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KLEM News PM Update January 27, 2011

According to Fair Board President, Terry Reuter, The Red Head Express will kick off opening night of the fair.  This group of young ladies from Alaska played at the Old Time Country Bluegrass Festival at the fairgrounds this fall.

Reuter said that Thursday night will feature the Divas of Rock and Roll and Dueling Pianos alternating throughout the night. 

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Friday Night Coyote Wild takes the stage.  This rock country group features some of the same vocalists as  the Divas of Rock with a full band backing them up.

Country band Mad Hoss will be featured Saturday night.  Both Friday and Saturday evenings a hypnotist will be at the fair to entertain crowds as well.

And rounding out Plymouth County Fair entertainment for 2011 are The Browns and Buddy Holly tribute artist Richie Lee.

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Reuter tells us more.

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Also making a first time appearance at the fair in 2011 will be a new rabbit barn, going up just north of the poultry barn, including a show ring for exhibitors. There will also be an addition put on the hog barn

Dates for the 2011 Plymouth County Fair are July 27th-31st.


Update on Plymouth County Economic Development position

(LE MARS) The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors is reducing the counties economic development budget which eliminates a full time position. For the current year that budget was just under $80,000, and as of now it is cut to $40,000. Supervisor Don Kass said this morning that the 40 thousand could be lessened as the budgeting process continues.

The decrease eliminates the Economic Development Director position beginning in July of this year. That position is currently held by Andrea Westergard. Kass said that a severance package will be prepared for Westergaurd and he expects she will be leaving the job before the end of the fiscal year. Kass added that due what's going on in the economy and other factors, the position is not be utilized to the extent that they hoped it would be.

Cherokee MHI Services, Jobs Remain Intact

(DES MOINES) Today final word was received from Governor Branstad's staff that the proposed budget cuts to the Cherokee Mental Health Institute would not be instituted. Senator Bill Anderson of Pierson welcomes the news that the facility won't need to make drastic cuts in bed numbers, services and staff.

Anderson says the facility's financing will remain at its current level through this budget year.


Senate GOP fails in attempt to force marriage vote

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Republican attempt to suspend Iowa Senate rules to force debate on a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage has failed on a party-line vote.

Republican Sen. Kent Sorenson, of Indianola, asked Thursday morning to suspend the rules to consider the amendment after Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal called for a vote on a resolution. Sorenson's request failed on a 26 to 24 vote.

Senators later approved Gronstal's resolution, again on party lines, adjusting Senate rules to make it more difficult to force a similar vote in the future.

Gronstal says the new rules codify longstanding Senate tradition but Republicans claim it's an attempt to prevent debate on controversial issues such as gay marriage.

Republicans want to force a vote on a measure putting a gay marriage ban before voters.

Iowa Gov. Branstad offers budget with deep cuts

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is proposing a budget that is nearly $200 million smaller than the current spending plan and that includes reductions in taxes charged to businesses.

Branstad presented his $6.1 billion budget to a joint session of the Legislature on Thursday.

He says his plan cuts $700 million in programs that were financed with federal stimulus money that won't be available next year.

Branstad's proposal freezes state assistance to schools at current levels for two years.

Branstad doesn't mention state employees in his proposal, but aides acknowledge hundreds of workers will lose their jobs.

Under Branstad's plan, the 12 percent corporate income tax rate would be cut in half and commercial property taxes would be lowered.

Donations for Branstad inauguration nearing $1M

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The pile of scholarship money is mounting as donations near $1 million for Gov. Terry Branstad's inauguration.

The lower-key celebration planned for Branstad's return to office was projected to cost $300,000 or so. His spokesman Tim Albrecht told The Des Moines Register that the estimate is holding true as bills are being totaled.

The rest of the money an estimated $700,000 will go for scholarships.

Gov. Chet Culver's 2007 inaugural cost about $700,000; Gov. Tom Vilsack's 1999 inaugural cost more than $650,000.

Taxpayer money isn't used for inaugural celebrations. Albrecht says $974,000 has been raised from donors so far.

The top donor to Branstad's inauguration is MidAmerican Energy Co. and its $10,000 gift.

Trial delayed in deadly Waterloo fight

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) The trial of a Waterloo man accused of stabbing to death a high school student has been delayed again.

Wyatt Johnson is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of 18-year-old Kevin Garcia in April 2009.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says Johnson's trial, which had been set to start Tuesday in Black Hawk County District Court, has been rescheduled for March 1.

Authorities say Johnson stabbed Garcia to death during a fight between two groups at Exchange Park. Two others also were wounded. Johnson faces attempted-murder charges for their injuries.

Johnson was arrested a few days later in Wyoming. He was returned to Iowa and remains in jail on $1.1 million bond.

Johnson's attorney says self-defense may be part of Johnson's arguments.

Waterloo man sentenced for role in woman's death

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Waterloo man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in an assault on a woman who later died.

A jury convicted Dontay Sanford of first-degree burglary. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says Sanford was sentenced on Monday.

Prosecutor say Sanford held a car door open while another man, Shean Holmes, reached inside and assaulted Jasmine Mills in the parking lot of a Waterloo convenience store in December 2008. Mills later died of head injuries.

Holmes pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and first-degree burglary and was sentenced to 25 years in prison in 2009.

Another man, Javon Collins, was convicted of second-degree burglary for allegedly trying to open the passenger door of Mills' car. He is awaiting sentencing.

Chief: Ex-Des Moines officer still investigated

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Although a Des Moines police lieutenant has resigned, his chief says another agency is still investigating him.

The department says John Scarpino resigned Wednesday and that the department had ended its internal investigation.

When reached by The Associated Press, Scarpino declined to comment. He has not been charged with a crime.

Chief Judy Bradshaw says there is an active investigation of Scarpino by a law enforcement agency, but she won't comment on it publicly.

A Des Moines police spokesman said last week that the Mid-Iowa Narcotics Enforcement Task Force was investigating Scarpino. Its board chairman, Sean McCullough, declined to comment on Wednesday.

The 54-year-old Scarpino had been with the department for more than 30 years and worked in the vice and narcotics units.

Jail inmate's death ruled a suicide

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Officials say the death of an inmate at the Black Hawk County jail has been ruled a suicide.

Sheriff's Capt. Rick Abben says an autopsy performed by the state medical examiner confirmed that 33-year-old Michael Adair died after hanging himself.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that Adair was being held for trial on a burglary charge in February. Abben says there was no indication that Adair was at risk of suicide.

Jail staff found Adair just before his scheduled lunch on Jan. 20. Abben says there was a 13-minute window from when jail staff last had contact with Adair and when they found him.

Staff attempted to revive Adair but he was pronounced dead at a Waterloo hospital.

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


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