Home News KLEM News PM Update October. 13, 2010

KLEM News PM Update October. 13, 2010

(LE MARS)–The driver of a semi who authorities report struck a car causing a seven-vehicle accident injuring nine people near Struble last week has been charged.

According to Plymouth County Clerk of Court records, 44-year-old David Anderson of Yale, Michigan is charged with failure to stop in an assured clear distance.

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office investigated the accident on Highway 75 last Thursday afternoon. When details of the accident were released, Plymouth County Sheriff Mike Van Otterloo issued written information stating the area under construction was clearly marked ahead of the construction zone and it’s not known why Anderson did not see or slow down for the other vehicles waiting for a pilot vehicle.

Two of the drivers involved in the accident were seriously injured and were taken to hospitals in Sioux City and Sioux Falls by air ambulance.

Forming the foundation underway for Annex

(LE MARS)–A South Sioux City construction firm is forming the foundation of the Plymouth County Courthouse Annex building.

H-C-I is the general contractor for the office, storage and emergency shelter under construction on the Courthouse block.

County Supervisor Craig Anderson says things are starting to take shape.

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Construction on the 637-thousand dollar project began in August. The project cost will be reduced by a rebate of sales tax and an 85-thousand dollar state grant for the shelter portion of the project.

The new building will house driver’s license, juvenile court staff, zoning, environmental services, economic development, an emergency shelter, a specialized computer room and have a garage.

When construction is complete in about April of next year, a metal storage building on the east side of the Courthouse parking lot is expected to be sold. The equipment and materials stored in the building will be in the north part of the Annex Building.

Construction at 225 Fourth Avenue Southeast is on ground that was the Sheriff’s office, Communication Center and Jail. The public safety services were relocated to 14th Avenue East and opened in August of 2003.

Cover child choices are on the ballot

(LE MARS)–The contest to choose the cover child for the next Le Mars Visitors Guide and Business Directory begins with a ballot in the Daily Sentinel newspaper today (Wednesday).

There are 12 finalists for the cover child between the ages of four and seven years. They’re serving as the Chamber’s Little Ambassadors.

Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce says ballots may be cast and returned either to the Daily Sentinel or Chamber. Ballot forms may not be photocopied.

The winner will be announced October 26th.

Officials in 49 states launch foreclosure probe

WASHINGTON (AP) Officials in 49 states have launched a joint investigation into allegations that mortgage companies mishandled documents and broke laws in foreclosing on hundreds of thousands of homeowners.

The officials, including attorneys general and bank regulators, will examine whether mortgage company employees made false statements or prepared documents improperly.

Alabama was the only state not to join the investigation.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller is leading the probe.

Four large lenders already have halted questionable foreclosures after evidence emerged that bank employees processed thousands of foreclosure documents without reading them. Other banks have not done so, saying they did nothing wrong.

Auditor candidates clash over partisanship

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Partisanship has become a key issue in the Nov. 2 election of Iowa’s state auditor.

Republican Auditor David Vaudt says he’s been tough on Democrats who control the governor’s office and both legislative chambers because he thinks they have overspent and put the state budget at risk.

But Democratic challenger Jon Murphy notes that at the same time Vaudt has criticized Gov. Chet Culver, he has campaigned extensively for his Republican opponent, Terry Branstad.

Murphy says Vaudt is more interested in politics than accounting.

Vaudt says he’s committed only to ensuring the budget numbers match up and he isn’t swayed by whether either political party is in control.

Gambling opponent drops push against Iowa casinos

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A longtime opponent of casinos in Iowa say he’s convinced gambling is bad for the state, but it’s unlikely he’ll convince voters to shut down an industry that employs thousands and is a top tourist attraction.

The Rev. Carlos Jayne, of Des Moines, has preached for years about the evils of legalized gambling. The Des Moines Register says with voters in 18 counties set to cast ballots on Nov. 2 to decide whether casino gambling stays, even Jayne says it’s time to fold.

Iowa’s state-regulated casinos employ nearly 10,000 people and generate more than $300 million annually in state and local taxes.

Under Iowa law, voters in counties that have previously authorized casinos must renew their support every eight years for gambling to remain legal.

Loebsack, Miller-Meeks debate economy, health care

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Democratic Rep. Dave Loebsack and Republican challenger Mariannette Miller-Meeks are clashing over the federal stimulus package and health care in the race for eastern Iowa’s 2nd District.

The Gazette says during Tuesday night’s debate at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids that Miller-Meeks focused on Loebsack’s two terms and what she would do if elected.

Miller-Meeks says it’s a different climate than in earlier elections and people are nervous.

Loebsack says he has done his best and that supporting President Barack Obama’s stimulus package was best for the economy. Miller-Meeks claims the government increased spending, but didn’t create jobs

Loebsack defended his vote for health care reform, saying it will benefit 400,000 Iowans. Miller-Meeks says there are “good things” in the bill but they could have been incrementally.

Options for old meatpacking site in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A group of community and neighborhoods leaders is considering options for the former Sinclair meatpacking plant in Cedar Rapids.

The plant, which opened in 1871, was damaged by fires and flooding and is now being demolished.

The Gazette says community and neighborhood leaders on Tuesday discussed the future of the 30-acre site, something the city has been trying to figure out for nearly 20 years.

The plant is near the New Bohemia district in southeast Cedar Rapids.

Jim Novak, an architect with the Novak Design Group, says the city and the neighborhood should not “force” development, but let it evolve.

It was noted that Cedar Rapids’ proposed levee system will cut into the Sinclair site and leave only about 12 to 14 acres suitable for redevelopment.

Iowa trade group seeks to stop prison bid

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A construction trade group and a longtime Iowa contractor have gone to court over building the state’s new maximum-security prison near Fort Madison.

The Des Moines Register says Master Builders of Iowa and contractor Orville Crowley want a Polk County judge to stop the state from signing a contract with an Illinois firm that submitted the low bid.

They contend the state ignored preference laws favoring local bidders. They also says Walsh Construction of Chicago didn’t acknowledge Illinois’ local preference in bid documents, so Iowa should throw out all bids and start over.

On Monday, Gov. Chet Culver ordered his staff to sign a contract with Walsh, which bid $116.9 million.

The Weitz Co. of Des Moines submitted the low bid among Iowa firms, at $121.6 million.

Cedar Rapids OKs helping renters affected by flood

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Renters in Cedar Rapids who lost personal property during the 2008 floods could get help from the city.

The Gazette says the City Council on Tuesday approved paying renters up to $4,000. The money will come from the city’s local-option sales tax.

The program mirrors one in which the city is using sales-tax revenue to give homeowners up to $10,000 for personal items lost in the flood.

About 1,500 homeowners have taken part in the program since it was created in July. Checks have averaged more than $8,000 each.

Mayor Ron Corbett estimates as many as 2,000 renters might qualify.

The sales tax is expected to bring in about $80 million for flood-recovery over a 5-year period.

Homes sales up in Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Monthly homes sales are up about 3 percent in the Des Moines area, but down 36 percent from a year ago.

The Des Moines Register reports the Des Moines Area Realtors Association shows pending sales in September were 13 percent below August and about 38 percent below September 2009.

The average sales price in September fell by about $8,400 to around $168,500 but was more than $14,000 above September 2009.

Association spokesman Les Sulgrove says he expects to end the year about 200 sales below 2009, when home sales were fueled by federal tax credits.

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

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