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KLEM News PM Update September 23, 2010

(LE MARS) Voting for the November general election begins today.

Plymouth County auditor Stacey Feldman says absentee voting at the auditor's office is from eight in the morning until five in the afternoon Monday through Friday. Written requests for an absentee ballots may be mailed to the auditor's office using forms available on the county's website and selecting Online forms or by making a request for an absentee ballot.

Absentee voting continues through November first. You'll find more information under the Election Information portion of the KLEM web site--choose KLEM Stuff.

Tulip Court balloting underway

(ORANGE CITY)--Twelve young women are vying for the 2011 Tulip Festival Court.

Voting is today by Orange City residents and students in seventh through 12th grade at Orange City and Unity Christian and M-O-C Floyd Valley Schools. Those voting need to choose five candidates for the Court in order to have their ballot counted.

One of the five young women will be chosen as the 2011 Tulip Queen in November. She'll succeed 2010 Festival Queen Amy Hulst.

Consent order issued in Magnuson case

(WASHINGTON, DC)--A former Le Mars bank president has agreed to settle a charge with the Comptroller of the Currency.

Richard Magnuson, former president of American Bank of Le Mars, was accused in a notice from the Comptroller in February of 2010.

The charges stated the bank in September of 2008 bought a car for Magnuson's use as bank president. As part of the same transaction he was accused of making an unauthorized purchase of another vehicle for his personal use, titled in his name, at a loss to the bank and concealed from the bank. The vehicle was returned to the bank when he resigned in February of last year.

Magnuson filed an answer in March of this year denying the claims from the Comptroller of the Currency.

A consent order has been filed resolving the allegations that Magnuson violated the law. Magnuson neither admits nor denies the Comptroller's findings.

He agreed to pay a 54-hundred dollar civil penalty. Magnuson also consented to prohibitions which do not allow him to conduct affairs or vote on matters involving banking and similar businesses such as credit unions. He is not allowed to make any public statements about the charges alleged by the Comptroller.

C-16 bridge construction continues

(LE MARS)--Road closed signs were scheduled to come down tomorrow (Friday) eight miles east of Akron. There's a change in the original plans made when construction started a few months ago.

According to Plymouth County engineer Tom Rohe, County Road C-16, between Fir and Granite Avenue will reopen in about four weeks. 

The county road is closed while a bridge is replaced. (NOTE: this is a change in earlier information)

Iowan among troops killed in crash

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) The military says five members of the 101st Airborne Division, including an Iowan, are among the nine American troops killed in a helicopter crash in southern Afghanistan.

A spokesman for Fort Campbell in Kentucky says the five were assigned to the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, which deployed in March. Four members of the Navy also were killed.

Tuesday's crash was the worst coalition helicopter crash in Afghanistan in four years.

Among those killed from the 101st were 39-year-old Maj. Robert F. Baldwin, of Muscatine.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. NATO says there were no reports of enemy fire at the time, but the Taliban have claimed that insurgents shot down the helicopter.

Hail storm damages eastern Iowa

MARION, Iowa (AP) Hail damage is adding up in some neighborhoods in eastern Iowa.

In Marion, near Cedar Rapids, storms on Tuesday dropped hail the size of golf balls.

The Gazette says one homeowner, Michelle Chayer, stashed some of them in her freezer.

The hail hit nearly every home on several blocks in Chayer's neighborhoods and left many cars parked on the street with dents.

One Marion insurance agency report 67 claims for homes and 10 claims for auto damage in a 12-hour period after the storm.

FEMA supports Cedar Rapids' library plans

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Federal disaster officials are on board with Cedar Rapids' plans to replace its flood-ruined library with a new library away from the Cedar River.

The downtown library, which is on the banks of the river, was damaged in the 2008 flood.

The city wants to build a new library about four blocks away. The Federal Emergency Management Agency said the least expensive plan was to tear down the library and rebuild on the same location, but on higher ground.

That led to a meeting between the city and FEMA on Wednesday.

Mayor Ron Corbett told the Gazette that FEMA has agreed to support the city's plans for building a new library near a park, and will provide $19.5 million for the construction.

Mystery photos found in floodwaters in Colfax

COLFAX, Iowa (AP) Delores Parvi of Colfax is trying to find the owner of a treasure trove of memories found floating in a rubber tub after the Skunk River flooded the town last month.

According to KCCI-TV, Parvi's son spotted the tub and grabbed it.

Inside were photographs, including a boy in a plaid collared shirt, a great grandpa in an oval frame and a rotating picture cub.

Parvi says in all the pictures of anniversaries and first days of school, there is no way to identify them. The closest is a military photograph with what looks like the name ``Witke'' on the man's uniform.

No one knows where the tub came from.

Parvi says it could have started its journey anywhere along the Skunk River and floated into Colfax from Ames or Story City.

Oskaloosa rejects bid to extend snow ordinance

OSKALOOSA, Iowa (AP) Oskaloosa is getting ready for winter, and once the snow starts falling, residents must still clear their sidewalks within 24 hours.

