Home News KLEM News AM Update May 14, 2010

KLEM News AM Update May 14, 2010

(WASHINGTON)–A Le Mars transportation business is receiving federal funds Senator Chuck Grassley says will help prevent future emergencies and protect Iowans.

Grassley announced the awards of more than three-million dollars in Homeland Security funds.

Royal Charters of Le Mars has been awarded about 21-thousand dollars. The intercity Bus Security Grant program funds are to provide protection for travelers and to offer protection from acts of terrorism.

(ORANGE CITY)–An Orange City business is adding equipment to its expanding business.

Quatro Composites broke ground for a new addition in December. The designer and fabricator of advanced composite structures is expanding to have the ability to store 75 pallets of raw carbon. The change is designed to provide quick access to material and improve production lead times.

Quatro Composites makes and engineers products for aerospace, military/defense and medical markets.

The firm is now adding an autoclave and on-site freezer to support its composite manufacturing business.

(SIOUX CITY)–The U-S Marshal for the northern district of Iowa recently conducted a check of every registered sex offender in the 52 counties in the district. Marshal Tim Junker says it was a “first in the nation” 100-percent compliance check.
Junker says there were a variety of reasons the offenders were living in the wrong place.

Junker says sometimes they might want to live with a woman who has children they have offended against, and they can’t legally do that and don’t want law officers to know where they are.

Junker says deputy marshals worked with state, county and local law officers to conduct the compliance checks.
(Josie Cooper, KSCJ, Powell Broadcasting, Sioux City)

(DES MOINES)–The Natural Resources Commission has rejected a proposal to ban alcohol on Iowa Great Lakes Beaches over the upcoming July 4th holiday. Law enforcement officials pitched the plan saying there have been problems with public intoxication, nudity and fighting. Commissioner Janelle Rettig says the state needs to do a better job enforcing the laws it already has in place.

 “We have laws against littering, we have laws against underage drinking, we have laws against public nudity, we have laws against assault and battery and yet we write virtually no tickets there on the Fourth of July,” Rettig said. “So if we were very much concerned about it, you’d think we’d be enforcing the laws we already have in place.” Iowa Department of Natural Resources director Rich Leopold argues partying on the holiday has gotten out of hand – threatening public safety and leaving the beaches full of litter. Rettig says people who are breaking the law should be held accountable.

“If we’re incapable of enforcing the laws we have, then I don’t see how it’s beneficial to add even more laws,” Rettig said. “And as a law abiding citizen would like to have an alcoholic beverage on the beach in the summertime, I don’t see why making that illegal helps our state.” Rettig also objected to the D-N-R’s decision to request the ban so close to the Fourth of July, leaving little time for public comment. The commission did vote to allow the D-N-R to begin rule making on an alcohol ban for next year – which would give citizens more time to weigh in on the issue. (News report by Radio Iowa)

(SIOUX CITY)–A detour for bridge work will begin in Monona County May 24th.

The Iowa Department of Transportation issued written information about the closing of Highway 37 traffic.

The road closing will detour traffic using Iowa Highway 183 and Monona County Road E-54. The project is expected to be completed by the end of August, weather permitting.

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a Mexican national whose murder conviction in Clay County was overturned has been extradited to face murder charges in Minnesota for the 1997 death of the same teenager.

Juan Humberto Castillo-Alvarez’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus has been denied, and Judge David Lester has ordered his immediate transfer to Jackson County, Minnesota.

Castillo-Alvarez challenged the extradition to Minnesota at a hearing last month.

He was returned to Iowa from Mexico in 2004 to stand trial for the killing of 15-year-old Gregory Sky Erickson. Castillo-Alvarez was convicted of second degree murder that case, but that conviction was overturned last fall when the Iowa Court of Appeals said he was denied his right to a speedy trial.

Authorities say Erickson was kidnapped from his Estherville home over a drug debt and killed in southwestern Minnesota.

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


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party says a national GOP panel supports rules that maintain Iowa’s leadoff position in the presidential nominating process.

Chairman Matt Strawn announced Thursday that a delegate selection panel formed by the Republican National Committee has issued draft rules that would allow only Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada to hold caucuses or primaries before March 1, 2012. Iowa would still lead the process, but it would have to wait until after Feb. 1, 2012.

Strawn says the national committee will give the rules final approval at an August meeting in Kansas City.

Republicans and Democrats are coordinating their efforts to approve identical campaign schedules.

