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KLEM News Update July 25, 2010

(JOHNSTON)--A Sioux County school will receive a grant from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

The 25-hundred dollar Biodiesel Backer award is for West Sioux Community School District.

The Renewable Fuels Association awards grants based on education of students and communities about biodiesel and the use of biodiesel in school programming.

West Sioux uses a biodiesel fuel blend in buses from May to November. The district also offers the Agricultural Renewable fuels class. The class was started to provide students with a basic knowledge and understanding of the ethanol and biodiesel industry. West Sioux students produce ethanol and biodiesel fuel which is run in lab test engines.

(HULL)--A northwest Iowa lawmaker is announcing an endorsement he's received.

Representative Dwayne Alons of Hull says he's been endorsed by the Association of Business and Industry (ABI).

Alons says he's honored to receive the endorsement because small businesses are the backbone of communities.

Alons, a Republican, is unopposed in his bid to be elected to a seventh term in the Iowa House representing District Four which includes Sioux and Lyon Counties.

(SHELDON)--Golfers helped Village Northwest Unlimited in Sheldon raise more than 22-thousand dollars.

The 10th annual benefit golf tournament for Village Northwest July 19th had play from 132 golfers on the Ridge Golf Course in Sioux Center.

The tournament proceeds will benefit the 180 people with disabilities served at Village Northwest Unlimited .

A team sponsored by Siouxland Fabricating of Rock Valley had the best score in the four-person best ball format with a score of 57. The team included Al Pottebaum, Rian Vos, Thad Dykstra and Chris Schuett.

The tournament has raised nearly 145-thousand dollars to date.

(SIOUX CITY)--A life-size Newfoundland, Seaman the dog, is back at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Sioux City.

The animatronic version of Captain Meriwether Lewis' loyal dog, Seaman, and a prairie dog are set against a mural created by Sioux City artist Darren Maurer (mar-er). The dog and prairie dog were on leave during construction of the new exhibit.

Lewis bought the dog for $20 in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania in 1803. Based on journals kept of the expedition, the dog caught beavers, squirrels and even an antelope to help feed the soldiers. He also protected the camp from a charging buffalo bull and alerted the group to grizzly bears who threatened the camp.

The new exhibit is at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center on the riverfront in Sioux City.

(RED OAK)--A workshop to help non-profit groups keep their Internal Revenue Service (IRS) non-profit status is planned next week.

The western Iowa Tourism Region and Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development are co-sponsoring the workshop near Honey Creek.

The goal of the July 28th workshop at the Hitchcock Nature Center is to help non-profits understand the new I-R-S Form 990 reporting requirements.

Pat Wright who owns Wright Associates of Des Moines is the instructor. Wright is a certified public accountant who has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Drake University .

Western Iowa Tourism at Red Oak is handing the registration.


OSHA investigating deaths of Iowa men in SD sewer

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) The Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues to investigate the deaths of two Iowa men attempting to unclog a South Dakota sewer.

Two employees of Sioux City, Iowa-based Speedy Rooter were overcome by fumes while working on the sewer July 10 in North Sioux City. Fifty-four-year-old Robert Thompson died the next day, and 35-year-old Chad Elgert died last Sunday. Both men are from Sioux City.

The men's families say Thompson passed out from the fumes and Elgert had tried to rescue him.

Tom Deutscher in OSHA's Bismarck, N.D, office says the agency is looking at whether the deaths stemmed from a safety violation. The investigation could take months.

A message left Saturday for Speedy Rooter wasn't immediately returned. The office was closed for the weekend.

Information from: Sioux City Journal,


Funeral held for KC teens who drowned in Iowa

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Mourners gathered in Kansas City for the funeral of two Kansas City boys who drowned at an Iowa pool.

Fourteen-year-old Gael Paulette, also known as Gael Chrispin, and 15-year-old Nehmson Sanon drowned at the Pella Aquatic Center in Iowa on July 14. The boys had been attending a camp in Pella organized by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The Kansas City-based organization says the boys and other campers were spending the evening at the pool.

