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KLEM News AM Update May 26, 2010

(LE MARS)-- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Tuesday delayed action on the development agreement between ICON Ag and Plymouth County.

ICON Ag is a John Deere equipment and service business that plans to relocate from Le Mars' north side to Key Avenue which is on the west side of Le Mars. The Le Mars City Council last week approved a development agreement with the firm which has five John Deere dealerships in northwest Iowa.

County Attorney Darin Raymond explained the county's concern with the agreement.


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Supervisors Don Kass and Mark Loutsch agreed to meet with city officials to clarify the county's concerns


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The Board of Supervisors will finalize the development agreement after the details of the tax rebate between the city and the county have been settled. (News report by Dave Ruden)

(LE MARS)--Visitors from out of state will be encouraged to visit the Ice Cream Capital of the World.

The Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau received funds from the Regional Tourism Marketing grant program.

The grants are designed to assist communities in placing advertising in out-of-state markets.

Tourism manager Nancy Landness says people are taking shorter, more frequent trips and the ads will help keep Iowa destinations top of mind as people make travel plans.

The Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau award of 77-hundred dollars is to be used for television advertising in Nebraska and South Dakota.

Sioux City's Convention and Visitors Bureau was awarded five-thousand dollars for billboards in Nebraska and South Dakota .

Storm Lake United will advertise in newspapers in South Dakota and Minnesota; Midwest Living magazine; and online Google ads with a marketing grant award of 64-hundred dollars.

The Clay County Fair Association of Spencer received five-thousand dollars for billboards, radio and tv ads in Minnesota, South Dakota and Nebraska . A total of 72-hundred dollars will fund skywalk signs in Minnesota to promote Okoboji tourism.

(ROCK VALLEY)--A Sioux Center man died when his car struck a semi on a Sioux County road south of Rock Valley Monday afternoon.

The Iowa State Patrol reports 26-year-old Oscar Rodriguez of Sioux Center was traveling north when his sport utility vehicle crossed the center line.

According to the patrol report, the S-U-V Rodriguez was driving struck a southbound semi driven by 30-year-old Milton Timmer of Sioux Center. Rodriguez died.

The accident was reported about 3:45 Monday afternoon on county road K-30, one-half mile north of B-30. The Sioux County Sheriff's office, Rock Valley Police, EMS-Fire and the Iowa Department of Motor Vehicle Enforcement assisted the State Patrol.

(ORANGE CITY)--A Minnesota woman faces charges of using someone else's identity to get a job in Sioux Center.

The Sioux County sheriff's office arrested 40-year-old Nicolasa Lopez-Ramos of Worthington Monday morning

According to written information released by the sheriff's office, authorities received information that Lopez was working illegally at Center Fresh Egg because she used a false identity to get the job.

She is charged with felony identity theft and forgery

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) A 19-year-old Yankton man is accused of reckless driving and racing on a highway in connection with a crash that killed another man from the city.

Authorities believe the man who was arrested over the weekend was driving a car that was racing with a motorcycle driven by 19-year-old Vince Varilek on May 17. Varilek died after his bike collided with a sport utility vehicle at a city intersection. The 82-year-old driver of the SUV was not injured.

The Yankton County clerk of court's office Tuesday afternoon said the man who was arrested had not yet been formally charged.

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

ELK POINT, S.D. (AP) A Sioux City man facing charges in South Dakota and Iowa has pleaded guilty to a rape charge in South Dakota.

Prosecutors have agreed to drop a kidnapping charge against 18-year-old Thomas Varvais of Sioux City, but he still faces up to 50 years in prison on the rape conviction when he is sentenced July 12.

Varvais is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Woodbury County on Thursday on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious injury. Authorities say his truck hit two children riding a bicycle in Sioux City on May 15, while he was out on bond on the rape and kidnapping charges.

Varvais is now being held without bond.

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

WASHINGTON (AP) U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley says the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration has awarded ten grants totaling more than $1.1 million to ten Iowa airports.

