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KLEM News AM Update April 20, 2011

Supervisors unanimously approved awarding the funds to 18 of the 32 groups that made requests for the money. Nine will receive all the funds that were requested and the other nine will receive some of the funds they asked for. The recommendations from the Local Option Sales Tax Advisory Board were approved without any changes by Supervisors.

Le Mars Fire-Rescue Chief David Schipper thanked Supervisors for the five-thousand dollars for specialized rescue equipment. Schipper explained its use would not be limited to Le Mars.

Local Option Sales Tax Grant requests approved April 19: 


Life Skills Training Center, new delivery vehicle, $14,200; 

Plymouth County Emergency Medical Services Assn, training and certification of crews, $10,000 (P);

City of Merrill, roof repair on Kissinger Building, $10,000 (P);

Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, funding for outreach service to county victims, $10,000;

Plymouth County 4-H Agricultural Society, new fairgrounds livestock building, $7,500 (P);

Plymouth County Historical Museum, HVAC  for Study Hall space, $7, 500 (P);

Le Mars Arts Council, interior wheelchair lift, $7,000;

Oyens Fire Department, Personal Protection Equipment and tools, $6,412.70;

Remsen Union Community School, fitness equipment for Fitness Center; $5,208.33 (P);

Le Mars Fire-Rescue, confined space rescue equipment, $5,000;

Mid-Sioux Opportunity, Computers for Remsen office, $3,765;

Plymouth County Senior Helpmate, reimbursement for volunteer mileage, $3,500 (P);

Remsen Heritage Museum, Inside updates, $ 2,500 (P);

Hinton Fire Rescue, Pumper Truck equipment, $2,200;

Akron Area Museum, Improvements to Garage Display Area, $1,500 (P);

City of Merrill, Kitchen in Kissinger Building, $1,383.97 (P);

Akron Public Library, Internet digital media Access system, $1,300;

Le Mars Public Library, new activity tables, $1,030;

Total allocations   $100,000

Not funded:

Merrill Public Library, renovation and moving expenses to Kissinger Building; $10,000

Akron Park Board, digital scoreboard for Sgt Ballfield in Akron, $14,409;

Plymouth County Conservation Board, new folding tables and chairs for ECO Center public use and programs, $5,799;

Hinton Civic Foundation, ongoing financial support of local school groups, organizations, families and events, $10,000;

City of Merrill, replace roof of the shelterhouse at the Merrill Community Park, $2,483.95;

Remsen Cemetery Association, headstone and grave marker repairs, $10,500;

Le Mars Area Family YMCA, purchase portable aquatic lift for indoor pool, $5,500;

Royal Theatres LLC, movie theatre renovations, $48,700;

Beautification Babes, benches and landscaping along the Hinton recreation trail, $7,500;

Le Mars Daycare Inc., upgrade electrical outlets and purchase 15 cribs in the center, $6,399.82;

Le Mars Little League, protective netting between the Minor League fields, $3,000;

City of Le Mars, phase II of Le Mars Convention Center renovation project; upper level bar area remodel, $50,000.

Remsen St. Mary's High School, replace winds in grade school and high school buildings, $12,328.

LE MARS - No one was injured when lint was ignited in ventilation duct work at Life Skills Training Center Tuesday morning.

According to Fire-Rescue Chief David Schipper, firefighters found light smoke in the building at 1510 Industrial Road. Workers had already been evacuated to a safe area of the building.

The fire was determined to be accidental and the cause was a bearing on a wheel that exhausts the dryer into the duct work which had ignited lint. Life Skills maintenance staff helped disconnect power and gas to the dryer and take the equipment apart.

The wheel drum of the commercial laundry dryer was removed and extinguished by firefighters outside of the building.

The building was ventilated using fire department fans and everyone at Life Skills returned to work. Firefighters were on the call for about half an hour.

(DES MOINES)--A state board this week will consider a request for a Le Mars industry which is making expansion plans.

I-M-L Containers Iowa could create 29 new positions with an investment of about 11-million dollars. The business is located at 1620 24th Street Southwest.

The plastic container maker is applying for investment tax credits through the High Quality Job Creation Program.

The Iowa Economic Development Board Thursday will receive resolutions from the Le Mars City Council and Plymouth County Board of Supervisors related to the project.

The local match required for the program is a five-year property tax abatement approved by both local governments. The tax abatement is about 148-thousand dollars.

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) Sioux City leaders are rallying residents to help fight a consolidation of mail services that includes closing two neighborhood post offices in the city.

