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KLEM News PM Update July 9, 2010

(LE MARS)--Farmland leasing is the focus of a workshop at the Plymouth County Extension office July 21st.

County Extension coordinator Carol Schneider says the two-hour evening program will include a review of crop production costs, grain prices, lease termination procedures and flexible lease considerations.

Schneider says Extension Farm Management field specialist Ron Hook will present the Farmland Leasing program as one of his final assignments as an extension field specialist before he retires at the end of the month.

Schneider says, "We feel fortunate to have Hook's expertise available to our clientele as he concludes his service to northwest Iowa farm families.

The meeting is designed to assist land owners, tenants, and agri-business professionals with farm financial issues related to farmland ownership , management, leasing agreements and related issues.

Registration is completed through the extension office. Leasing meetings are also planned July 21st at 1:30 p.m. at Sergeant Bluff and July 15th at the Dickinson County Extension office.

Portz performs at Relay, Plymouth County Fair

(REMSEN)--Walkers will be motivated with music and entertainment at the Relay for Life in Remsen starting at six tonight. The final walk begins at seven tomorrow morning.

One of the performers, Danika Portz of Remsen, recorded a CD she describes as a random mix of jazz and country.

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While on winter break from Drake University, the Remsen St. Mary's graduate had just a few hours to record the CD at a Cherokee studio.

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The CD is available through her website

Portz is a fulltime nanny in Des Moines this summer while welcoming visitors nights and weekends for the Great Des Moines Convention Center and Visitors Bureau. The senior accounting and marketing major is in a production at Stage West Theatre at the Des Moines Civic Center this fall.

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Portz performs at in Pioneer Village at the Plymouth County Fair July 29th at 6 and 8 p.m.

Rockin Jake band left them smilin'

(Orange City) --Toes were tapping, hands clapping and kids were dancing at Windmill Park last night in Orange City.

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Harmonica player Rockin' Jake took the stage with his 3 piece band just before sundown and played late into the evening. The band played all types of music including blues, rock, country and zydeco.

With a strong on-stage dynamic and sense of humor with the crowd, people were entertained by more than the music. Rockin' Jake talked about what a beautiful area this part of Iowa is and commented that there was a smell in the air he hoped alluded to what he was having for dinner...pork.

For the band, this 3 month long tour is part of an ongoing fund raiser for the New Orleans Musician's Clinic.

Portions of the proceeds from shirt and CD sales are going to the cause.

In the end, The Rockin' Jake Band definitely left Everybody Smiling ...

Like what you hear? The bands next stop in the area is in Okoboji next Wednesday night at the Pearson Lake Arts Center. The Rockin' Jake Band, part of the the On Stage Orange City Summer Concert Series presented by the Orange City Arts Council. (News report by Angela Drake of KLEM News)

Four charged in vandalism spree

(ALBERT CITY)--Three Buena Vista County teens and an adult are charged after a vandalism spree July 1st.

Authorities received 18 separate reports of vandalism and criminal mischief. The estimate of damage is several hundred dollars

Thirty-eight-year-old Dawn Eberle of Albert City is charged with allowing a minor to violate the set curfew time.

Authorities say two 15-year-old boys and one eleven-year-old, from Albert City, were all camping in a backyard the night the vandalism occurred.

The three boys face 15 charges of vandalism and criminal mischief.

The investigation is still going on.

Des Moines flood-fight costs $1 million

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines officials say the cost of fighting this year's floods is $1 million.

That includes over $500,000 to shore up levees, build temporary levees and fix sewers. Labor costs is another $500,000.

The city was on alert for over a week when the rain-swollen Des Moines River threatened a levee protecting the Birdland neighborhood near downtown earlier this month.

That threat was preceded by a similar event in March.

Deputy City Manager Merrill Stanley says department leaders will work to trim costs in other areas to stay on budget.

River levels continued to drop on Thursday, allowing officials to end round-the-clock levee inspections.

Former Iowa lawmaker James Wells dies

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) James Wells, a former state lawmaker from Cedar Rapids who kicked off a campaign to snuff out smoking in Iowa more than 30 years ago, has died.

Wells died in Des Moines on Tuesday in Des Moines. He was 81.

Wells served 12 years in the Iowa House and eight years in Senate. In 1975, he proposed a $10 fine for lighting up in public.

In 2008, the Legislature approved a limited ban on smoking in the workplace.

Wells, then 79, told The Gazette that he was ``proud'' to get the ball rolling. He said he never gave up, not even after one of his colleagues registered his opposition by blowing smoke in Wells' face.

A memorial service is Saturday at Mercy Park Activity Center in Des Moines. CHRYSLER-FORD-RECALLS

Chrysler, Ford recalling SUVs, vans

WASHINGTON (AP) The government says Chrysler is recalling about 22,000 sport utility vehicles and trucks to fix brake tubes that could lead to the loss of brake fluid.

