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KLEM News PM Update June 24,2010

(LE MARS)--Plymouth County supervisors point to one-stop services and the indirect costs of existing property as reasons to move forward with construction of the Courthouse Annex Building.

Construction on the building for driver's license, juvenile court staff, zoning, environmental services, economic development, an emergency shelter, storage,  a specialized computer room and a garage is slated to be completed this year.

Supervisor Craig Anderson Tuesday estimated net construction cost at 553-thousand dollars. Anderson said a lot of ground had been covered on a solution for office and storage space needs in the last five years. Anderson still gets calls suggesting other options. It's the location on the courthouse block for the Annex that Supervisor Jim Henrich favors.

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Supervisor Don Kass pointed to the costs of using a location away from the Courthouse for Driver's License Service. Supervisor Mark Loutsch is the newest board member and talked of information he's received.

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Supervisors asked for contracts for the work to be prepared for action next week.

(ORANGE CITY)--Flooded basements are one remnant of a series of thunderstorms that brought threats of tornadoes and large amounts of rain Tuesday night.

The storm moved into Sioux County about 11 p-m dropping about four inches of rain in the Orange City area in a very short period of time.

The Sioux County Sheriff's office has received several reports of flooded basements and a few culverts being washed out during the storm. Funnel clouds were reported in the Maurice and Ireton areas but there have been no confirmed reports of tornadoes on the ground. No injuries have been reported due to severe storms.

Water from the storm moved in above ground at the Plymouth County courthouse. Water leaked into the state clerk of court's office area in the south side Courthouse addition. Several ceiling tiles were saturated along with some carpeting. County officials and insurance representatives were in the office Wednesday to assess damage. A cleaning firm removed water attempting to dry out the office area before the end of the day.

(LE MARS)--Nearly 130-thousand pounds was "thrown away" in Le Mars during Spring Clean Up Days.

The city of Le Mars offers an amnesty from landfill charges for up to one-thousand pounds of throwaway material each spring and fall.

According to assistant city administrator Bill Cole, the numbers from the June 3, 4th, 5th and 19th amnesty show 335 residential customers took advantage of the Spring Clean Up Days. That's down 19 customers from the spring of last year.

The waste crossing the scale at the rural Le Mars landfill totalled 129-thousand 790 pounds. That is about 24-thousand pounds less than a year ago.

However, the city offered electronics recycling as part this year's Spring Clean Up Days. The weight of electronics-related items brought to the area behind city hall by the general public was about 14-thousand pounds.

(ROCK RAPIDS)--Lyon County Authorities charged a Rock Rapids man after they say he struck a woman with his car early Sunday in Rock Rapids.

Twenty-nine-year-old Christopher Todd Huisman is charged with felony intimidation with a dangerous weapon and driving while his license was suspended.

According to information from the Lyon County Sheriff's office, Huisman is accused of using his car to drive up on a lawn in Rock Rapids and striking a female. The woman was treated at a Rock Rapids hospital for minor injuries.

He is free on bond.

(ANKENY) –The Republican nominee for governor, Terry Branstad, today announced that state Sen. Kim Reynolds of Oceola will be his running mate in the Nov. 2 general election. Branstad welcomed her to the ticket during a 7-city statewide tour that will include a stop in Sioux City later today.  
She is in her first term as a state senator.  She is the Clarke County Treasurer. Reynolds will be nominated and voted on at Saturday’s state Republican convention in Des Moines.

DUMONT, Iowa (AP) Officials say flooding along the west fork of Cedar River has forced the evacuation of at least 100 people in Dumont in northern Iowa.

The Butler County sheriff's office says families were evacuated on Wednesday, following heavy rain across the region.

Emergency Management coordinator Mitch Nordmeyer says flooding along the river happened quickly and swamped many businesses and residents, particularly on the southern edge of town. Some homes and businesses were under 3 or 4 feet of water. He estimated 20-25 homes are affected.

Iowa Highway 3 is closed east and west of Dumont.

The sheriff's office says the river was receding Thursday morning, but residents weren't allowed to return home yet.

The American Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver had added Hancock and Wright to a disaster emergency proclamation because of severe weather.

He added the counties on Wednesday after powerful storms hit northern Iowa with heavy rain that caused flash flooding and produced several tornadoes.

The proclamation will allow the counties to use state resources to deal with the aftermath of the storms.

Five counties are now on the list, which also includes Ringgold, Union and Taylor in southern Iowa.

Grants are available assist eligible county residents. More information is available on the state's Department of Human Services' website


WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) When Tyler Plate of Waverly Light and Power was called out after storms hit the area, he didn't expect to find a trampoline stuck in some power lines.

Plate, a journey lineman, found the trampoline early Wednesday after responding to a customer's phone call. It was wrapped about halfway up the pole. Plate called for help.

Jarred Juhl, another journey lineman, was among those who responded. He says he's never seen anything like it.

He says the trampoline was lodged in the lines, but only caused a voltage dip for a fraction of a second, and the dip was so small that it didn't cause an outage.

