Home News KLEM News PM Update December 23,2010

KLEM News PM Update December 23,2010

(LE MARS)–Interactive exhibits for young people are a goal for the Plymouth County Historical Museum administrator.

The non-profit group has taken a bovine move forward. A working exhibit of a Holstein milking cow was funded this month by the Community Foundation of Greater Plymouth County from gambling revenue. The interactive milk cow made of fiberglass will be a part of the Ag room of the lower area of the museum.

The former Central School’s study hall has been remodeled to completion of the first phase. Museum Administrator Judy Bowman invited Plymouth County Supervisors Tuesday to tour the study hall.

The museum received a gift from the late Richard and Doris Zimmerman and 15-thousand dollars has been used toward the study hall project. Work ahead includes a serving area, climate control and restrooms.

Judy Bowman explained the building housing the history of Plymouth County is one of the largest county museums in the state with 70-thousand square feet on five floors.

Supervisors Tuesday were asked by Bowman to put 10-thousand dollars in the new county budget for museum support. That’s a three-thousand dollar increase. Budget decisions will be made prior to mid-March of next year.

McCrary is president of goodwill group

(LE MARS)–A Le Mars woman who works in banking will lead the goodwill group for the Le Mars area for 2011.

Kathy McCrary of First National Bank will serve as President of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors next year.

The Chamber Ambassadors, recognized in their green dress coats, are the public relations booster and goodwill organization dedicated to a greater community.

They work on activities to enhance the image of the Chamber, create solidarity within the membership and bring about a greater appreciation among community citizens of what the Chamber stands for in terms of goodwill, civic participation, recognition and appreciation.

Chamber Ambassadors coordinate ribbon cuttings for businesses and welcome and host guests at many business and Chamber events, including the Annual Dinner which is January 29th.

Walz honored as school employee

(LE MARS)–Tops in tech might be one way to describe the Le Mars Community School District’s newest “Employee of the Month.”

Mark Walz is the Le Mars school’s district technician. According to a nomination for “Employee of the Month,” Walz had made the school better. He is described as very helpful and knowledgeable in fixing computer and technology issues in a timely way with a positive attitude and pleasing demeanor.

Walz is also credited with handling pressure with a calmness that is very commendable.

Advent Bags are holiday tradition for Gehlen Catholic

(LE MARS)–Those who are unable to leave their homes or live in care centers were remembered during Advent in Le Mars.

Gehlen Catholic School Transitional Kindergarten through 12th grade students delivered Advent Gift Bags. Director of Campus Ministries Lisa Sitzmann says it’s an incredible experience for students, shut-ins and homebound folks alike.

Students were paired with older students working with younger ones. They packed a pair of socks, one of the Gehlen Catholic World’s Finest candy bars, hand lotion, lip moisturizer, mints and a package of crackers. The items were donated by Gehlen Catholic students and staff. They added a personal note to cards the students created. The bags were delivered with a serenade of Christmas songs.

According to Sitzmann, the students have grown in their understanding of the true meaning of Advent by working together and sharing the love of Christ with those in the community.

The project is led by Gehlen Catholic’s Spiritual Life Committee.

Neiko and Deputy Reitsma begin training

(ORANGE CITY)–The newest member to be part of a group to protect Sioux County residents is in training.

He’s an 18 months old black Labrador K-9 is named Neiko.

The Sioux County Sheriff’s office announced the addition with the purchase of the dog from Midwest K-9 of Des Moines.

For the next few months, Sheriff’s Deputy Tony Reitsma¬†and Neiko will train and bond.

Reitsma will work with Neiko on traffic stops, drug investigations, search warrants, criminal tracking and finding lost or missing persons.

The sheriff’s office also does programs and school searches with their K-9 team. The sheriff’s office also has a K-9 yellow Labrador, Molly.

Snow still on the way, but arriving later than initially forecast

(DES MOINES) The snow storm tracking toward Iowa is now expected to arrive later than first thought – with much of the snow falling after six tonight.

Plymouth County Emergency Management Director Gary Junge is uring normal winter precautions. That means call ahead to check on weather conditions before you travel, wear and take along clothing for the weather conditions, have an emergency kit in your vehicle and plan head. You can follow the forecast on KLEM, the Plymouth County web site co.plymouth.ia.us.

Junge also reminds drivers to slow down to avoid crashes.

The entire state is under a Winter Weather Advisory through 6 p.m Friday. Roger Valhollek is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

“It’s slowed down a little bit since (Wednesday), at least in terms of its timing,” Valhollek said. “But, it’s still on its way.” The snow should begin to fly in western Iowa late today and push east through the state tonight and tomorrow.

