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KLEM News AM Update Juy 9, 2010

(SALIX)--A Siouxland man was seriously injured in a one-car accident near Salix Thursday morning.
According to an Iowa State Patrol report, 24-year-old Richard
Lee Sheridan Junior of Walthill, Nebraska lost control of his car on Old Highway 75. Sheridan was driving south on the road, also known as K-45, when the car crossed the roadway into the opposite lane and went into the ditch. The car was engulfed into flames after it struck a utility pole.

Sheridan was taken by air ambulance to a burn center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Remsen is "Relay for Life" host

(REMSEN)--The annual fund raiser to fund the fight against cancer in Plymouth County, Relay for Life, is in Remsen starting this evening.

Relay for Life begins at six tonight with opening Ceremonies at the City of Remsen track. There are walks for survivors and caregivers. Luminarias honoring or remembering family members and friends will rim the Remsen track for a ceremony at ten tonight. The fund raising walks around the track ends with the final hours of walking  at 7 tomorrow morning.

Chuck Reed of the American Cancer Society in Iowa says an estimated 145 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in Plymouth County last year. There were 55 cancer deaths.

In Iowa, the American Cancer Society continues to serve a record number of cancer patients with information, day-to-day help, and emotional support. So far this year, there's been more than eight percent increase in the number of people served with patient-related information or programs.

Information is available from www.cancer.org

Free Truck Driver Training in Sheldon

(SHELDON)--Federal stimulus money will help provide free truck driver training in Sheldon.

Northwest Iowa Community College is partnering with Upper Des Moines Opportunity to offer the free training.

To be eligible, those who take the training need to live in the 12-county Upper Des Moines Oppportunity area, including Buena Vista, O'Brien and Pocahontas counties. They also must meet income guidelines.

Details are available from Northwest Iowa Community College.

Interstate 29 maintenance work moves to Onawa area

(Sioux City)--Another part of summer maintenance work on Interstate 29 in Siouxland is slated to begin July 19th.

Dean Herbst of the Sioux City District office for the Iowa Department of Transportation says the pavement improvement is on I-29 between exit 105 and Exit 112 in the Onawa area.

The project work includes patching within the entrance and exit ramps and replacement sidewalk. Completion is set for mid-August.

Deer damages mini-van near Le Mars

(LE MARS)---A Wisconsin man had possible injuries after he reported a deer ran into the path of his mini-van Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Plymouth County sheriff's office, sixty-year-old Dick Norbert of Wisconsin Rapids was driving north on Highway 60 at the time of the accident

Campbell issues debate challenge to Congressman King

(UNDATED)--The Democratic candidate for Fifth District congressmen is asking the Republican incumbent for three debates.

Democrat Matt Campbell Thursday issued a debate proposal to Congressman Steve King.

Campbell says he's proposing televised debates in Sioux City and Council Bluffs and a third to be elsewhere in the 32-county Fifth District.

Some Iowa officeholders refuse pay cuts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Three Iowa officeholders haven't joined other statewide officials in taking pay cuts in the face of the state's falling revenues.

Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, Secretary of State Michael Mauro and Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald have refused to follow Gov. Chet Culver, who took a 10 percent cut in his pay.

Mauro pointed out he hasn't received a pay raise in four years.

In October, Culver made the pitch to his department directors to cut their pay as he made a $565 million budget cut that forced layoffs.

Fitzgerald said Wednesday he felt no pressure to take a cut, noting his overall office budget did shrink 10 percent.

A spokesman for Judge noted her salary of $103,212 remains lower than those of most of the state directors even after they made the 10 percent cut.

Officials: Housing renovation in DSM helps economy

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Housing officials are singling out a $30 million renovation program in Des Moines as an example of the economic recovery that's taking place across the nation.

Ron Sims, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was joined by state and local officials Thursday at the renovation project of a low-income apartment complex. The project is funded by federal stimulus money, and Sims says the project and ones like it will leave a legacy of better housing and an improved economy.

The event was one in a series this summer to draw attention to projects funded by the federal stimulus package President Barack Obama pushed through Congress.

Republicans have been critical of the funding, saying more spending is not the way to improve the economy. 

Two  Iowa universities getting federal grants

WASHINGTON (AP) Senator Chuck Grassley says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded competitive grants totaling more than $1 million to the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

The Iowa Republican said Thursday the grants are for biological and medical studies.

Iowa State is receiving more than $326,000 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Studies for a study of prions, the structures responsible for ``mad cow disease'' and other serious disorders.

The University of Iowa is getting two grants of more than $187,000 apiece from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for two separate studies. The University of Iowa is also receiving more than $319,000 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for a study of congenital heart defects in African clawed frogs, which are frequently used experimental animals.

