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KLEM News AM Update June 2, 2011

 

At the Le Mars Bomgaars, General Manager Tom Sauer sees signs of people taking precautions. 

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The sales are to customers who are helping others. 

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Customers who call ahead may have items held for their needs.

Rental Sales and Service in Le Mars had a couple of trailers rented by Le Mars area residents to help Dakota Dunes residents move their property.  

Courthouse Annex ribbon cutting and open house this afternoon

(LE MARS)--A ribbon cutting by the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors is a ceremonial opening for the Plymouth County Courthouse Annex this (Thursday) afternoon.

The Annex serves as an emergency storm shelter, office and storage building.

H-C-I of South Sioux City was the general contractor for the more than half-million dollar building on the east side of the Courthouse block.

The ribbon cutting is at 3:30 this (Thursday) afternoon with a public open house to follow until six this evening. The county office relocations will begin next week with Driver's License Service offered in the Annex beginning Wednesday, June 8th.

State Juvenile Court staff as well as Plymouth County services such as the Driver's License Department will be relocated to the Annex.

The county paid for the construction with Local Option Sales Tax and an 85-thousand dollar state grant from I-JOBS for the storm shelter area of the building project.

Smith is Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce "Employee of the Month"

(LE MARS) The process of setting the value of property from field work to state ordered changes is part of the work day for a Le Mars woman.

Plymouth County Chief Deputy Assessor Linda Smith gained her knowledge of the aspects of assessing from 32 years of experience.

Smith's expertise was recognized with the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce "Employee of the Month" award Wednesday.

A nomination for Smith describes her as answering questions and helping solve problems for many offices. Qualities cited in the nomination for "Employee of the Month" include her positive attitude and friendly personality at the Courthouse. She has been a mentor to many employees.

She began in the Assessor's office in November of 1978 and was named a clerk in the office in 1980. She was appointed deputy assessor in 1984 and is in her fourth term as a deputy assessor.

Smith plans to retire later this month.

Branstad to check on flooding in western Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Terry Branstad is heading for western Iowa to check on flood readiness along the Missouri River.

Branstad will be joined by Derek Hill of Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management in Sioux City today (Thursday).

They'll check on sandbagging efforts and will hold a news conference with local officials on flood preparations and response.

The swollen river is rolling downstream from the Northern Plains, affecting cities and towns from North Dakota to Iowa and Nebraska. Near Sioux City, residents of the upscale community of Dakota Dunes in South Dakota have been told to move to higher ground.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is increasing releases from the six dams on the Missouri River to drain water from record rains in the past few weeks.

Republicans gathering despite slow budget talks

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Republicans who hold a majority in the Iowa House will meet at the Statehouse to discuss the next steps in the state's long-running budget standoff.

Although Republicans will meet today (Thursday), Democrats who run the Senate say they won't meet until next week.

Both sides are blaming the other party for the stalemate.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Bob Dvorsky, a Democrat, says a spending plan assembled by Republicans would hammer the middle class and he declared it dead in the Senate.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Scott Raecker says Republicans have already compromised but haven't seen movement from the Senate. He accused Democrats of sabotaging budget bargaining and trying to scare people by threatening a government shutdown.


Lawmakers, Branstad seek deal as deadline nears

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A prolonged stalemate means legislators and the governor have only a month to reach a budget deal or risk beginning the new fiscal year without a spending plan.

State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says there's no precedent for what will happen if Republican Gov. Terry Branstad and legislative leaders can't agree to a budget by the start of the new fiscal year July 1.

Officials say they can avoid mass layoffs, but they won't specify how they can spend money without a legislatively approved budget.

David Roederer, head of the Department of Management, says state workers will continue to be paid if no agreement is reached by July 1. When asked how they would be paid, he would only say, ``We're exploring various options.''

Des Moines hospital won't hire smokers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A Des Moines hospital is expanding its smoke-free workplace to its new employees with a tobacco-free hiring policy.

KCCI-TV in Des Moines reports that Mercy Medical Center will no longer hire smokers and will test applicants for nicotine as part of its pre-employment drug testing.

Human Resources Director Kevin Elsberry says the hospital wants its employees to emulate the same healthy behaviors it encourages from its patients. The policy, which goes into July 1, doesn't affect current employees.

Elsberry says the policy isn't discriminatory. He says smokers aren't a ``protected class'' in Iowa so the hospital has the option of not hiring people who smoke or use other tobacco products.

Mercy banned smoking from its campus about five years ago.

Rockwell City to challenge 2010 census

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) Rockwell City is challenging the 2010 census, which shows its population dropping by nearly 25 percent in the last decade.

According to the latest census, Rockwell City has 1,709 residents. The 2000 census showed 2,264 people. That's a loss of 555 residents.

Rockwell City is home to a state prison, which houses about 500 inmates.

The Messenger in Fort Dodge says Wednesday that the city will challenge the results, claiming the inmates weren't counted. When the issue surfaced earlier this year, state officials said the inmates were to be counted as Rockwell City residents.

City Clerk Kim Kelly says she expects to send in the paperwork to the Census Bureau on Wednesday, the first day challenges can be filed.

Train hits crop sprayer in eastern Iowa

ALBURNETT, Iowa (AP) Authorities say no one was hurt when a train clipped a crop sprayer near Alburnett (al-burr-NET') in eastern Iowa.

The accident happened about 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday at a crossing south of the Linn County town. Authorities say a man was on a tractor pulling the sprayer when it was hit by the train, sending the sprayer into a ditch.

Firefighters say a small amount of diesel fuel leaked out of the sprayer, but it was not loaded with chemicals.

There is no crossing arm or horns at the crossing. Officials say the driver said it was loud and he didn't hear or see the train.


Funeral set for Iowa airman killed in Afghanistan

OTTUMWA, Iowa (AP) Funeral services are set for a 28-year-old Iowa airman killed when a bomb exploded in Afghanistan.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Joseph Hamski, of Ottumwa, and Tech. Sgt. Kristoffer Solesbee of Citrus Heights, Calif., died last Thursday when enemy forces attacked.

Reece Funeral Home in Ottumwa says Wednesday that a funeral mass for Hamski will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday at St. Mary of the Visitation Catholic Church in Ottumwa. Burial will be at Ottumwa Cemetery. There will be a Christian wake at 4 p.m. on Friday at Reece Funeral Home.

Hamski graduated from Ottumwa High School in 2001 and briefly attended Iowa State University before joining the Air Force.

He is survived by his wife, Air Force Staff Sgt. Maria Christina Hamski, along with his mother, two sisters and a brother.

(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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