Wednesday Afternoon News, May 29
Flood Clean Up Begins
(Le Mars) -- City crews are busy with the clean up duties following the aftermath of the Memorial Day flooding. Tons of debris including, corn stalks, tree limbs, and soil and silt were left behind once the flood waters from the Floyd River and Willow Creek receded. Fire officials from the Le Mars Fire Department are at the Le Mars Airport washing away the mud and debris found on the runway and tarmac. Meanwhile, city workers from the Public Works Department are using a backhoe and dump trucks to clean the tons of debris along Willow Creek and the hiking-biking . The flood-related debris is being taken to the Plymouth County Landfill. This afternoon, (Wednesday) golfers will trade their clubs and tees for shovels and rakes as all golf league players are encouraged to assist with the clean up duties of the Willow Creek Golf Club. The clean up is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m. but if you can't arrive at that time, anytime this afternoon will be appreciated.
Mud Run Rescheduled For September
(Le Mars) -- Due to the recent flooding of the Floyd River, organizers of the Red, White, and Blue Mud Run have decided to postpone the endurance run. Jay King says they hope to have the event in September.
Originally, the mud run was scheduled for this coming Saturday, June 1st. King says participants that have registered will remain registered for the new date.
King offers an explanation as to why officials decided to change the date of the mud run, saying many of the obstacles had been damaged or destroyed by the recent flood waters.
Sioux City Man Faces Mail Fraud Sentenciing
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A 36-year-old Sioux City man faces sentencing in August for federal mail fraud.
Darin Moran pleaded guilty to one count and faces up to 20 years in prison when he's sentenced on Aug. 12.
Moran was a certified Apple repair technician who worked for a service provider in North Sioux City, S.D. Prosecutors say he made fraudulent warranty claims on parts for his personal side business for computer repair and sales from 2007 through 2010.
Sioux City "French Fries" Sculpture Is Back
SIOUX CITY, The giant french fries are back in Sioux City.
Workers on Tuesday installed the 50-foot yellow sculpture officially known as "Sioux City" but often referred to as the french fries.
The 6,000 pound steel beam artwork by artist John Henry represents Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.
It had been at a downtown site for 30 years but was placed in storage when a pedestrian mall was reopened to traffic in 2008.
The sculpture's new home is on the campus of the Sioux City Arts Center.
Plans call for the steel beams to be repainted yellow later.
Police Examine Kluder's Movements To See If Connection Exists With Missing Cousins
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa police chief says he hopes to know next week whether sex offender Michael Klunder is linked to the abduction and slaying of two cousins who vanished last year while riding bikes.
Evansdale Chief Kent Smock said Wednesday investigators are trying to retrace Klunder's steps from July, when 10-year-old Lyric Cook and 8-year-old Elizabeth Collins were abducted. Their bodies were found in December.
Police say Klunder committed suicide last week after he kidnapped two girls who were walking home from school in Dayton, 90 miles west of Evansdale.
A 12-year-old girl escaped but 15-year-old Kathlynn Shepard remains missing.
Smock said investigators were getting subpoenas for Klunder's phone records and seeking other information. He says he hopes to announce next week whether Klunder is believed to be responsible or uninvolved.
Spring Now Wettest On Record
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - This spring is now the wettest on record in Iowa. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says statewide average rainfall of 16.4 inches as of Tuesday morning is the most rain in March, April and May in 141 years of records. The previous record was 15.5 inches in 1892 and normal is just over 10 inches.
That explains why Iowa rivers are overflowing shutting down roads, flooding basements, and sending emergency managers into flood planning mode.
The worry is another storm system is bearing down on Iowa bringing the potential for heavy rain.
One factor that may have prevented a devastating flood so far is last year's drought but that benefit has faded and Iowa is at a tipping point for major flooding if heavy rain comes in the wrong places.
DMACC To Pay Fine For Free Speech Violations
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - An Iowa community college will pay nearly $14,000 to settle a free-speech lawsuit filed by a student who was barred from distributing fliers criticizing a conference on gay youth.
Des Moines Area Community College had already pledged to no longer enforce a policy that required students to distribute literature at a table in the student center and to get permission 10 days in advance.
In documents filed Tuesday, the college agreed to pay Jacob Dagel $100 and cover attorneys' fees of $13,700 to end the case without admitting wrongdoing. Dagel was represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative group.
Dagel filed suit after he was barred by a security guard from distributing fliers that criticized the college for subsidizing a March conference on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered youth.
Man Threatens Roomate With A Knife
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Police say an eastern Iowa man threatened his roommate with a knife after trying to use a plate as weapon.
North Liberty police arrested 18-year-old Chad Sharkey Tuesday night after responding to a report about a fight in progress. Sharkey was found outside a residence and told police an argument with his roommate had turned physical.
Police say Sharkey punched his roommate in the face and attempted to break a plate to use as a weapon. He's accused of then threatening his roommate with a 3-inch pocket knife.
The Iowa City Press Citizen reports (http://icp-c.com/19m5Yjf ) the roommate suffered swelling and pain to his left eye.
Sharkey faces charges of assault causing bodily injury and assault while displaying a weapon. Online records do not list an attorney.
Girl Survives Fall From Window
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Des Moines police say a 2-year-old girl has survived a fall from a second-floor window.
Officers and medics were called to a home Tuesday evening.
A woman told officers she had briefly left her granddaughter in the living room. After returning she noticed a window had been pushed open and the screen was missing.
The woman ran downstairs and found the girl face down in the grass. She was crying and responsive.
Medics took the girl to a hospital, where police say she was in stable condition.