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KLEM News Update January 8, 2011

Governor-elect Terry Branstad  Friday named Mark Schouten to serve as director of the Office of Drug Control.

The Office of Drug Control works to reduce drug use and other related crimes.

Schouten was the Sioux County attorney for twenty years before working for the Iowa Supreme Court's Board of Professional Ethics. Most recently he served in the Iowa Attorney General's office.

Schouten now lives in Norwalk.

 Westmar Scholarship applications are available now

(LE MARS)-Applications are being accepted for a scholarship program related to the former Westmar College in Le Mars.

The Westmar Scholarship program was created after the college closed in November of 1997 and has been supported with donations from the Westmar Friends and Alumni Association and the Westmar Student Association.

Students from northwest Iowa who have a Westmar connection such as alumni, former staff and former faculty as well as their children and grandchildren are given first consideration. Second consideration for the scholarships is given to students who are residents of Le Mars and thirdly have Westmar connections.

Sandi Smith, who is Director of Administration and Scholarships for the Iowa College Foundation, says the Westmar Scholarship Application is on-line for the next academic year, 2011-2012. Materials need to be received by the Iowa College Foundation no later than April first.


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There's no yellow brick road between to the Orpheum Theatre and Mars. But travel to "The Wizard of Oz" next month is by trolley. Orpheum and Tyson Event Center group sales manager Melissa Lanzourakis arranged the February 28th trip which includes a dinner discount at 4 Brothers, the trolley bus trip and the musical production.

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"The Wizard of Oz" sold out a year ago and Lanzourakis expects that next month.

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This is the third Orpheum promotion for the Le Mars area. She says "Mama Mia" and "A Chorus Line" drew a positive response and Lanzourakis says she'll probably do it for the"Rat Pack is Back" at the end of April. Information is available by calling 712.224-6423 or email

Paper, can drives today due to January 1 holiday

 LE MARS)--Today (Saturday) is a day to recycle paper for school projects in Le Mars and Remsen.

The Le Mars Community Elementary Schools paper recycling project is this morning. Paper may be dropped off at O'Toole Park in Le Mars from 8-10 a-m. Other pickup sites are at the Struble and Craig Banks and the Brunsville Bank corner from 8-9 a-m.

The Remsen-Union Family Connection and St. Mary's School Board collect paper from 8-11 a-m at the Marion Street location.

The Gehlen Catholic Can Drive is this morning from 8 am to 10 a-m at the Elementary Building.

Beef sticks are a show of support from Iowa

(DANBURY)--A kitchen table, computer and telephone help soldiers around the world get a taste of Iowa beef while they're serving their country.

From her farm home in Ida County, Dee Ann Paulsrud carries on an effort started by the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, "Beef 'N Up the Troops. "

Her husband, Ted, suggested the idea when he retired as a director for the farm group. Since November of 2006 more than 109-thousand beef sticks have been sent to soldiers.

Dee Ann Paulsrud orders 3,000 beef sticks at a time to get a price break from Triple T Specialty Meats of Ackley. Paulsrud explains Iowa-based Fareway trucks the beef to Sioux City where the 185th Air Guard Refueling Wing takes over.

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Paulsrud's adds a label to the project of sending sticks and smiles from Danbury.

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The Beef Stick lady got to meet a soldier on leave from Aghanistan who'd benefitted from the beef stick support.

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Donations made out to Beef 'N up the Troops or The Beef Stick Lady may be mailed to 4980 320th Street, Danbury, Iowa 51019

King won't lead immigration panel

WASHINGTON (AP) Republicans have tempered a potential liability with Latino voters by refusing to make a congressman outspoken on immigration issues the head of a House immigration subcommittee.

Rep. Steve King of Iowa was expected to be chosen to head the panel. Instead, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith announced on Friday he has seated California Rep. Elton Gallegly in the spot.

King has been a favorite target of Democrats. He once proposed setting up an electrified fence on the border to stem illegal immigration.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Iowa lawmakers ready to take on tax issues

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Despite a big budget shortfall, Republican lawmakers and Gov.-elect Terry Branstad say they'll push hard for tax cuts as a way to improve Iowa's economy.

Democrats also back some tax reductions but want to ensure that local governments are protected.

Taxes will be a top issue when the Legislature convenes Monday.

The two top targets are the corporate income tax and commercial property taxes. Both are higher than rates in neighboring states and some believe they restrain Iowa's economy.

