Home News KLEM News Update March 26, 2011

KLEM News Update March 26, 2011


(SAC CITY)–A traffic accident on a snow and slush-covered road near Lake View Friday morning claimed the life of a Storm Lake woman.

The Iowa State Patrol identified the victim as 41-year-old Rechol Rambang of Storm Lake.

Investigators report Rambang lost control of a mini-van due to the road conditions on Highway 71. The mini-van collided with a semi in the northbound lane and the vehicles went into the ditch. The semi-driver, 45-year-old Anthony Linder of Odebolt, was not listed as injured.

The accident was reported about five Friday morning.


Friday accident east of Hinton causes minor injuries 

(HINTON)–The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office reports weather conditions were a factor in a two-vehicle accident just east of Hinton Friday morning.

Authorities released written information that  Kristine Marie Mohning of rural Plymouth County lost control of her car while traveling west on County Road C-60. The car crossed into the opposing lane of traffic and collided head-on with a sport utility vehicle.

The driver, Victor Rubio-Avila and a passenger, Luis Perez, both of Dakota City, were taken to Mercy Medical Center by Hinton Ambulance.

The sheriff’s office listed their injuries as minor. Mohning was taken to Floyd Valley Hospital, but the sheriff’s office reports it was determined she was not injured.

The accident was reported about 7:30 Friday morning.


Free Trees at the LeMars Home Expo

(LE MARS) —  The Le Mars Home Expo continues today from 10 to 4 at the Le Mars Convention Center.  By now you probably know that there are over 70 exhibitors there ready to tell you about their goods and services. You also probably know that free Blue Bunny Ice Cream Treats are available and that you can register to win a gas grill, valued at $350 at the KLEM Booth.  But did you know that you can get a free tree at the Expo? That’s right, a free tree!

Kevin DeBoer of DeBoer Tree Farm will be at the show with a few trees to show off, but he will also be there giving away saplings of a hybrid willow.  DeBoer tells us that these trees are not your average, somewhat hard to maintain, weeping willow.

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The hybrid willow grows to be about 30 feet tall and as wide as 20 feet.

DeBoer’s farm is located just west of Brunsville.  He  has deciduous trees, conifers, shrubbery as well as some specialty items.  He says he has been in the tree business for the last 20 years. 

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To talk to Kevin about trees and pick up your own willow sapling, visit the Le Mars Home Expo today.  Expo hours are today from 10 to 4pm at the Le Mars Convention Center


Le Mars family has ties to Japan

(LE MARS)–Two young people with family ties in the Le Mars area are back in Japan after a brief return to the United States.

Lars Robins and his wife, Jenny, were living in Japan during the earthquake and tsunami. According to Jenny’s mother, Jolynn Oliver of Le Mars, the Robins left Japan last weekend.

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Jenny’s dad, Steve, lives at rural Remsen. Lars mother, Lisa Robins, lives in Le Mars.

The Robins are about 170 miles away from the nuclear reactor damaged by the quake. One way they get information is from the U-S Embassy in Japan.

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Lars teaches English in an elementary school. Jenny is a high school English teacher through a sister college of Northwestern in Orange City.

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After the earthquake, Jenny’s experienced what her mother describes as a “mixed reaction” from the Japanese.

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The Robins second wedding anniversary was the day of the quake, March 11th.


Business Highway 75 looking smooth

(LE MARS)–A five-part fix for Business Highway 75 in Le Mars left a smoother surface after winter wear.

City Administrator Scott Langel explained the surface looks much different than a year ago.

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The repairs, including a chip seal, were completed last year on about two miles of Business Highway 75


NASCAR brought to local airwaves

(SIOUX CITY)– Radio staiton Y 101.3, out of Sioux City, is excited to announce coverage of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for the 2011 season.

Y 101.3 will carry all MRN, and PRN Sprint Cup races, Including NASCAR today, Monday Morning Race Refresher and PRN’s Garage Pass.

Y 101.3 Program Director Cowboy Bob is “excited to bring NASCAR to the Siouxland race fans. We will be giving tickets to Races away this season and look forward to strong support from the NASCAR faithful.”

For more information on race start times, dates and tracks see the Y 101.3 website at www.y1013fm.com.    The first race is this Sunday.

Nor-Am Cold Storage happy to be operating in Le Mars

(LE MARS) — A company with a global presence is proud to call Le Mars home.  Nor-Am Cold Storage has been headquarted in Le Mars since 1999. I myself, as a newcomer to the community, knew there were a bunch of big buildings around the city, that didn’t belong to Wells.  So who do they belong to and what do they do there?  Maybe you’ve wondered the same thing.

Nor-Am Cold Storage president Greg Brandt shared that information at the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce  Agri-Business Luncheon last week.

Brandt says that his business is part of what’s called the Global Cold Chain.

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Brandt explains Nor-Am’s position in the chain.

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Nor-Am employs 200 people in 5 states working out of 9 buildings.  4 of those buildings are in Le Mars, with 55 employees.  Corporate headquarters are here along with a 225,000 square foot warehouse and 2 Pro-Visions meat packing plants.