Saturday's funeral service at Kansas City's First International Baptist Church was conducted in English and French. The Kansas City Star reports that teens were remembered as young men who were driven by their Christian faith.

The president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes attended the service.

Nehmson was buried Saturday at Brooking Cemetery. Gael will be buried in Haiti.

Information from: The Kansas City Star,


Rains flood Ill. interstate, endanger Iowa dam

CHICAGO (AP) Heavy rains drenched swaths of the Midwest, leaving interstates under water, residents stranded and a dam in Iowa on the verge of collapse.

In Chicago, officials say more than 7 inches of rain fell early Saturday.

Standing water closed a portion of Interstate 290 and the commuter train tracks that run along the expressway just west of Chicago's downtown.

Crews in the western suburb of Westchester were using boats to search for residents trapped in their homes.

In eastern Iowa, the National Weather Service says the Lake Delhi dam has failed and small communities downstream could be severely flooded.

Meteorologist Chris Legro says water has been detected flowing beneath the dam and a complete failure is possible.


National Weather Service confirms tornado in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The National Weather Service has a damage assessment team in Indianola after confirming that a tornado touched down in the community.

Meteorologist John Hinsberger says the weather service verified that the tornado touched down about 8 p.m. Friday. No injuries were reported. The amount of damage was not immediately clear.


Reports show incumbents hold fundraising edge

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa's incumbent members of Congress have built a huge financial edge over challengers that should give them a big advantage heading into this fall's general election.

University of Iowa political science professor Bruce Gronbeck says incumbents usually raise more money than challengers, and it's one reason they typically win re-election.

In central Iowa's 3rd District, financial disclosures show Democratic U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell has more than $700,000 in reserves. His Republican challenger, state Sen. Brad Zaun, has about $100,000 in reserves, but nearly $48,000 in debt.

In western Iowa's 5th District, Republican Rep. Steve King reports more than $300,000 in reserves. Democratic challenger Matt Campbell has about $22,000 in cash and nearly $50,000 in debt.


Photographer seeks Waterloo smoochers

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Minnesota photographer is asking volunteers to kiss for the camera.

Photographer Bonnie Fournier is seeking 10,000 exhibition-quality images from various locations for an effort titled ``The Smooch! Project.''

Fournier will take photos of folks kissing at the Waterloo Center for the Arts on Sunday between 1 and 5 p.m. Participants are asked only to bring a loved one and demonstrate sincere affection.

Fournier says the project is a documentary to demonstrate that people share a joyful willingness to welcome affection into their lives.

Fournier has already shot pictures in the Twin Cities and Michigan and is planning to visit Canada next month.

People can buy a print for a fee, but Fournier says most people participate only to help the effort succeed.

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

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KLEM News Update July 24, 2010


(LE MARS)--Curb and gutter is complete on the second block of Business Highway 75 North in Le Mars.

Godbersen-Smith of Ida Grove is the contractor for the highway work which city administrator Scott Langel says the contractor continues to work on between the rains.

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Blue Diamond Drive, serving a commercial business area in southwest Le Mars, and a portion of Third Avenue Southeast, near the Courthouse and Franklin Elementary School, are also completely open and done. Langel says that includes all of the small punch list items.

Barkley Asphalt of Sioux City is repairing Business Highway 75 South of Highway Three.

Three contractors are also working on storm drainage-type projects in between the rains.

Le Mars Community students may have school e-mail accounts

(LE MARS)--The Le Mars Community School District plans to offer school e-mail to students whose parents give permission for the communication option.

Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt says student e-mail accounts are something that's been worked on within the administration for the past three or four months.

The Board of Education has reviewed a written policy on the school e-mail communication to be offered in the high school and middle school.

Dr. Wendt explains the focus is education.

