Home News KLEM News AM Update June 17, 2010

KLEM News AM Update June 17, 2010

(LE MARS)–The second day of the Ice Cream Days Celebration in Le Mars is filled with flavor, film and family fun.

The Family Bike ride leaves the Olson Cultural Event Center in downtown Le Mars at six tonight. The ride on the Recreation Trail is for all ages and ends at the Primebank Ice Cream Social.

The bank continues its tradition of serving ice cream with the 42nd annual Primebank Ice Cream Social from 6-8 p-m. The bank offers live music, games for kids and ice cream.

“Up” is the outdoor family movie tonight at 9 at the Olson Cultural Event Center. Spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets.

A complete Ice Cream Days listing is at www.lemarsiowa.com or in the KLEM Fairs and Festivals guide.

(LE MARS)–Bids for a building to expand Plymouth County government office and storage space are due today.

Dale McKinney of M+ of Sioux City is the architect for the Courthouse Annex Building to be located on the southeast side of the Courthouse block.

Bids are accepted until two this afternoon at the Plymouth County Auditor’s office at the Courthouse. 

According to the bid notice, they’ll  be considered for an award of the contract or other action by the Board of Supervisors at a meeting at 9 a-m Tuesday.

(LE MARS)–Performance reviews of 20 city of Le Mars workers will determine pay raises that begin with the new budget year July first.

The money to pay for any changes in non-bargaining employees from accounting clerks to city administrator was approved this week.

The council, on a three-to-two vote, raised the high end of the pay range three percent increase and made no change in the low end of pay which had not been changed since 2008. The council also designated a  total pool of 36-thousand dollars for changes in the pay of the 20 employees,  subject to performance reviews.

Councilmembers John Rexwinkel and Delana Ihrke voted against the council action. In earlier votes involving pay issues, Rexwinkel has not supported changes.

Before the vote, Ihrke said her issue wasn’t the merit system of pay raises or the concept of  low to high ranges for pay. Council member John Leonard noted differences in public and private sector jobs. Councilman Rex Knapp cited the performance of city workers in backing a change in pay.



The actual pay will be set based on performance reviews of the employees by city administrator Scott Langel and assistant city administrator Bill Cole. The top administrators pay is set by the mayor and council.

Title                    6/2008                   6/2010

                          low high              low high

administrator $101,681 124,277 101,681 128,005

asst adm. 69,482 82,573 69,482 85,050

wastewater supt 65,074 79,292 65,074 81,671

public works supt 63,833 72,492 63,833 74,667

police chief 67,222 81,910 67,222 84,367

water treatment operator 52,838 65,519 52,838 67,485

code enforcement officer 49,504 63,805 49,504 65,719

fire chief 63,833 78,520 63,833 80,876

city clerk 53.665 66,093 53,665 68,075

police captain 55,360 67,787 56,360 69,821

asst p.works supt. 47,058 59,334 47,058 61,114

water supt . 63,406 76,087 63,406 78,369

library director 51,374 64,367 51,374 66,298

asst wastewater supt. 42,932 62,138 42,932 64,003

adm assistant 38,978 48,016 38,978 49,456

police office mgr 38,718 45,192 38,718 46,547

accounting clerk (2 positions) 35, 805 46,035 35,805 47,416

asst fire chief/bldg inspector 45,012 58,311 45,012 60,060

ambulance director 43,989 57,288 43,989 59,007

(LE MARS)–New speed limits are in place for drivers who travel through an area southeast of Le Mars.

Union, along Plymouth County Road C-44, east of Merrill, had signs posted and a flashing light to notify drivers of limited sight distances and safety issues.

Engineer Tom Rohe received a request from a Union resident to deal with the speed.

Rohe said the signs and light didn’t allow the sheriff’s office to enforce the speed limits. Rohe recommended speed zone signs to the board of supervisors.



Based on board action Tuesday, the signs reducing speed from 55 miles an hour to 35 miles an hour were installed by noon Wednesday.

SIOUX CITY)–A bike and classic car parade opens Awesome Biker Nights in Sioux City tonight at six.

Since 2000, the downtown Sioux City event has donated about 600-thousand dollars to charities.

