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KLEM News AM Update August 9, 2010

(SIOUX FALLS)--Thunderstorms packing high winds downed power poles and lines early Sunday night .

As of 5 a-m, about two-thousand Sioux City customers of MidAmerican Energy were without power. That's about half the original outage map report at eight last night. Sioux Gateway Airport reported a peak wind gust of 41 miles an hour during the storm.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for southwestern Plymouth County about 6:30 last night. The storm warning  was the southeastern part of the county within the next hour. The warning was allowed to expire at eight p-m.

Hinton firefighters responded to a report of an electrical pole on fire around 7:30 last night. The fire call was southwest of Hinton near the Woodbury/Plymouth County line at the intersection of 330th Street and K-22.

A peak wind gust of 28 miles an hour was recorded at KLEM just before seven last night. The rainfall from the storm was .52 of an inch.

The power of the winds was known before the storm hit the SIoux City area.

Due to high winds, some campers were overturned at the Lewis and Clark Recreation area in Yankton. Some nearby residents were also affected. There were reports of injuries.

A Yankton radio station reported more than an inch and a half of rain in about 15 minutes.

(Associated Press contributed to this story)

Merrill school building future to be discussed tonight

(LE MARS)--The future plans for an elementary school building that's closed will be discussed by the Le Mars Community School Board of Education tonight (Monday).

The discussion, which is NOT listed as an action item, follows an inquiry by members of the Merrill community about Kissinger Elementary School. The Board of Education closed the Merrill attendance center at the end of the last school year.

The Board will consider an application for federal funds for Title 1 to be used for math and reading at Gehlen Catholic and at Le Mars Community Elementary Schools. The grant amounts anticipated are about 262-thousand dollars and cover staff as well as supplies, equipment and testing.

The board will consider a three-year agreement with the Le Mars Arts Council for use of school facilities for Arts Council programs, the annual report from the Superintendent as well as bus specs and bidding procedures.

The meeting is open to the public and begins at 7:30 tonight at the Education Service Center.

(Current agenda is not available from the District's website)

New Siouxland College option

(South Sioux City)--Residents of the Sioux City area will soon have a new option in higher education. Classes start in ten days at the new College Center at South Sioux City. The school's first building was dedicated last week. College President Bill Path says the Industrial Training Building will hold classes in drafting and industrial tech programs.

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(As above) "We've been working on the project to have a
stronger presence for about seven years now, so this is really quite a milestone for us to have our first permanent building in South Sioux City," Path says. "This'll be the first of many, as I predict." The second building is due to open in the Spring of 2011. Path says this is a first-of-its-kind effort in higher education to share partnership 50-50 between two entities: Northeast Community College of Norfolk, Nebraska, and Wayne State College in Wayne.


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(As above) "The College Center, the main building in Sioux Sioux City, will be owned and operated by both institutions jointly," Path says, "and the freshman-sophomore courses will all be offered by Northeast and all the junior-senior level courses will be offered by Wayne State." Also, Northeast will offer all of the industrial and vocational classes while Wayne State will offer the graduate-level courses. The facilities are on a 57-acre site donated by the South Sioux City Community Development Agency. Path says they expect steady growth in what he's calling a "commuter campus."


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(As above) "We are not planning dormitories in our development," Path says. "We are not planning sports arenas or bell towers or anything like that. It's really a no-frills operation. It's designed for busy students who have jobs or who are commuters and need to find quick access to classes on days, evenings and weekends. That's what we plan on offering." As the numbers grow, he says, so will the number of classes and facilities. Classes begin at the Industrial Training Building on August 16th. (News report by Radio Iowa)


Ex-Neb. jail worker faces trial on drug charges

DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) The former medical supervisor at the Dakota County jail has been ordered to stand trial on drug charges.

Jackie Heaton of South Sioux City faces three counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count each of attempt to fraudulently obtain a controlled substance and attempt to unlawfully procure a controlled substance. The 39-year-old has pleaded not guilty.

A jury trial has been scheduled for Aug. 26 in Dakota County District Court.

Court documents say Heaton used a county credit card to buy drugs prescribed to a discharged inmate for personal use between September 2009 and May 2010. The prescriptions cost a total of $60.

Jail director Terry Kern  told a newspaper that Heaton no longer works there.

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

Yankton, SD to consider expanding alcohol sales

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) The Yankton City Commission is considering whether to expand alcohol sales.

The proposal that'll be taken up during Monday's commission meeting was made possible through a state law that went into effect July 1.

The law requires municipalities to pass ordinances to allow Sunday and Memorial Day sales. It also makes standard the times alcohol can be sold, allowing off-sale and on-sale beer, wine and liquor sales from 7 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The proposal before the city commission would move the cut off for alcohol sales from midnight to 2 a.m. and allow sales on Memorial Day.

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

Iowa lawyer swims English Channel on 2nd attempt

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines lawyer has become the first American to both climb Mt. Everest and swim the English Channel.

Charlie Wittmack crossed the 21-mile channel on Sunday. He swam from Dover, England, to Calais, France, in about 12 hours.

