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KLEM News - July 26, 2011

As you head out to the fairgrounds this year, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for the brand new rabbit barn on the northwest corner of the grounds. 

Fair Board President Terry Reuter says that the new building gives space back to the horse barn, where the animals were previously held.  He added that small animals are really taking over as one of the more popular things to see at the fair, so the building was necessary.

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Reuter said that even though beef cattle still have a strong showing at the Plymouth County Fair, there are rarely any dairy cattle entries and even the hog entries are fewer than years past. 

The new small animal building at the fairgrounds includes a 40 x 40 show arena with bleacher seating. Previously the small animals showed under a tent that had to be taken up and down multiple times throughout the fair.

Also while you're looking around this year, take in the beef buildings and the some of the hog buildings at the grounds as they will be taken down to make room for a new livestock building.  Reuter says it's unfortunate that the old buildings have to go, but they are in ill repair and just can't accomodate the big beef of today.

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Tear down of those buildings will begin soon after the completion of the fair and construction may begin as early as this fall.

(LeMars) --The LeMars Community School District Board of Directors passed a resolution to participate in the instructional support program.  Voters will see the issue on the September 13th ballot when they elect district directors.   At issue, is whether or not the LeMars School District should allow the possible implementation of an instructional support levy program beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.  School superintendent, Dr. Todd Wendt says LeMars is one of the few districts not to have the instructional support program in place, and he says it is needed to help finance general expenditures associated with education.  

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The school district has asked for this program in the past, and Wendt says he wants the public to understand its purpose, and why it is important for the district.  Wendt says if the program passes, it would be implemented for five years beginning with the 2012-2013 school year and it would have a maximum of five percent of the regular program disrict cost.  Wendt believes passage of the Instructional support levy does not automatically mean an increase in the property owner's taxes, rather he believes the opposite will occur.

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District president, Patrick Murphy told the board he wholeheartedly endorses the instructional support levy, and said it is time LeMars join the majority of other school districts across the state by adopting the program.

(LeMars) -- In other business during last evening's meeting the district school board reviewed the progress of LeMars students for the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills and the Iowa Tests of Educational Development.  Grades 4,8, and 11 performances were specifically  reviewed in Reading...Mathematics...Science...and Language arts.  In general, LeMars community is at 80 percent or above for comprehension for each category, with three-year averages showing increases in most categories and for most grade levels.  The board expressed their approval for the increase in comprehension numbers, but at the same time, challenged the school administration to show additional increases. People interested in running for election for the district school board have until August 4th until nomination papers need to be submitted.  The election will take place on September 13th. 

(LeMars) -- The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors will hold its regular meeting later today.  A public hearing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. to discuss the proposed new precincts and districts. 

(Des Moines) -- Iowa agriculture exports tops $7 billion, which is an eight percent increase from last year.  Iowa remains second in the nation for ag exports as international demand remains strong for our corn, soybeans, and meat products, according to Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Bill Northey.  Iowa's leading agricultural export is soybeans and soybean products.  According to the U-S-D-A, for every $1 billion in U-S agricultural exports required 8,400 American jobs.


Branstad, Duncan call for Iowa education overhaul

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says the debate over how to improve the nation's schools too often focuses on the difference between advocacy groups.

He says those groups should instead try to find common ground because that's the only way real change can occur.

Speaking on the opening day of a two-day Iowa Education Summit, Christie expressed pride in his record on education, though he was forced the make deep cuts in his first year in office. Christie says he reversed those cuts as soon as the economy began to improve.

He says New Jersey spends more on elementary and secondary schools than any state in the nation.

Earlier speakers at the summit included Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

Pawlenty says Bachmann gets her facts on him wrong

Call it the Minnesota feud Iowa style.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is using a campaign appearance in Iowa to accuse his home state Republican presidential rival -- Michele Bachmann -- of having a record of mixing up her facts.

Bachmann is in Iowa, too, but is staying away from what's become an escalating war of words.

Pawlenty is responding to weekend criticism from Bachmann's campaign that the former governor supported policies President Barack Obama also backed. Pawlenty told about 100 people at an event in Davenport that Bachmann -- quote -- ``has a record for saying things that are off the mark.''

Bachmann hit back weeks after Pawlenty described her record in Congress as ``non-existent.''

FAA says 1 dead in helicopter crash in Iowa

The Federal Aviation Administration says the pilot of a crop-spraying helicopter has died in a crash north of Wilton in eastern Iowa.

FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro confirmed the pilot's death. The pilot, whose name wasn't released, was the only one on board.

Officials say the helicopter was a 1960s-era Sikorsky helicopter refitted as a crop duster. Molinaro says FAA information shows the helicopter is registered to US Helicopter LLC in Spokane, Wash. There is no telephone listing for the company.

Television station WQAD reports the crash happened about 11:30 a.m. Monday. The TV station says Iowa Highway 38 south of Interstate 80 was closed.

The Muscatine Journal says the helicopter clipped some trees before crashing into a corn field, then bursting into flames. No one on the ground was hurt.

Man sentenced to prison in Dubuque bar shooting

(Information in the following story is from: KGAN-TV,

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) A Dubuque man has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for the robbery of a Dubuque bar and a shootout that injured a police officer.

Eddie Adams was convicted in May of assault, first-degree robbery and two weapon charges. He and his father, Eddie Chest, were charged in the December 2009 robbery and shooting outside Knicker's Saloon. A police officer was wounded when he tried to stop the robbery.

KGAN-TV in Cedar Rapids says Adams was sentenced on Monday in Dubuque County District Court.

Chest, who was also wounded in the shooting, was sentenced in January to 50 years in prison for first-degree robbery and attempted murder

Officials ID child who died in Osage pool

(Information in the following story is from: The Messenger,

OSAGE, Iowa (AP) Authorities have released the name of a 2-year-old boy who died in a swimming pool in Osage.

Officials say Ryan Detmering, of Fort Dodge, died at the Cedar River Complex on Sunday. The Messenger newspaper in Fort Dodge says authorities released the child's name on Monday. According to a news release, there were three lifeguards on duty at the time. An emergency response team and local paramedics were notified.

Local authorities are investigating. The complex will remain closed until the investigation is complete.

Iowa man accused of misusing funds for children

(Information in the following story is from: Charles City Press,

NEW HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) A Charles City man is accused of misusing nearly $50,000 in funds meant for his slain brother's children.

Philip Armstrong is charged in Chickasaw County with ongoing criminal conduct and first-degree theft. The Charles City Press says he was arrested last week by New Hampton police. He was living in New Hampton when the alleged crime occurred.

Armstrong is the conservator for his brother's four children. Kenyon Armstrong was stabbed to death at a Charles City bar in 2008.

According to court documents, between January and June, Philip Armstrong used nearly $49,000 of the children's money to buy cars, electronics, jewelry and illegal drugs. He also took cash.

A court appearance is July 28. A telephone call to his attorney, Jennifer Schwickerath, was not returned Monday afternoon.

More homecomings for Iowa guard troops

More homecomings are set for Iowa National Guard soldiers returning from Afghanistan.

The guard says about 70 soldiers will be welcomed home on Tuesday in Cedar Rapids. The troops are with Company B of the 334th Brigade Support Battalion. A ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.

On Wednesday, a homecoming takes place in Davenport for about 70 soldiers with Company A of the Brigade Special Troops Battalion. The event is at noon at the Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Nearly 3,000 Iowa soldiers were sent to Afghanistan last year in the largest single deployment of Iowa National Guard troops since World War II.

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



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