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KLEM News Update November 11, 2010

The annual meeting, open to the public,  is at 7:30 p-m at the Plymouth County Extension office in the lower level of the Le Mars Convention Center in Le Mars.

Directors whose term expire at the annual meeting include Tom Galles, Brad Harvey, Bob Kabisch, Jeff Klemme, Candice Farrer, Matt Reuter, Gregg Roepke, Loren Schnepf, and Gail Schoenrock.

Items on the annual meeting agenda include the election of Fair Board members, a recap of the 2010 fair, fair queen remarks, suggestions for the 2011 fair, and other business.

Membership to the Plymouth County 4-H and Agricultural Society is open to any county resident who pays a $5.00 one time membership fee.

Holiday shopping values begin this weekend

(LE MARS)-- Holiday shopping kicks off this weekend in Le Mars with the Chamber of Commerce sponsored Holiday Open House.

Part of the festivities include special holiday gift bags. Mary Reynolds of the Chamber says that 32 businesses are participating in the open house and gift bag promotion.

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Reynolds says another way to get some extra cash for holiday shopping this year is through the Chamber's new gift certificate giveaway.

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The sign up for the first round of the giveaway begins this Monday, November 15th and runs through Saturday the 20th. Anyone over the age of 12 is eligible to enter to win the $1,600 being given away this time. The second round begins November 26th and the 3rd on December 5th.

Here is complete list of businesses participating in this weekends Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Open House and the upcoming gift certificate giveaways: 

4 Brothers Bar and Grill, Anytime Fitness, Archies, Belissimo Sandwich & Coffee Works, Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor, Bomgaars, Bricker's Jewelry, Claussen's Menswear, Cork It, Emily's Home Furnishings, Fareway, Fashionette, Godfather's Pizza, Habitue' Coffee House & Creperie, Hardee's, Hotopp Jewelry & Gifts, Hy-Vee, Joba's, La Fiesta Charra, Lamperts, Mr. P's Pizza & Sports Grill, Pizza Hut, Pizza Ranch, Premier Communications, Rust's Western Shed, Sunshine Natural Foods, Taco John's, The Cellular Connection, The Education Station, The Gift Shop/Capital Marketing, WalMart, Wireless World/Verizon Wireless. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Textbook fundraiser returns next month

(LE MARS)--A group working to enhance education at Le Mars Community School will host a major fund raiser next month.

The "Taverns for Textbooks," helped Le Mars Community Education Enhancement Project known as LEEP donate 41-hundred dollars. LEEP secretary-treasurer Lorraine De Jong says some funds went to special education materials.

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The group also raised about 18-hundred dollars with a Middle School Valentine's Dance. They'll host the next "Taverns for Textbooks" Tuesday, December 7th at the Boys-Girls Basketball season opener. Because the teams play Storm Lake in Le Mars, DeJong says a four-person pass and a night's stay at King's Pointe were donated for a raffle. The Echo Group is providing an I-POD for raffle ticket sales.

LEEP hopes to donate another four-thousand dollars for textbooks.

Employee sees company growth in 30-year career

(LE MARS)--An employee who has seen tremendous growth at the business where she works is the newest Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce "Employee of the Month."

Arlene Wiener of Schuster Company received the employee recognition Wednesday.

Wiener started her job at Schuster Company late in 1980 and has been with the company ever since. Her job responsibilities have changed. The firm's growth from one to 300 trucks has occurred while she worked at Schuster's.

She has also moved with the company from the two previous locations to the newest area on the south end of le Mars.

She continues to work part-time at the S and B Warehouse, a part of the Schuster Company.

The company honored her with the chamber employee nomination and wished her the best of luck in her retirement.

Pilot dies in Dickinson County plane crash Wednesday

(SPIRIT LAKE) The pilot of a plane that crashed in Dickinson County Wednesday afternoon is dead.

According to the Dickinson County Sheriff's Office, the crash southwest of Milford was first reported about two Wednesday afternoon.

Another call to the sheriff's office about 2:45 Wednesday afternoon reported finding a downed aircraft that had first been heard flying low.

Authorities say they found a single occupant in the plane who was dead. The name of the pilot and other information is not expected to be released until late today (Thursday) after relatives can be contacted.

The sheriff's office was assisted by Dickinson County Emergency Management, Milford Police and the Iowa State Patrol. 

Dickens woman killed in truck collision

(DICKENS) A woman died in a two-vehicle collision near Dickens Wednesday afternoon.

The Clay County Sheriff's office identified the victim as 37-year-old Miriam Vazquez-Gonzalez of Dickens.
Authorities say Vazquez-Gonzalez was driving south on a Clay County Road and failed to yield to an eastbound truck driven by 31-year-old Benjamin Vanberkum of Amarillo, Texas.

The sheriff's office reports the car she was driving spun around and rolled over onto its top landing in the south ditch.

The Clay County Medical Examiner's office, Iowa State Patrol, Dickens Fire and Rescue and Spencer Hospital Ambulance assisted the sheriff's office.

The accident is still being investigated.

Pedestrian struck by pickup truck in Boyden

(BOYDEN)--A Sheldon man was injured when he was struck by a pickup truck in Boyden Tuesday morning.

The Sioux County Sheriff's Office reports 52-year-old Joel Horn of Boyden was driving west and struck 55-year-old Juan Salas of Sheldon. Salas was beginning to cross the Boyden street.

