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KLEM News AM Update May 20, 2010

(LE MARS)--The Commencement speaker at Gehlen Catholic is a priest who served the school and St. James Catholic Church in Le Mars.

This year's Commencement Speaker is Reverend Richard Ries.

Gehlen Catholic seventh through 12th grade principal Jeff Alesch says during the "Year of the Priest" at Gehlen Catholic, the school is humbled to have Father Ries as speaker.

The Pocahontas native served Gehlen Catholic and St. James parish from 1994-2002. He is currently at St. Thomas in Manson.

The 133rd graduating class of St. Joseph and Gehlen Catholic School will remember a classmate, Tammy Mansfield, who died in August of 2007. An empty chair with a basketball jersey will be placed in Mansfield's memory.

Family and friends are invited to attend Commencement activities Sunday afternoon at 1:30 in the Gehlen Catholic gymnasium.

(ORANGE CITY)--A pilot made a safe landing in a farm field near the Orange City Airport early Wednesday afternoon.

The Sioux County Sheriff's office investigated the report of a small aircraft that was in field.

According to written information released by the sheriff's office,  the pilot, 53-year-old  Gary Van Skike of Maurice, had been approaching the Orange City Airport when the ultra light aircraft ran out of gas.  Van Skike was able to land  about one mile northwest of the airport runway in a cornfield.

He was not injured and the ultra light aircraft was not damaged.

(Des Moines)--The Iowa Department of Public Health say three more cases of mumps have been identified in northwest Iowa -- two in Sioux County and one in Plymouth County. Department medical director, Patricia Quinlisk, says it's a concern because it indicates the disease hasn't stopped spreading.

Quinlisk says while there are only three more confirmed cases, that means there are other people who were ill but didn't get diagnosed or go to the doctor. She says they want to remind people to get fully vaccinated against mumps. Dr. Quinlisk says the total number of confirmed mumps cases in northwest Iowa is now 11.

"If we know about 11 cases, there's probably, oh I don't know, 20, 30 maybe even 40 or more cases that are really occurring, and all of those people could be spreading it," Quinlisk says. Quinlisk says mumps is spread through the air and by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes or talks. The virus can also be spread through shared use of drinks or cups, or when someone with mumps touches an item or surface without washing their hands and someone else touches the same surface and rubs their mouth or nose.

She says people usually get sick in about 16 to 17 days, but you can get sick as early as 12 days all the way up to 25 days. Quinlisk says getting the vaccine is the best way to avoid mumps.

Quinlisk says there are still some people who get mumps even though they've had two doses of the vaccine, but the vaccine takes care of most people. She also says it's important to call ahead and let your doctor know you think you may have mumps, so you don't expose other people while you're waiting to be seen. Quinlisk says the last big outbreak of mumps a few years ago had some two-thousand cases, and they are hoping to avoid reaching that level this time. (News report by Radio Iowa)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) The South Dakota Health Department says a case of mumps has been confirmed in Minnehaha County.

State Epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says officials do not yet know if the case is linked to cases in northwest Iowa and in Nebraska.

The Health Department issued a mumps advisory last week, after cases were confirmed in Iowa and Nebraska.

The mumps virus typically causes swollen salivary glands, fever and a rash. A spring outbreak in South Dakota four years ago infected nearly 300 people and prompted an immunization effort.


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


(Des Moines)--An Arizona based wind blade manufacturer has announced plans to "restructure its operations" in Newton. T-P-I Composites opened the plant in 2008. Company officials did not disclose how many workers will be laid off, but the total workforce will drop to 233 according to a press release. T-P-I has employed up to 300 workers. The State of Iowa provided two-million dollars ($2 million) in incentives to T-P-I. Kay Snyder, a spokesperson for the Iowa Department of Economic Development, says the contract called for the company to create 500 jobs by July 2010.

 She says the employment levels will be reviewed in July and if the company has not met their obligations, terms of the contract would likely be renegotiated. T-P-I officials say they still plan to raise their workforce in Newton to 500 by this February. Snyder says T-P-I's performance in Newton will likely be discussed today (Thursday) when the Iowa Economic Development Board considers a proposal for TPI to build a nearly 40-million dollar  plant in Sioux City.

 "As far as an impact on an award for TPI that's being considered by the Iowa Economic Development Board, I know full consideration of the company as a whole is looked at," Snyder said. "But, at this point and time, I'm uncertain as to the conversations that are taking place and the outcome." Sioux City and T-P-I are seeking money from the state for both job-training assistance and developing the infrastructure around the proposed facility. The company is hoping to open the Sioux City factory next summer and employ 500 workers there by the end of 2012.

Governor Chet Culver released the following statement in response to TPI's furlough plans in Newton: "While Iowa retains its status as a national leader in wind energy manufacturing, consumer demand fluctuates as it does in any industry. There is reason to be optimistic TPI eventually will exceed its job creation goals as Iowa’s burgeoning wind industry continues to establish itself."  (News report by Radio Iowa)

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Mortgage bankers are reporting the number of mortgage delinquencies and foreclosures in Iowa fell in the first quarter as homeowners caught up on their bills after the holiday season.

A Mortgage Bankers Association report out Wednesday indicated the percentage of loans past due or in foreclosure fell to 8.65 percent from 10.1 percent at the end of 2009. It is up from 7.67 in the same quarter a year ago.