He's only the fourth person in the world to achieve the rare sports double that adventurers call ``a peak and pond.''

Wittmack attempted to cross the channel in 2008 but had to stop after nearly freezing to death.

The 33-year-old climbed Mt. Everest in 2003.

Up next for Wittmack? Now that he's swam the channel, he's off to finish the next legs of the World Triathlon.

He plans to bike from France to India, then run from Calcutta, India, to the base camp of Mt. Everest in Nepal.

5 Iowa relatives deploy to Afghanistan

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Five members of an Iowa family will be among the Iowa National Guard soldiers deploying to Afghanistan this week.

Four of Linda Purdue's children and one of her nephews will head out as part of one of the largest deployments in state history.

Purdue, herself a major in the National Guard, is staying home this time around.

But she says it's comforting to know that her children and nephew will have each other to rely on.

All five are carrying the same memento attached to their wallets a family photo with everyone dressed in their uniforms that was taken on July 4th.

Crash near Fairbank ethanol plant leaves 2 dead

FAIRBANK, Iowa (AP) Two Fairbank men are dead after the car they were riding in crashed into a natural gas line at an ethanol plant.

Authorities say 49-year-old Brad William Higgins died at the scene of Friday's crash. The car's driver, 23-year-old Corey Allen Annis, died Saturday.

The Iowa State Patrol says it appears that Annis lost control of the Pontiac Firebird, sending the car into a ditch, where it rolled several times.

The car then slammed into a fence at the Hawkeye Renewables ethanol plant and ruptured a gas line.

The ethanol plant was evacuated as crews sealed the gas leak. Gas service to the plant was restored by Saturday evening. No other injuries were reported.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Woods Funeral Home in Fairbank.

Law calls for removal of 500 supervisors

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Information obtained by The Des Moines Register shows an Iowa law will require the removal of more than 500 government supervisors to meet a ratio of 15 workers for every manager.

In a copyright story in Sunday's newspaper, the Register finds that eliminating so many supervisors could violate some national standards.

Some management experts say it's unworkable, noting that no other state comes close to such a ratio. Texas comes closest, with a 1 to 11 ratio.

State employee unions pushed for the law, and Danny Homan of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says it makes sense. He argues that if a teacher can supervise 25 6-year-olds, then one manager can oversee 15 state employees.

(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 Augst 8, 2010

(SIOUX FALLS)--The National Weather Service is issuing an excessive heat advisory for several hours beginning this (Sunday) afternoon.

Hot and humid conditions are expected to create heat index readings of 100 to 115 degrees. Temperatures will reach about 95 degree this afternoon with dew points in the mid to upper 70s.

The heat advisory begins at one this afternoon and continues until seven tonight.

To prevent heat illnesses, staying out of the sun and drinking plenty of fluids are recommended.

The forecast doesn't offer much relief overnight and for the next several days.

LUW's adventures are winning United Way foursome's challenge

(LE MARS)--The Seventh Annual Le Mars United Way Golf Tournament will begin the 2010 United Way campaign September 2nd at noon.

The annual tournament at the City of Le Mars Willow Creek Golf Course will also continue a tradition for Luw.

Luw, which is short for Le Mars United Way, is a 30-pound traveling trophy given to the winning foursome from the United Way golf tournament.

For the past 12 months, Luw has traveled with Todd Lancaster, Matt Washburn, Reed Eimers and Cory Nordstrom--the 2009 winning foursome--for a second year in a row.

United Way volunteer and board chair Janelle Bixenman says it's tradition to have Luw's adventures from the last 12 months documented in a photo album for all to see during the golf tournament. Based on tradition, the foursome is charged with trying to better the photo album of LUW's travels and adventures from the previous year.

LUW will be awarded to the winning foursome at the dinner immediately following the Seventh Annual Le Mars United Way Golf Fundraiser. The tournament is a four-person scramble.

(SIOUX CENTER)--A Siouxland College is keeping its tradition of national achievement.

This year's Dordt College class of engineering graduates earned a perfect pass rate on the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam.

Since 2000, Dordt's engineering department has achieved a 98 percent average pass rate with the perfect 100 percent in 10 out of those 11 years.

Dordt provost Erik Hoekstra says this type of excellent program doesn't just come together without dedicated students and faculty who put a focused effort on quality. 

Garden Field Day set for Sutherland Research Farm

(ORANGE CITY)--A demonstration Garden Field Day is planned at the Iowa State University Northwest Research Farm near Sutherland Wednesday.

I-S-U Extension Horticulture Educator Melissa O'Rourke will present information on disease and insect problems she's seen this growing season. O'Rourke will also offer options for prevention, management and fall sanitation techniques.

Research farm officials will give the public a tour of the 2010 demonstration garden which is planted with a variety of annual flowers and vegetables. Marigolds and petunias were planted in a quilt block pattern.

The research garden is part of a trial compost project from the I-S-U composting facility. One-fourth of the garden had soils to which the compost was applied.

Information on fall-seeded vegetable gardens will be provided a guest speaker.  The Garden Field Day features root beer floats and roasted sweet corn.

