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Thursday Afternoon News, August 16

Legion Building Gets Facelift

(Le Mars) -- The American Legion Hall of Wasmer Post #240 of Le Mars is undergoing a facelift.  Legion Trustee Steve Jester says a new entryway is being constructed for the historical building. 

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The local American Legion was able to obtain grants to help with the financing of the project.

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Jester says the building is part of the downtown designation for historical preservation registry.  He says when the project is completed, it will hopefully have a similar glass block appearance as it did when the building was first constructed, although Jester admits that is somewhat disputed.

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Randy Niehus of Le Mars is the designated general contractor. Jester anticipates the project will be completed within a couple of months.  He says the new front, along with the painting of Old Glory on the top hopefully will create interest and attract more people to the Legion Hall.  Jester says the painting was done by Randy Becker, and it has stimulated several compliments from the community.

Congressman Steve King To Hold Northwest Iowa Townhall Meetings 

 (Washington) -- Iowa Congressman Steve King has announced he will hold three townhall meetings in northwest Iowa.  King, a republican, will be at the Le Mars Convention Center Upper Level Conference Room on Monday, August 20 between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.  King will then hold a townhall meeting for Sioux County at the Sioux Center Public Library between 12:30 and 1:30 p.m. and he will be at the Forster Community Center at Rock Rapids for a Lyon County townhall meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. and continuing until 3:00 p.m. 


Sub Contractor  Penalized $1000 per Day On Highway 3

(Le Mars) --  Yesterday on KLEM we learned about the construction project on Highway 3 was going to take a bit longer to complete since the work did not meet specifications.  Le Mars City Administator Scott Langel reports Barkley Asphalt Company, the sub-contractor, has returned to the work site today and intends to mill off 1 and a half inches of the top layer of the asphalt.  Then, Barkley Asphalt will again re-surface the roadway adding the one and a half inches of asphalt.  The work is expected to take seven work days to complete.  Langel says liquidated damages of $1000 per day started on Tuesday, August 14th, and will be assessed each work day until the project is completed and meets all specifications.


Le Mars Fire and Rescue To Hold Drill At Dean Foods

(Le Mars) -- The Le Mars Fire and Rescue Unit will be conducting a simulated disaster drill at Dean Foods next Wednesday evening between 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.  Fire trucks, police cars, ambulances, and the Sioux City Haz-Mat team will all be participating in the drill. The simulated drill will occur on the south side of Dean Foods next to 12 Street.


Sioux City Man Arrested For Making Threats On Facebook

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - A Sioux City man who prosecutors say asked in a Facebook posting whether he needed to "shoot up a mall before people understand" has been charged with making threats of terrorism.
     22-year-old Gabriel Rodriquez was arrested last week. Prosecutors say in court documents that Rodriguez wrote "suicidal- and homicidal-themed messages" on the social networking site between Aug. 2 and 9.
     Police say the posts on Rodriguez's Facebook profile couldn't be seen by the general public, but Sioux City police spokesman Mark Kirkpatrick wouldn't make any additional comments about the
     A Woodbury County jailer said Rodriguez remained in custody on Thursday, pending $10,000 bail.


Drought Report Shows Iowa Getting Better--Kansas Getting Worse

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A new report suggests that while recent rains stabilized the devastating drought gripping Iowa and other key farming states, the dry conditions intensified in Kansas and
     The latest U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows the overall expanse of land across the contiguous U.S. states weathering some form of drought dropped less than 1 percent to 61.8
percent as of Tuesday.
     In Iowa, the nation's leader in corn production, the amount of land mired in extreme or exceptional drought - the two worst classifications - dropped 7 percentage points to 62.05 percent over the past week.
     But the amount of Nebraska in exceptional drought spiked 19 percentage points to 22.5 percent, while that number in Kansas rose from 38.6 percent last week to 63.3 percent now.


Recall Of Johnsonville Sausage Products

SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. (AP) - Wisconsin-based Johnsonville Sausage is recalling some packages of turkey sausage with cheddar cheese because the product may include pieces of glove. The company
is recalling select 13.5-ounce vacuum packages of Johnsonville "Turkey Sausage with Cheddar Cheese" with a "Best By" date of August 20th, 2012, and the establishment number "EST. P-34224."







Thursday News, August 16

Scoop The Loop Called A Success

(Le Mars) -- Last evening's Chamber sponsored "Scoop the Loop" was a successful event with more than 200 classic cars of various makes and models making the cruise down Central Avenue to the Olson Cultural Events Center.  Le Mars Chamber representative Mary Reynolds says last night's event attracted more people and more cars than ever before.  The gathered crowd enjoyed viewing the polished relics, as well as listening to the music provided by "The Jammers."


