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KLEM News AM Update, December 15, 2010

Time is of the essence, however, as applications are due this afternoon at 5pm.  Chamber Director Neal Adler explains the simple process of nominating an individual for "Citizen of the Year."

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The one page application for Business of the Year is available at the Chamber Office. All chamber member businesses are
eligible and businesses can self nominate or be nominated.

Both awards will be presented at The Chamber annual dinner at the end of January.  "The Citizen of the Year" is also honorary chair for Ice Cream Days. 

Adler says not to hesitate in nominating a business or individual you feel is worthy of the recognition.

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Again, nominations for LeMars "Business of the Year" and "Citizen of the Year" for 2010 are due this afternoon at 5pm.

(LE MARS) Santa and Mrs. Claus couln't make it to Le Mars Saturday during the blizzard, but have no fear Santa WILL be coming to town.  Mary Reynolds from the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce tells us when and where.

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Reynolds adds that some very special kids will get to help out Santa during his visit.

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Santa and Mrs. Claus will be at Habitue from 8am to 4pm this Saturday and again Christmas Eve from  8am to 1pm. Children will receive a color book, crayons and a sugar cookie.  This event is sponsored by the Le Mars Chamber of Commerce.

(DES MOINES)-- Hard-to-get bottles of Templeton Rye whiskey have been showing up on Internet sales sites in violation of Iowa laws against bootlegging. A half-dozen or more people had listed the booze on eBay and Craigslist, asking up to $100 a bottle for whiskey that typically sells for $36 a bottle. State officials say only licensed establishments may sell liquor and only at specific sites.  Kathy Schwader, owner of the liquor store Cork It! in LeMars, said they had a waiting list for the whiskey and were limiting purchases to one bottle per person.  She said that she is no longer taking orders, as Templeton Rye is sold out at the state level.  The whiskey is a prohibition era recipe whiskey that is crafted in small batches.  The distilary isn't far from here...just two and a half hours south east of Sioux City, in Templeton, Iowa.

(ORANGE CITY)-- Orange City has been awarded up to $101,502 in grant money from theThe Iowa Transportation Commission The Revitalize Iowa's Sound Economy Immediate Opportunity grant will be made available to assist in constructing the 14th Street Southeast and Frankfort Place Southeast intersection and approximately 255 feet of Frankfort Place Southeast.

City Administrator Dwayne Feekus says the grant is important for Orange City.

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Completed improvements will provide access for the proposed expansion of Tec Industries LLC's manufacturing facility which does business as Quatro Composites. Quatro Composites is an Iowa-based manufacturer of advanced composite products for the aerospace, military/defense and medical markets.

Administrator Feekus said that when the applied for the grant last month, the felt fairly confident that the money would come their way.

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The project will support the creation of 55 new jobs at Quatro in Orange City and more than $5.6 million in associated capital investment.


Texas man sentenced in Iowa in smuggling case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Texas man convicted of transporting illegal immigrants to Iowa, which resulted in the death of one of them in a van crash, has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.

The U.S. attorney's office on Tuesday says Javier Garcia Alvarez, of Dallas, was sentenced last week in U.S. District Court in Des Moines to 40 months in prison.

Prosecutors say Alvarez, himself an illegal immigrant, was transporting 10 other illegal immigrants in a van from Arizona to Iowa. The van was struck broadside when it ran a stop sign in rural Marshall County in central Iowa on Feb. 26. The crash killed one of the passengers in the van, Noemi Celestine De Jesus.

Alvarez was convicted in July.


Last defendants sentenced in Obama loan case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The last two defendants to be sentenced for illegally viewing President Barack Obama's student loan records have been sentenced to probation.

Sandra Teague and Andrew Lage were sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court in Davenport. They were among nine people charged with exceeding authorized computer access for viewing Obama's student loan records while he was a candidate, president-elect or president.

Eight received probation. One was given credit for time served and sentenced to community service.

Teague's attorney, Matthew Leddin, says given the fact she was found guilty by a jury, it is the best possible sentence Teague could get. A telephone message for Lage's attorney was not returned.

The nine were former employees in the Coralville office of Vangent Inc., a U.S. Department of Education contractor. A company spokeswoman says security and privacy training for employees has been increased.


Branstad keeps Richardson as transportation head

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov.-elect Terry Branstad says Nancy Richardson will be retained as the director of the Iowa Department of Transportation into 2011.

Branstad on Tuesday says Richardson, who planned to retire at the end of this year, has agreed to delay her retirement until the end of the 2011 legislative session.

Richardson was appointed in 2005 as director of the department, which oversees the state's transportation systems, including highways, bridges, waterways, railways, airports, trails and public transit services.


Judge: No need to rush suit over justice selection

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A judge says he sees no reason to hurry a lawsuit that seeks to change the makeup of the panel that will recommend finalists to replace three Iowa Supreme Court justices ousted by voters last month.

U.S. District Chief Judge Robert W. Pratt scheduled a Jan. 6 hearing on the lawsuit filed last week by four Iowans who say Iowa's judicial nominating commission gives lawyers too much sway at the expense of average citizens.

The lawsuit seeks to disqualify seven members of the 15-member commission who are chosen by members of the Iowa State Bar Association.

Pratt says he's handling another trial and doesn't see any ``need for an immediate hearing'' on the lawsuit. He noted the policy in question was approved in the state constitution and deserves some deference.

Slight dip in Iowa school enrollment

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The number of students in Iowa's public schools is down slightly this year, marking the 14th straight year of a decline.

The Iowa Department of Education on Tuesday says nearly 473,500 students are enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade in 2010-2011. That's a drop of more than 700 students from last year, or about a tenth of a percent.

The department says 225 of the state's 359 school districts, or 63 percent, reported a decrease in enrollment. Another 133 districts, or 37 percent, saw an increase, while one district had no change.

Waukee had the largest increase in enrollment, adding 1,600 students for a total of nearly 6,700 students. Cedar Rapids had the biggest enrollment drop, at 866 students to less than 17,000 students.


Iowa man sent to prison in sleepwalking case


COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) A former Army officer who claimed he was insane and sleepwalking when police say he broke into a Council Bluffs apartment and assaulted a woman is going to prison.

Former Lt. Col. Robert Butts, of Council Bluffs, was sentenced in Pottawattamie County District Court on Monday to 25 years in prison. He was convicted in October on seven charges, including second-degree kidnapping.

The Daily Nonpareil reports a judge sentenced Butts to 25 years on the kidnapping charge, and ordered the sentences on the other charges to be served consecutively.

Butts was accused of breaking into a woman's apartment on Nov. 11, 2009, which was Veteran's Day. The woman's sister, who was hiding in a closet, called police.

During his trial, Butts testified he didn't remember what happened that night.

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

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