City leaders plan to meet Wednesday evening in the council chambers with members of the local postal union. Residents are invited to attend.

The U.S. Postal Service is planning a community forum for April 26 at the Sioux City Convention Center, seeking ways to combat the decline in mail volume and Postal Service revenue.

Closing the two post offices would leave the main office downtown open.

The postal workers union is resisting consolidation of the Sioux City processing center with one 75 miles north in Sioux Falls, S.D. A consolidation study is expected to be finished before fall.

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

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Sioux City-based Terra Industries has agreed to pay $625,000 in civil penalties to settle claims of violations of the federal Clean Air Act.

The company will also spend $17 million to install pollution controls at plants in Iowa, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Terra, one of the nation's largest producers of nitric acid and nitrogen fertilizers, will pay $325,000 to the federal government. The company has also agreed to pay and $100,000 each to environmental agencies in Iowa, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Those agencies were co-plaintiffs in an action filed Tuesday in federal court in Sioux City.

Terra says in a statement that it worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reach a settlement and develop plans to implement emissions reduction initiatives.

The company says that by doing so it isn't admitting any violation of law or regulation.

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

STORM LAKE  - Fire damage to a motel north of Storm Lake is estimated at 200-thousand dollars.

Fire departments from Rembrandt, Storm Lake and Sioux Rapids responded to the fire Tuesday morning at the Crossroads Motel at the intersection of Highways 3 and 71.  The building was fully engulfed in fire and had been evacuated.

The Buena Vista County Sheriff's Office and Rembrandt Fire Chief determined the fire started in a large sign on the motel. The probable cause of the fire is an electrical malfunction in the sign.

SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (AP) One person was hospitalized with stab wounds and more than a half-dozen people were arrested after what police say was a gang fight at an apartment complex in South Sioux City.

Officers say the fight occurred around 4 a.m. Sunday at the Interstate Apartments.

Those arrested face a variety of allegations, including assault on an officer, conspiracy and criminal street gang participation.

The name of the 21-year-old wounded man was not released. He is expected to survive.

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


MADISON, S.D. (AP) The executive director of a regional water system to serve northwest Iowa and other Siouxland states says the project has fallen to the bottom tier in a priority system for federal money.

Troy Larson of the Lewis and Clark Water System said towns that would be served by the project need to convince their congressional delegations that the project is important and should receive full funding.

The Lewis Clark system will pipe treated Missouri River water from near Vermillion to more than 300,000 people in northwest Iowa as well as nearby South Dakota and Minnesota.

Larson told the Madison City Commission that the Bureau of Reclamation's top priority is water projects that serve tribal communities. Second are projects nearest completion. Lewis Clark falls in the final ``all other'' category.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
The Iowa House Monday passed a resolution paying tribute to Iowa's World War II veterans. The resolution designates December 7, 2011 as "Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day". Representative Royd Chambers of Sheldon pointed to the service of the Iowa National Guard's 34th infantry division. It was the first division of the military to arrive in Europe.

Chambers and Representative Jeremy Taylor of Sioux City are current members of the Iowa National Guard. Both have done recent tours of duty. More than a dozen current members of the Iowa House are military veterans.  (Report from Radio Iowa)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad's tax returns show he reported an adjusted gross income of $313,663 last year on which he paid $62,831 in federal taxes.

Branstad allowed reporters Tuesday to read through his tax returns.

The documents also show he paid $7,875 in state taxes and made charitable contributions of $44,591.

The largest share of his income last year was the more than $141,000 he earned serving on corporate boards. He has since resigned those positions.

The Republican governor got a capital gain of $52,000 by selling the Pleasantville post office building he owned. He reported taking $68,000 from an individual retirement account, and another $52,430 from his Iowa Public Employee Retirement System pension.

Branstad earns $130,000 a year as governor, but he didn't collect any of that last year.


APNewsBreak: Pawlenty aide resigns after arrest

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A staffer for former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty's presidential exploratory committee charged with trespassing and public intoxication after trying to enter a suburban Des Moines home has resigned.

Eric Woolson, a consultant for Pawlenty's committee, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Benjamin Foster submitted his resignation Saturday and it was accepted.

The committee had suspended the 24-year-old for two weeks without pay following his arrest early April 6. Woolson says Foster later offered to resign after ``recognizing the seriousness of the mistake.''

Police say Foster was drunk and lost when he tried to enter a family home in Ankeny. His presence alarmed a teenage girl and her father, who held Foster at gunpoint until police arrived.