Bank robber draws 91 years in prison

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A federal judge in Des Moines has handed down a 91-year prison sentence to a 34-year-old man convicted of armed bank robberies in Oxford and three other Iowa communities.

Former Oxford resident Jason Lee Bowers received only nine years for the four robberies in Slater, St. Charles, Rippey and Oxford. But Bowers received an additional mandatory 82 years because guns were used in the heists.

During his sentencing Thursday, Bowers was also ordered to pay more than $25,000 in restitution and pay $800 to a crime victims' fund.

The robberies occurred over a 12-day period in October 2009. In each incident, Bowers was accused of displaying a gun and stealing a vehicle to flee the scene. He was convicted in March.

Dad pleads not guilty in boy's drowning

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) An adoptive parent of a 4-year-old boy who drowned in a bathtub at the family home in Andrew has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment charges.

Andrew W. Holdgrafer entered the written plea Tuesday in Jackson County District Court. Holdgrafer demanded his right to a speedy trial, which has been set for Sept. 13.

Holdgrafer's wife, 29-year-old Danielle Holdgrafer, has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing their son, 4-year-old Collin, on June 12 by dunking his head under water while bathing him.

Prosecutors allege 32-year-old Andrew Holdgrafer knowing allowed his wife to abuse the boy. They claim the man told investigators he knew Collin was being abused and neglected and that he failed to take action.

Danielle Holdgrafer is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on the charges filed against her.

Georgia man dies after fight

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A Cedar Rapids man has been arrested in connection with the death of a Georgia man.

Henry Thomas Lee Rogers has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 35-year-old Dustin Davis.

According to police spokeswoman Sgt. Cristy Hamblin, officers responding to a call of a disturbance late Wednesday found Davis lying unconscious on the ground. According to police records, witnesses told investigators Rogers punched Davis, causing Davis to fall and hit his head.

A second man, 23-year-old Thomas Perez of Cedar Rapids, was arrested for disorderly conduct for pushing others during the altercation.

Authorities say Rogers, who is being held in lieu of $10,000 bond, has been convicted of assault at least seven other times since 2002.

It was not immediately known if Rogers has obtained legal representation.

Driver who allegedly hit girl charged again

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines authorities say three new charges have been filed against a motorist who allegedly struck a 14-year-old girl.

Joel Robert Simpson was charged with two counts of driving while barred after he allegedly struck Melissa Ann Robinson of Des Moines on June 6. At the time, prosecutors said additional charges might be filed against him.

On Sunday, the 55-year-old Simpson was charged with serious injury by vehicle, operating while intoxicated and operating a vehicle without consent.

Police say a speeding car ran a stop sign, then drove onto the grass at Union Park. It hit and dragged Robinson 75 feet.

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports Simpson has not had a valid driver's license for about 16 years. He remains in the Polk County Jail.

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

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KLEM News PM Update July 8, 2010


LE MARS)--Storage buildings dominate the latest building report for rural Plymouth County.

Zoning administrator Alan Lucken reports 12 permits were issued in June for construction with an estimated value of just over 800-thousand dollars.

The 11 permits for buildings on farm totalled 716-thousand dollars. Lucken issued one permit for a new house and two permits for house additions. There were four machine storage building permits; four grain bins; and one commodity storage permit.

The only rural permit that was not on a farm was for a house with an estimated construction value of 90-thousand dollars

Governor says I-JOBS will improve NW cities water supplies

(DES MOINES)--Six northwest Iowa communities will make water system improvements using state I-JOBS funds

Governor Chet Culver says the funds will create a safe, quality water supply for residents of the communities.

The largest award of one-point-four million dollars is for Arnolds Park to upgrade the water treatment plant. Another Iowa Great Lakes community, Okoboji, was awarded 860-thousand dollars for upgrades to the drinking water treatment plant.

Sibley's share is 475-thousand dollars for a new water storage tank, service pumps, stand-by generator and water main replacement. Cherokee was awarded 60-thousand dollars to rehabilitate two sewer lift stations. Salix will replace lift stations using 80-thousand dollars. Onawa's project is to improve the drinking water treatment plant and have additional storage. The I-JOBS award was 325-thousand dollars.

Judge orders Iowa sheriff to issue gun permit

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A federal judge in Sioux City has ruled an northwest Iowa sheriff violated a man's First Amendment rights when he denied an application for a permit to carry a weapon.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett ordered Osceola County Sheriff Douglas Weber on Wednesday to issue a permit to carry a weapon to Paul Dorr of Ocheyedan.

The ruling states that Weber approved a permit for Dorr in previous years when Dorr traveled the country to protest outside abortion clinics and only denied Dorr's request after he began working with a taxpayer's group questioning county spending in 2007.

Bennett also ordered Weber to take a college level class on the U.S. Constitution.

