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KLEM News PM Update November 18, 2010

 Mary Reynolds of the Chamber says there is more cash to go around this year.

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So where is this "free" money coming from?  Six area banks have donated a total of $5,500 that accounts for the 15% percent discount you receive on your shopping.   Reynolds says each family can buy up to $200 Holiday Dollars.

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Reynolds anticipates that the 26-thousand dollars will be gone in a half an hour, or less.  The Holiday Dollars can be used at 32 area businesses and must be spent by December 24th.

Joba's is one of the businesses participating in the holiday shopping promotions. Manager Julie Ehlers  says these types of programs are important because they keep people shopping locally.

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Holiday Dollars from the LeMars Area Chamber of Commerce go on sale this Saturday at 9am at the Chamber office, doors open at 8. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Golf course contrat is two-year deal

(LE MARS) The new contract for management of the city of Le Mars Willow Creek Golf Course is a two-year agreement.

The Le Mars City Council approved the contract Tuesday for management of the city's 27-hole golf course by Doug Schultz of Le Mars.

The manager is to be paid 138-thousand 230 dollars in 2011 and 140-thousand 995 dollars in 2012. The commission on the total dollar amount of all green fees, memberships and rentals of city-owned facilities and equipment, including cart and equipment storage facilities was increased by one percent to 12 percent.

Council member John Leonard said Schultz is responsible paying other staff.

According to Leonard, the notion that the amount paid by the city is Doug Schultz's salary and the rest of the bills are paid by the city is NOT correct.


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The new contract was recommended by the Park Committee, City Staff and Schultz.

Chamber's 'Lunch with Legislators' is December 15

(LE MARS)--Two legislators will update Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce and service club members on legislative issues next month.

The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce hosts "Lunch with the Legislators" Wednesday, December 15th.

The noon meeting in the lower level of American Bank features State Senator Randy Feenstra of Hull and State Representative Chuck Soderberg of Le Mars.

Reservations need to be made by noon December 13th.

Sertoma and Lions Club Members do not need to make reservations.

Road closed signs are down at two bridge replacement locations

(LE MARS)--Bridge projects are completed at two more locations in Plymouth County

Engineer Tom Rohe says the bridge project near Seney on 130th Street, from Highway 75 to Mahogany Avenue, reopened today (Thursday).

The other bridge project that's complete is north of Le Mars on County Road C-16. The bridge was replaced between Highway 60 and Nickel Road. The work was completed a day sooner than earlier expected.

Firefighters warn of fundraising scam

(Des Moines)-- State Fire Marshal Ray Reynolds in warning Iowans of a suspicious phone solicitation from people claiming to raise money for the Iowa Firefighters. Reynolds doubts they're be able to catch the people running the scam because the caller I-D is hidden.

"As soon as you start asking questions, they become more and more defensive and hang up on you," Reynolds said. "I would just urge people to ask questions when people ask you for money." Residents of Camanche and Ruthven have reported receiving the calls. Reynolds said the caller was seeking a donation to pay for firefighting equipment in Iowa, but didn't claim to represent a specific organization. The president of the Iowa Firefighter's Association says they do not participate in phone solicitation programs. Reynolds hopes the scam doesn't harm the reputation of the I-F-A which represents around 15-thousand (15,000) firefighters in the state.

 "People should not rush to judgment on the organization just because of someone trying to solicit money that isn't related to (the IFA)," Reynolds said. Some organizations do hire professional fund raising companies, but Reynolds says those companies offer phone numbers and information for people to verify where their donation is going and that the request is legitimate.

The Iowa Attorney General's Office offers these tips to protect the public from fund raising abuses:

* Don't be fooled by a sympathetic name or "pitch." Some operations use names that promise more than they deliver. For example, veterans, law enforcement, firefighters, and children’s causes clearly deserve generous public support – but some marginal operations claim connections with such groups yet provide them with very little support. Contact your local sheriff, police department, fire department or veteran’s organization to check out claims that a donation "will be used locally."
* Ask Questions. Reputable charities welcome questions. Ask how much of your donation will go for the charitable purpose, and exactly how and where your contribution will be used. Ask if the caller is a professional fundraiser.
* Ask phone solicitors to send written information. Check out the charity before you make a decision. Be suspicious if they refuse to send solid information. Check them out at the national Better Business Bureau "wise giving" site – www.give.org
* Don’t be fooled by "look-alike" names. Some scams use names that sound impressive and are designed to resemble well-respected organizations.
* Don't give your credit card or checking account numbers over the phone to someone you don’t know.
* Give directly to a known charity of your choice. That's always the best option. Check your telephone directory for a charity’s local office and contact the office. (News report by Radio Iiowa)

Biodiesel tax credit vote delayed

(Washington, D-C)--A planned vote in the U-S Senate today on a bill that included restoration of vital tax credits for the biofuels industry has been postponed. Iowa Senator Tom Harkin says he was pushing to have a tax break specifically for soy-based biodiesel attached to an energy bill but the Senate's shepherds of that legislation decided otherwise.

 "The energy bill's been dropped," Harkin says. "They're not bringing it up because they didn't get it worked out. The biodiesel tax credit -- we're still going to try to get that on a tax extenders package that we hope to pass before Christmas." The original tax credit on biodiesel expired at the end of 2009. Since then, as many as 25-hundred Iowans who worked in the biodiesel industry have lost their jobs. Most of the 15 Iowa biodiesel plants have had to close because the fuel -- without the tax credit -- was no longer competitive with traditional, petroleum-based diesel. Harkin says he remains hopeful the tax credit will be restored before the end of the year, perhaps being attached to another piece of legislation.

