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Tuesday Afternoon News, September 23

House Fire At Craig (Updated)

(Craig) -- Ireton, Sioux Center, Maurice, and the Le Mars Fire Departments all responded to a house fire reported early this morning at Craig. The alarm was sounded at about 5:45 a.m. this morning.  Ireton Fire Chief Rich Steckelberg says upon arrival, flames were seen coming from the kitchen area of the two-story home.

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Steckelberg says it is too early to determine the cause of the fire, but he believes the blaze may have started in the kitchen of the home.  Fire fighters were on the scene for more than three and a half hours.  Steckelberg says everyone in the household were able to escape the flames, and there were no injuries associated with the fire.  The Ireton fire chief says the state fire marshal's office has been notified to investigate the cause of the fire.  He doesn't know the amount of dollar damage done to the home, but he believes the home has been totaled.

Cherokee County Authorities Investigate Fatal Auto Accident

(Cherokee) -- The Cherokee County Sheriff's office is invesigating a fatal auto accident that happened on Monday evening at about 5:30 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 59 and State highway 31.  Apparently, a pickup driven by Fred Lukins of Holstein was traveling northbound on Highway 59.  Lukins attempted to turn west bound on to Highway 31 when his vehicle was broadsided by a north bound dump truck driven by Timothy Rardin of Lake View. Lukins and his passenger were tansported to the Cherokee Regional Medical Center where Lukins died as a result of his injuries.  Lukins' passenger and Rardin suffered incapacitating injuries.  The accident is still under investigation.  Assisting at the scene was the Iowa State Patrol.

Fatal Farm Accident In Buena Vista County

(Storm Lake) -- A 16 year old Storm Lake boy is the victim of a fatal farm accident that happened late Monday afternoon near Truesdale.  Buena Vista County authorities say the boy, identified as Conner Weiland, was attempting to clear a piece of farm machinery that had been plugged while harvesting corn.  Wieland lost his footing and became entangeled in the harvesting machinery.  Upon arrival at the scene, Buena Vista County emergency responders from the Buena Vista Sheriff's office, Rembrandt Fire Department, and the Buena Vista Regional Medical Center paramedics found the victim dead at the scene.  An investigation into this accident is continuing by the Buena Vista County Sheriff's office and the Buena Vista County Medical Examiner's office.

 

This Week Is "National Farm Safety And Health Week"

(Le Mars) -- The fatal farm accident in Buena Vista County should serve as a reminder to all people working on farms to be extra cautious during this harvest season.  This week is National Farm Safety and Health Week, and Iowa State University Extension Farm Safety Specialist Chuck Schwab says statistically, agriculture ranks as the most dangerous occupation.

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Schwab says the most common types of farm-related accidents involve: machinery entanglements, roadway collisions, grain suffocation, electrocution, and even roll-overs involving either tractors, and/or all terrain vehicles.  But the farm safety specialist says slips and falls account for many farm-related accidents each year.

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All this week, KLEM news will focus on different aspects of  farm safety during the noon news update.

 

Argosy Casino Still At Dock

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Owners of the closed Argosy riverboat casino on the Missouri River said high water may delay the structure's removal from the Sioux City waterfront.
The Argosy riverboat casino closed in July after the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission ordered it to cease operations, saying it wasn't partnered with a state-licensed local nonprofit group as required by Iowa law. Its parent company, Penn National Gaming, fought the order, but the state's supreme court ruled that it needed to close. 
Mayor Bob Scott said Monday at a city council meeting that the casino's owners say they're prepared to pay the city if high waters prevent it from meeting the Sept. 28 removal deadline.     "The rivers are way up, so the boat won't go under the bridges," Scott said. 
If the waters don't recede, the owners are required to pay $7,500 in rent each month for its berth at Larsen Park Road.
City officials will have to decide what will take its place on the riverfront once it's gone.
Councilwoman Rhonda Capron said she'd like to see a walking trail, while some residents have suggested a fishing pier at the site. She said the final decision would be based on what the community supports.
"Some of these people are really coming up with some original ideas," she said. "I'm looking for more input from our people, because we only get one shot to do this and it's going to be there for a long time."
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Iowa D-O-T To Hire More Snowplow Workers

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Transportation officials say they plan to hire hundreds of more temporary workers to operate snow plows around Iowa this winter.
The state Department of Transportation say they're hiring nearly 600 snow plow operators for a period that runs between the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015. That's a jump from the hiring of about 300 to 400 workers last winter. 
The department posted openings recently on its website for jobs in cities across the state.
The additional hires are aimed at helping workers who put in overtime hours to combat last winter's severe weather, the station reported.
Employment will run from Oct. 15 through April 15.
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New Jersey Governor Christie To Visit Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is set to visit Iowa next month to appear at a fundraiser for Gov. Terry Branstad.
The campaign for Branstad, who is running for his sixth non-consecutive term, announced Tuesday that Christie will attend Branstad's annual birthday fundraiser on Oct. 25 in Clive.
Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association, a role that provides him with the opportunity to raise money and campaign for GOP candidates. He made a July visit to Iowa, sparking speculation about his presidential aspirations.
During Christie's last trip to the kickoff voting state, he raised money for Republican candidates. He appears to have survived the lane-closing scandal that rocked his administration, though an investigation continues.
Recent polls have shown Branstad with a substantial lead against his Democratic opponent Jack Hatch.


