KLEM News AM Update January 20, 2011
Craig Ihnen is the Executive Director of the IHSSA. He holds a special place in his heart for Le Mars, as he taught here for 16 years prior to becoming involved with the Speech Association. As an educator he says that giving kids the opportunity to excel in public speaking is more important now than ever before.
Those interested in attending the district competition this weekend are encouraged to do so. Ihnen said there will be many interesting things to take in.
Erin Ohrlund is in her 7th year as the Director of the Large Group Speech Program at Le Mars Community High School. She says that Group Improv is a favorite event among Le Mars students.
Ohrlund says that 72 Le Mars Community High School students are participating in the District Speech Contest this Saturday, as are students from 26 other schools including Gehlen Catholic, Marcus, Remsen and MOC-Floyd Valley.
Those earning the rating of a 1 will move onto state contest in Sioux City. Orhlund tells us that the fact that all participants have the possibility to move on makes this event a contest, but not a competition.
The Northwest Iowa District Large Group speech competition takes place at Le Mars Community High School/Middle School this Saturday, January 22nd. The contest runs from 8am until 5pm and is open to the public. A $3 per person donation is suggested at the door. (News report by Angela Drake, KLEM News)
United Way campaign success from new and long-time contributors
(LE MARS)--Fund-raising for the Le Mars United Way has soared to a new level of success.
Le Mars United Way Board Chair Janelle Bixenman describes the campaign outcome as "phenomenal."
Long-time contributors and a new employee campaign contributed to the United Way fund raising success.
Bixenman noted the campaign was successful because of continued strong support, and, in many cases, increases from these companies: American Bank, BoDeans Baking Company, City of Le Mars, Dean Foods, Floyd Valley Hospital, Frontier Communications of Iowa, Good Samaritan Society, Le Mars Community Schools, Le Mars Insurance Company, Mid-American Energy, Nor-Am Cold Storage, NIPCO, Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department, Primebank, AND Schuster Company.
Bixenman sees the increase in contributions as a wonderful opportunity for United Way.
The Le Mars United Way is still accepting donations and those interested in contributing may call 712.255.3551.
In February, the funding process begins with information and applications.
New DHS director to change planned Cherokee MHI cuts
(CHEROKEE)--The state’s new Department of Human Services director told a legislative committee Wednesday that his agency will not proceed with controversial reductions in staff and beds at facilities in Cherokee and three other locations.
The outgoing director of D-H-S warned last week that the agency may have to make the cuts after spending cuts ordered by the governor and legislature last spring were bigger than expected. Current director, Chuck Palmer, says he thinks the department can manage by shifting some money around and possibly requesting a mid-year spending increase from lawmakers.
"There’s a commitment on the part of this administration to not do something that would endanger the health and safety of the people that we're serving or the people that are serving those individuals," Palmer said. Palmer says there would be no place to take the people involved if the beds were cut.
Palmer says the people that are in those facilities today are there in many cases because there are no alternatives, and they have already been through many community settings. He says the want to avoid cuts that would endanger the health and safety of mental health patients.
"These are people who are extremely vulnerable with high needs," Palmer said. Palmer made his comments to the Health and Human Services Budget subcommittee. Palmer says the current staffing and patient levels would be maintained at the four mental health institutions and juvenile home in Toledo through the end of the fiscal year on June 30th. (News report by Radio Iowa)
(SIOUX CITY) A Storm Lake man will be sentenced for child pornography convictions.
Twenty-nine-year-old Francisco Campos was convicted of receiving and possessing child pornography between October of 2008 and May of 2009. Information about the conviction was released by the U-S Attorney's Office.
In federal court in Sioux City, prosecutors say he admitted he used the internet to downloaded videos of child pornography.
Under the terms of a plea agreement, Campos will be sentenced to five years in prison and he could be fined up to 50-thousand dollars. A sentencing date has not been set yet.
Jury weighs sex charges against former Iowa player
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Jury deliberations are expected to resume this morning in the case of a former University of Iowa football player accused of sexually assaulting a female athlete while she was passed out in a dorm room.