Snowfall amounts should range from two to four inches in the south and five to seven inches across much of central and northern Iowa. The good news for holiday travelers is the snow should be gentle and it won’t be accompanied by much wind.

“It may be a storm system that brings snow that almost falls straight down for a change, instead of blowing around everywhere,” Valhollek said. “There may be some minor blowing, but hopefully it won’t be all that difficult for travelers. The one thing to keep in mind though is anytime we do get snow on the roads, it will be slippery, but we probably won’t have the visibility issues we’ve seen with previous storms.” Motorists shouldn’t have too many problems after Friday…no snow is expected Christmas day or Sunday. (Radio Iowa contributed to this report)

Iowa plant asked to pay $1.7M to disabled men

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The U.S. Department of Labor wants an Iowa turkey processing plant accused of abusing and underpaying several mentally disabled men to pay $1.7 million to its former workers.

The Des Moines Register reports that under the proposed settlement, each of the 31 men would get at least $50,000.

Henry’s Turkey Service housed the men in a dilapidated bunkhouse in Atalissa and put them to work at the plant in West Liberty. The bunkhouse was closed by the state fire marshal in February 2009.

A judge ruled in August that the Texas company must pay a nearly $175,000 fine for failing to pay the workers a minimum wage.

No criminal charges have been filed, but the Labor Department filed a lawsuit against the company in November.

1 person dies in fiery crash in Tama County, Iowa.

TOLEDO, Iowa (AP) One person has died in a fiery crash in Tama County.

Toledo fire officials told KWWL-TV that a car ran off the road early Thursday and hit a fuel barrel, setting the vehicle on fire and killing a person inside. The fire spread to a nearby barn, which sustained damage.

The victim’s name has not been released.

Hearing set for IA woman charged in child’s death

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) A plea hearing is set for next week for a Dubuque woman charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 20-month-old daughter.

Thirty-three-year-old Tamelia Harris is scheduled to be arraigned in Dubuque County District Court on Monday.

Harris was arrested on Dec. 15 in connection with the disappearance of her daughter Cecelia. The Telegraph Herald reports the girl’s remains were found in a fire pit in her backyard last summer.

Harris is being held in the Dubuque County jail on $750,000 bond.

Fire in downtown Keota, Iowa, ruled arson

KEOTA, Iowa (AP) A fire that burned several buildings in downtown Keota has been ruled arson.

The Iowa state fire marshal announced Wednesday that the Dec. 10 blaze was intentionally set. No arrests have been announced, and the investigation continues.

Keota Fire Chief Mike Detweiler has said the fire likely started in a part of an old lumberyard and spread to several businesses, including the Bermel Insurance Agency. The All Around Fitness center was also destroyed, among several other buildings. No injuries were reported.

Keota has about 875 people.

Official pinpoints cause of train derailment in CR

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A railroad official says a train derailment in downtown Cedar Rapids is blamed on a combination of factors that caused the rails to spread.

The derailment happened on Nov. 30 when a freight train was negotiating a sharp curve and six hopper cars loaded with corn went off the track. There were no injuries.

The Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Railway (CRANDIC) owns the tracks. The train, operated by the Iowa Northern Railway, was delivering corn to an ADM ethanol plant.

CRANDIC spokesman Jeff Woods told The Gazette that a combination of forces caused the derailment. He says the train was going down one grade and up another and around a curve.

The railroad has until Dec. 30 to provide its report to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Kwik Trip to add 400 jobs in La Crosse.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) Kwik Trip is expected to add about 2,000 jobs companywide, including 400 in its hometown of La Crosse.

President and CEO Don Zietlow tells the La Crosse Tribune that the company plans to add the jobs in the next three years because of expansions and the need to supply a growing number of stores.

Kwik Trip has 372 convenience stores and 38 Tobacco Outlet stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, with $3.5 billion in annual sales. It has about 9,600 employees in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa, including about 1,800 in the La Crosse area.

400 Rockwell employees moving to downtown office

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Four hundred employees of Rockwell Collins Inc. are being relocated to office space in downtown Cedar Rapids that is being restored from the 2008 flood.

The employees of Rockwell’s information technology operations are being moved to the Town Centre building downtown from the company’s office space in northeastern Cedar Rapids.

The Gazette reports that Mayor Ron Corbett for months has been urging Cedar Rapids’ largest employers to move some of their operations downtown, which is still struggling to recover from the devastating flood.

The city will provide an incentive of $150,000 per year from its parking fund to support the move and modify its bus routes to improve transportation from the main Rockwell Collins campus to downtown.

Rockwell Collins designs and manufactures aerospace and defense electronics.

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