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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.


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