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KLEM News AM Update June 23, 2010

(UNDATED)--Heavy rain fell in Siouxland as scattered thunderstorms moved across the area in response to a low pressure system and a warm frontal boundary lifting across the state.

KLEM recorded 2.4 inches of rain overnight. Tornado, severe thunderstorm and flood watches and warnings dominated the late night and early morning hours.

In Plymouth County, the National Weather Service in Sioux Falls received reports of a funnel cloud just south of Craig about 11:30 last night with a 60 mile an hour wind gust four miles southwest of Craig at 11:35. At 11:45, winds up to 60 miles an hour were reported with a thunderstorm five miles east of Struble. All the reports were from Plymouth County Emergency Management which provides storm spotter services through volunteers and law enforcement.

At the Le Mars Airport, the peak wind guest was 29 miles an hour at 11:35 p.m. NIPCO recorded a peak guest of 37 miles an hour from the south-southeast at 11:30 p.m.

In Cherokee County, a possible tornado was reported on the ground just after eleven last night three miles south of Marcus. A trained spotter also reported a tornado on the ground one mile south of Marcus.

(Weather Underground contributed to this news story)

(LE MARS)--A Plymouth County resident is needed for a volunteer board that helps guide conservation property and projects.

Clark Goodchild of Le Mars resigned in a letter to the Board of Supervisors dated June 15th. Goodchild wrote he'd enjoyed serving on the Conservation Board in the last year. However, as Supervisors chair Jim Henrich read at Tuesday's meeting, Goodchild also wrote that he feels his focus seems to differ from the Conservation Board as a whole.


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Individuals who'd like to serve on the Conservation Board should send a letter of interest listing their qualifications. The letter to the board of supervisors should be sent to the courthouse address by July 12th. Supervisors will review the letters and appoint a conservation board member at their Tuesday, July 13th 9:30 a.m. meeting.

Supervisors Tuesday accepted the low bid of H-C-I Construction of South Sioux City for the Courthouse Annex Building. The bid was $637,000. There was about a 100-thousand dollar difference between the low and high bids.

When sales tax and a grant for an emergency shelter are subtracted, the final cost is projected at 550-thousand dollars. The county has budgeted 600-thousand dollars from Local Option Sales Tax for the project.

The board heard an update on the Le Mars Area Dialysis Service Center need for an additional 200-thousand dollars. Mike Donlin is an ex officio member of the dialysis board and said there are prospects for the funds to move the project forward.

(AKRON)-An Akron area farmer is the June winner of the Good Farm Neighbor Award.

Brad Harvey will receive the recognition from Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey on Monday. Northey will be at Harvey's crop and livestock farm.

Harvey raises about 15-hundred pigs and also has some cattle. He farms 640 acres of land raising corn, soybeans and hay. He and his wife, Chris, have four daughters.

The nomination for the award through WHO Radio was made by Harvey's neighbor, Julie Madden. Madden noted Harvey is active in the community and is always willing to help his neighbors. She also highlighted how willing he is to open up his farm to tours to help showcase Iowa agriculture.

The Harveys are also active in church, farm and youth organizations.

(DES MOINES)--Students from Akron-Westfield earned honors at the National History Day contest at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland.

In the junior division, Akron-Westfield's junior group performance, "The Golden Age of Radio: Changing America with the Turn of the Dial," won a bronze metal for third place. Team members were Lexi Hageman, Kortney Hedlund, Hannah Koele, Desi Oltmanns and Cali Westergard.

Akron-Westfield's Emily Meerdink received seventh place for her junior individual performance, "The Innovative Beginning of Conservation in America: The Lacey Acts." The Akron-Westfield junior group and individual performer were taught by Val Philips and Colleen Westergard.

KLEM News last week reported the gold medal honor to a Le Mars Community High School student in the senior division. Palani Permeswaran received first place in the senior historical paper. His instructor is Jeannie Rust.

Twenty-two Iowa students earned national honors last week during the National History Day competition.


(Sioux City)--A northwest Iowa man who was caught with a cache of stolen guns will spend time in a federal prison.  An undercover agent bought nine guns, 616 rounds of ammunition, some meth and some pot from 37-year-old John Daniel Saul of Sioux City. Saul has pleaded guilty to seven counts of firearm violations and one count of distributing meth and marijuana. Saul had removed the serial numbers from several of the guns and used a hack saw to shorten the barrel of a shotgun. Federal officials say Saul stole the guns from a business in Jefferson, South Dakota. Saul faces up to 30 years in a federal prison and a two-million dollar fine on the charges. (News report by Radio Iowa)

(Mapleton)--A bridge project will change traffic patterns near Mapleton next month.  Traffic will be restricted to one lane on Highway 141 over the Maple River in Mapleton beginning July 12th for bridge deck overlay work.

