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KLEM News Update March 3, 2011

Bill Haman, Industrial Program Manager for the Iowa Energy Center, was one of the featured speakers. He told the crowd of over 160 people that wind is a great natural resource for Iowa because the expanses of farmland in the state allow for shorter, and therefore less expensive, turbines.

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Average annual wind speeds across Iowa have a large range from less than 12 mph in the northeast, to up to 18 mph in the northwest. In the winter and spring that range increases to 18 mph averages in the northeast, to 27-30 mph averages in the northwest. In the summer it decreases drastically.

Haman says the inconsistency of the wind from season to season poses a problem.

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For that reason, government incentives and subsidies are in place to help grow the wind industry.

With the wind being so strong in this corner of the state, why aren't there more wind farms? Haman says that most wind farms are located in north central Iowa because they can easily attach to a grid to transmit the energy to areas with higher populations. However, the largest wind farm in the state is located in Storm Lake, with 257 turbines.

Continue to listen to KLEM in the coming days for more details from yesterdays Wind and Solar Energy Conference. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)

(LE MARS)--The move away from trash in Le Mars is a trend for a second month in the new year.

Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole reports more than 98-thousand pounds of recycling in February. When January and February are added together, Cole reports the 2011 recycling more than doubled the first two months of last year and nearly tripled the first two months of 2009.

The tally for keeping throwaway items from the trash totes is more than 100 tons for the first two months of 2011.

The city began an experiment with an every other week trash and recycling collection in January.

Next week, blue totes and blue recycling bags will be collected.

 (DES MOINES)--A Le Mars eye care specialist will serve on a state board.

Governor Terry Branstad Wednesday announced the appointment of Dr. Scott Ihrke to the Iowa Board of Optometry.

Dr. Ihrke provides eye care with Dr. Paul Schroeder in their practice, the Le Mars Optometric Clinic.

Branstad appointed Randy VanVoorst of Sioux Center to the Electrical Examining Board. Iowa Lottery Authority Board members will include Deborah Burnight of Sioux City and Herman Richter of Milford.

Attorney Rita Grimm of Sioux City was appointed to the Iowa Workforce Development Board. Joan Bruhn of Sioux City will serve on the Prevention of Disabilities Policy Council.

Sioux Citian Katherine Erion will serve on the Interior Design Examining Board.

The appointments to the Iowa Autism Council include Janet Rubes of Sioux City. Among the four appointments to the Board of Corrections is Dr. John Chalstrom of Cherokee.

The governor's choices also included Dr. Greg Hovertson of Sioux City to the Board of Medicine. Cham Umland of Sioux City was chosen for the Iowa Cultural Trust Board.

(LE MARS) A dividend for insurance coverage is being paid to the Le Mars Community School District.

Rob Bixenman of Bixenman Insurance of Le Mars is the agent for the school's E-M-C insurance coverage such as property.

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Bixenman said the dividend of 14-thousand dollars 651 dollars is about eight percent of the premium. The dividend is for three-years-- from July of 2007 to June of 2010. Bixenman noted E-M-C is "cutting back a little on dividends to try to give more on the front end for a competitive nature."

(LE MARS)--Des Moines is the destination for two Plymouth County officers.

County attorney Darin Raymond and Auditor Stacey Feldman, both of Le Mars, will be part of the Third Annual County Day at the Capitol hosted by the Iowa State Association of Counties.

According to written information, overall, county officials will focus their discussions with their legislators on funding mental health and developmental disabilities services and several property tax bills that have been introduced.

The County Day at the Capitol is today (Thursday).

(LE MARS)--A Le Mars group is trying to help parents work out.

Todd Lancaster of the Le Mars Area Family Y-M-C-A says the new program will be tried twice a week beginning March 15th.

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Lancaster says the Y has had some requests for kids' care.

An area at the Y is updated.

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Stencilling will complete the Spinning Room project.

 (ORANGE CITY)--Orange City's Fire Chief says a fire at an Orange City restaurant this morning does not appear to be suspicious.

Fire fighters from Orange City went to Blue Mountain Smokehouse, on Highway 10 East, just after three this morning. Alton and Sioux Center fire departments also responded.

Fire Chief Dennis Vander Wel reports the fire was contained to the south wing of the facility. The fire department completed the call in about three-and-a-half hours.

The chief says an investigation by the State Fire Marshall is pending.

WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court says judges can consider an inmate's rehabilitation at resentencing, but they aren't bound by earlier court decisions.

Jason Pepper served 24 months for conspiring to distribute methamphetamines in Akron, but then a different judge tacked on 41 more months, and Pepper went back to prison.

Pepper was arrested in 2003 in Akron on federal meth charges. The 31-year-old was an admitted addict who pleaded guilty, served a sentence and was released. He now lives in St. Joseph, Illinois.

Pepper says the second judge should have been bound by the findings that the first judge used to determine the original sentence. Pepper also says the second judge should have given more weight to his post-incarceration rehabilitation, which included finding a steady job and getting married.

