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KLEM News PM Update July 1, 2010

Up to 800 John Morrell workers could benefit from Labor Grant

(Sioux City)--The U-S Department of Labor has awarded Iowa six-point-two million dollars in a grant to help around 800 workers who lost their jobs with the closing of the John Morrell meatpacking plant in Sioux City. Jane Oates is the assistant secretary for employment and training at the Labor Department.

Oates says the workers that are interested can come and take part in assisted job search, where they sit down and get one-to-one attention to match the skills they had a John Morrell with a new job. Oates says the workers can also go back to school and get training for a different career.

She says Iowa Workforce Development has told federal officials there are possible future jobs in wind energy or food processing with other employers. Oates says some workers will need more help than others and there is no way to determine how much of the money might be spent on each of the workers.

 "We don't set those limits here, we allow the local workforce professionals to look at the aspirations and the skills of each of the displaced workers, each of the people who have lost their job," Oates says, "I mean clearly, some people may need a little bit of help to move on to the next job, and others may need a heavier dose response. So we try to make these national emergency grants as flexible as possible, so that professionals on the ground can make those kinds of decisions, along with the client, the out of work worker." Oates says about half of the money will come to Iowa to get the process started.

Oates says they will send the first three-point-seven million dollars, but won't give the state the rest until the state proves there's a need for the money. The John Morrell plant closed on April 9th. Oates says the closing initially impacted around 12-hundred workers, but some opted to retire and others have already found other jobs.(News report by Radio Iowa)

Contractors' barricades will be down for the weekend

(LE MARS)--Two streets in Le Mars will be open by the holiday weekend.

City administrator Scott Langel says the projects are Blue Diamond Drive serving an industrial area in Southwest Le Mars and the concrete surface known as white-topping on Third Avenue Southeast.

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The city received economic development targeted state transportation funds, RISE, for the Blue Diamond Drive project.

O'Brien County authorities charge felony sexual abuse

(PRIMGHAR)--A Primghar man is being held in the O'Brien County Jail after his arrest for felony sexual abuse.

The sheriff's office released written information about the arrest Wednesday of 49-year-old Jonathan William Strain of Primghar. Strain is charged with felony sexual abuse in the second degree and felony incest.

Strain is being held on 25-thousand dollars cash bond.

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Bare-foot bandit sought in Siouxland

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Authorities say a suspected teenage burglar from Washington known for daring exploits to evade capture is moving eastward.

Police in Norfolk, Neb., have issued a warrant for 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore following a June 19 break-in at a municipal airport office. Police say an SUV was stolen from the airport that day, then turned up nearly 240 miles away in Iowa.

Harris-Moore has been dubbed ``The Barefoot Bandit'' after allegedly committing crimes sans footwear.

The Camano Island, Wash., teen has evaded authorities since escaping from a halfway house in April 2008. He's believed to have stolen boats, cars, even several small airplanes that have been hot-wired and crash-landed.

Much to the chagrin of law enforcement, a Harris-Moore fan club boasts more than 42,000 followers on Facebook.

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

Des Moines waits as gates lowered on lake

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has started releasing water from rain-swollen Saylorville Lake. The goal is a slow rise in the Des Moines river as it winds toward Des Moines and a vulnerable levee protecting a neighborhood near downtown.

The release is a critical test for the levee, which failed in 1993 and 2008, flooding the working-class Birdland neighborhood.

The center panel of the inflatable dam on the spillway was lowered at 6:15 a.m. Thursday. Corps spokesman Bill Heinold says there are five sections, and it will take about 15 hours to lower them all.

Des Moines Public Works Director Bill Stowe says there was no change in the levees overnight. Crews will be spending the day in the Birdland neighborhood, walking the levee and watching for any possible signs of trouble.

Polk County officials issue health recommendations

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Polk County Health Department says people should avoid flooded areas, direct contact with flood waters and mosquitoes to reduce health risks.

The department issued those recommendations Thursday in response to the increased risk of flooding in Polk County.

Director Terri Henkels says pools of standing water attract mosquitoes, which increase the risk of encephalitis and West Nile Virus.

Henkels says people should try to avoid being outside during dawn and dusk, minimize areas of exposed skin and use insect repellant.

Henkels also recommends those who walk through floodwater or have cleaned up flood debris get a tetanus shot soon.

Prosecutor wants Iowa teen tried as adult

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) The Warren County attorney's office says an Indianola teenager accused of fatally shooting a friend should be tried as an adult.

The 14-year-old boy is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 16-year-old James Doyle on June 27.

Assistant Warren County Attorney Karla Fultz filed a motion on Monday to move the case from juvenile court to district court. A hearing is set for July 21.

