Home News KLEM News AM Update August 20, 2010

KLEM News AM Update August 20, 2010

(Hinton)–Bids for an environmental education center near Hinton will be opened next week. The Plymouth County Conservation Board project will be built at Hillview Park.

The Plymouth County Conservation Board plans to meet August 26th to review ECO Center bids that are due August 24th. M+ of Sioux City designed the ECO Center

The project is funded with county local option sales tax, a state Vision Iowa CAT grant and fund raising by the Conservation Board Foundation.

Backpack program sends home healthy snacks

(Le Mars)–Hundreds of Le Mars area elementary school students head back to the classroom on Thursday. For many this means getting back to a schedule that includes daily meals. According to the Food Bank of Siouxland, over two thousand students go to bed hungry every night. Through school, children can qualify to receive free or reduced price breakfast and lunch. But that still leaves evenings and weekends.

One Le Mars non-profit is trying to help. It’s called The Backpack Program. Led by the Nohava family, The Backpack program sends healthy snacks home with elementary age kids every Friday afternoon.

Program vice president Brandi Sanchez says the program was started by her mom, Brenda Nohava, in January of 2010 when she noticed the need.

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Each week volunteers pack 260 to 280 bags full of healthful, ready to eat goodies like cereal, diced fruit, granola bars and juice boxes. The bags are dropped off at Le Mars elementary schools on Thursday nights, ready to go with the kids for the weekend.

Sanchez says there’re two ways community members can get involved with the Backpack Program.

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Donations go a long way, as the contents of each bag costs about $1.60.

The Backpack program will be up and running for this school year in the first or second week of September. To qualify children need to either be part of the free or reduced price lunch program or be nominated by a teacher. Sanchez added that younger siblings can also receive a bag.

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To donate to the Backpack Program call the Nohavas at 546-8872. (News report by Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Winter is candidate for re-election as District Commissioner

(LE MARS)–A Plymouth County Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner is seeking re-election.

Deputy auditor Cheri Nitzschke received completed nomination papers from District Commissioner Pat Winter of Le Mars.

The four-year terms of Winter and Nancy Anderson of rural Merrill expire this year.

The deadline to file completed nomination papers for District Commissioner is at 5 p-m next Wednesday.

Highway 75/12th Street Southwest intersection is closed for two weeks

(LE MARS)–Traffic patterns in southwest Le Mars will change for two weeks, beginning today (Friday).

The intersection of 12th Street Southwest and Highway 75 will be closed while a contractor repairs paving at the intersection.

The work is part of efforts to improve the surface of Business Highway 75, south of Highway 3. A contractor will also follow the patching process to smooth the surface in what’s known as diamond grinding and then applying a sealing coat to the route.

Hedge bridge work is complete

(HINTON)–A Plymouth County road northwest of Hinton is slated to reopen today Friday.

Traffic has been restricted to one lane on Hedge Avenue from one-half mile north of 270th Street.

According to County Engineer Tom Rohe, an unstable wing area in the northeast corner of the bridge was being repaired.

The travel restrictions will be lifted today (Friday).

Third OWI conviction leads to prison sentence

(ORANGE CITY)–A Sioux Center man will serve a prison sentence for a third drunk driving conviction.

Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister says 22-year-old Lucas Van Engen was charged after the pickup truck he was driving became stuck in a snow bank in Sioux Center in January.

A judge Thursday sentenced Van Engen to spend up to five years in prison and fined him more than three-thousand dollars.

Van Engen had been convicted of operating while intoxicated twice in Sioux County in 2008.

 Farm implement business burglary arrest

(SPENCER)–A Spencer man is charged with felony theft after an investigation by Spencer Police and the Clay County Sheriff’s office.

Several pieces of lawn equipment were reported taken from Northwest Equipment and other area implement businesses between August 13th and 17th.

The Clay County Sheriff’s office was contacted by Spencer Police after police officers received information that 45-year-old Eric Lynn Davis may have been involved in some area burglaries.

Davis was arrested on a charge of felony theft in the second degree and possession of burglar tools on Tuesday. He is accused of taking a John Deere lawn tractor.

Clay County authorities says other sheriffs’ office have been contacted in an attempt to locate and verify other pieces of equipment that have been recovered so they may be returned to their owners.

Man enters manslaughter plea in Iowa toddler death

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) An eastern Iowa man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 2-year-old daughter has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

Twenty-five-year-old Lee Muldoon of Coggon pleaded guilty Thursday to involuntary manslaughter and neglect of a child.

