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KLEM News AM Update March 9, 2011

Grassley will host a town meeting for Plymouth County at the Kingsley Community Center March 23rd from 8-9 in the morning.

The Cherokee County town meeting is at the Aurelia Community Center from 9:15-10:15 on March 22nd.

Grassley hears concerns from O'Brien County residents at the Courthouse in Primghar from 11:15-12:15 on March 22nd. He'll be at the Inwood Community Center for a Lyon County town meeting March 22nd from 4-5 in the afternoon.

Grassley is not hosting a Sioux County town meeting this month but he speaks at the Hawarden Hospital Foundation Banquet at the Community Center on March 22nd.

(LE MARS)--Fall classes for Le Mars Community School students will begin August 25th.

The new school year calendar adopted by the Board of Education ends classes on May 24th of next year.

Winter vacation is from December 22nd to January 2nd. Spring vacation begins April 5th of next year and ends April 9th.

Commencement for the class of 2012 is May 20th.

(LE MARS)--A Republican who is exploring a run for President is making stops in northwest Iowa.

Herman Cain will be at Habitue in downtown Le Mars from 7:45 until 9:30 this morning.

Cain came to Iowa for the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition forum Monday night. He spoke to Woodbury County Republicans in Sioux City last night.

(LE MARS)--A donation from funds raised by volunteers will help fund a new Plymouth County Conservation Board facility.

On behalf of the Plymouth County Conservation Foundation, Tom DeKoster of Le Mars Tuesday gave a check for the outdoor environmental education center, the ECO Center, to the Board of Supervisors.

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Supervisors are contributing 300-thousand dollars in County Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) to the building project.

To raise nearly 52-thousand dollars, DeKoster said the Foundation had raffles for three shotguns and received donations from the towns of Hinton, Brunsville and Remsen.

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DeKoster, a retired elementary school teacher lead a summer environmental education corps that worked at Hillview Park, west of Hinton, beginning in the mid-1970s.

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The ECO Center is being built at Hillview Recreation Area and will overlook an area of the park with an elk herd.

On behalf of the board, Supervisors Chair Jim Henrich thanked the Conservation Foundation for the donation.

In other business Tuesday Supervisors:

*approved a liquor license for Hidden Acres Golf Course;

*delayed action on endorsing Burma Shave-style signs in rural areas near Kingsley until zoning regulations were met. No objections to the project were raised by supervisors. 

*received a monthly report on jail revenue which totalled 30-thousand 814 dollars.

*heard Engineer Tom Rohe report on the impact of Hungry Canyons Alliance funds in western Iowa counties, including Plymouth County. At the state level,  the Alliance received 300-400-thousand dollars. The federal amount was similar. The county has one culvert project planned southeast of Hinton using Alliance funds. The county expects reimbursement of about 78-hundred dollars.  

HAWARDEN, Iowa (AP) No injuries are reported in a fire that broke out in a biodiesel lab next to the West Sioux Community School in Hawarden. All students and faculty were safely evacuated Tuesday morning.

The fire was in a metal building that is separate from the main school. The fire was contained to that building, and the cause is under investigation.

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

(Orange City)  Nearly 200 students from Northwestern College are trekking to distant locales for Spring Break this week, but not to party on a beach. Students will work with ex-cons in Texas, people with disabilities in Mississippi and teaching immigrants from Somalia to speak English in Minneapolis. Northwestern's missions director Tommy Moon says doing service projects is an annual tradition.

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In all, students, faculty and staff from Northwestern are taking part in 15 different projects during the week -- from rebuilding a historic church in Colorado to building new homes in Arkansas and Kentucky. While some students may be all about relaxation or cutting loose during Spring Break, Moon says he never has to try and convince his students to sign on for these working vacations.

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Moon says the students who undertake this sort of mission trip usually find the rewards they've gained from the experience outweigh the work they did to help others.

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Students raise their own travel expenses for the adventures, through their families, friends, churches and campus fundraisers.

(DES MOINES)--Twelve Iowans will advise Governor Branstad on the state's transportation needs.

Branstad made the appointments Tuesday to the Governor's Transportation 2020 Citizen Advisory Commission.

The governor says they'll be an asset to the Iowa Department of Transportation as they assess the condition of the state's roadway system while evaluating current and future funding available to best address system needs.

Commission members appointed by Branstad include Ann Trimble-Ray of Early.

Every five years the Transportation Department completes a review of the current revenue levels of Iowa's road use tax fund and whether the revenues meet the construction and maintenance needs of state, city and county roads. The next report is due to lawmakers at the end of this year.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Senate wants to toughen the standards that teenagers would have to meet to get an intermediate driving license.

Under a bill the Senate approved 38-11 Tuesday, young drivers would have to avoid accidents and citations for a longer period of time in order to graduate to greater motoring privileges.

The measure that advanced in the Senate would require 16- and 17-year-old drivers to hold an instruction permit for 12 months without an accident or citation in order to receive the intermediate license. Current law requires six months of driving without incident.

The bill also would allow drivers with intermediate licenses to have only one unrelated minor passenger in a vehicle. The law now only requires that a safety belt be available for all unrelated minor passengers.

A violation of the new rules would result in a $50 fine.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Following a six-week investigation, Cedar Rapids police have charged a man with child endangerment for allegedly abusing his infant daughter.