Weber declined comment.

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

S-U-V collides with train near Lake View

(LAKE VIEW)--A Fonda woman was injured near Lake View when her S-U-V struck the engine of a Canadian National Railroad train Wednesday afternoon.

According to Sac County Sheriff Ken McClure, 37-year-old Barbara Mercer had stopped for the stop sign at the railroad crossing. The front of the sport utility vehicle Mercer was driving was on the tracks when the S-U-V was struck by the train engine. The train had 62 cars attached as it was traveling southwest.

Mercer was taken to a hospital in Lake City by Lake View Ambulance where she was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The S-U-V was totalled. There was no damage to the train. The sheriff reports all the lights, bells, and horn of the train were functioning at the time of the accident.

Coyotes, groundhogs chewing lights at Iowa airport

MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) Airport workers in Muscatine say they're looking to stop groundhogs and coyotes from burrowing and gnawing into the underground lighting system.

Steve Boka is Muscatine's director of planning, zoning and building safety. He says the lights are necessary to keep the airport runway visible and safe and the animal mischief has to end. Officials say they can fix the problem by removing the animals. They also can install an encased lighting system that the animals wouldn't be able to penetrate.

Boka hopes the airport could start work on a new lighting system by next spring. The project would cost about $350,000.

He says repairs on the current lighting system will continue to keep the airport safe for planes.

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

18 teachers to be restored in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Some of the teachers who were laid off by the Des Moines school district earlier this year will be headed back to classrooms.

The school district said Wednesday that insurance rates were lower than expected. That means it can restore 18 teaching positions, five custodians and one laborer. The district eliminated 173 teaching positions because of an $11 million budget shortfall.

Restoring the 24 jobs will cost the district about $1.5 million. Officials haven't yet decided which specific teaching positions will be restored. They say they'll review what areas have the greatest need.

The Des Moines district has 31,000 students in 66 schools.

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

World War II bomber on display in Fort Dodge

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) A historic B-17 bomber used during World War II has made an appearance at the Fort Dodge Airport.

The plane is one of 12 B-17 bombers that still flies. Pilot Bob Blue flew it from Dubuque to Fort Dodge on Tuesday. Blue says the plane is ``an icon of World War II.'' Blue is a retired United Airlines pilot and a member of the Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force. He volunteers to fly the plane during tours of the United States.

The silver metal bomber is named ``Sentimental Journey.'' It will be on display at the airport in Fort Dodge through Thursday.

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

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New system could help ID unknown Iowa body

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Investigators in Polk County say they're hoping new technology will help them identify a man whose body was found 26 years ago in 1984.

Polk County officials say they're hoping the National Missing and Unidentified Person Systems will be able to help identify the tattooed man who detectives have nicknamed ``Bones.'' The system was started in January 2009 and already has helped identify 15 people.

Polk County medical examiner Gregory Schmunk says the new system can combine missing persons databases with unidentified remains databases. He says his office has two other cases registered with the system.

National federal statistics show that medical examiners and coroners nationwide had 4,400 unidentified bodies in 2007.

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


BEDFORD, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a woman has died from injuries suffered during a Fourth of July parade in Bedford in southwest Iowa.

Police say 82-year-old Betty Sprague, of Bedford, died Wednesday at a hospital in Omaha, Neb.

She was among three people thrown from a wagon that broke loose from four ponies during the parade.

Police say a problem with a neck yoke or wagon tongue caused the wagon to come loose and strike the curb. The other passengers were treated at the scene.

The accident remains under investigation.

Sprague was the second Iowan to die from injuries suffered during a parade over the holiday weekend. Janet Steines, of Springbrook, died and 24 others were injured when two horses pulling a wagon bolted in Bellevue.

Man dies after ladder fall in Iowa

ALEXANDER, Iowa (AP) Company officials say an employee died after apparently falling from a ladder at Latham Hi-Tech Seeds in Alexander in northern Iowa.

Company spokeswoman Shannon Latham said the man fell on Wednesday. He was taken to a hospital in Belmond, then to a Mason City hospital, where he died.

Shannon says the man's name was not immediately released, pending notification of family.

Culver requests federal disaster aid

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver has asked President Barack Obama to declare 35 Iowa counties federal disaster areas because of recent storms and flooding.

Culver on Wednesday requested that 18 counties receive individual assistance and 32 counties receive public assistance. Thirty-one counties are currently eligible for state help.

Storms on Wednesday brought more heavy rain and flash flooding to Iowa.

In the Waterloo area, nearly 6 inches of rain of fell, flooding basements and streets. Residents of the Cedar Terrace neighborhood sandbagged their homes.

More than 12 inches of water flooded the post office in Dewar, near Waterloo. The mail has been moved to the Gilbertville Post Office.

(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.


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