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KLEM News PM Update August 9, 2010

SIOUX CITY)--Two Siouxland health care providers will NOT merge.

St. Luke's Regional Medical Center and Mercy Medical Center, both in Sioux City, announced late last year that they were studying how the two hospitals might better serve the community through more collaborative efforts.

Mercy and St. Luke's officials are now announcing they have not been able to identify a consolidation model that accomplishes their purposes.

A statement read, "while there are no current plans to resume talks of consolidation of operations, both parties are open to resuming their discussions and will continue to look for ways to provide health care services in the most cost efficient and high quality manner possible."

Their working arrangements with the June E. Nylen Cancer Center, Siouxland Paramedics, Hospice of Siouxland and Siouxland PACE will continue.

"Best" selections include NWC

(ORANGE CITY)--A new publication lists Northwestern College among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest. The Princeton Review selected the Orange City private college as one of 152 institutions it recommends in the 2011 "Best in the Midwest" section. The ranking is based on institutional data and the opinions of current students.

Princeton Review's senior vice president of publishing, Robert Franek, says the regional best colleges were selected primarily for their excellent academic programs.
Review selected the Orange City private college as one of 152 institutions it recommends in the 2011 "Best in the Midwest" section. The ranking is based on institutional data and the opinion 

Byers convicted in federal drug case

(SIOUX CITY)--A Sloan man who was accused of traveling between Monona County and South Sioux City to buy a drug to make meth has pleaded guilty.

The U-S Attorney's office reports 26-year-old Derek Earl Byers was convicted in federal court in Sioux City of conspiracy to make and distribute meth and possess pseudoephedrine with intent to make meth. Byers also pleaded guilty to traveling in interstate commerce to facilitate the manufacture and distribution of controlled substances.

He was accused of drug crimes between January and July of last year.

Byers is being held for the U-S Marshal's Service until he is sentenced.

Bivens' body found in Storm Lake Thursday

(STORM LAKE)--The cause of death for a Storm Lake man whose body was found floating in Storm Lake August 5th is still being investigated.

The Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office identified the man as 62-year-old Michael Steven Bivens of Storm Lake. Biven's dentity was determined with the assistance of the State Medical Examiner's office in Ankeny.

Preliminary information indicated foul play was NOT involved with Bivens' death.

Jurors aren't asked to report Tuesday



Thunderstorms hit Iowa with heavy rain

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Thunderstorms hit Iowa overnight with torrential rain, causing flash flooding that swamped roads and led to a campground being evacuated.

Ben Moyer with the National Weather Service says campers at the Sleepy Hollow Sports Park in Des Moines were evacuated early Monday when Four Mile Creek went out of its bank. There were no reports of injuries.

Moyer says storms developed over western Iowa and moved east, soaking the state with up to five inches of rain.

MidAmerican Energy reported over 10,000 customers without power early Monday, with nearly 5,000 in Des Moines.

U.S. Highway 69 east of Ames was closed because of water over the road. Strong winds damaged buildings and destroyed a grain bin in Fonda in northwest Iowa.

Iowa teen dies after falling off car

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) Officials say a teen died from injuries suffered when he fell off the trunk of a car at a mobile home park in Cedar Falls.

Police say 17-year-old Christopher McCully, of Evansdale, was injured Saturday evening. Police Chief Jeff Olson says he died on Sunday at University Hospitals in Iowa City.

Olson says McCully apparently sustained severe head injuries. Olson says the car wasn't going very fast at the time of the accident.

The incident remains under investigation.

Fire damages Iowa church

LUXEMBURG, Iowa (AP) Fire has damaged a church in northeast Iowa.

Authorities say firefighters were called to the Holy Trinity Church in Luxemburg around 2:30 a.m. Monday. Officials say lightning may have hit the steeple.

No injuries were reported. No other details were immediately available.

Luxemburg, which has about 250 residents, is 25 miles northeast of Dubuque.

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

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KLEM News AM Update August 9, 2010

(SIOUX FALLS)--Thunderstorms packing high winds downed power poles and lines early Sunday night .

As of 5 a-m, about two-thousand Sioux City customers of MidAmerican Energy were without power. That's about half the original outage map report at eight last night. Sioux Gateway Airport reported a peak wind gust of 41 miles an hour during the storm.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for southwestern Plymouth County about 6:30 last night. The storm warning  was the southeastern part of the county within the next hour. The warning was allowed to expire at eight p-m.

Hinton firefighters responded to a report of an electrical pole on fire around 7:30 last night. The fire call was southwest of Hinton near the Woodbury/Plymouth County line at the intersection of 330th Street and K-22.

A peak wind gust of 28 miles an hour was recorded at KLEM just before seven last night. The rainfall from the storm was .52 of an inch.

The power of the winds was known before the storm hit the SIoux City area.

Due to high winds, some campers were overturned at the Lewis and Clark Recreation area in Yankton. Some nearby residents were also affected. There were reports of injuries.

A Yankton radio station reported more than an inch and a half of rain in about 15 minutes.

(Associated Press contributed to this story)

Merrill school building future to be discussed tonight

(LE MARS)--The future plans for an elementary school building that's closed will be discussed by the Le Mars Community School Board of Education tonight (Monday).

The discussion, which is NOT listed as an action item, follows an inquiry by members of the Merrill community about Kissinger Elementary School. The Board of Education closed the Merrill attendance center at the end of the last school year.

The Board will consider an application for federal funds for Title 1 to be used for math and reading at Gehlen Catholic and at Le Mars Community Elementary Schools. The grant amounts anticipated are about 262-thousand dollars and cover staff as well as supplies, equipment and testing.