The Iowa Republican said Tuesday the funding will increase the safety and efficiency of the airports, as well as helping provide important economic development opportunities to the communities they serve.

The largest grant, for nearly $202,000, goes to Albia Municipal Airport for taxiway construction

Greenfield Municipal Airport will receive more than $157,000 for runway rehabilitation, while $142,500 will go to Belle Plaine Municipal Airport for snow removal equipment.

Other grants will go to airports in Algona, Atlantic, Audubon County, Charles City, Denison, Forest City and Muscatine.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Prosecutors have rested their case against a former manager of an Iowa kosher slaughterhouse.

Sholom Rubashkin is being tried in Black Hawk County District Court on 83 counts of child labor violations. The charges followed a May 2008 raid at the former Agriprocessors plant in Postville where 389 illegal immigrants, including children, were detained.

The final prosecution witness was Elmer Lopez Marroquinn, who testified he told labor investigators he was under age 18 before the immigration raid. The Guatemalan resident, who was employed by Agriprocessors at 16, said a plant human resources employee told him not to reveal his true age before he met with the inspectors.

The jury was sent home until Wednesday morning when the defense will begin with its witnesses.

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) The mother of a teen accused in the July 10 death of his 3-year-old cousin has testified on his behalf during his trial in Hamilton County District Court.

Aurora Concepcion testified Tuesday that Edgar Concepcion Jr. was responsible for caring for several of his younger brothers and sisters. She added she never saw her son hurt Krystel Banes or the girl's brother while they were in his care.

An autopsy showed Krystel died of asphyxiation and had bruises and bite marks on her body.

The prosecution rested its case Monday after calling Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation agent Jon Turbett to the stand to testify about conversations he had with Edgar Concepcion, who is being tried as an adult.

Concepcion faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole if convicted of murder.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A sexual abuse charge has been filed against a Cedar Rapids man previously charged with kidnapping a 19-year-old convenience store clerk.

Keith V. Elson Jr. appeared Tuesday in court by video from the Linn County Jail to face charges of first-degree kidnapping and first-degree sexual abuse.

The 54-year-old Elson is accused of kidnapping a girl at knifepoint from a convenience store May 17. Police found Elson and the teen at his apartment, about seven hours after the abduction. The Associated Press does not identify victims of sex crimes.

The victim was treated and released from Mercy Medical Center, but Elson was hospitalized for a stab wound.

Elson remains in custody under the $100,000 cash bond for kidnapping. Associate District Judge Jane Spande on Tuesday set a bond $50,000 bond for the abuse charge.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) A city magistrate in Mason City has fined a local man $65 for allowing his pet snake to be on the loose at the Mason City Holiday Inn earlier this month.

Police say 25-year-old Michael Salo permitted his 5-year-old bull python to be at large in a hallway without control or supervision on May 1. He was charged under the city animal control ordinance.

Hotel manager Brandy Smith Branstad says employees noticed the snake early in the morning and notified authorities. She said the incident caused no disruption for patrons.

Branstad says Salo was a guest at the hotel, but his snake was not.

She says Salo was apologetic about the incident.

DES MOINES (AP) A federal agency is suing the city of Boone, alleging it violated the law when it hired a younger person over an older and more qualified applicant.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission contends that in 2005 the city hired as municipal infractions officer a 25-year-old with little experience over a 62-year-old Larry Cook, who had extensive management, construction, electronic and communications experience.

The EEOC contends the city violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act when it did not hire Cook and is seeking back pay and other damages for Cook an order barring Boone from future discrimination.

Boone's city administrator, Luke Nelson, declined to talk about the case but did say that the city's hiring practices meet EEOC standards. SLIPKNOT BASSIST DEAD

Slipknot members mourn bassist's death

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The eight remaining members of the Des Moines metal band Slipknot describe deceased bassist Paul Gray as a man with a big heart who represented everything that was wonderful about the group.

