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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.




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.


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, by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.


KLEM News Update July 25, 2010

(JOHNSTON)--A Sioux County school will receive a grant from the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

The 25-hundred dollar Biodiesel Backer award is for West Sioux Community School District.

The Renewable Fuels Association awards grants based on education of students and communities about biodiesel and the use of biodiesel in school programming.

West Sioux uses a biodiesel fuel blend in buses from May to November. The district also offers the Agricultural Renewable fuels class. The class was started to provide students with a basic knowledge and understanding of the ethanol and biodiesel industry. West Sioux students produce ethanol and biodiesel fuel which is run in lab test engines.

(HULL)--A northwest Iowa lawmaker is announcing an endorsement he's received.

Representative Dwayne Alons of Hull says he's been endorsed by the Association of Business and Industry (ABI).

Alons says he's honored to receive the endorsement because small businesses are the backbone of communities.

Alons, a Republican, is unopposed in his bid to be elected to a seventh term in the Iowa House representing District Four which includes Sioux and Lyon Counties.

(SHELDON)--Golfers helped Village Northwest Unlimited in Sheldon raise more than 22-thousand dollars.

The 10th annual benefit golf tournament for Village Northwest July 19th had play from 132 golfers on the Ridge Golf Course in Sioux Center.

The tournament proceeds will benefit the 180 people with disabilities served at Village Northwest Unlimited .

A team sponsored by Siouxland Fabricating of Rock Valley had the best score in the four-person best ball format with a score of 57. The team included Al Pottebaum, Rian Vos, Thad Dykstra and Chris Schuett.

The tournament has raised nearly 145-thousand dollars to date.

(SIOUX CITY)--A life-size Newfoundland, Seaman the dog, is back at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Sioux City.

The animatronic version of Captain Meriwether Lewis' loyal dog, Seaman, and a prairie dog are set against a mural created by Sioux City artist Darren Maurer (mar-er). The dog and prairie dog were on leave during construction of the new exhibit.

Lewis bought the dog for $20 in Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania in 1803. Based on journals kept of the expedition, the dog caught beavers, squirrels and even an antelope to help feed the soldiers. He also protected the camp from a charging buffalo bull and alerted the group to grizzly bears who threatened the camp.

The new exhibit is at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center on the riverfront in Sioux City.

(RED OAK)--A workshop to help non-profit groups keep their Internal Revenue Service (IRS) non-profit status is planned next week.

The western Iowa Tourism Region and Golden Hills Resource Conservation and Development are co-sponsoring the workshop near Honey Creek.

The goal of the July 28th workshop at the Hitchcock Nature Center is to help non-profits understand the new I-R-S Form 990 reporting requirements.

Pat Wright who owns Wright Associates of Des Moines is the instructor. Wright is a certified public accountant who has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from Drake University .

Western Iowa Tourism at Red Oak is handing the registration.


OSHA investigating deaths of Iowa men in SD sewer

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) The Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues to investigate the deaths of two Iowa men attempting to unclog a South Dakota sewer.

Two employees of Sioux City, Iowa-based Speedy Rooter were overcome by fumes while working on the sewer July 10 in North Sioux City. Fifty-four-year-old Robert Thompson died the next day, and 35-year-old Chad Elgert died last Sunday. Both men are from Sioux City.

The men's families say Thompson passed out from the fumes and Elgert had tried to rescue him.

Tom Deutscher in OSHA's Bismarck, N.D, office says the agency is looking at whether the deaths stemmed from a safety violation. The investigation could take months.

A message left Saturday for Speedy Rooter wasn't immediately returned. The office was closed for the weekend.

Information from: Sioux City Journal,


Funeral held for KC teens who drowned in Iowa

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Mourners gathered in Kansas City for the funeral of two Kansas City boys who drowned at an Iowa pool.

Fourteen-year-old Gael Paulette, also known as Gael Chrispin, and 15-year-old Nehmson Sanon drowned at the Pella Aquatic Center in Iowa on July 14. The boys had been attending a camp in Pella organized by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The Kansas City-based organization says the boys and other campers were spending the evening at the pool.

Saturday's funeral service at Kansas City's First International Baptist Church was conducted in English and French. The Kansas City Star reports that teens were remembered as young men who were driven by their Christian faith.

The president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes attended the service.

Nehmson was buried Saturday at Brooking Cemetery. Gael will be buried in Haiti.

Information from: The Kansas City Star,


Rains flood Ill. interstate, endanger Iowa dam

CHICAGO (AP) Heavy rains drenched swaths of the Midwest, leaving interstates under water, residents stranded and a dam in Iowa on the verge of collapse.

In Chicago, officials say more than 7 inches of rain fell early Saturday.

Standing water closed a portion of Interstate 290 and the commuter train tracks that run along the expressway just west of Chicago's downtown.

Crews in the western suburb of Westchester were using boats to search for residents trapped in their homes.

In eastern Iowa, the National Weather Service says the Lake Delhi dam has failed and small communities downstream could be severely flooded.

Meteorologist Chris Legro says water has been detected flowing beneath the dam and a complete failure is possible.


National Weather Service confirms tornado in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The National Weather Service has a damage assessment team in Indianola after confirming that a tornado touched down in the community.

Meteorologist John Hinsberger says the weather service verified that the tornado touched down about 8 p.m. Friday. No injuries were reported. The amount of damage was not immediately clear.


Reports show incumbents hold fundraising edge

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa's incumbent members of Congress have built a huge financial edge over challengers that should give them a big advantage heading into this fall's general election.

University of Iowa political science professor Bruce Gronbeck says incumbents usually raise more money than challengers, and it's one reason they typically win re-election.

In central Iowa's 3rd District, financial disclosures show Democratic U.S. Rep. Leonard Boswell has more than $700,000 in reserves. His Republican challenger, state Sen. Brad Zaun, has about $100,000 in reserves, but nearly $48,000 in debt.

In western Iowa's 5th District, Republican Rep. Steve King reports more than $300,000 in reserves. Democratic challenger Matt Campbell has about $22,000 in cash and nearly $50,000 in debt.


Photographer seeks Waterloo smoochers

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Minnesota photographer is asking volunteers to kiss for the camera.

Photographer Bonnie Fournier is seeking 10,000 exhibition-quality images from various locations for an effort titled ``The Smooch! Project.''

Fournier will take photos of folks kissing at the Waterloo Center for the Arts on Sunday between 1 and 5 p.m. Participants are asked only to bring a loved one and demonstrate sincere affection.

Fournier says the project is a documentary to demonstrate that people share a joyful willingness to welcome affection into their lives.

Fournier has already shot pictures in the Twin Cities and Michigan and is planning to visit Canada next month.

People can buy a print for a fee, but Fournier says most people participate only to help the effort succeed.

(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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