If tried and found guilty in juvenile court, the boy could be held in juvenile detention until his 18th birthday. For adults, first-degree murder carries a penalty of life in prison without parole.

A message left for the teen's public defender, Paul White, on Thursday was not immediately returned.

The Associated Press doesn't name juveniles charged in a crime.

Sentencing delayed for teen convicted for murder

CHARLES CITY , Iowa (AP) The sentencing of a Charles City teen convicted of killing his three-year-old cousin has been continued.

Fifteen-year-old Edgar Concepcion, Jr. was found guilty of first-degree murder, sexual abuse and other charges in the death of his cousin earlier this month.

Sentencing was set for July 19. But Floyd County Attorney Normand Klemesrud says the Department of Corrections needs more time to complete a pre-sentencing investigation.

A new sentencing date hasn't been set.

Trial for former IU player delayed again

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The sexual abuse trial of former Iowa football player Cedric Everson has been delayed yet again.

The judge in Everson's case granted a continuance on Wednesday because of concerns over the health of Everson's attorney.

Everson and former teammate Abe Satterfield were accused of assaulting a woman in a dormitory room in October 2007. Both men were charged in May 2008 with second-degree sexual abuse.

Their case had been delayed multiple times since. But Satterfield entered a written plea in April to assault with intent to inflict serious injury and agreed to turn state witnesses against Everson.

Satterfield's sentencing is set for July 23.

Horses removed from Iowa farm on alleged neglect

FREDERICKSBURG, Iowa (AP) Authorities have removed a herd of horses from a farm in Chickasaw County because of allegations of neglect.

The sheriff's office says 13 horses and a mule were loaded into trailers on Tuesday after neighbors complained they weren't being fed and were ill.

Karl Sibert with the Iowa Equine Rescue and Awareness League wouldn't disclose where the animals were taken.

Sheriff Marty Larsen says he'll consult with the Chickasaw County attorney's about possible charges.

Iowa residents urged to consider fireworks safety

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The Cedar Rapids Fire Department says the safest way for residents to celebrate the coming Fourth of July holiday is at a professionally run public fireworks display.

The department is urging anyone who supervises children to make sure children don't possess illegal fireworks or mishandle legal fireworks. Firefighters want to remind residents that even though sparklers are legal they are a common cause of fireworks injuries.

Fireworks injuries frequently include eye injuries and hearing damage.

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

Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email klemnews@lemarscomm.net, by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.


KLEM News AM Update July 1, 2010

(LE MARS)--It's not too late to help shape the future of Le Mars.

The Community Survey completion deadline is extended to the end of this month (July).

Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff says filling out the survey gives a sense of direction and some help.

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Surveys may also be filled out online at www.lemarsiowa.com

The input will guide the Boards of Education of Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic Schools; Floyd Valley Hospital Trustees; the city, the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce, Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation (LBIC), as well as the Young Professionals group. The deadline is now July 31, 2010.

(LE MARS)--Le Mars area residents may give "The Gift of Life" today or tomorrow.

Mary Kovarna of LifeServe Blood Center, the former Siouxland Community Blood Bank, says up to 100 people will donate during the two-day collection in the lower level of Floyd Valley Hospital.

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Hours for the blood donations today are from 9 a-m to 3 p-m and tomorrow from 9 a-m to 1 p-m.

The Siouxland Community Blood Bank and the Blood Center of Iowa merged in a move Kovarna describes as being good stewards.

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Kovarna says with the non-profit blood centers merger everything is being done the same--just under a new name--LifeServe Blood Center. 

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The U.S. Labor Department has handed Iowa Workforce Development and the Community Action Agency of Siouxland up to $6.25 million to provide benefits to workers affected by the closing of John Morrell Co. pork processing plant.

The subsidiary of Smithfield, Va.-based Smithfield Foods shut the plant April 20, throwing 1,450 employees out of work.

With the money, employment and retraining services will be provided to affected workers located in and around Sioux City, where the plant was located.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver says the federal grant will ``go a long way for families struggling to get by while a breadwinner is out of work.''

Iowa Workforce Development Director Elisabeth Buck says the funds will be available for traditional re-employment services and advanced training classes or degree programs designed to help the workers find new careers.

DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) A Mexican man has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of a 3-year-old South Sioux City girl.

But a Dakota County District Court jury Wednesday determined 30-year-old Melecio Camacho-De Jesus was not guilty of burglary.

The jury announced its verdict Wednesday afternoon. Deliberations began late Tuesday.

Evelyn Verdugo Paniagua was killed May 23, 2009, in her South Sioux City home as her family slept. Prosecutors say Camacho-De Jesus suffocated the girl while he tried to keep her quiet during a sexual assault.

