Home News KLEM News AM Update August 26, 2010

KLEM News AM Update August 26, 2010

(LE MARS)–Talks about the future of a closed Le Mars Community School building will include three Merrill representatives.

This is the first school year Kissinger Elementary School in Merrill will not be used as an attendance center. The Board of Education voted to close the building as a cost cutting measure.

At this week’s meeting, Le Mars Community Board of Education member Dan Smith of Merrill said three Merrill representatives will be available to meet with Smith, Board member Scott Kommes and Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt.

The group is to meet and report back to the school board about Merrill’s interest in the building.

Smith agreed to contact the mayor of Merrill and find a time for the committee of school and Merrill representatives to meet.

The board of education also asked Wendt to send a letter to Jordan Helms about her request to keep attending Le Mars Community and play soccer at M-O-C Floyd Valley next spring.

The M-O-C Floyd Valley District is not interested in a sharing arrangement. Wendt was told that was based on the fact that the district didn’t want to bump up into a different, bigger class for soccer. The district would face the class change because they’d need to count all of the Le Mars enrolment, if they shared the spring sport.

The Board approved a sharing arrangement with Remsen-Union for students to attend Le Mars Community vocational-agriculture and Trades and Industries classes.

Wendt was also told participation in girls soccer numbers at M-O-C Floyd Valley now is satisfactory

Family, Eagles support new medical service

(LE MARS)–A Le Mars group and a Le Mars family have raised more than 20-thousand dollars for dialysis services in the Le Mars area. The three-year fund raising efforts by the Le Mars Eagles Club and the Gotto Family are described as a terrific team by Dialysis Board chair Randy Reardon.

The Nubs Gotto Family, in partnership with the Le Mars Eagles Club, helped raised the funds for the new medical service to be offered in downtown Le Mars.

The latest fund raiser last Friday night was described by Dialysis organizers as a cause to celebrate. On August 17, the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a 250-thousand dollar loan to Le Mars Area Dialysis Services.

Dialysis Board member Mike Donlin said that was the last financial hurdle that the dialysis board faced before finalizing contracts for remodeling the former Wells’ Dairy Tech Center on Central Avenue.

Donlin also said fund raising will always be on the agenda for the nonprofit group because that’s just the nature of non profits . Individuals or businesses interested in donating may contact the dialysis center by calling 546-3492.

Deputy to retire after patrolling, teaching

(LE MARS)–A Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputy isn’t going back into the classroom this fall.

Sergeant Lynn Steckelberg retires next month from a law enforcement career which included more than a dozen years as the Plymouth County sheriff’s office first DARE officer.

Wearing his deputy’s uniform, Steckelberg taught classes at Akron-Westfield; Hinton; Remsen-Union; Remsen St. Mary’s; and Kingsley-Pierson.

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Jolynn Lewis is a Remsen St. Mary’s teacher who credits Steckelberg for getting her fifth graders involved and interested in DARE classes.

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While he’s been teaching, Steckelberg has also learned, for example, by listening to young people talk about the illegal drugs being used.

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The Plymouth County Sheriff’s office  hostedthe Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Coffee from 9:30 to 10:30 Wednesday morning in recognition of Steckelberg’s retirement.

Le Mars Community Adult Ed offers new way to exercise

(LE MARS) A year ago Suzie Harms brought Zumba classes to Le Mars. This fall Harms, the owner of “In the Rhythmz Health and Fitness,” is introducing another new way to exercise. It’s called PiYo. Harms said it combines a few familiar work out concepts into one practice.

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Harms adds that no matter your fitness level, you can do PiYo.

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Finding an enjoyable way to exercise can be challenging, but Harms hopes that things like PiYo and Zumba can be a fit for everyone.

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PiYo is being offered through the Adult Education classes sponsored by Le Mars Community Schools and Western Iowa Tech Community College this fall. The start date is September 27th. To find out more about classes being offered or to register call 546-7338. (News report by Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Rock Rapids man accused of beating girlfriend

(ROCK RAPIDS)–A Rock Rapids man is behind bars, facing felony charges for allegedly beating his girlfriend because she didn’t give him money.

The Lyon County Sheriff’s Office reports that about 5:30 PM on Sunday they investigated a domestic abuse case which occurred in Rock Rapids earlier that day — about 6:00 AM. Upon investigation, 29-year-old Matthew Jeremy Craig of Rock Rapids was arrested and charged with domestic abuse assault, a serious misdemeanor; willful injury, a class D felony; and robbery, a class D felony. Court documents say that Craig assaulted his girlfriend after he asked her for money and she said she didn’t have any. He allegedly choked her, leaving bruises on her neck.
Craig is currently being held in the Lyon County Jail on $10,000 bond. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Extension Council candidates file

(LE MARS)–Wednesday was the final day for candidate filings for County Extension Council, District Commissioner for Soil and Water Conservation and Township officers.

Four candidates have already filed for Extension Council in Plymouth County.

Deputy Auditor Cheri Nitschke reports the latest filings are from Jill Utesch of Remsen, Glen Hayworth of Kingsley and Julie Madden of rural Akron. Chad Banks of rural Westfield had previously filed for one of the five Extension Council seats to be filled by voters in November.

Pat Winter of Le Mars is seeking re-election to one of the two Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner openings.

Tom Pick and Mike Detloff, both of rural Le Mars, turned in completed nomination papers for Fredonia Township officers.

Information about the final filings will be reported later this week.

 Engelkes charged with firearm violation

(Spencer)–A Spencer man is accused of illegally possessing a firearm.