 

 

 

   

Tuesday News, September 23

Long Time Le Mars Journalist, Glada Koerselman Passes Away

(Le Mars) -- Long-time Le Mars journalist and community activist Glada Koerselman has passed away.  Koerselman was 84 at the time of her death on Monday, September 22nd.  Koerselman served as the editor of the Le Mars Daily Sentinel for many years. She was also responsible for many community projects, including saving the old Central High School building and converting it to the Plymouth County Historical Museum.  Long time friend, Bill Renken reflects upon the many community contributions of Koerselman.

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Renken says for many years he remembers fondly the writings of Glada and the photography by her late husband, Dick, especially for a book they published together about the famous round barn, now located at the Plymouth County fairgrounds.

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 Right up to the time of her death, Koerselman was still writing, as she published a newsletter entitled: "The Messenger".

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Koerselman enjoyed watching Le Mars Community school functions, and would often talk about the original Le Mars Community Bulldog from a former coach and teacher of Le Mars Community.  She was honored as the Le Mars Community Distinguished Alumnus this past May.  Renken credits Koerselman for saving the Fourth of July celebration and parade.

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And how will Renken remember Koerselman?

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Ireton And Le Mars Fire Department Battle House Fire

(Craig) -- Both the Ireton and the Le Mars Fire Departments were called this morning to battle a house fire at Craig. The alarm was sounded at about 5:45 a.m. this morning.  No report as of yet as to the extent of damage as a result of that house fire.

 

Supervisors Will Not Meet This Week

(Le Mars) -- Due to a lack of agenda items, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will not be meeting today.  They are scheduled to meet again next Tuesday.

 

Storm Lake Police Arrest 23 People In Drug Investigation

(Storm Lake) -- Storm Lake Police have arrested 23 people on various drug charges following a nine-month long investigation.  The investigation, termed "Operation Smoke Stack" focused on the sale and use of marijuana and methamphetamine in the Storm Lake area.  16 people were charged with felonies and seven face misdemeanor charges.  Investigators say they are searching for additional suspects.  Those arrested ranged in ages of 53 years old down to 16 years old.

 

Hatch Pulling Television Ads From Sioux City Market

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The campaign of Democratic candidate for governor Jack Hatch has suspended television ads in two Iowa markets and changed its advertising strategy in two others but denies it's a sign the campaign is struggling financially.
     "We're just redistributing how we're doing some things to reflect the polling that we're seeing," said Grant Woodard, Hatch's campaign manager.
     Woodard said as polls change "we're going to make decisions accordingly."
     Television ad buys in the Sioux City and Davenport markets have been placed on hold and ad schedules on Des Moines and Cedar Rapids stations have been changed.
     Branstad's campaign manager, Jake Ketzner, said it's a signal the Hatch campaign is struggling to find the money to stay on television.
     "The story is, it's 43 days out and he's broke and he can't be on TV," Ketzner said.
     Branstad is running ads in nearly all of Iowa's major television markets in addition to Mason City, Ottumwa and Quincy, Illinois, which reaches into the state's southeast corner, Ketzner said.
     Campaign financial reports show Hatch's campaign had $183,000 in cash on hand in July, the most recent reporting period for which records are available.
     Branstad's committee had $4 million.

 

More People Choosing To Vote Early

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The number of absentee ballots requested by Iowa voters is nearly double the number sought 43 days before the 2010 election, Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz said Monday.
    Voters have increasingly opted for early voting by absentee ballot in recent elections for the convenience and in response to increasing pressure from political parties striving to get as many votes as possible cast by election day.
     Democrats have in recent election cycles excelled at the strategy but the numbers released Monday show Republican absentee ballot requests are up nearly 145 percent from 2010 to just over 31,000. Democratic requests have climbed nearly 67 percent to nearly 58,000.
     That shows Republican Party efforts that include spending about $1 million this election cycle on voter turnout are paying off, party Chairman Jeff Kaufmann said.
     Democrats, however, point out that they still have a nearly 27,000-vote lead among early voters. Given that Democrats have pushed early voting in the last few election cycles to still see a 67 percent increase is a positive trend, Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Christina Freundlich said.
     No Party requests are up 138 percent to 23,000.
     When all early voters are tallied, absentee ballot requests are up nearly 98 percent to just over 112,000 so far.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

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