Home News KLEM News PM Update April 16, 2010

KLEM News PM Update April 16, 2010

 (Le Mars)–Approval of the 2010-2011 budget and construction program for the secondary road department passed by unanimous vote of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Tuesday morning, with board  member Gordon Greene absent. The seven-million-three-hundred-eighty-thousand dollar budget is eight-thousand dollars less than the 2009-2010 budget.

Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe presented the five year road construction program to the
board of Supervisors Tuesday morning. Nine projects for fiscal year 2011-2012 include
farm-to-market concrete paving, surface transportation reconstruction, bridge deck overlay, five bridge
projects and one culvert in various locations throughout Plymouth County. Rohe explained how
the cost of maintaining quality roads has skyrocketed over the years.
Listen here

The board discussed new revenue source options for future road projects, with possible local option sales tax funds. (News report by Dave Ruden)

A June 23 court hearing has been set in Pierre for an appeal of a state-approved air quality permit for a proposed oil refinery near Elk Point. 

Three groups opposed to the $10 billion oil refinery filed the appeal earlier. The Sierra Club and local groups Save Union County and Citizens Opposed to Oil Pollution say the permit does not address some environmental issues.

The refinery near Elk Point would process 400,000 barrels of Canadian crude each day into products ranging from low-sulfur gasoline to jet fuel. It would be the first new U.S. oil refinery built since 1976. Dallas-based Hyperion says the plant would be “the most environmentally sensitive refinery in the country.”

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

(COUNCIL BLUFFS)–A candidate for Fifth District Congressman is making Siouxland campaign stops.

Democrat Matt Campbell is in Sioux City tonight at six at Buffalo Alice. He begins the “For a Strong America” tour tomorrow morning at seven at Family Table in Sheldon and travels to Sioux Center to meet with area residents at the Family Table at 9 a-m. He also has stops in Spencer, Milford and Spirit Lake Saturday. On Sunday, Campbell is in Carroll, Ida Grove and Storm Lake.

He’ll attend a labor event at the Northwest Iowa Labor Council in Sioux City Thursday night at seven. Campbell is seeking the congressional seat held by Republican Steve King.

Listen to the newscast

(AP) Aplington-Parkersburg High School has a new football coach, and he says he’ll carry on the lessons taught by his former coach, Ed Thomas.

Alex Pollock, a 2002 Aplington-Parkersburg graduate, was named head coach on Thursday. The announcement came a day after Mark Becker was sentenced to life in prison for gunning down Thomas last summer.

Pollock admired Thomas and was inspired to enter coaching.

Pollock replaces co-coaches Al Kearns and Jon Wiegmann, who ran the team last season. Kerns retired and Wiegmann will continue as defensive coordinator.

Pollock played on Aplington-Parkersburg’s 2001 state championship team. He went on to play at Wartburg and served as a college assistant at Winona State and Augsburg College.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Students at the University of Iowa are to get back a $100 tuition surcharge they paid this spring.

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver signed legislation on Thursday in Iowa City that will refund the money to student accounts. The tuition surcharge was ordered to help pay for $60 million in state budget cuts. The bill Culver signed returns $31 million to the Iowa state Board of Regents.

The board agreed in February to return the $100 to students when the bill was passed. Regent President David Miles says the board is “extremely pleased” to return the money to students.

School officials say students should see the money in their university billing accounts Monday or Tuesday.

AMES, Iowa (AP) Faculty, staff and students in Iowa State University’s College of Engineering have scheduled memorial services for civil engineering senior Travis “TJ” Good, who died unexpectedly on April 13.

Initial lab tests at the university hospital indicate the probable cause of Good’s death as bacterial meningitis.

A memorial is located in the lobby of Town Engineering to honor Good, and the public is invited to visit and leave notes and mementos. Grief counseling sessions are also scheduled Friday for students, faculty and staff.

A public memorial service will be held April 22.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Officials say Iowa’s new process for getting a driver’s license is designed to provide stronger protection against identity theft and fraud.

They also expected an uptick in arrests of those applying under false pretenses.

Starting Monday, Iowans who apply for a new license will be issued a temporary document valid for 30 days. They’ll keep their old license, but a hole will be punched in it. A new license will arrive in the mail about two weeks.

Officials will check the person’s digital photo against a database to make sure the individual doesn’t already have a license or identification card issued under another name.

State officials say it’s the most significant change in Iowa driver’s licenses since 1976, when photographs were added.

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) Authorities in Fort Madison say they have recovered the body of 22-year old Ray Charles Newell Dean more than two months after he fell through the ice into the Mississippi River.

Fort Madison Police Captain Bruce Gustafson says local fishermen were checking some lines when they discovered the body Thursday.

Dean was found about a quarter mile south of the Amtrak depot near 20th Street. Gustafson says the Dean fell in at about 13th Street.

An autopsy is planned in Keokuk.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The Historic Preservation Commission in Cedar Rapids has decided to save a historic smokestack at the Sinclair meatpacking plant.

The next step for the century-old structure will be for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Cedar Rapids City Council and other groups to agree with the commission’s decision. The groups will need to sign a memorandum of agreement. Commission members cited the 160-foot tall smokestack’s unique towering presence in the unanimous Thursday vote.

FEMA has so far said up to $200,000 could be available. However experts say it could cost more than $420,000 to preserve the smokestack.

The plant opened in 1871.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) The Black Hawk County Veterans Affairs Commission has voted to keep its director, despite allegations of nude images on his office computer.

The commission voted during a closed session on Thursday against firing Bennie Spain, who has held the job for 25 years.

Commission Chairman Rickie Cox declined to give specifics of the discussions.

Spain strongly denies he ever downloaded or saw any of the images reportedly found on his computer, which was seized last November. His computer had been repaired by other individuals.

Spain said he was not in the office when some of the images allegedly were downloaded, which he said could be verified by the building’s security system.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Fire officials say a dump truck working on a new overpass in Cedar Rapids severed a power line and knocked out power to part of the city.

The truck driver wasn’t injured, but another contractor who was standing nearby on wet clay was shocked. He was taken to a hospital. No other information was immediately available.

Fire Department Capt. Mike Fredericks says the incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on Thursday when the dump truck raised its back load and clipped the power line.

The outage affected about 900 people. Crews had restored power to most customers about two hours later.

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) An attorney for a Dubuque man accused of killing one man and wounding another during a fight wants a judge to throw out evidence in the case.

Michael Mayton faces several charges, including first-degree murder and attempted murder. He’s accused of fatally stabbing David Tate and injuring Richard Schramm last August.

During an interrogation, Mayton told police “I’m done,” and his attorney says investigators should have stopped questioning him. David Staudt argued during a hearing on Thursday that all statements after that point, including blood and DNA samples, should be thrown out.

Prosecutors say Mayton’s statement was in reference to a specific line of questioning.

The judge is expected to issue a ruling next week. Mayton’s trial is set for May 17.

(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.