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KLEM News AM Update April 13, 2011

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Kroesche says the class will also give some suggestions regarding cover letters.

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Another computer class at the Le Mars Public Library is a "Cameras and Stuff" class that will teach you how to download pictures, give you an editing program and other useful tips. The class takes place May 5th at 2pm. To register for either class stop by or call the library at 546-5004. (News report by Angela Drake of KLEM)

(AKRON)--An Akron man's book takes his readers into the past to nurture their thoughts and ideas about politics today.

Author Craig Parkinson began writing after budget cuts reduced his position as a history teacher in Sibley.

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For about half of Parkinson's 36 years in the classroom, he helped young people learn about our nation's history. He's gathered that knowledge and lots of research to publish his first book.

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The former Akron-Westfield teacher and coach describes the book as written for everybody and not just political junkies.

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Parkinson crafted his writing so the 50-thousand words didn't become a paperweight.

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Drawing on his teaching days, Parkinson wanted to make the book interesting as well as factual and thought provoking. He wrote about the original name for the Constitution and the "Pig War" between Great Britain and the United States. If you don't remember that history lesson, you'll find details in Parkinson's book or by visiting with him at a book signing today (Wednesday)  from 6-7:30 at the Le Mars Public Library.

(LE MARS)--A project to improve a route to the Plymouth County Solid Waste Agency is part of a new five-year road program.

The estimated $800,000 paving project on 150th Street, between Highway 60 and Marble Avenue, in 2015 is not set in stone as work to be done.

Supervisors agreed to the landfill road paving project addition noting the location and an actual project are subject to change depending on funding and traffic counts.

Board members say funding to care for existing roads and bridges isn't keeping pace with needs.

Supervisors also heard of building maintenance and security improvements for the county-owned Residential Care Facility (RCF) on Highway Three. A fire and recent reviews by the Department of Inspections and Appeals are factors in the discussion.

Ten windows in an apartment area of the RCF for four clients need to be replaced. The possibility of electronic door locks to more closely track clients led to discussion about an emergency backup power supply with a greater capacity. Cost estimates are expected to be presented to Supervisors.

Eighteen groups would divided 100-thousand dollars in Local Option Sales Tax (LOST), if supervisors approve an advisory group's recommendations. Details are posted on the KLEM website Local News section.

The recommendations range from about 14-thousand dollars for a delivery van for Life Skills Training Center down to just over one-thousand dollars for the Le Mars Public Library for activity tables.

(LE MARS)--The former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court will be in Le Mars next week.

Roy Moore will be at a "Meet and Greet" open to the public at Habitue Coffeehouse and Creperie in Le Mars. Moore's stop in Le Mars is from noon until one on April 21st.

The judge is expected to launch a presidential exploratory committee in Iowa.

A Republican, Moore is widely known for his refusal to remove a monument of the Ten Commandments from a courthouse.

He lectures throughout the United States and serves as the President of the Foundation for Moral Law in Montgomery, Alabama. He has written the book, "So Help Me God."

(ORANGE CITY)--A Boyden woman will serve time in the Sioux County jail for burglary and prescription drug convictions.

According to Sioux County Attorney Coleman McAllister, 34-year-old Jana VanDonge was charged after a rural Sioux Center burglary was reported in December.

A man told the Sheriff's Department that he heard a noise coming from his bathroom and found someone looking through his cabinets. Sheriff's deputies located medication from the residence at VanDong's home when they used a warrant to make a search.

McAllister reports a judge Monday ordered VanDonge to serve up to 10 years in prison for the burglary conviction and 30 days in jail for possession of prescription drugs.

The prison term was suspended, but the 30 days in jail were not.

(DES MOINES)  Maps that lay out new boundaries for legislative and congressional districts have advanced another step at the statehouse, but the plan has some detractors.

Senator Randy Feenstra, a Republican, says he's worried because all four congressional districts intersect near Des Moines. Feenstra is from Hull in the far northwest corner of the state.

 "For me being in rural Iowa, I have a real concern that someday we could see four congresspeople be from the Des Moines metro," Feenstra says. "And that's got to be a concern for everybody in this state." Feenstra's not sure he'll support the redistricting plan when it comes up for a vote in the full Senate. Governor Branstad must either sign or veto the plan if it wins legislative approval and he has expressed concerns that two sets of Iowa congressmen have been thrown together in two of the districts.

