Home News KLEM News PM Update Sept. 3, 2010

KLEM News PM Update Sept. 3, 2010

(LE MARS)–The 2010 Le Mars United Way Campaign is underway with a 225-thousand dollar goal.

The 7th annual golf tournament Thursday launched the annual campaign for the Le Mars United Way. The United Way supports agencies providing services in the greater Le Mars area.

Le Mars United Way board chair Janelle Bixenman indicated nearly five-thousand dollars was raised through the golf tournament to help the Le Mars United Way reach its goal.

United Way funds will be used to support local charities devoted to ensuring children grow into successful adults and adequate safety net services are available for people in need or facing crisis.

This year’s winning foursome included Matt Washburn and Corey Nordstrom, with Mark Schmidt and Dave Miller joining them for the first time this year.

United Way organizers say thanks to the first-ever employee campaign at Wells’ Dairy Inc., this year’s Le Mars United Way campaign is off to a robust start. Last spring, Wells’ Dairy completed their employee campaign and raised over 154-thousand dollars. The United Way Campaign runs through December.

The tournament included awarding Luw which is the name given to a traveling golf caddie trophy named for the Le Mars United Way. Luw will be with the Lang Gang–Deb, Tim, Micah and Makenzie Lang. The Lang Gang had the highest score.

No action on ECO Center bids

(HINTON)–Another round of discussion is planned for an environmental education center when the Plymouth County Conservation Board meets next Thursday night.

Five construction bids for the project exceeded the ECO Center budget of one-half million dollars and the budget included the architect’s fees. The apparent low bid from H-W Design Build of Sioux City was 523-thousand dollars.

The Conservation Board met last night and agreed to revisit the bids during a meeting next Thursday night at HIllview Park, west of Hinton. Conservation Board Director Dennis Sohl says the architect had identified some areas to realize a cost savings, but not enough to provide a contingency. References from the builder continue to be checked.

Sohl expects the Conservation Board’s three campgrounds to be filled for this Labor Day weekend. The campgrounds remain open until October 15th. Sohl notes rental cabins at Hillview have continued to be popular weekdays and weekends all season.

The Conservation Board has talked one time about potential partnerships for Camp Joy Hollow owned by the Girls Scouts near Westfield. Sohl says the board hopes to continue discussions, but acknowledges there are a lot of emotions involved with the camp. Some Siouxland Girl Scouts held a public awareness event about the Camp and its future. Girl Scouts holding signs lined an area near the Tyson Events Center last Sunday.

Open valve caused explosion

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) Sioux City fire officials say an uncapped natural gas line is to blame for an explosion that damaged a house earlier this week.

A family of five escaped serious injury in the blast Tuesday night.

According to Associated Press, the fire department reported Thursday that a valve in the laundry room was left open by a repairman. Gas vapors filled the home and were ignited by a heat source.

The homeowner, Cuong Phung, his three children and his mother-in-law escaped without serious injury.

City officials have red-tagged the home as uninhabitable because of the damage.

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

Immigration arrests in three cities

(DES MOINES)–Immigrants living in more than a dozen Iowa communities have been arrested in a ten-state operation, the largest of its kind ever carried out throughout the Midwest. The sting targeted convicted criminals who are NOT U.S. citizens — whether they are here illegally or not — as well as people who had been ordered back to their home country, but were still here. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Carl Rusnok  says 28 people were arrested in Iowa.

 “There’s probably about 15 or 20 different towns we made arrests in, however, many of those were single arrests,” Rusnok says. “However, in Sioux City we made nine arrests; in Waterloo we made four arrests; in Des Moines we made two.” This was a federal effort. Local law enforcement was not involved in making the arrests.

“In this particular operation that we have dubbed ‘Cross Check’ we have done research beforehand in order to identify and target these individuals,” Rusnok says. More than half of those taken into custody in the ten-state sting had prior convictions for serious violent crimes. Rusnok says that reflects his agency’s focus on arresting immigrants who may pose a threat to public safety. A total of 370 people were arrested in the 10 states. This Midwestern sting follows similar operations across the country over the past nine months. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Baseball bat assault arrests

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) The Yankton County Sheriff’s Office says it has arrested two people in connection with an alleged baseball bat assault last weekend.

