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KLEM News Update April 14, 2011

Sue Kroesche, director of the Le Mars Public Library, says that people may forget about all the things libraries offer, including DVD's.

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They also have a large collection of music CD's as well as ebook downloads and a new hot item called "Playaways." Kroesche says they're a type of audio book that's about the size of a deck of cards.

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Catalogs of what's available at the Le Mars Public Library can be found online at (News report by Angela Drake of KLEM)

 (LE MARS) About 18 acres of land owned by the Le Mars Community School District will be sold at a public auction next month.

The Le Mars Board of Education took the action on the former Camp Quest property last (Wednesday) night. No one attended the public hearing to speak for or against the sale of the property. The district had once used Camp Quest, a former quarry on Marble Avenue, for outdoor science education.

Brock Auction Company is donating services for the public auction May 7th.

The Board adopted a 2011-2012 budget to begin in July of this year and end June 30th of next year. The budget is based on projections with unknowns which include the amount of a contract settlement with the Le Mars Community Education Association. As of the board meeting, the two sides had not reached an agreement on a contract for the next school year.

The board also has NOT set the pay of employees who are not in the Education Association such as administrators and support staff.

Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt reported 84 percent of the operating fund is for salaries and fringe benefits.
Another unknown is action by the Iowa Legislature on school funding. Dr. Wendt doesn't expect action on the funding measure until the end of the session.

The budget was set to make a deadline in state law.

The board accepted the resignation of Dr. Carl Turner as assistant superintendent. Dr. Turner plans to accept a position as superintendent of the Storm Lake School District.

Board member Cris Collins was absent from the meeting.

(ORANGE CITY)--A Sioux County Sheriff's Department K-9 team is a first place winner.

Sheriff Dan Altena announced the top place finish for Deputy Justin DeBruin and his canine partner, Molly.

This was the fifth United States Police Canine Association narcotics trials for the deputy and the six-year-old yellow Lab.

During competition in Des Moines this week, DeBruin and Molly took first place with a score of 199 out of a possible 200 points.

They competed with 63 dogs. The Sioux County Sheriff's team searched for drugs in three rooms and five cars in three minutes and 53 seconds.

Altena describes their success as a spectacular accomplishment.

(MAPLETON)  Roads running through Mapleton are returning to normal traffic. Roads had been closed due to debris from the tornado.

The Iowa Department of Transportation reports Highway 141and Highway 175 are open. The wide load restrictions are also lifted.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A drinking water advisory has been lifted for Mapleton, which was hit hard by a tornado last weekend.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the city has lifted the advisory after test results showed the water is safe.

The agency tested the water on Monday for bacteria and nitrate levels. The results returned late Tuesday showed the water is safe for drinking and cooking. The DNR says the nitrate levels are ``somewhat elevated'' but are under the maximum contaminant level established by the Environment Protection Agency.

An outbreak of tornados hit western Iowa last Saturday. No deaths were reported. The Red Cross says 142 homes and businesses were damaged in Mapleton alone, where the damage was the worst.

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

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Nearly 1,000 education advocates rallied on the steps of the Statehouse demanding that lawmakers boost state spending on local schools.

Speakers warned that Gov. Terry Branstad's proposal to freeze state school spending would begin to erode the traditional high quality of schools in the state.

Some lawmakers joined the Wednesday evening rally, but there was little sign that Branstad was changing his position on the issue.

The advocates came from a string of education groups representing teachers, school boards and school administrators. They say freezing state school spending would be a disaster because costs inevitably increase and schools wouldn't have the money to cover that increase.

They also worried that local schools would be forced to turn to unpopular property taxes to cover the shortfall.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) Authorities say an inmate found dead in the Scott County jail in Davenport died of a drug overdose.

Forty-seven-year-old Robert Wulf, of Davenport, was found dead in his cell on March 17. He was arrested on two counts of sex abuse in August.

The sheriff's office says Wednesday that toxicology results from the state medical examiner's office show Wulf died of an overdose of horded prescription medication that he took at one time. His death was ruled a suicide.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) An Iowa inmate has been placed on escape status after failing to report to a work release center in Council Bluffs from the state prison in Fort Dodge.

The Iowa Department of Corrections says 30-year-old Jesse Michael Morgenstren was put on a bus in Fort Dodge and was to report to the work release facility Tuesday night. The department says Morgenstren didn't show up and was placed on escape status Wednesday morning.

Morgenstren was sentenced in 2008 to 10 years in prison for third-degree kidnapping in Pottawattamie County.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) A minister who led churches in Iowa and Nebraska has been sentenced to 35 years in prison on three sexual assault charges in Iowa.

Efrain Umana was convicted by a Pottawattamie County jury in January. The Omaha World Herald says he was sentenced on Wednesday for second-degree sexual abuse, third-degree sexual abuse and assault with intent to commit sexual abuse.

Umana was charged with sexually abusing four females. Most of the incidents happened at the Templo Monte Horeb church Umana led in Council Bluffs.

Umana had previously been accused of misconduct at two Lincoln, Neb., churches and fired by the Lincoln school district.

Umana is charged in Douglas County Court in Omaha with first-degree sexual assault of a child. That trial is set for May.

COIN, Iowa (AP) One person has died in a house fire in the southwest Iowa town of Coin.

The Iowa Department of Public safety issued a news release Wednesday that says firefighters were called to the two-story home Tuesday night. When firefighters arrived, the house and two vehicles parked outside were on fire.

The body of the victim was found inside the home. The body was taken to the state medical examiner's office in Ankeny for autopsy. The victim has not been identified.

The cause of the fire is listed as undetermined. The investigation is continuing.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Court of Appeals has reversed the second-degree murder conviction of a woman charged in the death of her husband and ordered a new trial in the case.

The court issued its ruling Wednesday in the case of Jessica Hill, whose husband, Shane Hill, was shot to death in May 2007 on the sheep farm where he worked in Boone County. Two other men also were convicted in the slaying.

Hill, who is serving a 50-year sentence, argued among other things, that testimony from a witness during her trial should not have been allowed because it was hearsay.

The appeals court agreed, saying the testimony prejudiced Hill.

Hill's attorney, Angela Campbell, says she's pleased with the decision. Assistant Attorney General Kevin Cmelik (SMEL'-ick) says the state will consider whether to appeal the ruling or move forward with a new trial.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa is closer to establishing a dove hunting season.

The Natural Resource Commission on Wednesday approved the proposed rules during its meeting in Moravia. The vote was 5-2, with Elizabeth Garst and Janelle Rettig voting against the proposal.

Under the rules, a 70-day hunting season for mourning doves would begin Sept. 1. There would be a daily bag limit of 15 doves, and a possession limit of 30 birds.

The proposed rules will be available for public comment before the commission votes on a final approval, probably in June. A public meeting is set for May 24 in Des Moines.

Gov. Terry Branstad signed a dove hunting measure into law last month.

(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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