The Supreme Court sent back the case back to a lower court for resentencing.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gamblers in Iowa would be able to use the Internet under a measure approved by a Senate committee.

But there's a catch: They would only be able to engage in gambling, such as Internet poker, on Iowa sites, or sites within the state's borders.

The State Government Committee approved the bill by a 9-6 vote on Wednesday, sending it to the full Senate.

The state would tax revenues generated by the sites. Supporters say it could generate up to $30 million a year.

The measure would also end a requirement that casino operators licenses be put to a public vote for renewal every years.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) A Council Bluffs man convicted of stabbing another man to death at a party has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Terrance Burnett was convicted of second-degree murder in the December 2009 death of Dustin Jones. The Omaha-World Herald says Burnett was sentenced on Wednesday in Pottawattamie County District Court.

Jones was found dead outside a house about 4 a.m. on Dec. 12. Investigators believe he was stabbed about two hours earlier during a fight not reported to police.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in the death of a Cedar Rapids toddler.

Eighteen-month-old Kamryn Schlitter died in March 2010 a week after medics found her suffering from seizure-like symptoms at an apartment in Hiawatha. Her death was ruled a homicide caused by head injuries. No criminal charges have been filed in her death.

KCRG-TV in Cedar Rapids says the girl's mother, Nicole King, filed a lawsuit in Linn County District Court. It alleges the child's father, Zyriah Schlitter, and Amy Parmer caused the girl's death.

Linn County Attorney Jerry Vander Sander says the investigation is ongoing and declined to comment. A telephone call by The Associated Press on Wednesday to Schlitter and Parmer's attorney, Michael Lindeman, was not immediately returned.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) State officials say residents of Hedrick in southeast Iowa should boil the tap water for now.

The Department of Natural Resources issued an advisory on Wednesday because of a broken water main. City officials say repairs should take a few hours, and residents should boil tap water for drinking or cooking until tests should it's safe.

The city lowered the pressure in the water system for repairs. When the pressure drops, there's a chance for bacterial contamination.

WAUKON, Iowa (AP) State officials are standing by a decision to kill a small herd of elk in northeast Iowa to prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease to other livestock diseases to deer.

The Department of Natural Resources believes the elk escaped from captivity and pose too great a threat, despite a growing number of fans.

Dale Garner is the department's wildlife bureau chief. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids says he told a crowd of about 100 people at a meeting in Waukon that officials are required to eradicate free-roaming elk. Garner says if the owner can't be found, an elk will be killed.

In the past three weeks, officials have killed three elk. At least two others are along the Yellow River in Allamakee

DES MOINES (AP) Officials say an Iowa hospital was forced to limit access to care in its psychiatric unit for three days after bed bugs were discovered in two patients' rooms.

Workers at Broadlawns Medical Center in Des Moines discovered bed bugs in room D5 during a routine cleaning early last month. The hospital hired a pest control company to eradicate the room of the tiny parasites that bite humans at night. But the problem wasn't over yet.

More bed bugs were discovered in room E6, and the hospital shut down the entire E hallway for spraying and cleaning to stop the spread.

The hospital's chief medical officer says the psychiatric unit was forced to stop admitting patients. It normally houses 26, but only had 16 during the cleaning.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An investigation of 25 top college football programs by Sports Illustrated and CBS News reports that 18 Iowa players had been in trouble with the law either before or after entering college.

Iowa's athletic director, Gary Barta, says most of the arrests of Iowa players were alcohol-related and none involved a violent crime.

SI and CBS News did various criminal background checks on all the players on the rosters of the teams in Sports Illustrated's 2010 preseason top 25 as of Sept. 1.

Iowa's total ranked second with Arkansas among programs in SI's preseason top 25.

Pittsburgh was first with 22 players who'd been in trouble with the law.

According to a story posted Wednesday on, the study found about 7 percent of the 2,837 players 204 total were found to have police records.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) Freshman Keith Appling pulled through for Michigan State on Senior Night, scoring 18 points to help the Spartans beat Iowa 85-66 Wednesday night in their last scheduled home game.

Michigan State (17-12, 9-8 Big Ten) has won four of six to improve its shot of earning a 14th straight NCAA tournament bid. The Spartans play rival Michigan on Saturday in a matchup of teams on the bubble.

The Hawkeyes (10-19, 3-14) have lost six straight games in the conference for a second time under first-year coach Fran McCaffery.

AMES, Iowa (AP) Former Michigan State guard Korie Lucious is transferring to Iowa State.

Iowa State says Lucious signed a financial aid agreement with the school Wednesday. Lucious, a junior, will redshirt next season and use his final year of eligibility with the Cyclones in 2012-13.

Lucious was suspended by coach Tom Izzo earlier this season for conduct detrimental to the program.

Lucious, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Milwaukee, helped the Spartans reach the Final Four the past two seasons and averaged 6.5 points in 18 games this year.

(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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