"If there is a tax package going through, we are going to do everything we can to include both the extension -- retroactively -- of the biodiesel tax credit and also the extension of the 45-cents a gallon on ethanol." The tax credit was first put in place in January of 2005 and helped to launch the opening of 150 biodiesel plants nationwide, most of which are now closed. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Families of slain Iowa clerks ask why

ALGONA, Iowa (AP) The families of two clerks killed during robberies at convenience stores in northern Iowa are grasping for answers about why they died.

Vicky Bowman-Hall, a mother of 11, was shot at a gas station in Algona Monday night and died at a hospital. Sheila Myers was shot and killed about an hour later at a store in Humboldt.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Richard Swanson, of St. Louis Park, Minn., is charged in their deaths.

Bowman-Hall's daughter, Jillian Bowman, told The Des Moines Register that she remembers holding her mother's hand in the hospital and telling her that she would ``take care of everybody.''

Myers' daughter, Mandy, told the newspaper that news video of her mother's alleged killer smiling after his arrest left her disturbed and asking ``a lot of whys.''

Vigil honors victims of Iowa store killings

HUMBOLDT, Iowa (AP) Hundreds of people are mourning the deaths of two clerks who were killed at different convenience stores in northern Iowa.

KCCI-TV of Des Moines says a big crowd braved the cold for a candlelight vigil Wednesday night at the Kum and Go in Humboldt, where clerk Sheila Myers was shot during a robbery Monday night.

About an hour earlier, Vicky Bowman-Hall was shot during a robbery at a convenience store in Algona.

Residents say one of the toughest things is the loss of innocence in the community.

A Minnesota teenager, Michael Richard Swanson, of St. Louis Park, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in the women's deaths.

New Iowa GOP House speaker names key leaders

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Incoming House Speaker Kraig Paulsen has named key leaders to committees in the Iowa Legislature.

Republicans will control the House by a 60-40 margin when lawmakers convene January.

Paulsen, a Hiawatha Republican, has named Rep. Chris Hagenow, of Windsor Heights, to head the Government Oversight Committee. Rep. Rich Anderson, of Clarinda, will chair the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Greg Forristall, of Macedonia, will run the House Education Committee.

Lawmakers must draw new congressional and legislative districts to reflect population shifts recorded in the new census. The issue is being closely followed because Iowa will lose a seat in Congress because of stagnant population growth.

UI expects to up costs from 2008 flood

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) University of Iowa officials are bracing for higher-than-expected costs from the historic flooding in 2008.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen says Doug True, the university's vice president for finance, expects to release a new estimate early next year that exceeds the current projection of $743 million. One reason, he says, is higher than expected costs of protecting campus utilities from future flooding.

The 2008 flood knocked more than 20 building out of commission, including Hancher Auditorium and the art and music buildings.

In an October report to the Iowa Board of Regents, the university had spent $155 million so far on flood recovery.

Commission to rule on DM police officer's firing

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Des Moines Civil Service Commission may decide next month if a police officer accused of using excessive force during a 2008 traffic stop should have been fired.

Mersed Dautovic is appealing his termination.

Police administrators maintain Dautovic should have been removed. Members of a police union say he was wrongly fired and should get his job back.

The Des Moines Register says the commission will meet Dec. 7 and could uphold Dautovic's firing or say it was unjustified. The commission could also defer action until January.

In 2008, Dautovic and another former officer pulled over a car when the driver allegedly failed to yield to an emergency vehicle. During a confrontation, the officers hit the passenger with batons more than a dozen times.

Mason City schools get $1.8M for safe room

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) Mason City's school district is receiving a $1.8 million in federal funds to build multipurpose safe room.

The Globe Gazette says the funding is from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The announcement was made Wednesday by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin.

The grant will be used build a safe room as part of a new addition at the John Adams middle and high school complex.

The safe room will house all students and staff in case of emergency and will double over as performance space.

Iowa judge upholds prison contract to Chicago firm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An administrative law judge says a Chicago construction firm can build Iowa's new maximum-security prison near Fort Madison.

The Des Moines Register says the judge has upheld a decision by state officials to award a $116.9 million contract to Walsh Construction.

A construction trade group, Master Builders of Iowa, and a Des Moines construction company, the Weitz Co., contended the Chicago company submitted incorrect bidding forms and the contract should be rescinded. State officials maintained the contract was properly awarded.

Scott Norvell of Master Builders of Iowa says no decision has been made on whether to appeal. Mike Tousley of the Weitz Co. says they are considering the options.

The new prison is scheduled to open in July 2013.

Iowa cops looking for burglar find drugs instead

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) An Iowa City man who called police to report an alleged burglary at his home has been arrested after officers found drugs but no signs of a suspect.

Jason Edward Kenjar called police Wednesday afternoon claiming that someone had entered his residence and was possibly in the basement. He says he even fired his handgun inside the residence and yelled at the alleged burglar.

Officers checked the home and basement and didn't find anyone, but they say they did discover the remains of a marijauna grow. They then obtained a search warrant and found marijuana, a bong, ecstasy and prescription drugs.

The 30-year-old Kenjar faces several drug charges and is being held in the Johnson County jail. It is not clear whether he has an attorney.

(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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