The Oskaloosa Herald reports that the City Council voted against a proposal to extend the ordinance to 48 hours. Monday's vote was 4 to 3.

Councilman Aaron Ver Steeg, who opposed the extension, says it would mean another 24 hours of snow getting packed down and turning to ice, which is harder to clear.

Councilwoman Scottie Moore, who favored the extension, says it would give ``latitude'' to those who couldn't clear the sidewalks within 24 hours.

Iowa gets nearly $1.8M to fight drunken driving

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa is to receive nearly 1.8 million in federal money that is to be spent on programs to deter drunken and impaired driving in the state.

Both Iowa senators, Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin, on Wednesday announced the funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The money will go to the Iowa Traffic Safety Bureau.

Harkin says the money will help Iowa's ``efforts to keep Iowa's roads safe.''

Man pleads guilty to Iowa duck killing

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A second man has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of livestock abuse for stoning 50 ducks to death at a petting zoo in Cedar Rapids.

The Gazette reports that Shayne Smalling, of Twentynine Palms, Calif. made his guilty plea in writing on Wednesday in Linn County District Court. He was ordered to pay a $625 fine.

Smalling is in the Marines and stationed in California.

Smalling and Zachary Kanellis, of Cedar Rapids, were accused of killing the ducks at Bever Park Children's Zoo in June 2008. Police said the ducks were stoned to death.

Kanellis pleaded guilty earlier this month to third-degree criminal mischief and injury to livestock, both misdemeanors. He received a deferred sentence of unsupervised probation for two years and was fined $625 on each count.

(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 September 23, 2010

(LE MARS) Fire damaged a house in southwest Le Mars last night (Wednesday).

Fire-Rescue Chief David Schipper reports Troy and Tammy Ahlrich and their two children were in their rental home at 227 Second Street Southwest and smelled smoke in the upstairs of the house.

Fire fighters responding around 10:45 last night found heavy smoke coming from the roof of the home on the north side second story. The upstairs had heavy smoke damage. Schipper reports there was very little , if any, damage to the first floor and basement. Firefighters were out on the call for more than two hours.

Schipper's investigation determined the accidental fire started in the upstairs stairway behind a wall and the cause was electrical. He reports a window air conditioner was plugged into an extension cord and the cord failed where the two were connected.

The family was able to get out of the home and they were checked by a Le Mars Ambulance crew. Damage to the house owned by Chris Lipp is estimated at 15-thousand dollars. Le Mars Ambulance, Police, MidAmerican Energy, Le Mars Water and the Siouxland Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted fire fighters.

 Children's Museum of Siouxland plans to be introduced today

(SIOUX CITY) The Children's Museum of Siouxland is holding a press conference at noon today (Thursday) at Stoney Creek Inn in Sioux City to introduce the finished concepts of the museum to the public.

The plans include 10 different galleries that are drawn out and explained in detail. Lily Higman of Akron, founding board member of the Children's Museum, says that one of the exhibits will be highly interactive. It's called "The Real You."

Listen here

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Other galleries will teach about farms, construction, and life along the river. There will also be a grocery store that will be stocked with local food products like Wells' Blue Bunny Ice Cream.

A main concern when designing the galleries was to make sure that children of all ages could enjoy them. Higman says the museum wants parents to understand that even though the exhibits don't change, kids interact with the exhibits in different ways at different ages.

Listen here

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The new Children's Museum in Sioux City is expected to be completed in the next couple of years. It will be located at the former Condon building on Pearl Street and is part of the Pearl Street redevelopment project.

Currently The Children's Museum of Siouxland is in the silent phase of fund raising . As early as spring they may turn to the public for support of the 6 million dollar renovation. More information is availalbe from the website or on Facebook.  (News report by Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Aurelia driver injured Wednesday night

(CHEROKEE)--A driver was injured when he was ejected after losing control of a truck four miles southwest of Cherokee last night.

According to the Iowa State Patrol,  59-year-old Timothy Nelson of Aurelia was traveling north on Cherokee County road L-51 when a right side tire dropped off the roadway.

The Patrol reports Nelson overcorrected and the truck slid into the ditch and rolled causing Nelson to be ejected.

Nelson was taken to Cherokee Regional Medical Center by Cherokee Ambulance.

Auger company to move from Cherokee to Storm Lake

CHEROKEE (AP) An auger manufacturer will relocate from Cherokee to Storm Lake.

Harvest International purchaser Sue Richardson says the company is moving its headquarters about 25 miles away from Cherokee because it will give the company the chance to ``expand and grow.'' The move to a new 74,000-square-foot facility in Storm Lake is planned for sometime in May of next year.

The company also plans to hire about 10 more employees, adding to its 30-member workforce. Richardson says the company is seeing an increased demand for augers and has been ``challenged to keep up.'' The company produces about 1,000 augers a year and wants to make that number 1,200.

Storm Lake city leaders say they wooed the company with a forgivable loan and tax rebates.

(Copyright 2010 by Associated Press. All rights reserved)

 Two more arrests in ongoing drug investigation

(LE MARS)--Two Le Mars residents are free on bond after their arrest on felony drug charges.