The Iowa Department of Transportation's Sioux City Construction office says the deck overlay work is expected to be completed by September 30th.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver has issued a disaster emergency proclamation for Ringgold, Union and Taylor counties because of severe storms that hit the area June 1.

The proclamation issued Tuesday allows state resources to be used to help local officials and residents deal with the effects of the storms, including debris removal from damaged structures and trees.

It authorizes the implementation of the State Individual Assistance Grant Program to assist eligible residents in those counties.

The state's Individual Assistance Program provides up to $5,000 in reimbursements for damages incurred for those whose income is up to 200 percent above the poverty level.

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Legal experts say a former Iowa slaughterhouse executive's 27-year prison sentence for financial fraud is severe. But it's not necessarily surprising given crackdowns on white-collar crime.

Former Agriprocessors Inc. vice president Sholom Rubashkin was sentenced Tuesday and also ordered to pay $27 million restitution.

Rubashkin was convicted of 86 federal financial fraud charges. Prosecutors had sought a 25-year sentence. Defense attorneys plan to appeal.

Stanford University law professor Robert Weisberg calls Rubashkin's 27-year sentence ``dubious'' in part because the case is not on the same level as that of Enron or others.

But Drake University law professor Robert Rigg says the slaughterhouse case is by no means small, ``especially for Iowa.''

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Black Hawk County judge has sentenced a teenager from Waterloo to 20 years in prison for shooting three people in what authorities say was retaliation for an earlier fight.

The defendant, 18-year-old Darius Traemon Caston, pleaded guilty to three counts each of intimidation with a dangerous weapon and willful injury.

Police say Caston opened fire last July 13, injuring 16-year-old Edward Degraffinreed, 26-year-old Trevell McCoy and 18-year-old Damarrius Todd.

Todd was hit once in the chest and once in his left arm. McCoy was shot in his left leg, damaging his femur bone, and a bullet struck Degraffinreed in the chest, damaging his kidney, spleen and pancreas.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) A 10-year prison sentence has been handed a Mason City convicted of sexual abuse in the third degree.

Kenneth Leonard Ingram was found guilty on April 29 by a jury in Cerro Gordo County District Court. Judge James Drew sentenced Ingram on Monday.

In addition to the prison sentence, Drew ordered Ingram to serve a lifetime supervision following the completion of his prison term. He also must register as a convicted sex offender.

Ingram was convicted in connection with an alleged assault that occurred on May 6, 2009, at a home in Mason City. He was found not guilty of first-degree burglary.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Everyone seems to agree that there's too much crime at the Park Forest apartment complex on Des Moines' southeast side.

But police, residents and complex manager Jeanie Arellano can't seem to agree on how to handle the problem.

Police officers have been called to the two-block stretch where Park Forest is located 469 times in the past year.

But Arellano says troublemakers frequently flee before police arrive and then come back after the officers depart.

Des Moines Police Sgt. Lori Lavorato says the department wants to help, but there's not much officers can do when the people who witness crimes at the complex refuse to talk to them.

WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin has announced $2.4 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration to improve airports across the state of Iowa. The Iowa Democrat is a senior member of the panel that funds transportation initiatives.

Harkin said Tuesday that the largest grant for $625,000 would go to Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids for a geographic information system study. A similar study at Dubuque Regional Airport will receive $525,000. Keokuk Municipal Airport will get $545,000 for runway rehabilitation, and $500,000 goes to Boone Municipal Airport for apron rehabilitation.

Smaller grants are going to Clarion Municipal and Lamoni Municipal Airport.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has issued a boil advisory for the city of Garwin in Tama County.

The alert came after a water main break near a school in Garwin on Tuesday.

Officials say that once pressure has been lost within a water system, there is potential for bacterial contamination.

Officials urged Garwin residents not to drink the water without boiling it first. They should bring all water to a boil for one minute and let it cool before using, or use bottled water. Boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, making ice, brushing teeth and preparing food.

ADEL, Iowa (AP) Farmers say weeks of wet weather are taking a toll on Iowa's fruit and berry crops.

