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KLEM News Update April 24, 2011

The Y and 75-100 nine-to-fourteen-year-old boys and girls from Le Mars and surrounding communities will compete in the Hershey's Track and Field Youth program May 15th.

The Le Mars Community High School track will feature events such as the 50, 100 and 200 meter dash, the 800 and 1600 meter run, 4x100 meter relay, standing long jump and softball throw.

Registration is being accepted at the Y until May 2nd.

LE MARS - Third grade students from seven schools in Plymouth County will be drawing posters for Woof-stock--a celebration of dogs and kids in June.

The Plymouth County Historical Museum is hosting Woof-stock for the third year.

The Woof-stock poster contest winners will be announced during the celebration June 4th in the Museum's Old Central gym.

A Poochi parade around the Museum block, and indoor Poochi promenade across the stage, photography, a Blessing of Animals, dog-related vendors, a silent auction and flea market are planned.

Noah's Hope which is a dog rescue group will host a booth and offer micro-chipping of dogs.

SIOUX CITY - A new cardiac specialist will work in Siouxland beginning tomorrow (Monday).

Dr. Alan Zhu is a cardiologist/electrophysiologist who will practice at Mercy Cardiology in Sioux City.

Dr. Zhu was recently with the Covenant Heart Specialist group in Saginaw, Michigan.

Mercy Cardiology is a group of hospital-aligned physicians who serve patients from across the SIouxland area in the Mercy Heart Center. The group was formed last October.

COUNCIL BLUFFS - Plans have been released for a massive new Veterans Affairs Hospital that will serve veterans across Iowa's western third. At one-million square feet, it promises to be the largest public works project in Omaha/Council Bluffs since the 1960s. Chief engineer Bob Yager (YAY-gur) says the ultimate price tag is estimated at 560-million dollars.

"The big highlights of the building are this large, glass, curved concourse that will allow natural daylight to come into the building and it will be very much an atrium-type space," Yager says. "We'll get daylight onto the first floor and that's where all of our patient amenities are, our canteen, our coffee shop and things like that will be." Yager says the Omaha facility will be very modern and easy to navigate. He says it's difficult to determine a time-table for the hospital due to funding.

He says, "We're hoping we'll be able to release some construction early, starting in the summer of 2013 with parking structures and an essential energy plant but that is depending on the FY13 federal budget being passed and having construction funds in there." For now, the completion date is set for 2018. Yager says once the new facility is up and in full operation, the current V-A hospital will be demolished. He says something special is being planned for the spot where it now stands.

"We're looking at a veterans' memorial being on that site," Yager says. "It happens to be the highest geographical point in the city of Omaha and we would like to place something there that's meaningful for veterans on the highest ground in the city and I think that's going to be a very meaningful tribute to our veterans." The current V-A Hospital was built about 60 years ago and a recent study found the building to be inadequate to meet the needs of patients. (News report by Radio Iowa)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A disagreement over whether to approve one-year or two-year budgets and other issues will likely mean the Legislature won't meet the April 29 scheduled adjournment.

Lawmakers are taking the delay in stride, but they say it will prove costly because after April 29, they will no longer be paid for daily meals and lodging.

Sen. Todd Bowman, a Democrat from Maquoketa, says he'll have to cut corners to pay for the extra hotel bills, but it's part of being a legislator.

Rep. Dan Muhlbauer, a Republican from Manilla, says he'll leave the house he's been renting and share a place with two Democratic lawmakers.

Muhlbauer says he'd like to get back to work at his farm but is confident the operation can manage without him.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Board of Regents will consider proposals next week to raise room and board rates between 3 and 5 percent at the state's three public universities. The board will also look at plans to eliminate staff at the state's school for the deaf and create a public policy institute at Iowa State.

The board will meet Wednesday and Thursday in Ames. That's where they'll consider a plan that would increase room and board rates at Iowa State, the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa.

A proposal also calls for cutting five faculty members at the Iowa School for the Deaf.

The Des Moines Register says Iowa State has proposed starting a public policy institute named after alumnus Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin.

 WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) Hundreds of people have gathered in Waverly to mourn an Army National Guard soldier who died in Afghanistan.

Twenty-one-year-old Spc. Donald Nichols, of Shell Rock, was killed April 13 when his vehicle hit a roadside bomb. Another Iowa soldier was wounded in the attack.

Nichols' funeral was Saturday morning at Waverly-Shell Rock High School. Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports his family and friends spoke of his ambition and positive attitude. His fiancee, Chelsey Bliss, said he wanted to do so much with his life.

His brother, Joe Nichols, called him a true hero. He had escorted the body home from Afghanistan.

Nichols is one of two Iowa National Guard soldiers killed in Afghanistan this month. Sgt. Brent Maher (MAY'-er), of Honey Creek, died April 11. His funeral was Friday.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Iowa is among five states and the District of Columbia that have approved gay marriage law. New York could soon be the next to join that group.

New York has always been a goal of advocates because of its size, high profile and unparalleled media presence. But the state's growing push to legalize gay marriage may already be won thanks to shifting voter sentiment and a concerted, disciplined campaign.

New Yorkers opposed to gay marriage are being swamped by younger people who support it. And polls seem to show a new tactic by advocates is working in the suburbs and upstate, the more conservative region where the issue will be won or lost.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A former sports coach for a private Christian school in Ankeny has been arrested in a prostitution sting in Des Moines.

The Des Moines Register reports 47-year-old Steve Olejniczak, of Ankeny, was among 10 people arrested Thursday and Friday on prostitution-related charges. He posted bond and was released.

Police say officers used websites to identify and arrest suspects.

A number listed for Olejniczak rang answered Saturday. Online court records available Saturday didn't reflect the case against him or list his attorney.

Ankeny Christian Academy administrator Joyce Hansen confirmed Olejniczak had been the school's football and basketball coach, but declined to say when his employment ended.

(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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