Online court records show Foster pleaded not guilty to the charges last week.


Vilsack: subsidies on table in budget talks

PRAIRIE CITY, Iowa (AP) U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says subsidies to farmers must be on the table as the government tries to reduce spending, but he cautions against cutting too deep.

Vilsack, who was touring a farm near Prairie City on Tuesday, says direct payments to farmers are hard to justify during tough economic times.

The payments are made to farmers no matter how much they grow or what happens to crop prices.

Vilsack says everything must be considered, but he warns against reductions that would limit economic growth.

As part of his plan for reducing the deficit, Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has proposed cutting $30 billion over 10 years from the direct payment program and by giving smaller subsidies to crop insurance.


Terra Industries fined for clean-air violations

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Sioux City-based Terra Industries has agreed to pay $625,000 in civil penalties to settle alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act and spend $17 million to install pollution controls at plants in Iowa, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Terra, one of the nation's largest producers of nitric acid and nitrogen fertilizers, will pay $325,000 to the federal government and $100,000 each to environmental agencies in Iowa, Mississippi and Oklahoma.

Those agencies were co-plaintiffs in an action filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Sioux City.

Terra says in a statement that it worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reach a settlement and develop plans to implement emissions reduction initiatives.

The company says that by doing so it isn't admitting any violation of law or regulation.

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

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison remains on lockdown after officials say an inmate attacked a fellow prisoner.

Department of Corrections spokesman Fred Scaletta says the assault happened Monday morning and appears to be an isolated incident.

Officials say prison staffers found the assaulted inmate lying on a floor and unresponsive with an apparent head injury that caused serious bleeding.

The Cedar Rapids Gazette reports the injured inmate was taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics for further treatment.

A suspect in the assault has been segregated from the rest of the prison's population.

Scaletta says the prison is expected to stay on lockdown for the next few days. The incident remains under investigation.

VINTON, Iowa (AP) The president of the Vinton-Shellsburg School Board is accused of lying on a voter registration form that asks about felony convictions and illegally voting in local elections.

The Des Moines Register on Tuesday says Patrick Lyons, of Vinton, pleaded guilty in 1996 to first-degree theft in Polk County for stealing nearly $182,000 from AmerUs Life, his former employer. Convicted felons can't vote in Iowa unless their rights are restored by the governor.

Lyons is charged with perjury and election misconduct. He was arrested on Monday and released from the Benton County jail on $5,000. Online court records don't list an attorney for Lyons, and there is no telephone listing for him in the Vinton area.

School Superintendent Mary Jo Hainstock says Lyons submitted his resignation on Monday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa prison officials say an inmate found unresponsive in his cell has died at the state prison Newton.

Officials say 49-year-old Allan Fattig was found in his bed about 11:30 a.m. on Monday. Efforts to revive him were unsuccessful, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prison spokesman Fred Scaletta says authorities suspect Fattig died of natural causes. An autopsy and toxicology tests are pending. Scaletta says Fattig had been treated for several medical conditions.

Fattig was serving a 20-year sentence on drug charges from Polk County. He was sentenced last July.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Funeral services will be on Friday for an Iowa Army National Guard soldier killed in a roadside bombing in Afghanistan.

Thirty-one-year-old Sgt. Brent Maher (MAY'-er) of Honey Creek, near Council Bluffs, was killed when his vehicle was hit by the bomb on April 11. Three other soldiers were wounded in the attack.

The Iowa National Guard on Tuesday says funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Friday at Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs with burial at Garner Township Cemetery. Visitation will be on Thursday at the high school.

Maher and the wounded soldiers were members of the 1st Battalion, 168th Infantry based in Shenandoah.

Maher was posthumously promoted to sergeant. He is survived by his wife, Brenna, and three children.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Former Iowa football assistant coach H.W. ``Whitey'' Piro (PIER'-oh), who was with the Hawkeyes from 1952 to 1965, has died in Iowa City. He was 93.

The university says Piro died Monday at his home.

Piro was an assistant for Forest Evashevski and Jerry Burns. He helped the Hawkeyes win three Big Ten championships and two Rose Bowl games.

From 1966 until his retirement in 1985, Piro worked in the university's personnel department. He also served as an area scout for the Buffalo Bills and the New York Giants.

The university, in a statement Tuesday, said Piro was born in 1917 in Germany. His family immigrated to the United States when he was 3, and he grew up in Long Island, N.Y.

Funeral services will be Friday in Iowa City.

(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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