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KLEM News Update March 25, 2011

Attendees will have the chance to win a Kenmore 4-burner stainless steel gas grill, valued at $350. The grill, provided by Sears in Le Mars, will be on display at the KLEM booth where those in attendance can go to register to win.

Also new this year, "B & L Pics to Go" will be on site with their traveling photo booth. Co-owner Laura Petersen tells us that people really have a good time when they come to get their picture taken.

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Laura said that they will have all the hats, glasses and costumes at this weekend's event.

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B & L Pics to Go has 2 photo booths that they take around the area to different events including weddings, fairs and graduation parties.

The Le Mars Home Expo, presented by KLEM, is this evening from 4 to 8pm and tomorrow 10am to 4pm at the Le Mars convention center. Admission is one dollar, with kids admitted free. (News report by Angela Drake of KLEM)

(LE MARS)--The reliability of power in northwest and western Iowa is the focus of federal funds being announced by Senator Tom Harkin.

Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative (NIPCO) of rural Le Mars was awarded 20-point-seven-million dollars.

According to Harkin's announcement, the money will be used to retrofit more than 150 miles of NIPCO electrical distribution lines. The installation of new poles and wires is designed to lessen the impacts of severe wind and ice conditions.

NIPCO and its member cooperatives serve the electric needs of homes, farms, communities, business and industry in 12 counties of western Iowa.

The funds awarded to NIPCO are federal grants from the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency coming to Iowa. They're awarded to reduce the damage from future disasters.

Southwest Iowa Rural Electric Cooperative was awarded nearly three million dollars to retrofit about 42 miles of electrical distribution lines.

(LE MARS) The recreation trail in Le Mars will get spring time attention due to higher river levels depositing mud.

Some checking of winter damage for city equipment and facilities has been done leading to the rec trail plans explained by City Administrator Scott Langel.

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Langel asks those returning to the trail after snowfall to be careful due to potential mud.

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Other than random settling around the community, Langel says everything has fared fairly well through the winter.

(CHEROKEE)--A Correctionville woman was trapped for three days after her car went off a Cherokee County road. 80-year-old Mary Utesch survived the accident and is hospitalized in Sioux City in "fair" condition.

The Cherokee County Sheriff's office reports the accident occurred at six last Thursday night. Utesch was was insider her Cadillac, upside down in a creek near a culvert on Cherokee County Road L-36 until Sunday.

Utesch was found during a search by the sheriff's office, volunteers and family members

Utesch had been driving south on the Cherokee County Road when she crossed the center line and entered the east ditch , then steered back onto the roadway after over correcting .

A sheriff's deputy reports that caused Utesch's car to go into the west ditch, hitting a cement culvert and roll onto its top. The vehicle came to rest upside down in Pierson Creek where it could not be seen from the roadway.

Correctionville Ambulance took Utesch to Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.

(SIOUX CITY)--A Schaller man has been charged with possession of child pornography.

Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Lindgren was indicted in federal court in Sioux City. In the indictment unsealed Wednesday, he is accused of possessing child pornography between January and September of 2008.

Lindgren appeared in federal court in Sioux City Wednesday and was released on bond. The Schaller man's trial is set for May 2nd.

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) Conservative activist Bob Vander Plaats says Gov. Terry Branstad's latest appointments to Iowa Supreme Court underscore the need for change in the system.

Vander Plaats argued at an event Thursday that Branstad named three Supreme Court justices on the same day, without the opportunity for public debate or scrutiny of their credentials.

The rural Sioux City Republican led the campaign that ousted three justices from the court last year because they joined in a decision striking down a state law banning same-sex marriage. Branstad filled those opening this month. Under the current system those selections do not have to be confirmed by the Legislature.

Branstad spokesman Tim Albrecht defended the selections, saying Branstad's goal was to select justices who would stick to interpreting the constitution and not writing laws.

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

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Officials in De Soto say their tornado sirens failed to go off as a tornado was bearing down on central Iowa earlier this week.

De Soto, which is in Dallas County, was on the edge of a tornado warning issued Tuesday night. The tornado touched down about six miles to the south in Madison County.

Mayor Josh Chapman told The Des Moines Register on Thursday that the city's service provider has fixed the three sirens and confirmed they are working. He says the system was tested after a software upgrade last fall and everything worked.

On Tuesday, repeated attempts to activate the system failed. The storm had passed without incident before officials were able to warn De Soto's 1,200 residents.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Two of Iowa's new Supreme Court justices are hearing their first cases as the court travels to Drake University in Des Moines.

The Des Moines Register says the court on Thursday heard arguments in a wrongful termination case and a drug resentencing. It's part of Drake's annual event to help law students become more familiar with the appellate court procedure.

Gov. Terry Branstad appointed Thomas Waterman, Bruce Zager and Edward Mansfield to replace the justices who were ousted by voters following the court's unanimous decision to legalize same-sex marriage.

Mansfield, a former appeals court judge, wasn't on the bench at Drake because the cases involved decisions by the appeals court. Zager didn't listen to the resentencing case because he was the judge who decided it in district court.

TRAYNOR,  Iowa (AP) Some conservatives are upset about a disaster drill involving a school shooting on Saturday in Treynor in western Iowa.

It's based on a fake shooting at the high school by a teen with ties to a white supremacist group who vents his frustration about illegal immigration through violence.

Robert Ussery of the Iowa Minutemen says the drill paints Americans who want the government to enforce immigration laws as criminals.

But the director of the exercise, Doug Reed, says it incorporates the immigration issue to qualify for Homeland Security funds. He says it has no basis in reality for the community.

Details of the scenario aren't supposed to be made public in advance but they've spread through social media sites.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says Republicans quickly approved a dove hunting measure because they didn't want to distract attention from more important issues.

Some dove hunting opponents complained after the House approved the bill without giving the public an opportunity to comment on the proposal. The Senate also approved the bill without debate, and Gov. Terry Branstad has indicated he'll sign the measure.

Asked about the measure Thursday, Paulsen noted the hunting bill clearly had support in the House, and leaders wanted to speed approval so lawmakers could focus on other matters.

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


 Submit your news release, photos, 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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