Home News KLEM News AM Update April 13, 2010

KLEM News AM Update April 13, 2010

 (LE MARS)–Recommendations on ways to spend a grant portion of Plymouth County’s Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) will be given to the Board of Supervisors today.

The presentation follows meetings by the Local Option Sales Tax Advisory Board chaired by Blaine Donaldson of Kingsley who will present the recommendations. The board of supervisors is expected to act on the recommendations today.

At 1:15 this afternoon, supervisors will discuss Iowa Department of Human Services plans to reduce the Plymouth County D-H-S office to part-time. The board has a conference call with the head of the state agency, Charlie Krogmeier

The quarterly report will be presented by Recorder Jolynn Goodchild. A hearing date is to be set for economic development agreements with Plymouth Oil and Plymouth Energy and Plymouth County.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

9:30 AMJim Henrich, Plymouth County Board Chairman
Call meeting to order
Approve this agenda (Action)
Approval of prior Board meeting minutes (Action)
Approval of claims and payroll (Signatures)
Committee Reports (Discussion)
Old Business
New Business
A. Open and review mail/correspondence (Discussion)
B. Appoint Carol Graham as Perry Township Clerk to replace Ella M. Pridie (Action)
C. Approve “4/7 Split” a minor subdivision in Section 14 in Section of Remsen Township
D. Open public forum (Informational)

10:00 AMBoard of Supervisors – Set the public hearing date to approve the economic development agreements with Plymouth County and Plymouth Oil and Plymouth Energy in the Plymouth County Ethanol Urban Renewal Area (Action)

10:05 AMBlaine Donaldson, Plymouth County Local Option Sales Tax Advisory Board Chairman – Present FY 2010-2011 Local Option Sales Tax grant award allocations to the Board of Supervisors for approval (Action)

10:15 AMJolynn Goodchild, Plymouth County Recorder – Present Recorder’s Office Quarterly Report (Action)

10:30 AM Tom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer
1. Permit-Southern Sioux Rural Water – Sec 15/22 Fredonia Twp
2. Federal Aid Agreements -BROS-CO75(127)—8J-75
3. Contracts – Projects BROS-CO75(123)—8J-75
4. 2009-10 Construction Program Amendment
5. Review and Approval – 2001-11 Budget and Construction Program

(Discussion Items)
Questions/Discussion of the Secondary Road Department

(Informational Items)
Update on construction projects


1:00 PMSharon Nieman, Plymouth County CPC and General Relief Director – Review and approve the
targeted case management contract (Action)

1:15 PMCharlie Krogmeier, Director of the Department of Human Services – Conference call to discuss the DHS
office changing status to part time (Discussion)

(LE MARS)–The latest outstanding teacher in the Le Mars Community School District to be honored credits others for her success.

Tom Bjorge of the Le Mars Community School District Foundation presented the “Teacher of the Year,” honor to Julie Theisen Monday. Theisen is the teacher for the Alternative High School.

Bjorge told Theisen she was nominated for the award by Marleen Schipper who also works in Theisen’s classroom. He spoke about some of  Schipper’s thoughts about Theisen’s work.

Listen here{audio}images/stories/mp3/Theisen1.mp3{/audio}

Theisen began with the Individualized Learning Center Program 20 years ago and described the honor by saying she was overwhelmed.

Listen here{audio}images/stories/mp3/Theisen2.mp3{/audio}

The Decades of Excellence Crystal Bell Award for “Teacher of the Year” is co-sponsored by the School’s Foundation and Alumni Association. The formal honor will be made during the Foundation’s Annual Banquet April 20th. The public is invited to attend with tickets available at the Superintendent’s office.

(SIOUX CITY)–Around 1,500 people are spending their first full week without a job after one of Sioux City’s largest employers closed its doors last Thursday. The owners of the John Morrell hog processing plant blamed the economy and the condition of the 62-year-old facility. Dwayne Barrens (BAIR-ins) worked as a mechanic at John Morrell for more than two decades, but says he’s somewhat relieved to be moving on.
“It paid the bills for 21 years,” Barrens said after leaving the plant for the final time last Friday. “I have mixed emotions about it. I’ve wanted out of there for a long time to do something different. But, after so many years, I hated to give all of that up and go start over somewhere.” The 47-year-old Barrens says he’s thinking about pursuing a commercial trucking license.

