Home News KLEM News AM Update September 22, 2010

KLEM News AM Update September 22, 2010

(LE MARS)–The manager of the Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau will be a city employee.

The Le Mars City Council, on a four-to-one vote, Tuesday approved the change for the position. The recommendation to make the change was from city staff and the Convention and Visitors Bureau Board.

Council member Delana Ihrke voted no. Before the vote, Ihrke said she was against adding any city positions to the tax rolls.

Because the position will be a city job, the city will advertise and post the job opening for 10 days.

Two businesses were awarded contracts to upgrade the Le Mars Convention Center heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The city received one bid for the electrical work and controls and one bid for the boiler and plumbing. The prices total about 218-thousand dollars. The contractors are Electrical Automation of rural Le Mars and Morningside Plumbing.

Mayor Dick Kirchoff recognized the trucking industry in Plymouth County at the start of the meeting. He asked Steve Schuster of Schuster Incorporated to join him at the guest podium when he relayed the impact of the industry and the amount of trucking business in Plymouth County.

Trees will be removed from drainage area near Westfield

(WESTFIELD)–Detailed cost estimates to clean out portions of a drainage area near Westfield will be prepared by Plymouth County’s engineer.

The Board of Supervisors adjourned the weekly meeting Tuesday to meet as the Drainage Board for District Three Westfield.  The drainage district was set up in 1924.

Rohe showed the board photographs of the water drainage area moving out into crop land due to trees that have grown in the drainage area. Information about the erosion came to the county through the District Conservationist Jim Lahn of the National Resources Conservation Service in Le Mars.

Rohe estimated it would take a week of work for a contractor to remove the trees and correct the scouring into the farm ground. Costs for the work are to be paid the by owners of property in the district which will include the city of Westfield.

Hinton vineyard’s harvest is nearly complete

(HINTON) Harvest season is upon us. Corn and beans are coming off the field, and grapes will be coming off the vine. That’s right, grapes in Iowa. There are over 80 wineries and vineyards in Iowa and one happens to be just 15 miles from Le Mars. Tucker Hill Vineyards is located off Highway 75 in Hinton. Barry and Brenda Dittmer own the 160 acres of land that make up the vineyard.

There are 40 different kinds of grapes that can grow in this area. According to Barry, Tucker Hill grows seven varieties that they use to make some of their wines.

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Brenda added that sweet wines are the most popular wine that they sell. They have 3 selections of sweet wine including Just Peachy. They also offer straight varietals including Frontenac, which is a red. In addition to their own grapes, Tucker Hill Vineyards uses fruit from other growers. Brenda explained.

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Currently Tucker Hill Vineyards has about 600 vines that yield anywhere from four to 6 tons of grapes. Barry explained that growing grapes is a very hands on process.

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The Dittmers are hoping to finish up harvesting this weekend. Tucker Hill Vineyard is open to the public Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 6 and by appointment. For more information visit www.tuckerhillwine.com. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)

(SIOUX CITY)–Governor Chet Culver will appoint a district court judge to work in six northwest Iowa counties, including Plymouth County.

Applications from attorneys are being accepted until October 22nd to fill the vacancy from the retirement of District Court Judge Gary Wenell.

Judge Wenell of rural Sioux City, was appointed to the bench in 1989 and retired on March 4th. He is a senior judge which is a part-time position.

Attorneys need to live in Plymouth, Sioux, Woodbury, Monona, Ida or Crawford Counties to apply. They’ll be interviewed by a nominating commission November first. Two will be selected by the commission and their names will be submitted to Governor Culver.

Commission members include attorney Matt Trotzig and Ron Stopak, both of Le Mars. 

Court denies Lykken search suit appeal

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) A federal appeals court on Tuesday upheld a lower court’s ruling that investigators did not violate the U.S. Constitution during two 2004 searches of a family’s Alcester farm.

Esther Lykken and Kerwyn Lykken sued six investigators for $400,000 on grounds they did thousands of dollars in damage when they searched the farm in 2004 and falsely accused the family of not cooperating.

Esther Lykken is the mother and Kerwyn Lykken is the brother of David Lykken, who at the time was charged in the 1971 disappearance of two Vermillion teens. Charges have since been dropped, though he’s serving an unrelated prison sentence.

A judge in July 2009 ruled in favor of the detectives but also concluded they unreasonably prevented the Lykkens from tending to their cattle and a pregnant cat.

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

Iowa AG seeks removal of adult ads from website

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller wants Backpage.com to remove adult services ads from its website.

Miller joined attorneys general from 20 other states Tuesday in appealing to Backpage.com to remove the adult services section from it website. Miller says there is growing evidence of human trafficking, child exploitation and prostitution through ads on the website.

