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KLEM News PM Update June 23, 2011

Media reports of Council discussions and meetings with realtors led to the latest talks with three people. City Administrator Scott Langel says each of them is interested in Centennial which is east of the Le Mars Convention Center.

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Langel asks anyone interested in Centennial, the Kime Science Building or the Charles Mock Library to contact him, Mayor Dick Kirchoff or Jason Vacura in Code Enforcement.

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The City is also trying to spur more housing to continue the momentum of growth shown in the 2010 Census. As a result of developers and builders discussions Langel says ideas will be presented to a city board this afternoon and then the Council.

The Council's next meeting is July fifth.

Lawton bank robbery suspect pleads guilty

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A South Dakota man has pleaded guilty to three charges stemming from a Lawton bank robbery.

A Justice Department news release says 23-year-old Karlis Baisden, of Vermillion, S.D., made his pleas Thursday in federal court in Sioux City. His sentencing date hasn't been set. He was convicted of bank robbery, using a firearm and interstate transport of a stolen vehicle.

Authorities say Baisden brandished a gun as he tried to rob the First Trust and Savings Bank in Lawton on April 6. The arrival of a customer spooked Baisden into driving away in a car he'd stolen in Vermillion.

Baisden drove to Sioux City, where he was spotted by a Woodbury County sheriff's deputy. He drove the wrong way down a street and was hit by the patrol car.

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

McNairy to serve time for drug conviction

(SIOUX CITY)--A Sioux City man will serve prison time for a drug conviction in federal court in Sioux City.

According to the U-S Attorney's office, 51-year-old Robert McNairy was convicted by a jury in February on two charges of distributing crack cocaine and a charge of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine.

Court records indicate McNairy and others brought crack cocaine from Omaha to Sioux City from January through August of last year.

A judge this week ordered McNairy to serve 10 years in prison.

Council Bluffs wants people to prepare for flood

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) Council Bluffs officials are urging residents to be ready to evacuate if flooding along the Missouri River worsens, but they say there is no immediate threat to the city.

The city is urging residents to pay attention to the rising Missouri River much like they watch the skies after a severe weather watch is issued. But unlike a thunderstorm, the flooding is likely to last all summer.

The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing massive amounts of water into the river from dams upstream. Those releases will keep the river above flood stage at least into August.

The river was 34.7-feet-deep at Council Bluffs and Omaha on Thursday morning. That's nearly 6 feet above the flood stage of 29 feet and moderate flooding is happening in the area.

Funeral set for Iowa man who tried to rescue kids

MOUNT VERNON, Iowa (AP) A funeral has been scheduled for a man who drowned in the Cedar River near Mount Vernon while trying to rescue two children he didn't know.

Officials say the body recovered from the river Monday afternoon was that of 41-year-old Jonathan Paul Jones, of Lisbon. He went into the river at Palisades-Kepler State Park on Sunday evening after he heard the screams of two children struggling in the water.

Jones had been fishing with his two kids, ages 7 and 3. He left his cellphone and wallet, then joined others who went in to help the screaming children. The children were rescued, but Jones went under.

Jones' kids used his cellphone to call relatives for help.

His funeral is scheduled for Sunday in Mount Vernon.

Des Moines district reports `proficiency' gains

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Des Moines school district says a higher percentage of students are meeting standards in reading, math and science in state proficiency tests.

The Des Moines Register says a district report shows the overall percentage of Des Moines fourth-, eighth- and 11th-graders who were ``proficient'' in 2010-11 on reading, math and science tests is higher than five years ago in every category except fourth- and 11th-grade math.

The percentage of black fourth-graders who were proficient rose nearly 12 percentage points in reading and 10 percentage points in math, compared with 2009-2010 state tests. Results for Latino fourth-graders rose nearly 8 percentage points in reading and 6 percentage points in math.

Gaps between white students and minority students narrowed in some cases but remained wide in all grades and test subjects.

8 Waterloo elementary schools don't reach test goals

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Students at eight Waterloo district elementary schools are getting chances to transfer next school year because their schools didn't meet achievement goals on standardized tests.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier is reporting only Kingsley, Lou Henry and Orange elementaries are not said to be ``in need of assistance'' under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Fifteen other district schools remain in need of assistance.

Jane Lindaman is associate superintendent of educational services for the district. She says Waterloo is one of the first districts to certify its testing results with the state this year.

Transfers must be offered at schools in need of assistance that are part of a federal program that provides extra funding related to low-income students.

Iowa school district sets vote on $9.5M bond issue

WASHINGTON, Iowa (AP) Voters in southeast Iowa's Washington Community School District are deciding whether they want to raise local taxes to renovate an old high school into a middle school.

The referendum election is set for Tuesday. The vote is on $9.5 million in bonds that would be used for the renovations. The bonds would also be bused for $1 million in seed money for a new, 600-seat auditorium at the high school being built onto the existing junior high.

Superintendent Mike Jorgensen told the Washington Evening Journal that the $1 million could be used to leverage $5 million from other sources.

Passage of the measure requires 60 percent of the vote total.

Animal surgeon says ISU case sets a bad precedent

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) An animal surgeon who is barred from working at a new Des Moines vet clinic for two years under a legal settlement with Iowa State University says the case sets a dangerous precedent.

Brent Reimer (RAY'-mer) said Thursday he continues to believe that Iowa State is inappropriately competing with the private sector, which ``is a terrible message to the state of Iowa.''

Iowa State purchased a 24-hour animal hospital where Reimer worked in February as part of a plan to make it affiliated with its animal hospital in Ames. Reimer and several colleagues left the hospital and started their own specialty pet care clinic.

Iowa State sued, arguing they were violating employment contracts that prohibited them from working in central Iowa for 2 years if they left the hospital's employment.

Cedar Rapids roundup nets 400 Canada geese

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) More than 45 city and state workers and volunteers have rounded up 400 Canada geese at three spots in Cedar Rapids.

The Gazette says the roundup is an annual event.

Parks superintendent Daniel Gibbins says the geese herders guided the geese into pens and then individually placed them in shipping crates. The adults have shed their old flying feathers and haven't grown new ones yet, easing the roundup.

Gibbins says 274 goslings were separated from the adults and taken to wildlife preserves in Johnson and Tama counties. The idea is to get the young birds used to places other than Cedar Rapids, in hopes the birds don't return.

He's considering a new program for next year in which goose eggs are oiled up to prevent them from developing and hatching.

(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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