Nationally, 14.01 percent of loans were in foreclosure or past due by a month or more, compared to 15.02 percent in the fourth quarter, and 12.07 percent in the same period a year ago.

Association chief economist Jay Brinkmann says the quarterly drop may be attributable to seasonal trends. He adds it is unknown if the drop is a seasonal decline or represents a fundamental improvement.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Former Gov. Terry Branstad has built a slight edge over Gov. Chet Culver during the latest fundraising period, but Culver maintains a big lead in how much money he has in the bank.

The campaign finance numbers were released Wednesday for the period from Jan. 1 to May 14. They show Branstad raised more than $1.6 million compared with less than $1.5 million for Culver.

But the disclosures show Culver has about $3.2 million in the bank, compared with about $1.2 million for Branstad.

Branstad is joined by Carroll Rep. Rod Roberts and Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats in seeking the GOP nomination for governor.

Roberts raised about $54,000 with about $32,000 in the bank. Vander Plaats raised about $284,000 with about $247,000 in the bank.


WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Police say they have arrested five teenagers five months after a pair of armed robberies at a liquor store near downtown Waterloo.

Waterloo Police Capt. Tim Pillack said Wednesday the four males and one female are facing first-degree robbery charges in the December robberies of Elite Liquor.

Pillack said investigators believe two 16-year-olds, Jacquiere Burnside and Ladarius Hawthorne, robbed the store at gunpoint on Dec. 8.

Police say Burnside returned to Elite Liquor on Dec. 22 with 19-year-old Telly Nix and robbed it again.

Police also arrested two others for their roles in the second robbery. Seventeen-year-old Adrian Walker of Waterloo is accused of being a lookout, while 18-year-old Aimee Bowers of Evansdale reportedly drove the getaway car.

Police did not know if any of the five had attorneys.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines police officer is going to court this week to confront a man accused of running him over and trying to kill him.

Jury selection began Wednesday in the attempted murder trial of 38-year-old Elvin Redmond, who is accused of the vehicular attack on Officer Nick Lloyd.

Lloyd and his partner were reportedly responding to a domestic abuse call when they tried to stop a fleeing pickup truck last October. According to eyewitnesses, the truck rammed the squad car and Lloyd fell out. They say the pickup then ran over Lloyd.

Redmond, who is identified as the pickup's driver, has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and other charges.

Lloyd faced a long and painful recovery from his injuries. He returned to work three months after the incident.

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) The mother of a 3-year-old girl has tearfully testified that she found bruising and bite marks on her daughter in the weeks before the girl was found dead in a cousin's house.

The girl's cousin, 15-year-old Edgar Concepcion Jr. of Charles City, is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree sexual abuse and child endangerment. He has pleaded not guilty.

Edvilla Banes spoke Wednesday in the first day of testimony in Hamilton County District Court, saying she was about to take her daughter, Krystel, out of Concepcion's care because she felt he wasn't suited for caring for the child or the child's older brother.

An autopsy revealed Krystel died of asphyxiation on July 10, and her death was ruled a homicide.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa City police say an ATM scam may have netted more than $25,000 for a Chicago-area man and from 10 to 20 accomplices in Linn and Johnson counties.

According to criminal complaints, 23-year-old Thomas Harris, whose exact address is unknown, used checks from closed bank accounts in his scheme.

Police say Harris was able to obtain ATM cards and personal identification numbers from various people by promising them half the take.

Investigator Mike Smithey says that after the money was fraudulently withdrawn from the accounts, the cards were reported as stolen, making the banks the sole victims in the scheme.

Smithey says Harris, who goes by several aliases, has been charged with first-degree theft, money laundering and ongoing criminal conduct. He is being held in the Johnson County Jail on $45,000 bond.

BROOKS, Iowa (AP) Adams County resident Matt Herring says the survival training he learned when he was serving in the Iraq war helped save his life when he became the target of hostile fire as he entered his own home near Brooks.

In his confrontation Monday afternoon with a home invader, the 28-year-old Brooks was shot twice in his right arm and once in the side. He was hospitalized in Omaha until Tuesday.

Herring told Shenandoah radio station KMA on Wednesday that he managed to put pressure on the wounds with his fingers as he fled into some nearby woods. He finally managed to crawl to the home of neighbor Janet Mercer, where police and emergency workers found him.

The suspect, 16-year-old Daniel Beardsley, faces two counts of attempted murder for allegedly shooting Herring and Adams County Sheriff's Deputy Jason Swanson.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Cedar Rapids police are casting doubt on a 13-year-old's story that his jaw was broken and cheekbone fractured when he was jumped in the bathroom by several other students.

Police say they have charged Payten Sexton and another 13-year-old, Albert Parks III, with disorderly conduct for their roles in the fight last month that hospitalized Sexton overnight.

Originally, Sexton said his problems started when he bumped into someone in the hallway. He claimed a day later he was surrounded by other students in a Prairie Point Middle School bathroom and punched. He said he didn't offer any resistance.

Police tell a different story. Spokeswoman Cristy Hamblin says yes, Parks punched Sexton, but most of Sexton's injuries occurred when he fell and his head hit the urinal.

It wasn't immediately known if the boys have legal representation.

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

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