Kathy Lewis of Berry Fresh Farm in Adel says the berry season looked very promising at first, and even started two weeks early this year, but the repeated rains are causing rot and mold.

Lewis says a lot of the farm's strawberries are drowning in puddles and have started to rot.

The farm has lost more than half of its strawberry crop, while the black raspberries are dying from the saturated ground that's causing root rot. The red raspberries that grow higher off the ground are battling mold.

Lewis says the only way to keep mold from spreading is to spray the fields, which is a last resort.

(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 June 22, 2010

(LE MARS)--Funding for a new health care service in Le Mars will be discussed by the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors this morning.

The board's agenda includes the Le Mars Area Dialysis Services discussion of county funding. Supervisor Gordon Greene last week requested the agenda item. The project had been discussed at a meeting of the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation (LBIC) that Greene had attended. The discussion is at 9:45 this morning.

At nine this morning, the board will review and discuss bids for the Plymouth County Courthouse Annex building opened last week. The office and storage building is to be located on the Courthouse block.

The board begins today's public meeting at 8:30 in the lower level meeting room at the Plymouth County Courthouse.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

8:30 AMJim Henrich - Plymouth County Board Chairman
1.Call meeting to order
2.Approve this agenda (Action)
3.Approval of prior Board meeting minutes (Action)
4.Approval of claims and payroll (Signatures)
5. Committee Reports (Discussion)
6. Old Business
7. New Business
A. Open and review mail/correspondence (Discussion)
B. Open public forum (Informational)

9:00 AMBoard of Supervisors - Review and discuss bids for Plymouth County Courthouse Annex building
(Discussion and Action)

9:45 AMBoard of Supervisors - Discuss the Le Mars Dialysis county funding (Discussion)

10:00 AMTom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer
(Action Items)
1. Hungry Canyons Agreements - LC-141340(HC10-8)LC-142650(HC10-9)
2.Permit-Southern Sioux Rural Water - Sec 30/31 Fredonia Twp
3.Permit-Long Lines Limited-Sec 12 Plymouth Twp
4.Permit-Qwest Communications-CT Communications Sec 27/28/33/34 Perry Twp
5.Permit-Lundell Construction
a.Sec 29/32 Remsen Twp
b. Sec 13/24 Garfield Twp
c. Sec 7 Plymouth Twp/Sec 12 Liberty Twp
d. Sec 3/10 Preston Twp
e. Sec 22/27 Fredonia Twp
f. Sec 2/3 Lincoln Twp
(Discussion Items)
Questions/Discussion of the Secondary Road Department

(Informational Items)
Update on construction projects

DES MOINES--Two northwest Iowa family members are the latest Powerball prize winners.

Rollie Zellers of Sioux City and his father-in-law, Keith Olson of Whiting, claimed their one-million dollar Powerball prize Monday.

Rollie Zellers who is 51, bought two tickets at a Casey's in Onawa Saturday while visiting his mother-in-law in the hospital. His 85-year-old father-in-law asked him to get the second ticket as Zellers was leaving the hospital.

Olson is splitting the prize with Zellers. Olson missed hearing some of the winning numbers when they were announced Saturday night. Bu he saw them in a newspaper Sunday and called his son-in-law. Olson couldn't believe the winning amount.

Olson plans to use his winnings to help his family--he has three sons and a daughter, nine grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Zellers has paying off his house and a new car for his wife in mind for his half of the one-million dollar prize.

 (LE MARS) A 14-year tradition continues this summer at the Plymouth County Fair. A quilt auction to benefit Life Skills Training center will be held Saturday, July 31st at 2 pm in Century Hall. This year's auction will feature a quilt made to honor longtime Life Skills employee Dennis Kessenich. The Kessenich family wanted to honor Dennis with a quilt, and a chance conversation between Dennis' sister-in-law, Dawn Kessenich and fellow scrap-book enthusiast and quilter Virginia Freyermuth led to this year's entry. Life Skills public relations coordinator Becky Scheitler says the quilt Freyermuth made to honor Dennis is quite unique.


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Dennis,  the 49-year-old son of Stan and Roselene Kessenich of Le Mars, has been at Life Skills Training Center since 1980.  In 2004, Dennis received the Life Skills Client Achievement Award. This year's Life Skills Training Center Foundation auction will feature between 60 and 70 quilts. The quilts will be on display at First National Bank's main downtown location about two weeks before the Plymouth County Fair. The 2010 fair is July 28 through August 1st. (News report by Dave Ruden)

(LE MARS)--An insect is the latest source of calls to the Iowa State University Extension office in Plymouth County.