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As an example of controls being built in by the district, Wendt said school e-mail message that students send with unacceptable language would be sent to the principal using a filtering system.

The proposed board policy will be reviewed at another Board of Education meeting and was not adopted at the board's meeting this week.

Fire-Rescue reorganization given first consideration approval

(LE MARS)--A reorganization of the Le Mars Fire-Rescue Department moving through the City Council would increase the number of officers.

The Council this week approved the first consideration of the changes recommended by Fire-Rescue Chief Dave Schipper.

The city does not presently have an assistant chief.

Schipper explained how the reorganization affects the officers in the volunteer ranks.

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Schipper said agreed with Councilman John Leonard that leaving the assistant position in the officer structure would give the city flexibility, if needs changed.

Tire changing is RAGBRAI contest

(SIOUX CITY)--As the statewide bicycle ride, RAGBRAI,  gears up to leave Sioux City on Sunday, a cycling group plans an event there on Saturday that's guaranteed to pump up the crowd, leaving no one feeling flat.

It's billed as the World Tire Changing Championship, according to Mark Wyatt, executive director of the Iowa City-based Iowa Bicycle Coalition.

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( "We're going to have five stations with identical wheels, identical tires, identical tubes and identical pumps," Wyatt says. "Contestants will be able to see how fast they can deflate a tire, remove the tube, put a new tube in and pump it back up." There will be categories for youth, first-timers, mechanics, professionals and even blindfolded. "We're willing to make this interesting," Wyatt says. "If somebody thinks that they're that much better, they can do it with a blindfold. We'll let them give it a try because I think that's going to be fun." Some bicyclists have never had to change a tire, but Wyatt says others have done it dozens, even hundreds of times.)

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("The average person can do it in a few minutes," Wyatt says."Tire changing really isn't that difficult. There's about nine steps and it's pretty easy, but I think we can have some really fast people. Some of the mechanics and some of the people that have been doing bicycling for a long time are really talented at this.")

Since more than half of the 25-thousand-some RAGBRAI riders and support staff are from out-of-state and many from other countries, Wyatt says it should truly be a world championship event. The event starts at noon today (Saturday) at the RAGBRAI Expo in Sioux City. The top five fastest participants will battle head-to-head in the championship round at 5 P-M. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Grand Teton spent $50,000 rescuing climbers

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) Grand Teton National Park spent about $50,000 rescuing 16 injured climbers and recovering the body of a northwest Iowan after a thunderstorm on Grand Teton mountain.

Three separate parties climbing above 13,000 feet called for help when a thunderstorm pounded the exposed mountaintop with lightning at midday Wednesday. A climber from Sanborn, 21-year-old Brandon Oldenkamp, fell to his death during the storm.

Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said Friday the circumstances of Oldenkamp's fall are still being investigated. He was a Dordt College student who would have been a senior this fall. Teton County Coroner Bob Campbell says Oldenkamp's cause of death hasn't been determined.

Park spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said Friday the costs for the rescues and recovery included two helicopters, staff time and other expenses.

Skaggs says the park will apply for reimbursement from a National Park Service account for search and rescue.

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

 Sioux Falls men charged with death of man whose body was found near Larchwood

SIOUX  FALLS, S.D. (AP) Two Sioux Falls men face charges in the kidnapping and killing of another man found dead near Larchwood earlier this week.

During a Friday court hearing, bond for 29-year-old Benjamin Carter was set at $500,000.

Carter and 23-year-old Payton Strum are charged with first-degree kidnapping and first-degree robbery. Strum is also charged with first-degree arson.

Sioux Falls police chief Doug Barthel says the men robbed 27-year-old Joseph Cynkar at his Sioux Falls home, then drove him in his pickup across the state line to near Larchwood in Lyon County. His body was found Tuesday.

Barthel says Cynkar died of blunt-force trauma. Court documents say his hands were bound and a bag was on his head.

The Sioux Falls Police Chief says Strum later set fire to Cynkar's home.