Muldoon was facing a first-degree murder charge. He was accused in the July 2008 death of Skylar Inman. She died from blunt force injuries to her abdomen.

The girl’s mother, Brianna Volesky, was expected to testify Thursday. But prosecutor Nick Maybanks told the court, outside of the presence of the jury, that she might not be a credible witness.

In January, Volesky pleaded guilty to neglect of a child and involuntary manslaughter. She was required to testify against Muldoon.

Mold delays start of eastern Iowa middle school

WEST BRANCH, Iowa (AP) Mold is delaying the start of the school year for an eastern Iowa middle school.

School originally was scheduled to start Wednesday at West Branch Middle School. But the discovery of mold prompted school district officials to delay the start of classes until at least Monday.

Superintendent Craig Artist says the mold was found in a couple of classrooms this week, but spread rapidly to other parts of the building as workers tried to clean it up.

Students at Hoover Elementary in West Branch and West Branch High started on schedule Wednesday.

Artist says the mold is not toxic, but could cause problems for anyone with allergies or asthma.

Iowa town evacuated after anhydrous ammonia leak

LACONA, Iowa (AP) Authorities says they have shut off a broken pipe in Lacona that was leaking anhydrous ammonia, forcing most of the small central Iowa town to evacuate.

Des Moines Fire Department spokesman Ted Jefferson say crews shut a valve and stopped release of the chemical just after noon Thursday.

The Des Moines haz-mat team was called to Lacona, about 30 miles southeast of Des Moines, to help stop the gas release.

Jefferson says a “slight haze” of gas remained but that wind was dispersing it. He thought roads into the 360-person town would be reopened and people could return soon.

The Warren County sheriff’s office says rescue crews were notified around 10:15 a.m.

There are no reports of injuries.

Iowa State officials hope to open Hilton by Nov. 4

AMES, Iowa (AP) Iowa State University officials say they hope to have Hilton Coliseum ready for the women’s basketball opener Nov. 4 but warn that complete recovery from this month’s flooding could take longer.

Although 26 buildings on campus suffered storm damage and flooding, Hilton Coliseum has received the most focus after taking on as much as 14 feet of water when Squaw Creek poured out if it banks last week. Water covered a wide swath of Ames and the university.

At a news conference Thursday, Warren Madden, the university’s vice president and finance, noted it’s too soon to determine how much damage was caused by flooding but that it will be in the millions of dollars.

Officials say repairing damage to Hilton Coliseum is a top priority but that other sports, such as women’s volleyball and soccer, have also been affected.

Nurse cleared of impeding Iowa nursing home probe

CORALVILLE, Iowa (AP) A magistrate has acquitted a nurse on a misdemeanor charge that she tried to interfere with a state inspection at a Coralville nursing home where she worked.

Prosecutors had charged Karen Etter with attempting to impede or interfere with state inspections at Windmill Manor.

Etter was the home’s director of nursing. State officials say Etter acknowledged telling other employees they would be fired if they reported quality-of-care concerns directly to state inspectors, rather than to her, the administrator or the home’s corporate owners.

Magistrate Karen Egerton ruled that Etter had not interfered with a state investigation. Egerton noted that when Etter threatened to fire the workers, there was no pending state investigation into the home.

Etter no longer works at Windmill Manor. Her nursing license remains in good standing.

Police told Zaun to stay away from ex-girlfriend

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Republican congressional candidate Brad Zaun says he used “poor judgment” in a 2001 incident that led police to tell him to stay away from an ex-girlfriend who accused him of harassing her.

Zaun faces Democratic incumbent Leonard Boswell in Iowa’s 3rd District in November.

The Des Moines Register, citing a police report, reported Thursday that West Des Moines police told Zaun to stay away from the woman. She called police in April 2001 to complain that Zaun went to her house and was pounding on windows and calling her names.

Zaun, who was divorced, was mayor of Urbandale at the time. No charges were filed.

Zaun told the newspaper that it was a “highly emotional moment,” and the disclosure would not change his campaign.

Zaun remarried in June 2007.

Survey of bankers shows another dip in economy

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) A survey of rural bankers in 10 Midwest and Plains states shows a further dip in the economy after signs of a rebound earlier this year.

The overall index for the Rural Mainstreet economic report dropped to 46.0 in August, from 49.3 in July and 52.6 in June. The index ranges between zero and 100. A score below 50 suggests the economy will contract in the next few months; above 50 indicates the economy will grow.

The index had been above 50 from April to June after a 26-month streak below that mark.

Survey organizers say bankers are seeing “significant pullbacks in economic activity.”

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming were surveyed for the report.

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

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