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KLEM News AM Update January 21, 2011

 
The cheers are votes for Le Mars using a website for Reader's Digest's "We Hear you America" contest. It's a five-million dollar sweepstakes. Jessica Lingren is the Le Mars Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager urging citizens to vote by cheering for the Ice Cream Capital of the World in the Reader's Digest contest.

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Lingren says Le Mars was at 22nd in the nation but slipped to 45th in the last week.

There are about a dozen more days to vote and those cheering on Le Mars will find a link to the Reader's Digest website at www.lemarsiowa.com

South Dakota native opens Le Mars insurance office in new building

 (LE MARS)-- A new year, a new building and a new insurance agent in Le Mars. Mike Crank of State Farm Insurance opened his doors just after the calendar turned to 2011.

Mike has worked for State Farm for the last 6 years in the claims office and with agency support in Lincoln, Nebraska. Mike says he always knew that he wanted to be an agent and own his own business.

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He, his wife and his 1 year old daughter have lived in Le Mars since the beginning of the school year.

Mike and his full time staff of three, look forward to doing business in Le Mars and plan on being very active in the community.

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Mike said that he's glad to have his office in the new building at the Two Rivers Center near 4 Brothers. He said he'll like it even more when some of the other businesses around him open their doors. Pizza Hut is expected to be up and running before the end of this month. (Angela Drake, KLEM News) 

 Sioux City firm plans expansion

(DES MOINES)--Sioux City is among 11 cities to receive state funds designed to create or keep jobs.

The Iowa Economic Development Board Thursday approved tax incentives to assist Rasmussen Mechanical Services in Sioux City with a proposed expansion.

Rasmussen provides industrial boiler equipment and services. The Sioux City business plans to build a 40-thousand square foot facility near the Expedition Business Park in Sioux City. This would be a three-point-seven-million dollar capital investment.
The state incentives are expected to help retain 36 jobs.

Kay Snyder of the Iowa Department of Economic Development says the board approved incentives for companies that plan to make more than 80-million dollars in capital investments.

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The projects in Sioux City, Muscatine, Cedar Rapids, Johnston, Des Moines, Story City, Lamoni, Ames, Indianola and Corydon are expected to create up to 230 new jobs and retain up to 246 jobs. (Radio Iowa contributed to this news report)


Feedlot Forum features export outlook update

(ORANGE CITY)--State and nationally recognized speakers will offer insight into beef production in 2011 during a Feedlot Forum next week.

I-S-U Extension Beef Program Specialist Beth Doran says beef producers with 300-999 head may benefit from the environmental information.

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The Chief Economist for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Greg Doud, is expected to update producers on the export outlook.

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Doran will report on the Tri-State air quality project.

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The Feedlot Forum is at the Corporate Center in Sioux Center on January 25th. Information is available from Doran at the Sioux County Extension Office.

Nebraska man is suspect in Spencer break-in

SPENCER, Iowa (AP) A Nebraska man faces Iowa charges of kidnapping, burglary and may yet be charged with attempted murder.

Police Chief Mark Lawson of Spencer said Thursday that 46-year-old Eric Davis, of Alliance, Neb., has been in custody since early Tuesday morning.

The chief says Davis had broken into a Spencer home, intending to kill a relative who lived there. But Lawson says another family member who was visiting heard Davis creeping through the kitchen.

Lawson says the family member called 911, and then confronted Davis, who was armed with knives.

The chief says Davis fled, but officers soon found him hiding under a trailer nearby.

Davis' attorney did not immediately return a call Thursday.

The chief wouldn't provide any information about Davis' relatives or the apparent dispute.

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

Iowa pension fund returns to mid-2008 levels

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa's largest public pension fund is bouncing back.

The Des Moines Register says the market value of assets held by the Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System has reached a level not seen since the Wall Street meltdown of 2008 was unfolding.

Karl Koch, the fund's chief investment officer, told a state legislative subcommittee yesterday that assets are currently worth $22.3 billion. That's up from $19.5 billion since last June. 30.

The retirement system, with more than 300,000 members, saw the market value of its investments plunge from $22.3 billion on July 1, 2008 to an estimated $18 billion in early December 2008, a decline of over 19 percent.

The retirement system pays out slightly more than $1 billion annually in pension checks to retired employees.

Panel eyes ways to better response to catastrophes

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Members of a National Academy of Sciences committee says the nation faces costlier disasters ahead unless more is done to prepare for the worst.

Howard C. Kunreuther of the Wharton School of Business says the nation faces losses far greater than in the past. He calls it ``a new era of catastrophe.''

He's part of a committee exploring the risk catastrophes pose and how to better equip all levels of government and society for the next catastrophe to clobber the nation.

The committee's meeting schedule is an itinerary of American disasters: It came yesterday to New Orleans, hit by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and plans to later visit flood-prone Iowa and southern California, where droughts, wild fires and earthquakes are a part of life.

The committee will issue a set of recommendations next year.

Group plans events for potential caucus candidates

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A group of social conservatives will hold a lecture series featuring potential Republican presidential candidates who will speak at events throughout Iowa.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty will be the first to join in the events organized by The Family Leader, a group headed by former Iowa gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats.

Vander Plaats announced yesterday that each participant will speak at three events, beginning with a morning speech in Sioux Center, then moving to Pella and finishing in Iowa City.

Pawlenty will speak Feb. 7. Others taking part include Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and radio host Herman Cain. Invitations have been sent to former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, 2008 Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour and others.

Black Hawk County jail inmate dies

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Authorities say an inmate being held in the Black Hawk County jail has died after being found hanging in his cell.

The sheriff's office says 33-year-old Michael Adair was found just after noon yesterday. Sheriff's officials say in a news release that jail staff provided emergency medical care and that Adair was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The sheriff's office say his death was a suicide.

Adair was being held on a burglary charge.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation is investigating his death.

DNR investigates death of bald eagle in E. Iowa

LETTS, Iowa (AP) State and federal officials are investigating the death of a bald eagle, who they say was found shot to death in eastern Iowa.

The Muscatine Journal says the Iowa Department of Natural Resources received a call on Jan. 8 about the eagle, which was found in a field north of Letts.

DNR Conservation Officer Tom Campbell says the eagle died from a gunshot wound.

Bald eagles are federally protected and anyone convicted of killing one could face up to one year in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Officials from the DNR and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the incident.

Waterloo man charged in sword attack

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Waterloo man is accused of attacking another man with a samurai sword.

Police say 26-year-old Jeff Jerome Moffett was arrested Wednesday as he walked away from the victim's home.

The Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier reports that Moffett told police he was going back to his house to get another weapon and that he was going to kill the victim.

Police say Moffett accused the victim of mistreating his mother.

The victim was found with several cuts, including a wound to his neck. Police say he refused medical treatment.

Moffett is charged with willful injury causing serious injury, carrying weapons and going armed. He is being held in the Black Hawk County jail on $80,000 bond.

A telephone message left for his attorney was not immediately returned.

Midwest, Plains bankers say economy improving

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) A new survey of rural bank CEOs suggests economic conditions in 10 Midwest and Plains states are rebounding to 2007 levels.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says farmers are seeing greater profits, which are then used to bolster the business sector.

The overall index for the Rural Mainstreet economic survey in January reached 59.3 percent up from December's 55.4 and last January's 41.0. The index this month hit its highest level since June 2007.

The index ranges between 0 and 100. A score above 50 suggests the economy will expand over the next six months. A score below 50 would suggest the economy will contract.

Bankers from Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are surveyed.

(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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