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KLEM News AM Update April 28, 2011

 Pam Arndt of Dean Foods says Dean Foods is part of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce and Le Mars Arts Council public art project placing fiberglass cones throughout Le Mars.

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Dean Foods is asking Kindergarten through Fifth grade students at Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic to submit female names for the cow. There are already 27 entries from students who have until next Tuesday (May 3) to enter the naming contest.

Arndt explains Le Mars artist and Kluckhohn elementary art teacher Kim Strohbeen is helping Dean Foods with the art addition to the Le Mars location.

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Dean Foods employees voted on the cow design.

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Dean Foods is giving a prize for the winning name--a year-long family membership to the indoor and outdoor pools through the Le Mars YMCA.

 SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A pair of pit bulls that attacked a northwest Iowa girl have put to sleep.

The Plymouth County sheriff's office says 10-year-old Breanna Buenger was playing in a yard in rural Akron on April 13 when she was mauled by two pit bulls.

The sheriff's office says a veterinarian who examined the dogs determined there was no concern about another attack.

THE owners had the pit bulls euthanized on Tuesday.

The girl was released from an Omaha hospital last week.

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

(LE MARS)--A man who waded into the river on the west side of Le Mars to rescue a dog was taken out of the water by Le Mars Fire-Rescue Wednesday afternoon.

Police Captain Dennis Folkema said the call to an area along the Le Mars Recreation Trail started when the dog's owner reported the dog had gone into the river--apparently chasing geese.

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Le Mars Fire-Rescue got to the riverbank area with their rescue A-T-V and used firefighters, a ladder and fire rescue basket to get the man and the dog safely out of the water.

According to Fire-Rescue Chief Dave Schipper, the department was at the area for about an hour. Le Mars Police, Le Mars Fire-Rescue, the Plymouth County Sheriff's Department, and the Sheriff's Department Dive Team and the City of Le Mars Public Works Department all responded. Photo courtesy Le Mars Fire-Rescue/Le Mars Police Captain Dennis Folkema

(DES MOINES)--Republican Congressman Steve King says it's too soon for him to speculate about facing former Iowa First Lady Christie Vilsack in the 2012 election.

"The Democrats may have a primary. On my side I may have a primary so we can't presume that that is a match up at this point, although it seems to be likely," King says. "She placed a courtesy call to let me know that she has an exploratory committee. I think that's to her credit and we'll see how this emerges." Vilsack, who is a life-long Democrat, announced last week she is moving to Ames, which is in the new fourth congressional district where King lives, and will be conducting a "listening tour" with voters in the district. King says he and Vilsack have a "complete philosophical disagreement on how the world looks."

 "That could be an engaging and interesting discussion taking place across 39 counties," King says. "I was born here. I live here. My roots go down here. Our family for three generations, four generations, I guess more, go down in this part of the state." Christie Vilsack is also an Iowa native, but her hometown of Mount Pleasant is in southeast Iowa and is not part of the new fourth congressional district. King says it's "hard to estimate" how tough an opponent Christie Vilsack may be.

"Not having a track record, it's hard to estimate that. I think that people on her side think so and so I would take her and any opponent very seriously and intend to do my share of this work and put together the best team we can," King says. "Anytime you have a new district and the extra counties that are added it makes it a more difficult task and certainly I expect that." After winning a seat in congress in 2002, King has refused to debate his Democratic opponents in the past four elections. And King is making no committment to debating Christie Vilsack.

"Nor am I declining. That's something that I would think would be discussed between the two camps, if it got to that point," King says. "But I would just say that most everybody in Iowa knows that I've debated a Vilsack many, many times...Tom and I served in the Iowa Senate together as we engaged each other over and over again. And then as he as governor, and I as a senator and then, he as governor and I as a congressman and now he as the secretary of agriculture and I as a congressman." King suggests he'll have even more debates with Tom Vilsack before debates Christie Vilsack. King made his comments on the Iowa Public Radio program, "The Exchange". (New report by Radio Iowa)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Crews have pulled a body from the Des Moines River at a city park but Des Moines police say they haven't identified the person.

Sgt. Chris Scott says police were called about 5 p.m. Wednesday to Prospect Park after a body was spotted in the river. Authorities recovered the body and took it to the Polk County Medical Examiner's office for identification and the cause of death.

Police wouldn't speculate about the identity of the body or say how long identification would take.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Court of Appeals has overturned the conviction of a mother imprisoned for nearly four years after being found guilty of injuring her young son basing its decision on the boy's newfound ability to speak. The child claimed he was hurt after sticking his arm into a washing machine.

Tammy Smith was convicted of hurting the then-4-year-old in 2006. The boy's arm was broken in four places and his shoulder dislocated.

Prosecutors couldn't prove how the injury happened, but doctors testified it could only have been caused by force or leverage.

The boy couldn't talk at the time of Smith's trial. But he's since told people he hurt his arm when he put it in a front-load washing machine on spin cycle.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A federal judge in Davenport has ordered a Texas-based company accused of abusing several mentally disabled men at a turkey plant in Iowa to pay $1.76 million in back wages and damages to the former workers.

The U.S. Labor Department on Wednesday says it obtained a partial summary judgment in its lawsuit against Hill Country Farms, doing business as Henry's Turkey Service.

Henry's housed the men in a dilapidated bunkhouse in Atalissa while they worked at the West Liberty Foods turkey-processing plant in Muscatine County. The bunkhouse was closed by the state fire marshal in 2009.

U.S. District Judge Harold Vietor (VEE'-ay-tor) says Henry's violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to properly pay 31 workers.

An attorney for Henry's, David Scieszinski (suh-ZIN'-ski), declined to comment on the ruling.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The House State Government Committee has approved a measure requiring the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to study legalizing Internet poker in Iowa and issue a report by Dec. 1.

The committee approved the measure Wednesday on a 20-3 vote. The full Senate backed the plan on a 38 to 12 vote April 20.

The measure calls for a report on issues such as unregulated Internet poker play, consumer protections and regulations.

Supporters say legalizing Internet poker could generate tens of millions of dollars in tax money, but others worry about expanded gambling.

AMES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa State Board of Regents has approved the creation of a public policy center named after Sen. Tom Harkin at Iowa State University.

The regents voted 6-2 to establish the Harkin Institute of Public Policy on Wednesday during a meeting at the university in Ames.

Republican lawmakers sent letters asking the regents to delay the plan and allow more time for discussion about the propriety of naming a state institution after a current elected official. Republican Gov. Terry Branstad called for a similar delay.

The decision to create the center followed a presentation by university president Gregory Geoffrey, who says all work done at the institute will be objective and nonpartisan with no input from Harkin.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) It's a good thing Lolo Jones finally committed to running in this week's Drake Relays.

The promotional signs bearing her likeness had already been put up in downtown Des Moines.

Meet officials had to wait until Monday before announcing that Jones, a Des Moines native and the annual fan favorite, would run the women's 100-meter hurdles Saturday at Drake Stadium.

Jones's return to the track rounded out the list of elite athletes set to compete at the 102nd Drake Relays.

The meet starts in earnest Thursday and finishes with Saturday's final session.

(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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