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KLEM News Update February 13, 2011


2010 Census figures show Le Mars population is up 589 from a decade ago. 

State Senator Randy Feenstra, in Le Mars Saturday for a Legislative Forum, congratulated Le Mars residents on the city's growth.

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Feenstra said the Emmetsburg area had a loss of about five-thousand in population.

At the same forum, State Representative Chuck Soderberg said Plymouth and Sioux County stand out in western Iowa because of the population growth. Another area of growth was Dickinson County in the Lakes area.

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Feenstra will serve on a committee that will be review new district lines using 2010 Census figures. The committee will make a recommendation to the full Senate. The Senate may approve or disapprove.

 Craig history book is part of Centennial celebration

(CRAIG)--A Plymouth County community celebrating its 100th birthday will be featured at the Plymouth County Historical Museum in Le Mars next Sunday afternoon.

According to museum administrator Judy Bowman, "Celebrate Our Heritage" is the theme for 2011 at the museum.

Sue Moller of Craig recently published a Craig history. Moller will speak and share stories of her research into Craig's past. She will also show images from Craig. She is the city clerk and is a former president and treasurer of the Museum Board. The Craig history book will be available for sale during the museum's focus on Craig. A small exhibit will be displayed in the Home Room and in the Hometown Hall.

Another representative of Craig will speak about Centennial plans for the celebration June 10th through June 12th. The Craig Centennial Parade begins at 10 a-m Saturday, June 11th.

In keeping with the year-long theme of "Celebrate our Heritage," the museum is looking for photos of any celebrations from the past in Plymouth County. They're needed by April first, will be copied, and then returned in their original form.

Jazz groups perform, compete at WITCC

(SIOUX CITY) The sounds of high school jazz will return to the Western Iowa Tech Community College campus in Sioux City next week.

Western Iowa Tech hosts the fifth annual Lewis and Clark Jazz Festival with two days of big band performances and vocal jazz clinics.

More than 800 students from 30 area high schools will participate. This includes 29 big bands in the Black Box Theatre. The high school bands will vie for Iowa Jazz Championships spots as well as first through third place trophies.

Thirteen jazz choirs will perform in the Cargill Auditorium and will work with jazz artist Ly Tartell from Bloomington, Indiana.

The February 21st and February 22nd event is free and open to the public. The Monday performances are from nine in the morning to four in the afternoon and Tuesday from 8:30 in the morning to five in the afternoon.

Flu vaccine still recommended

(SIOUX CENTER) A community health group in northwest Iowa will offer flu vaccine for children six months through 18 years of age.

According to Greater Sioux Community Health Center executive director Nancy Dykstra, it's not too late to protect children from flu illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control released information that while flu activity can peak in January and February, late winter and early spring can be a prime time for the flu to attack. Flu season often lasts into April and May.

Greater Sioux Community Health Center of Sioux Center is offering free flu vaccines to all eligible children in the State of Iowa's vaccine for children program. The vaccines will be available Wednesday, February 23rd from 3-6 p-m on a first come, first serve basis without appointments needed.

AP Interview: Branstad will unveil preschool plan

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will unveil plans Monday for a $43 million preschool program that will offer scholarships to help parents pay to enroll their children in preschool.

Branstad tells The Associated Press that his plan would offer scholarships on a sliding scale based on income. His plan would replace the current $90 million-a-year program, which made preschool available to all 4-year-olds.

The new scholarship program would require all families to pay a portion of preschool costs. Branstad will release details of what families would qualify later.

Under his plan, children could enroll in religious schools and private programs as well as public schools.

Branstad says the state can't afford the current program at a time when Iowa faces a shortfall and he is pushing to reduce business taxes.

Gingrich blasts Obama's handling of Egypt crisis

FRUITLAND, Iowa (AP) Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says the Obama administration's handling of the political upheaval in Egypt has been ``clumsy'' and ``amateurish.''

In an interview with The Associated Press on Saturday, Gingrich said Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's decision to step down amid mass protests was ``good for the future.'' Gingrich was in Iowa gauging support for a possible White House bid in 2012.

However, Gingrich said Barack Obama's administration has been sending confusing signals that could damage U.S. credibility.

Gingrich told the AP ``you couldn't tell from day to day what the policy was.'' He spoke after headlining a fundraiser for a state representative in eastern Iowa.

2 men arrested after luring Iowa real estate agent

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) Two people have been arrested in the assault of a real estate agent lured to an Ottumwa house showing.

Police chief Jim Clark says 40-year-old Carl Lennie and 24-year-old Matthew Howard were being held Saturday in the Wapello County jail on robbery charges. Additional counts are pending. Bail was set at $25,000 each.

Numbers weren't listed for either man. Police say Lennie is homeless.

Clark says a real estate agent was lured Friday evening to a house for sale under the guise of showing it and was assaulted at knifepoint and tied up. The police chief says the woman got free and hid in the house, while the men fled with cash and a cell phone. They were arrested early Saturday.

The woman was treated at a hospital and released.

No suspects in death of man found in Iowa park

NORWALK, Iowa (AP) The Norwalk police chief says there are no suspects in the death of a man found under an antique caboose in a city park.

Ed Kuhl told the Des Moines Register that investigators aren't sure when 38-year-old Robert Fletcher died. His body was found about 4 p.m. Friday by a woman walking her dog in Norwalk Park.

Kuhl says Fletcher's death is suspicious, although suicide has not been ruled out. The police chief says there was trauma to the body and a scalpel was found nearby.

An autopsy will be done Monday or Tuesday.

Fletcher lived alone in an apartment near the park.

40 cattle killed, 2 barns burned in Iowa farm fire

SHERILL, Iowa (AP) A fire at a Dubuque County farm has destroyed two barns and killed 40 head of cattle.

The sheriff's office says the barns at Duane Kass' farm were fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived about 1:40 a.m. Saturday.

Damage is estimated at $500,000. The sheriff's office says that includes the loss of the barns and cattle, as well as various farm and milking equipment, hay and corn.

The cause of the fire was not released.

Iowa company donates grain bin houses to Haiti

SHEFFIELD, Iowa (AP) An Iowa company known for its grain bins has transformed the steel structures into houses for families in Haiti still homeless after last year's earthquake.

The Globe Gazette in Mason City says Sukup Manufacturing Co. in Sheffield is donating 16 houses to the Haiti Relief Fund.

The company transformed a grain bin into what it calls a Safe T-Home, which has a specially designed roof to keep heat out. The all-steel construction also keeps out the bugs.

Carlos Thertus, president and founder of the Haiti Relief Fund, says the homes are a key to Haiti's needs, noting they are safer during hurricane season. Company spokesman Steve Sukup says it ``feels good'' to provide homes to families who've been through so much.

The bins will go to Haiti in April.

(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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