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KLEM News PM Update January 14, 2011

Plymouth County auditor Stacey Feldman successfully spreadheaded a grant application and administered the Courthouse window replacement project.

With installation of the 113 windows by H and H Builders of Kingsley complete, Feldman told the Board of Supervisors there was an on-site visit last week. Feldman says the state needed confirmation that the windows were the energy-efficient ones in specifications.

"Kevin Eppling, he's a compliance officer from the Iowa Department of Energy, came last Thursday (January 6, 2011) and did a walk-through our building to review our windows and the window project now that it's complete," Feldman said. "And we complied with whatever he was looking at. I showed him pictures before and after. I've emailed him quite a few. He had to ensure that they were the windows that of the specs we'd sent them, that they were made in the U-S-A as part of the grant requirement and they were the efficiency rating that we said which we provided him with the stickers from the windows He was here maybe 15 minutes, he took some photos and we've met all our requirements and we will get our last check which is about 12-thousand dollars."

According to Feldman, the county will now receive the final 12-thousand dollar payment of the 41-thousand dollar energy grant for the windows.

The grant is 25 percent of the 161-thousand dollar project cost. the balance of the money was from the county's building fund line item and county local option sales tax.

Closet cleaners help performers

(Le Mars) If you have decided that 2011 is the year to finally clean out your attic or that overflowing closet, keep an eye out for unique clothing items that may work on the stage. The LeMars Community Theater is always looking for unique clothing and props, especially pieces that are in larger sizes. Lead costumer Kristy Pecks explains.

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Pecks says that about 95 percent of the costumes and props housed at the Postal Playhouse are donated. She adds that they've collected a lot of items over the years, and now are more choosey on what they take in.

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Items that the LeMars Community Theater does NOT need are wigs and fur coats, unless the coats are a large size.

The Playhouse is proud of their collection, and they do rent out costumes year round, so if you ever are curious as to what's available feel free to contact Kristy Pecks at 540-7093. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Skyline shows progress on busines relocations

(LE MARS) A crane in the skyline of Le Mars is another sign of progress for the relocation of the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor to downtown Le Mars.

Wells' Dairy will move the decade-old attraction from Business Highway 75 and Highway Three to 115 Central Avenue Northwest.

Design plans include outdoor seating and a large meeting and party room. The new location for sweet treats and a history of the family-owned business will be spread through  two floors in the former George E. Pew Company building. Hardware and agriculture equipment were the hallmark of the Pew business which was one of the oldest in the state.

A grand opening is planned during the 25th anniversary celebration of Ice Cream Days in Le Mars, June 15-18.

Watch the KLEM web site for the scoop on the latest progress for this attraction in the Ice Cream Capital of the World.

You'll find photos by Dave Ruden, KLEM operations director on the KLEM front page slide show.

Flood insurance offered in Yankton  County

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering low-cost flood insurance to property owners caught off-guard by recent flood plain expansions in Yankton County.

Property owners are required to buy flood insurance if they're in a designated flood plain and have a federally backed mortgage.

Officials tell the Yankton Press and Dakota newspaper that the low-cost insurance program could mean a savings of more than $1,000 per year for some. Matt Buddie with the National Flood Insurance Program says the most a homeowner would pay is $405 annually.

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

Branstad vows to cut Iowa state spending, taxes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Republican Terry Branstad has been sworn in as Iowa's 41st governor, beginning a record fifth term leading the state after a 12-year break.

Branstad was inaugurated Friday morning, completing a remarkable return to politics after more than a decade away from government. He defeated Democratic Gov. Chet Culver in November.

After taking the oath of office, Branstad called for radically changing and shrinking state and local government.

Branstad argued for being ``rid of the yoke of government,'' which he says taxes too much and over-regulates.

Branstad previously served as governor from 1983 to 1999. His election follows 12 years of Democratic control of the governor's office.

Besides electing Culver, voters gave Republicans a 20-seat state House majority. Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate.

Muscatine lawyer named judge in eastern Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) On his last day as Iowa's chief executive, Gov. Chet Culver appointed a Muscatine lawyer to become a district judge in eastern Iowa's 7th Judicial District.

A news release from the governor's office says Tim Reidel has been practicing since 1992. He received his law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law.

The job opened up with Judge J. Hobart Darbyshire retired.

