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KLEM AM News Update, July 7, 2011

CDBG funds through HUD totaling just over $80,000 remains.  State rules on those monies have expired and the funds have been moved to the cities Economic Development Fund.  $60,667 in HOME funds remain, these funds came from the state and are under state rules until December 2012.

The council passed a motion that enables the mayor, staff and Le Mars Housing Development Committee to keep investigating and bring more details back to the council regarding the following programs.

1) Continue with HOME Program until December 2012.

2) Establish a new downtown second story incentive program

3) Establish a new City Wide Urban Revitalization Program to offer partial property tax rebate on new valuations.

Assistant City Administrator Bill Cole explains.

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City Administrator Scott Langel says that from an economic development perspective, Le Mars used to have 40-60 new home starts a year.  In 2008, 2009, and 2010 the new home starts were 7, 9 and 11 respectively.

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Council member Ken Nelson voiced concern regarding the downtown second story incentive.

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According to Langel some specific stalls in public lots could possibly be dedicated to apartment parking.

(SIOUX CENTER) -- Former speaker of the house Newt Gingrich has cancelled his July 11th appearance at Dordt College in Sioux Center. The cancellation comes as a result of events being scheduled in Pella and at the University of Iowa. Gingrich is traveling with a presidential lecture series being presented by The Family Leader. Ron Paul spoke at Dordt College as part of this series in April.

(LE MARS) The official grand opening event at Royal 3 Cinema in downtown Le Mars is today.  The official ribbon cutting is at 10am this morning.  Owner Eric Hilsabeck says the official grand opening festivities start at 4:45pm.

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Prizes include movie tickets, t-shirts and hats.  According to Hilsabeck the free family movie starts at 5:15pm.  With a delayed opening and hurdle of getting people used to there being a theater in Le Mars, Hilsabeck says that things aren't as busy as he expected.

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Royal 3 opened in downtown Le Mars in mid-June after 6 months of complete renovation to the 3 screen theater complex. 

 

Pawlenty chides top adviser over Bachmann comment

AMES, Iowa (AP) Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty says a top campaign adviser was wrong to suggest GOP rival Michele Bachmann's popularity was due partly to her ``sex appeal.''

One of Pawlenty's senior campaign advisers, Vin Weber, made the comment during an interview with The Hill, a congressional newspaper. Weber was explaining why he thought the Minnesota congresswoman would be difficult to beat in Iowa's leadoff nominating caucuses in February.

Pawlenty, Minnesota's former governor, told The Associated Press during a campaign stop Wednesday in Iowa that Weber wasn't speaking for the campaign and ``you shouldn't use sex appeal in evaluating a candidate's fitness for office.'' Weber has apologized for the remark.

Republican Pawlenty asks Iowans to examine record

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP)
Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty says the prestige of the Iowa caucuses is riding on the experience of the winner chosen during the leadoff nominating contest next February.

The former Minnesota governor told about 50 Republican activists in Clear Lake, Iowa, on Wednesday that his two terms give him more experience than many rivals for the 2012 GOP nomination for president.

Pawlenty is making his first Iowa visit since a recent poll showed him with meager support from 6 percent of likely Republican Iowa caucus-goers. He's spent more than a year meeting GOP activists and setting up a campaign organization in Iowa.


Archer announces bid to challenge Loebsack

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP)
Bettendorf Republican John Archer has announced his intention to challenge Democratic U.S. Representative Dave Loebsack in Iowa's 2nd Congressional District.

Archer has filed paperwork with federal elections officials creating a committee to seek the GOP nomination.

Archer works as a senior legal counsel at John Deere and is a member of the Pleasant Valley School Board.

Loebsack moved from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City so he could seek another term in office after redistricting tossed him in the same district with Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley. A voice message left at Loebsack's campaign office was not immediately returned.

Monticello officials criticized on meetings law

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The state ombudsman says a former mayor of Monticello and members of the City Council violated the ``spirit'' of Iowa's open meetings law when they went door-to-door to meet with other council members. The canvassing was to win support for an unsuccessful effort to fire the town's city administrator.

Ombudsman Ruth Cooperrider says in a report released Wednesday that she will ask lawmakers to make such meetings illegal.

Cooperrider says the Monticello officials ``walked a fine line'' in not violating the state's law that restricts how government bodies meet and conduct business. She says they did not violate the law because there was never a quorum of council members present during the 2010 meetings.

City administrator Doug Herman says council members realize there was a better way to handle the situation and that the city has moved on.


2 found dead in Des Moines suburb of Urbandale

(Information in the following story is from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com)

URBANDALE, Iowa (AP) Police in Urbandale say they don't suspect foul play in the deaths of two people found in a duplex.

Authorities first said they were treating the deaths of 56-year-old Larry Miller and 44-year-old Tina Miller as suspicious. But Urbandale officer Jeff Casey says the Iowa State Medical Examiner doesn't suspect foul play after performing autopsies on Wednesday.

Police received a call on Tuesday to report the deaths. Casey says the manner and cause of death is still pending the results of toxicology tests.

Casey tells the Des Moines Register that there have been 23 ambulance visits and about a half-dozen police visits for miscellaneous calls to the Miller's home in the past year.


8 ducklings rescued from storm sewer

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP)
A mother duck and eight ducklings have waddled their way back to a local creek after they were saved from a storm sewer in Mason City.

The Globe-Gazette says animal control officer Pat Gansen saved the ducklings from the sewer Wednesday morning.

Mason City Chamber of Commerce executive director Robin Anderson says the ducklings were walking behind their mother when they fell into the sewer. She says the mother duck ``started going crazy'' and ran into the street.

Volunteers walked into the street to keep the mother duck safe.

Gansen pulled all but one or two ducklings from the sewer but was hopeful they would eventually find their way out.

The ducklings were placed into a pet carrier and taken to Willow Creek where they and their mother waddled off.

Program to help Iowa students finish 2-year degree

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A new program will give Iowa community college students the ability to earn their associates degree even if they transfer to one of Iowa's public universities.

The Board of Regents announced Wednesday that a new transfer application will allow students enrolling from community colleges to express their interest in applying future credits towards the completion of their two-year degrees.

The community colleges they come from will be responsible for evaluating credits and advising students on the requirements for completing their associates' degrees.

In a news release, Iowa education officials say the program will help educate Iowa's workforce by giving students a new pathway to complete their two-year degrees. Details about the program will be available at WWW Transfer In Iowa DOT org.

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

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