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KLEM News Update April 16, 2011

Peter Streit  of Hy-Vee describes the Children's Garden as a community project.

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Streit sees the garden project as a way to trim childhood obesity.

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Weather permitting, Streit expects the garden to be planted April 30th on land along Sixth Avenue Southwest, between 12th and 15th Street.

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All full-time Hy-Vee employees are part of the Children's Garden project. Parents and others in the community who'd like to participate will find information at the business or on the Le Mars Hy-Vee Facebook page. Streit also welcomes ideas on what to do with the produce from the Children's Garden.

 

Tennessee Williams classic comes to life in Cherokee

(CHEROKEE) --   This weekend, Cherokee Community Theater begins their production of "The Glass Menagerie" by Tennessee Williams.  Director Andrew Linn says that the show is an autobiographical story of Williams' life.

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There are four characters in the show, three of them are members of the Wingfield family.  Amanda, the mother, sister Laura, and brother Tom.  Tennessee Williams, whose real name is Thomas, has inserted himself in this script as the brother.  Although the play examines many personal struggles, Linn says the real tension in the show comes from the mothers character.

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Finally, the fourth player is a gentleman caller, intended to become Laura's love interest.  When the situation surrounding their re-acquaintance goes awry, Tom finds his motivation to leave. 

In addition to directing, Linn is playing the role of Tom.  He says working with this script and his talented cast has been very rewarding.  He's excited to share the end result with the community.

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"The Glass Menagerie" is being staged by the Cherokee Community Theater, in the upper level of the the Cherokee Community Center, this weekend.  Evening performances are at 7:30, with a Sunday matinee at 2pm.  It continues next Thursday, Friday and Saturday (April 21-23) at 7:30 all 3 nights.  For reservations call 712-225-4440. 

 

County building for sale this month

(LE MARS) A building on the Plymouth County Courthouse block will be up for sale this month. 

A Courthouse Annex Building that's under construction will have space for equipment and other county property now stored in a two-stall garage.

The county surplus property sale includes the garage, three used pickup trucks, computers, office supplies and furniture, firearms, mowers and a variety of other items.

The public auction April 30th begins at 9:30 in the morning at the Courthouse. 

 

Orange City projects continue

(ORANGE CITY) -- The plans for the Orange City Events Center have undergone some engineering modifications, and as a result will need to be re-bid.   The Events Center is part of the Phoenix Project, a multi-phase project intended to help enhance Orange City as a destination community.  Phoenix Project Committee chair Marty Guthmiller explains why re-bidding needs to be done.

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He added that this process shouldn't delay the anticipated completion date of May 31, 2012.

(Image courtesy Orange City Phoenix Project)

Orange City has also employed a new person to help with a city branding campaign and do work with the events center.  Guthmiller says Maria Plueger is the new Orange City Events Center Manager and Brand Manager. 

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The re-building of the Hawkeye Center downtown Orange City is also part of the Phoenix Project.  Guthmiller said that the exterior of that project will be ready for Tulip Festival in mid-May.  Inside, the upstairs condos have started to be painted.   The occupant of the downstairs retail space has not yet been determined, but Guthmiller says that they are in the final stages of negotiation.

  

King to host Town Hall meeting

(SHELDON)--Congressman Steve King will host northwest Iowans at a Town Hall meeting next week.

King plans to be at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon April 20th. The congressman said the town hall meeting,  open to the public, is important to him because he can hear directly from people in the district.

The Sheldon Town Hall meeting on the Northwest Iowa Community College campus is in Building A. King's meeting   begins Wednesday morning at 10:30 and will last for about one hour.

 

Attorney seeks mental evaluation for Waterloo man

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) An attorney for a Waterloo man suspected of killing a woman and setting her house on fire wants him to undergo a mental evaluation.

Glen Jackson is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson. He's accused of killing Sandra Nash in January. Firefighters found her body in her burning home on Jan 31. Police say an autopsy showed she died of head injuries before the fire.

Black Hawk County Attorney Tom Ferguson told Waterloo television station KWWL that Jackson's attorney filed a motion for a competency evaluation during a pre-trial conference on Friday.

Jackson's trial was set for April 19, but a judge suspended further proceedings pending the review.


