Home News KLEM News PM Update April 23, 2010

KLEM News PM Update April 23, 2010

(LE MARS)–When it’s raining in Le Mars, a city of Le Mars official hopes citizens will report any drainage problems.

City administrator Scott Langel says the reports phoned into city hall could help identity issues in areas that are easily visible or in remote areas.

Langel says by checking out reports of drainage issues, costly damage could be prevented. Drainage issues may be reported by calling city hall at 546-7081.

(LE MARS)–Le Mars is one of 26 Iowa communities to receive a “Build with Bags” grant award. The Iowa Grocery Industry Association awarded the grocers’ grants on Earth Day to promote the benefits of recycling plastic bags. The city of Le Mars was awarded an 18-hundred dollar grant and is the ONLY community in northwest Iowa to receive funds.

“Build with Bags” is a cooperative effort of the Iowa Grocery Industry Association, Keep Iowa Beautiful, Metro Waste Authority in Des Moines, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the Des Moines Register.

The goals of the program include encouraging purchases of furniture and equipment made from recycled plastic for parks and schools through its grant program. the other three are doubling the amount of plastic bags recycled between January of this year and December of next year, and reducing consumption of plastic bags and increasing use of reusable bags.

Locally stores participating in the “Build with Bags” program are Fareway and Hy-Vee.

(SIOUX CITY)–A Cherokee County man will be sentenced in federal court in Sioux City for drug convictions.

According to the U-S Attorney’s office, 29-year-old Scott Alan Hare of Cleghorn was convicted of manufacturing meth, conspiring to make and distribute meth and distributing pseudoephedrine after having a prior felony drug conviction.

During a plea hearing, prosecutors say Hare admitted from October of 2005 to February of 2009 he and others made and distributed meth within one-thousand feet of the Marcus-Meridan-Cleghorn Elementary and High School.

Authorities seized a meth lab at his rural Cleghorn residence in November of 2008 and in December of 2008 made a search of a residence near the school and seized items used to make meth. Items used to make meth were also seized in Cherokee where Hare was living in January of last year.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) Sioux City businessman Bob Vander Plaats has ruled out making a third party run for governor should he lose the Republican primary election in June.

Speaking during a taping Friday of the public television program, “Iowa Press,” Vander Plaats promised to remain active in Republican politics regardless of who wins the gubernatorial primary. He says making a third party run wouldn’t help the party or state.

He says all it would accomplish would be improving Democratic Gov. Chet Culver’s chance of winning re-election.

Vander Plaats is running against former Gov. Terry Branstad and state Rep. Rod Roberts for the GOP nomination.

Talk of a third party bid has been spurred by some conservatives who say they will sit out the general election if Branstad wins the nomination.

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

(STORM LAKE)–Four northwest Iowa companies are state winners for their export success.

Winners of the 2010 Global Iowa Export Awards are SIG International of Boyden, GOMACO of Ida Grove, KOFAB of Algona and Merrill Manufacturing of Storm Lake.

Companies that expand their market by conducting business internationally are honored annually.

SIG International of Boyden is a niche market pork harvest and packing corporation. Merrill Manufacturing of Storm Lake supplies products to the water well industry. GOMACO of Ida Grove provides concrete construction equipment and concrete paving technology. KOFAB develops and deliver products for export.

FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver says no one in his office or campaign is the focus of an state investigation into political donations by Fort Dodge casino backers to his re-election committee.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is looking into a total of $25,000 donated to Culver’s campaign by three Fort Dodge investors.

Culver, who was in Fort Madison on Thursday for a groundbreaking of a new state prison, declined to comment on the investigation. But he said no one in his office or the campaign “is the center of that.”

Culver also says he doesn’t have any regrets about asking state gambling regulators to approve casino licenses for Fort Dodge, Ottumwa and Lyon and Tama counties.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission is slated to make a decision on May 13.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A team of archaeologists under the direction of the National Park Service is working to determine if some unauthorized construction damaged the Effigy Mounds National Monument in northeast Iowa.

The monument features over 200 mounds in the shape of bears and birds created by prehistoric American Indians over 1,000 years ago.

The team is looking to determine what, if any, damage was done by construction of a maintenance shed and an elevated boardwalk. Work was stopped a year ago when Park Service staff found the required paperwork hadn’t been completed.

The team has spent most of April conducting aboveground testing of the soil in an effort to pinpoint areas which may have been disturbed.

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) Visitation is scheduled for an Iowa native who was killed when an Amtrak train struck her SUV at a suburban Chicago railroad crossing.

Twenty-six-year-old Katie Lunn was killed April 16. The SUV she was driving was hit by a train in University Park, outside of Chicago.

The instructor at the School of Performing Arts in Naperville, Ill., was returning home after a dance competition. She grew up in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Authorities have said the gates and warning lights at the crossing weren’t working properly and may have been turned off.

Visitation is planned for Friday at Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Fort Dodge. Funeral services are planned Saturday at the same location.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An increase in foreclosed homes in Des Moines is causing a problem weeds and overgrown shrubs are turning yards into jungles.

Resident Roger Thompson says if there’s one or two vacant properties in a neighborhood, neighbors will mow it, but not when there are two or three in the same block.

Polk County Supervisor Angela Connolly says she’ll ask a nonprofit group to help with the upkeep. She also says the county could contribute.

Des Moines doesn’t have an ordinance that requires landowners to keep their properties mowed, but the county does.

There were 753 foreclosures in Des Moines in 2009, a 19 percent increase from 2008. There have been about 200 foreclosures in Des Moines so far this year.

AMES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Transportation says the latest edition of the Iowa Transportation Map is now available statewide.

Officials said Friday that the 2010 map also is available online. Printed copies of the map are available at the state’s 19 driver’s license sites, state department of transportation district offices and Iowa rest areas. The map features all highways, major county roads, airports and rail lines.

Many tourists who stop at Iowa welcome centers receive the map from the Iowa Department of Tourism, which distributes 500,000 maps a year.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Black Hawk County jury has awarded more than $600,000 to a teacher who was fired in 2007 from Columbus Catholic High School in Waterloo.

Tom Girsch filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Cedar Valley Catholic Schools and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque. His termination stemmed from his 2006 remarriage without having his first marriage annulled by the church.

The jury returned its verdict Thursday. Girsch’s attorney, Mark Zaiger, says Girsch is pleased with the decision.

Brendan Quann, the attorney for the Cedar Valley Catholic Schools and the archdiocese, says he’s disappointed.

The school and church have 30 days to appeal the decision.

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

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