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KLEM PM News Update July 26, 2010

(ORANGE CITY)--A preliminary assessment of damage in Sioux County will be made by Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) staff.

That's one response to severe storm damage from high winds in Maurice July 22nd and flooding from the Big Sioux and Floyd Rivers in Sioux County.

Sioux County Emergency Management Coordinator Nate Huizenga  was part of a conference call with disaster officials today.

The county is already part of a state disaster declaration for individual assistance. Whether a Presidential Disaster request would be made is the reason for the assessment.

Huizenga expects to hear later this week when the assessments for preliminary damage will be made.

City of Maurice officials are still gathering their estimates of damage to city facilities.

Three die near Rembrandt

(STORM LAKE)--A fiery two-vehicle collision claimed three lives Sunday in Buena Vista County.

According to Sheriff Gary Launderville, the accident near Rembrandt, at the intersection of Highway Three and county road M-44, was reported about 3:30 Sunday afternoon.

One vehicle was fully engulfed in flames when emergency crews arrived. The fire was put out by the Rembrandt Fire Department. Two people in the vehicle died. One person in the other vehicle also died.

The bodies of the three people were taken to the State Medical Examiner's office in Ankeny. The names of those involved have not been released. Other information is being withheld while the accident is investigated.

Storm damage hampers regional water system

TEA, S.D. (AP) Storm damage has created a setback for construction on the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System.

Two 7-million-gallon reservoirs being built near Tea were heavily damaged in a storm late Friday.

Executive director Troy Larson says the project was supposed to be completed by November. He says cleanup and reconstruction will take at least a couple of months. He says the contractor has insurance.

The $550 million water system will provide treated Missouri River water to about 300,000 people in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa.

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

Lake Delhi could be restored

DELHI, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver vows to restore Lake Delhi after it disappeared when its dam failed, sending floodwaters downstream on the Maquoketa River.

The dam failed Saturday, draining the nine-mile-long lake in less than a day. Areas below the dam, including Hopkinton and Monticello, were evacuated.

Residents fear millions of dollars in property values also washed away, because about 900 vacation homes and cottages lost their lakefront status.

The dam is owned by the local homeowners association.

Culver, who toured the area on Sunday, says it's in Iowa's best interest to save the lake, calling it a ``real landmark.''

Culver, who returns to northeast Iowa on Monday, says restoration could include hydroelectric turbines, which could generate power for Delaware County.

Waterloo murder trial delayed

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Waterloo man accused in a deadly stabbing during a fight in a city park will stand trial later this year.

Wyatt Johnson is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 18-year-old Kevin Garcia on April 28, 2009.

Johnson's trial, which had been set for Aug. 4 in Black Hawk County District Court, has been postponed until Sept. 21.

Police alleged Johnson stabbed Garcia to death during a gang fight

Two 16-year-olds also were stabbed, and Johnson faces attempted murder charges in connection with their injuries.

Johnson was stopped in Wyoming shortly after the fight and was brought back to Iowa. He pleaded not guilty and waived his right to a speedy trial. He remains in the Black Hawk County jail.


Officials ID 4 victims of crash near Iowa City

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Authorities say two people from Iowa and two others from Wisconsin were killed in a one-car accident near Iowa City.

Iowa State Trooper Mike Hicks says a landowner in the area discovered the victims in a ditch around 8 a.m. Sunday.

Hicks says the driver of the car veered off a curve and rolled in the ditch.

The patrol identifies the victims as Heather Althiser, of Onalaska, Wis.; Joseph Vinopal, of La Crosse, Wis.; and Rebecca Frea and Jason Onsgard, both of Iowa City.

Investigators haven't determined who was driving.

Hicks says three victims weren't wearing seat belts and were thrown from the vehicle. A fourth was wearing a seat belt and died in the car. All four died at the scene.

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

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KLEM News AM Update July 26, 2010

(LE MARS)--There's more use of the Le Mars Convention Center.

City administrator Scott Langel says Convention Center Upper Level rentals averaged 47 a year for 2007-2009. The three-year average for the lower level was 42.

Langel says 2010 numbers are 49 to date, but the lower level increase is up nearly three fold.

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Langel says the financial numbers aren't showing a huge increase due to the way renovation for I-S-U Extension was handled.

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Convention Center rentals are coordinated by Le Mars Convention and Visitor Manager Jessica Lingren.

Bison are bus trip focus

(LE MARS)--"Bus to the Bison" is the annual fall bus tour for the Plymouth County Historical Museum.

According to museum administrator Judy Bowman, the September 25th tour travels to the Loess Hills Visitor Center at Westfield before the bison update at the Westfield Community Center. Staff from the Broken Kettle Grasslands Preserve , near Westfield, will discuss the upcoming bison roundup scheduled for October 13th. The preserve features 46 bison on 500 acres.

