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KLEM News PM Update May 18, 2011

The Le Mars City Council took the action Tuesday.

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As an example, the new asking price for the Kime Science Center is 50-thousand dollars. That's an 80 percent reduction in the previous asking price of 250-thousand dollars. The realtor's commission is 15-thousand dollars.

Council member Delana Ihrke had several questions about the realtor's commission and voted no on the Council action.

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According to Mayor Dick Kirchoff and City Administrator Scott Langel, all of the realtors in Plymouth County have been invited to a meeting tomorrow (Thursday) morning

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They information includes new Council offers to abate asbestos. Council member John Leonard pointed out the environmental study and asbestos removal would be required even if the city razed the buildings. Council Member Rex Knapp emphasized that the asking prices remain negotiable.

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Council members and the mayor said interest in Kime, the Charles Mock Library and Centennial Dormitory has increased since a Council meeting two weeks ago and earlier Council action revising a timetable for demolition of unused buildings over the next several years.

A city staff member will study whether Le Mars could have all at-large council members and report back to the Council. Councilman Ken Nelson suggested the idea be revisited when changing ward and precinct boundaries for the 2010 Census was discussed.

A switch to First Administrators of Sioux City for the city's Health and Flex Benefit plan administration was approved.

The Council agreed to move forward with 100-thousand dollars in improvements to the Le Mars Convention Center upper level meeting room and bar area. The city funds will be taken from the Westmar University Urban Renewal Tax Increment Financing revenue. Bids for the airport snow removal equipment building were delayed to June 1st.

Gingrich brings campaign to northwest Iowa

(LE MARS)--A Republican candidate for President plans to be in Le Mars Friday.

Newt Gingrich is touring the state after announcing his candidacy.

Gingrich says he plans outline his vision for Iowa families and families across the nation Friday afternoon. He'll be at the Le Mars Public Library in a meeting room beginning at 1:45. He has scheduled an hour of time in Le Mars.

Hearings set for firing appeals

WAYNE, Neb. (AP) Hearings have been scheduled for Wayne's police chief and a lieutenant so they can appeal their firings.

The Civil Service Commission hearings are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday for Lt. Phil Shear and Chief Lance Webster.

They were suspended with pay in February. They were fired after a meeting with City Administrator Lowell Johnson.

Shear is accused of having an affair with a subordinate and making sexual advances toward others in the department. Webster is accused of trying to cover up for Shear by, among other things, trying to fire Shear's accuser.

Both also are accused of using city-issued cell phones for excessive personal calls and texts.

Shear and Webster have denied the accusations. Johnson has declined to comment.

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

2011 session marked by few bills approved

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) State records show there is some truth to the talk about a lack of progress in this year's Legislature.

Statistics from the Legislative Services Agency shows the 2011 session is on its way to approving the fewest bills in more than two decades.

Through Tuesday, 118 bills had gone to Gov. Terry Branstad for consideration. The Des Moines Register says that's the smallest number of bills dating back to 1989, when records were first kept. Over the past decade an average of 197 bills have been sent to the governor.

Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford says whether fewer bills is good depends on a person's view on what's been approved.

Senate Minority Leader Paul McKinley says one reason for the standoff is disagreement over the state's budget.

Trump decision expected soon on Iowa dinner speech

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A decision is expected soon from Donald Trump on whether he'll speak at the Republican Party of Iowa's Lincoln Day Dinner in June.

Michael Cohen is an executive vice president for the New York real estate mogul and reality TV star. Cohen told The Des Moines Register on Tuesday that there will be a decision Wednesday.

On Monday, the state GOP said it had learned that Trump was reassessing his agreement to speak at the June 10 dinner.

Trump announced Monday that he wouldn't seek the Republican presidential nomination.

Cedar Rapids man accused of kidnapping woman

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A Cedar Rapids man has been arrested on kidnapping charges after police say he forced a woman into his apartment, held her captive for 10 hours an sexually assaulted her.

Fifty-one-year-old William Roby was arrested at his apartment Monday. The Gazette says the alleged assault occurred Sunday evening.

A police spokeswoman says Roby and the 62-year-old woman had dated in the past but that the woman was in the apartment building for a different reason when Roby saw her and forced her inside his apartment.

Police say Roby released the woman Monday morning. She went to a local hospital and police were notified.

Roby was charged with first-degree kidnapping. A telephone message left Wednesday for his attorney was not immediately returned.

Judge reduced Iowa man's bond despite violent past

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A judge was warned about a Cedar Rapids man's history of violence before he reduced his bond, which allowed his release from jail before the stabbing death of a cab driver.

A transcript of an Oct. 6 hearing released Tuesday shows that a Linn County prosecutor asked Judge Russell Keast to keep Johnathan Mitchell's bond at $25,000 for the ``protection of the community.'' At the time, Mitchell was charged with brutally beating a man with a wooden yard tool.

Keast agreed Mitchell posed a threat to public safety, but ruled his bond was excessive. He reduced it to $10,000 and ordered Mitchell be released if he posted 10 percent.

Mitchell has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the April 29 slaying of cab driver Cathy Stickley.

Iowan's deal includes testifying against husband

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) Prosecutors say a Burlington woman has agreed to testify against her husband in exchange for a lesser drug charge against her.

The Hawk Eye of Burlington is reporting that 38-year-old Monica and 52-year-old Curtis Waddell were arrested in April, accused of manufacturing methamphetamine. The offense carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.

But Monica Waddell accepted a deal Monday with Des Moines County prosecutors and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. Prosecutors say they'll ask the judge to suspend her 10-year sentence and put her on probation.

The condition: Monica Waddell must testify truthfully against her husband on June 7. He has pleaded not guilty.

Iowa targets license of adoption agency

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa officials are trying to yank the license of a Waukee-based adoption agency that the state says has broken adoption laws and has been the subject of numerous client complaints.

The Des Moines Register is reporting that Abby's One True Gift Inc., has appealed and will remain in operation while the case is decided by an administrative law judge.

The for-profit agency matches pregnant mothers with potential adoptive parents across the country.

Among the complaints cited in an investigator's report is that Abby's employees coerced couples into contracts, forced them into quick decisions and failed to provide key information.

Abby's lawyer is Michael Ensley. He says Abby's is committed to providing its services in the ``best manner possible'' and says the state report is one-sided and confusing.

Vandals topple headstones in Riverside cemetery

RIVERSIDE, Iowa (AP) Washington County authorities are investigating vandalism at a Riverside cemetery where about 30 headstones have been toppled.

The Washington County sheriff's office says the vandalism at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery was reported Sunday afternoon. When sheriff's office personnel arrived at the cemetery they found the headstones knocked over and damaged.

The city of Riverside is prepared to offer a reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case. The exact amount of the award will be determined later by the city council.

The investigation is continuing.

(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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