Senate Republican leader Paul McKinley of Chariton says he frequently hears complaints about Iowa's rates.

Senate Democratic leader Michael Gronstal of Council Bluffs says local governments get about $1.5 billion in commercial property taxes. If that's reduced, the state would need to help those governments somehow.

Iowa rejects settlement in Blacks Hill Energy case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) State regulators have rejected a settlement agreement that included a proposed 2.9 percent rate increase by a South Dakota-based utility for its natural gas customers in Iowa.

The Iowa Utilities Board on Friday announced it would not approve the agreement between Black Hills Energy and the Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate. The board says certain parts of it did not meet applicable standards.

Black Hills Energy, of Rapid City, S.D., filed a request for a $4.7 million increase in annual revenues to recover the costs of capital investments in its Iowa distribution system and other expenses.

The board says it will issue a written order with details about extending the case. The parties can also file another settlement agreement for the board to consider. WIFE KILLING

Jury convicts Iowa man of wife's death

WASHINGTON, Iowa (AP) A Washington County jury has found a man accused of killing his wife guilty of second-degree murder.

KWWL-TV in Waterloo says the jury returned the verdict Friday afternoon against 71-year-old James Blum, of Washington.

Blum was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 67-year-old wife, Patricia, in January 2010. Prosecutors say he smothered her on a couch in their home.

Blum faces 50 years in prison when he's sentenced on Feb. 21.

Death investigation near Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a woman has been found dead inside a home in Knoxville in south central Iowa.

KCCI-TV of Des Moines says emergency crews were called to the house Friday afternoon. The woman's name and possible cause of death have not been released.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation has been called to assist the Marion County sheriff's office with the investigation.

Knoxville is about 40 miles southeast of Des Moines.

NE gunman's car may have been spotted in Iowa

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Authorities in Iowa are helping Nebraska officials search for a suspect in the killing of a worker at a lube-and-oil business in Omaha.

Milton Jackson, of Omaha, died Thursday after he was shot at the Shell Rapid Lube. Witnesses told police the shooter fled in a car with Iowa plates.

The Omaha World-Herald says authorities in Nebraska and Iowa are looking for the car. The newspaper says the Iowa State Patrol searched Thursday night after a red vehicle matching the car's description was spotted in the Neola area in western Iowa.

Jessica Lown of Iowa Department of Public Safety says Friday that the patrol assisted Omaha police in trying to locate some people, but the search was not successful.

Cedar Rapids library designed unveiled

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The Cedar Rapids library board has approved a design for what officials say will be a ``spectacular'' and ``warm and welcoming'' downtown library.

The library board unanimously approved the design Thursday.

Board member Susan McDermott served on the design team and says the new library will accommodate the communities needs better than before.

The city's old downtown library was damaged in the 2008 floods.

The new $49.7 million building is expected to open by July 2013.

It will be larger than the old one and include a cafe with a drive-up window, an expanded children's area and more parking.

Funding for the library is a mix of federal and state money, local options sales tax and private donations.

Robinson sentenced to 6.5 years in prison

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Former basketball star Rumeal Robinson has been sentenced to 6.5 years in federal prison for financial fraud.

A jury found Robinson guilty in September of 11 charges, including bank bribery, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making a false statement to a financial institution.

Prosecutors say Robinson schemed between 2004 and 2005 to borrow more than $700,000 from a bank in Ankeny with the help of a loan officer.

They say Robinson claimed to borrow the money for a business but actually bought a condominium, cars, furniture and invested in an energy company.

Robinson was also ordered to pay nearly $1.2 million in restitution.

Robinson, grew up in Cambridge, Mass. He starred for the University of Michigan and spent six seasons in the NBA.

Iowa showing progress despite .500 record

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa is a long way from being a threat in the Big Ten.

But the young Hawkeyes are getting closer to becoming one.

Iowa (7-7, 0-2 Big Ten) nearly pulled off an upset of second-ranked Ohio State Tuesday night. The Hawkeyes led by as much as eight early before falling 73-68.

It marked the first time all year the undefeated Buckeyes let any opponent get within 10 points of them.

The Hawkeyes face No. 11 Purdue (14-1, 3-0) in their first Big Ten road game Sunday. Though Iowa has lost 20 straight to ranked opponents, the Boilermakers have be more concerned with Iowa than they were a few weeks ago.

Iowa expects forward Eric May to start against the Boilermakers after missing the Ohio State game with a groin pull.

(Copyright 2011 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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