There was no immediate word on where the trampoline came from.


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a school bus that was stolen from an Iowa City repair shop has been found in Scott County in eastern Iowa.

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek says the Clear Creek Amana school bus was stolen Monday night and was located unattended in Scott County. The bus was parked at Professional Muffler Inc. in Iowa City awaiting exhaust work when the 65-passenger vehicle was taken.

Officials don't know how the bus was stolen.


BROOKINGS, S.D. (AP) South Dakota State University has become the first research partner in an initiative by Ducks Unlimited and the Bayer CropScience company to expand the use of winter wheat in the Prairie Pothole Region.

The region is dotted with wetlands and stretches roughly from northeastern Montana to central Iowa. It is prime breeding country for migratory waterfowl.

Winter wheat is seeded in the fall and minimizes field disturbance in the spring when ducks are nesting. Under the new partnership, plant breeding teams at SDSU will guide the research and development of new winter wheat traits.

SDSU is getting about $732,000 over four years for the project.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Waterloo police are investigating a shooting that sent two people to the hospital.

Authorities say both were shot early Thursday. Police were initially called to a house on a report of a person shot. While on the way, police received another call from another location about two blocks away about a second victim of the same shooting.

One person was taken to Allen Hospital and the other to Covenant Medical Center.

Police have not released their names or the extent of their injuries.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) A charitable trust established by the late hotel and real estate baroness Leona Helmsley is providing $8.1 million for a project that will involve about 1,600 senior citizens in five states.

The money from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust will be given to the Good Samaritan Society over three years. It will be used in a sensor technology project called LivingWell(at)Home, which involves wireless sensors throughout an elderly person's home to help track wellness.

The society says the sensors detect movement, monitor sleep quality and collect information on day-to-day activities such as frequency of bathing. Family members will have access to the information.

People in 40 communities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska will participate.

(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 AM News Update June 24, 2010

(LE MARS)--The city of Le Mars hosts a Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce "After 5" reception for retiring Fire Chief Wayne Schipper today.

Schipper is leaving the fire department after 43 years of service. He is the first full-time fire chief for the city.

The public is invited to the reception beginning at five this afternoon at the city of Le Mars Willow Creek Golf Course Clubhouse. The reception will include brief remarks from city officials.

(ROCK RAPIDS)--A Rock Rapids woman won't be tried for the shooting death of her boyfriend.

52-year-old Laura Lowe of Rock Rapids has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of involuntary manslaughter.

Lowe was charged with attempted murder for the death of Levi Hofer of Rock Rapids. Hofer was shot in the head after authorities said Lowe and Hofer got into an argument at his home February 28th. He died at a Sioux Falls hospital on March 2nd.

The trial for Lowe was set for July 27th.

A judge ordered Lowe to serve up to five years in prison and pay a 750-dollar fine. She was also ordered to make restitution to Hofer's estate of 150-thousand dollars.

Another man in the home, 61-year-old Larry Griffen of Rock Rapids, was charged with being an accessory to a felony. Griffen has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of possession of a controlled substance. He was ordered to serve 30 days in the Lyon County jail and fined 350 dollars.

(LE MARS)--A jury in a Plymouth County District Court case based on a medical negligence claim found no fault and awarded no damages.

According to court records, legal action by Vicki Vanberkum of Le Mars claimed Mark Stelzer and James Powell were negligent in providing medical care.

The court case followed medical care Vanberkum received for a perforated colon in January of 2006 at Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars. Her husband, Arlyn Vanberkum, claimed loss of spousal consortium in his legal action against the doctors.

A jury trial ended with a verdict June 17th. The jury found Stelzer and Powell were not at fault and awarded no damages to the Vanberkums.

Following the trial and jury verdict, Judge Edward Jacobson issued an order dismissing the legal action against the doctors.


(SIOUX CITY)--Another change in traffic patterns for an Interstate 29 road construction project will begin in Sioux City next Wednesday.

According to the Iowa Department of Transportation's Sioux City construction office, this is the second stage of a project on I-29, between Hamilton Boulevard and Highway 12/ Riverside Boulevard.

Traffic will be shifted to a head-to-head pattern onto northbound I-29 lanes with a 14-foot width lane restriction. The ramps at exit 151 which is the Highway 12/ Riverside Boulevard exit will remain open. A mile and a half of the bike trail, adjacent to the Iowa state line will be closed.

The entire project is expected to be completed by mid-December, weather permitting.


(ORANGE CITY)--Sioux County residents are being warned of a credit card debt relief scam.

Sheriff Dan Altena  says the calls display on a phone's caller I-D as a local phone number. Altena explains the company claims to be able to reduce the credit card debt of the person that's being called.

The Sioux County resident is then asked to provide their credit card number.

The sheriff points out that legitimate companies will not contact Sioux County residents for these services.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it is releasing extra water into the Missouri River in order to lower reservoir levels and better control flooding.

Heavy rains have raised water levels at Gavins Point near Yankton, S.D. On Wednesday, the corps says, water released from the dam was increased from 15,000 cubic feet per second to 20,000. Incremental increases will continue through Saturday until 35,000 cubic feet per second is released.