Sheriff Dave Hunhoff told the Yankton Press and Dakotan that a man and a woman reported being assaulted by a man when they entered the woman’s mobile home east of Yankton. He says the woman knew the alleged attacker.

The sheriff says neither the man nor woman required hospitalization, but based on the bruises and injuries he considers it a serious assault.

The second man arrested faces a drug charge that resulted from the assault investigation.

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

Former egg farm workers say complaints ignored

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) U.S. Agriculture Department employees worked full-time at two Iowa egg farms at the center of a salmonella outbreak and massive recall, but two former workers say they didn’t respond to complaints about conditions at one site.

Agency spokesman Caleb Weaver says the employees’ main duties are to grade eggs in packaging areas and aren’t primarily responsible for looking for health problems.

Two former workers at Wright County Egg facilities, Robert and Deanna Arnold, say they reported problems such as leaking manure and dead chickens to USDA employees but were ignored and told to return to work. Weaver says the USDA employee in charge of the site never received any complaints but that the investigation is continuing.

The salmonella outbreak has led to a recall of about 550 million eggs.

Tractor upgrades reduce farm deaths from rollovers

(UNDATED)–Deaths from tractor rollovers have been dropping in the U.S. as farmers buy new tractors equipped with roll bars, reinforced cabs and seat belts or upgrade older ones with those features.

Tractor rollovers have long been the leading cause of death on U.S. farms. But a study published last year by federal researchers found that rollover deaths fell 28 percent over the past two decades, dropping from 5.5 deaths per 100,000 workers in 1992 to 3.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2007.

John Myers, a health statistician with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, says that’s partly because many farmers upgraded their equipment during a flush period in agriculture from 2004 to 2007. He says it’s not clear yet how the recession might have affected that trend.

Iowa announces program to recoup court fines, fees

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa is trying to collect old court fines and fees with a deal for thousands of Iowans who owe the state a total of about $300 million.

According to WHO-AM, there are 217,000 people who owe court fines and fees that are past due by at least four years.

Under a new amnesty program, if they pay 50 percent of their overdue debt in one lump sum, the other half will be forgiven.

Roger Stirler  of the state revenue department says letters are going out this month in an effort to recoup some of the money.

He says there are some fines and fees that aren’t eligible, including victim restitution, child support, alimony, jail fees and fines payable to cities and counties.

The program runs through the end of November.

Drake’s new “D+” campaign earns failing grade

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Drake University’s new marketing campaign that features a “D+” logo is getting a failing grade from some faculty, students and alumni.

They say it’s offensive and embarrassing and tarnishes the university’s reputation.

Leaders at the Des Moines school say regardless of how people react, they are reacting and that’s what they wanted to accomplish.

The Des Moines Register reported Friday that Drake hired Cedar Rapids-based company to help develop the new “Drake Advantage” recruitment campaign. The university recently unveiled it to prospective students through brochures and its website.

Drake spokesman Tom Delahunt says while the “D+” comes across as a grade at first glance, it’s meant to represent all the opportunities Drake offers students.

Child neglect trial set for Iowa woman

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) The child neglect trial of a Dubuque woman is now set for October while authorities still await lab results on apparent human remains discovered in her yard.

Tamelia Harris was arrested in June after police began searching for her 20-month-old daughter, Cecilia.

While trying to find the toddler, police found what they believe are the remains of a small child in Harris’ yard. Authorities are awaiting lab results to identify the remains and provide clues about the cause and manner of death. The process could take several months.

Harris’ trial on the neglect charge had been set for Aug. 30, but was delayed.

The Telegraph Herald reported Thursday that Harris’ trial is now set for Oct. 18.

State board sets conditions for Perry chiropractor

PERRY, Iowa (AP) A state board says a Perry chiropractor accused of assaulting one of his patients may continue to practice but must have a female chaperone when he treats women.

Daniel Duffy was charged with misdemeanor assault last month after a female patient told police she heard him acting inappropriately, including unzipping his pants.

Duffy, who is free on bond, continues to see patients.

The Des Moines Register says the Iowa Board of Chiropractic ruled Thursday that Duffy’s continued practice “poses a serious and immediate danger” to his female patients. The board says it will impose interim safeguards until it can reach a final decision on the case against him.

The newspaper says Duffy has declined to comment on the advice of his attorney.

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

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