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KLEM News PM Update February 28, 2011

Wells Enterprises Vice President Adam Baumgartner offered to help the Chamber with the survey. Wells staff, including Associate Manager of Consumer Insights Amanda Susemihl, assisted the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce effort to pose questions and compile results.

In general, survey questions asked about an ideal community of the size of Le Mars and then the same questions focusing on Le Mars.

KLEM News asked community leaders who are part of the survey effort to choose one opportunity they saw from survey results .

Neal Adler, Executive Director of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce, acknowledged it's difficult to single out one result.

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Survey results also show the community's older citizens are anxious to be involved.

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Le Mars Community Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt points out the value placed on having a strong public and private education.

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Wendt also sees the results as useful for the Le Mars Community Board of Education.

(DES MOINES)--Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey will be in northwest Iowa Tuesday.

Northey will tour American Natural Soy in Cherokee Tuesday morning. He'll speak at the Iowa Corn Growers Crop Fair at the American Legion Hall in Paullina at noon tomorrow. The public is invited to attend the Paullina event.

Northey postponed the Cherokee and O'Brien County stops earlier this month due to weather conditions.

The Spirit Lake corn and soybean farmer is serving his second term as Secretary of Agriculture and makes visits to each county in the state once a year.

(ORANGE CITY)--A rural Orange City burglary is being investigated by the Sioux County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities say the burglary occurred sometime between February 20th and February 26th at 4743 Jay Avenue, two miles south of Orange City.

Investigators report the losses at the residence included a 22-caliber rifle, a Dixon lawnmower, chainsaw, foosball table, log chains, weed eater, two bikes, a camp stove, coolers and children's games.

Entry was gained through an unlocked door. Anyone with information about the burglary is asked to use the Sheriff's Office Text-a-Tip program which is anonymous.

(DES MOINES)--Girl Scout programming is expected to be expanded at a northwest Iowa camp.

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa today announced the sale of their camp property south of Council Bluffs known as Camp Neyati.

 At this point, the new owner of the property and how the 280 acres will be used are not being disclosed.

Board chair Martha Krone says due to the cost to improve and maintain the property to meet Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa standards for safety as well as federal and state guidelines, the property had to be sold.

In a news release , Krone says the Scouts look forward to sharing news of expanded programming at the Joy Hollow camp; ideas to include a new heating and cooling system for the lodge; building a low elements challenge course, archery range; and additional communications and safety improvements.

The information will be provided through Girl Scouts publications, the website and meetings.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad says the state will move up the date of its leadoff presidential caucuses if others states schedule contests for earlier dates.

Iowa's caucuses are scheduled for Feb. 6, but officials in Florida have scheduled that state's primary for Jan. 31.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht says Monday that Branstad has made clear that if Florida sticks with its current date, Iowa will respond as it did in 2008.

Albrecht says Branstad will work with New Hampshire to coordinate the opening events of the presidential nominating process. Iowa traditionally holds the first caucuses, followed days later by the New Hampshire primary.

In 2008, the race to be first led Iowa to hold the caucuses Jan. 3.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds have announced plans for two trade missions to Asia later this year in hopes of boosting exports to that region.

Reynolds announced Monday that Branstad will travel to South Korea and China in a trip tentatively scheduled for June 6 to June 17. That trip will include business meetings, trade shows and a stop in Des Moines' sister city of Shijiazhuang, China.

Reynolds will travel to Japan and Taiwan in September, with details of her stops to be announced later.

Branstad is inviting Iowa businesses representatives to join him on the trip. They will be required to pay their own expenses, estimated at $5,000 to $6,000 per person

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Federal data say Iowa banks lent less money again last year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. says the total Iowa loan amount dropped for the second year in a row, to $42.8 billion in 2010. The state peak was $44.9 billion in loans in 2008.

Ron Hansen is president and CEO of Liberty Trust & Savings Bank in Durant. He told The Des Moines Register that people and businesses aren't asking for loans, even though banks have plenty of money available.

The FDIC says 26 Iowa banks lost money last year, compared with almost 50 Iowa in 2009.

Experts say bank loan figures are an indication of economic growth.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A survey suggests that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's favorability rating has dropped among likely Republican voters in Iowa.

The Des Moines Register's new Iowa Poll says the rating has dropped to 65 percent in a poll taken earlier this month, compared with 71 percent in November 2009.

The former vice presidential candidate has not publicly announced whether she'll run for president next year.

The poll of 800 Iowa adults was conducted Feb. 13-16 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The results include responses from 189 Republican likely voters, which have a margin of error of plus or minus 7.1 percentage points.

Representatives of Palin's political action committee declined to comment on the new poll.

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa (AP) A dog whose attack on a friend of its owner was apparently triggered by a cell phone ring tone has been given another chance to stay in Mount Pleasant.

The City Council tied 3-3 on a motion to support a police department order that the dog was dangerous and so had to leave the southeast Iowa town. That tie vote meant the motion failed, so the department decision was effectively overruled and the dog can stay.

Amber Waller told the council last week that her dog, Tank, had never been aggressive to anyone.

She says that when Tank heard the ring tone, he thought something was wrong.

The Mount Pleasant News says the ring tone was played for the council, and the tone sounded like a dog in distress.

19-year-old gets 25 years in Cedar Rapids robbery

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A 19-year-old man has been given 25 years in prison for helping assault and rob a man walking to his Cedar Rapids home last year.

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids says Ethen Ayers (AY-uhrz), of Cedar Rapids, helped rob Matthew Dostal (DOS'-tuhl) on Jan. 3, 2010.

Ayers' co-defendant, 18-year-old Vincent Connors, was convicted as well, and two others pleaded guilty for their part in the robbery.

Ayers also was given five years in prison for going armed with intent in another case. The sentence will be served at the same time as the robbery sentence.

Dostal testified that Connors had brandished a weapon and demanded money. Ayers then helped Connors beat and stab Dostal in the side and back.

BONAPARTE, Iowa (AP) A hen in southeast Iowa has provided its owner with a prize he calls ``egg-normous.''

It's a 4.1-ounce beauty that's about twice the size of large eggs sold by the dozens in supermarkets.

After it was laid Feb. 18 by an Australorp hen, Nathan Batten carried the egg around in his coat pocket for a couple of days to show his friends. He's since put it in his refrigerator.

The egg measures 3.5 inches long, 6.5 inches around.

Sean Skeehan raises chickens at Blue Gate Farm in Chariton. He says egg size depends on chicken breed, not chicken feed. He says Australorp eggs usually weigh about 3 ounces.

According to The Des Moines Register, Batten intends to contact Guinness World Records to see whether he's got a worthy entry.

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

Submit your news release, photo, 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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