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KLEM News Update March 4, 2011

In a news release, Governor Terry Branstad said he and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds look forward to sharing their vision to create 200-thousand new jobs for Iowans.

Branstad and Reynolds will include Sioux City in their northwest Iowa stops this morning at 9 at the Sioux City Library's downtown location.

They'll be at the Le Mars Convention Center's lower level at 10:30 this morning. Stops are also planned at Pizza Ranch in Orange City and Frontier Bank basement in Rock Rapids. The Orange City Jobs Tour meeting is at 1p-m followed by the Rock Rapids location at 3 p-m. The meetings are open to the public.

(ORANGE CITY)--Successful investment in northwest Iowa communities is being recognized.

U-S-D-A Rural Development State Director Bill Menner says the 15-year relationship with North West R-E-C has provided nine groups with loans.

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U-S-D-A Rural Development often works with utilities such as cooperatives and telecommunications firms often. But Menner explains the scope is unique with North West R-E-C.

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Menner explains North West R-E-C's efforts dovetail with the rural community focus of U-S-D-A Rural Development.

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Some of the communities and businesses assisted with the initial loans have included the city of Le Mars Industrial Park, Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon, Rock Valley Economic Development Corporation, Orange City Area Health System and Galva-Holstein School's Performing Arts Center.

North West R-E-C has then used the revolved funds to assist 26 groups by providing them with additional loan funds. Information about programs through U-S-D-A Rural Development is available through the Le Mars office by calling 546-5149.

(Le Mars) -- When it comes to renewable energy resources, solar is a hot item. Bill Haman, Industrial Program Manager for the Iowa Energy Center, says that solar, not wind, may be the best option right now for those looking to offset their energy consumption.

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The raw material that goes into solar cells is polysilicon, the same material that is used to make computer chips. Just a few years ago, China amped up production of polysilico, creating a bigger supply which made the price go down. Haman says the recession, as it relates to Europe, is the other reason solar energy is becoming more affordable.

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The sun delivers enough energy to this earth in one hour to power the entire world population for a year. Haman marvels at the possibilities that leads to.

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The average home uses 900 kilowatt hours a month, which would require a 7.7 kilowatt system over a year, so at a thousand dollars per watt, we're talking over 7 million dollars for one home.

Not so overly priced are the solar panels on the market now that have efficiency ratings from 5-19%. Current pricing per watt for an installed panel is five to six dollars. This means that the average cost for an average home would be about $40,000 for a solar system. Right now, small wind turbines are going up for $50-60,000.

For detailed information about renewable energy including grants and funding and calculators to help you figure out what kind of systems might work for you visit www.energy.iastate.edu.

(KINGSLEY)--Kingsley-Pierson students will meet an author who has taken them to new heights in their English classrooms.

Kingsley-Pierson English instructor Jayne Vondrak leads the learning for junior and senior classes that have explored mountain climbing. They've read a book by a climber whose first husband died on an expedition.

The author, Jennifer Lowe-Anker, speaks to the Kingsley-Pierson middle and high school students today.

Lowe-Anker will autograph her book, "Forget Me Not" before and after she speaks to the public at the Kingsley-Pierson School Gym in Kingsley at seven tonight. Vondrak expects the presentation to appeal to many, including those with an interest in travel.

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Lowe-Anker talks about giving back to communities because she's set up a climbing school in Nepal in her first husband's memory.

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Support from the Iowa Writing Project, the Kingsley-Pierson School, Kingsley's Public Library, Kingsley State Bank and other donors is providing the free program.  

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) Sioux City is considering options for a former meatpacking plant that could potentially bring hundreds of jobs back to the area.

Associated Press reports the City Council Thursday unveiled plans to develop the former site of the John Morrell Co. pork processing plant as a business park.

The subsidiary of Smithfield, Va.-based Smithfield Foods closed the plant last April, eliminating over 1,400 jobs.

Following months of negotiations, the City Council will decide Monday whether to accept the 23-acre site free of charge from the company and apply for $2 million in federal grants for demolition and other costs.

Sioux City Economic Development Director Marty Dougherty says it's a ``win-win situation.''

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

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A 22-year-old man who robbed a Sioux City bank branch in July 2009 has been given 35 years in prison.

Boe Adams had pleaded guilty after making a deal with prosecutors. The robbery charge was reduced to theft, and several other charges and counts were dropped. The robbery occurred at a former Vantus Bank branch. No one was injured.

Court records say that on Tuesday, Adams was given 10 years for theft and 25 years for ongoing criminal conduct. The records don't describe what was included in that charge.

The sentences are to be served consecutively.

Adams is from Sioux City.

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

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) A 52-year-old man has been charged with murdering his longtime girlfriend at the home they shared in Dubuque.

Teodoro Borrego appeared in court on Thursday and is being held on $750,000 bail.

He returned to Iowa on Wednesday, having been taken into custody in Oklahoma City, Okla., last week.

Borrego is accused of shooting to death 40-year-old Shani Smith. She was found dead in their home after she didn't show up for work.

He's due back in court on March 15 and will be represented by a public defender. Online court records don't yet list that lawyer's name.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police have identified a man who was shot to death on the northwest side of the city.

Police say 24-year-old Cyrus Hicks, of Des Moines, was found dead early Thursday.

Two 911 calls about a shooting prompted police to be dispatched just after midnight.

The Des Moines Register says officers found Hicks on a sidewalk between two buildings at the Oakview Terrace Apartments.

No arrests have been made.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police say an officer was taken to a hospital after a vial of methamphetamine opened in her hands, spraying white powder in her face.

Officer Shawna Ellis was taken to the hospital Wednesday night for an exposure evaluation. Police spokesman Sgt. Chris Scott on Thursday says Ellis is OK.

According to The Des Moines Register, the incident happened as Ellis was investigating a shoplifting incident.

Ellis says in a report that when she tried to slide the lid off the vial, it opened and she inhaled the powder.

James Cogdill, of Des Moines, faces several charges including manufacturing methamphetamine and fifth-degree theft. He's in the Polk County jail on Thursday on $100,000 bond. Jail officials didn't know if he had an attorney.

ELGIN, Iowa (AP) A 36-year-old northeast Iowa woman is accused of using someone else's name to obtain a student loan.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says the Fayette County Sheriff's Office arrested Tiqua  Anderson on Wednesday.

The felony charge is identity theft and carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

The sheriff's office says Anderson used another person's name without permission to get a federal student loan in January.

A phone listing for Anderson could not be found. Online court records don't yet list the name of her attorney.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa State University is accusing employees at a Des Moines animal hospital it recently purchased of secretly plotting to launch a competing clinic.

ISU purchased Iowa Veterinary Specialties in January for $4.6 million. University officials said buying the clinic would give veterinary students and professors a place to practice.

But lawsuit filed by ISU claims that while the deal was pending, three key doctors and its operations manager were planning to leave and start the competing Iowa Veterinary Referral Center in Des Moines. That facility opened on Tuesday.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent the from working there and accuses them of misconduct. The four say they've done nothing wrong and only want to help treat pets.

(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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