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KLEM News PM Update August 10, 2010

(REMSEN)--An investigation determined lightning is the likely cause of a fire at a rural Remsen home Monday morning.

Remsen and Oyens Firefighters responded to the fire at the Scott and Jennifer Goeken residence at 19374 Highway 140, about three miles south of Remsen.

Remsen Fire Chief Doug Owens says no one was home. Damage from the fire was described by Owens as pretty extensive with a lot of smoke and heat damage. The Goeken family was not able to return to their home due to the extent of damage.

The cause of the fire was investigated by a deputy state fire marshal who determined the probable cause of the fire was lightning. The fire was reported just after nine Monday morning. Firefighters completed the call about two hours later.

Deer on roadway causes one-vehicle accident

(HAWARDEN)--Two people were taken to the hospital in Hawarden after a driver swerved to miss a deer one mile east of Hawarden.

According to the Sioux County Sheriff's Office, 43-year-old Patricia Downey of Hawarden was driving her car south on Cherry Avenue Friday night when the deer ran onto the roadway.

Authorities report Downey swerved to miss the deer and lost control. The car rolled into the east ditch. Downey and her passenger, 46-year-old Edwin Duncan of Hawarden, were transported to the Hawarden Hospital by Hawarden Ambulance.

Union Pacific begins crossing project at Onawa

(ONAWA)--A railroad crossing project will affect travelers on Highway 175 beginning today (Tuesday).

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports the Union Pacific Railroad will replace the crossing on Highway 175, between Sixth Street and 10th Street, in Onawa.

Weather permitting, the project will be completed August 17th. Traffic will be detoured during the crossing replacement.

9 people rescued from flooded homes in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities say emergency crews used boats to rescue two families from their flooded homes near Oskaloosa after a night of heavy rain.

Mahaska County Sheriff Paul DeGeest  says four children and five adults and an ``armload'' of pets were put into boats early Tuesday after creeks inundated a house and a nearby mobile home on the east side of the city.

DeGeest says an elderly woman was taken to the hospital with unknown problems. He believes the woman was bedridden and was carried out of her home.

The sheriff says the house and mobile home were under several feet of water when emergency crews arrived and boated the families to higher ground around 4:30 a.m.

More storms and more flooding in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Another round of thunderstorms continues to cause flooding problems across Iowa.

The National Weather Service says heavy rain up to 7 inches fell overnight into Tuesday morning from Des Moines to Oskaloosa, closing roads and swamping basements.

In Oskaloosa, authorities used boats to rescue two families from their flooded homes.

In Grimes, near Des Moines, authorities say several homes were inundated by a creek, which surged over its banks and was 10-feet deep and 75-feet wide.

In Carlisle, also near Des Moines, a basement wall collapsed because of the rain.

The weather service says storms will diminish on Tuesday, but more storms are possible on Wednesday and Thursday. The hot and muggy weather will also linger.

4 motorcyclists killed in Iowa accident

LITTLE SIOUX, Iowa (AP) Authorities say four motorcyclists have been killed in a head-on collision on Interstate-29 in western Iowa.

Iowa Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Courtney Greene says the accident happened Monday evening when a pickup truck crossed the center line in a construction zone and hit four motorcycles.

Greene says the accident happened along a section of I-29 near Little Sioux where lanes were separated by orange cones. Little Sioux sits along the Nebraska, about 40 miles north of Omaha.

The motorcyclists' names have not been released.

Greene says they were traveling together. All four were men in their late 50s and early 60s. Three were from Iowa and one was from Nebraska.

Greene says one was wearing a helmet.

Iowa teen convicted of murder seeks new trial

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) A Charles City teenager convicted of killing his 3-year-old cousin wants a new trial.

Fifteen-year-old Edgar Concepcion Jr. was found guilty as an adult in June of first-degree murder, first-degree sexual abuse, second degree-sexual abuse and child endangerment resulting in bodily injury.

He was accused of sexually abusing and killing Krystel Banes at his family's home in Charles City in 2009.

Concepcion's attorney, Judy O'Donohoe, filed a motion last week asking for a new trial. A hearing is set for Aug. 23 in Floyd County District Court in Charles City.

Concepcion was to be sentenced on Aug. 23. That has been continued until a later date.

No injuries in backhoe accident in Iowa City

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Officials say no one was hurt when a backhoe fell into a hole during a demolition project in Iowa City.

The accident happened on Monday when crews were clearing debris from the Dubuque Street Armory, the longtime base for the Iowa Army National Guard in Johnson County.

The armory was demolished last week.

Johnson County spokesman David Kempf says crews probably pulled onto a concrete slab that was covering a shallow basement and the backhoe, which weighs 70,000 pounds, tipped into the hole.

Kempf says a crane was called in and removed the backhoe. The project wasn't affected.


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

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KLEM News AM Update August 10, 2010


(MERRILL)--A committee will report back to the Le Mars Community School Board of Education on city of Merrill interest in a closed elementary school building.

That's the result of a Le Mars Community School Board of Education discussion on the future of Kissinger Elementary School Monday night. The Board of Education closed the building as a cost savings measure at the end of the last school year. Board member Dan Smith of Merrill brought the discussion to the board after being approached at the Merrill All-School Reunion this summer.

