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KLEM News PM Update April 26, 2011

A member of Le Mars Community School Board of Education, Dan Smith, announced his plans at the end of the board's meeting Monday night.

Dan Smith Photo Courtesy Le Mars Community School District

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Smith has served as a school board member since 1995 and plans to finish out his term which ends this fall.

The geographic boundaries of the district he represents, District 5, are the largest of any of the board seats. The boundaries begin on the west side of Le Mars at Lake Avenue, and include Craig, Brunsville and Merrill.

The next school board election is September 13th. Board members serve for four years.

(LE MARS)--A construction project is changing parking at Le Mars Community School.

Assistant Principal Mark Iverson Monday night asked the Board of Education for a student handbook change due to the Phase 2 building construction and remodeling.

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The other change in the handbook allows an ACT test score to be used in place of Western Iowa Tech's Computerized Placement Test for students who take high school and Western Iowa Tech concurrent enrollment courses.

The board approved the changes outlined by Iverson.

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A 4-year-old Sioux City boy is being credited with helping his family escape a fire in their home.

Four-year-old Algerian Harris smelled smoke coming from his sister's bedroom Monday morning and woke his parents who called firefighters.

Members of the family say a fan in a bedroom caught fire. The fire spread fast but firefighters were able to contain the blaze.

The family of six, who are renting the house, were able to escape without injury.

There were no working smoke alarms in the house.

Neighbors reported seeing flames inside an upper story window.

Fire officials say an official cause of the fire has not been determined.

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

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Senate President Jack Kibbie says he won't seek another term in office next year.

The Emmetsburg Democrat is the Legislature's longest serving member.

The 81-year-old Kibbie served in the Legislature from 1960 to 1968. He then won election to the Senate again in 1988.

When the Legislature approved new district lines this year, Kibbie was tossed into a heavily Republican district that included Republican Sen. David Johnson of Ocheyedan.

Asked about his plans Tuesday, Kibbie acknowledged he told constituents at a recent town hall meeting that he wouldn't seek another term. He will make a formal announcement after this year's session ends.


YANKTON, S.D. (AP) A man accused of shooting to death a Yankton woman before trying to kill himself has been charged with first-degree murder.

Authorities say 28-year-old Nicholas Hines was found with a gunshot wound to his head on April 9 and taken to a Sioux Falls hospital. He allegedly shot himself after killing his 25-year-old girlfriend, Brianna Knoll.

The Press Dakotan reports that Hines was indicted on April 14 and served with a warrant Monday. He had been transferred to a Yankton hospital on Friday and then on Saturday to the Human Services Center, where he is in a locked ward.

The charge against Hines is punishable by death or life in prison upon conviction. Police say he has asked for an attorney.

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

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) The Army Corps of Engineers says this could be a year of record runoff into the Missouri River system.

Spokeswoman Jody Farhat (FAR-hot) said the reservoir system already is holding a lot of water and runoff from mountain snowmelt in the Northern Rockies is just beginning.

Farhat tells South Dakota Public Broadcasting that the corps is starting to release more water from the reservoirs to free up space for more runoff.

Lake Oahe (oh-WAH'-hee) north of Pierre is 18 inches below its all-time record high. Farhat said it's unlikely that Oahe will exceed the record set in 1996.

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

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) Police said Monday that a body found in the Missouri River is a Yankton man missing since December.

Twenty-six-year-old Kyle Bender was last seen on Dec. 11.

Clothes and a cellphone believed to be Bender's were found near a river boat ramp in a Yankton park in mid-February, but searches of the water turned up nothing.

The body was recovered east of Yankton Sunday after an angler spotted it in the vicinity of St. Helena, Nebraska.

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

HAMBURG, Iowa (AP) An 18-year-old woman has been given 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to fatally stabbing a 19-year-old man outside the Hamburg post office in November.

Iowa court records say Jennifer Tierney, of Hamburg, had been charged with second-degree murder for killing Douglas Brake, of Sidney. After making a deal with prosecutors, Tierney pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and going armed with intent. At sentencing last week, Tierney was given 10 years for the manslaughter and five years for the other charge. The sentences are to be served consecutively.

Accomplice Cayla Binder, of Lawton, had already been sentenced to probation. The 19-year-old had pleaded guilty to two charges: accessory after the fact and going armed with intent.

Authorities say Binder hid the knife that Tierney used to kill Brake.


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Legislature is scheduled to adjourn this week but lawmakers from both parties concede they have made little progress on writing a new state budget.

House Speaker Kraig Paulsen says he hopes an agreement can be reached this week on the overall size of the budget. But the Republican says there are disagreements on that issue as well.

Republican Gov. Terry Branstad has asked the Legislature for a $6.1 billion budget, but Paulsen says Republicans legislators want to spend less.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal, a Democrat, says Branstad complicated the issue last week when he vetoed portions of a spending measure both parties had supported

The Legislature can continue past Friday's scheduled ending date, but lawmakers won't be paid for their expenses.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) The Cedar Rapids City Council's next meeting will be in Cedar Rapids, which is good news for many city residents who also suffered losses in the 2008 flooding.

Renovation of the old federal courthouse won't be finished until June 2012, but the new council chambers are ready for council action at Tuesday's meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m., after an open house and a ribbon cutting by Mayor Ron Corbett.

Corbett told The Gazette that the move back downtown ``just another sign of progress.''

The council has been doing business in a meeting room at neighboring Hiawatha

The former courthouse is down the street from the Veterans Memorial Building on May's Island, which had housed city government until the floodwaters came in 2008.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) All 24 Republican state senators have signed a letter asking the Iowa Board of Regents to delay action on a proposed public policy institute honoring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin that would be housed at Iowa State University.

In the letter released Tuesday, Senate Republicans said the plan should be delayed to allow for more discussion about the details and ``the general propriety of a state institution naming an institute after a current elected official serving the people of Iowa.''

The regents are expected to consider approving the Harkin Institute for Public Policy during a meeting Wednesday in Ames.

The institute would store Harkin's papers, study policy matters related to the Democrat's legislative agenda and research the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. Harkin is an Iowa State graduate.

CARLISLE, Iowa (AP) The mother of a 20-year-old Des Moines soldier says he's in good spirits despite being wounded while trying to rescue the crew of a downed helicopter in Afghanistan.

Sharon Stougard (STOO'-gahrd) told The Des Moines Register that she talked to her son on Monday. He is Spc. Zachary Durham. He's in a military hospital in Germany, recovering from serious wounds suffered Saturday near Kabul. Another Iowa Guardsman, 32-year-old James Justice, of Grimes, was killed in the operation.

They were assigned to Camp Dodge in Johnston.

Stougard says her son expects to fly back to the United States on Friday, but the plans are tentative.

She says Durham told her that if had to go through his ordeal again, ``he wouldn't change a thing.''

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A state official has denied workers' compensation benefits to a former University of Northern Iowa professor who claimed that mistreatment by administrators forced her to have a mental health breakdown.

Deputy Workers' Compensation Commissioner James Christenson ruled Monday that Linda Sharp's work environment was stressful but she failed to prove that was the direct cause of her mental health problems.

Sharp was a music instructor at the Malcolm Price Laboratory School run by UNI's College of Education.

She agreed to resign in December in exchange for $210,000 in cash plus years of health benefits under a settlement that ended lengthy litigation between her and UNI. The settlement allowed her workers' compensation claim to continue.

Sharp's attorney says Tuesday that the decision is flawed and she'll consider an appeal.

(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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