Speaking Tuesday evening at an emotional news conference in Des Moines, lead singer Corey Taylor said the band had lost their brother. He added, ``the only way I can sum up Paul Gray is, love.''

Paul Gray was found dead Monday in a suburban Des Moines hotel room.

His wife, Brenna Gray, also spoke. She is pregnant and said their unborn baby daughter will grow up knowing her father was an amazing person.

An autopsy was completed Tuesday, but the cause of death won't be known until toxicology tests are completed in four to six weeks.

DEWITT, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a Bettendorf teen who was found unconscious in a farm pond this week may fallen into the water while having a seizure.

Jonah Cullett was found Sunday by family members, who pulled the teen from the water and performed CPR before emergency crews arrived. He was later pronounced dead at Genesis Medical Center in DeWitt.

Sheriff Rick Lincoln said the 16-year-old, who was visiting relatives at the farm, may have drowned as a result of his epilepsy. Cullett had told family members he was going fishing.

The Iowa State Medical Examiners Office has tentatively identified the cause of Cullett's death as accidental drowning.

(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.


KLEM News AM Update May 25, 2010

(LE MARS)--A groundbreaking ceremony for a new addition and renovation of the Good Samaritan Society-Le Mars Brentwood Center is planned next month.

The project has been awarded to general contractor Wiltgen Brothers Construction of Le Mars. Work  began last week and is expected to be finished in 2011.

The goal of the addition and renovation is to offer a "neighborhood-like" look and feel of the current Brentwood Center.

The project will make it possible to offer 24 more private resident rooms. The "neighborhood concept" will transition the building layout to offer separate dining and living room space in each hallway or "neighborhood," along with different community spaces such as chapel, community room, library, and beauty-barber shop.

According to written information released by Good Samaritan, the idea for a more home-like living has been in the planning stages for many years to transform the Brentwood Center into what is called "a Christian Community of Care."

The first phase will include building on an addition of two new wings on the east and west sides of the building. The next phase is renovation of hallways to construct the neighborhood feel as well as update decor for a consistent look in the entire building. The final phase will include a new chapel and community-activities areas.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) The president of a northwest Iowa ready-mix concrete company has pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Kent Stewart entered the plea Monday in federal court in Sioux City. Justice Department information indicates Stewart was president of Great Lakes Concrete.

According to a one-count felony charge filed earlier this month, Stewart conspired to fix prices and rig bids for ready-mix concrete sold to various companies in Iowa from approximately January 2008 to August of last year.

Stewart reportedly discussed project bids for sales, submitted rigged bids at collusive and noncompetitive prices and accepted payment at collusive and noncompetitive prices.

Stewart was charged with violating the Sherman Antitrust Act, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $1 million per count.

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

(LE MARS)-- A development agreement between John Deere sales and service business ICON Ag and Plymouth County is one of many agenda items today for the regular meeting of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors. The agenda item is listed for discussion and possible action.

Also on the agenda, contract approval with Plymouth County and Jackson Recovery; consideration of a possible escrow agreement for General Obligation (G.O.) Local Option Sales Tax refunding bonds; and discussion of the courthouse window replacement contracts with H & H Construction and Lamperts.

The board is also expected to declare surplus property items for public sale. The Board of Supervisors meets Tuesday morning at 9:30 in the lower level of the Courthouse. (News report by Dave Ruden)

Plymouth County Board of Supervisors meeting agenda Tuesday, May 25, 2010

9:30 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
A. Review and approve contract with Plymouth County and Jackson Recovery Center
(Discussion and possible Action)
B. Discuss a development agreement between ICON and Plymouth County (Discussion
and possible Action)
C. Discuss the courthouse window replacement contracts and H & H Construction and
Lamperts (Discussion)

7. New Business
A. Board to consider approval of escrow agreement for General Obligation Local Option
Sales Tax refunding bonds (Action)
B. Board to approve resolution authorizing debt service levy (Action)
C. Board to approve resolution a loan agreement for debt service (Action)
D. Board to approve delinquent tax abatement (Action)
E. Board to declare items surplus property for sale (Action)
F. Open and review mail/correspondence (Discussion)
G. Open public forum (Informational)

10:15 AMAndrea Westergard, Plymouth County Economic Development Director and Sherry McGill, ISU
Extension Director - Economic Development Update (Discussion)

10:45 AMTom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer
(Action Items)
1.Tile Permits-Lundell Construction.- Sec 5/8 Lincoln Twp on C-60, Sec 6 Preston Twp on County Line.

