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KLEM News AM Update March 31, 2011

The investigation involved a burglary at a Merrill residence that police report occurred in February.

Eighteen-year-old Austin Majeres and 19-year-old Whitney Arnold, both of Le Mars are free on bond.

Majeres is charged with felony burglary and possession of stolen property. Arnold is charged with aiding and abetting burglary.

Two Le Mars teens, sixteen-year-olds Brendan Arens and Riley Peters are each charged with felony burglary.

Arens and Peters were cited into juvenile court and each released to a family member.

(LE MARS)--Legislation to make changes in state funding for mental health services is being watched closely by Plymouth County Supervisors, the county's mental health coordinator and care providers. Tomorrow is a funnel deadline for bills to advance or be dead for this session in the Iowa Legislature.

Sharon Nieman coordinates mental health services in Plymouth County. Nieman's work  for the county involves funds and services for everything from emergency care at the Cherokee Mental Health Institute to Plains Area Mental Health Center, Life Skills Training Center and group homes for persons with disabilities. Nieman updated Supervisors on legislation possibilities this week with one central point.

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Nieman is also waiting to update the current budget for mental health with a complication from a wait for bills for services from the state.

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Nieman said options to pay the mental health expenses include a one-time transfer of money from the county's general fund to the mental health fund.

Several years ago, the county built a group home for eight adults. Nieman has looked at selling with a requirement that the buyer continue the present use. Nieman asked if the ownership would be affected by  legislation.

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Due to a decision several years ago, the county is limited in the amount of property tax money levied for a mental health fund. That amount today is the same as 1996. Without additional state funds, the county may need to hold bills in the new budget until tax collections arrive and or place restrictions on services. Nieman said that could increase costs. For example, if someone didn't receive services at Plains Area,  the expense could escalate if they were hospitalized at the Cherokee Mental Health institute.

 (LE MARS)--A musical festival in Le Mars could be record-setting this weekend.

Twenty-three accordion players are registered so far for the ninth annual Art Pahl Accordion Fest Sunday at the Plymouth County Historical Museum.

The festival honors the memory of Pahl who lived in Brunsville.  He performed for area care center residents and non-profit groups prior to his death in 2003.

According to information from the museum, accordion players from several states are expected to join a jam and provide music for dancing and listening.

The Art Pahl Accordion Fest begins at two Sunday afternoon in the Museum's "Old Central" Gym.

(SIOUX CITY)--Iowa National Guard spokesman, Colonel Greg Hapgood, says a Sioux City unit has deployed to support the no-fly zone over Libya.

Hapgood says a small number of airmen and aircraft from the 185th Air Refueling Wing in Sioux City are on the way to support Operation Unified Protector, which is the NATO mission in Libya. The Sioux City wing flies the KC-135 Stratotanker.
He says they don't have a timeline at this point for how long the mission will last. Hapgood says the Iowans are based at a remote location, not in Libya and not in Africa, where they can provide support to NATO aircraft.

The Sioux City unit was converted from fighter jets to refueling tankers in 2000, and Hapgood says they have been busy since that time.

Hapgood says the unit is around the world on a daily basis refueling aircraft from the U-S and other countries, and have been deployed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as well as other operations around the world since 9-11. Hapgood says the unit provides an important support role for the Libya mission.

Hapgood says it is "absolutely critical to have maintenance and refueling capabilities" for this type of no-fly zone mission.
The planes flew out of Iowa on March 26 to join other Air National Guard units from several states. Hapgood says not other Iowa Guard units have been deployed to Libya at this time. (News report by Radio Iowa)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) At least two of Iowa's sitting congressmen will be tossed together in the same district when a proposed new map of legislative and congressional districts is released today.

The state is losing a seat in Congress and will have only four congressional districts in the next election, meaning one sitting member will lose his job.

Nonpartisan legislative staffers will deliver the proposed map to the Legislature on Thursday morning. Lawmakers will hold a series of public hearings on the new map and will vote on whether to implement it in mid-April. Lawmakers can't amend the first map but can only vote yes or no.

If the first map is rejected, staffers will prepare a second map, which lawmakers would consider in a likely special session of the Legislature.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Police say a member of the Iowa City Police Citizen's Review Board didn't try to control a party that turned violent.

Police Sgt. Denise Brotherton told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that Royceann Porter was host of the party at the Saddlebrook Clubhouse on Saturday.

Police were called a little before 11:10 p.m. Officers say they found more than 100 people running around, screaming and jumping into vehicles.

Police say a piano and tables were broken during a fight at the party. Brotherton says one person had to be stitched up at a hospital.

Only Porter has been charged so far: a misdemeanor for maintaining a disorderly house. Court records say she's pleaded not guilty, and her bench trial is scheduled for April 22.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Two men charged in the slaying of a Cedar Rapids man during a robbery have pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against a co-defendant in the case.

Gabriel Taylor and Johven Lee pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree robbery for their role in the Jan. 11 robbery and slaying of Kevin Bell. Police say Bell was shot in the head and died the next day.

The Gazette reports that Taylor and Lee will testify against Denem Null, whose first-degree murder trial is scheduled to begin Monday in Linn County. He is accused of firing the shot that killed Bell.

Prosecutors say the plea agreement is contingent on Taylor and Lee testifying truthfully at Null's trial. First-degree murder charges against the men will be dismissed at sentencing.

AMES, Iowa (AP) Police have released the name of the woman in a wheelchair who was killed by a train at an Ames crossing.

The Ames Tribune says she was identified as 44-year-old Maribel Gaitan (GY'-tan), of Ames.

Police say Gaitan moved from the Des Moines area to Ames recently.

Police say more than one witness reported that it looked to them like the woman now identified as Gaitan intentionally stopped on the tracks.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Court of Appeals says a district court judge was wrong to suppress statements made to police by a man who walked into a police station saying he may have sexually assaulted a teenage girl.

Wednesday's decision allows prosecutors to continue their case against Ounheaun (OON'-yen) Cam, who is charged with assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

Cam argued his statements to a Sioux Center police officer should have been suppressed because he was in custody and didn't knowingly waive his right to an attorney.

The appeals court found Cam was not in custody and did not ask about an attorney until after he had spoken to police.

Cam's attorney says he has not decided whether to appeal the ruling.

Prosecutors say they are pleased with the decision.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A Dyersville man is facing 10 federal counts of wire fraud, accused of using an office credit card for his personal purchases and illegally setting up payments on it from his employer's checking account.

Bruce Troyer also was indicted on a charge of using someone else's identity to accomplish the alleged wire fraud.

A news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa says the 42-year-old Troyer faces up to 202 years in prison if convicted on all 11 counts. Troyer's trial is scheduled to begin on May 31.

The indictment says Troyer was managing a doctor's office in Cedar Rapids when the crimes occurred from November 2008 through September 2009.

Attempts to reach Troyer were unsuccessful on Wednesday. His attorney declined to comment.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa high school basketball star Peter Jok (jahk) is transferring schools.

Jok, a 6-foot-5 sophomore guard who averaged 18.5 points and seven rebounds a game for Des Moines Roosevelt last year, will play for West Des Moines Valley next season.

Jok's guardian, Mike Nixon, tells the Des Moines Register that Jok and his son Peter Nixon are changing schools because they need a fresh start.

Valley is coached by former Iowa point guard Jeff Horner.

Jok has two years of high school basketball left, is believed to be a top-level recruit for the class of 2013.

(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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