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KLEM News AM Update March 8, 2011

According to the agenda for the weekly meeting, Conservation Board Director Dennis Sohl meets with supervisors at 10 to make the ECO Center presentation.

An outdoor learning center, the ECO Center is being built at Hillview Recreation Area which is the headquarters for the Conservation Board and the largest area of developed county park space.

The board is slated to review support for Burma Shave-style signs near Kingsley and possibly approve changes in the construction contract for the Courthouse Annex Building.

Engineer Tom Rohe rounds out the board's agenda at 10:15 this (Tuesday) morning.

Agenda: Tuesday, March 8, 2011

9:30 AMJim Henrich, Plymouth County Board Chairman
1.Call meeting to order
2.Approve this agenda (Action)
3.Approval of prior Board meeting minutes (Action)
4.Approval of claims and payroll (Signatures)
5.Committee Reports (Discussion)
6. Old Business
7. New Business
A. Approve resolution of support for Burma Shave Signs near Kingsley (Action)
B. Review Courthouse Annex change orders for possible approval (Action)
C. Approve Liquor License for Hidden Acres Golf Course (Action )
D. Open and review mail/correspondence (Discussion)
E. Open public forum (Informational)

10:00 AMDennis Sohl, Plymouth County Conservation Director - ECO Center Presentation (Informational)

10: 15 AMTom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer
(Action Items)
No Action Items

(Discussion Items)
Questions/Discussion of the Secondary Road Department

(Informational Items)
Update on construction projects

(LE MARS)--An art project for the Ice Cream Capitol of the World is taking shape--literally.

Patrick Keough  of Shelton, Nebraska, has created the six-foot tall fiberglass sculpture design that will be used as the form for the public art ice cream cone project in Le Mars. Keough owns the business America's Fiberglass Animals.

According to Mary Reynolds of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street Program, twenty-seven large ice cream cones will be placed throughout Le Mars after the fiberglass forms are painted by Siouxland artists.

Partners who are coordinating the public art ice cream cone project include the Le Mars Art Center, City of Le Mars Convention and Visitor's Bureau; Young Professionals (HYPER); and the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce.

Project information is available from Reynolds at the chamber office. (Photo contributed courtesy Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce/America's Fiberglass Animals)

(LE MARS)--Leader and listener are two words employees use to describe the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce "Boss of the Quarter."

Daryl Friedenbach  received the chamber's boss honor Monday  afternoon. He is the director of fiscal services at Floyd Valley Hospital.

A nomination for Friedenbach characterized him as a calm leader who values both work and family, is dedicated to Floyd Valley Hospital and sets a very positive attitude as a leader. He is credited with having a great sense of humor and always having time for an employee.

The hospital's director of fiscal services is also valued for his great overall knowledge of hospital operations.

(SIOUX CITY)--Sioux City is working to redevelop the site of a former meatpacking plant that closed last year. More than 14-hundred workers lost their jobs when the John Morrell  and Company pork processing plant shut down. Marty Dougherty, the city's economic development director, says the area's about to get new life.

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He says another food processing company is interested in the facility and in creating up to 200 new jobs. Dougherty says the company, Global Foods, was interested in the site because of its proximity to a highway and railway.

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The City Council Monday afternoon acquired the site for the re-development and agreed to apply for federal funds for the work. (News report by Radio Iowa)

(SIOUX CITY)--"Citizen CPR" will be offered Saturday in Sioux City.

The Siouxland Chapter of the American Red Cross is hosting "Save-a-Life Saturday," beginning hourly at 11 in the morning and continuing until six in the evening.

The 30-minute "Citizen CPR" features a video, practice on CPR training manikins and instruction on how to recognize an emergency, call for help and perform compression-only CPR.

Red Cross Health and Safety Director Jean Grove says this class is a non-certified class and provides the average person with skills to potentially save a life.

To honor Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and those involved in the Tucson tragedy, the American Red Cross will offer the training at more than 100 locations on Saturdays this month. The congresswoman's chief of staff credits basic first aid skills by a heroic individual as part of the reason the congresswoman is alive today.

The Siouxland Red Cross event Saturday is at Southern Hills Mall in the western wing area.

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A hearing is under way in federal court Court in Sioux City for the first woman given a federal death sentence since the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976.

Angela Johnson, of Forest City, is challenging her conviction and sentence. Her attorneys claim she was incompetent and had ineffective lawyers. Johnson was convicted in federal court in 2005 in the 1993 drug-related slayings of three adults and two children in northern Iowa. The bodies were found in shallow graves in 2000.

According to court records, an evidentiary hearing began Monday. It's scheduled to last until Friday. Another evidentiary hearing is scheduled for the week of June 13.

Johnson's boyfriend, Dustin Honken, also was convicted and received a federal death sentence.

