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KLEM PM Update April 7, 2010

Local Service Area Manager Tom Buska attended the Tuesday morning supervisors meeting in the public forum portion.  County Attorney Darin Raymond along with board members told Buska that local input would be helpful in helping in the decision on which offices could better serve area needs.

Chairman Jim Henrich and supervisor Don Kass requested Buska to take their concerns to the appropriate officials for consideration.

The decision to reduce services in the Plymouth County D-H-S office affects 12 local employees. The county owns the building rented for D-H-S offices. (News report by Dave Ruden)

(LE MARS)--A search for a new Le Mars Fire-Rescue Chief has narrowed the applicants from 31 to five.

Fire-Rescue Chief Wayne Schipper will retire at the end of June.
City administrator Scott Langel says the search is at the point of deliberating on a candidate.

"All day Monday we kind of had a marathon of interviews of the five candidates. We gave them tours of our fire facilities as well as the community. We allowed them to introduce themselves to Council people and we did a formal interview with each of the five. At this time, we are deliberating on the candidate we would like to pick," Langel reports.

The city may pair the new fire-rescue chief with the retiring city department head for training prior to Schipper's retirement. For that reason, Langel says he sees benefits to a selection of a new chief sooner rather than later.

The hiring is a Council decision and Langel expects that to be an agenda item for a Council meeting. The pay range for the city position is $63,000 to $78,000 a year. The present pay is $70,600.

(LE MARS)--A suspect in a theft in Orange City faces more charges after his arrest by a Le Mars Police officer Sunday.

Orange City Police notified area law enforcement of a search for a van reported to be involved in a theft of alcohol from Casey's in Orange CIty.

A Le Mars police officer located the van being driven south on Business Highway 75. The driver, 31-year-old Paul Wesley Johnson of Orange City, was found with the alcohol reported stolen in Orange City and his driver's license was suspended in Iowa.

A check by the officer determined the van Johnson was driving had been reported stolen in Sioux City on Saturday.

Johnson was charged with possession of stolen property which is a felony as well as driving while his license was suspended and three charges of driving while his license was suspended for failing to pay an Iowa fine.

Johnson was taken to the Plymouth County jail and is free on bond.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Cleanup is under way after spring thunderstorms hit Iowa for a second day with strong winds, hail and heavy rain.

The National Weather Service issued several tornado warnings on Tuesday, but no official tornadoes were reported.

In eastern Iowa, winds gusting around 75 mph blew over semitrailers, ripped sheet metal off roofs and toppled barns and power poles.

Near Newton, a camper and three semis were blown off Interstate 80. No serious injuries were reported.

Winds also blew a semitrailer off a highway near Independence, causing another truck, a van and a car to end up in a ditch. Tennis ball-sized hail pelted the Waterloo area.

A statewide tornado drill will be held on Wednesday as part of severe weather awareness week in Iowa.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities say Iowa will be receiving more than $18 million in federal funding to turn around its persistently lowest achieving schools.

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the aid Tuesday through the School Improvement Grants program. These funds are part of the $3.5 billion that will be made available to the states this spring from money set aside in the 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The money being made available to Iowa is being distributed by formula to the state and will then be apportioned out by the state to the school districts.

CHICAGO (AP) A new study on teens and 20-somethings who've grown up in the foster system shows that many are struggling.

That's what many people might expect.

But there are glimmers of hope within the grim news.

Researchers from the University of Washington and University of Chicago followed teens and 20-somethings from foster systems in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin over a six-year period.

They found nearly 60 percent had made the transition to adulthood with relative success, or were poised to do so with adequate support.

They also found that youth from Illinois the only state of the three that offered youth the option to remain wards of the state until age 21 tended to fair better in some key categories.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) As of June 1, people younger than the legal drinking age of 21 will be shut out of Iowa City taverns after 10 p.m.

As was expected, the Iowa City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday night to pass and adopt the ordinance change. The only dissenting vote was cast by Regenia Bailey.

Currently, people 19 and older are allowed in Iowa City bars at night. But some city and University of Iowa officials have said setting the minimum bar entry age at 21 would help combat what they say is a culture of binge drinking, particularly by college students.

Opponents of the change have promised to petition for a referendum to send the matter to voters in the Nov. 2 general election, with a goal of reversing the council's action.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) Council Bluffs police say a man found pinned under a truck at a scrap business was crushed to death when a jack slipped.

Sgt. Chad Meyers says 31-year-old Lance Hannon, of Council Bluffs, was found under a Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup on Saturday at Alter Metal Recycling. He was found by an employee around 9 a.m.

Meyers says Hannon was at the business after hours and had jacked the truck up. Meyers says Hannon was apparently trying to steal a part off the truck when it slipped off the jack and crushed him.

Meyers says Hannon was last seen by family members around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a Pleasant Hill police officer who faces a drug charge after he crashed his squad car was in possession of methamphetamine.

The allegations are included in documents released Tuesday by the Iowa State Patrol. Authorities haven't said where the drug was found or where it was obtained.

Sgt. Daniel Edwards is charged with misdemeanor drug possession. The charge was filed last Friday, a day after Edwards hit another vehicle east of Des Moines and ended up in a ditch.

Edwards is on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the patrol's investigation.

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) Authorities say quick action by firefighters prevented a disaster at a Fort Madison company.

Crews managed to contain the fire to the room where it started early Tuesday at the Gregory Design and Manufacturing plant.

The company designs and produces flat and automotive glass racks.

Fire Chief Joey Herren says firefighters were called to the company shortly after 4 a.m. When they arrived, heavy smoke was pouring out of the building.

Crews found the fire in a paint booth area and quickly put it out.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines fire officials say an 18-month-old child suffered burns after falling into a fire pit during an Easter egg hunt last Sunday.

Fire Capt. Steve Brown says the child was taken to a hospital after stumbling into hot coals in the pit, which used for cooking hot dogs and marshmallows.

Brown says fire pits are not allowed in Des Moines.

The child was not identified. No charges were filed against the parents.

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

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