"I haven't had a chance to talk to the congressmen personally about this," Branstad says. "There's a lot of people that are affected by it and, obviously, most importantly we need to look at the state of Iowa and the people of Iowa and this is the best and fairest plan for representation in the legislature and the congress."

Senate President Jack Kibbie, a Democrat from Emmetsburg, says he's ready to support the plan even though his new district includes several new counties, ten percent more Republicans than his current district -- and Kibbie would have to run against a Republican senator in 2012 if the plan is adopted.

 "I don't think there's anybody in the Senate, probably, that gets hurt worse than I do," Kibbie says. But Kibbie says Iowa's non-partisan process for redrawing district lines is the envy of other states. Senator Jeff Danielson, a Democrat from Cedar Falls, says the map follows the spirit of the law, providing compact and evenly-populated districts. 

"I would encourage any senator who's going to vote against this to do their homework because they've got their work cut out for them, in order to justify that vote," Danielson says. The proposal has cleared initial committee approval in the House and is on a similar same path in the senate. A vote in the 100-member House and the 50-member Senate vote could happen Thursday.
(News report from Radio Iowa)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Senate Ways and Means Committee has approved a $50 million tax rollback for businesses that could eventually increase to $200 million.

The committee approved the business property tax credit Tuesday on a voice vote. The size of the tax credit would increase by $50 million every year that state revenues increase by at least 4 percent, up to $200 million.

Supporters of the measure say it helps small businesses by applying to the first $32,000 of property, taxing it at about 50 percent of the current rate. That amounts to a roughly $600 tax break.

Some called for bigger reductions. House Republicans have suggested capturing any budget surplus for a taxpayer relief fund that would likely be larger.

The House has also approved a 20 percent income tax cut.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The House has refused to consider a measure that would have eliminated background checks for those seeking gun permits.

Rep. Tom Shaw, a Republican from Laurens, sought to attach the proposal as an amendment to a less controversial measure dealing with the ability of those who have lost gun rights to regain them.

Top House leaders on Tuesday ruled the effort out of order, and an effort to force debate drew only six votes in favor, so the background check proposal was dropped.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Senate has voted to reject two of Gov. Terry Branstad's appointments, including the only African-American chosen to head a state agency.

Branstad's nomination of Isaiah McGee to be the new director of the Department of Human Rights drew only 30 votes in the Senate Tuesday, short of the 34 needed for confirmation. Critics say McGee muzzled workers at the agency by banning them from communicating with lawmakers.

Backers say he reversed that decision, and as an African-American, has dealt with racism making him a natural fit for the agency. Branstad issued a state saying he was disappointed with the vote.

The appointment of attorney William Gustoff to the state Judicial Nominating Commission drew only 27 votes. Critics say the position should be held by a non-lawyer.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A Colorado judge has ordered a Cedar Rapids woman back to Iowa to face animal abuse charges.

Jennifer Wood was arrested last month in Red Feather Lakes, Colo., on two fugitive warrants from Iowa.

She's charged in Linn County with 35 counts of animal abuse and two counts of unhealthy and unsanitary conditions. Authorities in February seized 32 dogs, two cats and a parrot from her home.

She faces charges of animal neglect and failing to dispose of animal carcasses in Iowa County, and allegations of poor conditions at her pet grooming business in Hiawatha.

KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids says Wood appeared before a Colorado judge on Tuesday where she waived extradition. The judge ordered her back to Iowa and gave her a May 20 deadline to appear in court.

DAKOTA CITY, Iowa (AP) A judge is considering a request to move the trial of a Minnesota teenager accused of killing two convenience store clerks in northern Iowa.

Seventeen-year-old Michael Swanson, of St. Louis Park, Minn., is charged as an adult with murder and robbery in Kossuth and Humboldt counties. He's accused of killing a clerk in Algona on Nov. 15, then driving to Humboldt and killing another clerk.

The Des Moines Register says during a hearing on Tuesday in Humboldt County, defense attorney Charles Kenville asked that the first of two trials, set for June 20, be moved to eastern Iowa or Council Bluffs, citing extensive publicity. Prosecutors didn't oppose the request.

The judge says he'll rule later, and will weigh the need for a fair jury, cost concerns and transportation.

(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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