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KLEM News AM Update May 27, 2010

(HINTON)--Northwest Iowa is now on the stops an actor and martial arts champion will make to show support for a Siouxland Republican candidate for governor.

Chuck Norris will be in Hinton June 5th as one of five Iowa appearances for Bob Vander Plaats.

Norris and his wife, Gena will be at the 7 p-m public rally at Hinton High School where Vander Plaats sons have or are attending school.

In a written statement, Vander Plaats said he can't begin to describe how thrilled he is that Chuck Norris would agree to add a fifth event to his visit to Iowa to give northwest Iowans a chance to see a real American hero.

(WEST LE MARS)--A Le Mars man escaped injury when his pickup nearly struck a train at West Le Mars Wednesday morning.

According to the Plymouth County sheriff's office report, 28-year-old Joshua Nelson was slowing on Highway three for a passing train. But Nelson said he wasn't slowing as fast as he thought he should be and struck the crossing arm and pole and came to a stop on the tracks.

The train had cleared the crossing and Nelson did not strike the train.

The accident was reported about eight Wednesday morning.

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says elevated chlorine levels from the city of Cherokee swimming pool were probably the cause of a small fish kill in Cherokee.

On Wednesday, the DNR investigated a report of dead fish found Tuesday night in Railroad Creek.

The city reported that a valve on the chlorine tank was left on, resulting in chlorine reaching the stream through runoff into the storm sewer.

Ken Hessenius of the DNR's field office in Spencer said pool owners should make sure that runoff or drained water goes into a sanitary sewer or be neutralized. According to Hessenius, the chlorine levels contained in swimming pools can be toxic to aquatic life.

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

(LE MARS)--Young art students are winners in the Lions International Peace Poster contest.

Gehlen Catholic junior high and Le Mars Community middle school art students created a design for the Lions using the theme "The Power of Peace."

The Le Mars Lions Club winners are Crystal Eppling of Le Mars Community and Kenzie McCallan from Gehlen Catholic.

The contest is sponsored by the Le Mars Lions Club as an opportunity to work with the youth in the community and to stress the importance of peace, tolerance and international understanding.

The club hosted the students and their parents when the District Governor for the Lions recognized both young women for their work.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) A northwest Iowa woman accused of shoplifting more than 400 items from a South Dakota store has been sentenced to serve 30 days in jail.

Fifty-one-year-old Becky Altena from Sioux Center will be allowed to serve the time in September, after her youngest daughter leaves for college.

Sioux Falls police say Altena took $2,200 worth of items from the Lewis Drug Store late last year, hauling stolen merchandise ranging from books to jewelry to her car in bags and then returning to the store for more.

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

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines attorney who once represented Agriprocessors has testified that state labor inspectors didn't give a kosher meatpacker a list of suspected minors at its Postville plant before a 2008 immigration raid.

Attorney Mary Funk took the stand Wednesday as the defense began its case in the trial of former plant executive Sholom Rubashkin. Rubashkin is charged with 83 counts of child labor violations for allegedly employing underage workers. He also is awaiting sentencing on federal fraud charges.

Funk said Agriprocessors human resources employee Elizabeth Billmeyer told her the company didn't hire anyone under age 18 and that the plant asked for some form of identification when a person applied.

The first defense witness, former operations manager Gary Norris, disputed claims that other workers told him there were minors working at Postville.

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A former manager at a kosher slaughterhouse who admitted helping illegal immigrants get fake documents has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Brent Beebe of Postville pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to commit document fraud as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

Beebe admitted he served as a middleman on a loan for more than $4,000 from former manager Sholom Rubashkin to about 19 illegal immigrant employees to pay for new fake documents.

The Agriprocessors plant in Postville was the site of an immigration raid in May 2008.

In handing down the sentence Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Linda Reade noted Beebe waited to plead guilty until after Rubashkin was convicted and other managers pleaded guilty, and he didn't cooperate with the government as had the other managers.

Beebe didn't speak during the hearing.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A federal judge in Cedar Rapids has sentenced the former chief accountant of Agriprocessors Inc.'s Postville plant to more than three years in prison for conspiring to make false statements to a bank.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade handed down the 41-month sentence to 50-year-old Mitch Meltzer of Postville. Reade also ordered Meltzer to make restitution to the banks that were victimized by the fraud.

