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KLEM News AM Update January 28, 2011


Representatives of the city's workers and the City Council's bargaining team started talks this fall and reached no agreement. A request to have the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) appoint a mediator was made.

City administrator Scott Langel has said the mediation session is at one this afternoon.

If there isn't an agreement, the city and employees could ask for arbitration. Any decision by an arbitrator is binding and must be the basis for a new contract.

 

(LE MARS) Approximately 21 inches of snow has fallen in the Le Mars area since November.  City Administrator Scott Langel says that the city is keeping up well.

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Langel said that if more needs to be purchased, prices are average at $62 per ton and there's plenty of availability.

A snow related city item is going to make it's way to Le Mars earlier than expected.  Langel says that the airport snow plow should be here by the second or third week of February, which is great news for getting snow off the ground sooner at the airport.

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One more snow related city topic, for you...Administrator Langel wants to thank Le Mars residents for their continued cooperation concerning odd and even parking.

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Remember, odd numbered days park on the odd numbered side of the street and on even numbered days, the even side.

 

(LE MARS) Plymouth County CPC and General Relief Director, Sharon Nieman, went before the county board Tuesday to review the mental health, Department of Human Services and substance abuse budgets for next year. Last year the budget was just over $86,000 this year the proposed budget is $58,778.

Plymouth County DHS was drastically downsized over the summer, and the building that previously housed their offices is no longer open to the public. The building is located on 2nd Ave. NW in Le Mars, the space is being rented by other organizations. Most of those people work out in the community or by appointment only, so the building stays locked. Niema said that the signage on the building continues to be confusing to people.

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Nieman also mentioned the possibility of getting a sign in front of the building with business names and contact numbers. The issue will be further discussed once details are settled with a potential new tenent at the building.

 

(LE MARS) The Le Mars Area Dialysis Service Board has sent letters to patients and are waiting for responses for those looking to use the new Dialysis Center.  Before doors open, there are a few things that have to happen.

Mike Donlin, board member for Le Mars Area Dialysis Services, says construction is going very quickly. 
A pre-final inspection was done last week and it's expected that the contractor will be finished with most projects on that checklist before Monday, as furniture and equipment are set to arrive at that time. 

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Then finally before doors can open, Donlin says the center has to treat patients to ensure everything is working properly.

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Those test cases should start in early to mid-February.  A final approval date is up in the air because it's unknown when the inspectors will give the go ahead. 

Fundraising continues with the Valentines Day Dance coming up on February 12th at the Le Mars Convention Center. The event is a fundraiser, with a $25 per person donation to attend.  Donlin adds that it's also an "Opening Soon" celebration.

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The cost for the Dialysis Center is approximately 1.6 million dollars. 450 thousand of that money has been borrowed from the county and the city, which needs to be offset by fundraising efforts.

DeMint will join King for Iowa appearance in March

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint is the latest Republican who'll visit Iowa amid speculation about the GOP's 2012 presidential sweepstakes.

Aides to U.S. Rep. Steve King say DeMint, a darling of conservatives, will attend a March conference in Des Moines.

Ann Trimble-Ray, a spokeswoman for the conservative western Iowa congressman, called the event a ``daylong conference for Iowa conservatives.'' It will be held March 26 at the downtown Marriott Hotel.

DeMint has been mentioned as a potential presidential candidate and is a leading voice for conservatives, especially those in the tea party movement.

DeMint's visit to Iowa likely will spark speculation about his possible presidential plans, thanks to Iowa's role as the first state to hold presidential caucuses. The event is also unusual for King, because it's being held in Des Moines rather than his western Iowa district.

Panel selects 9 Iowa Supreme Court nominees

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad has 30 days to select three appointees to the Iowa Supreme Court after the state's Judicial Nomination Commission submitted the names of nine candidates.

The nominees were named Thursday night from a field of 60 applicants the commission interviewed this week.

