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KLEM News PM Update January 31, 2011

 National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Small says it started this morning with light freezing drizzle and snow - but only a few inches of snow are expected through tonight.

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Small says the combination of snow, wind and frigid air will make driving or being outside extremely dangerous.


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The snow won't melt anytime soon. Although temperatures will warm up slightly later in the week, highs aren't expected above freezing. (Radio Iowa)

Winter returns after a late January thaw

(LE MARS)--Fuel up the snow blower and find the shovels and boots--up to eight inches of snow is forecast in Siouxland.

Snow today will continue into the night before tapering off from north to south on Tuesday. This long duration of snowfall is forecast to produce five-to-eight inches of snow in our area. North winds will steadily increase today to 20 to 30 miles an hour. That will produce areas of blowing snow and drive wind chill readings to 15 to 30 degrees below zero. The bitterly cold wind chills will continue into Tuesday and Tuesday night with wind chills to 40 degree below zero possible.

Some light mist was reported starting about four this morning. Freezing drizzle followed, especially in the Sioux City area where fog was also reported. By 8:30 this morning the moisture was white..the start of snowfall.

Three inches is in the KLEM forecast today with another three inches tonight and an inch tomorrow.

Burwitz is safely out of Cairo

(SIOUX FALLS, SD)--An Augustana College Band member from Le Mars is safely out of Egypt.

The son of Don and Linda Burwitz, 21-year-old Jeff Burwitz, is a junior who plays low brass with the Sioux Falls college's band.

The Augustana band's three-week tour of Egypt took them to Cairo, but Don Burwitz says political turmoil cut short the last part of their travel plans last week.


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The college student has been communicating with his family.

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The Le Mars Community High School graduate did not say he was in danger.

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The first two Augustana groups, including Jeff Burwitz, are scheduled to return to Sioux Falls tonight. The last members of the band are expected to arrive in Sioux Falls tomorrow.

BIG fish created on ice Saturday

(SPIRIT LAKE)--A fish tale was one BIG fish Saturday.

Two-hundred 80 men, women and children stood on the ice on Miller's Bay at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory Saturday for the biggest ArtsLIVE People Project yet.

The Big Fish was designed by Chad Branham, photographed by Judy Hemphill Photography and Midwest Flying Service Incorporated and hosted by Friends of Lakeside Lab. This was the fourth public art project during the Winter Games at the Iowa Great Lakes.

You can see the fish on the KLEM web page slide show. The photo is courtesy of Judy Hamphill Photography and Midwest Flying Service Inc.


Branstad reshapes economic development department

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad has unveiled legislation that would replace the Iowa Department of Economic Development with a public-private entity he says would be more friendly to businesses.

The new agency will be called the Iowa Partnership for Economic Progress. It will be governed by an independent board led by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds.

Branstad says Debi Durham, the director of the Department of Economic Development, will lead the new agency.

Branstad, who announced the legislation Monday, made reshaping the state's economic development efforts the centerpiece of last year's campaign.

Branstad outspent Culver on TV at end of campaign

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Republican Terry Branstad's campaign spent nearly twice as much on television advertising in the final five weeks of the campaign as his Democratic foe, Chet Culver.

The Des Moines Register says the heavy ad schedule made it tough for Culver to buy lots of air time in the critical closing days of the gubernatorial race, which Culver lost by 9 percentage points.

According to campaign finance reports, Branstad bought $1.26 million in TV time starting on Oct. 1; Culver's campaign spent a little over $661,000 in the final month.

In total, the two campaigns raised a record $16.8 million for the race.


Firefighter injured fighting Iowa City blaze

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa City authorities are investigating the cause of an apartment fire that left one firefighter injured and some residents without their homes.

The Iowa City Fire Department was sent to the two-story building a little before 11 p.m. Saturday. A second alarm was soon called, and the fire was declared under control before 11:50 p.m.

The injured firefighter was treated at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for burns on his hands, then released.

Firefighters rescued a dog from the building's second floor.

Fire officials say they're searching for a man who may have been an eyewitness.

Total damage was estimated at $135,000.

Residents of the undamaged units were able to get back into their homes.

Iowan gets probation for stealing from employer

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A 41-year-old Cedar Falls man has been given two years of probation and community service as part of a deferred judgment for his theft conviction.

Thomas Finnegan had pleaded guilty to stealing about $57,000 from his employer, ABC Insurance in Hudson, between September 2008 and March 2010. According to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, prosecutor Linda Fangman says Finnegan has already repaid $45,000.

Court records say Finnegan admitted stealing from ABC and said he had a gambling problem.

In a deferred judgment, the conviction is removed from a defendant's record if the defendant successfully completes probation terms.

The Iowa Insurance Commission says it has revoked Finnegan's license.

More nonresidents filling Iowa college classes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) More and more out-of-state students especially foreign scholars are bringing their extra tuition dollars to Iowa colleges.

Federal data say only eight other states relied more on out-of-state students to fill their freshman classes in fall 2008.

The Des Moines Register says nonresidents pay an average three times more in Iowa tuition. Nonresident undergraduates paid 55 percent of the three Iowa schools' tuition this year, up 6 percentage points from the 49 percent in 2000.

A third of students at Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa are not Iowa residents. Ten years ago, nonresidents made up a fourth of the student bodies.


Farmers create new alliance to fight bad publicity

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Two dozen of the nation's largest and best-funded farm groups have formed a coalition to counter poor publicity they say had led to bad public policy and threatened farmer's ability to produce food.

The U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance includes groups such as the National Corn Growers Association and National Pork Producers Council.

Their members are worried about the impact videos showing the mistreatment of livestock are having on consumers' attitudes and about the effect of groups opposed to biotech crops.

Social networking media such as Twitter and Facebook are likely to be part of the alliance's efforts, but officials with the Humane Society of the United States say using social media to defend practices most people find indefensible may be a bad strategy.

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

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