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KLEM News AM Update March 10, 2011


Herman Cain, a radio talk show host and former co-owner of Godfather's Pizza, spoke with Plymouth County residents in Le Mars Wednesday morning.

In a KLEM News interview, Cain talked about his plan to lower debt and improve the economy.

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Cain would also change the capital gains tax.

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Cain cites estimates of a higher amount today.

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A web site, HermanCain.com, is home to the Atlanta, Georgia talk show host's presidential exploratory committee.

(LE MARS)--Larger construction projects are reflected in the more than 10-million dollars in building activity in Le Mars for 2010.The annual report for the Le Mars Code Enforcement and Building Department lists 112 permits.

As Jason Vacura of Code Enforcement explains, construction costs and fees increased last year due to larger projects such as a regional John Deere dealership.

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The construction costs in 2010 were 10-million 572-thousand dollars compared to about one-third of that or three-million 369-thousand dollars in 2009. Fees collected by the city totalled just under forty-thousand dollars last year compared to nearly 23-thousand dollars in 2009.

Vacura reported a huge drop in residential houses and commercial buildings about four years ago with activity evening out in the last three years. As an example, there were nine permits for new houses in 2008; seven in 2009; and 11 in 2010.

(LE MARS)-- We're kicking off a new photography feature here on KLEM.  With an abundance of talented amature and professional photographers in our area, we thought it would be fun to tell their story and feature some of their work on klem1410.com.


David Moore is a music teacher at Marcus-Meriden-Cleghorn (MMC) School who is also a nature enthusiast that takes great pictures.

Moore said that growing up his family was always taking pictures for the family photo album, and it eventually rubbed off on him.

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He got his first digital camera in 2002, and that's when the fun really began. 

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And experiment he does.  He likes being outdoors, so many of his pictures feature landscapes and nature.  He said that he very much enjoys taking pictures when he travels to places like the Rocky Mountains, but since life doesn't allow for a lot of travel time, he finds plenty to shoot near home.

 

 

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He also likes to take pictures from different perspectives.

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That perspective can be seen on the photos displayed here.

Moore says that he doesn't take pictures for competitions, he takes them for himself.  He did, however, enter a photo of a full moon beaming over an Iowa cornfield at the Plymouth County Fair last year. It earned him a blue ribbon. (News report by Angela Drake of KLEM.

(Photography by David Moore/Le Mars)

 (LE MARS)--The new state budget will determine whether a full-time Clerk of Court is appointed in Plymouth County.

The interim clerk who is serving the Court System in Le Mars following the retirement of Clerk of Court Charlene Peterson in Plymouth County is also making retirement plans.

Interim Clerk of Court Craig Jorgensen, the Woodbury County Clerk of Court, will retire at the end of next month.

Court Administrator Leesa McNeil says applications are being accepted for the full-time opening as Woodbury County Clerk of Court. Applicants may be from within the court system and the general public. McNeil said due to the size of the court system in Woodbury, the position will be filled.

When Peterson announced her retirement plans, court officials indicated the position in Plymouth County was dependent on state funding. McNeil Wednesday reaffirmed that information

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa House has opened debate on an overhaul of the state's collective bargaining law, with majority Republicans vowing to scale back negotiating rights.

The debate began Wednesday afternoon and could stretch into Thursday.

The bill limits what public unions can bargain on, including the terms and source of insurance and factors that can be considered before employee layoffs. It also calls for arbitrators to consider a comparison of the wages and benefits of state workers with private sector workers.

Democrats have filed more than 100 amendments in an effort to slow the measure, but it's expected to pass the House. Its future is doubtful in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Union members have gathered at the Capitol, chanting ``kill the bill'' and ``we are one.''

WASHINGTON (AP) Leading House Republicans are challenging a deal that federal and state officials have offered to five big U.S. banks that would change the handling of foreclosures and force lenders to modify more mortgages.

The Republicans sent a letter Wednesday to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, saying the offer would fundamentally alter the rules long governing the mortgage industry. It asks Geithner to explain the legal justification the government has to try imposing such sweeping changes.