Highway 3 To Remain Closed For At Least Another Week

(Le Mars) -- Due to contractors not being able to meet road specifications, Highway 3 from Business Highway 75 to the Highway 75 by-pass will remain closed to the general public for at least another week.  Le Mars City Administrator, Scott Langel says the road was completed, but it did not meet the specifications for smoothness.

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Langel says the two contractors must absorb the additonal costs for the repairs, neither the state nor the city of Le Mars will be asked to pay for the extra work. He says originally, the contractor had until this past Monday to complete the project.  Langel offers a timetable as to when the project may possibly be finished.

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The road construction project got started on April 30, 2012.

Kidnapping Charges Dropped Due To Failure To File Before Deadline

 WALL LAKE, Iowa (AP) - Kidnapping charges have been dropped against three northwest Iowa men after prosecutors failed to file the formal charges by a state-mandated deadline.
     Thomas Schroeder II and Bradley Jacobsen, both of Wall Lake, and Steve Schroeder, of Odebolt, were arrested last month for allegedly kidnapping and beating a migrant worker, Rafael Trevino, on Aug. 3, 2009.
     Iowa law requires prosecutors to file formal charges for most felonies within three years of the crime.
     The charges were dropped this week after the Iowa attorney general's office, which was prosecuting the case, failed to file the formal charges before the deadline.
     Attorney General Tom Miller has ordered his staff to review internal case management practices.
     Trevino's attorney, Marinda van Dalen, says it's a "real injustice."


Elizabeth Smart Tells Missing Cousins Relatives "There's Always Hope"

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Elizabeth Smart, who was held by a kidnapper for nine months, is reminding the families of two missing Iowa cousins that "miracles do happen."
     Ten-year-old Lyric Cook and her cousin Elizabeth Collins, who has since turned 9, were reported missing July 13 from the Waterloo suburb of Evansdale. The bikes were found at a nearby lake about
four hours after their grandmother had last seen them.
     Smart was 14 when kidnapped from her suburban Salt lake City home in June 2002. She was reunited with her family in March 2003 and has since talked to kidnapping survivors and families who have suffered similar tragedies.   Smart says "there's always hope."


Waterloo Police Find Abandoned Baby In Car

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Waterloo police say a baby was taken to a hospital after a patrol officer found the infant had been left alone in a parked car.
     The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the 9-month-old child was found about noon on Wednesday when the officer saw the car parked on the wrong side of the street. The car wasn't locked.
     The newspaper says the child was conscious but sweaty. It wasn't clear how long the child had been in the car. There was no word on the baby's condition.
     Officers found the mother inside a nearby apartment building.  The names of the mother and child weren't immediately released.


Casinos Violates Child Labor Laws  

  DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Labor Department says it has found wage and child labor law violations at two Iowa casinos.
     A department news release says it found teenagers working at the Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood were loading and operating trash compactors in violation of federal safety provisions.
     The department also says it found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act's overtime pay and record-keeping requirements at the Northwood casino and at the Diamond Jo Riverboat Casino in Dubuque.
The department says it recovered more than $46,500 in back wages for 32 employees.
     The department says it has assessed $9,300 in civil penalties against Dubuque-based Peninsula Gaming LLC, which operates the casinos.
     A company spokeswoman didn't return a message from The Associated Press.


Woman Pleads Guilty To Child Pornography

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A Bettendorf woman who used a minor to produce child pornography has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
     Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that 37-year-old Amanda Diener received the 240-month prison term after pleading guilty to conspiracy to sexually exploit a child.
     Prosecutors said that Diener used an unidentified female minor to whom she had access to perform sex acts, photograph them and send images to a Massachusetts man identified as Hobart Yates.
     Yates and Diener also admitted that Diener performed sex acts on a live webcam that Yates watched.
     U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt also sentenced Diener to 15 years of supervised release after her prison term.

Student Pilot and Instructor Land Plane In Cornfield

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a student pilot and a flight instructor suffered only minor injuries when they were forced to make an emergency landing in a corn field in northern
     The accident happened Wednesday afternoon near Manly.
     Cerro Gordo County Sheriff Kevin Pals says the pilot, Geoffrey Tayner, of Johnston, and the instructor, Tom Ballard, of Granger, were flying over northern Iowa and southern Minnesota as part of a training flight when engine trouble forced the plane down.
     Neither required hospitalization.
     The cause of the crash is under investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified.





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