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KLEM News PM Update June 17, 2010

(LE MARS)--More than 75-thousand dollars for 16 groups will be awarded by the Le Mars United Way.

Volunteer chair Janelle Bixenman says 13 volunteers reviewed 20 applications for more than 152-thousand dollars.

The programs funded will provide a variety of benefits to the Le Mars area including assistance to families facing emergencies, seniors needing aid to continue living independently, children receiving preschool instruction that prepares them for success in school and free books to develop literacy and language skills in infants.

The funded programs will begin receiving their approved allocation in July.

Safety net services funded included 10-thousand dollars to the Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence for the Plymouth County Outreach office for 10-thousand dollars.

Children grow into successful adults funding included 95-hundred dollars to Le Mars Backpack Food program through Siouxland Community Food Bank.

Listed below is a breakdown of the funding that area agencies will receive for the fiscal years 2010-2011 in the area of 'Safety Net Services'.

American Red Cross: Siouxland Chapter
Emergency Services-Disaster & Service to Military Families $3,600

Christian Needs Center
Interior Renovation of Property for Shelving Food Items $1,500

Council on Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence
Plymouth County Outreach Office $10,000

Jackson Recovery
Substance Abuse Services for Low Income Families $3,500

Life Skills Training Center
Network Server Upgrade $2,520

The Living Center
Assistance with Basic Life Needs $4,500

Plains Area Mental Health Center
Evening & Weekend Therapeutic Socialization Program $5,000

Plymouth County Drug Court
Incentives for Recovery Efforts $1,200

Plymouth County Senior Helpmate
Driver Reimbursement & Administrative Costs $7,000

Listed below is a breakdown of the funding that area agencies will receive for the 2010-2011 fiscal years in the area of ensuring that 'Children Grow into Successful Adults'.

Gehlen Catholic Schools
Transitional Kindergarten Scholarships for Low-Income Families $7,500

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa
Girls' Summer Camp Scholarships $3,000

Imagination Library
Free Book Program $6,000

Le Mars Area Family YMCA
Scholarships $7,000

Le Mars Arts Council
ARTSreach Program Music to Daycares & Preschools $2,880

Le Mars Community Middle School
After School Programming $5,260

Le Mars Day Care & Preschool
Item Replacement & Age Appropriate Learning Materials $2,000

Siouxland Community Food Bank
Le Mars Backpack Food Program $9,500

Siouxland Youth for Christ
Juvenile Justice Ministry Program $7,500

The Le Mars United Way will begin this year's fundraising efforts Thursday, September 2nd with a four-person scramble, 18-hole golf tournament at the city of Le Mars Willow Creek Golf Course. For more information on the tournament, the Le Mars United Way Campaign or the funding decisions, contact United Way at 712-255-3551 or visit and click on events. 

(LE MARS)--Le Mars Police will use a bicycle lottery system to clear out the stolen/abandoned bikes from the past 12 month.s

The bike lottery will be Wednesday, June 30 at the Le Mars Police Department building, 22 Second Street NE. The number of bikes expected to be sold during the lottery are 40-45 bikes.

Those who'd like to buy a bike will put their name in a hat and each person's name will be called by drawing one name at a time. That person will choose one bike and pay $5 for the bike. The process will be repeated until the bikes are purchased for $5 each.

If someone wants more than one bike, police will draw a second time after all names that have been drawn have had an opportunity to choose a bike in the first round.

The bike lottery for bikes sold "as is" will begin with viewing of the bikes at 4 p-m on June 30th and the first name being drawn at 6 p-m.

LE MARS)--A brief power outage affected about 600 MidAmerican Energy customers on the north side of Le Mars today.

Mark Reinders of MidAmerican reports a bad insulator caused a problem with a circuit on a power line about 8:30 this morning . Power was restored to all customers by just after nine.

The outage was reported at 17279 Highway 75.

KLEM 1410AM/96.9 FM was off the air briefly during the outage.

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(DES MOINES)--While many Iowans are still recovering from this week's flooding, they'll have to be on guard for more severe weather later today (Thursday). Miles Schumacher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Johnston, says they're tracking a large storm system that's heading for Iowa from the west.
 Moisture and warm air are coming, Schumacher says, and there's a strong chance for severe weather statewide late this afternoon in the northwest and later tonight across much of the rest of Iowa. The western third of the state is at greatest risk of seeing a tornado but most of Iowa is threatened by wind and hail.