The board will consider a three-year agreement with the Le Mars Arts Council for use of school facilities for Arts Council programs, the annual report from the Superintendent as well as bus specs and bidding procedures.

The meeting is open to the public and begins at 7:30 tonight at the Education Service Center.

(Current agenda is not available from the District's website)

New Siouxland College option

(South Sioux City)--Residents of the Sioux City area will soon have a new option in higher education. Classes start in ten days at the new College Center at South Sioux City. The school's first building was dedicated last week. College President Bill Path says the Industrial Training Building will hold classes in drafting and industrial tech programs.

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(As above) "We've been working on the project to have a
stronger presence for about seven years now, so this is really quite a milestone for us to have our first permanent building in South Sioux City," Path says. "This'll be the first of many, as I predict." The second building is due to open in the Spring of 2011. Path says this is a first-of-its-kind effort in higher education to share partnership 50-50 between two entities: Northeast Community College of Norfolk, Nebraska, and Wayne State College in Wayne.


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(As above) "The College Center, the main building in Sioux Sioux City, will be owned and operated by both institutions jointly," Path says, "and the freshman-sophomore courses will all be offered by Northeast and all the junior-senior level courses will be offered by Wayne State." Also, Northeast will offer all of the industrial and vocational classes while Wayne State will offer the graduate-level courses. The facilities are on a 57-acre site donated by the South Sioux City Community Development Agency. Path says they expect steady growth in what he's calling a "commuter campus."


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(As above) "We are not planning dormitories in our development," Path says. "We are not planning sports arenas or bell towers or anything like that. It's really a no-frills operation. It's designed for busy students who have jobs or who are commuters and need to find quick access to classes on days, evenings and weekends. That's what we plan on offering." As the numbers grow, he says, so will the number of classes and facilities. Classes begin at the Industrial Training Building on August 16th. (News report by Radio Iowa)


Ex-Neb. jail worker faces trial on drug charges

DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) The former medical supervisor at the Dakota County jail has been ordered to stand trial on drug charges.

Jackie Heaton of South Sioux City faces three counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count each of attempt to fraudulently obtain a controlled substance and attempt to unlawfully procure a controlled substance. The 39-year-old has pleaded not guilty.

A jury trial has been scheduled for Aug. 26 in Dakota County District Court.

Court documents say Heaton used a county credit card to buy drugs prescribed to a discharged inmate for personal use between September 2009 and May 2010. The prescriptions cost a total of $60.

Jail director Terry Kern  told a newspaper that Heaton no longer works there.

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

Yankton, SD to consider expanding alcohol sales

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) The Yankton City Commission is considering whether to expand alcohol sales.

The proposal that'll be taken up during Monday's commission meeting was made possible through a state law that went into effect July 1.

The law requires municipalities to pass ordinances to allow Sunday and Memorial Day sales. It also makes standard the times alcohol can be sold, allowing off-sale and on-sale beer, wine and liquor sales from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The proposal before the city commission would move the cut off for alcohol sales from midnight to 2 a.m. and allow sales on Memorial Day.

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

Iowa lawyer swims English Channel on 2nd attempt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines lawyer has become the first American to both climb Mt. Everest and swim the English Channel.

Charlie Wittmack crossed the 21-mile channel on Sunday. He swam from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in about 12 hours.

He's only the fourth person in the world to achieve the rare sports double that adventurers call ``a peak and pond.''

Wittmack attempted to cross the channel in 2008 but had to stop after nearly freezing to death.

The 33-year-old climbed Mt. Everest in 2003.

Up next for Wittmack? Now that he's swam the channel, he's off to finish the next legs of the World Triathlon.

He plans to bike from France to India, then run from Calcutta, India, to the base camp of Mt. Everest in Nepal.

5 Iowa relatives deploy to Afghanistan

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Five members of an Iowa family will be among the Iowa National Guard soldiers deploying to Afghanistan this week.

Four of Linda Purdue's children and one of her nephews will head out as part of one of the largest deployments in state history.

Purdue, herself a major in the National Guard, is staying home this time around.

But she says it's comforting to know that her children and nephew will have each other to rely on.

All five are carrying the same memento attached to their wallets a family photo with everyone dressed in their uniforms that was taken on July 4th.

Crash near Fairbank ethanol plant leaves 2 dead

FAIRBANK, Iowa (AP) Two Fairbank men are dead after the car they were riding in crashed into a natural gas line at an ethanol plant.

Authorities say 49-year-old Brad William Higgins died at the scene of Friday's crash. The car's driver, 23-year-old Corey Allen Annis, died Saturday.

The Iowa State Patrol says it appears that Annis lost control of the Pontiac Firebird, sending the car into a ditch, where it rolled several times.

The car then slammed into a fence at the Hawkeye Renewables ethanol plant and ruptured a gas line.

The ethanol plant was evacuated as crews sealed the gas leak. Gas service to the plant was restored by Saturday evening. No other injuries were reported.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Woods Funeral Home in Fairbank.

Law calls for removal of 500 supervisors

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Information obtained by The Des Moines Register shows an Iowa law will require the removal of more than 500 government supervisors to meet a ratio of 15 workers for every manager.

In a copyright story in Sunday's newspaper, the Register finds that eliminating so many supervisors could violate some national standards.

Some management experts say it's unworkable, noting that no other state comes close to such a ratio. Texas comes closest, with a 1 to 11 ratio.

State employee unions pushed for the law, and Danny Homan of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says it makes sense. He argues that if a teacher can supervise 25 6-year-olds, then one manager can oversee 15 state employees.

(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.


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