The next stop is the Corps of Discovery Welcome Center along the Missouri River. the historic Argo Hotel and the Kreycik Riverview Elk and Buffalo Ranch near Niobrara are afternoon destinations. In the Niobrara River Valley, the group will travel by covered wagons which are completely accessible to the handicapped. The tour is of a working ranch.

The tour returns to the museum from the Swanson Hunting Lodge, near the buffalo working ranch.

The museum will offer a drawing for a free "Bus to the Bison" trip at the Country Store during the Plymouth County Fair.

Hundreds attend funeral of slain Iowa pilot

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A 31-year-old U.S. Air Force pilot from Iowa is being remembered as a brave soldier, loyal friend and beloved brother and son.

Capt. David Wisniewski, formerly of Moville, died from injuries earlier this month at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md. He was flying an Air Force Black Hawk helicopter on June 9 when it crashed in Afghanistan.

Hundreds including Iowa Gov. Chet Culver attended his funeral Mass Saturday at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Iowa City.

Wisniewski is to be buried Aug. 23 with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

The Defense Department says during his eight-year career, Wisniewski saved numerous lives during more than 1,500 flight hours, including 289 combat hours.

(COPYRIGHT 2010 BY ASSOCIATED PRESS)

 

 

Dam renovation planned

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) The Gavins Point Dam near Yankton is getting a facelift.

Work is planned to create a gentler slope on the bank of the dam's downstream side, near the spillway gates.

Dave Becker, project manager at Gavins Point, says the bank is too steep to easily mow and maintain. A gentler grade will make maintenance less difficult.

Money for the $300,000 project comes from stimulus funds.

Additional stimulus funds will be used for other projects at the dam, including rehabilitating the dam's three major cranes.

Gavins Point Dam is more than 50 years old.

(COPYRIGHT 2010 BY ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Monticello flooding

MONTICELLO, Iowa (AP) Flooding from the Maquoketa River has damaged dozens of homes and businesses, causing millions of dollars in damage in Monticello.

Monticello Public Works Director Dana Edwards said Sunday about 50 homes and 20 businesses have major flood damage and the city's sewer plant has been flooded and shut down.

The flooding happened after the Lake Delhi dam failed Saturday as rising floodwater from the Maquoketa River ate a 30-foot-wide hole in it. Areas below the eastern Iowa dam, including in Hopkinton and Monticello were evacuated.

Edwards says most of Monticello's 3,700 residents can flush their toilets, but the waste is pouring into the river. The city's drinking water system is working, but Edwards says residents are being asked to conserve water.


Dam break could mean end of Iowa's Lake Delhi

MONTICELLO, Iowa (AP) The future of Lake Delhi is in limbo.

For decades, the nine-mile-long lake offered a northeast Iowa retreat. But when the dam broke Saturday, the lake drained away in hours.

Homeowners in the area owned the dam. Its only purpose was recreation.

Department of Natural Resources officials say if homeowners want to rebuild, they have to meet design requirements.

Maggie Burger is executive director of the Lake Delhi Recreation Association. She says the future is unclear. Officials have to first assess the damage.


Authorities: 4 killed in crash near Iowa City

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Authorities say four people are dead following a single-vehicle accident east of Iowa City.

Iowa State Trooper Mike Hicks says a landowner in the area discovered the victims in a ditch around 8 a.m. Sunday.

Hicks says the driver of the 2009 Nissan Altima veered off a curve and rolled in the ditch.

He says three victims weren't wearing seat belts and were thrown from the vehicle. A fourth was wearing a seat belt and died in the car.

Police say all four were dead on the scene.

The victims' names were not released. Hicks said authorities were trying to notify family.

Illinois man dies during Bix 7 race in Iowa

GALESBURG, Ill. (AP) A 41-year-old runner who died during a race in Iowa was an Illinois high school wrestling coach.

Genesis Medical Center spokesman Craig Cooper says John Chapman was taken off course on Saturday at the Quad-City Times Bix 7 in Davenport, Iowa.

He later died of an apparent heart attack at the hospital in Davenport. Further details on his death weren't available Sunday.

Chapman was the wrestling coach at Galesburg High School. He had recently returned from a student athlete training camp and had said he had high hopes for the season.

Cooper says 10 other runners were hospitalized and released on Saturday for apparently heat-related illnesses.
 

Retirements save money, fewer looking for problems

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Early retirement incentives have prompted more than 2,000 state workers to retire.

That is expected to save about $85 million in state, federal and others funds, but an analysis by The Des Moines Register shows it will leave fewer and less experienced workers to check for fraud or abuse.

A total of 2,067 state employees took early retirement about 10 percent of executive branch employees. People will be hired to fill about half of those positions.

The reductions mean the number of medical investigators who examine reports of problem doctors has dropped from eight to three. Ultimately, new hires will bring that number to six.

After retirements of four food inspectors and two hires, the reductions will leave 15 inspectors to check about 8,400 restaurants, grocery stores and food processing plants.


(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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