Home News KLEM News PM Update November 2, 2010

KLEM News PM Update November 2, 2010

(WESTFIELD)–One person died in a traffic accident in western Plymouth County Monday night.


According to the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office, 34-year Timothy Ferguson of Westfield lost control of a pickup truck he was driving south Highway 12, near Westfield. Investigators determined Ferguson

Ferguson was ejected from the vehicle and died.  Van Otterloo issued written information that it does not appear that seat belts were being used and alcohol may also have been a factor.

Authorities responded to the accident about nine Monday night after receiving a 9-1-1 call.

The sheriff’s office was assisted by Akron Police, Fire and Ambulance and the Plymouth County Medical Examiner’s office.

Two nominated for judge’s opening

(SIOUX CITY)–Attorneys from Sioux City and Schleswig are finalists for a judge’s opening in northwest Iowa.

According to District Court administrator Leesa McNeil, a Nominating Commission sent the names of Jeffrey Poulson of Sioux City and Julie Schumacher of Schleswig to Governor Culver.

The nominations for the judge’s opening in Plymouth, Sioux, Woodbury, Ida, Monona, and Crawford Counties followed interviews Monday.

Among those who applied were Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister and Plymouth County Attorney Darin Raymond.

City makes initial offer at 4pm Tuesday

(LE MARS)–Representatives of the City of Le Mars make the initial new contract offer to employee representatives this (Tuesday) afternoon.

According to Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole, the City of Le Mars will deliver their contract proposal at four this afternoon in the Le Mars City Council Chambers. The presentation is open to the public.

City of Le Mars Bargaining Unit representatives two weeks ago made a proposal for a three-year contract to begin in July.

The initial request from the Bargaining Unit was for a three-and-a-half percent increase beginning next July; another 3.5 percent increase in July of 2012 and a four percent increase in the third year which would be July of 2013.

The offer proposed other changes including longevity pay, pay for snow removal and employee clothing.

Absentee vote options explained by Auditor

(LE MARS)–Voter turnout in Plymouth County for the General Election is described as steady.

All Le Mars residents vote at ONE location–the Le Mars Convention Center lower level.

Voting continues until nine tonight. If someone has cast an absentee ballot but did not mail it, Auditor Stacey Feldman says they may walk it into the auditor’s office until nine tonight (Tuesday).

If voters haven’t marked the ballots, they may surrender the ballots at their voting location and cast their vote at the poll. Anyone with questions may call 712.546.6100.

Siouxland car bombings are likely related

NORTH SIOUX CITY, S.D. (AP) A federal investigator says car bombs that exploded in September on both sides of the South Dakota-Iowa border are likely related.

J.D. Underwood of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says the Sept. 14 explosions were similar in nature.

Authorities have said the first bomb went off at a trailer park in North Sioux City, S.D. Within 30 minutes, authorities say, the second went off inside a car parked in a home garage in Sergeant Bluff, Iowa. The two communities are about 10 miles apart.

No injuries were reported in the blasts.

Underwood says a suspect hasn’t been identified.

A $5,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the bomber.


Voter turnout in Iowa expected to be 52 percent

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) There are big races on the ballot in Iowa, but that doesn’t mean that turnout will be big, too.

Secretary of State Michael Mauro predicts Tuesday turnout will be roughly 1.1 million voters, or 52 percent of the state’s registered voters. That’s about the same as four years ago, during the last midterm election.

Among the top races are an unusual effort to remove three Iowa Supreme Court justices because they supported a unanimous 2009 ruling that legalized gay marriage in the state.

The race for governor between Democratic incumbent Chet Culver and Republican challenger Terry Branstad has been the most expensive in state history, with more than $16 million raised.

Measure would create environmental trust fund

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A constitutional amendment on Tuesday’s ballot in Iowa would establish a trust fund to pay for environmental efforts in the state.

The Land and Water Legacy Amendment seeks to create a fund to pay for efforts such as improving water quality, reducing soil erosion, protecting wildlife habitats and creating parks and trails.

If approved by voters, the fund wouldn’t have any money, but supporters hope that lawmakers in the future would approve a 1 percent sales tax increase, of which three-eighths of each penny would go toward the fund.

The Iowa Taxpayers Association hasn’t taken a position on the measure, but the group’s president, Ed Wallace, says requiring sales tax money to go toward a specific purpose ties the hands of future Iowa lawmakers.

Iowa pharmacy board reclassifies marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Board of Pharmacy has reclassified marijuana as a drug with medicinal purposes, but the panel refused to make rules on its use.

KCCI-TV reports the board on Tuesday changed the classification to that marijuana is considered to have accepted medical use but still has a high potential for abuse. Under the old classification, marijuana was thought to have no proven or acceptable medical use.

The change will classify marijuana with narcotics such as opiates and methadone.

Members denied a petition requesting the board make rules on the use of marijuana. Chairman Vernon Benjamin says that’s the Legislature’s responsibility.

House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, a Des Moines Democrat, has said lawmakers likely won’t take up the issue next year because of more pressing matters.

Iowa man dies while burning leaves

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a rural Keokuk man has died of injuries suffered when his clothes caught on fire while burning leaves.

The Lee County sheriff’s office says the death of 79-year-old Charles “Chuck” Land, who died on Saturday, was an accident.

Jackson County Township Fire Chief Paul Henson told the Daily Gate City in Keokuk that Land was burning leaves Saturday afternoon.

Henson says it was windy, and Land was trying to stomp out the fire when his nylon coat caught on fire.

Henson says a firefighter who lives across the street from Land rushed over and put the fire out.

Land was taken to University Hospitals in Iowa City, where he died Saturday evening.

Natural gas leak capped in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a natural gas leak in downtown Cedar Rapids has been capped.

The new Federal Courthouse, the YMCA and a Casey’s convenience store were evacuated and a bridge into downtown was closed because of the leak, which happened before 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

The Gazette says the leak was capped just before 11 a.m.

No injuries were reported.

Craig Hanson of the city’s streets department says a boring company hit a 4-inch gas line, causing the leak.

Iowa county gives 911 cell phones to seniors

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Polk County sheriff’s office is providing free 911 cell phones to older residents to use in emergencies.

The sheriff’s office on Tuesday says it was providing the phones to those 55 and older to use in case of a car accident, medical emergency or other incident that requires an immediate response.

The cell phones have been donated by the public and reconditioned for the use of 911 only. The phones are available at the sheriff department’s field headquarters.

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

Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email klemnews@lemarscomm or by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.