At a hearing last Sept. 28, Meltzer pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements and reports to a bank. He admitted conspiring with others to make the false statements in connection with requests for advances on a revolving loan. Meltzer said he signed a document that overstated the value of Agriprocessors' collateral.


WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) Several family members have testified that 15-year-old Edgar Concepcion Jr. was a kind and attentive caregiver for the 3-year-old cousin he is accused of killing.

The last witness called Wednesday at Concepcion's trial in Hamilton County District Court was his father, Edgar Concepcion Sr., who testified about how his son was hired to watch Krystel Banes and her brother, Banjo.

The son is charged as an adult with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in Krystel's July 10 death.

Earlier Wednesday, the defendant's sister, Bonita Concepcion Geerts, testified that a language barrier was the reason their father appeared to implicate his son during initial questioning.

Geerts said her father's words, ``He killed her,'' were a question, not a statement. She said Concepcion Sr. was speaking in a Filipino dialect in which questions and direct statements can have identical wordings.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has filed charges against four teenagers from a church in Pella who have confessed to beating a raccoon to death.

DNR spokesman Kevin Baskins said the incident happened Saturday night at Ledges State Park.

Baskins says the teens were on a church youth group camping trip with the Third Reformed Church in Pella.

Investigators said the teens made a crude snare to trap the raccoon and managed to catch it.

The teens told authorities that they didn't know how to free the animal, so they beat it to death. Another camper called authorities.

All four were charged with the illegal trapping and killing of wildlife. They are identified as 18-year-old Frank Ahrens of Montezuma, 16-year-old Brenna Leighton of Pella, 16-year-old Tyler Holtrap of Otley and 15-year-old Jacob Gleason of Leighton.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Federal prosecutors have charged a man from LaMotte, Iowa, in a meat theft conspiracy that allegedly centered on a storage facility in East Dubuque, Ill.

The criminal information filed Wednesday in Cedar Rapids names 48-year-old Lloyd Patterson with one count of conspiring to steal, receive and possess property worth more than $1,000 that had been stolen from interstate shipments.

Prosecutors say the meat and meat products were stolen from semitrailers that had been loaded and driven from the East Dubuque storage facility.

If convicted, Patterson might face a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says President Barack Obama's handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been a ``total failure'' that is akin to the government's bungled response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Speaking Wednesday before a Republican fundraiser in Cedar Rapids, Gingrich argued that Obama has taken less personal responsibility for the oil spill recovery than President George Bush took for the Katrina response.

Gingrich says the federal government shares the blame for the deep water spill because it doesn't allow drilling in shallow water near the shore where problems could be dealt with more easily.

Gingrich was in Iowa to raise money for state and local Republican groups. He planned stops in Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines.


CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Cedar Rapids has named an interim city manager.

The City Council late Tuesday voted to hire former Dubuque mayor Allan Thoms to serve until a permanent manager is found.

The initial contract, which will pay the 71-year-old Thoms $12,500 a month without city-employee benefits, is for three months and can be extended. He starts June 1.

A council committee is beginning a search for a new, permanent city manager to replace Jim Prosser, who left the post in April after 44 months on the job.

Prosser was the first city manager in the city's council-manager government, which replaced a commission form of government in 2006.

WASHINGTON (AP) University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen will serve on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity.

The commission advises U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on matters of accreditation as well as the eligibility and certification process for colleges and universities.

Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley, who recommended Allen for the commission, said the Northern Iowa president's experience in higher education will strengthen and improve the accreditation processes for America's colleges and universities.

In a statement Wednesday, the Democratic congressman noted that under Allen's leadership, UNI has made it a priority to increase student achievement in undergraduate programs and provide statewide leadership in education.

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


(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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KLEM News PM Update May 26, 2010

(LE MARS)--A program to help Le Mars households safely dispose of prescription drugs doesn't have an end date.

Police chief Stuart Dekkenga says the opportunity to bring unused prescription drugs to the police department to be destroyed will be ongoing.

The Le Mars D.A.R.E. program and Le Mars Police sponsor "Project Safe Meds." The collection effort began this month.

Le Mars Police D.A.R.E. officer Jay King said there has been an increase in the number of young people abusing prescription drugs they get from friends and family.

The goal of the Le Mars effort is to protect young people and properly dispose of prescription drugs to protect the environment.

Dekkenga says there has been a huge variety in the medication that's been brought in for "Project Safe Meds." Much of the medication being turned in involves pain relievers.