The corps' Jody Farhat says the releases will reduce the risk of water flowing over the dam's spillway gates. The dam's water level is at 1,208.2 feet 1.8 feet below the top of the gates.

The corps says the extra releases will slow the swollen river's decline downstream of the dam but will not contribute to flooding.

(Copyright by Associated Press, 2010. All rights reserved)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Former Gov. Terry Branstad will announce his running mate on Thursday via text message followed by a statewide tour.

Branstad's campaign announced Wednesday that his selection for lieutenant governor will be made prior to the six-city tour that starts in Ankeny and ends in Cedar Rapids.

Branstad, a Republican, is seeking a return to the governor's office after a 12-year absence.


SEATTLE (AP) A group of 31 states, including Iowa, has banded together to compete for a federal grant to create a series of new national academic tests to replace the current patchwork system.

In the current system, every state gives a different test to its students. In some states, passing the exam is a graduation requirement.

The federal government has said it will award up to two grants of up to $160 million to create a testing system based on the proposed new national academic standards in reading and math.

Washington state is submitting the application on behalf of the group of states.


FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) Winnebago County authorities say they are holding a Forest City man for alleged attacks on his girlfriend and his former girlfriend with a golf club.

Winnebago County Sheriff Doug Jenson says 30-year-old Elgin Richmond was arrested early Sunday evening about an hour after he fled the trailer court where the alleged assaults occurred.

The sheriff identified the assault victims as Jennifer Allen and Jennifer White. He said Richmond and White have a child together, who was at the scene along with some other children.

Jenson says a K-9 unit from Hancock County helped his officers locate Richmond, who was hiding about a quarter-mile away from the trailer park.

Richmond was charged with domestic assault, child endangerment, public intoxication, interference with official acts and violation of a protective order.

WESTGATE, Iowa (AP) Sheriff's police in Fayette County say they have arrested a rural Westgate man accused of illegally accessing a University of Iowa student's e-mail account and using it to send sexually explicit photos to the student's parents.

Authorities say the arrest of 28-year-old Jonathan Russell Steinbronn followed a two-week investigation also involving University of Iowa police and the Johnson County Sheriff's office.

Steinbronn has been charged with misdemeanor counts of harassment, unauthorized computer access and theft by unauthorized computer access.

He was being held at the Fayette County Jail pending an initial court appearance. Authorities did not know Wednesday if Steinbronn had an attorney.


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says it is releasing extra water into the Missouri River to lower reservoir levels and better control flooding.

Heavy rains have raised water levels at Gavins Point near Yankton, S.D. On Wednesday, the corps says, water released from the dam was increased from 15,000 cubic feet per second to 20,000. Incremental increases will continue through Saturday until 35,000 cubic feet per second is released.

The corps' Jody Farhat says the releases will reduce the risk of water flowing over the dam's spillway gates. The dam's water level is at 1,208.2 feet 1.8 feet below the top of the gates.

The corps says the extra releases will slow the swollen river's decline downstream of the dam but will not contribute to flooding.

AMES, Iowa (AP) The African-American Hall of Fame says it plans to induct five new members it says have enhanced the quality of life in Iowa.

The Hall of Fame announced Wednesday it will induct music promoter and businessman Melvin Harper; former Des Moines Public Library director Elaine Estes; former John Deere executive Chuck Toney; educator Zack E. Hamlett Jr.; and the Iowa Tuskegee Airmen.

Toney, former director of affirmative action at John Deere, is being inducted posthumously. So is Hamlett, who founded the Iowa Alliance of Black School Educators and served as chair of the Iowa State Black Network.

The 2010 inductees will be recognized at a reception and banquet on Aug. 6 in Altoona.

The Hall of Fame is housed in Iowa State University's Black Cultural Center.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa, is underlining a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico by displaying a giant tank, void of life and adorned with representations of globs of crude.

The 40,000-gallon aquarium was initially intended to be packed with sharks, rays and corals from the Gulf.

Up to 127 million gallons of oil have spilled in the Gulf since an April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig that killed 11 workers and blew out a well 5,000 feet underwater. BP PLC leases the rig from owner Transocean Ltd.

Museum Director Jerry Enzler says he wants visitors to ``pause and consider'' the delicate balance of life in the ocean.

The exhibit is part of the museum's $40 million expansion opening Saturday.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) An official of the Johnson County sheriff's department says the agency is considering implementing a boat patrol on Coralville Lake to heighten safety.

Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek says he was considering patrolling the lake when a 12-year-old girl was killed on the reservoir over Memorial Day weekend. He says the boat patrol discussion is unrelated to the girl's death and is not a ``knee-jerk reaction.''

Pulkrabek says the idea is still in the information-gathering stage. He also says he'd like to discuss the idea with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers. They are the two agencies charged with enforcing rules and regulations on the water.

DNR official Shawn Meier says the department is stretched thin across the state and could use help in making recreation safer on the lake.

(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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