The positions became vacant after voters last November ousted three justices for their role in a ruling legalizing same-sex marriage in Iowa.

The nominees are Robert Blink, of West Des Moines; Arthur Gamble, of Clive; John Gray, of Sioux City; Steven Lawyer, of New Virginia; Edward Mansfield, of Des Moines; Michael Mullins, of Washington; Angela Onwuachi-Willig of Grinnell; Thomas Waterman of Pleasant Valley; and Bruce Zager, of Waterloo.


Iowa woman indicted in bank fraud case

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Federal authorities say a Cedar Rapids woman has been indicted on 33 charges in an alleged bank scheme.

The U.S. attorney's office says Sarah Godsey is charged with 11 counts of bank fraud, 16 counts of mail fraud and three counts each of access device fraud and aggravated identify theft.

According to the indictment, Godsey worked for a Japanese technology company in Cedar Rapids, and allegedly began forging checks and conducting electronic bank transfers for her own benefit from October 2005 through January 2007. She allegedly altered bank statements and used credit cards to defraud and used another person's identity in the credit card fraud.

A court hearing is set for Feb. 1.

A telephone message to defense attorney JoAnne Lilledahl was not immediately returned.


5 injured in house fire in southern Iowa

CENTERVILLE, Iowa (AP) Authorities say five people were injured in a house fire in Centerville in southern Iowa.

KCCI-TV in Des Moines says a driver called 911 to report the fire shortly before 7 a.m. on Thursday. Officials say there were five people inside the home, and all were taken to University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. Their names and conditions were not immediately released.

A witness, Bill Weideman, told KCCI that state Highway 5 in Centerville was shut down for more than four hours as firefighters fought the fire.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com


U. of Iowa seeks ouster of doctor who alleged bias

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A University of Iowa lawyer has threatened to release damaging information about a tenured professor on paid leave unless they soon reach a settlement that would require him to resign and drop discrimination claims.

Radiology Professor Malik Juweid says university officials are retaliating after he embarrassed colleagues by alleging they made racist comments about him and other foreign-born doctors. A university review found derogatory statements were likely made but didn't constitute discrimination.

The Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has expressed ``grave disappointment'' about the school's treatment of Juweid.

The university put him on paid leave for alleged ``disrupting behavior'' Jan. 12. UI lawyer Rob Porter warned Juweid's lawyer Tuesday the school could soon release details to the news media and Juweid has until Friday to settle.

Iowa House approves online budget database

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa House has approved the creation of a free, online database that can be checked by people wanting to see how taxpayer dollars are spent.

The House voted unanimously Thursday to require the Iowa Department of Management to create a searchable budget database website by 2013.

The database will include information on the recipients of state funds and which agency provides those funds. It will also include information on outcomes of past expenditures and the expected outcome of a current expenditure.

The database will also include information on tax rates across the state.


Iowa House approves photo ID requirement to vote

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa House has approved a measure that would require voters to show government-issued photo identification before being allowed to cast a ballot.

Backers say the measure approved Thursday was needed to prevent voter fraud and ensure the integrity of the state's election system.

Opponents argue that Republicans support the measure because they want to suppress voter turnout. They say minority and elderly voters are more likely to lack photo identification.

The House approved the measure on a 60-40 vote along party lines. All Republicans voted in favor and all Democrats were opposed.

University of Iowa vows probe of players' disorder

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) University of Iowa leaders are ordering an investigation into what caused 13 football players to be hospitalized with an unusual muscle disorder following offseason workouts.

Board of Regents President David Miles and school President Sally Mason call the case ``a cause for grave concern.''

They agreed the university will have 90 days to complete an investigation analyzing events and the results will be presented to the Board of Regents. The review will involve independent experts.

The university has acknowledged that the players are affected by rhabdomyolysis, a condition that involves the release of muscle fiber into the bloodstream and can cause kidney damage. It can be caused by physical exertion, and players were participating in workouts that started last week.

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

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