Any medication brought to the police department should be in the original container or package. There is no charge for the service police are offering.

(LE MARS)--Le Mars Community School District residents who want to improve their technology skills fill Adult Education classes.

The Le Mars Community School District and Western Iowa Tech Community College partner on the Adult Education program coordinated by Lorene Rexwinkel who is a Le Mars Community teacher.

Rexwinkel told the Board of Education this week the enrollment was down slightly this school year with 213 students compared to 268 a year ago. Rexwinkel says senior citizens who took classes with tuition paid by the school district totalled 75 students- up 25.

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Rexwinkel reported popular classes in adult education were wine selection with 50 students, exercise classes with 30 students and eight computer classes with 56 students. Cooking classes had 35 students.

Rexwinkel said the Rosetta Stone program is available by contacting Western Iowa Tech. The Rosetta Stone program uses technology to teach English using sound and sight instruction.

(MARCUS)--The founder of a display of flags in Marcus will be honored on Memorial Day.

Retired Brigadier General John "Jack" Nicholson, a Struble native, will deliver an address highlighting a Marcus Memorial Day program.

The observance Monday afternoon at two at the Marcus Community Center will pay tribute to Korean war veteran Leonard "Smokey" Schnoes.

Schnoes, who died in 1995, started the display of veterans' burial flags at the Marcus cemetery in 1975. The display has grown to nearly 200 flags which will be flown this Memorial Day.

A flag flown over the nation's capital will be presented to Schnoes' family by a representative of Congressman Steve King, Wayne Brincks.

The program will conclude with Echo Taps by Buglers Across America buglers Gerald Pallesen and June Pallesen.

(LE MARS)--Friday is the deadline for flags to be provided to Wasmer Post 241 of the American Legion in Le Mars for dedication during the "Avenue of Flags" on Memorial Day.

More than 11-hundred flags honoring the dedication of veterans who have died will be placed on the Courthouse lawn and nearby grassy areas by the Legion Post and volunteers.

Legion members ask for patriotic volunteers to help place the bases and half-staffs Saturday starting at 8 a-m. Volunteers are asked to bring a large screwdriver or a metal detector to find the flag bases.

On Memorial Day, volunteers may help Legion members place the flags starting at 6 a-m. Flags are retired at 4 p-m on Memorial Day.

The Memorial Day program in Le Mars is at 10 a.m. at the Courthouse.

(CUSHING)--A Sioux City woman was airlifted to a Sioux City hospital Monday afternoon following a four-vehicle accident in Ida County on Highway 20.

The Iowa State Patrol reports the accident happened in a road construction zone.

According to the Patrol, a semi driven by 55-year-old Jerry Tjeerdsma of Springfield, South Dakota failed to stop. The semi collided with the rear of a car which set off a chain reaction-type accident.

The driver of the car, 29-year-old Kerry Salmi of Sioux City, had to be extricated and was flown to Mercy Medical Center by Mercy Air Care for non-incapacitating injuries. Her passenger, Naveah Salmi, an infant, had possible injuries.

The driver of another car, 77-year-old Beverley Blide of Norfolk was taken to Mercy Medical Center by Correctionville Ambulance to be treated for non-incapacitating injuries as was her passenger, 83-year-old William Blide.

The driver of a fourth vehicle, a pickup truck, 30-year-old Jaime Castaneda of Sioux City was not injured.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A reward is being offered in the case of a cat with a 3-inch nail driven into its head.

The female calico named ``Grace'' was found last week in Sioux City and had surgery to remove the nail.

The Humane Society of the United States, the Siouxland Humane Society and a local individual are offering a combined reward of up to $3,500.

Officials believe the nail was driven into the cat's head with a nail gun.

Animal Control director Cindy Rarrat says Grace is improving. She's eating, walking and playing with toys.

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

ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) A Sioux City man convicted of raping a woman at a mutual friend's 21st birthday party near Sioux City has been sentenced to serve 14 years in prison.

Thirty-eight-year-old Christopher Jones was convicted of two charges of third-degree rape in late March. Union County State's Attorney Jerry Miller says the Sioux City man was sentenced this week to 15 years in prison, with eight years suspended on each of the convictions, with the two sentences to be served consecutively.

