(LE MARS)–An employee who expected a retirement event was surprised with the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce “Employee of the Month” award today.
Lorraine Renken who has been a cook at Good Samaritan Society-Le Mars for 17 years is the latest Chamber “Employee of the Month.”
A nomination for Renken indicates both residents and staff of Good Samaritan will miss her lasagna, baked chicken and wonderful harvest beets.
She is described as a wonderful employee who could always be counted on when needed and who had a wonderful rapport with the residents.
Although she’s leaving the staff, Renken’s retirement isn’t expected to make her a stranger at Good Samaritan. She’s a very active volunteer with the Good Samaritan Auxiliary. Auxiliary members look forward to see more of her now that she’s retiring.
(DES MOINES)–New water tests led the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to lift a boil advisory for the Iowa Lakes Regional Water System. Six samples came back clean Wednesday.
The advisory was issued Sunday for the Royal East section of Iowa Lakes Regional Water in southern Clay and northern Buena Vista Counties.
A flood-related water main break caused the water system to lose pressure, creating the potential for bacterial contamination.
DAKOTA CITY, Neb. (AP) A jury is weighing the evidence against a Mexican man accused of killing a 3-year-old Nebraska girl.
Closing arguments in the trial of 30-year-old Melecio Camacho-De Jesus were delivered Tuesday afternoon.
Camacho-De Jesus is accused of killing Evelyn Verdugo Paniagua on May 23, 2009, in her South Sioux City home as her family slept. Prosecutors say he suffocated the girl while he tried to keep her quiet during the sexual assault.
Camacho-De Jesus, a Mexican national, had been living in Sioux City, Iowa, when he was arrested. He pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and burglary. If convicted, he could face the death penalty.
Camacho-De Jesus’ lawyer argued that his client didn’t understand his actions that night because of cocaine in his system.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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MISSOURI VALLEY, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a 12-year-old girl riding a bicycle died after she was hit by a pickup truck in Harrison County in western Iowa.
The Iowa State Patrol says Amiee Marie Atwell of Little Sioux was hit Tuesday afternoon near Little Sioux.
The patrol says the pickup was traveling south and the driver went into northbound lane to go around the child, who was riding south. Troopers say the girl apparently tried to get to other side of the road and was hit.
Atwell was taken to a hospital in Missouri Valley where she died.
No charges have been filed against the driver of the pickup.
NORFOLK, Neb. (AP) Investigators believe Colton Harris-Moore, the teen burglar known as “The Barefoot Bandit,” was caught on surveillance video at a northeast Nebraska airport earlier this month, so an arrest warrant has been issued.
Police have also collected fingerprints that may help link Harris-Moore to the theft of a Cadillac Escalade from the Norfolk airport earlier this month, which later turned up in Pella, Iowa.
Harris-Moore, a 6-foot-5 19-year-old from Camano Island, Wash., escaped from a halfway house south of Seattle in April 2008. Authorities believe he’s committed numerous burglaries around the Northwest since then, and that he’s stolen boats, cars and even a few small airplanes.
He got his nickname by reportedly committing some of the crimes in his bare feet.
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Saylorville Lake north of Des Moines is expected to overtop its spillway, sending more water into the already swollen Des Moines River and threatening a levee that last failed in 2008.
Emergency officials say they’re confident the river will stay within the city’s system of levees Wednesday. It’s expected to crest Thursday below 2008 levels.
But they acknowledged the levee protecting the working-class Birdland neighborhood just north of downtown is more vulnerable than others.
The levee failed in 2008 and 1993. It’s been repaired, but rebuilding hasn’t begun. So crews this week constructed a secondary levee directly behind it that consists of wire baskets lined with felt and filled with sand.
Officials say it’s more efficient than sandbagging.
FORT MADISON, Iowa (AP) State environmental officials are investigating a large fish kill in a quarry pond near Fort Madison.
Lee County conservation employees discovered it on Monday at Trumpeter Swan Marsh. They found dead fish on the bank of the pond while checking on a pair of swans that live there.
Lee County Conservation Director Tom Buckley says the kill may involve as many as 4,000 fish, including largemouth bass, crappie, bluegill and catfish.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources collected water samples and is awaiting test results. The agency says no chemical spills have been reported in the area.
Fishing is not allowed in the pond because it is home to the swans.
BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) The trial of a Burlington man accused of burning down his house has been delayed.
Kenneth Dix is charged with second-degree arson and first-degree criminal mischief. His trial, which had been set for July 7, is now set for Sept. 14.
His attorney, Alan Waples, on Monday asked a judge for the delay, which was granted.
The house burned last October.
Prosecutors say Dix allegedly called authorities and asked if it was illegal to burn his own home. Authorities say Dix then allegedly told a Des Moines County sheriff’s deputy to go ahead and call the fire department and hung up.
The state fire marshal’s office ruled the fire an arson.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Authorities say two people have been injured in a house fire in Cedar Rapids.
Fire department spokesman Greg Buelow says firefighters were called to a 2-story house late Tuesday where they found a woman in the front yard. She told firefighters a man was still inside.
Firefighters found the man in an upstairs bedroom.
Both the man and woman were taken to a Cedar Rapids hospital, then transferred to University Hospitals in Iowa City. Their names were not immediately released.
Buelow says the fire started in an oxygen generator in the man’s bedroom.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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