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KLEM News Update November 13, 2010

Since August Beth Campbell of Le Mars has had a son serving on active duty with the Iowa Army National Guard. Campbell says the 113th Cavalry Family Readiness Group is accepting a freewill donation tomorrow for a SUBS benefit fund raiser . The money will be used to buy a thank you gift for each soldier and provide a thank you-welcome home dinner when they return from Afghanistan.

Campbell says families of the soldiers are working at the benefit.

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There's also an opportunity to send a message of support as part of a video for the soldiers.

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Those who attend at the Armory in Le Mars tomorrow from 11 am to three in the afternoon will build their own sub sandwiches, and have chips, salads, and desserts.

'Neighborhood Toy Store Day' re-created at Education Station today

(LE MARS)--Memories of a neighborhood toy store are re-created at the Education Station in Le Mars today.

Vice President of Sales John MacGregor says the Education Station is part of "Neighborhood Toy Store Day."

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The Education Station has the 2010 Best Toys for Kids Award list in the store and online at www.theeducationstationinc.com

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MacGregor emphasizes the Education Station is not just for teachers.

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Education Station staff will answer questions about toys and games and be Santa's helper for those who need to shipping.

Aging infrastructure replaced in downtown Le Mars

(LE MARS)--Repairs to an older water main in downtown Le Mars are complete.

City administrator Scott Langel says the alley water leak last week was in the first block west of Central Avenue on Plymouth Street.



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The city's insurance representative is handling any claims for damage to nearby properties.

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The break led to rusty water reports in the water distribution system, primarily in the northwest and northeast parts of le Mars.

Le Mars watercolor artist uses art as a language

 (LE MARS) -- Le Mars resident Glenda Drennen is a watercolorist whose art is displayed at northwest Iowa galleries. Beginning this weekend, Drennen's work is part of the the Fresh Art Market at the Le Mars Arts Center.

Drennen has worked with water color throughout her career and in the last ten years has mixed in other mediums to add more dimension to her work. The basis for a lot of her art is often her sense of humor and she says she paints to break visual rules.

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She said that sometimes a flower, plant, tree, animal or even a person will arise, but often times it's just abstract.


Drennen says her love for art stems from its inaccessibility during her childhood.


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She adds that art is her language and hopes that people understand and appreciate it.


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Drennen says she can not imagine a life without art and that we are fortunate to have so much of it around us.

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Glenda Drennen currently has work on display at a gallery in Spirit Lake, at the Siouxland Artist Gallery in the Clarion Hotel in Sioux City, and now through November 21st... a set of 3 paintings are on display in the theater lobby during Northwestern College's production of The Seagull.

To view more of her paintings visit glendadrennen.com. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)


King hoping for changes in 2012 Farm Bill

Congressman Steve King says he's hoping a "working farmer" who'll be taking over as chairman of the House Ag Committee will change the focus of the Farm Bill. Congressman Frank Lucas will take over the committee in January when Republicans take control of the U.S. House.

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"We'll have an active farmer as the chairman of the ag committee for the first time in quite a while. Frank's a good friend. He's a very smart man. He's a low-key individual and hasn't gotten a lot of publicity, but he's a cattleman and a wheat and I think soybean and sometimes corn farmer down in Oklahoma and I've got a really good working relationship with him," King says. "He's a working farmer with the right kind of instincts." King, a Republican from Kiron, ran an earth-moving company before he went to congress, where he represents one of the most ag-intensive districts in the country.

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 "Some of the politics that has emerged into the farm bill, hopefully Frank Lucas will keep that out. I'll certainly be helping him do that and I think the tone of it will be focused a lot more towards agricutlure and perhaps less towards the nutrition aspects which right now consume about 70 percent of the funding that's authorized in the Farm Bill." The Iowa Farm Bureau has advocated a shift away from direct federal payments to farmers, using those funds instead to help farmers buy a "revenue assurance" policy.

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"I'm not one of those people that advocates that because direct payments are the only hook that we have from the federal government's standpoint to provide a direct incentive for soil conservation and soil stewardship," King says. "And so I'd like to change the name of 'direct payments' to 'conservation compliance payments.'" King says if cuts must be made in the Farm Bill, it shouldn't be in the area of direct payments to farmers.