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

 Royal man sentenced to prison for drug convictions

(SIOUX CITY)--A federal judge has ordered a Royal man to serve more than 17 years in prison for a drug conviction.

The U-S attorney's office issued written information about the conviction and sentence of 30-year-old Michael Donald Stevens of Royal.

Stevens pled guilty to conspiring to make methamphetamine and distribute the drug and possession of pseudoephedrine with intent to make meth as well as manufacturing meth. The conspiracy and possession was from February of 2006 to February of this year at his home.

A judge in federal court in Sioux City sentenced Stevens to 210 months in prison. He's is being held for the U-S Marshal's service until he can be taken to a federal prison.

Tornado touchdown reported near Indianola
INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) The National Weather Service and local authorities say a tornado has touched down near Indianola in Warren County, causing property damage.

Ben Moyer, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Des Moines, says the tornado touched down Friday evening about four miles west of Indianola.

Doug McCasland of the Warren County Emergency Services office says the twister continued into the northwestern corner of Indianola, damaging a number of homes, barns and other buildings. McCasland says there were no immediate reports of injuries, but 911 calls were still coming in.

Sale price is $2.5 million for Kaleidoscope Mall

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Hubbell Realty has placed a sale price of $2.5 million on the Kaleidoscope Mall in downtown Des Moines.

Nonetheless, Hubbell chief Rick Tollakson said Friday that his company isn't really looking to sell the unusual mall it developed 25 years ago.

The two-block long, two-story mall includes retail space that spans Sixth Avenue as part of a skywalk. The mall also wraps around the 20-story Hub Tower.

The office tower's current owner ran into financial problems and that property is currently in foreclosure.

Tollakson says that as part of the preparation to sell Hub Tower, Hubbell was asked to put a sale price on the mall, too, in case someone wanted to buy the full package of buildings. The assessed value for Hub Tower is about $17 million.

Waterloo man arrested for marijuana
WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Police say they arrested a Waterloo man on drug charges less than a day after he want to an emergency room with a gunshot wound to his leg.

Officers say 19-year-old Dontavious Regginal Barbee went to Covenant Medical Center early Wednesday morning with a wound to his calf, and said he had been shot while walking in an alley.

Foot patrol officers say they later spotted Barbee behaving suspiciously as he walked in between streets late Wednesday night, and they say that after he left they found three bags of marijuana in a downspout.

The officers say they left the marijuana in place and arrested Barbee when he allegedly returned and picked it up.

Barbee was charged with possession of marijuana with intent to deliver. It was not known if he had an attorney.

Salmonella warning for guacamole, salsa, tamales

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The Linn and Johnson County Public Health Departments are warning the public not to eat guacamole, salsa and uncooked tamales prepared by La Reyna Supermarket Taqueria of Iowa City before July 19.

The products were sold at farmers' markets in Linn, Johnson and Dubuque counties and may be contaminated with salmonella. The departments say any guacamole, salsa and uncooked tamales should be thrown away and not eaten.

The salmonella investigation was initiated by Linn County Public Health officials and illnesses were traced to products produced by the restaurant in Johnson County.

The owners of La Reyna are fully cooperating in this public notice and have measures to ensure the future safety of their products.

Iowans qualify for more jobless benefits

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Officials of Iowa Workforce Development say about 16,000 state residents could be eligible for additional unemployment benefits due to an extension signed this week by President Obama.

In a statement Friday, Workforce Development director Elisabeth Buck said the agency has begun work to reactivate unemployed Iowans who may be in line for additional government assistance.

According to Buck, eligible claimants who saw their benefits end since June 2 will receive written notification for reactivating their claims. Initial payments for individuals who continued with their weekly reporting will begin receiving benefits next week.

Buck noted some residents continue to struggle with the effects of the recession. She says by extending the deadline for receiving emergency unemployment compensation to Nov. 30, they will have an economic safety net while they look for employment opportunities.

(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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