Earwigs are the reason for the calls. The insects are about 5/8 of an inch long and  are dark brown with a reddish head and pale yellow-brown legs. They have a prominent pincers or forceps.

According to information from the Plymouth County I-S-U Extension office,  earwigs live outdoors and hide during the day in damp areas or in flowers and plants.

Laura Jesse of the Extension Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic compares earwigs to boxelder bugs, crickets and lady beetles who are a household pest as an accidental invader. If they are found inside the house they can be swept or picked up and discarded. Jesse also suggests eliminating damp, moist conditions near the house as much as possible.

(REMSEN)--A Remsen native is touring the state to promote his book about his long canoe trip across Canada more than 30 years ago with three other "greenhorns" from the Iowa cornfields. Dennis Weidemann  penned "This Water Goes North" about his unusual experiences on the 14-hundred mile, three-month journey. They started in northern Minnesota, paddling for three weeks along the Red River into Canada.

 They eventually reached the 300-mile long "tempermental beast" of Lake Winnipeg, which is pretty much the end of civilization, he says. The tale, Weidemann says, is one of near-disasters, spendid sunsets and the indomitable spirit of youth. After getting across Lake Winnipeg, he says the real adventure into desolation began.

From there, it was 400 more miles of pure wilderness before reaching an old fur trading post on Hudson Bay, where they met bootleggers, Mounties and even polar bears. Weideman, who now lives in Wisconsin, says he likely wouldn't try to take another canoe trip of this sort, not because he's "old and brittle" now, but because you just can't attempt to repeat an experience like this. Still, he says Iowans who wanted to take their own adventure across Canada could pull it off.

"You could still do the trip and come away with a lot of the same experiences," Weideman says, though a few fly-in fishing lodges are along the way now, but northern Manitoba is still very much an unspoiled region of the world, mostly unchanged since he was there in the summer of 1979. For more information, visit: (NEWS REPORT FROM RADIO IOWA)

(LE MARS)--Plymouth County Jurors do not need to report today. Jurors are asked to call next Monday, June 28 after 3pm to find out whether to report on Tuesday, June 29th.

SEATTLE (AP) Police in the Midwest are investigating whether an infamous teen burglar from Washington state is behind a string of break-ins and car thefts.

Police say that late last week, a family in Yankton, S.D., found a tall man in their home. He left, and a trail of stolen vehicles led to Norfolk, Neb., and Pella, Iowa, where a stolen Cadillac Escalade was found on Monday.

Yankton Assistant Police Chief Jerry Hisek (HIGH'-sek) says his department is forwarding DNA evidence to a state crime lab to see if the suspect might have been the 6-foot-5, 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore. Harris-Moore is suspected of having committed dozens of burglaries and stolen boats, cars and even small airplanes since he escaped from a halfway house in 2008.

Hisek says the family didn't get a good look at the man because their house was dark.

(Copyright 2010 by Associated Press. All rights reserved)

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FREMONT, Neb. (AP) Voters in the eastern Nebraska city of Fremont have approved a ban on hiring or renting property to illegal immigrants.

The special election in Fremont on Monday was the latest proposal in a series of immigration regulations taken up by communities around the country. About 57 percent of voters supported the measure, which is expected to be challenged in court.

Supporters say the measure is needed to make up for what they see as lax federal law enforcement. Opponents fear it could fuel discrimination.

Fremont's Hispanic population has surged in the past two decades, largely due to jobs at two nearby meatpacking plants.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gubernatorial rivals Chet Culver and Terry Branstad are getting an early and aggressive jump on the November election campaign as they take anti-incumbent jabs at each other and seek to persuade voters what a lousy governor the other has been.

In his television ads, Culver accuses Branstad of doubling state spending during his tenure, raising the gas tax and sales tax and trying to tax Social Security.

Branstad says in his ad that people are out of work because of the mess Culver has created and that Culver either can't or won't fix the state's problems.

Branstad, a Republican, served 16 years as Iowa governor before leaving office after the 1998 election. Culver, the Democratic incumbent, is seeking his second term.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A former manager of an Iowa kosher slaughterhouse will be sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $31 million restitution when he's sentenced Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade issued a sentencing memorandum Monday outlining the sentence she will impose on Sholom Rubashkin during Tuesday's hearing in Cedar Rapids. Reade indicated in the document she would not impose a fine.