The plant’s closure not only leaves 15-hundred (1,500) people without a job, it has a big impact on other businesses in Sioux City. Shawn Corbett is general manager at Jim Hawk Truck Trailers, which services many of the trailers going in and out of John Morrell.

 “The biggest thing is you just don’t like seeing companies leave the community,” Corbett said. “It affects the community a lot deeper than just the employees who are getting laid off. It’s a ripple effect that affects everybody.” That ripple effect extends to John Furman’s farm, 50 miles northeast of Sioux City. He’ll now transport his hogs an extra 25 miles each way to the next closes plant owned by Smithfield Foods – which operated the John Morrell plant. Furman says he’ll be stuck with the added pricetag for gas.

 “It’s one of those things where…I’m just a little man out here and trying to ask the big companies to compensate me for that…I’m fighting a losing battle,” Furman said. Sioux City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty says the effort to replace the John Morrell jobs will hopefully involve a mixture of businesses related to renewable energy and agriculture.

“I think we cope by diversifying, by looking to attract new industries and also perhaps to attract the same type of industry in a new generation of these facilities,” Dougherty said. (News report by Radio Iowa)

(SIOUX CITY)–A federal judge in Sioux City has ordered an Arkansas man to serve 10 years in prison for a drug conviction.

The U-S attorney’s office reports 24-year-old Johnnie Cannon of Blytheville, Arkansas received the prison term after pleading guilty to drug conspiracy last October.

Authorities say Cannon admitted in court that he conspired to distribute more than 20 grams of crack cocaine in Sioux City during July of 2007.

He is being held for the U-S Marshal’s Service until he is taken to a federal prison.

(South Sioux City)–The U-S Army Corps of Engineers is holding a series of meetings this week to talk about its annual operating plan for the Missouri River reservoir system. Corps spokesman Paul Johnston, in Omaha, says circumstances are quite different for the system this year. For starters, there won’t be any talk about drought.

 “The reservoirs are full,” Johnston says. “There should be easy access and we have rising pools that bode well for a successful fish spawn this year so it’s mostly good news.” Power production from the dams was only 34-percent of normal in March and is forecast to be 75-percent of normal for the season. Johnston says that’s directly connected to snow run off and downstream flows.

 “If you have low releases, you can’t make electrons,” he says, meaning hydroelectric dams aren’t able to generate electricity. Johnston says flooding conditions downriver led to the higher-than-normal levels in the upstream reservoirs.

 “We had most of the Missouri River from about Omaha to the Mississippi (River) above flood stage for a good piece of March and when that happens, we cut back on releases to not make the flooding downstream any worse,” Johnston says. “When you do that, you don’t generate power.” Meetings will be held today (Tuesday) in South Sioux City, Nebraska, and at Fort Peck, Montana; on Wednesday in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Mobridge, South Dakota, and Thursday in St. Joseph and Jefferson City, Missouri. (News report by Radio Iowa)

(SALIX)–A gravel road access into Snyder Bend County Park near Salix has been closed for paving working.

According to Rick Schneider of the Woodbury County Conservation Board, survey staking is complete and trimming work has begun. Paving is scheduled next week.

Depending on weather, the Conservation Board may reopen the road to the public by April 30 which would be in time for the board’s “Camping Kick-off Weekend.”

Listen to local newscast{audio}images/stories/mp3/am0413.mp3{/audio}                                                               

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A University of Iowa professor of neurology is offering some new guidelines about when people suffering from dementia should stop driving.

Dr. Matthew Rizzo is senior author of the new guidelines issued Monday by the American Academy of Neurology.

Rizzo says not everyone with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia needs their car keys taken away, at least in the early disease stages.

Rizzo says if you have Alzheimer’s disease, ultimately you will have to stop driving, but it isn’t a good idea to take away someone’s driving privileges just because you suspect they have a problem.