Events Friday and Saturday include concerts, a bike raffle, bike show, poker run and tattoo contest.

Musical performers include the Guess Who and April Wine.

KLEM’s sister station, KOOL 99.5 FM is a sponsor for Awesome Biker Nights.

For more information www.awesomebikernights.com

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) Federal officials say a 29-year-old soldier from northwest Iowa who died in Iraq had received several awards, including two for good conduct.

The U.S. Department of Defense says Spc. Christopher Opat died Tuesday in Baquah, Iraq, from injuries in a non-combat incident.

Opat’s family says he grew up in Lime Springs and went to Iowa Lakes Community School in Emmetsburg before enlisting in Spencer.

Military officials are investigating the incident and released no further details.

Opat served more than three years in Germany and was deployed twice to Iraq.

Opat’s numerous awards included two for good conduct, a National Defense Service Medal and an overseas service ribbon.

His grandmother Dolores Opat says he was a quiet young man. She says military officials told the family Tuesday but did not provide details on the death.

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

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) Officials had not yet found a man who fell into the raging Elkhorn River after a railroad bridge collapsed.

Norfolk Fire Chief Shane Weidner said Wednesday that air searches were being done because the area was too dangerous to search on the ground or by boat. Ground and boat searches will begin once the river recedes enough to make searches safe.

Weidner says he would not guess whether the man was still alive.

Three Nebraska Central Railroad workers were checking the bridge when it collapsed. One worker was able to reach safety by himself; the second was rescued by emergency workers who floated a boat to him.

The railroad’s attorney says he believes the three were checking the bridge without being assigned the task.

(Copyright 2010 by Associated Press. All rights reserved)


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SWISHER, Iowa (AP) The owner of the Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery and Distillery in Swisher says the first bourbon whiskey made from Iowa corn and distilled in the state since Prohibition will make its debut July 1.

Cedar Ridge president and owner Jeff Quint says Iowa Bourbon Whiskey will be the latest product created by a Bavarian pot still at the distillery. It already produces vodka, gin, dark rum, apple brandy and Italian-style grappa.

By law, Bourbon has to have at least 51 percent corn content. Quint says Iowa Bourbon Whiskey is 70 percent to 75 percent corn. The remainder is rye and barley malt.

Quint says he started storing the Bourbon in charred oak barrels in 2008, and plans to reuse the barrels to produce a Scotch-style single-malt whisky possibly some time next year.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police say a suspect in a sexual assault case may have escaped to east Africa.

Police say 44-year-old Napoleon Mbonyunkiza (em-bon-yun-KEY’-zah) is believed to have boarded a plane to Africa about the time of his scheduled court hearing on June 4. Officers say he may possibly be in Uganda.

Mbonyunkiza’s daughter reported him as a missing person on June 3, saying he hadn’t been seen since the morning of June 2.

U.S. marshals have offered a $2,500 reward for information that leads to the arrest of Mbonyunkiza, who allegedly sexually assaulted and impregnated a disabled woman in his care at a facility for mentally disabled adults.

Mbonyunkiza is charged with third-degree sexual abuse, dependent adult abuse with serious injury, and neglect or abandonment of a dependent person.

CLARINDA, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Department of Corrections is investigating the death of an inmate at the Clarinda Correctional Facility.

The inmate, 44-year-old Alfred Eugene Myre was found unresponsive Monday evening at an outdoor table where he had been sitting during a recreation session. When emergency measures failed to revive him, Myre was taken to the Clarinda Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Initially the cause of death was considered to be natural because of ongoing medical issues including a brain injury from a motorcycle accident. But after further review, case was referred to the DCI for investigation.

Preliminary autopsy findings indicate that Myre died of blunt force abdominal injuries.

Myre was serving a 50-year second-degree murder sentence from Pottawattamie County. He had been in prison since September 1991.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency has granted more than $1 million in funding for Iowa’s Green Bay Levee and Drainage District.

The Iowa Democrat said Wednesday the funds will be used to reimburse the state for emergency repairs made during the 2008 floods.

Meanwhile Wednesday, Governor Chet Culver congratulated Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management Division Administrator David Miller on his appointment to a national council of advisers on emergency response. Miller was appointed to the FEMA’s National Advisory Council as a state non-elected official.

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

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