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KLEM News AM Update March 29, 2011


The Board of Education voted Monday night to offer Transitional Kindergarten (TK). The vote was four-to-one with board members Patrick Murphy, Mark Stelzer, Mark Hemmingson and Brenda Phelan voting for the T-K addition. Board member Scott Kommes was the lone no vote. Board members Cris Collins and Dan Smith were absent from the meeting.

Details of the program are to be developed as a result of the board action. The district's kindergarten roundup is this week.

In other action:

**An April 13th hearing date was set for public comments on the district's new budget proposal. Based on the preliminary information, the tax rate would go down to $13.69 compared to a tax rate now of $13.76. Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt acknowledged unknowns in the budget proposal include how much allowable growth Iowa lawmakers will approve and any contract settlements with the Le Mars Education Association which represents the largest group of school employees--the teachers.

**The board also agreed to hear comments April 13th on a proposal to sell the Camp Quest property on Marble Avenue north of Highway Three on the east side of Le Mars.

The proposed sale May 7th would be by Brock Auction Company of Le Mars at a location to be determined by Brock Auction Company. However, the board has the option of making a decision not to sell the property.  

(LE MARS)--Health Insurance information and recycling are topics for today's meeting of the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors.

The manager of the Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency, Mark Kunkel, meets with the board at 11 this morning to discuss signs on recycling containers and paving of 150th Street which provides rural Le Mars landfill access.

Iowa State Association of Counties' Wellmark health insurance information will be presented to the board at ten this morning.

Supervisors will also discuss mental health funding in the current budget and consider action at 10:30 this morning.

The board will have a list of surplus property to be considered for auction.

The public meeting at the Courthouse Board of Supervisors meeting room begins at 9:30 this morning.


Agenda for the Board of Supervisors meeting from the county web site /


9:30 AM                                 Jim 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

        A.  Review ECO Center claims submittal for approval (Action)

7.     New Business

        A.  Declare items surplus property for County Auction (Action)

8.     Open public forum




10:00 AM                               Amanda Downey, Wellmark Representative – Present ISAC information regarding health insurance




10:30 AM                               Sharon Nieman, Plymouth County CPC and General Relief Director – Mental Health funding / Fy 10-11 budget (Discussion and possible action)



11: 00 AM                              Mark Kunkel, Plymouth County Landfill – Discuss recycling signage and paving 150th St. (Discussion and

                                                possible Action)




11:30 AM                               Tom Rohe, Plymouth County Engineer  

(Action Items)

                  Available Monday, March 28th


 (Discussion Items)

                                                 Questions/Discussion of the Secondary Road Department


 (Informational Items)

 Update on construction projects




(LE MARS)--Three monitoring wells will be installed in Le Mars as part of activities to test groundwater. The work is scheduled this week.

The City of Le Mars owns about one-and-a-half acres of property that was a business that produced power decades ago. The E-P-A monitors the Le Mars Coal Gas Plant site at 31 First Street Northeast.

Belinda Young of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released information about the wells to be installed in the buried channel aquifer.

According to Young, the city's well field draws its water from a different and deeper aquifer than the buried channel aquifer where the three wells will be drilled.

Drilling will take place a few blocks south of the coal gas plant site site.

Young says the groundwater well installation is being done to conduct additional investigative activities and continued long-term monitoring efforts at the site.

(SIOUX CITY)---A Sioux City man will serve up to 23 years in federal prison.

According to the U-S Attorney's Office, 45-year-old Kevin McManaman of Sioux City was sentenced for two convictions of producing child pornography.

During a plea hearing in federal court in Sioux City, McManaman admitted he made pornographic videotapes of minors between 1997 and 2008.

He is being held for the U-S Marshal's Service until he can be taken to a federal prison.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Former Iowa Lt. Gov. Patty Judge is one of three finalists to become the new director of the Iowa Association of School Boards, which has been investigated for alleged misuse of public money.

The non-profit association has lacked a permanent leader since former director Maxine Kilcrease was fired in March 2010. That followed a Des Moines Register report saying members of the association's board of directors weren't aware of Kilcrease's $367,000 salary.

Joining Judge as finalists are Tom Downs, who will retire in July from his post as the Southeast Polk school district's superintendent, and Cedar Falls superintendent David Stoakes.

Russ Wiesley, who heads the association's board of directors, says finalists will be asked how they would lead the troubled group through the process of strengthening its organization.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Officials in Linn County plan to honor former Gov. Chet Culver in a new administrative building partly funded by Culver's I-JOBS program.

The county isn't naming its new $16.3 million community services facility after Culver. But Ben Rogers, the chairman of the Linn County Board of Supervisors, says officials plan to dedicate the building in Culver's honor and also have a plaque for the former governor.

Culver launched the I-JOBS initiative to help local governments recover from flooding in June 2008 flood. Linn County's new building was allocated $5 million in I-JOBS funding.

The new building is set to open later this year and will house county services displaced by the flood.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) A Nebraska man was injured in Council Bluffs when he was struck by a car while he waited for his own vehicle to be towed away.

Police say 58-year-old Ric Netz, of Ashley, Neb., was standing in a roadway near a tow truck Sunday morning when he was struck by another car.

A police report says Netz rolled onto the hood, hit the windshield and fell off the vehicle.

The driver of the car that struck Netz, an unidentified 16-year-old Bellevue, Neb., girl, says she didn't notice Netz because he was wearing dark clothing.

The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reports that authorities transported Netz to a nearby hospital, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

No citations have been issued in the accident.

MANCHESTER, Iowa (AP) A judge has found a Manchester man fit to stand trial on charges he cut his father's pacemaker from his chest using a pocketknife.

The Telegraph Herald in Dubuque says District Court Judge Monica Ackley ruled Monday that mental health evaluations prove Jesse Fierstine (FIRE'-stine) is mentally competent to be tried in the attack on his father.

Prosecutors say Fierstine attacked his father in 2009 and used a pocket knife to cut out his 63-year-old father's pacemaker.

Charles Fierstine recovered from the attack but died last year after a lengthy illness.

Jesse Fierstine is charged with attempted murder and willful injury. Trial has been set for June 8.

A telephone message left for Fierstine's attorney Monday wasn't immediately returned.

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

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Des Moines city council is moving forward with plans to tear down the former YWCA building.

The city bought the downtown facility after it closed because of financial troubles. The council will take bids on demolition of the building and set a public hearing date on the issue Monday night.

Demolishing the YWCA building is expected to cost about $1.6 million.

WHO-TV reports that the council is also expected to increase the construction cost for the Birdland levee project by $1.4 million.

The increase allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to raise the levee to the 100-year flood level.

(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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