KLEM News AM Update January 24, 2011
Two area state lawmakers also discussed health care reform, highway funds, pre-schools, pensions and term limits.
Both State Representative Chuck Soderberg and State Senator Randy Feenstra talked about the difference the November 2nd has made at the Statehouse. Soderberg described Governor Terry Branstad as "very engaged" and noted Republicans control the House.
Tax reform is a priority Soderberg spoke about, including enticing Illinois companies to Iowa.
Feenstra complimented the Le Mars Republican's work as chair of a House committee.
Democrats have a majority in the Senate this session by two votes--the party split is 26 Democrats and 24 Republicans. The Hull Republican sees unity in a couple of areas.
Feenstra responded to one producer's experience with a Department of Natural Resources staffer who inspected a feedlot operation.
Soderberg answered a question about state funding for preschools.
Soderberg and Feenstra said emails are the best way to be in touch with them.
Land to be added to state preserve in the Loess Hills
(WESTFIELD)--An area known for its native plants, wildlife and wind blown will be expanded south of Westfield.
Plymouth County Conservation Board Director Dennis Sohl (soul) says more than 150 acres will be added to Five Ridge Prairie.
Five Ridge Prairie is 790 acres in the Loess (luss) Hills south of Westfield dedicated as a state preserve.
Sohl says the Lloyd property adjacent to the Five Ridge Prairie was secured with grants and donations and no local match.
Sohl discussed the project during budget work with the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.
Floyd Valley Hospital hosts motivational coach
(LE MARS) Floyd Valley Hospital is offering a Motivational Health Coaching Seminar on Monday, January 31st. The guest speaker for the event is Health Coach David Bush.
Bush grew up in a family that enjoyed eating but didn't necessarily get out and exercise . He graduated high school at over 300 pounds, and became a collegiate athlete. After college he pursued a professional football career and played with the Iowa Barnstormers of the Arena Football League in Des Moines. After four years of football, David entered the world of professional sales and had found much success in his industry. He says the one thing he couldn't ever get in line was his health and a back injury that lead to surgery was the wake-up call he needed to get healthy. That's when a friend introduced him to the 28-Day Health Challenge that jump started his change of lifestyle and helped him lose almost 100 pounds.
Bush now travels across the country coaching people on how to make the change in their lives. He says a major component of his 28-Day Challenge is keeping things in perspective. Bush says that just because you haven't been able to do it in the past, doesn't mean you can't do it now.
David Bush's free Motivational Health Seminar is being held from 6-7pm at Floyd Valley Hospital's Conference Center Monday, January 31st. You can register by calling Mary Helen Gibson at Floyd Valley Hospital at 546-3389. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)
Larson to retire from Music Museum
VERMILLION, S.D. (AP) The founder and executive director of the National Music Museum says he'll retire next month.
Professor of music Andre Larson has been with the museum at the University of South Dakota for 39 years.
He developed the institution into an internationally renowned facility for the study of the history of musical instruments. The museum features collections of more than 15,000 American, European and non-Western instruments.
Larson also established the Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments at USD to offer the nation's only graduate degree in the history of musical instruments.
(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.
AP Interview: UI president call limits `painful'
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) University of Iowa President Sally Mason says a proposal to cut higher education funding while capping next year's tuition increase below 1 percent would be ``very painful.''
In an interview with The Associated Press, Mason says the proposal approved by the Iowa House last week would put the school's plans to improve student retention and success in jeopardy.
Mason says cutting the university's budget and giving no flexibility for tuition increases ``is like putting a blindfold on me and tying my hands behind my back.''
The plan would trim $25 million from the Board of Regents budget over 18 months. It also would limit tuition and fee increases to no higher than the previous year's Higher Education Price Index. Last year, the index rose by less than 1 percent.
Average class size increases at state universities
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The average class size at Iowa's three state-run universities has increased slightly in recent years and officials say budget cuts could be partly to blame.
The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reports that the number of classes with fewer than 30 students has declined while classes with 30 to 100 students or with more than 100 students have increased at the University of Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa.
Dave Holger is associate provost at Iowa State. He says universities can't afford to teach small classes anymore.
Michael Licari is an associate provost of academic affairs at Northern Iowa. He says the increase in class size is likely the result of several factors, including budget cuts, increased enrollment and faculty hiring not keeping pace with enrollment.
SBA names new administrator for 4 Midwest states
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) The U.S. Small Business Administration has named a new regional administrator for Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska.
The SBA says Patricia Brown-Dixon is taking leadership role for Region VII.
A news release from the SBA says Brown-Dixon has worked for the U.S. General Services Administration for more than 25 years. She's currently director of the Heartland Office of Small Business Utilization. She manages agency efforts to support small businesses in the region.
Brown-Dixon has a bachelor's in business and education from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark. She has a master's in business administration from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo.
The SBA has district offices in Des Moines, Iowa; St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.; Omaha, Neb.; and Wichita, Kan.
Veteran Iowa police officer under investigation
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The commander of the Des Moines police department's traffic unit has been placed on paid leave pending an investigation.
Sgt. Jeff Edwards confirmed to the Des Moines Register that Lt. John Scarpino is under investigation by the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force. Both Edwards and task force chairman Sean McCullough declined to provide specifics.
The 54-year-old Scarpino, of Ankeny, declined comment.
He's been with the department for more than 30 years and has worked in the vice and narcotics units.
Vehicle crashes through Iowa house, killing woman
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines man has been charged with vehicular homicide after his vehicle crashed through a house, killing a woman inside.
Des Moines police say 50-year-old Loren Bishop lost control of the vehicle and drove into the house over the weekend. Police say the vehicle hit 73-year-old Mary Miller and dragged her as it continued through the house and into the yard. She suffered critical injuries and died at a hospital.
Bishop wasn't hurt in the crash. Police say he was driving recklessly.
Bishop was being held Sunday in the Polk County jail. A message left at a number listed for him wasn't immediately returned.
Flavor Flav opens his 1st chicken eatery in Iowa
CLINTON, Iowa (AP) Rapper and reality TV star Flavor Flav is bringing the flavor of chicken to Iowa.
Flav's Fried Chicken opens Monday in Clinton, Iowa. Flav has been there preparing for the launch and told the Clinton Herald he'll visit often for promotions and even work the fryer.
Flav says it's the first in a chain that stemmed from the 99 cent wings he served at Mama Cimino in Las Vegas. His business partner is the brother of that restaurant's owner.
Flavor Flav, whose real name William Drayton Jr., founded hip-hop group Public Enemy in the `80s. He found fame anew in 2004 on the third season of VH1's ``The Surreal Life.'' He also starred in the network's ``Flavor of Love.''
He has a culinary degree and restaurant experience.
Iowa store clerk thwarts robbery with hammer
ANKENY, Iowa (AP) The robbery of an Ankeny convenience store has been thwarted by a hammer-wielding clerk.
Police told KCRG-TV that a man wearing overalls and a bandanna attempted to rob a Kum and Go store just before 1 a.m. Sunday.
But the clerk told the station that when the man ordered him to open the cash register, he instead grabbed a hammer and hit the man on the side of the head. The would-be robber fled without any money.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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