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KLEM News AM Update October 18, 2010

Horizon Wind Energy of Houston has asked for permits for three sites in Plymouth County for meteorological towers.

Horizon Wind Energy develops, constructs, owns and operates wind farms throughout North America. Karen Dressel of Horizon responded to an interview request from KLEM News with an email stating the "project was in the very early stages of development and Horizon Wind Energy was not at a point to make any comments at this time."

The requests for meteorological towers in Plymouth County are for property in two locations in Preston Township--sections 11 and 18 as well as Union Township Section 10.

The permits requested from the Board of Adjustment are for conditional use of land.

The meeting at two this afternoon also includes a request for a variance from zoning rules for a storage building in Marion Township Section 19. Mark Dietrich of Le Mars has asked for a 10 foot side lot variance for the building.

Pool parking and sidewalk access improvements underway

(LE MARS)--Sidewalk and parking improvements are underway for the Le Mars Outdoor Pool area.

City administrator Scott Langel says the work that started last week is based on City Council action earlier this month.

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The project is to be accomplished in about a week. The Council has wrestled with finding funds to meet city requirements for sidewalks.

Langel explains the balance of recommendations to add sidewalks at several parks will be a budget time consideration.

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Parks affected include Schafer, Cleveland, Veterans and Westmar Memorial Parks, and West Floyd as well as Tennis Courts along 11th Street Southeast.

Miller is teacher of the year

MACY, Neb. (AP) A teacher for the Omaha Indian Tribe has been named teacher of the year by the National Indian Education Association.

The Sioux City Journal reports that Vernon Miller was honored this past week at the association's conference in San Diego.

Miller has taught at the Omaha Nation High School in Macy for seven years.

(Copyright 2010 Associated Press. All rights reserved)

(Please check back for more local news)

 Branstad endorsed by Cedar Rapids paper

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Republican Terry Branstad has picked up an Iowa newspaper's endorsement in the race for governor.

The Gazette in Cedar Rapids endorsed Branstad on Sunday over Democratic Gov. Chet Culver.

The newspaper touts Branstad's economic development agenda, saying it's focused on making the state's tax structure more appealing to businesses, among other things.

The Gazette says its editorial board believes Branstad will be more likely to ``cast a critical eye on state spending than Culver.''

But the endorsement doesn't come without reservations.

The newspaper acknowledges Branstad is ``not a perfect choice, by any means.'' It asks Branstad to take a stand against political assault on Iowa's courts and ``reconsider his desire to take civil rights away from gay and lesbian Iowans.''

Police arrest woman after West Des Moines stabbing

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Police in West Des Moines say a 30-year-old woman has been arrested after she allegedly stabbed two people outside a club.

Authorities say the incident happened before 5 a.m. on Sunday outside The Hangover in West Des Moines.

The two victims, both women, were taken to local hospitals.

Police say Ronlitta Tibbs was charged with two counts of willful injury and is in custody at Polk County Jail.

It was immediately unclear if Tibbs had an attorney.

A phone listing could not be located for her on Sunday.

Report: EPA monitoring air quality in Dubuque area

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) Federal officials are monitoring air quality in the Dubuque area.

In a story published Sunday, The (Dubuque) Telegraph Herald reports a monitoring station covering Dubuque shows readings that could cause concern.

If an area has an air quality measure of more than 35 parts per billion in regard to fine-particulate matter, the Environmental Protection Agency gets involved.

A reading for the Dubuque area shows 35. That's a three-year average.

EPA spokesman John Summerhays says the Dubuque area is one the agency is watching closely.

Meanwhile, state officials and business leaders are studying ways to reduce local particulates.

Greater Dubuque Development Corporation executive director Rick Dickinson says the group is starting a study of wind and atmospheric conditions pertaining to Dubuque.

Rescue groups worried about abandoned hunting dogs

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Animal rescue group members say they're worried about an increase in abandoned bird dogs this season as Iowa's pheasant population dwindles.

The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that Great Plains Pointer Rescue founder Janelle Ford says her group is nervous about the coming hunting season. She says there could be a rash of abandoned dogs when hunters find few pheasants. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources expects a 23 percent drop in the pheasant population from two years ago.

The state's ring-necked pheasant season opens Oct. 30.

Ford says her group rescued 90 pointers in all of 2009 and in the first nine months of this year they have rescued 94 dogs. She says the collapse of the pheasant population and the recession are to blame.

Iowa marks National Teen Driver Safety Week

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Efforts at reducing distractions behind the wheel are the focus in Iowa as the state marks National Teen Driver Safety Week.

The week started Sunday and the Iowa Department of Public Safety says teens can be distracted because they are texting and talking on cell phones while driving. The theme of the week this year is ``Reducing Distractions.'' State officials say distracted driving is one of the top reasons new drivers have crashes.

State officials say statistics show 41 young people between the ages of 15 and 20 died in crashes in Iowa last year. That's seven fewer than in 2008. Over the years 2000 to 2009, 850 young people between the ages of 16 and 24 died in Iowa traffic crashes.

University hosts more activities to curb drinking

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Officials at the University of Iowa say they're seeing a big increase in participation of university-sponsored evening dorm activities.

The university has invested $100,000 this semester for more activities in an attempt to curb underage drinking. The events have included a soccer tournament, karaoke, game night and dances.

Iowa City is in the midst of a debate over a 21-only bar entry ordinance that will appear on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Kate Fitzgerald is an assistant director of residence life. She says the events are drawing up to 100 people. That's an increase from up to 30 last year.

About 30,000 students attend the university in Iowa City.

UI gets grant for special education teachers

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The University of Iowa says two of its associate professors have received a $1.25 million federal grant to help train graduate students to become special education teachers.

The school says the money comes from the U.S. Department of Education and will fund a four-year effort to double the number of university students who seek doctorate degrees in special education. Associate professor William Therrien says there's a shortage of special education teachers across the country.

Therrien says the grant money will help students because they won't have to work while they're pursuing higher education. Currently the university's program has eight students but school officials hope that number rises to 16.

Greenhouse planned for Hudson schools

HUDSON, Iowa (AP) There are plans to build a greenhouse at the school district in Hudson.

Hudson Community Schools officials say the greenhouse should be finished in three to four weeks once construction starts. That's expected to be in November. The greenhouse will be built near Hudson High School and the approximately $25,000 cost will be paid for with Hudson's facilities budget and local option sales tax.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that bedding plants, herbs, vegetables, and a hydroponics lab will be in the greenhouse.

School superintendent Tony Voss says students from kindergarten through seniors in high school will use the greenhouse. It should be fully operational in the spring. Hudson is about ten miles southwest of Waterloo.

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

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


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