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KLEM News PM Update May 23, 2011

 Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt tonight (Monday) will recommend Middle School Principal Steve Webner of Le Mars be hired as Assistant Superintendent.

According to Dr. Wendt, five candidates for the vacancy beginning July 1st were interviewed last Tuesday. Based on the results of the interviews, Dr. Wendt will recommend Webner for the opening.

(Steve Webner/Le Mars Community photo)

Webner has been Middle School Principal since 2005. He was previously assistant high school principal at Storm Lake and had teaching and coaching experience at Pocahontas Area in Rolfe and St. Michael Albertville Junior High in Minnesota. His master's degree is from Iowa State University. He is a Maple Valley of Mapleton high school graduate.  

In the Sunday Des Moines Register classifieds, the Middle School Principal's position was advertised. The ad states,  "due to professional advancement within the school distirct, the district anticipates an opening for middle school principal."

Dr. Carl Turner, the district's assistant superintendent, has resigned to accept the Storm Lake School Superintendent's position beginning July 1st.

A farewell cake and coffee open house for Dr. Turner is Thursday, May 26th from 3:30 to 5 in the afternoon at the Education Service Center.

Fire, ambulance respond to airport

(LE MARS)--A man from Lawton lost control of his ultra light gyro copter at the Le Mars Airport this (Monday) morning.

Airport manager Earl Draayer reports the man was doing taxi runs when he lost control and the ultra light's tank in the seat ruptured. His name was not available. Draayer compared the accident to someone running into a fender of a vehicle.

Le Mars Fire-Rescue was called to the airport for a small amount of fuel that spilled. Le Mars Ambulance was also called when the accident was reported about nine this morning. Draayer said the man didn't appear to be injured.  

Pawlenty challenges ethanol subsidy

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Tim Pawlenty is casting himself as the Republican candidate willing to tell the country hard truths as he seeks the presidency, announcing in corn-dependent Iowa that its prized federal subsidies for ethanol should be phased out.

Pawlenty made his first public appearance in Des Moines on Monday since announcing his candidacy late Sunday. He told supporters and GOP activists in the leadoff caucus state the nation can no longer afford to support the corn-based fuel additive.

Pawlenty says he knows it's risky to challenge the prized subsidy on Iowa soil, where the former Minnesota governor must win or do very well in next year's caucuses.

Pawlenty also said he plans to discuss changes to Social Security Tuesday when he campaigns in Florida, home to millions of the nation's retirees.

Republican Romney names Iowa campaign director

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Likely presidential candidate Mitt Romney is naming an Iowa director, suggesting the former Massachusetts governor will have a presence in the leadoff caucus state.

The campaign announced Monday that Sara Craig will be Romney's top Iowa staffer. The Iowa native was a senior aide to Romney's campaign for the 2008 Iowa caucuses. Romney finished second in Iowa, then quit the race for the nomination a month later.

Aides to Romney say Romney's second presidential bid will include an Iowa campaign but that it will rely less on the leadoff state to launch the Republican, who is now at or near the top of the national polls.

Romney is scheduled to return to Iowa on Friday for the first time since announcing his formation of an exploratory committee last month.

Iowa Gov. Branstad sees progress in budget talks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad says he and legislative leaders are making progress on budget talks and that he's confident they will reach a compromise.

At his weekly news conference Monday, the governor expressed optimism, saying a bargaining session late last week with legislative leaders ended with Republicans and Democrats significantly closer.

He says the two sides agree that changes to the state's property tax system are essential.

Branstad plans to leave June 6 on a trade mission to South Korea and China. If the budget isn't resolved by that point, he said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds will take his place on the trip.

Hail, strong winds lash parts of Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Storms suspected of spawning several tornadoes also brought damaging hail and wind gusts to Iowa.

No deaths or major injuries were reported from Sunday's storms, but roofs were damaged, windows were shattered, power lines were knocked down and trees were toppled.

The National Weather Service was flooded with reports from emergency management officials and trained spotters.

Hail as big as baseballs was reported a mile southwest of Olin a little before 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Two-inch-diameter hail was reported near Williamsburg a little after 3 p.m.

Winds gusts of 70 mph damaged trees five miles northwest of Grand Mound in Clinton County.

In Scott County, damage was reported to trees, power poles and power lines.

Iowa driver pleads not guilty in crash death

AMES, Iowa (AP) Court records say an 18-year-old Nevada (nuh-VAY'-duh) driver has pleaded not guilty to vehicular homicide in the death of a 16-year-old passenger.

Kaleb Hoversten was arrested on May 7 after the collision that killed Brice Nelson, who also lived in Nevada. A 14-year-old passenger in the car was injured. The driver of the sport utility vehicle that Hoversten's car struck also was injured.

Police say Hoversten pumped about $53 in gas at a convenience store and drove off without paying. Police say that when an officer tried stopping the car, Hoversten sped off. The subsequent chase reached speeds of more than 90 mph and ended when the car collided with the SUV.

The Ames Tribune says no trial date has been set.

Ethics board launches inquiry into casino company

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A state ethics board has decided to investigate campaign contributions by a Dubuque-based gaming company and two of its executives.

The Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board voted to look into donations by Peninsula Gaming and chief executive officer Martin Brent Stevens and chief operating officer Jonathan Swain.

The Telegraph Herald in Dubuque reports the board's decision Friday comes after criminal charges against the company and its executives were dismissed earlier in the month. The company and its officers were charged with making illegal contributions to former Gov. Chet Culver's re-election campaign.

The company's attorney, Guy Cook, says the investigation was expected and the ethics board is carrying out its duty. Cook says Peninsula Gaming is prepared to work with the board to resolve the matter.

Top turf horse Paddy O'Prado retired with injury

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) The owner of Paddy O'Prado says the winner of the Dixie Stakes has been retired with a leg injury.

The sesamoid injury was discovered after the 4-year-old colt returned to the barn following his victory Saturday in the race just before the Preakness.

Jerry Crawford of Iowa's Donegal Racing made the announcement Monday. Dale Romans, who won the Preakness with Shackleford, also trains Paddy O'Prado.

The 4-year-old Paddy O'Prado excelled on the turf, and won five of 15 career starts in earning $1.7 million. The horse was third in the 2010 Kentucky Derby, sixth in the Preakness and fifth in the Breeders' Cup Classic. On turf, he won twice in Virginia along with the Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park.

The Dixie was his first start in 2011.

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

 Submit your news release, photos, 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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