The jury met for more than seven hours in the Johnson County courthouse before leaving for the night.
Jurors must decide whether they believe an October 2007 sexual encounter between former Hawkeyes defensive back Cedric Everson and a woman, an Iowa freshman scholarship athlete at the time, was consensual. Everson is charged with third-degree sexual abuse, and faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys agree that the woman was out partying before she ended up in the empty dorm room that night. But they presented jurors with very different accounts of what transpired inside.
House votes to cut funding for preschool programs
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa House voted to slash $60 million in funding for preschool programs just hours after lawmakers were warned that cutting back on early childhood education was a fiscal mistake.
Republicans have a 60 to 40 advantage in the House. Preschool advocates had earlier turned to the Senate, which is controlled narrowly by Democrats, telling members of the Education Committee that saving $60 million by scaling back preschool would ultimately cost the state more money.
Betty Zan, who heads early education programs for the state Board of Regents, said that preschool is one of the best investments the state can make.
Patrick Kremer, who runs a program for troubled youth in Marshalltown, said his experience indicates that children who participate in preschool are more successful as they grow older and need fewer state services.
Judge rejects challenge to judicial retention
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A federal judge yesterday turned down a challenge to Iowa's judicial nominating and retention system.
U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt granted Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller's request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by four conservative activists. These individuals argued that the system gives too much power to attorneys who elect members of the state's Judicial Nominating Commission. That panel recommends judicial appointments to the governor.
The lawsuit was filed after voters ousted three state Supreme Court justices who were criticized by some conservatives for their role in a high court decision that legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa.
Iowa voters approved the nominating and retention system in 1962. An attorney for the activists claimed it gives too much power to seven commission members, who are elected by licensed attorneys. In his decision, Pratt said that argument is ``fatally flawed'' and does not demonstrate a constitutional violation.
Iowa hopefuls saw $34K from Pawlenty at 2010 close
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Republican Tim Pawlenty, who has been mentioned in connection with the 2012 White House race, has been spreading money around the state.
A finance report from Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC-Iowa filed Wednesday shows the former Minnesota governor gave $34,000 to state-level candidates and conservative groups in Iowa during the final 2010 push.
The report showed him donating money to statehouse candidates, including $7,000 to the representative who became the House speaker there.
Pawlenty has been working hard to build a following in Iowa, the place with the first phase in the 2012 presidential nominating process. His late-election contributions to candidates and groups were double the amount made by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney during the same period.
Including travel, consultants and other costs, Pawlenty's Iowa PAC spent $110,000 from mid-October through December. He raised the money through four-and-five figure checks, mostly from Minnesota donors.
Romney spent about $108,000 and slightly outraised Pawlenty.
Cedar Rapids keeps 2011 girls' volleyball tourney
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The 2011 girls' state volleyball tournament is staying in Cedar Rapids.
The Gazette says the board of directors of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union voted yesterday to place the tournament at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena. The other finalist was the Tyson Center in Sioux City.
Since 1991, the tournament has been held in Cedar Rapids at the U.S. Cellular Center. The center is being renovated and won't be ready in time for this year's tournament in November.
The tournament attracts about 30,000 fans. The Ice Arena has 3,800 permanent seats, about half the size of the U.S. Cellular Center.
Lighty has 18 as No. 1 Ohio State wins, 70-48
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) David Lighty scored 18 points and Ohio State wasn't tested in its first game as No. 1, rolling over Iowa 70-48 last night.
The Buckeyes moved this season's record to 19 wins without a loss and improved to 60-4 when ranked first in The Associated Press poll.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said the Ohio State team ``got us off to a slow start.''
Up 40-23 at halftime, the Buckeyes reeled off seven of the first nine points of the second half to push the lead to 22. The outcome wasn't in doubt the rest of the way.
William Buford had 15 points and Jared Sullinger added 13 for the Buckeyes, topping the polls for the first time since the final three weeks of the 2006-07 regular season. That season's team went to the national championship game, losing to defending champion Florida and finishing with a 35-4 record.
(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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