A jury found Rubashkin guilty on 86 federal financial fraud charges last fall.

Rubashkin's attorney Guy Cook says the sentence is unfair and excessive and that Rubashkin's conviction and sentencing will be appealed.

U.S. attorney spokesman Bob Teig declined comment until the sentence is imposed.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Autopsy results show the bassist for heavy metal band Slipknot died of an accidental overdose of morphine and fentanyl, a synthetic morphine substitute.

Paul Gray was found dead in a suburban Des Moines hotel room on May 25. A hotel worker told a 911 dispatcher that a hypodermic needle was found near Gray's body and that pills also were found in the room.

On Monday, Urbandale police issued a news release saying the final autopsy report shows Gray died of a drug overdose. It also shows signs of significant heart disease.

Police spokesman Sgt. Dave Disney says no evidence has been found showing a doctor prescribed either of the drugs and that officers are investigating where they came from.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Police in Iowa City say a local teenager turned violent when they tried to stop him from dancing with the locally famous Black Angel statue in Oakland Cemetery.

Officers went to the cemetery late Friday night on a report that someone was dancing on the pedestal of the 8.5-foot-tall statue at the Feldevert family grave site. The officers say 18-year-old Brian Holst Jr. refused to leave, and they used a Taser on him after he began pushing and fighting against them.

Holst was charged with interference with officials acts and assault on a peace officer. It was not known Monday whether he had an attorney.

The Black Angel is made of bronze, but it has slowly turned black since its installation in 1912. It is the subject of many local superstitions and has been vandalized several times.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) The Dubuque Community School District and the city of Dubuque have agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a student who died in a traffic accident.

Lauren Schmidt and another 15-year-old student were struck by a vehicle driven by 16-year-old classmate Codi Rega as they walked across the street near Dubuque Hempstead High School in September 2007.

Schmidt passed in front of a school bus partially pulled on to Pennsylvania Avenue. She later died at University Hospitals in Iowa City.

Gregory and Beth Ann Schmidt sued the school district, the bus driver, the city and an insurance company. In April, the school district agreed to pay a settlement of $115,000 and the city agreed to pay $55,000.

Others details of the settlement remain confidential.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Citizens' Aide Ombudsman Bill Angrick is calling ``indefensible'' the actions of a Walker City Council member who voted in favor of his own appointment as fire chief and later refused to abstain from votes on fire department matters.

Angrick on Monday detailed 10 instances Bill Smith voted on matters directly related to the volunteer fire department on which he serves.

In a response to Angrick's findings, Smith said he acted in accordance with advice given by the city attorney. Smith said he cast the votes because of the need to get things done, not because of personal gain.

Angrick calls Smith's response unacceptable.

Iowa law allows a city council member to simultaneously serve as a city volunteer fire chief if the fire department serves 2,000 citizens or fewer. However, council members must obey conflict-of-interest prohibitions.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A recent spate of motorcycle accidents have prompted renewed calls for an Iowa helmet law.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports Iowa, Illinois and New Hampshire are the only states without helmet laws, even to protect their youngest residents. According to the Iowa Department of Transportation, at least one child under 14 and another 17 under the age of 24 have died in motorcycle crashes in the state since 2007.

Now some Iowa legislators, including Waterloo Democrat Rep. Doris Kelley, are pushing for a helmet law.

Kelley has introduced a bill prohibiting children under six from being allowed to ride on motorcycles. Cedar Falls Democratic Sen. Jeff Danielson wants to prohibit anyone under 18 from riding without a helmet.

Motorcycle riders such as Keith Boylan of Des Moines say helmets should not be required for any rider.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded a competitive grant of $225,000 to the University of Iowa.

The Iowa Republican says the university will use the funds to conduct research on diabetes, endocrinology and metabolic processes.

Each year, thousands of local Iowa organizations, colleges and universities, individuals and state agencies apply for competitive grants from the federal government. The funding is then awarded based on each local organization or individual's ability to meet criteria set by the federal agency involved.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) The federal government has declared a cease-fire in its biological war against saltcedar, a nonnative tree that has taken over riparian areas across the West.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week formally ended a program of releasing saltcedar leaf beetles to control saltcedar. Beetles no longer will be released in 13 states: Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Montana, Washington and Wyoming.

The agency scrapped the beetle program because saltcedar provides important habitat for bird species, including the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher.

Alan Dowdy with the USDA says the beetles have been effective too effective for the good of birds that have come to rely on saltcedar.

(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.


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