The 7th Judicial District covers Jackson, Clinton, Scott, Cedar and Muscatine counties.

The Democrat Culver leaves office with the inauguration of Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican.

Man convicted of murder arrested in stabbing

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A man who served 22 years in prison for killing a man in 1985 has been arrested for allegedly stabbing a man during an altercation in Cedar Rapids last month.

Police say 47-year-old Richard Kearney has been charged with willful injury for the Dec. 12, 2010 stabbing of 22-year-old Cory Bailey at Bailey's mother's apartment.

Police say Bailey tried to help his mother during an altercation with another woman but was stabbed on his wrist and abdomen by a man identified as Kearney, who was also in the apartment.

Kearney has been charged with willful injury. He is being on $25,000 cash only bond. His attorney, Tyler Johnston, declined comment.

Kearney was convicted of second-degree murder for the 1985 slaying. He was released from custody in February 2010.

Iowa City man accused of threatening crime victim

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) An Iowa City man has been charged with witness tampering and harassment after police say he threatened a robbery victim if she didn't drop charges against his sister.

Police say 23-year-old Timothy Washington called the woman at least five times on Jan. 8. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that on Jan. 10 Washington offered the woman $3,000 to drop the charge against his sister. Police say he later sent her a text message.

Washington did not have an attorney Friday morning.

Washington's sister and another woman are charged with first-degree robbery for allegedly stealing the woman's purse, insulin monitor, insulin and needles on Dec. 28. The women also are accused of punching the victim in the mouth with what is described as brass knuckles

Iowa county settling false-arrest lawsuit

(Information in the following story is from: The Hawk Eye, http://www.thehawkeye.com)

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) A lawsuit filed by a Burlington man against Des Moines County, a sheriff's deputy, the city of Burlington and other parties has been settled.

According to The Hawk Eye of Burlington, Darren Taeger filed the lawsuit last year, alleging false arrest, assault and violation of due process.

A letter sent to Des Moines County officials by the Iowa Communities Assurance Pool says the lawsuit was settled for $70,000 through mediation. The city of Burlington settled for $5,000.

Taeger alleged that the deputy assaulted him on Aug. 29, 2008, at Southeastern Community College in West Burlington. The deputy, Eric Staub, later was convicted of misdemeanor assault after a plea agreement.

Prosecutors said incident started when Staub got a call from his girlfriend, claiming she was having a problem with Taeger.

4 residents flee Cedar Rapids house fire

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Authorities say four residents and the family dog had fled their home by the time Cedar Rapids firefighters arrived to fight the flames.

A fire spokesman told Cedar Rapids television station KCRG that Ann Randle heard a smoke detector and saw the smoke and flames coming from an upstairs bedroom around 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Fire spokesman Greg Buelow  says Randle alerted her husband, daughter and 3-year-old granddaughter, and all four got out of the home safely.

The fire was blamed on an unattended candle.

Buelow says the fire damage was limited to the bedroom and upper exterior on the front side of the house.

Man gets prison for Nebraska, Iowa bank robberies

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) A 51-year-old Omaha man convicted of robbing six bank or credit union branches has been given nearly 12 years in federal prison.

A news release from the office of U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg, of Nebraska, says Vincent Gepson was given six sentences of 140 months each, to be served at the same time. Also in court on Thursday, he was ordered to pay restitution of more than $24,000.

The FBI says Gepson was arrested in December 2008 in Neosho, Mo.

The release says Gepson committed the six robberies between Nov. 13 and Dec. 1 of 2008. He robbed four bank branches in Omaha and two credit unions in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which sits across the Missouri River from Omaha.

No injuries were reported.

Iowa dog recovering from bullet wound above an eye

CARROLL, Iowa (AP) A dog found in Dedham is being treated for a bullet wound in its head.

Animal Rescue of Carroll sought treatment for the black Labrador mix.

X-rays show Max was shot above his left eye. Because of their location, the bullet and fragments were not removed.

Temporary stitching after the surgery is keeping his eye closed to protect against more infection. It's unclear whether Max will be able to keep the eye or whether he'll still be able to see with it.

Veterinary tech Bridget Gore told Des Moines television station KCCI that Max is ``pretty lucky that he made it through this, and that he's not looking worse than he is.''

Once Max recovers, a new home will be sought for him.

(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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