Home News KLEM News PM Update December 1, 2010

KLEM News PM Update December 1, 2010

(DES MOINES)  Despite the recent cold snap, Iowa’s long string of warmer than normal weather continued in the month of November.

 State Climatologist Harry Hillaker (hill-ah-ker) says the statewide average temperature last month was 38-point-one (38.1) degrees.

That’s two-and-a-half degrees warmer than usual, making November Iowa’s ninth consecutive warmer than normal month. November included a wide range of temperatures.  “Especially back on the 22nd, when we had an over 50-degree range in temperatures at noon,” Hillaker said.

At that time, the temperature in Donnellson in southeast Iowa was 73 while Sibley in northwest Iowa recorded a temperature of 22. Sibley also had the coldest recorded temperature during the month at an even zero (0) on the 25th. Sioux City had the highest reading of 78 degrees on November 8th.

The statewide average precipitation over the month was one-and-three-quarters (1-3/4) inches, which is slightly drier than normal for November. Hillaker says much of west-central and north-central Iowa did receive a lot of precipitation.

Those areas of the state were hit by snow storm on November 12th. Emmetsburg and a few other cities recorded up to 14 inches of snow. Hillaker says, with one month left to go, this has been the fifth wettest year in Iowa over 138 years of record keeping. He says just six-tenths of an inch of rain in December will place 2010 second on the list for wettest years behind only 1993. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Man dies while repairiing vehicle east of Sioux City

(SIOUX CITY) A man died while trying to repair his vehicle near Lawton Tuesday.

According to the Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office, 21-year-old Austin Lofton of Sioux City was repairing his pickup truck in the 1900 block of Highway 20.

The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Office report stated Lofton climbed under the pickup truck to make repairs and his clothing became entangled in the drive shaft.

The roadside death was reported around noon Tuesday

Hartley couple to be sentenced for drug conspiracy

(SIOUX CITY)–A Hartley couple convicted of conspiring to distribute drugs will be sentenced in federal court in Sioux City.

Twenty-five-year-old Blair Burrell and 24-year-old Shanta Brown, both of Hartley, were convicted of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine; two charges of distributing; and two charges of aiding and abetting the distribution of crack cocaine.

The charges involved claims Burrell and Brown were involved in a drug conspiracy in the Sioux City and Hartley areas between October of last year and March of this year.

They were convicted of distributing crack cocaine to undercover law enforcement near Hartley-Melvin-Sanborn School last December.

Branstad won’t ask for extra cash for transition

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov.-elect Terry Branstad says he won’t ask the Legislature for funding beyond the $10,000 set aside to smooth the transition of power.

The Des Moines Register says Iowa’s transition cash is among the lowest in the nation, prompting Branstad to do extra fundraising and use volunteers to shape policy. Branstad says the state has enough economic problems and he’s not going to ask taxpayers for any money.

Branstad can ask the Legislature for reimbursement when it convenes in January.

Iowa Democrats and Republicans agree the $10,000 isn’t enough.

Incoming House Majority Leader Kraig Paulsen, a Hiawatha Republican, says it might need to be increased, but that’s not a decision lawmakers will likely make this year.

Breach of Iowa alert system traced to foreign site

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a breach of a computer server that hosts Iowa’s AMBER alert system is the third time that hackers have broken into a state government website this year.

The Des Moines Register says like the others, the latest breach has been traced to a foreign Internet address. Robert Bailey of the Department of Administration Services says it’s difficult to confirm the link because digital criminals cleverly hide their tracks.

The latest incident happened Saturday morning when a hacker breached a server used by the Iowa Department of Public Safety and reissued an Amber Alert warning from February. The alert was canceled within minutes.

The server, which also hosts the Iowa State Patrol’s crash report website, is temporarily out of service until security problems are resolved.

Fire destroys another garage in CR flood zone

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Fire has destroyed another garage in a flood zone in Cedar Rapids, the third one in the same neighborhood in the past two months.

Fire Department spokesman Greg Buelow says the fire is suspicious. He says there were no utilities to the garage.

The fire happened Tuesday night. Buelow says firefighters responding to a 911 call found the garage fully involved in flames. The house that was on the property had been demolished after the flood of 2008. The detached garage was the only structure remaining.

Buelow say a 19-year-old man believed to be the 911 caller was taken to a hospital where he was treated for smoke inhalation. His name was not released.

Iowa City looks to expand recycling service

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa City may expand its recycling pick-up service to get it out of the bottom of the bin compared to other cities around the state.

The city is looking at adding new apartment buildings to the service for the first time. The Iowa City Press-Citizen says the City Council voiced support for the proposed change during a work session on Monday.

Recycling coordinator Jen Jordan says 45 percent of Iowa City residents live in a five-plex or larger building, which currently are not required to have recycling.

Jordan says of the Iowa City residences that have the service, each household averages 16 pounds of recyclables a month. Davenport averages 54 pounds, Des Moines averages 46 pounds and Cedar Rapids averages 37 pounds.

Hunters in Iowa asked to donate deer heads

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa wants hunters to donate deer heads during the upcoming shotgun seasons to test for chronic wasting disease.

Since 2003, the Department of Natural Resources has submitted tissue samples for the neurological disease that can be fatal to deer. Officials say no wild or captive animal has ever been diagnosed with it in Iowa.

State deer biologist Tom Litchfield says the program is voluntary, and they want to collect deer heads from all 99 counties. The department is especially interested in seven counties along the Mississippi River from Allamakee County to Scott County and in Appanoose and Taylor counties in the south. Chronic wasting disease has been detected in Wisconsin, Illinois and Missouri.

Iowa’s shotgun seasons run from Dec. 4 to 8 and from Dec. 11 to 19.

Survey: Midwest economic recovery continues

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) A survey of supply managers in nine Midwestern and Plains states suggests the region will continue the modest pace of its recovery in the months ahead.

The Business Conditions Index for the Mid-America region rose to 55.9 in November from 52.3 in October. Organizers said in a report issued Wednesday that November was the 12th consecutive month that the index has remained above growth neutral.

The survey and report use a collection of indexes ranging from zero to 100. Organizers say any score above 50 suggests economic growth in the next three to six months, while a score below 50 suggests a contracting economy. States in the survey are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.

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

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