Horn told authorities he tried to stop but was unable to avoid striking Salas.Salas was taken to the hospital in Sheldon by the Boyden Ambulance

Denison woman dies in eastern Iowa 

(DAVENPORT) An car crash in eastern Iowa has taken the life of a Denison woman. It happened a little after 7 Tuesday night on northbound Highway 218 at mile marker 89. The Iowa State Patrol says 29-year-old Misty Underwood was killed when the car she was riding in was struck from behind by a semi driven by 34-year-old Brandon Bachman of Mount Pleasant. He escaped injury. The driver of the car and another passenger were injured and taken to University Hospitals in Iowa City. The accident remains under investigation. (News report by Radio Iowa) 

Iowa woman pleads guilty to stabbing boyfriend

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A Cedar Rapids has pleaded guilty to charges she stabbed her boyfriend multiple times with a paring knife during an argument.

The Gazette reports that 37-year-old Contina Foster pleaded guilty Wednesday in Linn County District Court. The charges include first-degree fraudulent practices, willful injury causing bodily injury, going armed with intent and assault causing bodily injury. The newspaper reports an attempted murder charge was dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Foster must pay restitution for filing false unemployment benefits. Foster admitting cutting 37-year-old Julius Trammell with a 3-inch blade. Prosecutors say Trammell was stabbed in his back and arms and had a small cut on his throat.

Iowa court overturns 1st-degree murder conviction

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Court of Appeals has overturned a first-degree murder conviction, saying prosecutors violated evidence rules when they put three witnesses on the stand who had earlier recanted testimony that identified the defendant.

Jacovan (JAKE'-ah-vahn) Bush is serving a life sentence for the 2008 shooting death of Thomas Horvath in Cedar Rapids.

On Wednesday, the Court of Appeals reversed Bush's conviction and ordered a new trial. The court says prosecutors knowingly put witnesses on the stand who would give unfavorable testimony to introduce evidence that was inadmissible.

Bush's attorney, Kent Simmons, says prosecutors violated a long-standing rule, and prior statements made by the witnesses were inadmissible as evidence once they were recanted.

Iowa attorney general spokesman Geoff Greenwood says officials don't think the ruling will impact the law beyond the case. He says the attorney general's office is reviewing the ruling but has not decided whether to seek review by the Iowa Supreme Court.

Iowa drug report cites issues with meth, marijuana

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa drug control officials have issued a new report that finds the state has an escalating synthetic drug abuse problem and there has been an increase in need for treatment for methamphetamine and marijuana users.

The Iowa Drug Policy Coordinator released the 2011 Drug Control Strategy on Wednesday. In the report, state drug agents and substance abuse treatment providers also report anecdotally more cases of prescription drug abuse in Iowa.

The report cites data that shows painkillers hydrocodone and oxycodone made up more than 37 percent of all medications prescribed to Iowans last year. Governor's Office of Drug Control Policy Gary Kendell says efforts to protect Iowans from new methamphetamine threats need to be redoubled.

Casino regulators defer action against executives

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Any possible disciplinary action from state game officials against a pair of Iowa casino executives accused of illegally donating money to Gov. Chet Culver has been deferred.

The Des Moines Register reports the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission made the decision Wednesday regarding Peninsula president Martin Brent Stevens and Peninsula executive Jonathan Swain. The commission decided to put off any action until criminal allegations against the men are resolved.

The men have pleaded not guilty in Polk County District Court. They are accused of violating campaign disclosure laws and making a campaign contribution in someone else's name. Commission chairwoman Toni Urban of Des Moines says the board doesn't want the public to think they are ignoring possible discipline against the Peninsula executives.


Paulsen names new House chief clerk

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Incoming House speaker Kraig Paulsen has hired a new chief clerk to oversee administrative functions of the chamber.

Paulsen, a Republican who will become speaker when the Legislature meets in January, announced Wednesday that he'd hired Charles Smithson as chief clerk of the House, replacing Mark Bransgaard.

Smithson has worked as executive director of the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board since 2001. He's been the board's attorney since 1998.

Smithson was raised in Pocahontas, graduated from Westmar College in LeMars and earned a law degree at Washburn University in Topeka, Kan.

The chief clerk handles the House's administrative functions, including publishing a daily journal of the proceedings and overseeing the staff payroll. The chief clerk also interprets procedures governing operation of the House when in session.

Deputies seize 800 pounds of pot from Iowa home

KEOSAUAQUA, Iowa (AP) Trial is set for next spring for a man accused of having more than 800 pounds of marijuana at his home in southeast Iowa.

Richard Cone of Keosauqua pleaded not guilty Wednesday. He is charged with conspiracy to manufacture deliver and/or possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and failure to affix a drug tax stamp. Trial is set for March 22, 2011.

The Hawk Eye newspaper in Burlington reports that Cone was arrested after deputies found marijuana stored in tote bins, garbage cans and plastic bags in a garage and pole barn at his home last month. Marijuana plants, seeds, packaging materials and scales also were seized.

Cone is no longer being held in jail. A telephone message left for his attorney was not immediately returned.

New parking meters coming to downtown Des Moines

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) New parking meters are coming to downtown Des Moines.

The city said Wednesday that it has successfully tested meters and will start installing 30 new meters downtown starting next week. The new meters are known as ``double space'' meters. The city says they are the size of one parking meter but do the work of two parking meters.

Using the new meters means the overall cost for metering two parking spaces is reduced by about 40 percent. The meter software is compatible with current software already used in Des Moines. City officials say they'll use the new parking meters to replace old or obsolete parking meters.

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

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