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KLEM News AM Update June 23, 2011

The one-time effort by the Le Mars United Way runs through Friday, July 1st.

Checks may be made payable to the Le Mars United Way with an indication of flood relief. Donations may be dropped off at American Bank, First National Bank, Great Southern Bank, Kingsley State Bank, Northwest Iowa Credit Union and Primebank.

Voters may weigh-in on ward change

(LE MARS)--A Le Mars Council member says she'd like to have voters consider a move to abolish the Council Wards

The Council Tuesday set July 5th as a time for comments from the public on the proposal to eliminate the system that requires three of the council members to be elected from specific areas of the city. The change would mean council members would all be elected at-large. Three of the five are elected from wards now.

Council member Delana Ihrke said she thought it was worthy of consideration, but she'd like to see it go before the voters.

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Councilmember John Rexwinkel repeated comments about having all the council members from one area. Council member Ken Nelson asked for examples.

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City attorney Joe Flannery, after the meeting, notified KLEM that a petition for an election on the ward change would need to be signed by 10 percent of the total number of voters in the last city election. Voter turnout was low for city elections in 2009. Based on records in the Plymouth County Auditor's office, the number of signatures needed on a petition for an election is 14.

Council hears project plans

(LE MARS)--A Le Mars businessman working with partners to develop a waste to fuel project and looking for an international office site met with the Le Mars City Council Tuesday.

John Grosenheider joined the Council in a session the Council closed to the public to discuss the purchase of real estate. Other motions to close the meeting to the public were made at the request of City Attorney Joe Flannery, assistant City Administrator Bill Cole and Administrator Scott Langel for performance reviews.

Any action on the closed session discussions is taken in public portions of Council meetings.

According to City Clerk Bev Langel, no action was taken after the closed sessions.

There will be a special Council meeting at noon Friday for the three performance reviews.

Downtown intersection decision delayed

(LE MARS)--Changes in the surface of a downtown Le Mars intersection are to be decided after the Le Mars City Council knows what the repairs will cost.

Brick pavers from the Central Avenue and Plymouth Street intersection Streetscape design are damaged and were fixed temporarily before Ice Cream Days.

Options such as asphalt, colored concrete and whitetopping are being considered and were slated for discussion Tuesday.

During the Council meeting Mayor Dick Kirchoff indicated there'd be a delay in the agenda item.

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The intersection will be back on the agenda in two weeks.

Police work for safer Fourth of July

(LE MARS)--Le Mars Police are part of an effort to make the Fourth of July holiday a safe weekend.

Iowa Department of Transportation records indicate there were five traffic deaths during the Fourth of July weekend last year which was an increase of two deaths from 2009. In the last four years during the Fourth of July holiday there have been no alcohol-related crashes that resulted in a death .

Le Mars Police Officers will work to reduce alcohol or drug impaired drivers and other traffic violators to prevent crashes and save lives.

Last year Le Mars Officers were part of a safety effort with 214 agencies working for a safe Fourth.

Sioux Relay raises 124K

(HULL)--More than 26 teams helped raised funds to prevent or fight cancer in Sioux County.

The American Cancer Society's Sioux Relay for Life raised more than 124-thousand dollars during the event in Hull last weekend.

More than 35 volunteers prepared for the annual Relay in Sioux County which is among the top American Cancer Society fundraisers in the state.

Ninety-six survivors attended events such as the Survivor Dinner and the Survivor lap.

It's estimated 170 people in Sioux County will face a cancer diagnosis this year.

Koons to serve 20 years for drug conviction

(SIOUX CITY)--An Estherville woman has been ordered to serve 20 years in prison.

According to federal prosecutors, fifty-year-old Cynthia Koons received the prison term after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute meth.

Court records indicate Koons pled guilty to conspiring to distribute more than six pounds of meth between 2002 and April of last year in Cherokee, Dickinson and Emmet Counties.

She is being held for the U-S Marshal's Service until she's taken to a federal prison.

Iowa Senate approves tax cut, school spending

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Senate has approved a package calling for the state to spend $1.1 billion on Medicaid, a program shared with the federal government that provides health care for poor and elderly people.

The Medicaid spending was part of a $1.5 billion measure funding human services programs.