Information about more arrests in an ongoing investigation by Le Mars Police was released Wednesday.

Twenty-three-year-old Sharon Schmidt of Le Mars is charged with delivery of meth and two charges of delivery of a prescription drug. Twenty-one-year-old Aaron Schmidt of Le Mars is charged with delivery of meth, two charges of delivery of a prescription drug and failing to have a drug tax stamp.

They were arrested on September 14th at a Le Mars residence.

Former northwest Iowa opera house collapses

CORRECTIONVILLE, Iowa (AP) A couple has escaped the collapse of their home, a more than century old brick building in downtown Correctionville.

Associated Press reports that the building was an old opera house built in 1893. The couple that lived there bought the building five years ago and renovated the main floor into their home.

The couple was inside the building when it began to collapse at 6 a.m. Tuesday. The top floor of the building slid into the street.

According to fire officials say the construction and age of the building were likely to blame for the collapse.

A damage estimate wasn't immediately available.

(Copyright 2010 by Associated Press. All rights reserved)

 Nelson pleads guilty to federal charges

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A bankrupt used-car dealer from South Dakota has pleaded guilty in Iowa to conspiring to lie on financial reports.

Dan Nelson had been indicted on 28 counts of bank, wire and mail fraud. He was accused of causing a coalition of banks to lose $21 million. Nelson agreed Tuesday to spend no more than three years in federal prison. Nelson once owned vehicle dealerships in Iowa and South Dakota.

Nelson was to go to trial next month. He is to be sentenced in January.

Nelson acknowledges he gave the banks false information, which brought on more loans. The Des Moines Register reports that court documents show the banks lost about $21 million.

Nelson's defense attorney says Nelson wasn't trying to steal and instead was trying to keep his business afloat.

2 Iowa counties get disaster declaration

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) The Federal Emergency Management Agency says two Iowa counties have received presidential disaster declarations.

FEMA said Wednesday that damage inspections are going on in both Appanoose and Wapello counties. FEMA officials say residents should register to find out if they will qualify for grant money.

So far FEMA has approved about $159,000 in grants for Wapello County and $84,000 for residents in Appanoose County.

The damage stems from storms and flooding in June, July or August.

FEMA says Iowans living in the two qualifying counties have until Oct. 13 to register for assistance.

To register, residents may call 1-800-621-3362.

More security planned for the fair

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Visitors to the 2011 Iowa State Fair should expect to see more police officers and security cameras at the fairgrounds.

The changes are in response to assaults the last weekend of this year's fair that officials say may have been racially motivated. Two police officers were assaulted during the fights, which included a pair of stabbings.

Police and Iowa State Patrol officials say the plan will include increased police visibility and the use of cameras around the perimeter of the fairgrounds.

Des Moines Police Chief Judy Bradshaw says there also will be increased communication between state troopers inside the fairgrounds and police officers patrolling the perimeter of the fairgrounds.

Bradshaw says officials also will be seeking input from residents and business owners in the neighborhood.

Iowa City supports lawsuit against EPA

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) An Iowa League of Cities' federal lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency has received support from Iowa City.

The Iowa City City Council said Wednesday that members have approved a resolution that provides financial support to the league as it pursues the lawsuit against the EPA. The league filed the lawsuit in federal court in July. It claims the EPA has reinterpreted certain federal rules regarding cities with wet weather collection issues.

Iowa City leaders have approved spending $25,000 toward litigation expenses. City leaders say Iowa City has many old sewers and groundwater infiltration issues. Other Iowa municipalities sharing costs include Council Bluffs, Cedar Rapids, Sioux City, Des Moines, Ames and Dubuque.

Phone and e-mail messages seeking EPA comment were not immediately returned. BAR ENTRY AGE

Iowa City could OK under-21 bar areas

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) City Council members in Iowa City have given initial approval to a plan that would let bars admit people under age 21 if the establishments wall off an alcohol-free area.

The ordinance received approval Tuesday and would allow the separation during city-sponsored special events. The ordinance needs two more approval votes to pass. The proposed ordinance comes after the city approved a law this spring that prevents those younger than 21 from being in a bar after 10 p.m. The age limit had been 19.

A petition drive led by University of Iowa students and downtown bar owners collected enough signatures to force the council to either repeal the law or send it to voters. The Council voted to put the measure on the November ballot.

Calls increase to Iowa domestic violence hotline

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The nonprofit group Children and Families of Iowa says calls to its Iowa Domestic Violence Hotline have increased 31 percent so far this year over the same time last year.

Hotline coordinator Diana Smith said Wednesday that the number of calls is a ``significant increase,'' but she says it's ``not a surprise'' because of the poor economy and unemployment. She says those pressures can make a bad situation worse. The increase was measured from Jan. 1 of this year through June 30.

The group also says it has served an increasingly number of people at its domestic violence shelter. The shelter manager says it has been at and over capacity nearly every night.

The domestic violence hotline is funded by the Iowa Department of Justice's Crime Victim Assistance Division. It is available toll-free, 24 hours a day at 1-800-942-0333.

(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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