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

(SIOUX CITY)--A Sioux City student is the state poetry champion for the second year in a row.

Grace Rants of Sioux City East won the 2011 Poetry Out Loud championship Saturday edging out 14 other competitors.

Rants, the daughter of Christopher and Trudy Rants of Sioux City, receives a cash award; a $500 check for her school; and a trip to Washington, D-C to compete in the Poetry Out Loud National Finals in April. John Emmette Mahon of Sioux City's Peacemakers Academy in Sioux City was the winner a year ago.

Other students who competed at the state level over the weekend included Anthony Hunt of Spalding Catholic High School and Christine Madden of Sioux City North High School.
(LE MARS) Signup begins next Monday for the Conservation Reserve Program at Farm Service Agency offices including Plymouth County.

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest voluntary private-land conservation program. This is the second year in a row that a C-R-P program has been offered

An Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) for environmental factors and a cost factor are used to make decisions about acres accepted into enrollment.

The deadline to signup acres is April 15th.

WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) Five Republicans mulling 2012 presidential bids went out of their way to talk about religion during an Iowa forum.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty said, ``We need to be a nation that turns toward God, not one that turns away from God.''

Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, said America is ``at a crossroads that we cannot hide from.''

The potential candidates shared a stage at a church in Waukee. They were testing their strength among social conservatives who hold the key to Iowa's lead-off caucuses.

The forum hosted by The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition also included businessman Herman Cain, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer.

Earlier Monday, Texas Rep. Ron Paul spoke at two Iowa events sponsored by The Family Leader.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Union members and supporters have urged lawmakers not to approve a bill that would limit public workers' collective bargaining rights.

A hearing Monday gave people the chance to voice their thoughts on the bill. The measure would limit bargaining on several issues, including the terms and source of insurance, restrictions on outsourcing and factors that can be considered before employee layoffs.

The bill also calls for arbitrators to consider a comparison of the wages, benefits, hours and conditions of state workers with comparable private sector workers. Republicans say the bill is necessary to balance the budget as the state faces a $700 million shortfall.

Danny Homan, president of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Iowa Council 61, said he doesn't expect the public comments to change lawmakers' minds.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A filmmaker shooting a documentary about the treatment of Arabs in the U.S. claims he was beaten by men who called him racial epithets after he wandered uninvited into an Iowa house party.

Fairfield Police Chief Julie Harvey said Monday that officers found Usama Alshaibi bleeding from his forehead and nose, and believe he was assaulted. She says her department is treating the report as a hate crime and searching for assailants.

Alshaibi says he was repeatedly punched and kicked by four men early Sunday after he walked into the party in Fairfield, where he moved last year. He says the men called him an epithet used to refer to Arabs as well as ``Osama bin Laden.''

Alshaibi is producing a film called ``American Arab'' for Chicago-based Kartemquin Films.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A state audit released Monday found more than $114,000 in improper spending at a defunct eastern Iowa center for problem gambling, including $38,000 in excessive salary to the center's director.

The report released by state Auditor David Vaudt looked at financial records for the Eastern Iowa Center for Problem Gambling from May 2007 through April 2009.

The center's director, Janet Meisenbach declined comment, saying she was unaware of the audit.

The audit also identified improper travel allowances for Meisenbach of $29,000; improper vacation payouts of more than $4,800; and improper and unsupported purchases with the center's credit card of more than $41,000.

The center, which had offices in Davenport, Washington, Clinton and Cedar Rapids, closed in August 2009.

Branstad signs budget web site into law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law a bill creating a searchable, online state budget database, among other things.

The bill, signed on Monday, also calls for health care plans for state lawmakers to be no better than those of executive branch workers, and requires a request for proposals to sell or lease the Iowa Communications Network.

The bill also formally shifts responsibilities from the Rebuild Iowa Office to other agencies, and reduces funding for the office in the current fiscal year. The office was created in the wake of record flooding in 2008. It's due to be shut down this summer.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Iowa's attorney general says it will be several months before a final deal is reached with five big U.S. banks on changing the system of foreclosures to compel lenders to modify more homeowners' loans.

Tom Miller is a leader of the negotiations with the banks by the 50 state attorneys general and federal regulators. The talks began last fall after the state and U.S. officials launched an investigation of whether banks used flawed documents to foreclose on home borrowers.

Miller said he hoped for a final agreement ``in a couple months.'' He wouldn't discuss specifics. Under draft terms, banks reportedly would be barred from starting foreclosure while homeowners are trying to modify their mortgage.

The lenders are Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and GMAC.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad is resuming his call-in radio show on WHO radio.

Branstad says he will revive the ``Call Governor Branstad'' show beginning Tuesday night. The program will air the second Tuesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Branstad says the program is just another way for his administration to listen to the concerns and suggestions of Iowans. Those who live outside the WHO radio listening area can listen live at .

(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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