Ford Motor Co., meanwhile, is recalling more than 30,000 2010 Transit Connect vans to replace pushpins holding the liners above the driver's head. The company says government testing found it failed to meet federal standards protecting the head.

Chrysler says its recall affects certain 2010 Dodge Nitro, Dodge Ram, Jeep Liberty and Jeep Wranglers that could have defective brake tubes. The problem could lead to the loss of brake fluid, making it difficult to brake and posing the threat of a crash.

Ford's recall is expected to begin in July. Chrysler says owners should be notified in August.

Dubuque police: Baby considered missing person

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) Dubuque police say the disappearance of a 20-month-old girl is still considered a missing person case while they await identification of what authorities believe are human remains.

The infant's mother, Tamelia Harris, was arrested last week on a charge of felony neglect or abandonment after police began searching for her daughter, Cecilia.

While trying to find the girl, police found what they believe are human remains of a small child in Harris' backyard.

Police haven't said how they discovered the remains

Capt. Scott Engleman says the case remains a missing person's investigation. He says authorities are waiting for lab results on the cause of death and where the child was killed.

Iowa mother pleads guilty in baby's death

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines woman has pleaded guilty to a child endangerment charge in the death of her 5-month-old daughter.

Tresa Rains was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Zara Yamen in April 2007 in Ankeny.

Rains pleaded guilty on Thursday. Sentencing is set for Aug. 20 in Polk County District Court.

Police called to a home on a report of a non-responsive child found the baby in her crib. No indications of foul play were found and the infant's death was deemed a ``sudden unexplained death.''

Rains was arrested last September after police received a tip from an acquaintance of Rains that there was more to the child's death. Authorities say she admitted to using a pillow to suffocate the baby.

Drake's Wiseler out with Achilles tendon injury

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Drake basketball player Frank Wiseler has been sidelined with an Achilles tendon injury.

Coach Mark Phelps says Wiseler was injured last month when he stepped off a retaining wall outside the university's Knapp Center and dislodged a brick that fell onto his tendon.

Wiseler had surgery, and is now recovering in his native Luxembourg. Recovery time could be four to six months.

Wiseler, a 6-foot-2 junior, averaged 4.4 points and 2.5 assists in his first season for Drake last season. He started 15 games.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email, by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.


KLEM News AM Update Juy 9, 2010

(SALIX)--A Siouxland man was seriously injured in a one-car accident near Salix Thursday morning.
According to an Iowa State Patrol report, 24-year-old Richard
Lee Sheridan Junior of Walthill, Nebraska lost control of his car on Old Highway 75. Sheridan was driving south on the road, also known as K-45, when the car crossed the roadway into the opposite lane and went into the ditch. The car was engulfed into flames after it struck a utility pole.

Sheridan was taken by air ambulance to a burn center in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Remsen is "Relay for Life" host

(REMSEN)--The annual fund raiser to fund the fight against cancer in Plymouth County, Relay for Life, is in Remsen starting this evening.

Relay for Life begins at six tonight with opening Ceremonies at the City of Remsen track. There are walks for survivors and caregivers. Luminarias honoring or remembering family members and friends will rim the Remsen track for a ceremony at ten tonight. The fund raising walks around the track ends with the final hours of walking  at 7 tomorrow morning.

Chuck Reed of the American Cancer Society in Iowa says an estimated 145 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in Plymouth County last year. There were 55 cancer deaths.

In Iowa, the American Cancer Society continues to serve a record number of cancer patients with information, day-to-day help, and emotional support. So far this year, there's been more than eight percent increase in the number of people served with patient-related information or programs.

Information is available from

Free Truck Driver Training in Sheldon

(SHELDON)--Federal stimulus money will help provide free truck driver training in Sheldon.

Northwest Iowa Community College is partnering with Upper Des Moines Opportunity to offer the free training.

To be eligible, those who take the training need to live in the 12-county Upper Des Moines Oppportunity area, including Buena Vista, O'Brien and Pocahontas counties. They also must meet income guidelines.

Details are available from Northwest Iowa Community College.

Interstate 29 maintenance work moves to Onawa area

(Sioux City)--Another part of summer maintenance work on Interstate 29 in Siouxland is slated to begin July 19th.

Dean Herbst of the Sioux City District office for the Iowa Department of Transportation says the pavement improvement is on I-29 between exit 105 and Exit 112 in the Onawa area.

The project work includes patching within the entrance and exit ramps and replacement sidewalk. Completion is set for mid-August.

Deer damages mini-van near Le Mars

(LE MARS)---A Wisconsin man had possible injuries after he reported a deer ran into the path of his mini-van Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Plymouth County sheriff's office, sixty-year-old Dick Norbert of Wisconsin Rapids was driving north on Highway 60 at the time of the accident

Campbell issues debate challenge to Congressman King

(UNDATED)--The Democratic candidate for Fifth District congressmen is asking the Republican incumbent for three debates.

Democrat Matt Campbell Thursday issued a debate proposal to Congressman Steve King.

