Home News KLEM News AM Update June 2, 2010

KLEM News AM Update June 2, 2010

(LE MARS)–A four-part, 245-thousand dollar fix is planned for Business Highway 75 in Le Mars.

As an example of the urgency of a solution for the bumpy, pot-hole plagued surface, Mayor Dick Kirchoff says the biggest question he’s had since sliced bread is what is the city going to do between Highway Three and 18th Street Southwest.

City administrator Scott Langel prepared 10 options for Council consideration Tuesday. The option chosen includes some patching, diamond grinding to smooth the surface and sealing the route with a process known as chip seal.



Another option–fully mill the 1.75 miles of Business Highway 75 and put on a hot mix asphalt surface carried a 750-thousand dollar price tag.

Council member John Rexwinkel was among those asking if this smaller work project and lower cost was the right solution for the busy route.



Council members Ken Nelson and John Leonard wondered if the sealing of the surface should be done next year, depending on the completion of this year’s work and the likelihood of more bad areas next year.

Getting the work done before cooler fall weather was a concern Council Member Rex Knapp asked about.

The council action is to chip seal the surface this year, if the timing is correct.

The work is to be financed with Le Mars Urban Renewal funds.

The city will also replace the traffic control system at Sixth and Highway 75 with a camera system in use throughout other Highway 75 intersections.  Cameras are used to control traffic light signal changes based on traffic flow. The system is not a red light camera system that is used to issue traffic tickets.

(LE MARS)–The latest Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce “Employee of the Month” thought he was going to a City Council meeting to give an update on the Federal Emergency Management Agency-FEMA.

Instead, Le Mars Fire Chief Wayne Schipper was given the Chamber honor. Chamber representative Kathy McCrary and Le Mars Main Street Program Manager Mary Reynolds surprised Schipper with the employee award Tuesday.

After reading the nomination for the award, McCrary told Schipper she thought she might find Schipper’s name if she looked in the dictionary under Good and Faithful Servant. “It sounds like you have great care for the community and certainly for the fire department–so much so that there were times you probably put your life on the line for it.”

A nomination for the fire chief noted he’d relocated Fire Station Number one, worked for the construction and put into use Fire Station Number 2, made timely and appropriate recommendations for fire equipment and achieved statewide recognition in his dedicated service to the fire department…all for its betterment over his 43 years with the department.

Schipper will retire at the end of this month. McCrary said she knew that everyone at the meeting wanted to join her in helping Schipper turn in his fire hose for a garden hose.

Many current and former fire department volunteers came to the Council Chambers to watch the surprise presentation. Schipper turned to them after he said, “Thank you,” for the award and added, “There are some of the people who make it work.”

(Le Mars)– Don Kass, current Plymouth County Supervisor for District 3 is the Republican candidate in the June 8th primary. Kass of rural Remsen says department cooperation throughout the county is key to continued success and growth of Plymouth County.



Kass cites roads and bridges in Plymouth County as a major concern for the board of supervisors for years to come.


Kass also believes Plymouth County has advantages to offer business and industry to locate throughout the various communities.


The primary election will be held Tuesday, June 8. Kass is unopposed in his re-election bid. (News report by Dave Ruden)

(LE MARS)–A cold front that triggered severe weather reached into Plymouth County and the KLEM listening area Tuesday afternoon.

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued by the National Weather Service for eastern Plymouth County and western Cherokee County about 2:45. Meteorologists were tracking a severe thunderstorm capable of quarter size hail and winds of more than 60 miles an hour five miles south of Remsen.

Just before three Tuesday afternoon, a trained spotter reported an estimated inch-and-three-quarters sized hail eight miles southeast of Remsen.

According to National Weather Service storm reports for June 1st, a brief touchdown of a tornado occurred four miles northwest of Sanborn in O’Brien County about 1:30 Tuesday afternoon.

A Tornado Watch was issued for a large area of Iowa Tuesday.

Rainfall amounts ranged from .08 in Le Mars to just over four-tenths of an inch in Orange City. Sioux City had about a quarter of an inch.

(HULL)–A Hull man is charged with identity theft after a traffic stop three miles east of Hull by the Sioux County Sheriff’s office.

Authorities say an investigation determined that 24-year-old Daniel Hernandez was using someone else’s identity to work at Natural Beauty Growers in Boyden.

Hernandez is charged with forgery, identity theft, and failing to have a driver’s license. The traffic stop was made Thursday evening.

(SIOUX CITY)–A man from Guatemala who was living in Sioux City when he was picked up for drunk driving will spend 18 months in a federal prison.
It was the third time the man had been convicted of drunken driving. Twenty-nine-year-old Juan Pichilla-Marroquin had been deported in December of 2008 after his third drunken driving conviction.

In February of this year he pleaded guilty to one-count of illegally re-entering the country as a felon. He’s been sentenced to one-and-a-half years in a federal prison. There is no parole in the federal system. (NEWS REPORT BY RADIO IOWA) 

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa City’s new ordinance that limits entry to bars to those ages 21 and over after 10 p.m. has gone into effect.

The law was written to begin Tuesday, June 1. The Iowa City Council voted 6-1 in April to pass and adopt the ordinance change. Previously, people 19 and older were allowed in Iowa City bars at night.

But some city and University of Iowa officials said setting the minimum bar entry age at 21 would help combat what they called a culture of binge drinking, particularly by college students.

A group of University of Iowa students submitted signatures May 11 on a petition looking to repeal the law. They need 2,500 signatures, but Iowa City city clerk Marian Karr says they only have 1,273. The group’s leader said members are still collecting signatures.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A tornado has destroyed a barn and severely damaged a home near Mount Ayr in southern Iowa.