BOONE, Iowa (AP) Authorities in Boone County say a patient in the back of an ambulance and the nurse who was treating him died when the ambulance collided with a semi-trailer truck.

The collision occurred Thursday afternoon on Highway 30 near the town of Beaver. The highway was closed to traffic as emergency crews responded to the accident.

The dead have been identified as 75-year-old Norbert Hoffman of Carroll and 53-year-old nurse Sheryl Stoolman, also of Carroll.

Forty-five-year-old paramedic Wendy Baker of Carroll and 46-year-old ambulance driver Robert Genzen of Manning were injured in the crash. The driver of the semi, 49-year-old Dennis Good of Ogden, did not have serious injuries.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Guatemalan who began working at Postville slaughterhouse at age 14 has described his difficult journey to the United State and how he was hired as an underage worker during the trial of former manager Sholom Rubashkin.

Henry Lopez Calel testified Thursday as part of the state’s case against Rubashkin, who faces 83 counts of child labor violations stemming from his work at the Agriprocessors slaughterhouse. Rubashkin is separately awaiting sentencing on federal financial fraud charges.

All the charges followed a May 2008 immigration raid at the plant.

Lopez says he paid $5,000 to a guide, who helped him enter the U.S. He was hired at Agriprocessors after paying $150 for forged papers.

He hauled barrels of meat but was fired after becoming sick and missing work.

VAN METER, Iowa (AP) City officials in the central Iowa town of Van Meter say embattled Police Chief Michael Merritt has been fired for misconduct.

According to a news release, Merritt was terminated Wednesday night during a special meeting of the Van Meter City Council.

Merritt was charged with one count of felonious misconduct of office and one count of insurance fraud last month in an investigation into a salvage theft inspection program.

Investigators from the Iowa Department of Public Safety say Merritt wasn’t conducting necessary stolen parts database checks and was charging an extra $10 fee for examinations. Authorities say Merritt admitted keeping the money along with other cash collected from inspections.

Merritt was Van Meter’s only police officer and had served as chief for about 20 years.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Police in Cedar Rapids say they are investigating a road rage incident in which a motorist allegedly tried to pull a 90-year-old man out of his car.

The incident allegedly occurred Tuesday afternoon as 90-year-old Richard Mackey was pulling out of a Hy-Vee parking lot and collided with a passing car.

Witnesses say the male driver of the other car got out and began to pull Mackey out of his vehicle. When the witnesses approached, the man at first appeared to be ready to fight with them, but then drove off once he heard that police had been called.

Mackey was not injured.

The other driver is described as a white male with a thin build, about 5-foot-11, with a small beard and a mustache.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Two lesbians who were married in Des Moines last year are suing two Iowa Department of Public Health officials because the department refused to name both women on their daughter’s birth certificate.

Thirty-eight-year-old Heather Lynn Martin Gartner and 39-year-old Melissa McCoy Gartner filed the Polk County lawsuit on behalf of their second child, Mackenzie, who was born in September.

The birth certificate lists only Heather, who is the biological mother, and the women say it incorrectly lists Mackenzie as having been born out of wedlock.

The lawsuit says the department rejected the couple’s request because Melissa had not legally adopted Mackenzie and was not biologically related.

The legal challenge was filed little more than a year after the Iowa Supreme Court overturned a state law that defined marriage as the union between man and woman.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) President Dennis Higgins of the North Iowa Fair Board says he has placed fair manager Wanda Kruse on paid administrative leave because of concerns about some of her actions and financial transactions.

Higgins told the Fair Board Wednesday night he acted on his own in placing Kruse on leave after learning of a police investigation involving fair finances.

In a memo obtained by the Mason City Globe Gazette, Higgins said local police had begun an investigation into the financial status of the Fair Association.

The newspaper said efforts to reach Kruse for comment were unsuccessful.

No charges have been filed.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Economic analysts say that if the Chicago-based Boeing Co. is awarded an Air Force contract for the NextGen Tanker, Iowa could benefit from approximately 800 jobs

Those jobs might include 200 at Rockwell Collins in Cedar Rapids.

Earlier this week, Boeing selected Rockwell Collins to provide the same advanced flight deck technology to its new NewGen Tanker that it supplies for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

In addition to the flight deck, Rockwell Collins would supply communication, navigation, surveillance, air traffic management aircraft networks and situational awareness capability for the Boeing tanker.

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

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