Questions/Discussion of the Secondary Road Department

(Informational Items)
Update on construction projects

12:00 PMPlains Area Mental Health Luncheon


(LE MARS)--Voters in Plymouth County will have a Saturday
option to register to vote or cast an absentee ballot.

According to auditor Stacey Feldman, the auditor's office at the courthouse in Le Mars will be open Saturday from 8 a-m until 5 p-m.

The additional day of service is being offered to register voters and for absentee ballots for the June 8th primary election.

Voters are asked to use the north lower level entrance at the courthouse.

Anyone with questions may contact the auditor's office.

(ORANGE CITY)--A horticulture educator is beginning her work in northwest Iowa.

Iowa State University Extension is offering the horticulture educator position through Melissa O'Rourke of rural Rock Valley .

O'Rourke will serve Lyon, Sioux and O'Brien Counties. One of her roles will be to facilitate Master Gardener classes in the three counties. She'll also provide leadership for volunteer and continuing education opportunities for those who have completed Master Gardener training.

Regional extension education director Cheryl Heronemus says O'Rourke has been an avid Master Gardener in Sioux County. She'll answer consumer questions about gardens and landscapes as well as work with service and garden clubs for program requests.

(Pocahontas)--The University of Iowa's Institute of Public Affairs is leading a pilot project to help a handful of small communities in the state boost their local economies by working more closely with nonprofit organizations. Institute director Jeff Schott says the cities chosen for the project include Pocahontas.

"The ultimate goal is working with them to develop long-range economic development or economic recovery strategies specifically for their communities," Schott said. The training and technical assistance will be provided at no cost to the local governments and nonprofits. Only cities with populations under five-thousand (5,000) were allowed to apply. Schott says small town governments in Iowa are facing dwindling resources, so working more closely with nonprofits makes sense.
 "They may have some experience working together, but there may be new ways they can collaborate to try and achieve common goals," Schott said. Preliminary work in each of the communities will begin this summer, but more intense training sessions are planned in September. Schott is hoping results from the pilot projects will eventually help other nonprofit organizations and local governments in Iowa.
"We want to try and put together some best practices so there would be information and materials we can provide both local governments and nonprofits as to how to improve collaboration and work together to meet the goals of the community," Schott said. The program is funded by a 250-thousand dollar ($250,000) federal grant. (News report by Radio Iowa)

(LE MARS)--Plymouth County jurors do not need to report for jury duty Tuesday, May 25th. This concludes the May jurors service. The clerk of court thanks the jurors for their service

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) South Dakota officials say they're on alert for the tree-killing emerald ash borer.

Earlier this month, the destructive insect was found in an ash tree in northeastern Iowa.

Game Fish and Parks spokesman Shane Bertsch says it's only a matter of time before the insect reaches South Dakota.

Extension forester John Ball says it's too early to begin control measures. He says the pesticides used for controlling the insect are expensive and can hurt trees and increase the populations of other insects.


(ORANGE CITY)--Two people are accused of identity theft in separate investigations by the Sioux County sheriff's office.

19-year-old Enrique Chilel-Sebastian of Hull was arrested Thursday on charges of forgery, identity theft, failing to have a driver's license and insurance.

According to written information released by the sheriff's office, the arrest of Chilel-Sebastian was the result of a traffic stop two miles west of Boyden.

Also Thursday, 43-year-old Jose Sebastian-Bartolon of Worthington, Minnesota was charged with felony forgery and identity theft.