The company considered other locations to headquarter their business, but said that the decision to come to Le Mars was influenced by the presence of Wells Incorporated.  Company president Greg Brandt says the infrastructure in place by the city was also another big reason that they settled here.

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Nor-Am Cold Storage also has facilities in Minnesota, Nebraska, Missouri and Texas. (Photo courtesy Nor-Am/Le Mars)


Path cleared for punitive damages in egg lawsuits

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A federal judge has cleared the way for plaintiffs to seek punitive damages against an Iowa egg producer at the center of a massive egg recall last summer.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Bennett issued his decision Friday in Sioux City, ruling the plaintiffs have a legal basis to pursue punitive damages if they prove their allegations.

The Des Moines Register reports that lawyers for Quality Egg, which is owned by Jack DeCoster, argued there aren’t grounds for punitive damages.

People who fell ill after eating salmonella contaminated eggs produced at the farm say DeCoster should be punished because of conditions at his Iowa egg farm and because of his history of salmonella contamination at other farms.

The company declined to comment on the ruling.

Ex-Iowa loan officer sentenced in bank fraud

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A former loan officer has been sentenced to 2 years in prison in a bank fraud conspiracy involving former NBA player Rumeal Robinson.

The U.S. attorney’s office says Brian Williams was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Des Moines for scheming with Robinson in 2004 and 2005 to borrow more than $700,000 from Community State Bank in Ankeny, where Williams was a loan officer.

Robinson, who grew up in Cambridge, Mass., led Michigan to the NCAA title in 1989 and spent six seasons in the NBA. He was sentenced to 6 .5 years in federal prison in January for financial fraud.

Robinson was convicted of borrowing money for a sham business deal and then spending it on a condominium, furniture and cars.

Williams pleaded guilty before Robinson’s 2010 trial.

Former Pella pastor accused of sex abuse

PELLA, Iowa (AP) A former pastor has been accused of persuading or forcing members of his congregation to have sex with him during counseling sessions in the basement of his Pella home.

Court records say Patrick Edouard (ed-WAHRD’) is charged with three counts of sexual abuse and three of sexual exploitation by a counselor or therapist.

Des Moines television station WHO says Edouard was arrested Wednesday. A Marion County jailer said Friday that Edouard has been released on bond.

Edouard’s attorney, F. Montgomery Brown, says Edouard denies the allegations. There is no public listing for Edouard at his current address in Byron Center, Mich.

Documents say the alleged crimes occurred from 2003 to 2010.

Edouard quit his job at Covenant Reformed Church after the women went to church elders, who confronted him.

Iowa school shooting drill canceled after threats

UNDATED (AP)- Iowa authorities have canceled a training drill involving a mock school shooting by a teen who vents his anger over illegal immigration.

A Friday release from Pottawattamie County officials says the Treynor school system has received several threats against its building and staff over the four-hour drill that was planned for Saturday. The exercise has been canceled as authorities investigate the threats.

Sheriff Jeff Danker says his office was aware of one specific threat in which an out-of-state caller threatened a real shooting at the high school. He says three deputies went to the school Friday morning as a precaution.

The drill has gained attention after concerns were raised by the anti-illegal immigration Iowa Minutemen. The group says the fictitious scenario had a political agenda to portray advocates for enforcing immigration law as potentially violent.

Mrs. Obama to be graduation speaker in IA, GA, VA

WASHINGTON (AP) The White House says Michelle Obama will be the commencement speaker at colleges in Iowa and Georgia and a Virginia high school this spring.

She’ll also make her first visit to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point., N.Y., on May 20 to address a banquet for the 2011 cadet class.

The speeches begin May 7 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. It will be her first trip as first lady to the politically important state.

Next up on May 15 is historically black Spelman College, a women-only institution in Atlanta.

Then on June 3, she speaks at Quantico Middle High School on the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va.

The White House says the Quantico and West Point visits underscore Mrs. Obama’s commitment to the military.

Gingrich in Iowa says Obama floundering on Libya

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he believes President Barack Obama is floundering in his handling of the air assaults in Libya.

Gingrich says the situation is “nonsense” and “a mess.”

The Republican spoke Friday while taping an episode of Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Press” program to air this weekend. Gingrich also accused Obama of going to war without having a real consultation with Congress.

But Gingrich himself has wavered on Libya. Two weeks ago, he criticized Obama for not being more forceful in leading an international campaign to destroy Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s air defenses and save rebels from defeat.

Then Wednesday, he backtracked and said he wouldn’t have intervened if he’d been president.

Gingrich says he’ll likely make a decision about a presidential bid in five weeks.

Barbour defends use of state plane for DC events

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour is defending his use of a state airplane to travel to Washington for a political event and state-related business.

Asked Friday about the expense first reported by Time magazine’s website, Barbour said he hasn’t used the state jet more than his predecessors

The magazine’s website says Barbour billed taxpayers $7,020 to fly himself, his wife and three aides to Washington, where Barbour spoke before the Conservative Political Action Conference. Barbour says he also had state business there.

Barbour spoke before an event with a conservative group in suburban Des Moines. On Saturday, Barbour will join other potential Republican presidential candidates at a forum in Des Moines.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)