Rizzo is quick to point out that the situation isn’t always clear-cut, since as many as three in four patients with mild dementia are able to pass an on-road driving test.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) Authorities say human remains found in the back yard of a vacant, rural Scott County mobile home have been identified as those of 51-year-old David Lee Spriet Jr.

The remains were discovered Friday in the yard near the Scott County Landfill.

The Scott County Medical Examiner’s Office said Monday it used dental records to identify the recovered human remains as those of Spriet.

The cause of the death is still unknown, and an autopsy is being scheduled for this week.

Spriet was last seen in February 2009, but his daughter didn’t report him missing until June.

Scott County Sheriff Dennis Conrad says investigators returned to the mobile home Friday because they were given information on where to look.

ORIENT, Iowa (AP) Flags were flying at half staff at Orient-Macksburg Community School District two days after a district teacher died in a weekend motorcycle mishap.

Mark Peterson, who taught high school English at Orient-Macksburg, was killed Saturday when his motorcycle struck a car that turned into his path as he drove along Highway 25.

According to an Iowa State Patrol crash report, a 47-year-old Creston woman was driving the Ford Escort involved in the collision that left Peterson dead.

The superintendent of Orient-Macksburg schools said counselors are available to help grieving students and staff. All extra curricular activities for Monday were canceled.

Orient-Macksburg Principal Teresa Thompson says she does not think the 23-year-old Peterson would want anyone to be blamed for his death.

The Iowa State Patrol say no charges have been filed so far in the incident.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Cedar Rapids Mayor Ron Corbett says Stephen Reid, a past deputy chief of emergency medical services in Washington, D.C., has been chosen as the city’s new fire chief.

Corbett said Monday night he would make the formal nomination of Reid on Tuesday.

The 58-year-old Reid is currently the president and CEO of Stephen M. Reid and Associates, a Washington, D.C. consulting firm.

Reid said Monday night he will start work on May 10 in Cedar Rapids if his hiring is approved by the City Council.

Reid was among seven semifinalists and three finalists to replace Fire Chief Steve Havlik, who retired in late February after 12 years at the head of the city’s Fire Department.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver has signed a proclamation intended to better the chances that the iconic USS Iowa will be converted into a museum.

Culver signed the proclamation Monday, allowing him to appoint a 10-person volunteer committee that will raise private money for the ship’s restoration.

The battleship is among dozens of Navy ships that have been anchored for years in a shallow San Francisco Bay waterway. The decaying ships are polluting the bay, and there are plans to clean and recycle most of them.

Some want to preserve the USS Iowa, a likeness of which is displayed in the Iowa Statehouse Rotunda.

The ship served as transport to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was decommissioned after the Korean War, but reactivated in 1984. An explosion in a gun turret killed 47 sailors in 1989, and the ship was decommissioned in 1990.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Des Moines Area Association of Realtors is reporting pending home sales in and around the city rose 34 percent in March.

Association president Joanne Mangold says the spike compared to a year earlier is due to buyers rushing to get a tax credit that is to end April 30.

According to the real estate agents’ report, released Monday, 1,046 sales were pending last month, 34 percent more than March 2009 and 41 percent more than in February. The Des Moines metro area had 779 sales pending a year earlier and 740 sales in February.

According to the real estate agents, 5,618 homes were on the market last month, with the average time until a sale being 102 days.

The average sale price of $141,584 last month was $5,745 less than March 2009.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A visiting faculty member at the University of Iowa’s Writer’s Workshop has won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction.

Paul Harding says he learned he had won the prize Monday by scanning the Pulitzer’s Web site. No one called to give him the good news.

Harding won for “Tinkers,” his debut novel about an old New Englander looking back on his life. Harding is a former drummer and started the book years ago when the band wasn’t performing.

He says winning the Pulitzer is a “surreal” experience.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Des Moines Register has won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for a dramatic picture showing the rescue of a woman from the Des Moines River.

It’s the 16th Pulitzer Prize won by the newspaper and the first since 1991.

Photographer Mary Chind made the image on June 30, 2009, capturing the scene of a construction worker dangling from a crane as he reaches for a woman stranded in the river’s churning water.

The worker rescued the woman, but her husband died.

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

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