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KLEM News PM Update June 23, 2010

(PIERSON)--A Brunsville man died after a two-car collision near Pierson at noon Tuesday.

According to the Woodbury County Sheriff's office, 60-year-old Roger Utesch of Brunsville was driving on a Woodbury County road and crossed the center line for unknown reasons. His pickup truck struck a car driven by 85-year-old Merlyn Smith of Newell.

Utesch was ejected from the pickup and was taken by Mercy Air Care to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City  where he was pronounced dead.

Smith was extricated from his car with the use of Jaws of Life and was taken to Mercy Medical Center along with his wife, 77-year-old Ruth Smith of Newell.

The sheriff's office reports the Smiths were being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

The accident at 110th Street and Kossouth Avenue at 12:10 yesterday afternoon is still being investigated by the Iowa State Patrol and sheriff's office. Authorities were assisted by Pierson and Moville Fire and Rescue squads.

Funeral arrangements for Utesch are pending.

(REMSEN)--A former Plymouth County Supervisor died Tuesday at a Sioux City hospital. Herman Kluver of Remsen had represented the Remsen, Oyens and Kingsley areas when he served on the board. Kluver died at the age of 84. Funeral arrangements for Kluver are pending with Fisch Funeral Home and Monument of Remsen.

LARCHWOOD, Iowa (AP) Groundbreaking is scheduled this afternoon for a $120 million casino project in northwest Iowa.

The groundbreaking is Wednesday afternoon for the Lyon County Resort and Casino. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved a casino license for the project last month, noting it would draw gamblers from Sioux Falls, S.D., only eight miles from the new development.

The casino is scheduled to open in July 2011 with about 740 full and part-time workers. The Lyon County resort is expected to include an 18-hole golf course and 100-room hotel.

Dan Kehl is chief executive officer of the Lyon County development. Kehl has said he thinks the resort will be good for the region.

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

(CAMP RIPLEY)--Iowa National Guard soldiers are training at Camp Ripley in Minnesota for deployment to Afghanistan in what will be the largest deployment by the guard since World War Two. Guard members from Troop C in Le Mars are part of the training in Minnesota.

Not only are the 28-hundred soldiers who'll be on the ground in Afghanistan involved in this training, but support units of the guard are also in Minnesota for a full-scale summer exercise involving a total of four-thousand Iowa National Guard soldiers. The deployment includes a mix of experienced soldiers and newcomers. Captain Mike Wedemeyer (Wed-uh-my-er) of Adel is the executive officer for the headquarters command that will go to Afghanistan. Wedemeyer was previously deployed to Iraq, and says the training this time is much different -- including the amount of time being devoted to the preparation. He says he had 22 hours to prepare to report to Iraq, while he found out in February he'd be deployed to Iraq. Wedemeyer says this training should have soldiers more prepare.

Wedemeyer says the training this time is a lot more specialized with specific "Army Warrior" tasks and battle drills that soldiers need to know before being deployed. He says in 2003 when things kicked off for the Iraq deployment, it was a "mass rush to get troops overseas." The different units are in various stages of training at Camp Ripley, but Wedemeyer says the main goal is the same.

"A lot of the things we have been talking about is just paying attention to their training and understanding it's not a weekend drill anymore, ...these are real scenarios that we are going through, because it's going to be real life missions when we get over there," Wedemeyer says,"everything from as simple as basic common courtesy and discipline to actually making sure that every soldier understands his or her job to the most that we are able to provide for them." Not many of the soldiers have been deployed to Afghanistan before. Sergeant Glen Bulger, a Tipton native, is now with a Davenport unit and has been to Afghanistan, and is sharing his experience with others.

Bulger says he was up in the northeast portion of Afghanistan and says the country is actually quite beautiful if you like mountains. Bulger says the soldiers in training are seeing photos of "camel spiders the size of sleeping bags" and he says he others who have been to Afghanistan before can help dispel some rumors and offer advice "to the Joe's" about what to do, what gears to use in vehicles. Bulger says this extended training will help better prepare the younger soldiers for deployment. 

 "Oh yeah, there are a lot of bugs, we've got a lot of young dudes, yeah a lot of young blood, but we also have a lot of seasoned leadership," Bulger says. He says one way they overcome the inexperiences is to do a lot of different iterations, where soldiers do a lot of different tasks and leadership positions in the training exercises known as lanes. "We do at least three iterations of each lane so that people have a lot of different jobs and they get a good grasp of what it's like to wear a lot of different hats," Bulger says. Private first class Anthony Yeager of Waukee is one of the "Joes" or "young dudes" that Bulger talks about. Yeager is a heavy equipment operator who has been in the guard a couple of years. He arrived at Fort Riley after some initial training at Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

 "It's been pretty good training, we've been helping out the combat engineers, got to blow some stuff up, blow some C-4 back at McCoy," Yeager says. Yeager and his fiancee have a son and plan to get married in July. Yeager was asked about his fiancee's thoughts about him leaving to go overseas a few months after they're married.