Sebatian-Bartolon was involved in a traffic accident near Sioux Center on May 12th.

The sheriff's office information states Sebastian-Bartolon was using a name and social security number that were not his to get a job at Center Fresh Egg in SIoux Center.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) A jury has found 19-year-old Jerel Wright of Dubuque guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the fatal stabbing of 24-year-old Jemaris West.

In its verdict Monday, the jury also found Wright guilty of attempted murder in an attack on 24-year-old Derrick Tyle.

Both victims in the street brawl attack last Labor Day were from Dubuque.

Wright's older brother, 20-year-old Joseph Wright of Chicago, was sentenced to seven years in prison in December. Joseph Wright had pleaded guilty to assault while participating in a felony and assault while displaying a dangerous weapon.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A former plant supervisor at the Agriprocessors kosher slaughterhouse in Postville has testified that when child labor inspectors toured the facility, he hid two workers he suspected of being underage.

Testifying Monday in the trial of former plant manager Sholom Rubashkin, supervisor Brian Griffith said he was ordered to hide the workers by his superior. Griffith was the last prosecution witness of the day, and prosecutors said they expected to call their last witnesses Tuesday.

Earlier Monday, former plant worker Gerardo Solovi Perez said he injured his hand on a conveyor belt when he was only 17.

Rubashkin faces 83 state counts of child labor violations.

Meanwhile Monday, a federal judge in Cedar Rapids delayed Rubashkin's sentencing on federal charges until June 22. Rubashkin was convicted of fraud involving loans Agriprocessors received.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) Nine people charged with illegally accessing President Barack Obama's student loan records while employed for a Department of Education contractor in Iowa have pleaded not guilty in federal court.

The former employees of Vangent Inc. are accused of gaining access to a computer at the contractor's office in Coralville, and accessing Obama's records while he was either a candidate for president, president-elect or president.

They pleaded not guilty Monday in U.S. District Court in Davenport to charges of exceeding authorized computer access. Trial was scheduled for July 6.

All were released after entering their pleas.

The charge is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. CONCRETE PLEA

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Police in Cedar Rapids say they have arrested a kidnapping suspect as he was discharged from the hospital where he had been under treatment for a week.

Officers say 54-year-old Keith Van Elson was arrested Monday as he was being released from St. Luke's Hospital. Van Elson has been charged with kidnapping in the knifepoint abduction of 19-year-old Kwik Shop clerk Amanda Daniel early on the morning of May 17.

About seven hours after the abduction, officers went to Elson's apartment about six blocks away and found blood on the door. Inside, they found Elson with a stab wound to the chest and Daniel in the bathroom.

Police said Daniel suffered cuts and bruises.

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Police in West Des Moines say they are hunting for thieves who reportedly took more than $60,000 worth of watches from a jewelry store at the West Valley Mall.

Police say at least three people went on a theft spree at Joseph's Jewelers, taking some of the most expensive watches the shop had to offer.

West Des Moines Police Lt. Jeff Miller says one person distracted a clerk while two others cut the caulking on a jewelry case and grabbed three Rolex watches.

Police say one of the watches was worth $35,000, another was worth $16,000 and the third was priced at $10,000.

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) Police say metal band Slipknot bassist Paul Gray has been found dead in an Iowa hotel room.

Police say a hotel employee found the 38-year-old Gray dead Monday in a room at the Town Plaza Hotel in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. Foul play isn't suspected. An autopsy is planned for Tuesday.

A person who answered the phone at the band's record company, Roadrunner Records, declined comment. Most of the band's members grew up in the Des Moines area.

Slipknot's self-titled debut in 1999 sold more than a million copies.

Known for its grotesque masks, the band won a Grammy in 2006 for best metal performance for the song ``Before I Forget.'' Concert industry trade publication Pollstar ranked Slipknot 18th in its Top 20 Concert Tours list in 2009.

(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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