Miller says the ads appearing on Backpage are nearly identical to ads seen on Craigslist, which voluntarily removed its adult services section after being pressured by attorneys general in 18 states, including Iowa.

The attorneys general expressed concern to Backpage earlier this year about its adult ads. The website’s attorney indicated that some changes have been made but Miller says those efforts have fallen short.

Iowa farmers in 55 counties eligible for aid

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa farmers in 55 counties are eligible for natural disaster assistance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that eleven Iowa counties have been designated natural disaster areas because of severe storms, rain, flooding and tornadoes from April 25 to Aug. 15. Farmers in another 44 Iowa counties also qualify for assistance because they are contiguous to the original eleven counties.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the weather conditions caused damage to forage, pasture and corn, oat and soybean crops, preventing farmers from harvesting. The farmers are eligible for low-interest emergency loans from the USDA’s Farm Service Agency. Farmers have eight months to apply.

Iowa’s Northey earns top national agriculture spot

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa’s agriculture secretary has earned a top spot in a national agriculture group.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture said Tuesday that Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey has been elected to be vice president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture. The department says the position means Northey is on track to become the group’s president.

If that happens and Northey is elected to a second term he would host state agriculture leaders in Iowa in 2012.

The group is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association. It represents commissioners, secretaries, and directors of the state departments of agriculture. Northey is a corn and soybean farmer from Spirit Lake.

Unemployment a steady 6.8 percent in Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Unemployment in Iowa remained at 6.8 percent in August, with state officials saying the numbers show “modest improvement.”

Iowa Workforce Development also reported Tuesday that the 6.8 percent unemployment rate was a half-percent higher than August of last year, when unemployment was 6.3 percent. There were about 114,200 unemployed workers in Iowa during August, about 900 more than in July.

There were 1,558,200 employed Iowans in August. That’s 10,800 fewer than August of 2009.

Iowa Workforce Development director Elisabeth Buck says corporate balance sheets are in better shape, “making it more likely that hiring will strengthen.”

The U.S. unemployment rate in August was 9.6 percent.

Iowa city of Klemme opens homestead museum

KLEMME, Iowa (AP) Residents looking to recapture the history of the city of Klemme in north central Iowa can now visit the Klemme Homestead Museum.

The museum has opened in the former home of Klemme teacher and collector Novella Bredbenner, who left the home and its contents to the city when she died in 2007 with the requirement it be made a museum. The Globe Gazette newspaper in Mason City reports that the museum opened only after much hard work from the Klemme Homestead Museum Foundation.

Foundation treasurer Terry Folkerts says it took nearly a year to go through everything left by Bredbenner. The next goal is to restore the kitchen to what it looked like 100 years ago. The home was built in 1878 and the museum will be open by appointment.

Greyhound racing to continue in Dubuque

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) Greyhound racing is to continue in Dubuque.

The Dubuque Racing Association and the Iowa Gaming Association agreed to a five-year contract at a meeting of the association on Monday. Mystique Casino and Dubuque Greyhound Park president and CEO Jesus Aviles says the agreement came after “tough negotiation.”

Aviles described the contract as a “middle ground.” The Telegraph-Herald newspaper in Dubuque reports that in exchange for the contract’s five-year length, casino contributions to greyhound purses will match success of casino operations.

Council Bluffs man found guilty of killing friend

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) A Pottawattamie County jury has found a Council Bluffs man guilty of killing his roommate.

Jurors deliberated for five hours on Monday before finding 48-year-old Randy Cue guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 51-year-old Rodney Deville in March 2008. The Daily Nonpareil newspaper in Council Bluffs reports that Cue remained motionless as the guilty verdict was read.

Witnesses testified hearing Cue say at a bar that he had stabbed someone, however no murder weapon was found. When Cue was arrested he was wearing socks soaked with what was determined to be Deville’s blood.

Cue’s attorney, Frank Robak, said he would appeal the decision. Robak said the case is tragic because “these two men were friends.”

Sentencing is set for Oct. 6.

Seniors in Iowa urged to prevent falls

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa public health experts say falls are the leading cause of death for residents older than 65.

The Iowa Department of Public Health says that Thursday will be Fall Prevention Awareness Day in the state. Health experts say falls also are a leading cause of injury hospitalizations and emergency visits in Iowa. The public health department and the Iowa Department on Aging say falls are largely preventable.

Health experts offer tips, including wearing study shoes without heels and with non-slip soles. Experts say seniors should be aware if they take medications that cause dizziness and see an eye specialist once a year. They also recommend seniors remove any tripping hazards, have bars installed in bathrooms for assistance and improve home lighting.

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

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