Schumacher says the best threat for tornadoes would be west of a line from Algona to Atlantic. He says the active weather pattern will continue into the weekend.
Heavy rain is likely this weekend though he says the potential for severe weather is less. Schumacher says heavy rains will be a possibility this time in northern Iowa. (News report by Radio Iowa)


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) State regulators will hold three public hearings on a request by a South Dakota-based utility for a 2.9 percent rate increase for its natural gas customers in Iowa.

The Iowa Utilities Board will hold hearings in Newton on June 29, Dubuque on June 30 and Council Bluffs on July 1.

Black Hills Energy, of Rapid City, S.D., has filed a request for a $4.7 million increase in annual revenues to recover the costs of capital investments in its Iowa distribution system and other expenses.

If granted, monthly bills of residential customers would go up by about 3.4 percent.

The utilities board says under Iowa law, a temporary rate increase of 1.6 percent, or $2.6 million, doesn't require pre-approval and goes into effect on Friday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a driver suffered minor injuries when a car slammed into a house in Des Moines during a chase with police.

Police say officers were pursuing the driver when the car hit the house just before 2 a.m. Thursday.

No one inside the house was hurt.

Tracy Negrete told KCCI-TV that she had just gotten to sleep and thought someone was trying to get inside her home. Negrete say she went outside and saw a wall had collapsed and a car was inside the house.

The driver's name was not immediately released.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) A 31-year-old Iowa woman who was hauling cocaine across Nebraska has been given 40 months in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Warren Urbom sentenced Sophia Morris on Wednesday. He gave her five years of supervised release after she leaves prison.

U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg said in a news release that a Nebraska state trooper stop Morris for a traffic violation on Interstate 80 nearly Lincoln on Oct. 26.

A patrol dog taken to the scene indicated there were drugs in the car. The drugs were found in a diaper bag in the trunk.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) The owner of a Waterloo liquor store where two robbers were killed says the clerk who shot them had no choice.

The clerk, Johnny Sanders, shot Robert Bolden and Antonio Sproles, both of Waterloo, early Wednesday. Police say the men walked into East Fourth Street Liquor brandishing a rifle and a handgun about 2 a.m.

Store owner Mehnde Khan, who wasn't in the store at the time of the shooting, says Sanders didn't have a choice and was protecting himself. Khan says Sanders shot the men with a revolver, which was kept at the store.

Khan says the men were frequent customers and he never had problems with them in the past.

The shooting remains under investigation, but police say they don't anticipate any charges.

FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) Motor home maker Winnebago Industries Inc. says it returned to profitability in its fiscal third quarter as revenue nearly tripled as it sold more motor homes.

Recreational vehicle makers were hit hard as many consumers postponed big-ticket purchases during the recession in an attempt to conserve cash, and many RV companies cut their inventory and other costs in response.

Winnebago's deliveries of motor homes more than doubled in the quarter to 1,366 from 620 in a year ago. Its deliveries of its bigger ``Class A'' motor homes rose to 690 from 176 a year ago.

Winnebago said it had net income of $6 million, or 21 cents per share, for the quarter ended May 29 compared with a net loss of $8.6 million, or 29 cents per share, in the year ago-quarter.

ANDREW, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a 4-year-old eastern Iowa boy apparently drowned in a bathtub.

The child, Collin Parker William Holdgrafer, of Andrew, died last Saturday. The Jackson County sheriff's office says emergency crews responded to a 911 call about 5 p.m. The boy was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The sheriff's office says the boy's father, Andrew Holdgrafer, made the 911 call while taking him to the hospital. Officials met them in Maquoketa (muh-KO'-kih-tuh), where the boy was put in an ambulance and taken to Jackson County Regional Health Center in Maquoketa.

The boy's death remains under investigation.

AVOCA, Iowa (AP) A new option for water recreation is set to open in western Iowa.

A grand opening is planned for the Nishnabotna Water Trail on Saturday in Avoca. The trail runs along the West Nishnabotna River from near Avoca south to Macedonia past stops with camping in Hancock, Oakland and Carson. Canoeing, kayaking and tubing will be available on the stretch of river.