Des Moines police call woman's death a homicide

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police say a 911 call from a pay phone led officers to a dead woman in an apartment.
The 911 call was made Friday morning from a pay phone at a convenience store. Sgt. Chris Scott says it provided a tip that authorities should check on a woman who lives at the apartment.

Police arrived at the apartment around 8:30 a.m. When no one answered the door, officers forced it open and found the body of 52-year-old Kathryn Mitchell.

Police say there were no obvious signs of how Mitchell died, but they are investigating her death as a homicide.


Iowa woman pleads guilty to child's death

MAQUOKETA, Iowa (AP) An Andrew woman has been sentenced to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty in the death of her 4-year-old adoptive son.

The Telegraph Herald in Dubuque reports that Danielle Holdgrafer pleaded guilty and was sentenced Friday in Jones County District Court.

She was initially charged with first-degree murder following the June 2010 drowning death of her son, Collin. The charge was later dismissed after prosecutors said they didn't have sufficient evidence. Holdgrafer pleaded guilty to child endangerment resulting in death.

Prosecutors alleged that she held her son's head under water while bathing him.

Holdgrafer's husband, Andy, was charged with child endangerment but died in September of a heart attack. Prosecutors say he allowed his wife to abuse their child and failed to take action.


Former lawmaker guilty in tuition fraud case

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A jury has found a former state representative guilty of using another person's address to enroll his children at Malcolm Price Lab School in Cedar Falls.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports the jury found Kerry Burt guilty of four counts of tampering with records Friday.

He faces up to two years in prison on each count.

Prosecutors say Burt, of Waterloo, used a Cedar Falls address to register his children in the Cedar Falls school in 2007 and 2008. Tuition can cost thousands of dollars for children who do not live in the district, and Burt's children did not.

Burt's attorney, Ray Walton, argued that a former director and principal at the school gave Burt permission to use the fake address as early as 2001.


Former Davenport alderman sentenced on gun charge

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) Former Davenport alderman Ronald Van Fossen has been sentenced to more than one year in prison after pleading guilty to a federal gun charge.

The U.S. attorney's office says the 63-year-old Van Fossen was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Davenport to possession of a firearm after conviction for domestic violence.

He pleaded guilty to domestic violence in 2007. In 2010, Davenport police responded to a hit-and-run accident involving a pickup truck registered to a business involving Van Fossen.

Van Fossen, a former police officer, reported the truck as stolen but later admitted there was a preponderance of evidence showing he was driving the truck at the time of the accident.

Prosecutors also say he admitted that a revolver found in the truck belonged to him.


Iowa to repay $70K in Medicaid funds

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A spokesman says Iowa Medicaid will pay back $70,000 to the federal government after an audit found claims were paid for drugs and services prescribed by doctors who should have been disqualified because of criminal convictions and other professional infractions.

Improper payments totaling $73,000 between 2006 and 2009 were detailed in a February report by the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Iowa's Medicaid program uncovered additional payments that should not have been allowed between 2009 and February.

Iowa Department of Human Services spokesman Roger Munns said Friday that the federal share of the improper payments will be paid back after the agency receives a demand letter from the federal government. He says the agency has fixed the problem.


Drake embezzlement cases uncovers $470,000 loss

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Des Moines police say the investigation of a former Drake University employee in an embezzlement case has uncovered more than $470,000 in losses.

Des Moines police Sgt. Chris Scott says 49-year-old Robert Harlan is being charged with five counts of first-degree theft, one for each year of five years he allegedly was embezzling money from Drake.

Scott says he can't specify how the money was taken or what Harlan allegedly did with the university's money.

The official investigation goes back five years, but police say the embezzlement stretches back to 2004.

The Des Moines Register reports that police say they are talking to Harlan's attorney about turning himself in.

A phone message left for police by The Associated Press wasn't immediately returned.


Iowa State linebacker has arm surgery

AMES, Iowa (AP) Iowa State officials say linebacker Jake Knott is recovering after undergoing arm surgery.

Athletic department spokesman Tom Kroeschell says in a statement that Knott, a junior from Waukee, had surgery on Friday at an Ames hospital to repair a break in his right arm. The injury happened during practice on Thursday.

Coach Paul Rhodes says it should take Knott about two months to fully recover, and he should be ready for fall practice in August.

Knott had 130 tackles last season for the Cyclones, which put him second on the list for tackles in the Big 12.

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

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