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KLEM News PM Update December 29, 2010



Supervisors Tuesday agreed to double the annual motor grader purchase citing overall cost savings and a purchase of equipment the county had experience with. The cost for each of the Caterpillar motor graders from Ziegler Cat of Sioux City is 243-thousand 250 dollars.

To ease the county budget cash flow, one of the machines will be financed until fall property tax collections. Options for about nine-months of financing are still being explored and include a 3.9 percent interest rate from Ziegler or bank financing.

Figures from Engineer Tom Rohe showed the purchase price is less than the county paid a year ago due to dealer incentives of about seven-thousand dollars for each machine.

A model with an engine that's new to the equipment maker carries a 25-thousand dollar higher price.

Supervisor Craig Anderson was among board members who saw benefits from the double purchase to save overall costs.

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Supervisor Don Kass noted the county would not purchase a motor grader in the 2012-2013 budget year due to the doubling of equipment now. The financing cost for the second machine is estimated at five-thousand dollars.

The purchase price is expected to be lowered by the sale of 1994 and 1995 motor graders . Rohe is gathering that information for supervisors to consider. The equipment the county supervisors agreed to buy is already manufactured and on a lot in Des Moines.

Camp Quest land may be sold at auction

(LE MARS)--Land used for outdoor education could be sold by the Le Mars Community School District by May.

The Board of Education is considering the disposal of the 18.6 acre Camp Quest property northeast of Le Mars on Marble Avenue.

Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt had proposed sealed bids because that's the traditional method the board has used for surplus property. But Wendt told the board Monday night, Bruce Brock had contacted him with another idea--a public auction.

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Wendt said Bruce and Terri Brock of Brock Auction Company offered to donate their services for the auction with the school district paying advertising costs.

Board members gave Wendt their concensus to pursue a public auction in the spring when trees and plants would be growing on the land.

The former limestone quarry was deeded to the school in April of 1967 by John and Mae Smid.

(DES MOINES)--Mid-American Energy plans to significantly expand its wind energy production in 2011. The Des Moines-based utility will be putting up wind farms in five Iowa counties. The company will erect 258 wind turbines in Cass, Adams, Marshall, Calhoun and Adair counties. Ann Thelen is a spokeswoman for MidAmerican.

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The new wind mills will provide enough electricity to power 190-thousand homes. The new projects will substantially increase the amount of energy the utility gets from renewable sources.

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The new wind turbines should be producing electricity for MidAmerican by early 2012.Company officials also plan to buy a 52-turbine wind farm near Laurel in Marshall County from West Des Moines-based R-P-M Access next year. Thelen would not put a dollar figure on the amount MidAmerican is investing in the wind projects. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Iowa firm orders 258 wind turbines from Siemens

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) Siemens Wind Power has received an order for 258 2.3-megawatt turbines from MidAmerican Energy Co. of Iowa.

MidAmerican Energy says the turbines will be installed in western and central Iowa. The companies say the turbines will be built at Siemens' plants in Hutchinson and Fort Madison, Iowa. The deal was announced on Tuesday.

Siemens also will provide service and maintenance for the three wind farms.

The Hutchinson plant, which officially opened Dec. 3, will produce the turbines' nacelles, which hold all the equipment for turning wind power into electricity. The Fort Madison plant produces the turbines' blades.

Siemens says the turbines will be delivered beginning in 2011, with the order complete in 2012.


Branstad to name choice for Iowa education chief

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) Gov.-elect Terry Branstad is set to announce his choice for Iowa education director.

The job has been vacant since May, when Judy Jeffrey retired. She'd been in the job since being appointed by Gov. Tom Vilsack in 2004.

According to The Des Moines Register, Branstad has said he wants a reformer in the job. The education director runs the Department of Education and helps shape policy for all of Iowa.

Branstad's choice faces Iowa Senate confirmation proceedings.

Branstad has scheduled a news conference for 1 p.m. Wednesday to announce his selection.


Iowa man gets prison in federal child-porn case

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) A 41-year-old Davenport man has been given seven-year sentences for possessing and distributing child pornography.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pratt ordered that Davon Jackson serve the sentences at the same time.

A news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt says Jackson was arrested in January. Jackson pleaded guilty in June and was sentenced on Tuesday.

Jackson also must serve 10 years of supervised release after he leaves prison.

Former Iowa City teacher enters plea in sex case

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A former Iowa City teacher has entered an Alford plea to a charge of intent to commit sexual abuse.

Under the plea, 60-year-old Robert Dolan, of Olin, didn't admit guilt but agreed that evidence likely exists for a conviction.

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids says a sentencing date has not been set.

Dolan was a business teacher at Regina High School when he was charged in Jones County.

Prosecutors say Dolan took beer to the home of a 17-year-old boy in January. The boy passed out after drinking some beer, then awoke to find Dolan fondling him.

The boy wasn't a student at Regina High.


Name of Blockton, Iowa, fire victim released

BLOCKTON, Iowa (AP) Authorities have released the name of the man killed in a fire at a mobile home near Blockton in southwest Iowa.

A news release Wednesday identified the man as 74-year-old Kenneth Nielsen, who owned the home.

A news release from the Iowa Public Safety Department's Division of the State Fire Marshal says investigators aren't sure what caused the fire on Monday morning. They noted, however, that several extension cords and eight space heaters had been used to heat the home.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission urges consumers to be careful with how they use electrical space heaters, which can present extra fire dangers if improperly deployed or inadequately tested.

Medal of Honor winner from Iowa to visit Nebraska

ASHLAND, Neb. (AP) Iowa native Salvatore Giunta will join at least one other Medal of Honor winner for an event at the Strategic Air and Space Museum near Ashland.

The 25-year-old Army staff sergeant is the only living soldier from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to receive the nation's highest honor for battlefield heroism.

Organizers told the Lincoln Journal Star that Giunta and a World War II winner of the Medal of Honor, 87-year-old Hershel ``Woody'' Williams, of Ona, W.Va., will be at the museum on Jan. 15. More Medal of Honor winners are being invited to share the day's honors.

Giunta is a native of Hiawatha, Iowa. He was decorated for his valor on Oct. 25, 2007, in northeastern Afghanistan.

State Democrats to hold nominating convention

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Democratic Party has scheduled a nominating convention to fill the state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Larry Noble.

Noble, a Republican, has been appointed Gov.-elect Terry Branstad to serve as the director of the Iowa Department of Public Safety.

Iowa Democratic Party Chairwoman Sue Dvorsky says the nominating convention is scheduled for Jan. 3 in Ankeny. Gov. Chet Culver set the date for the special election for Jan. 18.

Iowa Senate District 35 covers the northern half of Polk County.

Noble, who lives in Ankeny, was elected to his second term this year.

Phillips to transfer, leave Cyclones

AMES, Iowa (AP) Iowa State guard DeMarcus Phillips has decided to leave the Cyclones and transfer to another school.

Iowa State men's basketball coach Fred Hoiberg announced Phillips' decision on Tuesday.

Phillips, a junior from Milwaukee, played in eight games this season, averaging 2.5 points. He was in his first season at Iowa State after playing the last two seasons at Marshalltown Community College.

(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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