Campbell says he's proposing televised debates in Sioux City and Council Bluffs and a third to be elsewhere in the 32-county Fifth District.

Some Iowa officeholders refuse pay cuts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Three Iowa officeholders haven't joined other statewide officials in taking pay cuts in the face of the state's falling revenues.

Lt. Gov. Patty Judge, Secretary of State Michael Mauro and Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald have refused to follow Gov. Chet Culver, who took a 10 percent cut in his pay.

Mauro pointed out he hasn't received a pay raise in four years.

In October, Culver made the pitch to his department directors to cut their pay as he made a $565 million budget cut that forced layoffs.

Fitzgerald said Wednesday he felt no pressure to take a cut, noting his overall office budget did shrink 10 percent.

A spokesman for Judge noted her salary of $103,212 remains lower than those of most of the state directors even after they made the 10 percent cut.

Officials: Housing renovation in DSM helps economy

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Housing officials are singling out a $30 million renovation program in Des Moines as an example of the economic recovery that's taking place across the nation.

Ron Sims, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was joined by state and local officials Thursday at the renovation project of a low-income apartment complex. The project is funded by federal stimulus money, and Sims says the project and ones like it will leave a legacy of better housing and an improved economy.

The event was one in a series this summer to draw attention to projects funded by the federal stimulus package President Barack Obama pushed through Congress.

Republicans have been critical of the funding, saying more spending is not the way to improve the economy. 

Two  Iowa universities getting federal grants

WASHINGTON (AP) Senator Chuck Grassley says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded competitive grants totaling more than $1 million to the University of Iowa and Iowa State University.

The Iowa Republican said Thursday the grants are for biological and medical studies.

Iowa State is receiving more than $326,000 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Studies for a study of prions, the structures responsible for ``mad cow disease'' and other serious disorders.

The University of Iowa is getting two grants of more than $187,000 apiece from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism for two separate studies. The University of Iowa is also receiving more than $319,000 from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences for a study of congenital heart defects in African clawed frogs, which are frequently used experimental animals.

Bank robber draws 91 years in prison

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A federal judge in Des Moines has handed down a 91-year prison sentence to a 34-year-old man convicted of armed bank robberies in Oxford and three other Iowa communities.

Former Oxford resident Jason Lee Bowers received only nine years for the four robberies in Slater, St. Charles, Rippey and Oxford. But Bowers received an additional mandatory 82 years because guns were used in the heists.

During his sentencing Thursday, Bowers was also ordered to pay more than $25,000 in restitution and pay $800 to a crime victims' fund.

The robberies occurred over a 12-day period in October 2009. In each incident, Bowers was accused of displaying a gun and stealing a vehicle to flee the scene. He was convicted in March.

Dad pleads not guilty in boy's drowning

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) An adoptive parent of a 4-year-old boy who drowned in a bathtub at the family home in Andrew has pleaded not guilty to child endangerment charges.

Andrew W. Holdgrafer entered the written plea Tuesday in Jackson County District Court. Holdgrafer demanded his right to a speedy trial, which has been set for Sept. 13.

Holdgrafer's wife, 29-year-old Danielle Holdgrafer, has been charged with first-degree murder for allegedly killing their son, 4-year-old Collin, on June 12 by dunking his head under water while bathing him.

Prosecutors allege 32-year-old Andrew Holdgrafer knowing allowed his wife to abuse the boy. They claim the man told investigators he knew Collin was being abused and neglected and that he failed to take action.

Danielle Holdgrafer is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on the charges filed against her.

Georgia man dies after fight

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A Cedar Rapids man has been arrested in connection with the death of a Georgia man.

Henry Thomas Lee Rogers has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 35-year-old Dustin Davis.

According to police spokeswoman Sgt. Cristy Hamblin, officers responding to a call of a disturbance late Wednesday found Davis lying unconscious on the ground. According to police records, witnesses told investigators Rogers punched Davis, causing Davis to fall and hit his head.

A second man, 23-year-old Thomas Perez of Cedar Rapids, was arrested for disorderly conduct for pushing others during the altercation.

Authorities say Rogers, who is being held in lieu of $10,000 bond, has been convicted of assault at least seven other times since 2002.

It was not immediately known if Rogers has obtained legal representation.

Driver who allegedly hit girl charged again

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines authorities say three new charges have been filed against a motorist who allegedly struck a 14-year-old girl.

Joel Robert Simpson was charged with two counts of driving while barred after he allegedly struck Melissa Ann Robinson of Des Moines on June 6. At the time, prosecutors said additional charges might be filed against him.

On Sunday, the 55-year-old Simpson was charged with serious injury by vehicle, operating while intoxicated and operating a vehicle without consent.

Police say a speeding car ran a stop sign, then drove onto the grass at Union Park. It hit and dragged Robinson 75 feet.

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports Simpson has not had a valid driver's license for about 16 years. He remains in the Polk County Jail.

(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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