Board President Patrick Murphy serves as City of Merrill attorney.

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Murphy asked Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt if the district needed to hold the building in the district for a period of time.

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Dr. Wendt said there is a board policy on disposing of property. He also suggested a board committee could meet with people that might be interested in the school building. He emphasized nothing could happen without the full school board acting at  public meetings.

Smith said an empty building decays and loses value and he was concerned about that. He said there is a leak in the gym.

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Wendt said school maintenance staff check on the building. Smith, Wendt and Board Member Scott Kommes will serve on the committee. Smith was asked to contact Merrill representatives.

Listen to the entire Board of Education Disucssion about Kissinger School


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(Approximate time is 5 minutes)

Supervisors to hear service report

(LE MARS)--A service to drivers will be reviewed at a meeting of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors today (Tuesday).

Treasurer Linda Dobson will present the annual report of the Driver's License service offered on Tuesdays and Wednesday in the lower level of the Courthouse.

The board begins the meeting discussing the Courthouse Annex construction project and relocating a drop-off dumpster for rural residents' recycling.

Engineer Tom Rohe's weekly appointment includes a gravel contract with Hallett Materials and updates on construction projects.

Ken Hoefling of Gasrite will discuss contract fueling for Plymouth County during a 10:30 meeting with the board.

At 11 this morning, Supervisors break ground for the Courthouse Annex building.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


9:30 AMJim Henrich - Plymouth County Board Chairman
1.Call meeting to order
2.Approve this agenda (Action)
3.Approval of prior Board meeting minutes (Action)
4.Approval of claims and payroll (Signatures)
5. Committee Reports (Discussion)
6. Old Business
7. New Business
A. Discuss Courthouse Annex Construction project and relocating recycling dumpster (Action)
B. Open and review mail/correspondence (Discussion)
C. Open public forum (Informational)

9:50 AM Linda Dobson, Plymouth County Treasurer
1.Driver's License annual report (Informational and Action)


10:00 AMTom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer

1.Permit-Lundell Construction -Tile Crossing Sec 20/29 Henry Twp
2.Permit-Long Lines - Sec 5/8 Fredonia Twp
3.Agreement- NRCS- Project LC-142650
4.Iowa Byways Signage Agreement
5.Gravel Contract-Hallett Materials- Cherokee, Hinton

(Discussion Items)
Questions/Discussion of the Secondary Road Department

(Informational Items)
Update on construction projects

10:30 AMKen Hoefling, Gasrite - Discuss contracting fuel for Plymouth County (Discussion)


11:00 AMPlymouth County Courthouse Annex Building Ground Breaking

Total Sales still seeking Chevrolet business 

(LE MARS)--A Le Mars business is going in another direction in its efforts to bring a Chevrolet dealership back to Business Highway 75 South.

Scott Taylor of Total Sales and Service says they've dropped arbitration with General Motors. Total Sales and Service purchased Nuebel Chevrolet in September of last year.

Taylor explains something Total Sales and Service wanted to use in its arbitration case would not be included by a judge.

That doesn't mean the dealership pursuit is over. Taylor says there's still a window of opportunity and Total Sales is going in a different direction.

He says the business wants to thank the community for all the support of its dealership efforts saying it is appreciated. Total Sales has received letters of support and petitions backing a dealership.

Public may attend Annex groundbreaking Tuesday

(LE MARS)--An informal public ceremony Tuesday begins construction on a Plymouth County Courthouse Annex Building to be used for offices and storage.

The general contractor for the 637-thousand dollar Annex Building is H-C-I of South Sioux City. The contractor, architect Dale McKinney of M+ of Sioux City and county supervisors are expected to be part of the public groundbreaking at 11 a-m.

The first shovels of dirt to be moved follow three years of planning. In April of 2007, M+ was the consultant chosen from six firms to study overall space needs. The results were presented to the board of supervisors in September of 2007. Since then, supervisors have looked at vacant buildings in Le Mars, considered modular construction and relocated some older, infrequently used paper files to storage away from the Courthouse.

In recent years, the board budgeted part of the county's portion of the annual Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) revenue for the building project. Requests for grants that could reduce the local funding are being submitted to use either federal or state funds for a lower level emergency shelter.

The new building will house driver's license, juvenile court staff, zoning, environmental services, economic development, an emergency shelter, a specialized computer room and have a garage.

When construction is complete in about April of next year, a metal storage building on the east side of the Courthouse parking lot is expected to be sold. The equipment and materials stored in the building will be in the north part of the Annex Building.

Construction at 225 Fourth Avenue Southeast is on ground that was the Sheriff's office, Communication Center and Jail. The public safety services were relocated to 14th Avenue East and opened in August of 2003.

Jurors don't need to report Tuesday

(LE MARS)--Plymouth County Jurors do not need to report for Jury Duty Tuesday, August 10, 2010. Jurors are asked to call after 3 p-m Monday, August 16 to find out whether to report Tuesday, August 17th.

Sioux City woman found dead after car goes into Missouri River

(SIOUX CITY)--A woman who Sioux City Police say drove a car into the Missouri River in Sioux City died.

