Home News KLEM News AM Update May 27, 2010

KLEM News AM Update May 27, 2010

(HINTON)–Northwest Iowa is now on the stops an actor and martial arts champion will make to show support for a Siouxland Republican candidate for governor.

Chuck Norris will be in Hinton June 5th as one of five Iowa appearances for Bob Vander Plaats.

Norris and his wife, Gena will be at the 7 p-m public rally at Hinton High School where Vander Plaats sons have or are attending school.

In a written statement, Vander Plaats said he can’t begin to describe how thrilled he is that Chuck Norris would agree to add a fifth event to his visit to Iowa to give northwest Iowans a chance to see a real American hero.

(WEST LE MARS)–A Le Mars man escaped injury when his pickup nearly struck a train at West Le Mars Wednesday morning.

According to the Plymouth County sheriff’s office report, 28-year-old Joshua Nelson was slowing on Highway three for a passing train. But Nelson said he wasn’t slowing as fast as he thought he should be and struck the crossing arm and pole and came to a stop on the tracks.

The train had cleared the crossing and Nelson did not strike the train.

The accident was reported about eight Wednesday morning.

CHEROKEE, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says elevated chlorine levels from the city of Cherokee swimming pool were probably the cause of a small fish kill in Cherokee.

On Wednesday, the DNR investigated a report of dead fish found Tuesday night in Railroad Creek.

The city reported that a valve on the chlorine tank was left on, resulting in chlorine reaching the stream through runoff into the storm sewer.

Ken Hessenius of the DNR’s field office in Spencer said pool owners should make sure that runoff or drained water goes into a sanitary sewer or be neutralized. According to Hessenius, the chlorine levels contained in swimming pools can be toxic to aquatic life.

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

(LE MARS)–Young art students are winners in the Lions International Peace Poster contest.

Gehlen Catholic junior high and Le Mars Community middle school art students created a design for the Lions using the theme “The Power of Peace.”

The Le Mars Lions Club winners are Crystal Eppling of Le Mars Community and Kenzie McCallan from Gehlen Catholic.

The contest is sponsored by the Le Mars Lions Club as an opportunity to work with the youth in the community and to stress the importance of peace, tolerance and international understanding.

The club hosted the students and their parents when the District Governor for the Lions recognized both young women for their work.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) A northwest Iowa woman accused of shoplifting more than 400 items from a South Dakota store has been sentenced to serve 30 days in jail.

Fifty-one-year-old Becky Altena from Sioux Center will be allowed to serve the time in September, after her youngest daughter leaves for college.

Sioux Falls police say Altena took $2,200 worth of items from the Lewis Drug Store late last year, hauling stolen merchandise ranging from books to jewelry to her car in bags and then returning to the store for more.

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

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines attorney who once represented Agriprocessors has testified that state labor inspectors didn’t give a kosher meatpacker a list of suspected minors at its Postville plant before a 2008 immigration raid.

Attorney Mary Funk took the stand Wednesday as the defense began its case in the trial of former plant executive Sholom Rubashkin. Rubashkin is charged with 83 counts of child labor violations for allegedly employing underage workers. He also is awaiting sentencing on federal fraud charges.

Funk said Agriprocessors human resources employee Elizabeth Billmeyer told her the company didn’t hire anyone under age 18 and that the plant asked for some form of identification when a person applied.

The first defense witness, former operations manager Gary Norris, disputed claims that other workers told him there were minors working at Postville.

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A former manager at a kosher slaughterhouse who admitted helping illegal immigrants get fake documents has been sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Brent Beebe of Postville pleaded guilty in January to conspiracy to commit document fraud as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.

Beebe admitted he served as a middleman on a loan for more than $4,000 from former manager Sholom Rubashkin to about 19 illegal immigrant employees to pay for new fake documents.

The Agriprocessors plant in Postville was the site of an immigration raid in May 2008.

In handing down the sentence Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Linda Reade noted Beebe waited to plead guilty until after Rubashkin was convicted and other managers pleaded guilty, and he didn’t cooperate with the government as had the other managers.

