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KLEM News Update - November 6, 2010

Denman and Company audits the Le Mars hospital's financial records each year.

Jerry Heinzler (heinz-ler) of Denman and Company says the hospital's income and expenses were up in the last year. He said revenue was about 27-million dollars--a nearly six-million dollar increase.

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Operating income shown in the  Floyd Valley Hospital audit totalled about 668-thousand dollars.  Heinzler agreed the hospital's profit was about two percent for every dollar. Floyd Valley is not supported by property taxes and any debt is paid by the hospital.

Asked about the impact of health care reform,  Heinzler indicated things were uncertain.

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The city received about 90-thousand dollars for street work from the hospital.

 

(LE MARS)   A "Fresh Art" Holiday Market will be held next Saturday, November 13th, at the Le Mars Arts Center. Executive Director Kathy Moore said there will be eight local artists selling their works at the Market.

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Tim Lohafer will also be selling his iron works at the "Fresh Art" Holiday Market, including lawn and garden ornaments, as well as larger pieces that will be displayed outdoors.

In conjunction with the one-day, on-site market, there will be an online market launching next week where people can browse and buy right form their computer. The online gallery will feature jewelry, blown glass, wood carving, cards, rose maling and more. In addition to purchasing online, the same items can be purchased at the Arts Center.

Moore says that supporting local artists helps to build the culture of a community.

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Regular gallery hours at the Le Mars Arts Center are Thursday-Sunday from 1-5 p-m. The "Fresh Art" Holiday Market will be held Saturday, November 13th from 9 a-m to 5 p.m. More information is available from www.lemarsarts.com. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)

 

(LE MARS)--"Stay Vacations" brought some families to the Blue Bunny Museum in Le Mars as a summer getaway .

Liz Croston of Wells' Dairy says numbers from May to September were down slightly in 2010 compared to 2009. Visitors were from nearby and far away.  They were from Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and South Dakota. But the Blue Bunny Museum also attracts those from the West Coast, Southwest and East Coast along with international visitors from Asia, Great Britain and Europe.

The Museum has switched to winter hours which are Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a-m to 4 p-m and Saturdays from 1-4 in the afternoon. Groups wanting to book a tour may contact the Museum by calling staff at 712-546-4090 for details.

Next summer, the Blue Bunny Museum and Ice Cream Parlor will open in a historic downtown Le Mars building. The grand opening is slated for Ice Cream Days 2011 which will be the 25th anniversary of the ice cream-themed celebration in Le Mars.



(LE MARS)--A Le Mars man is being held in the Plymouth County Jail after his arrest this week by Le Mars Police.

Twenty-year-old Matthew Tritz is charged with intimidation with a weapon, simple domestic assault and criminal mischief.

According to Le Mars Police, Tritz is accused of using a knife to provoke fear during a domestic assault last month.

 

(WASHINGTON)--Senator Chuck Grassley complete a 99-county tour in northwest Iowa next week.

Grassley begins his day Monday by touring Meridian Manufacturing and meeting the employees of the Storm Lake business. Grassley speaks to the Sheldon Kiwanis Club at noon Monday.

He'll tour and meet with employees at Positech Corporation in Laurens Monday afternoon.

The Senator's last stop is an Economic and Tourism Development Business Roundtable at the Sac County Cattle Company in Sac City.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Below-average rainfall in October allowed Missouri River reservoirs to somewhat recover from wet conditions earlier this year.

A Friday release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says stream flows continue to be above normal along the James and Big Sioux rivers in South Dakota and along the Platte River in Nebraska. They're expected to remain high into early December.

Runoff for the year is expected to total 38.5 million acre-feet, or 155 percent of normal. The corps says that marks the third-highest runoff since records were first kept more than 110 years ago.

The corps says there will be higher-than-normal releases in November to help reservoirs prepare for 2011 runoff. An estimated 2,7 million acre-feet needs to released.


Neighbors wary of immigration office in DM suburb

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) Neighbors are upset with plans for an immigration office with holding cells for illegal immigrants in the Des Moines suburb of Urbandale.

