Saturday News, May 25
Vehicle Hits Wall Of Mr. Movies
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars fire and police officials were called last evening at about 6:40 p.m. when a vehicle jumped the curb and struck the wall of Mr. Movies, located on business Highway 75. Nobody was injured during the mishap, but the clerk admitted to being scared because of the ordeal. The vehicle sustained little damage after hitting the area designated for depositing movie rentals for after hours. Le Mars Police say a female driver with a learner's permit accidentally hit her accelerator pedal instead of the brake when approaching the movie rental outlet causing the collision.
American Legion Prepares For "Avenue Of Flags" Program
(Le Mars) -- American Legion members are preparing for the Avenue of Flags Memorial Day program. Tom Baack serves as the adjutant with the Wasmer Post #241 based in Le Mars. He says the program has a rich history, dating back to 1965.
He says more than 1100 American flags will grace the grounds of the Plymouth County Courthouse on Monday, with each flag representing an American military veteran that has deceased.
Baack says people should remember the real purpose for Memorial Day as a day set aside to honor those who have fought for this country, instead of a day that has turned into a day off from work filled with picnics, excursions to the lake, and vacations.
Baack says during the program, Legion member Patrick Murphy will read all 1181 names. The program will feature Steven Neal, American Legion Department of Iowa Vice Commander. Baack will honor one of the 50 veterans that was killed during battle.
New flags that are to be donated by family members will be posted, and Jim Rolfes will read his famous Memorial Day based poem "Come Visit My Grave" which talks about a soldier's perspective who has died from injuries sustained from battle hoping his family visits his grave and offers their respect.
High School Track To Undergo Maintenance
(Le Mars) -- Le Mars Community School District has announced the LeMars Community Schools’ all-weather track at the Jim Lorenzen Field will be closed for maintenance beginning Monday, June 3rd. It will re-open on Monday, June 17.
During this time, patrons are encouraged to use the cinder track at the j.v. field located near the bus barn.
Search Continues For 15 Year Old Girl
DAYTON, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are scaling back their search for a missing Iowa teenager abducted from a rural school bus stop this week.
The state Department of Public Safety says trained law enforcement will narrow their search around Dayton on Saturday for 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard.
Authorities say they're focusing on terrain that's difficult to navigate and requires specialized skills and equipment, so citizen volunteers are not needed. Residents are encouraged to check their
rural properties for anything suspicious.
Police suspect Michael Klunder took Kathlynn and a 12-year-old girl on Monday to a hog confinement building several miles away. The younger girl managed to escape. Klunder was later found dead of self-inflicted injuries.
Authorities will search land between the hog confinement and a location where the girls' backpacks were found.
Girl Friend Of Abductor Says She Was Worried For Family
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The ex-girlfriend of Iowa kidnapping suspect Michael Klunder says in court documents that she worried he would harm her family after his release from prison in 2011, citing
prior threats and abuse.
The woman had a child with Klunder and the two lived together in 1991, when he was arrested and later convicted in two kidnappings.
Klunder committed suicide Monday after police say he abducted two Iowa girls. One of those girls is still missing.
Records show the manager of the work-release facility where Klunder was housed in 2010 warned the woman that Klunder would soon be released without supervision and suggested she seek a no-contact order, which was later obtained.
The woman says Klunder subjected her to sexual trauma and pushed her into a wall, grabbed her throat and threw her across a room.
Kansas Man Hit By Train
LOGAN, Iowa (AP) - Authorities have identified a man killed by a train in western Iowa as a Kansas man.
Harrison County Sheriff Patrick Sears says Friday that 59-year-old Alan C. Nelson of Lawrence, Kan., died Monday after being struck by a Union Pacific train just east of the Missouri River. Sears says the death has been ruled a suicide.
The Omaha World-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/13RebGn ) the 110-car train was carrying freight from California to Chicago.
49,000 Gallons Of Ethanol Spilled Into River Following Derailment
CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) - The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says about 49,000 gallons of ethanol leaked from railroad tanker cars after a derailment east of Charles City.
The DNR says Friday the leak into the Little Cedar River was greater than had been previously estimated, but initial monitoring indicates normal oxygen levels in the river. Workers haven't found
any dead or distressed fish downstream.
The derailment late Monday caused three ethanol tanker cars and three locomotives to partially submerge into the river.
Canadian Pacific Railroad workers removed the three tanker cars Wednesday and pulled out the three locomotives Thursday night.
Besides the ethanol leaked, the railroad estimates 300 to 400 gallons of diesel and 100 gallons of lube oil leaked out.
Floating booms and absorbent pads were placed to capture the fuel.
Six Southeast Iowa Counties Added To Disaster List
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency says the USDA has included six southeast Iowa counties as part of a presidential major disaster designation that
could help farmers who suffered damage in recent severe storms.
The presidential designation made 14 Illinois counties the primary disaster area, but the Iowa counties are also eligible because they are contiguous to the disaster area.
The Iowa counties are Clinton, Des Moines, Lee, Louisa, Muscatine and Scott.
Eligible farmers with production or physical losses caused by storms or flooding from April 16 through May 5 may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans. The loans are intended to help
farmers return to normal operations.
Farmers who want more information should contact their local county Farm Service Agency.
Waterloo Teacher Found Guilty Of Inappropriate Behavior
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - A former Waterloo teacher has been found guilty of engaging in inappropriate behavior with a student.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports a Black Hawk County jury took less than two hours Friday to determine 55-year-old Larry Twigg was guilty of five counts of lascivious acts with a minor.
The jury needed to determine if Twigg's actions were sexual when he coerced a 17-year-old student to do several bizarre acts in 2009 and 2010 to make up for missed class assignments.
The student testified that Twigg, a former computer teacher at Waterloo West High School, spanked him and forced him to play strip video games.
Twigg was convicted in 2011, but an appeals court ordered a new trial over whether a jury was improperly influenced by other students' testimony.
Suspicious Package Turns Out To Be Food
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a suspicious package that required explosives teams to investigate was actually a cooler with food.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department says officers were notified about the package Friday morning.
Authorities closed the street where the package was discovered and called in explosive ordinance device teams from Linn County and Marion police.
The package was determined to be a Styrofoam cooler with food. Writing on the cooler said it was designated for individuals in need.
Officials recommend that food not be left out in this manner. They say it can be donated directly to one of numerous food pantries in the area.
Officials Still Calculating Damage From Hail Storm
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Waterloo officials are still calculating the damage to city buildings and vehicles from an April hailstorm.
The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the storm dented police cars and inspection trucks and damaged at least four city building roofs.
In the Cedar River Exchange Park area, Leisure Services director Paul Huting says hail smashed cooking hood vents in the concessions area and dented the stadium roof.
Shingled roofs at the Gates Park swimming pool bath house and an office building near City Hall also were damaged.
Public Works Director Mark Rice says 65 vehicles sustained some hail damage.
Officials say insurance will cover most building damage, but there is a $50,000 deductible. The insurance claim for the vehicles could reach $150,000.
Black Hawk County officials also say many vehicles were damaged.