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 "I'll be working a lot harder at trying to reduce the funding that goes into the nutrition side of this than I will be at reducing the funding that goes into agriculture, but I will say that there's an argument made that we need to get government under control and it needs to apply to the agriculture budget equally to the other budgets and I understand that," King says. "If we have to take cuts in agriculture, this is a pretty good time to do it. We should be feeling good about where we are with the per acre profits we've seen in the last few months, especially." King is a member of the House Ag Committee. About 67 percent of the spending outlined in the 2008 Farm Bill was dedicated to nutrition programs, like the "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program" which used to be known as food stamps. About 15 percent of Farm Bill spending went toward farm commodity programs. (News report by Radio Iowa)


First snow storm of the season to hit NW Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The first snow storm of the season is hitting western and northern Iowa with up to 10 inches of snow possible in some areas.

The National Weather Service has issued a "winter'' storm warning for 11 Iowa counties. The weather service says the heaviest band of snow will be along a line from Denison in western Iowa to Algona in north-central Iowa.

The weather service says winds will increase early Saturday causing blowing and drifting and hazardous travel. A ``winter'' weather advisory is in effect for some neighboring counties with two to five inches of snow possible.

Senate leader Gronstal won't run for governor

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal says he won't seek the Democratic nomination for governor in four years but will run for re-election in two years.

Gronstal has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor, but he noted Friday that he had discussed the matter with his wife and daughters, and the family decided he would skip a gubernatorial run.

Gov.-elect Terry Branstad will be sworn in Jan., 14. He hasn't indicated whether he'll seek another term.

Gronstal discussed the matter during a taping of the Iowa Public Television program, ``Iowa Press.''


Gronstal vows to block gay marriage vote

JOHNSTON, Iowa (AP) Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal says he won't allow the Legislature to refer a proposed gay marriage ban to voters.

Gronstal expects to retain his position as the Senate's Democratic leaders, and in that role he intends to block any effort to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would outlaw same-sex marriage.

Republicans have promised to bring up the issue again this session, and their big majority in the House means it likely will easily pass in that chamber. But Gronstal says he'll stop an effort that he sees as trying to write discrimination into Iowa's constitution.

It would require approval by this Legislature and the body elected in 2012 before a proposed amendment could go before voters.

Gronstal spoke Friday during a taping of the public television program, ``Iowa Press.''

Parts of parental responsibility law struck down

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Supreme Court has struck down portions of Davenport's parental responsibility ordinance as unconstitutional, but lawyers in the case disagree on what the ruling means for the measure.

Davenport City Attorney Tom Warner says Friday's high court decision will have little effect on the ordinance and that the city plans to begin enforcing it after voluntarily halting enforcement two years ago.

But ACLU Legal Director Randall Wilson says the court ``gutted'' the law, leaving little to enforce.

The high court decision says parts of the ordinance violate the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Under the ordinance, parents face penalties, including fines, as their children get arrested and other legal trouble.

Next lieutenant gov. resigns from Senate

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Republican state Sen. Kim Reynolds of Osceola has resigned her Senate seat in preparation for being sworn is as the new lieutenant governor in January.

Reynolds resigned Friday, beginning a process in which Gov. Chet Culver has five days to pick a date for a special election. That election must be held within 40 days of Culver's decision.

Reynolds resigned because she was elected lieutenant governor, teamed with Gov.-elect Terry Branstad.

The district is overwhelmingly Republican, and Senate Republican leader Paul McKinley says he's confident the GOP will hold the seat.

Democrats hold a narrow 26 to 24 seat Senate majority.

Republican Joni Ernst, of Red Oak, says she will seek the seat. Republican legislative staffers says it's likely there will be other candidates.


Iowa man gets 3 life sentences for wife's murder

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An Iowa man convicted of kidnapping and killing his estranged wife has shocked his sentencing hearing by insisting that she deserved to be killed.

Randall Todd Moore launched a tirade against TereseAnn Lynch and her family during his hearing Friday.

He accused Lynch of not letting him see his children and said he hopes that there are ``more cases just like this.''

Polk County District Judge Joel Novak sentenced the 39-year-old to three back-to-back life sentences, plus 25 years for the attempted murder of a Des Moines police officer.

Moore was convicted last month of kidnapping Lynch from a mall parking lot and sexually assaulting her before shooting her in the head one year ago. He also shot a responding Des Moines police officer in the hand.

Interstate reopens after crashes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Interstate 35 north of Ankney has reopened after being closed because of multiple accidents.

The Iowa Department of Public Safety says I-35 had reopened by 5 p.m. The southbound lanes of the interstate had been closed earlier between Ankeny and Iowa Highway 210 near Huxley because of two-to-three multiple vehicle accidents. Only one person was hurt.

Jessica Lown, a spokeswoman for the department, says the crashes were caused by rain and reduced visibility. She says people have been driving too fast for the conditions.

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


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