Federal regulators and attorneys general of the 50 states offered the terms to the large banks last week, following weeks of talks over revelations that the lenders cut corners and used flawed documents to foreclose on many home borrowers.

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller has said he thinks a final deal is months away.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) New trial dates are set for three people charged in an alleged scheme to misuse tax credits aimed at encouraging more movies to be shot in Iowa.

The Des Moines Register says Tom Wheeler, the former manager of the Iowa Film Office, will be tried April 25 in Polk County District Court on charges of felonious misconduct in office, fraudulent practices and conspiracy. Wheeler, of Indianola, had been set to stand trial on March 21.

Also charged is Dennis Brouse, of Plattsmouth, Neb. He runs a production company. His trial is now set for Aug. 22. Chad Witter, a tax credit broker from Bettendorf, will go on trial Sept. 26. Both face charges of theft, fraudulent practices and ongoing criminal conduct.

Their trials also were set for March 21.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines man charged in a motorcycle crash that killed his wife has been sentenced to a total of 10 years in prison.

Shawn Branchcomb was charged with vehicular homicide in the April 2010 death of his wife, Michelle Branchcomb. They were riding a motorcycle that hit the back of another motorcycle in Des Moines.

Officials say Shawn Branchcomb was driving drunk.

The Des Moines Register says Branchcomb was sentenced Tuesday in Polk County District Court after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide and driving while intoxicated.

The driver of the other motorcycle, Jeffrey Long, of Altoona, was also charged. Online court records show he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and drunken driving. He'll be sentenced March 16.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Court of Appeals has taken up the case of a man convicted of killing a woman during a rolling gunbattle between rival gangs in 1996 in Des Moines.

David Flores won a new trial in the death of Phyllis Davis in 2009 when a judge ruled his attorney was not given a key police report. The state is appealing the judge's decision.

The appeals court is meeting in Iowa City.

The Des Moines Register says Assistant Attorney General Kevin Cmelik told the court that prosecutors didn't suppress evidence, and a new witness identified in the case wouldn't have affected the outcome.

Defense attorney Mark Kennedy says Flores' original attorney didn't have an FBI report that identified another suspect in the case, and that person's potential role deserved investigating.

GRAND MOUND, Iowa (AP) Authorities say DNA tests are needed to identify two bodies found in a burning machine shed in Grand Mound in eastern Iowa.

Clinton County Sheriff Rick Lincoln says because of the fire, the remains will require DNA verification by the state medical examiner's office.

The bodies were discovered March 3 after firefighters extinguished the fire. Flames had engulfed the building by the time firefighters arrived at 7:15 p.m.

The sheriff says it's unlikely that the victims died in the fire. He says while the deaths are suspicious, there's no threat to the public.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A judge has refused to dismiss the case against a former Waterloo teacher accused of having a 17-year-old student shower in chocolate syrup and play strip video games.

Fifty-three-year-old Larry Twigg remains charged with six counts of lascivious conduct with a minor.

According to the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, Twigg's attorney had said a mental health evaluation showed Twigg didn't have the intent to commit the crimes. And attorney James Metcalf also said it's expected a psychiatrist will opine that Twigg's acts weren't sexually motivated. Iowa law says the offense requires that the act be done to arouse or satisfy a sexual desire.

In his ruling Tuesday, Associate Judge Nathan Callahan said evidence and any psychiatric testimony will be weighed at trial.

Court records say the trial is set for Tuesday.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) After approving a $450,000 settlement requiring a subordinate to quit, University of Iowa's vice president for human resources wrote a letter of reference praising his work and suggesting to future employers the departure was voluntary.

UI Health Care Associate Vice President for Human Resources Chad Simmons abruptly resigned last May, 16 months after he started the job. The school paid him two years of his annual salary of $225,000, which was required under his contract if he was let go without cause.

Under his settlement, UI Vice President for Human Resources Susan Buckley and two other top UI officials wrote letters of reference praising his work cutting costs and bringing change to the organization.

Buckley wrote that Simmons resigned ``to pursue other interests,'' a statement that one expert calls misleading.

(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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