The Senate, controlled by Democrats, approved the measure Wednesday on a 26-23 vote and sent it to the House, which has approved a different version.

Democratic Sen. Jack Hatch of Des Moines, the main backer of the measure, complained that it didn't spend enough and blamed legislative Republicans and GOP Gov. Terry Branstad, who have pushed for a limit on state spending of $5.9 billion. Democratic leaders have reluctantly agreed to approve that level.

Iowa trooper kills man wanted in Wisconsin

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities say an Iowa State Patrol trooper shot and killed a man wanted in Wisconsin after the man allegedly charged the trooper with a knife after a chase.

Officials say the trooper shot the man Wednesday afternoon near Floyd in northern Iowa.

Wisconsin issued a warrant for the man who was missing from correctional facility. He was suspected of stealing a vehicle.

Iowa troopers spotted the car around noon. The suspect drove into Minnesota, then back to Iowa, where officials used a maneuver to stop the car.

A deputy tried unsuccessfully to take him into custody using a stun gun. Authorities say the man was armed with a knife and charged the trooper, and the trooper shot him.

Officials have not identified the man or the trooper.

Police identify body found in Indianola

INDIANOLA, Iowa (AP) Indianola police have identified a body found in a storage building as a man who was reported missing from a care center three weeks ago.

Police say the body of 49-year-old Robert Kelley was found inside a storage building around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. Kelley was reported missing from the Indianola Residential Care Facility on May 30.

Police Chief Steve Bonnett says it appears Kelley died some time ago.

Indianola is about 20 miles south of Des Moines.

Bond reduced for 2 Iowans in toddler's death

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A judge has reduced bond for two people charged with first-degree murder in the death of a Cedar Rapids toddler.

Eighteen-month-old Kamryn Schlitter died in March 2010 a week after she was found suffering from seizure-like symptoms at a Hiawatha apartment. Her death was ruled a homicide.

The child's father, Zyriah Schlitter, and his ex-girlfriend, Amy Parmer, were charged Tuesday with first-degree murder. Bond was set at $1 million each.

KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids says Schlitter and Parmer made their initial court appearance on Wednesday, where a judge reduced bond to $500,000, saying both had ``cooperated'' with police.

State rests case against MN man in Iowa killing

CARROLL, Iowa (AP) The state has rested its case against a Minnesota man charged with killing a convenience store clerk in northern Iowa.

Michael Swanson, of St. Loius Park was 17 when he was accused of killing Sheila Myers in Humboldt last November.

The state rested its case Wednesday afternoon. Earlier, the prosecution presented a videotaped police interview showing a tired and hungry Swanson puffing away on cigarettes as he admitted shooting Sheila Myers in the face.

Swanson is also charged with killing another clerk in Algona the same day. His trial in that case is set for July.

Car with unattended children crashes into house

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) No injuries have been reported after a car with unattended children inside rolled down a driveway and crashed into a house in Fort Dodge.

The accident happened Wednesday morning when, according to police, a woman left her children in a car to get another child from the house. The Messenger in Fort Dodge is reporting that one of the children placed the car in neutral, causing it to roll down the driveway and hit a neighbor's home.

The car's owner was not identified.

Missouri River floods make it hard to get around

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) A new levee breach in northwestern Missouri threatens to close yet another section of Interstate 29.

Holt County emergency management officials said Wednesday the Mill Creek levee has failed, sending still more floodwater into the evacuated town of Corning. Water is about 8 feet deep in the small town between the Missouri River and the Tarkio River.

Officials say the failure is threatening I-29 at the 99 mile marker. The interstate is already closed 11 miles north at marker 110 in Atchison County, near the Iowa border.

Texas Gov. Perry schedules speech in New Hampshire

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) Texas Gov. Rick Perry has added a second early presidential nominating state to his travel schedule.

The Republican governor who is considering a White House bid has agreed to be in New Hampshire Oct. 28 to speak to the conservative Cornerstone Action Group.

Perry earlier this week scheduled a trip to South Carolina to deliver an Aug. 13 speech to a conservative blogger conference.

New Hampshire's February primary is one of the first nominating contests in the presidential race, along with Iowa and South Carolina. Candidates traditionally spend a lot of time visiting the states to make connections with voters and party leaders.

Perry hasn't said yet if he will run for president.

(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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