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KLEM News AM Update October 28, 2010

City administrator Scott Langel says the city received some renovation costs for the Public Works Facility from a consultant, McClure Engineering. The building is at at 331 First Street Northeast.

Land the city bought adjacent to the city building has been cleared on the north side of the railroad tracks for the possible outside storage of materials.

Langel says additional research is being done to find the best option for the public works facilities .

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Langel expects to prepare a request for proposals from architectural firms for an evaluation of the Police Department. The area had been shared by Police and Fire.

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His timetable is to select an architect in November.

Trustees finalize NWC residence hall financing

(ORANGE CITY)-Trustees of Northwestern College set up financing for a new style of residence hall during this week's meeting.

According to information released by the college, the new suite-style residence hall to be called North Suites, is a 68-bed men's hall. Trustees agreed to finance North Suites through three-and-a-half million dollars in bonds to be repaid over 20 years.

Future building projects discussed included the new learning commons. The estimated fund raising need for the combined library, classrooms, writing center, coffee shop, community room and archives is 15 million dollars.

Northwestern College President Greg Christy told the board the advancement office plans to intensify its efforts to raise the 15 million dollars within two years.

Renovation plans for the DeWitt Physical Fitness Center in the Rowenhorst Student Center were also discussed. Donors have provided seed money for the project. College officials describe the seed money from donors as significant.

Republican candidate campaign in Le Mars Friday

(LE MARS)--Republican candidates will make a campaign swing through northwest Iowa Friday and include a stop in Le Mars.

The Republican seeking a fifth term as Iowa's Governor, Terry Branstad will be joined by Lt. Governor candidate Kim Reynolds at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor Friday afternoon at 5:15.

The campaign appearance is open to the public.

Iowa pharmacist settles Medicaid fraud lawsuit

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) Federal prosecutors say a Spencer pharmacist who pleaded guilty to defrauding Medicaid and his own health insurance provider has paid nearly $330,500 to settle a civil lawsuit.

The U.S. Attorney's office for Iowa's Northern District said Wednesday that 57-year-old David Easton of Everly admitted in the civil settlement agreement that he submitted more than 1,000 false claims to Medicaid seeking reimbursement for prescriptions that weren't authorized.

Federal authorities say Easton pleaded guilty in September to two counts of health care fraud, one count of money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft. He will be sentenced after a presentence report is finished.

Federal prosecutors say the nearly $330,500 payment is triple the amount of damages to Medicaid.

(COPYRIGHT 2010 BY ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Leaf blower may have beeen fire cause

STORM LAKE, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a leaf blower used to vent smoke from burnt food on a stove may have sparked a house fire in Storm Lake.

The fire broke out Sunday afternoon.

Investigators say the homeowners had left the house, but called a neighbor to check if food was left on the stove.

Officials say the neighbor discovered smoke and used a leaf blower to try and vent the house. The neighbor then left the house the find more fans, but left the leaf blower on.

Officials believe the leaf blower caught on fire, which started the house on fire.

The neighbor wasn't hurt, but a firefighter suffered minor injuries.

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

 Judge denies new trial for Rubashkin

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A judge has denied a motion for a new trial for a former kosher meatpacking plant executive convicted of financial fraud following an immigration raid on the Iowa plant.

Chief U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade issued her ruling Wednesday, rejecting Sholom Rubashkin's motion for a new trial.

Rubashkin was convicted on 86 federal financial fraud charges in 2009 and was sentenced to 27 years in prison and ordered to pay $27 million in restitution.

Rubashkin's attorney argued new evidence showed Reade, who presided over the trial, participated in the planning of the 2008 raid at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in Postville, Iowa, and could not be impartial.

Rubashkin's attorney, Nathan Lewin, says the law clearly shows Reade is wrong and that he will appeal her ruling.

Ousted Floyd County attorney's appeal denied

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) Former Floyd County attorney Jesse Marzen hasn't been successful with an appeal to Iowa District Court that his position shouldn't have been vacated.

Floyd County supervisors declared Marzen's office vacant after his law license was suspended by the Iowa Supreme Court. The court ruled Marzen broke the rules when he engaged in a sexual relationship with a client before his election in November 2006.

The Charles City Press reports that District Court Judge Kurt Wilke ruled Monday that the board was correct to vacate the position and appoint a replacement. Marzen had appealed, saying the board exceeded its authority.

Ames man guilty of giving alcohol to ISU student

AMES, Iowa (AP) A 20-year-old Ames man has been found guilty of a simple misdemeanor in the death of an Iowa State University student who was hit by a train.

The Tribune newspaper in Ames reports Michael Calderon-Cody was sentenced to 30 days in jail but all were suspended except five. He also will be on probation for a year and must perform 40 hours of community service.

Calderon-Cody was charged with providing alcohol to underage Iowa State University student Raven Gileau.

Police say he was walking home from a nightclub with Gileau the night she was struck. Police say he left her under a railroad overpass as it was raining to go get a car to drive her home. When he returned, she was gone.

Police have said Gileau's blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit for driving.

Iowa soybean farmers eligible for USDA crop aid

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Federal officials in Des Moines say Iowa soybean farmers who suffered weather-related losses are eligible for disaster assistance.

John Whitaker is director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Iowa Farm Service Agency. Whitaker says the program is under way and Iowa soybean producers can take advantage until Dec. 9. Officials say producers in disaster counties who had 5 percent or greater crop loss during 2009 will get a soybean payment rate of $15.62 times the planted acres.

Officials say because of funding limitations, farmers will receive 75 percent of the payment and may receive up to an additional 25 percent.

Farmland in 30 Iowa counties qualifies for the program.

University of Iowa sees decline in Friday classes

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A plan by the University of Iowa for more Friday classes as an antidote to students drinking on Thursday apparently isn't working too well.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says the school is offering fewer Friday classes because officials say students aren't signing up for them.

Kathryn Hall is the director of academic programs and student development in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She says the faculty is wary of scheduling Friday classes that could be cut because of low enrollment.

The university offered incentives to faculty to hold more sessions on Friday three years ago.

There was an increase in 2008, but it didn't last long. According to a 2010 report, there are 1,255 Friday classes being offered this fall.

That's down from 1,313 in 2008.

Hall says students need to be reminded why they are in school, and it's not to party.

New lighting for historic Cedar Rapids theater

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Soon when the lights go up at the historic Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids it will be with energy-efficient bulbs.

The city said Wednesday that it has received a more than $63,000 grant from the Iowa Office of Energy Independence to install about 800 lights, including compact fluorescent work lights for the stage and catwalk and LED lighting for the auditorium. There also will be new theatrical lights.

The 1,900-seat former movie palace opened in 1928 as the Capitol Theatre. It was damaged during the 2008 floods, leaving 2 inches of mud and forcing the removal of all the seats and many walls.

The theatre underwent a $7.8 million renovation in 2003-04. It's home to home to the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra, Broadway touring productions, rock concerts and comedy shows.

(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.


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