Camacho-De Jesus had been living in Sioux City, Iowa, when he was arrested.

Camacho-De Jesus' lawyer argued that his client didn't understand his actions that night because of cocaine in his system.

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

(WEST DES MOINES)--The general manager of KLEM Radio and five other Siouxland radio stations is the "Broadcaster of the Year" in Iowa.

Dennis Bullock of Powell Broadcasting received the award Wednesday at the Iowa Broadcasters Association summer convention in West Des Moines.

Powell Broadcasting Director of Sales Dave Grosenheider of Le Mars presented the award. Grosenheider says the award pays tribute to Bullock's integrity, hard work and sense of community.

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Grosenheider described Bullock as a "hands-on manager and a mentor who has passion for helping young people enter and succeed in the field of broadcasting."

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Bullock said he is humbled by the honor explaining being recognized by those who know and understand your industry better than anyone else is the biggest professional honor that could ever be bestowed upon someone.

The Sioux Citian has worked in sales and management positions in broadcasting for 28 years. He's been general manager of Powell Broadcasting since December of 2001.

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

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The state medical examiner's office says Iowa State student Jon Lacina likely died from hypothermia.

Officials announced the results of its investigation into Lacina's death Wednesday, classifying it as accidental.

Iowa State University Police Chief Jerry Stewart says evidence indicates Lacina fell down a flight of stairs in a building on the old university dairy farm in April

The 22-year-old Lacina was reported missing Jan. 30. He was last seen leaving a gathering of friends Jan. 22.

Stewart says Lacina was not wearing a jacket and had his shirt sleeves rolled up.

Stewart says Lacina also suffered cuts to his hands from broken glass in a door. His wallet, keys and cell phone were found on him.

Stewart says it appears Lacina walked to the building on his own but the reason wasn't known.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A federal court has ordered increased damages for two Iowa women who were strip searched after being arrested for protesting at a rally for President George Bush in 2004 in Cedar Rapids.

The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday in the case of Alice McCabe and Christine Nelson, who filed lawsuits claiming their constitutional rights had been violated.

A jury awarded them $750,000 but a judge threw out the damages saying they were excessive. The judge offered $75,000 but McCabe and Nelson rejected it and a second trial ended with a jury awarding less than $60,000.

The appeals court ruled the amount offered by the judge was miscalculated and ordered damages be increased.

The women's attorney, David O'Brien, says he's happy with the ruling. The Linn County attorney did not immediately return telephone messages.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A new rule will go into effect allowing individuals to release pen reared Chinese ring-necked pheasants on their own land from hatcheries approved by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The law, which goes into effect Thursday, prohibits the release of pen reared pheasants on land not owned or rented by the person releasing the birds. The law was approved by the Iowa Legislature in response to record low pheasant numbers.

Dale Garner of the DNR's Wildlife Bureau says research shows pen raised birds have a history of poor survival. He says it is important to put these birds where there is good habitat available to give them a chance.

The DNR says the approved hatcheries in Iowa are Hoovers Hatchery Inc. in Rudd, Murray McMurray Hatchery Inc. in Webster City, and Malloy Gamebirds in State Center.

FREDERICKSBURG, Iowa (AP) A herd of horses has been removed from a Chickasaw County farm after the discovery that the animals were being neglected.

Sheriff's deputies loaded the horses in trailers on Tuesday after neighbors complained the animals were not being fed and were in poor health.

Authorities say the 13 horses and one mule are owned by Kelly Olson, who said the animals had been there since September. Evidence suggests the horses chewed on boards in some of their pens.

Iowa Equine Rescue and Awareness League president Karl Sibert did not disclose where the horses were taken. She said a veterinarian would examine the animals and recommend a diet to restore their health.

Sheriff Marty Larsen says he will consult with the Chickasaw County Attorney's Office on what charges could be filed.

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) First-degree murder charges have been filed against the husband of a Ottumwa woman found stabbed to death earlier this week.

The body of Anessa Kay Johnson was found by investigators summoned to an Ottumwa address late Sunday.

Christopher Johnson was charged Monday afternoon with first-degree murder. He was taken into custody by the Iowa City Police Department, then transported to Ottumwa, where police say he is being held on a $200,000 bond.

Ottumwa Police Lt. Tom McAndrew says the Iowa State Patrol attempted to stop Christopher Johnson while he was operating a motor vehicle in Burlington after his wife's death. During that stop he was involved in a traffic accident.

McAndrew gave few details on the attack, refusing to release what type of weapon was used or the circumstances connected to the stabbing.

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

Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email klemnews@lemarscomm.net, by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.


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