Witnesses told Sioux City Police the car was driven into the river from a boat ramp on Larson Park Road about 4:45 Monday afternoon.

When the vehicle was pulled from the water, police report the body of a 61-year-old Sioux City woman was found inside.

The name of the woman who died will be released when all her relatives are contacted by police.

Tuesday afternoon, Lt. Mark Kirkpatrick said the incident was considered a suicide and the department doesn't routinely release those names.

Four killed near Little Sioux

(LITTLE SIOUX)--Four motorcyclists, three men from Iowa and one man from Nebraska, were killed Monday, when they were hit by a pickup in a construction zone on Interstate 29, in western Iowa's Harrison County.

Officials with the Iowa State Patrol say a pickup truck driven by a 21-year-old Nebraska man crossed the center line of a two-lane portion of Interstate 29 in a construction zone, and collided head on with the four motorcycles near Little Sioux.

Three of the motorcyclists died at the scene of the crash, which occurred just before 6 p.m. The fourth died after being flown to a hospital in Omaha. Officials say only one of the cyclists was wearing a helmet. Each of the victims were believed to be in their 50s or early 60s. Authorities were withholding the victims' identities until relatives could be notified.

The pickup driver was treated for non-life threatening injuries at a local hospital. Officials say the vehicle had been traveling north when it crossed the center line and into the path of the motorcycles, which had been traveling fairly close together. Investigators believe alcohol was a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation. The wreck shut down the roadway for hours in both directions. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Iowa traffic deaths continue to fall

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa's traffic death count continues to decline this year.

One factor is motorists cutting back on their driving in the tight economy.

Last year, traffic deaths in Iowa dropped to their lowest level since World War II.

So far this year, there have been 191 deaths on the state's roads as of Friday evening. That's a drop of nearly 16 percent from a year ago. For the same period in 2009, the Iowa Department of Transportation says the state had 227 traffic deaths.

AAA Minnesota-Iowa spokeswoman Gail Weinholzer says Iowa's numbers are consistent with other Midwestern states. She says traffic deaths are generally down in Midwest states while traffic volumes still haven't bounced back to levels seen before gas prices peaked in 2008.

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

Culver says no quick fix to failed Lake Delhi dam


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver acknowledges his decision to create a task force to consider options for rebuilding a failed eastern Iowa dam means there will be no quick fix to a situation that has left homeowners bordering a muddy lakebed.

Asked about the Lake Delhi dam Monday, Culver promised there would be rebuilding of some sort at the site. But he added that officials couldn't move forward until they figured out how a rain-swollen Maquoketa River ate away the dam and options for replacing it.

Funding is a huge question because U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin says federal money likely won't be available since the dam is privately owned by hundreds of homeowners.

The task force appointed by Culver will issue a report Dec. 1.

Lightning apparently hits Iowa wasterwater plant


CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) A lightning strike apparently caused the Cedar Falls wastewater treatment plant to shut down and discharge about 750,000 gallons of untreated sewage into the Cedar River.

Cedar Falls Public Works Director Bruce Sorensen says employees reporting to work Monday discovered the problem.

The problem was fixed within a half-hour.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says untreated sewage was bypassed to the Cedar River for about five hours until the problem was discovered and fixed.

The department says anyone using the Cedar River below Cedar Falls should take precautions for at least the next day because of the likelihood of higher bacteria levels. Swimming is not recommended for the very young or very old or anyone with weakened immune systems.

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

Final send-off for Iowa troops

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A final send-off ceremony has been held for Iowa soldiers leaving for Afghanistan.

A large crowd whistled and applauded for soldiers from the 334th Brigade Support Battalion at their send-off ceremony Monday at Veterans Auditorium in Des Moines.

It was the 30th ceremony held since July 18 for 2,800 Iowa Army National Guard soldiers preparing to leave for a yearlong deployment in Afghanistan.

Monday's send-off was for about 340 soldiers.


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

Murder trial starts in Iowa toddler death


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Jury selection is under way in the first-degree murder trial of an eastern Iowa man accused of killing his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter.

Twenty-five-year-old Lee Muldoon of Coggon also is charged with child endangerment causing death. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole.

Muldoon is accused of killing Skylar Inman on July 11, 2008, in their Coggon home. An autopsy found she died from blunt force injures.

Muldoon has pleaded not guilty. His trial is expected to last three weeks.

Skylar's mother, Brianna Volesky, pleaded guilty in January to neglect of a child and involuntary manslaughter. Her plea deal is contingent upon her testimony against Muldoon.


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

Iowa county tries gentler way to remove kids

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Social workers in Iowa's Polk County have been experimenting with a gentler approach to removing children from parents suspected of abuse or neglect.

Instead of abruptly pulling children away from their parents, social workers in Polk County warn parents that they intend to remove a child. Parents also are invited to make the removal easier, by packing favorite belongings or being allowed to hug their son or daughter goodbye.

The Iowa Department of Human Services wants to take Polk County's approach statewide.

When social workers in Polk County started warning parents 2 1/2 years ago, there were fears that families would disappear. But a department official says they've had only one ``runner.''


(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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