The Des Moines Register says U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has rented space in a warehouse near the Days Run neighborhood. Local operations for the agency are now housed in the federal building in downtown Des Moines.

Susan Larsen, a mother of three who lives in the neighborhood, says the location is inappropriate. She says it's close to schools and soccer fields.

The warehouse isn't zoned for the types of work immigration officials have proposed, and federal officials have requested a variance.

Urbandale Mayor Bob Andeweg says officials will weigh the public's concerns when deciding whether to grant the variance.

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Removal of Iowa judges may inspire similar efforts


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Conservative activists are looking for new ways to use the power of the vote to strike back against the courts following the success of a ballot initiative to oust Iowa judges who supported gay marriage.

Judicial-removal campaigns have generally been difficult to sell to the public. But now some groups view them as a potential tool to influence the judiciary on gay rights, abortion and other divisive social issues.

Iowa was one of four states where groups sought to remove judges in Tuesday's election, but it was the only place where the effort succeeded.

Organizers of the Iowa campaign had several important advantages: a well-funded TV campaign, a grass-roots structure and an electorate that was receptive to their message.

Richardson to retire as head of Iowa DOT

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Department of Transportation director Nancy Richardson says she is retiring and won't seek reappointment under incoming Republican Gov. Terry Branstad.

The Des Moines Register reported Friday that the 61-year-old Richardson notified her agency's employees of her decision this week. Richardson plans to leave Dec. 23. Former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack appointed Richardson to the post five years ago. She was reappointed by Gov. Chet Culver.

The Decorah native helped lead the state transportation department through a $429 million project to rebuild Interstate 235 in the Des Moines area. Richardson says she sent Culver a letter in August to inform him that she planned to retire at the end of the year.

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Thousands of Iowans drive without valid license

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Thousands of Iowans have been convicted of driving without a valid license and police in Des Moines held a courthouse sting, resulting in the arrest of 16 people.

The Des Moines Register reported Friday that almost 16,000 Iowans were convicted of driving without a valid license last year. The figure in 2006 was 19,000 people in Iowa convicted of driving on a suspended, revoked, denied, canceled or barred license. More than 310,000 license sanctions were in effect that year.

Two-thirds of those sanctions were for unpaid fines and fees. Police used the sting this past week to enforce license laws. Police arrested drivers motorists for allegedly trying to drive away after having just seen a judge on charges of driving with suspended licenses.

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Elderly woman died in Seymour house fire


SEYMOUR, Iowa (AP) The Iowa State Fire Marshal has identified an elderly woman who died in a house fire in Seymour.

State officials said Friday that 86-year-old Genevieve Mincks died in the Wednesday blaze in Wayne County. Fire authorities say two people were inside the Seymour home when the fire was found. One person was able to escape from the burning building.

Officials say first responders found Mincks unresponsive. A cause of death is pending results from an autopsy.

State officials say the home suffered extensive fire and smoke damage. A cause of the blaze is undetermined but under investigation.

2 die in Tama house fire

TAMA, Iowa (AP) Two people are dead in an early morning house fire in the central Iowa city of Tama.

Tama Fire Chief Dan Wilkens says firefighters responded to the blaze about 2 a.m. Friday. The home was destroyed.

Wilkens says the investigation is continuing.

The names of the victims have not been released. He says they are survived by a large number of family members and that the fire is a serious shock to the small town.

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Iowa utility experts offer tips for safe heating

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Utilities Board is offering tips for Iowans to heat their homes safely this winter.

The board said in a release Friday that residents shouldn't use gas stoves or oven for space heating. They also shouldn't leave open burning fireplaces unattended and they shouldn't leave burning candles unattended. Utility experts say wood-burning fireplaces, candles and portable fire pits all are fire hazards.

Iowans should make sure such devices are adequately vented. Electric space heaters can warm indoors, but should only be used on a limited basis to heat small, localized areas because they also can be a fire hazard.

Electric space heaters should be kept away from curtains, furniture and other flammable items. They also should be turned off when unattended.

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

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