Beebe didn’t speak during the hearing.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A federal judge in Cedar Rapids has sentenced the former chief accountant of Agriprocessors Inc.’s Postville plant to more than three years in prison for conspiring to make false statements to a bank.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Linda Reade handed down the 41-month sentence to 50-year-old Mitch Meltzer of Postville. Reade also ordered Meltzer to make restitution to the banks that were victimized by the fraud.

At a hearing last Sept. 28, Meltzer pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements and reports to a bank. He admitted conspiring with others to make the false statements in connection with requests for advances on a revolving loan. Meltzer said he signed a document that overstated the value of Agriprocessors’ collateral.

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) Several family members have testified that 15-year-old Edgar Concepcion Jr. was a kind and attentive caregiver for the 3-year-old cousin he is accused of killing.

The last witness called Wednesday at Concepcion’s trial in Hamilton County District Court was his father, Edgar Concepcion Sr., who testified about how his son was hired to watch Krystel Banes and her brother, Banjo.

The son is charged as an adult with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse in Krystel’s July 10 death.

Earlier Wednesday, the defendant’s sister, Bonita Concepcion Geerts, testified that a language barrier was the reason their father appeared to implicate his son during initial questioning.

Geerts said her father’s words, “He killed her,” were a question, not a statement. She said Concepcion Sr. was speaking in a Filipino dialect in which questions and direct statements can have identical wordings.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has filed charges against four teenagers from a church in Pella who have confessed to beating a raccoon to death.

DNR spokesman Kevin Baskins said the incident happened Saturday night at Ledges State Park.

Baskins says the teens were on a church youth group camping trip with the Third Reformed Church in Pella.

Investigators said the teens made a crude snare to trap the raccoon and managed to catch it.

The teens told authorities that they didn’t know how to free the animal, so they beat it to death. Another camper called authorities.

All four were charged with the illegal trapping and killing of wildlife. They are identified as 18-year-old Frank Ahrens of Montezuma, 16-year-old Brenna Leighton of Pella, 16-year-old Tyler Holtrap of Otley and 15-year-old Jacob Gleason of Leighton.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Federal prosecutors have charged a man from LaMotte, Iowa, in a meat theft conspiracy that allegedly centered on a storage facility in East Dubuque, Ill.

The criminal information filed Wednesday in Cedar Rapids names 48-year-old Lloyd Patterson with one count of conspiring to steal, receive and possess property worth more than $1,000 that had been stolen from interstate shipments.

Prosecutors say the meat and meat products were stolen from semitrailers that had been loaded and driven from the East Dubuque storage facility.

If convicted, Patterson might face a possible maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says President Barack Obama’s handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been a “total failure” that is akin to the government’s bungled response to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

Speaking Wednesday before a Republican fundraiser in Cedar Rapids, Gingrich argued that Obama has taken less personal responsibility for the oil spill recovery than President George Bush took for the Katrina response.

Gingrich says the federal government shares the blame for the deep water spill because it doesn’t allow drilling in shallow water near the shore where problems could be dealt with more easily.

Gingrich was in Iowa to raise money for state and local Republican groups. He planned stops in Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Des Moines.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Cedar Rapids has named an interim city manager.

The City Council late Tuesday voted to hire former Dubuque mayor Allan Thoms to serve until a permanent manager is found.

The initial contract, which will pay the 71-year-old Thoms $12,500 a month without city-employee benefits, is for three months and can be extended. He starts June 1.

A council committee is beginning a search for a new, permanent city manager to replace Jim Prosser, who left the post in April after 44 months on the job.

Prosser was the first city manager in the city’s council-manager government, which replaced a commission form of government in 2006.

WASHINGTON (AP) University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen will serve on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity.

The commission advises U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on matters of accreditation as well as the eligibility and certification process for colleges and universities.

Iowa Rep. Bruce Braley, who recommended Allen for the commission, said the Northern Iowa president’s experience in higher education will strengthen and improve the accreditation processes for America’s colleges and universities.

In a statement Wednesday, the Democratic congressman noted that under Allen’s leadership, UNI has made it a priority to increase student achievement in undergraduate programs and provide statewide leadership in education.

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

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