The Gazette in Cedar Rapids says Timothy Holderfield, of Cedar Rapids, is accused of abusing his daughter on three different occasions, causing her to suffer a broken clavicle, broken ribs and bruising to the chest and face. Police first learned of the injuries on Jan. 21 when they were called to St. Luke's Hospital.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin says the child is recovering from her injuries.

Holderfield was taken into custody last Thursday and was released from the Linn County jail on $3,000 bond. Online court records do not list an attorney for his case.

ALGONA, Iowa (AP) A judge says he'll rule soon on a defense request to merge the trials of a Minnesota teenager charged with killing two convenience store clerks in Iowa.

Kossuth County Judge David Lester heard arguments Tuesday on a motion to combine the trials of 17-year-old Michael Swanson.

Swanson, of St. Louis Park, Minn., is charged as an adult with murder and robbery in Kossuth and Humboldt counties. He's accused of killing a clerk in Algona on Nov. 15, then driving to Humboldt and killing another clerk.

Defense attorney Charles Kenville says it would save the state money and make his case more convenient if the trials were combined. Prosecutors oppose the request, saying the state gets to decide how a case is prosecuted.

Kenville plans to use the insanity defense.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Public school administrators across Iowa would have greater authority to require a student dress code under a bill that the House has approved by an 89-7 vote.

The measure would allow school districts to prescribe standard dress for students if the school board determines that the policy is necessary or would improve the health, safety, or environment for learning.

Current law only allows school districts to prohibit students from wearing gang-related or other specific apparel.

The bill was filed in the wake of a parental challenge to a dress code by the Waterloo School District. The State Board of Education agreed earlier this year the school board overstepped its authority by implementing it.

The bill now goes to Senate.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa House has approved a bill to outlaw synthetic marijuana as well as so-called ``bath salts.''

The House on Tuesday voted 94-3 to classify the substances as Schedule I drugs, which are defined as having almost no legal purpose. Synthetic marijuana, also known as salvia divinorum, is sold under names such as ``K2'' and ``Spice.'' It has been linked to the recent death of an Indianola teen.

The other synthetic drug, often marketed as ``bath salts'' and sold under such brand names as ``Ivory Wave'' or ``Purple Wave,'' have made hundreds of users across the country sick already this year.

The bill approved Tuesday makes it a crime to deliver, manufacture, or possess the substances.

The measure now goes to the Senate.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Connecticut-based company has been ordered to pay more than $32 million in restitution for violating Iowa's buying-club law.

Judge Robert Hutchison issued his order Tuesday after finding last year that Vertrue used deceptive and unfair practices to market the so-called buying club memberships to nearly a half-million Iowans over the past 20 years, and violated the state's consumer fraud act. Monthly membership fees were charged to consumers' credit cards and bank accounts.

The Iowa attorney general's office says the memberships purported to provide discounts on items, including books, music, home improvement items and dining out, among others.

Hutchison ruled that 90 percent of consumers who bought the memberships would likely have canceled them within 3 days had they been notified of their right to cancel.

An e-mail message left for Vertrue was not immediately returned.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Senate has approved a bill updating the state's open records and open meetings laws, increasing penalties for violators.

The measure does not include the creation of a public information board, which had been included in earlier legislation and supported by the attorney general's office.

The bill, approved 48-0 Tuesday, increases the penalty for violating the law from between $100 and $500 to between $1,000 and $2,500.

It does not include the creation of a public information board that would have helped resolve disputes, trained government officials, proposed legislation and given informal guidance on the state's open records and open meetings laws.

The bill now goes to the Iowa House for consideration.

HOPKINTON, Iowa (AP) Funeral services are set for Friday for a 3-year-old girl killed by two dogs in the backyard of her home in Hopkinton in northeast Iowa.

The Des Moines Register says the funeral for Vanessa Husmann will be at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Hopkinton.

The toddler died last Saturday after being attacked by two Rottweilers.

The child's mother, Rhonda Marty, told the newspaper she doesn't know how the dogs got out of a locked kennel in the backyard. She says her daughter was never left alone with the dogs. But Marty says they got out somehow, perhaps by digging under the fence.

Blake Muller, who was at his mother's house nearby, tried to rescue Vanessa but fled when the dogs turned on him.

The dogs were euthanized.

CARLISLE, Iowa (AP) A former central Iowa high school band teacher accused of having sex with a student has pleaded not guilty.

Thirty-four-year-old Alexander Dyer, on Indianola, is charged with sexual exploitation by a school employee and lascivious sexual contact with a minor. KCCI-TV in Des Moines says he entered a written plea of not guilty in Warren County District Court.

Dyer resigned from Carlisle High School after he was arrested last month. Dyer is accused of have sexual relations with a 17-year-old female student at the school.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) Lauren Mansfield scored 23 points and Kelsey Bolte added 15 to lead fifth-seeded Iowa State to a 69-61 victory over Nebraska on Tuesday in the opening round of the Big 12 women's basketball tournament.

Iowa State will meet No. 4 seed Kansas State in Wednesday's quarterfinals.

The Cyclones (22-9) couldn't shake the Huskers until Chelsea Poppens snapped a 57-57 tie with a three-point play with 4:07 left.

Mansfield and Bolte each hit five 3s, and Poppens had a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds.

Jordan Hooper had 16 points and Lindsey Moore 13 for the Huskers (13-18), who are departing the Big 12 next year for the Big Ten.

Nebraska, a No. 12 seed that finished just 3-13 in the Big 12 regular season, hung tough throughout the first half, overcoming an early 12-point deficit to forge a 38-38 tie on Hooper's 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer.

(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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