The Research Farm is a mile and a half south of Calumet at the intersection of Highway 59 and O'Brien County road B-62. The address is 6320 500th Street, Sutherland.

Red Cross appeals for funds for disaster needs

(SIOUX CITY)--A new disaster relief fundraising drive is underway by the Siouxland Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.

The Hurricane season, the oil spill in the Gulf  and local floods and home fires are factors in the fund drive.

Executive Director Tammy Lee says Red Cross spends about 450-million dollar a year responding to nearly 70-thousand disaster across the country. Lee says Red Cross is asking people to click, text or call to support Red Cross disaster relief.

People who want to make a contribution to disaster response can visit or call 1-800-REDCROSS to support American Red Cross Disaster Response or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a donation.

Hospitals announce community benefit

(SIOUX CITY)--Sioux City hospitals provide nearly 25 million dollars in community benefit.

The new economic report is based on an assessment of the health care providers by the Iowa Hospital Association.

The report estimates the community benefit from Mercy Medical Center at 15.5-million dollars and from St. Luke's Health System at 9.5-million dollars.

Community benefits include services and programs such as health screenings, support groups, immunizations, nutritional services and transportation programs.

According to the Iowa Hospital Association report, St. Luke's reported 3.3-million dollars in charity care as well as more than 750-thousand dollars in subsidized health or community services.

Mercy's charity care  was 3.5-million dollars plus 2.3-million dollars in subsidized health or community services.

The two hospitals reported over seven-million dollars in Medicaid losses or unreimbursed costs associated with treating Medicaid patients.

Culver helps celebrate Oakville's flood recovery

OAKVILLE, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver has joined Oakville residents in celebrating their recovery from devastating 2008 flooding.

Oakville was submerged on June 14, 2008, when a levee along the Iowa River broke. The town of about 400 people was evacuated.

Residents focused on recovery and rebuilding efforts during Saturday's annual homecoming celebration.

Culver says Oakville is the best example of ``how Iowans can pull together in the face of very serious challenges.''

He says Oakville has gotten nearly $4.7 million in recovery assistance.

Iowa mayor offers reward for details about vandals

POLK CITY, Iowa (AP) The mayor of Polk City is offering a $3,500 reward for information about the vandals who damaged his home and a city park.

Mayor Gary Heuertz is offering the cash in exchange for information that leads to an arrest in the case.

Polk City police say vandals damaged the mayor's home on July 21. Police haven't offered any details about the extent of the damage.

Vandals also damaged or destroyed 29 trees at Kiwanis Park and the Sports Complex, causing about $5,000 in damage.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Polk County sheriff's office or Crime Stoppers.

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Animal neglect charges filed

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A 24-year-old Iowa City man is charged with animal neglect after police found five injured pit bulls inside a trailer with no food or water.

Darrell Keith Cathey is being held at the Johnson County Jail on $6,000 bond. He faces 13 charges, including animal neglect.

It was not immediately clear who he's being represented by.

Johnson County sheriff's deputies visited the trailer last week after getting a tip about the dogs.

Officials say the animals had been left for several days with no food or water.

The dogs have multiple injuries, including bites, tears and puncture wounds.

Misha Goodman, director of Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Services, says at least two of the dogs have permanent injuries to their paws and ears.

Flu illness reported in Eastern Iowa

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are advising doctors to be on the lookout for season influenza after the illness was reported in parts of eastern Iowa.

The Atlanta-based agency cited two flu outbreaks in the state in its message to doctors.

Four members of an Iowa college sports team became ill last month. Nine children at a child care center also became ill with the flu, the CDC reported.

The cases were all in eastern Iowa but the exact locations were not identified.

Tricia Kitzmann, Deputy Director for Johnson County Public Health, says three college students in an apartment also were diagnosed with seasonal flu last month.

The CDC has identified season flu in 12 states, including Iowa.

Work on art over I-80 overpass in Iowa continues

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) Work on an art installation over an Interstate 80 overpass in Council Bluffs is expected to continue well into August.

On Friday, a crane began installing bases on the four corners of the 24th Street bridge over Interstate 80. The project is expected to continue into the week of Aug. 16. There's no set completion date.

The four multimetal sculptures of stainless steel, weathering steel and bronze plate are called ``Odyssey'' by the sculptor, Albert Paley. They weigh up to 70,000 pounds, or 35 tons.

The $3 million artwork serves as a sort of gateway to Nebraska to the west and the rest of Iowa to the east.

It was selected by the Iowa West Foundation's public art initiative.

Iowa State Fair offers tracking device for parents

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa State Fair is offering a new tool for parents looking to keep track of their children at the sprawling fairgrounds.

The Secur-a-pal is a tracking device that's small enough to fit in a child's pocket or on a belt loop.

If the child becomes lost, they can press a button and send a text message that gives their location.

Parents with smart phones can also have the device use GPS to give the child's exact location.

Fair spokeswoman Lori Chappell suggests that the tracking device can also be used for people bringing elderly guests.

The device will cost $10.

Organizers are estimating more than 1 million people will attend the fair later this month.

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

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