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KLEM News Update March 7, 2011

(LE MARS) Tax issues are expected to be on a list of legislation at the Statehouse this week for State Representative Chuck Soderberg.

Soderberg, a Le Mars Republican, explains that includes changes to make Iowa more attractive for business.

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Lawmakers passed a deadline last week known as funnel week and some legislation is dead for this session because it was not moved out of a committee.

(SIOUX CITY)--A portion of Highway 75 near Sioux Center is slated to close for a road project beginning today (Monday).


(Detour route provided by Iowa Department of Transportation/Ames)

According to the Dean Herbst of the Sioux City office of the Iowa Department of Transportation, a bridge is being replaced on Highway 75, between Highway 18 and Lyon County Road A-52.

If weather conditions are favorable, Herbst expects the work to be completed by July 15.

(LE MARS)--Signs and a house remodeling project are the new building activity in Le Mars for the second month of the new year.

Jason Vacura of City of Le Mars Code Enforcement issued four permits for construction estimated at about 15-thousand dollars.

That's also the yearly total.

(LE MARS)--Storage buildings dominate the latest construction report in rural areas of Plymouth County.

Zoning Administrator Alan Lucken issued 11 permits for construction of 608-thousand dollars in February.

The farm total of 328-thousand dollars is for nine permits that include hay and machine storage. Lucken's permit report also lists two house additions and a grain bin.

Permits for rural building construction that is not on a farm included one new house and a permit for a house that was moved. The construction value for the two permits was estimated at 281-thousand dollars.

(LE MARS)--Le Mars fire fighters were out on a grease fire call at a Le Mars business for about an hour Sunday.

Le Mars Fire-Rescue Chief David Schipper reports grease overflowed from a broaster in the kitchen of Godfather's Pizza at 625 Hawkeye Drive about noon Sunday.

Fire was contained to the broaster and there was no other damage from the accidental fire.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Herman Cain has never held public office, but Iowa Republicans are expressing strong interest in the Georgia businessman who is edging toward a run for the White House.

Cain, a former co-owner of the Godfather's Pizza chain, will join other potential Republican presidential candidates today at a forum in Des Moines.

Then Cain makes stops in northwest Iowa. Tuesday night his public schedule lists him as giving the keynote address at the Woodbury County GOP dinner in Sioux City. Wednesday morning he'll be in Le Mars at Habitue Coffeehouse and Creperie from 7:45 to 9:30. The public event in Cherokee is at Danny's Sport Spot from 2:45-4 in the afternoon. He also makes a stop at the White House Inn in Paullina for a Leader's Lunch from 12:30 to two in the afternoon.

Former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Richard Schwarm says Cain is creating a buzz among activists who vote in the state's caucuses, which lead off the presidential nominating process.

Schwarm says Cain is a longshot to win, but notes that there isn't a clear favorite less than a year out from the caucuses.

Cain gets his strongest support from people in the tea party movement.

Cain says Americans appreciate his views on limited government and want a strong leader. (Portion of this news report are from Associated Press)

(SIOUX CITY)--A four-hour standoff ended safely Saturday night in Sioux City.

Forty-six-year-old Michael Ray Hall is charged with burglary. Police report Hall was accused of pointing a gun at eleven people inside a home at 507 West Second Street.

Hall and others had been watching a game and he became upset and left. He returned with a gun and police say he made threatening statements before running back to his house at 201 Sioux Street.

A SWAT team was called when Hall refused to come out or speak to officers. The SWAT team went into the residence about 10:30 Saturday night and arrested Hall without any resistance.

HOPKINTON, Iowa (AP) A couple's pet Rottweilers attacked and killed their 3-year-old granddaughter in the fenced-in back yard of their eastern Iowa home, authorities said.

Delaware County authorities say the Hopkinton couple wasn't home and a babysitter was looking after their granddaughter when the Saturday evening attack occurred. The sheriff's office did not know the relationship between the couple and the babysitter, and it did not release the names of anyone involved.

The girl was severely injured by the dogs and was declared dead on arrival at an Anamosa hospital.

The dogs were euthanized at the grandparents' request.

CENTER JUNCTION, Iowa (AP) An Iowa man has died from injuries suffered in an ATV crash.

The Jones County sheriff's office told KGAN-TV that deputies were called to a Center Junction residence about 10 p.m. Saturday to assist 39-year-old Kelly Kelchner, who was taken inside after the crash. He was flown to an Iowa City hospital, where he died.

Details of the crash weren't immediately available.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Employees of a failed farm equipment dealership in eastern Iowa have been sentenced in a financial scheme that authorities say bilked banks and farmers of more than $7 million.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports 51-year-old Allen Scott, of Grundy Center, and 57-year-old Donna Zmolek, of Dike, were each sentenced to just over three years for mail fraud. They were also ordered Friday to help their boss, Leon Walterman, pay $10.6 million in restitution.

Walterman owned Walterman Implement in Dike. The dealership filed for bankruptcy in 2005. Authorities say the company double financed farm equipment purchases and submitted false contracts to lenders. Walterman was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison.

Two other workers, 65-year-old Allen Wulf of Reinbeck and 46-year-old Gary Miller of Dike, were given probation for wiretapping.

NEW ALBIN, Iowa (AP) Four people fell through thin ice on a Mississippi River offshoot in northeast Iowa but were quickly able to get out of the water.

The state Department of Natural Resources says Jeffry Kedrowski, of Janesville, Wis., was operating an ATV pulling a trailer with three people aboard when it went through the ice on Fish Lake in Allamakee County about 8 a.m. Saturday. All four people went into the water but were able to get out and make a fire on a nearby island to keep warm. A New Albin Rescue crew got them back to shore in an airboat, and no one was taken to a hospital.

Conservation officer Bill Collins says ice conditions are unpredictable amid thawing and re-freezing. People should use caution on the ice.

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) Some communities in America's heartland are gearing up for a flood-soaked spring after getting hammered with unusually heavy snow this winter.

The National Weather Service says parts of Minnesota and the Dakotas are virtually certain to be inundated, as they have for the past two years. But this winter's snowy barrage has enlarged the danger zone.

Prospects for flooding caused by melting snow and spring rains are rated high or above average in river basins from northern Montana to St. Louis. Other potential trouble spots include the lower Great Lakes, eastern New York state and southern New England.

Even parts of the South experienced rare snowstorms. But there's no flood threat there because most of the region is suffering from drought and the ground easily absorbed the snow melt.

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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