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KLEM News PM Update May 17, 2011

Mike Hoffman of the Orange City Area Chamber of Commerce says Evie's Hallmark will be in the new Hawkeye Building on Main Street. Evie's Hallmark will fill the entire 7,000 square feet of retail space and will also feature a coffee and ice cream shop.

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Hoffman says the Chamber is happy to be partnering with the family-owned business that already is at locations in Sioux Center, Sheldon and Sioux City.

Evie's Hallmark is expected to open the Orange City store in the fall of this year.

Arson suspected in mail fire

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) Authorities in Sioux City suspect arson in a fire that destroyed several letters inside a mail collection box.

Sioux City postmaster Lori Slater-Trautwein says around 40 pieces of mail were destroyed by the flames on Monday inside the box at the Morningside postal branch. About 60 were salvageable.

Those with a return address will be placed in special envelopes and returned to senders. Those without return addresses or illegible ones will be sent on the addressees.

The mail inside the box was placed there after 4 p.m. Saturday. A customer noticed smoke coming from the box around 3:30 a.m. Monday and notified authorities.

A conviction for damaging or destroying mail can lead to a prison term of up to three years.

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

Thune to speaker in Sioux City

(SIOUX CITY)--A lecture series bringing national leaders to Iowa to discuss important issues of the day is in Sioux City at the end of the month.

The American Future Fund Conservative Lecture Series presents South Dakota Senator John Thune.

Thune will speak at the Hinton garden Inn in Sioux City on May 31st at 5:30 p.m.

The American Future Fund is a political action group which describes itself as advocating conservative, free market ideas.

Relay for Life returns to Remsen

(REMSEN)--Walkers will take their laps in Remsen during the Relay for Life in Plymouth County.

The annual event to raise funds to fight cancer, honor cancer survivors and remember those who've died returns to the Remsen City Track June 10th.

Shelly Clay of Relay for Life in Plymouth County says the Relay begins at 6 in the evening and features a Luminaria ceremony around 10 p.m. with walking continuing until 2 a.m.

The Team Captains meeting is next Monday night at six at the Remsen Library. Bank night for teams to turn in their fundraising dollars and receive Relay shirts is June 8th at American Bank in Remsen.

Anyone with questions may contact Clay at 548-5499.

Record low for Sioux City today

(SIOUX CITY)--This is a record breaking day in Siouxland.

The record low temperature was broken at Sioux Gateway Airport this morning with a 34 degree reading. According to the National Weather Service, this broke the record of 35 degrees set in 1925, 1930 and again in 2007.

King focuses on rebuilding 

MAPLETON, Iowa (AP) Photographer Monica King normally focuses on weddings and portraits. But over the next year, she'll chronicle the rebuilding of Mapleton.

The Iowa town was ripped apart by a tornado on April 9.

King will go out every month for the next year and try to show the progress.

King says she intends to make and sell a DVD album of the photos. But she says the proceeds will go to a family or families that need some help, even after insurance claims are paid.

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

Gingrich urges talk about his personal failings

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's personal failings could pose a serious obstacle for him in the Iowa caucuses, where religious conservatives are a powerful bloc.

Gingrich says he has sought God's forgiveness for infidelity and divorces, and welcomes inquiries from voters who have questions about his character.

He says support from Christian leaders from around the country and in other early primary states could be helpful in convincing Iowans, who host the leadoff caucuses next year.

Strategists in South Carolina, where evangelicals also are powerful, say all eyes are on Iowa. If Gingrich fails to convince values voters in the state, his chances of catching on with their peers in South Carolina are dim.

Gingrich is scheduled to campaign in Iowa this week.

Iowa man burned when old fuel barrel explodes

WAUKON, Iowa (AP) A northeast Iowa man is being treated for burns at University Hospitals Clinics in Iowa City after an old fuel barrel exploded.

Authorities say 25-year-old John Henningsgaard was setting fire to a brush pile a little before 8 p.m. Sunday when the nearby barrel caught fire and exploded in a shower of flames.

