.

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

Alta teens injured in rollover accident

(STORM LAKE)--Two Buena Vista County teens were airlifted to a Sioux City hospital after a single car rollover accident near Alta Thursday night.

According to the Sheriff's office, 17-year-old Ashley Sippel of Alta was trapped under a vehicle west of Alta. Authorities report 13-year-old Emily Sippel, also of Alta, was found about a mile from the accident. She had walked away from the accident to try to get help.

An investigation indicates Ashley Sippel was driving west on 580th Street. As she approached the intersection with 30th Avenue, the 17-year-old apparently lost control and the vehicle rolled one-and-a-half times and came to rest on its top. She was ejected and the vehicle rolled on top of her.

The sheriff's office reports seat belts were not being used by the driver or the passenger.

DOT: Flood damaged roadway updateIowa DOT issues update on road closures

AMES, Iowa - Aug. 13, 2010 –  – Flooding continues to affect numerous roads throughout the state, according to Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) officials. See the complete listing below.

The Iowa DOT is continuing to receive a number of calls about specific roadways that ARE OPEN. Those roads are: I-35 near Ames, U.S. 30 near Ames and the U.S. 65 southbound off-ramp at Vandalia Road (exit 77).

Status of I-80 near Colfax
Updated forecasting models show that the water will rise again during the next 24 hours at Interstate 80 in Jasper County where the South Skunk River and Indian Creek converge near Colfax (between mile markers 155 and 159). The water had started to recede.

The current forecast is for the water to reach a level similar to what was reached earlier this week. That level is a few inches lower than what it would take to overtop the highway. It also means that water will once again encroach on the paved shoulders in some locations and onto the ramp at exit 159, but not necessitate a road closure.

This remains a dynamic situation that is being closely monitored by the Iowa DOT. The most significant variable remains the amount of rainfall Iowa receives today and overnight and the river basins affected.

A flood warning remains in effect, as well as a flash flood watch. This means that motorists should exercise additional caution when traveling in this area overnight, as well as other flood-prone areas.

Roadways reopened since last update

·         Iowa 92 in Mahaska County - The road was closed between Iowa 23 (Oskaloosa) and Mahaska County Road V-13 (Rose Hill).

Roadways currently closed or restricted
Due to the dynamic nature of flash flooding, motorists should remain alert throughout the day in all areas under watches or warnings. For weather and other emergency information, stay tuned to NOAA weather radio or your local radio and TV stations. If you encounter a flooded area, turn around – don’t drown.

·         U.S. 61 and U.S. 136 in Lee County - The road is closed near Keokuk. Traffic normally going across the Des Moines River Bridge near Keokuk is being directed to the Des Moines River Bridge at St. Francisville.

·         U.S. 65 in Polk County - The north- and southbound lanes are closed at the Skunk River crossing, which is approximately 5 miles north of Bondurant and between U.S. 6 and Polk County Road S-27. The southbound detour is: Iowa 117 south to Interstate 80, then west to U.S. 65. The northbound detour is the reverse: go east from the U.S. 65/I-80 interchange to Iowa 117 (exit 155), go north on Iowa 117 to U.S. 65.

·         U.S. 169 in Dallas County - The road is closed between North Seventh Street and Mantucket Road in Adel. The detour is: Dallas County Road F-51 west to P-58; north to Iowa 44; then east to U.S. 169.

·         Iowa 2 in Fremont County - The right, eastbound lane is closed between Interstate 29 and the Nebraska state line.

·         Iowa 16 in Wapello County - The roadway is reduced to one lane of traffic between Ninth and Eighth streets in Eldon.

·         UPDATED - Iowa 92 in Mahaska County - The roadway is closed between mile markers 183 and 184 near Keomah Village.  

·         Iowa 98 in Van Buren County - The road is closed at the Des Moines River crossing between Douds and Leando.

·         Iowa 117 in Jasper County - The roadway between Jasper County Road F-48 and Interstate 80 near Colfax is closed.

·         Iowa 210 in Story County - The road is closed south of Cambridge at the South Skunk River crossing and at the Indian Creek crossing in Maxwell.

Deactivation of temporary customer service phone line
The Iowa DOT’s temporary customer service line will be deactivated at 2 p.m. today due to a decreasing number of calls and reopening of major routes. In the event that it is necessary to close an interstate route, the call center may be reactivated. The number to call until 2 p.m. today is 866-452-8510.

Road closure information will remain available 24 hours a day/7 days a week, by calling 511 (in Iowa) or 800-288-1047 (outside the state). The information is also available at

Photo galleries -

Ames must conserve to restore water after flooding

AMES, Iowa (AP) Ames officials say residents must conserve water if the city is to restore the system after historic flooding caused pipes to break that left the college town of 55,000 without drinking water.

Officials say efforts to conserve are falling short and residents must be committed to a ``temporary lifestyle change'' so water can be used to refill water towers, flush the system and restore drinking water to homes.

Ames, home to Iowa State University, shut down its water system on Wednesday because of eight water main breaks. City spokesman John Dunn said Thursday evening that the pipes were repaired or isolated, and a water tower was slowing filling but it was quickly depleted by usage.

City officials have set up five distribution sites for bottled water.

Iowa prison on lockdown after inmate fight

ANAMOSA, Iowa (AP) Officials say the state prison at Anamosa was placed on lockdown after a fight among inmates that led to two guards being injured.

Iowa Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta says the prison was locked down for a period of time on Thursday.

Scaletta says two prison employees sustained minor injuries while breaking up the scuffle. He says no employees or inmates were sent to the hospital for injuries.

Scaletta says an investigation is under way.

Ex-Iowa cop pleads in drug, burglary charges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A former Pleasant Hill police officer accused of stealing methamphetamine from an evidence room has pleaded guilty to drug and burglary charges.

Former Sgt. Daniel Herbert Edwards pleaded guilty Thursday to possession of a controlled substance, operating while intoxicated, and third-degree burglary.

The 42-year-old Edwards was charged after he crashed his cruiser on April 1. He was fired after toxicology tests showed methamphetamine in his system.

Sentencing is set for Sept. 29 in Polk County District Court.

Strange growth shows up on oak trees in Iowa

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) Experts say a strange growth on burr oak trees in Mason City is nothing more than a home to an insect and won't do any harm.

Richard Jauron is a horticulturist at Iowa State University Extension. He says the furry white and coral-colored balls are called galls.

They grow in response to either feeding by an insect or as a result of egg laying on or within the plant tissue.

Galls surround the insect, providing protection and food.

The insect develops and grows inside the gall during the summer and emerges as an adult either in the summer or the following spring.

Jauron says galls are fairly common on oaks and hackberry trees, and there's no cause for alarm.

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

Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.


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