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KLEM News AM Update March 18, 2011

Steve Kopperud is the executive vice-president of Policy Directions, Inc, a Washington D.C. based government relations/government communications firm. Steve is also the founder and past president of the Animal Industry Foundation, now the Animal Agriculture Alliance, an education foundation representing livestock and poultry producers, animal science, and agribusiness.

He very frankly told those in attendance at this week's Agri-Business Luncheon that farmers and ag-business supporters need to step up and educate consumers or we won't be able to celebrate much longer.

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Kopperud says that the major problem is that consumers are losing faith in farmers.


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Examples of those critics that Kopperud referred to were PETA and HSUS, the Humane Society of the United States.

Kopperud added that government regulations coming out of Washington, that are often times a result of misunderstanding and misinformation, will also continue to get in the way of the local farmer.

So what can farmers do to make sure the ag industry flourishes? Kopperud says get your face out there.


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(News report by Angela Drake of KLEM/Photo courtesy Dave Ruden, KLEM Operations Director)


(LE MARS)-A Le Mars business will open at a new location with a new look in early summer.

Hardee's Restaurant is leaving its home since 1984 to move to the place where Arby's closed Wednesday.

Le Mars Hardee's general manager, Houston Hartwig, Thursday announced the relocation plans. Hartwig said Hardee's will change the way the business looks.

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Hartwig described the Business Highway 75 South location as up and coming.

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Hardee's is a family owned/operated business in Le Mars.

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Hartwig expects the business to open at the new location in early summer, before Ice Cream Days. Hardee's continues to serve customers at its current location, 30 Fifth Avenue Northwest.

(SIOUX CITY)--The Orpheum Theatre in Sioux City will be the stage for a third time for Grammy award winner Sheryl Crow.


Crow will perform on the Wednesday before Sioux City's Saturday in the Park music festival. Crow's performance profits will go to the Saturday in the Park festival which is the free outdoor event held every year at Grandview Park.


Orpheum Board Member and Saturday in the Park co-founder Dave Bernstein said this will be a great show as the Orpheum approaches its 10th anniversary. Bernstein also said it is a great fundraiser for Saturday in the Park because it's always a challenge to keep the festival free.


Tickets for Crow's June 29th 7:30 p-m concert at the Orpheum will be available beginning March 26th.


PIERRE, S.D. (AP) A South Dakota state board has set a July 25 hearing in a Texas company's request for more time to start construction of a $10 billion oil refinery near Elk Point.

A previously issued state air quality permit required Hyperion Resources to begin construction by Feb. 20 of this year. The company wants to extend the deadline to August 2012.

State officials have issued a draft permit allowing the extension and some changes in emissions. The state Board of Minerals and Environment will consider those issues at the July hearing.

The Hyperion refinery north of Elk Point would process 400,000 barrels of Canadian tar sands crude oil each day into low-sulfur gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and liquid petroleum gas. It would be the first new U.S. refinery built since 1976.

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

GRAND MOUND, Iowa (AP) The state fire marshal's office says a fire that destroyed a machine shed where two bodies were found in Grand Mound in eastern Iowa was intentionally set.

The Clinton Herald says the cause of the fire hasn't been determined, but officials on Wednesday say preliminary findings indicate it was set on purpose.

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.

Autopsy results are pending. Authorities say it will be at least another week as the state medical examiner's office works to confirm the names of the two people found dead in the fire. Officials say DNA tests were need to identified the bodies.

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (AP) University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen is back on the job after undergoing treatment for early stage prostate cancer.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier says Allen returned to work yesterday. He had been on medical leave since Feb. 7.

Allen sent an e-mail to the university community last week, saying he intended to return to work and thanked everyone for their support.

Gloria Gibson, the university's executive vice president and provost, served as the interim president during Allen's leave.

Allen has been UNI's president since 2006.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) MidAmerican Energy President and CEO William Fehrman says lawmakers should move ahead with a bill making it easier for the company to build a nuclear power plant in Iowa as Japan struggles with its nuclear crisis.

Fehrman appeared before a Senate commerce subcommittee yesterday and defended a bill that requires MidAmerican to apply with the state to build a nuclear plant and effectively guarantees a recovery of the company's costs.

Critics say the bill allows MidAmerican to recover costs, which they say would several thousand dollars for each customer, regardless of whether a plant is built.

But Fehrman say proposed rules by the Environmental Protection Agency could close some coal-fired plants and make nuclear one of the state's only options for a main source of electrical generation.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad has announced a new partnership between Iowa and Kosovo involving the Iowa National Guard.

The program is part of an effort to link the Guard with partner countries to foster mutual interests and build long-term relationships.

Branstad announced the partnership yesterday. He was joined by Brig. Gen. Greg Schwab of the Iowa Air National Guard and Avni Spahiu, Kosovo's ambassador to the United States.

Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on Feb. 17, 2008, and the U.S. formally recognized the new country the following day.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Cedar Rapids police say two officers were injured during a fight with a man they were trying to arrest.

KCRG-TV says one officer suffered a broken hand and the other officer was hit in the face early yesterday. Officials say both officers were treated and released from a hospital.

Police say Chris Houston, of Cedar Rapids, was arrested on several charges including assault on a peace officer.

Authorities say the officers were trying to arrest Houston, who was wanted on two outstanding warrants, when he allegedly charged and took some swings at the officers.

Houston is being held in the Linn County jail on $10,000 bond. Jail officials didn't know if he had an attorney. Online court records don't yet show any information on his case.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The University of Iowa says it has disciplined two employees responsible for a plan to use a hidden baby monitor to listen to conversations by secretaries in the Department of Urology.

UI Health Care said in a statement issued yesterday afternoon it had completed an internal investigation into the baby monitor, which was discovered by employees Monday.

The statement said that ``appropriate disciplinary action has been taken'' against two unnamed UI Hospitals and Clinics staff members involved in the incident. The statement said details of their discipline are considered confidential personnel information.

Employees say they discovered the monitor on a shelf in a secretarial work area, and their supervisor explained it would be used to monitor their conversations for a week to determine who was talking too much.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) A new survey of bankers suggests the economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states will continue growing in the next few months.

Creighton University economics professor Ernie Goss said yesterday that growth in the overall economy is helping, and farming remains strong in the region.

The overall Rural Mainstreet economic index increased to an optimistic 56.7 in March from February's 55.3. Anytime the index, which ranges from 0 to 100, is over 50, it suggests the economy will expand over the next six months.

Goss says the farm equipment sales index jumped to 75.9 in March from February's already-high 63.5.

Bankers in rural parts of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming are surveyed.

(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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