The Waukon man was taken to Veterans Memorial Hospital in Waukon, and then flown to Iowa City.

The Allamakee (al-uh-muh-KEE') County Sheriff's Office and the Iowa fire marshal's office are investigating.

Iowa City teachers, district reach pay agreement

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Teachers in Iowa City will receive a 3 percent increase in their compensation next year under an agreement between their union and the school district.

The president of the Iowa City Education Association says the contract will mean a roughly $300 increase in base pay, much of which will help cover increased contributions to the state's pension plan.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen reports the association represents 915 teachers, and its members ratified the agreement last week.

Jim Pedersen is the human resources director and chief negotiator for the district. He says the package is slightly below the 3.4 percent average increase in more than 100 school districts that have reached compensation agreements for next year.

Pedersen says the settlement is fair given the financial constraints facing the district.

Des Moines airport gets $1.9M for runway rehab

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Des Moines International Airport will receive $1.9 million to rehabilitate the taxiway to increase safety.

Sens. Charles Grassley and Tom Harkin announced the funds Monday. The money will come from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Harkin says the funding will make necessary improvements to keep airline passengers safe and promote travel to and from Iowa. Grassley says the project will also increase efficiency at the airport and improve economic development opportunities for surrounding communities.

The announcement follows one made last week in which the airport will receive $2.3 million to buy land and develop a new runway that has been part of the airport's plan since 2001.

Deal would end suit brought by Iowa sex offenders

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The state of Iowa would pay $35,000 in attorney's fees and make some changes under a proposed settlement that would end a class-action lawsuit brought by sex offenders who are being locked up for treatment.

A group of patients filed a complaint in 2007 alleging the living conditions at the Civil Commitment Unit for Sex Offenders in Cherokee, Iowa amounted to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of their constitutional rights.

Under a proposed settlement, the state would take steps to increase patients' access to exercise and bathroom facilities and give them more opportunity to challenge some disciplinary actions. Their attorney, Patrick Ingram of Iowa City, would be paid $35,000 for his work on the case.

A federal judge is expected to consider whether to approve the deal next month.

Manson, Iowa, teacher acquitted in exposure case

MANSON, Iowa (AP) A 61-year-old Manson teacher has been acquitted of indecent exposure.

Court records say Jeffrey Zinnel, of Manson, was found not guilty after a nonjury trial earlier this month.

Zinnel was arrested at Manson Northwest Webster Junior/Senior High School in December, accused of exposing himself at the Dollar Tree store in nearby Fort Dodge.

He was placed on paid leave, pending resolution of his case. Zinnel has taught language arts for the Manson district for 15 years. The district superintendent and Zinnel didn't immediately return calls Tuesday from The Associated Press.

Waterloo officer honored 109 years after death

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) A Waterloo police officer who died in the line of duty more than 100 years ago is among those whose name will be added to the Iowa police officer's memorial in Des Moines.

Officer John Bailey was operating a team of horses attached to a buggy when a passing street car frightened the team. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Couriers says the horses tore loose from the buggy and the buggy's hitch caught in the brick street. Bailey and a passenger were thrown. He in April 1902, following an operation.

The listing makes Bailey the first Waterloo officer to be killed on the job.

Bailey's name is among eight that will be added to the police officer's memorial Tuesday at the Capitol complex in Des Moines.

Man says he was trying to `lighten up' UI ceremony

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A 22-year-old Iowa City man says he was just trying to ``lighten up'' a commencement ceremony at the University of Iowa when he tossed rolls of toilet paper into the crowd of students.

Robert Koehler (KAY'-lur) briefly interrupted the College of Liberal Arts ceremony on Saturday and soon was taken away by security. Koehler has pleaded not guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct.

He told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that he was demonstrating support for his best friend, who was graduating, and to ``lighten up the erroneously long graduation ceremony.''

Koehler says he knew he would get caught and that was ``simply a silly and nonsensical thing to do.''

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


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