The state of Iowa has designated the portion of the river a water trail, meaning is has several points of entry.

Cindy Thompson is with the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board. She says about $50,000 in state and private grant money has been spent on the water trail.

(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.


KLEM News AM Update June 17, 2010

(LE MARS)--The second day of the Ice Cream Days Celebration in Le Mars is filled with flavor, film and family fun.

The Family Bike ride leaves the Olson Cultural Event Center in downtown Le Mars at six tonight. The ride on the Recreation Trail is for all ages and ends at the Primebank Ice Cream Social.

The bank continues its tradition of serving ice cream with the 42nd annual Primebank Ice Cream Social from 6-8 p-m. The bank offers live music, games for kids and ice cream.

"Up" is the outdoor family movie tonight at 9 at the Olson Cultural Event Center. Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

A complete Ice Cream Days listing is at or in the KLEM Fairs and Festivals guide.

(LE MARS)--Bids for a building to expand Plymouth County government office and storage space are due today.

Dale McKinney of M+ of Sioux City is the architect for the Courthouse Annex Building to be located on the southeast side of the Courthouse block.

Bids are accepted until two this afternoon at the Plymouth County Auditor's office at the Courthouse. 

According to the bid notice, they'll  be considered for an award of the contract or other action by the Board of Supervisors at a meeting at 9 a-m Tuesday.

(LE MARS)--Performance reviews of 20 city of Le Mars workers will determine pay raises that begin with the new budget year July first.

The money to pay for any changes in non-bargaining employees from accounting clerks to city administrator was approved this week.

The council, on a three-to-two vote, raised the high end of the pay range three percent increase and made no change in the low end of pay which had not been changed since 2008. The council also designated a  total pool of 36-thousand dollars for changes in the pay of the 20 employees,  subject to performance reviews.

Councilmembers John Rexwinkel and Delana Ihrke voted against the council action. In earlier votes involving pay issues, Rexwinkel has not supported changes.

Before the vote, Ihrke said her issue wasn't the merit system of pay raises or the concept of  low to high ranges for pay. Council member John Leonard noted differences in public and private sector jobs. Councilman Rex Knapp cited the performance of city workers in backing a change in pay.


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The actual pay will be set based on performance reviews of the employees by city administrator Scott Langel and assistant city administrator Bill Cole. The top administrators pay is set by the mayor and council.

Title                    6/2008                   6/2010

                          low high              low high

administrator $101,681 124,277 101,681 128,005

asst adm. 69,482 82,573 69,482 85,050

wastewater supt 65,074 79,292 65,074 81,671

public works supt 63,833 72,492 63,833 74,667

police chief 67,222 81,910 67,222 84,367

water treatment operator 52,838 65,519 52,838 67,485

code enforcement officer 49,504 63,805 49,504 65,719

fire chief 63,833 78,520 63,833 80,876

city clerk 53.665 66,093 53,665 68,075

police captain 55,360 67,787 56,360 69,821

asst supt. 47,058 59,334 47,058 61,114

water supt . 63,406 76,087 63,406 78,369

library director 51,374 64,367 51,374 66,298

asst wastewater supt. 42,932 62,138 42,932 64,003

adm assistant 38,978 48,016 38,978 49,456

police office mgr 38,718 45,192 38,718 46,547

accounting clerk (2 positions) 35, 805 46,035 35,805 47,416

asst fire chief/bldg inspector 45,012 58,311 45,012 60,060

ambulance director 43,989 57,288 43,989 59,007

(LE MARS)--New speed limits are in place for drivers who travel through an area southeast of Le Mars.

Union, along Plymouth County Road C-44, east of Merrill, had signs posted and a flashing light to notify drivers of limited sight distances and safety issues.

Engineer Tom Rohe received a request from a Union resident to deal with the speed.

Rohe said the signs and light didn't allow the sheriff's office to enforce the speed limits. Rohe recommended speed zone signs to the board of supervisors.


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Based on board action Tuesday, the signs reducing speed from 55 miles an hour to 35 miles an hour were installed by noon Wednesday.

SIOUX CITY)--A bike and classic car parade opens Awesome Biker Nights in Sioux City tonight at six.