The tornado touched down about 7 miles north of the small town about 5:10 p.m. Tuesday, damaging a farm complex.

No one was injured, but Ringgold County Emergency Management Director Teresa Jackson says damage is estimated at more than $3 million.

Jackson says a large machine shed and a feedlot building were destroyed. She says the home was severely damaged. Several silos also were damaged.

The National Weather Service in Des Moines also reported baseball-sized hail near Clearfield in Taylor County.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Family members say advanced cancer has forced Iowa state Rep. Paul Bell of Newton to be hospitalized.

The 59-year-old Democrat is undergoing chemotherapy and had his stomach removed last year because of the cancer. Bell’s son, Brad Bell, said Tuesday that the cancer is now in his father’s abdomen and lymph nodes.

Brad Bell says his father has “been battling the last couple days.” The son said his father didn’t miss a day of the last legislative session, during which he had chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Paul Bell is chair of the Natural Resources committee and a member of the Ethics, Public Safety and Transportation committees.

Newton is about 35 miles east of Des Moines.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Testimony has ended in the trial of former Agriprocessors slaughterhouse manager Sholom Rubashkin in Black Hawk County District Court on child labor violation charges.

Jurors were excused Tuesday afternoon after the defense said it had no more witnesses and prosecutors called no rebuttal witnesses. The judge told jurors to return Thursday for closing arguments.

Sholom Rubashkin is charged with 83 counts of child labor violations involving 31 teenagers who worked at the kosher slaughterhouse. The judge says he plans to dismiss some of those charges after the defense asked charges be dismissed that listed victims who did not testify.

Earlier Tuesday, Rubashkin’s wife Leah Rubashkin took the stand in her husband’s defense.

WEBSTER CITY, Iowa (AP) A pathologist has testified for the defense at the trial of an Iowa teenager accused of molesting and killing his 3-year-old cousin, saying the girl died of a massive infection caused by a perforated bowel, not asphyxiation.

Fifteen-year-old Edgar Concepcion of Charles City is charged as an adult with first-degree murder and first-degree sexual abuse for the July 10 death of Krystel Banes. His trial is being held in Hamilton County on a change of venue.

Dr. Peter Stephens testified Tuesday that the 3-year-old girl wasn’t asphyxiated, as prosecutors say she was. Stephens says the sepsis happened “at least five days to a week” before she died.

Concepcion’s trial began May 19, and the prosecution rested its case last week.

ATLANTIC, Iowa (AP) Three teenage girls are suing the Atlantic School District because of a strip search they were made to undergo during a high school gym class in August of last year.

The lawsuit has been filed in Cass County by Holleigh Jo Jacobsen and her father, Matthew Jacobsen, Griffin Ferguson and her mother, Lisa Ferguson, and Paige Brianna Lank and her mother, Lee Lank.

The three girls were among five ordered to submit to a search in a locker room after another girl reported the theft of $100 from her purse. The money was not recovered.

Listed as defendants in the case are the school district, as well as Paul Croghan, who was the assistant principal at the time, and school counselor Heather Turpin.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) Telephone landline provider Windstream Corp. says it has completed its acquisition of Iowa Telecommunications Services Inc., a transaction valued at $1.2 billion.

Windstream said in a news release Tuesday that the deal announced Nov. 24 had been brought to a successful conclusion.

Under terms negotiated between the two companies, Iowa Telecom shareholders received 0.804 shares of Little Rock-based Windstream stock and $7.90 in cash for each Iowa Telecom share they held. Windstream said it issued 26.7 million shares of stock valued at $284 million, based on the company’s closing stock price on May 28, and paid approximately $260 million in cash.

Windstream also repaid all of Iowa Telecom’s outstanding debt, about $613 million.

The acquisition adds to Windstream approximately 249,000 access lines operated by Iowa Telecom, 96,000 high-speed Internet customers and 27,500 digital TV customers in Iowa and Minnesota. Windstream provides digital phone, high-speed Internet and high-definition digital TV service and has more than 3 million access lines in 18 states.

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) Authorities in Mason City say the body of Eugene Cole has been recovered from the south end of Briarstone Lake.

Mason City Police Chief Michael Lashbrook says Cole’s body was found about 1 p.m. Tuesday in about 20 feet of water.

The 75-year-old Cole, who was a retired farmer and Mason City Realtor, apparently fell out of his boat while fishing on the lake Monday morning.

Cole’s body was taken to Mercy Medical Center-North Iowa, where an autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa City police who tracked down an allegedly drunken driver spotted driving away from a convenience store say they didn’t have any clothing description to go on because he wasn’t wearing any.

Witnesses at the convenience store told officers early Tuesday morning they saw the naked driver hit a street sign shortly after he pulled out of the parking lot.

Officers say they found the damaged car a short time later and arrested the alleged driver, 20-year-old Kevin Scherschel, outside a friend’s apartment. They say he was still naked and failed a field sobriety test.

Scherschel was charged with drunken driving.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Same-sex marriage opponents are continuing their push for a public vote to overturn an Iowa Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage.

A petition signed by 834 Iowa ministers and an accompanying letter signed by social conservatives was presented Tuesday during a Statehouse news conference.

The push against the 2009 court decision and to amend the state constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman comes a week before the June 8 Republican primary for governor.

The petition and letter will be sent to all candidates for the Legislature and statewide office.

The Rev. Keith Ratliff of the Maple Street Missionary Baptist Church in Des Moines says candidate must support putting the issue to voters, or they won’t get the group’s support.

(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.