According to the U-S Attorney’s office, 44-year-old Billy Joe Engelkes  was indicted in federal court in Sioux City for being a felon in possession of a shotgun and ammunition.

Court records indicate Engelkes  has a felony drug conviction in O’Brien County.

He is free on bond after appearing in court last Friday. Engelkes  pleaded not guilty and his trial is set for October 4th.

Father, son injured near Newell

(STORM LAKE)–Two people were injured when a semi and pickup truck collided north of Newell Monday afternoon.

The Buena Vista County Sheriff’s office reports thirty-eight-year-old Henry Straight of Arthur was driving a semi north on 230th Avenue. The semi Straight was driving struck a westbound pickup truck.driven by 39-year-old Jason Schultz of Storm Lake.

The sheriff’s office information indicated Schultz and his eight-year-old son were taken by ambulance to Buena Vista Regional Medical Center in Storm Lake. Their injuries were described as serious. Straight was not injured.

Eggs from Iowa could come to table near you after being pasteurized to destroy salmonella

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) The Iowa farms whose eggs have been recalled in a Salmonella outbreak aren’t saying yet what will become of their hens, but it’s possible they’ll wind up becoming meat for soup or other products.

Food safety experts like Bruce Chassy of the University of Illinois say there’s no reason for the eggs or the meat not to be eaten as long as they’re thoroughly cooked to kill any Salmonella bacteria.

The farms say they’re already sending the eggs to be pasteurized and sold as a liquid product. Pasteurization should kill most, if not all, of the Salmonella.

Wright County Egg Farms and Hillandale Farms are the two Iowa egg producers that have recalled more than a half-billion eggs.

Both companies say they’re waiting to hear from the Food and Drug Administration before deciding what to do with their hens.

Egg prices up since recall

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Wholesale egg prices are climbing in the wake of a massive egg recall. That could lead to higher prices for consumers.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said prices have increased markedly since Aug. 13, when the recall was first announced.

The USDA did not have a national average price available. But wholesale prices for a dozen eggs jumped around 40 percent in the New York market, to $1.27 to $1.31 this week, up from 89 to 93 cents before the recall. In the Midwest, prices rose from 72 to 81 cents per dozen to $1.01 to $1.10.

Prices are rising in other parts of the country during what is normally the time of year when egg prices are lowest.

Those increases will likely be passed on to consumers in coming weeks.

Police: Fights at Iowa fair not racially motivated

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police say fights that broke out near the Iowa State Fair apparently were not racially motivated or connected.

Police said Wednesday that investigators looked into three major incidents over 10 days during the fair but concluded they were not connected.

In all, 11 people have been charged in the cases.

Police spokesman Lt. Joe Gonzalez says none of the people interviewed by police talked about any racially motivated incidents.

Two police officers were punched from behind while trying to break up a fight outside the fairgrounds Sunday night on the final night of the fair.

Security around the fairgrounds was stepped up after a series of attacks and fights.

Iowa woman convicted in Obama records viewing case

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) A federal jury has convicted an Iowa woman of illegally accessing President Barack Obama’s student loan records.

Jurors Wednesday found 54-year-old Sandra Teague (teeg) of Iowa City guilty of exceeding authorized computer access.

Teague was one of nine people indicted on charges of accessing Obama’s student loan records while they were employed at Vangent Inc. in Coralville.

Teague and the other former employees were accused of gaining access to a computer at the company’s office between July 2007 and March 2009 and viewing Obama’s records while he was either a candidate for president, president-elect or president.

Teague claimed someone stole her identification and password to access Obama’s information.

Seven of the nine defendants have pleaded guilty or are scheduled to do so. One other case remains set for trial.

Ahrens Cos. shuts down in Iowa City

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) An Iowa City construction and concrete company that’s been in business for 50 years has abruptly shut down.

Ahrens Companies closed effective Aug. 18 and laid off 110 employees.

Ahrens says it tried unsuccessfully with its bank to avoid the shutdown. Ahrens says by court order, it can no longer possess or control its cash, equipment or other assets, so “there is no money available to pay employees” and the companies are “unable to continue to operate.”

Court records show First American Bank of Fort Dodge filed a lawsuit last month against the 11 Ahrens companies, claiming Ahrens defaulted on loans. The bank sought to take control of Ahrens assets.

Company attorney Michael Pugh says Ahrens officials have encouraged a court-appointed receiver to pay existing liabilities.

Ames mosquito numbers rise after flooding

AMES, Iowa (AP) Recent flooding and hot weather are sending the mosquito population soaring in the Ames area.

City Sanitarian Kevin Anderson is asking Ames residents to look around their properties and empty any containers with standing water that can attract mosquitoes.

Anderson says all the water around Ames, combined with the hot weather, is making for “the perfect breeding environment for mosquitoes.”

City parks in Ames have been fogged since June 21 to try to keep the mosquito population down. Parks will continue to be sprayed until Labor Day weekend.

FEMA says Lake Delhi not eligible for disaster aid

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Federal Emergency Management Agency says Lake Delhi is not eligible for public assistance to rebuild a dam that failed in July.

The agency says federal money also shouldn’t have been spent on repairs after the 2008 floods.

FEMA spokesman Bob Josephson says the agency has determined the Lake Delhi Recreation Association, which owns the dam, doesn’t provide any essential governmental service to the public, and the lake is strictly recreational.

FEMA says a group formed to levy taxes to maintain the dam doesn’t meet the definition of a government and wasn’t formed for a public purpose.

Gov. Chet Culver on Wednesday criticized the decision, saying FEMA changed the rules and regulations in the “middle of a great hardship.”

Jim Willey of the Lake Delhi association says his group will appeal.

(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.