Since 2000, the downtown Sioux City event has donated about 600-thousand dollars to charities.

Events Friday and Saturday include concerts, a bike raffle, bike show, poker run and tattoo contest.

Musical performers include the Guess Who and April Wine.

KLEM's sister station, KOOL 99.5 FM is a sponsor for Awesome Biker Nights.

For more information

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) Federal officials say a 29-year-old soldier from northwest Iowa who died in Iraq had received several awards, including two for good conduct.

The U.S. Department of Defense says Spc. Christopher Opat died Tuesday in Baquah, Iraq, from injuries in a non-combat incident.

Opat's family says he grew up in Lime Springs and went to Iowa Lakes Community School in Emmetsburg before enlisting in Spencer.

Military officials are investigating the incident and released no further details.

Opat served more than three years in Germany and was deployed twice to Iraq.

Opat's numerous awards included two for good conduct, a National Defense Service Medal and an overseas service ribbon.

His grandmother Dolores Opat says he was a quiet young man. She says military officials told the family Tuesday but did not provide details on the death.

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

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Officials had not yet found a man who fell into the raging Elkhorn River after a railroad bridge collapsed.

Norfolk Fire Chief Shane Weidner said Wednesday that air searches were being done because the area was too dangerous to search on the ground or by boat. Ground and boat searches will begin once the river recedes enough to make searches safe.

Weidner says he would not guess whether the man was still alive.

Three Nebraska Central Railroad workers were checking the bridge when it collapsed. One worker was able to reach safety by himself; the second was rescued by emergency workers who floated a boat to him.

The railroad's attorney says he believes the three were checking the bridge without being assigned the task.

(Copyright 2010 by Associated Press. All rights reserved)


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SWISHER, Iowa (AP) The owner of the Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery and Distillery in Swisher says the first bourbon whiskey made from Iowa corn and distilled in the state since Prohibition will make its debut July 1.

Cedar Ridge president and owner Jeff Quint says Iowa Bourbon Whiskey will be the latest product created by a Bavarian pot still at the distillery. It already produces vodka, gin, dark rum, apple brandy and Italian-style grappa.

By law, Bourbon has to have at least 51 percent corn content. Quint says Iowa Bourbon Whiskey is 70 percent to 75 percent corn. The remainder is rye and barley malt.

Quint says he started storing the Bourbon in charred oak barrels in 2008, and plans to reuse the barrels to produce a Scotch-style single-malt whisky possibly some time next year.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police say a suspect in a sexual assault case may have escaped to east Africa.

Police say 44-year-old Napoleon Mbonyunkiza (em-bon-yun-KEY'-zah) is believed to have boarded a plane to Africa about the time of his scheduled court hearing on June 4. Officers say he may possibly be in Uganda.

Mbonyunkiza's daughter reported him as a missing person on June 3, saying he hadn't been seen since the morning of June 2.

U.S. marshals have offered a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the arrest of Mbonyunkiza, who allegedly sexually assaulted and impregnated a disabled woman in his care at a facility for mentally disabled adults.

Mbonyunkiza is charged with third-degree sexual abuse, dependent adult abuse with serious injury, and neglect or abandonment of a dependent person.

CLARINDA, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Corrections is investigating the death of an inmate at the Clarinda Correctional Facility.

The inmate, 44-year-old Alfred Eugene Myre was found unresponsive Monday evening at an outdoor table where he had been sitting during a recreation session. When emergency measures failed to revive him, Myre was taken to the Clarinda Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Initially the cause of death was considered to be natural because of ongoing medical issues including a brain injury from a motorcycle accident. But after further review, case was referred to the DCI for investigation.

Preliminary autopsy findings indicate that Myre died of blunt force abdominal injuries.

Myre was serving a 50-year second-degree murder sentence from Pottawattamie County. He had been in prison since September 1991.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted more than $1 million in funding for Iowa's Green Bay Levee and Drainage District.

The Iowa Democrat said Wednesday the funds will be used to reimburse the state for emergency repairs made during the 2008 floods.

Meanwhile Wednesday, Governor Chet Culver congratulated Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division Administrator David Miller on his appointment to a national council of advisers on emergency response. Miller was appointed to the FEMA's National Advisory Council as a state non-elected official.

(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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