 "She knew I wanted to deploy. She's not a big fan (of the deployment), but she supports me," Yeager explained. Yeager says he is looking forward to deploying and is "maybe a little scared" because he doesn't really know what to expect. Specialist Sky Pogue (Pohg)of Davenport is another one of the younger soldiers. Pogue is in his third year in the Iowa National Guard and is anxious to get the training out of the way. 

"Kind of looking forward to it, like sitting on the bench all year on the baseball team and finally getting in to go play. So it's our turn to get in there," Pogue says. The Iowa Guard soldiers will wrap up their Minnesota training at the end of this month, they'll then go to Mississippi in July for additional work, and then to California for their final training before deployment in the fall. (News report by Radio Iowa)

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Powerful storms moving across Iowa are dumping heavy rain and causing flash flooding, while producing a lot of wind damage and a few tornadoes.

Several tornadoes and funnel clouds were reported late Tuesday across northern Iowa. In Bremer County, winds damaged several homes and blew down two barns near Tripoli (tri-PO'-luh).

No injuries are reported.

Heavy rain, however, is causing problems. In Wright County, the sheriff's office says over 5 inches of rain fell overnight, flooding roads countywide. Several homes in Clarion have water in the basement.

Sheriff's dispatcher Linda Darland says the rain came down so fast, it just flooded everywhere. MARSHALLTOWN JOBS

140 new jobs headed to Marshalltown

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) A Marshalltown call center says it's adding 140 jobs.

Thomas L. Cardella and Associates said Tuesday that the company will start hiring by July 7. Applications are now available for 40 sales positions. Hiring for the remaining 100 positions is to start in early August.

Joel Akason is president of the Marshall Economic Development Impact Committee. He says the positions are ``good quality jobs.'' Akason says there's still unemployment in the area though. Iowa Workforce Development says the unemployment rate for Marshall County in May was 7.2 percent.

Company president Thomas Cardella says the company is ``committed to job growth in Iowa.'' Cardella says its ``clients' needs are well served'' by the Iowa workforce. BINGO HALL ROBBERY

2 arrested in bingo hall robbery in Waterloo

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Waterloo police have arrested two men in a robbery of a bingo hall following a nearly three-hour standoff.

One of the men is wanted in a string of other robberies.

Police arrested Brandon Reynolds of Chicago on Tuesday evening after a tactical team drove him from a vacant house with tear gas.

Elton Wade of Waterloo was arrested before the standoff when police searched a nearby house.

The men are charged with first-degree robbery in Monday's holdup at a bingo hall at the National Cattle Congress grounds.

Reynolds is also charged with three other robberies in Waterloo and Cedar Falls.

Reynolds and Wade are being held in the Black Hawk County jail. It was not immediately known if they had an attorney. AVIVA EMBEZZLEMENT

Prosecutor: Iowan can stand trial for embezzlement

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A federal prosecutor says a woman accused of embezzling nearly $6 million from West Des Moines insurer Aviva USA is competent to stand trial, even if she has a multiple personality disorder.

Phyllis Stevens is accused of fraud, money laundering and other charges. Her partner, Marla Stevens, is also charged.

In court documents filed Monday, assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Kahl says the issue is not whether Sevens has a valid diagnosis, but whether she is can understand the proceeding and assist in her defense.

Last month, Stevens' attorney argued she exhibited various personalities and raised questions about whether she could help in her defense.

A competency hearing is set for Thursday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines. HISTORIC SMOKESTACK

Cedar Rapids gives up on historic smokestack

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Cedar Rapids has given up on efforts to save a historic smokestack at the former Sinclair meatpacking plant.

The City Council on Tuesday said it was time to take it down. Councilwoman Monica Vernon says ``the writing is on the wall.''

Greg Eyerly, the city's flood-recovery director, told the council that stabilizing the smokestack would require taking the top 100 feet apart, brick by brick.

He says it would cost $740,000 to stabilize the stack and $1 million to restore it. The process would delay the current demolition of the plant, at a loss of $1 million.

That's a total cost of $2.7 million.

Eyerly also says demolition crews have reached a point where they are in danger of being hit by the smokestack if it falls.

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

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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.


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