Miller says Jones raped a 23-year-old woman twice on Oct. 19, 2008, at a Dakota Dunes residence. The woman told authorities she was drunk and passed out, but twice awoke to find Jones assaulting her.

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

SIOUX CITY---OVER 30-MILLION AMERICANS ARE PLANNING TO TRAVEL AWAY FROM HOME THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND.
TRIPLE-A FIELD MANAGER MARY NOVOTNE SAYS 32.1-MILLION WILL VACATION THIS WEEKEND, WHICH IS UP 5.4-PERCENT FROM LAST YEAR.

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NOVOTNE SAYS GAS PRICES ARE UP 16-CENTS A GALLON COMPARED TO A YEAR AGO, AVERAGING 2.53 IN SIOUX CITY.

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SHE EXPECTS GAS PRICES TO DROP A BIT AFTER THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND.
NOVOTNE SAYS THE INCREASE IN TRAVEL IS DUE TO THE RECOVERING ECONOMY.

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SHE ENCOURAGES MOTORISTS TO BUCKLE UP AND HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER. (News report by Josie Cooper of KSCJ/Powell Broadcasting, Sioux City)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich plans stops around Iowa, raising money for local Republicans and fueling speculation about whether he intends to seek his party's presidential nomination.

Gingrich has events planned Wednesday in Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines. He'll speak at several events and headline a big fundraising dinner.

While his visit will help local Republicans raise money and generate interest in the party, stops in Iowa by nationally known figures such as Gingrich also raise speculation about whether they intend to run for president. As the state that leads the presidential nominating process, most people thinking of running for the White House find reasons to visit Iowa and lay the groundwork for campaigns by raising money for local politicians.


BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) Burlington police have identified a woman who died after she was hit by a pickup truck while crossing a street last week.

Police said Tuesday that relatives identified the woman as 51-year-old Margo Maloney, of Burlington. She was struck around 10 p.m on Friday. Maloney was not carrying any identification. She died at a Burlington hospital.

The driver told police he was turning onto the street and didn't see Maloney.

The accident remains under investigation.


OGDEN, Iowa (AP) Authorities say one man is dead after a 5-hour standoff that ended in gunfire in Boone County.

Sheriff Ronald Fehr (fair) says officers were called to a home in Ogden around 9 p.m. Tuesday on a harassment call. When they arrived, a man armed with a gun came to the door.

Fehr says authorities tried to negotiate with the man, but he didn't respond.

Fehr says about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, authorities fired a concussion grenade inside the house, and deputies went inside.

Fehr says when deputies went to the second floor, they were shot at, and deputies returned fire, hitting the man.

The man, who was not identified, died at the scene.

The sheriff's office said Wednesday morning that no additional information had been released.


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) University of Iowa officials say a failure of spliced electrical cables below a street on campus caused utility hole covers to blow out of the ground and several buildings to lose power.

Facilities engineer Rick Hellwig says the 13,800-volt cables failed Tuesday afternoon, causing a power outage on the east side of campus. Power was rerouted and restored about 30 minutes later. Two people were trapped in an elevator in a chemistry building until the power was back on.

There was a fire in a utility tunnel, and firefighters used carbon dioxide to put it out.


WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) The National Wrestling Hall of Fame is planning to buy the Dan Gable Wrestling Museum and keep it in downtown Waterloo.

Gable museum director Kyle Klingmann says the merging of the two halls is crucial to the long-term viability of the Gable museum.

Klingmann says the acquisition of the Gable museum by the Oklahoma-based national hall will give the Waterloo facility more clout and prominence.

The Gable museum was moved from Newton to Waterloo in January 2007. It was damaged by flooding in 2008 and didn't reopen until January 2009.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine has named Des Moines among its top 10 cities, saying there's more to it than agriculture.

The magazine, which focused on ``out-of-the-box thinking,'' lists Des Moines as number seven.

In its July edition, Kiplinger says a likely worker shortage sparked by retiring baby boomers has ``lit a fire'' under city leaders. It says the city is working to bring back young workers, attracting global talent by developing its downtown and promoting jobs in the industries that are flourishing biotechnology, insurance, finance and publishing.

Austin, Texas, tops the list, followed by Seattle; Washington, D.C.; Boulder, Colo., and Salt Lake City.

Rochester, Minn., is sixth; then Des Moines; Burlington, Vt.; West Hartford, Conn.; and Topeka, Kan.

(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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