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KLEM News - August 10, 2011

When officials arrived at the scene they detected the smell of smoke. All of the children had been evacuated safely, and upon further investigation it was determined a computer had malfunctioned and the fan motor on the computer had burnt up. The only damage from the incident was the loss of the computer. Fire officials were complimentary of the LeMars Day Care staff for evacuating the children in a safe and smooth manner.

(LeMars) -- The LeMars Community School Board reviewed the federal program "No Child Left Behind" and how the various schools within the district are complying with the program. Assistant Superintendent Steve Webner reported to the board that Clark elementary school and LeMars Middle School have been placed on the federal "Watch List." Webner says being listed on the "watch list" is nothing to be alarmed about, although he admits steps are needed to correct the status. Statewide, 297 schools are on the "Watch List" under the "No Child Left Behind" program. Webner believes the legislation is starting to catch up to local schools and the expectations may be a bit unrealistic.

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Webner says Clark elementary has two categories that are on the "Watch List" -- all students and low socio-economic students, that did not reach the provisions for the Adequate Yearly Progress as stipulated within the federal guidelines. Clark Elementary needed to score at least an 81.6 percent proficientcy rating for all students on the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills in order to meet the standards stipulated in the federal order. Clark's math rating is currently at 68.8 percent proficiency. Webner says the plan to lift the school's proficiency rating includes working with the teachers and parents. He says when parents are involved with their child's education, then the child performs better in school.

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Webner wants to remind the community that overall, LeMars is a great school with good teachers, and that many other school districts are envious of the position LeMars public school level of education.

(LeMars) -- Investors had to be wondering what is happening on Wall Street since the stock market dropped to near record levels Monday. Many people were asking if they should sell, buy or hang on to their stocks, or if last week's and yesterday's negative action was simply a market correction? Investment Executive, Mark Nemmers of the American Investment Services, a subsidiary of American Bank, says the downward action on the stock market was mainly due because of Washington's inability to set a course of direction with regards to a specific economic recovery plan.

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Nemmers says history has shown that market corrections always take place during a recovery. He says the market is waiting for some type of news from our political leaders. Nemmers remains optimistic and believes the market has presented a good opportunity to be in a buying position.


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The Dow Jones finished 429 points higher Tuesday at 11,239.77


More Iowa students mean more financial aid

(Information in the following story is from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, )

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Enrollment at Iowa's colleges and universities is soaring in the face of unemployment and poor job prospects, which means a greater demand for financial aid.

Julie Leeper is the legislative liaison for the Iowa College Student Aid Commission, which distributes Iowa's state-appropriated financial aid. She told the Iowa City Press-Citizen that enrollment at Iowa schools jumped 22 percent in fiscal year 2010, and many of those students are eligible for financial aid.

The newspaper says the number of students completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which is required for any students seeking state, federal or institutional aid, increased by 47 percent in the past five years. At the University of Iowa, the number has grown to about 65 percent, up 15 percent from a decade ago.


AP Source: Perry schedules trip to Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A day after his likely rivals compete in an Iowa straw poll, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is set to speak in this lead-off caucus state as he considers a White House bid of his own.

A Republican official familiar with Perry's plans said Tuesday that he will speak to Sunday's Black Hawk County Republicans' fundraising dinner in Waterloo. It will be his first visit to Iowa as a potential presidential contender.  The official disclosed Perry's plans on the condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to announce them.

As his likely rivals compete on Saturday in Ames' straw poll, Perry will speak in South Carolina, which has the first Southern primary. Perry has not officially joined the race.


Files stored in courthouse raise safety concerns

(Information in the following story is from: Clinton Herald, )

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) - Clinton County supervisors are hearing safety concerns about all the files stored in the courthouse attic.  Rows upon rows of bookcases fill the attic.

The Clinton Herald says county maintenance director Rick Laurion told supervisors on Monday that the attic floor is not a solid floor, and putting too much weight on it could cause a serious incident, especially if the files get wet from the fire sprinkler system.

Laurion estimates there are 20 rows of files that are 12 feet high and 30 feet long.  The board is looking at options, including having the files scanned and stored electronically and storing the files somewhere else.



Ground broken for $235M Franklin Co. wind farm

(Information in the following story is from: Globe Gazette, )

HAMPTON, Iowa (AP) - Ground has been broken on a $235 million wind farm in Franklin County that will be owned by an Alliant Energy subsidiary.

A ceremony celebrating plans for the 60-turbine wind farm was held Monday near Hampton. The Globe Gazette in Mason City is reporting that construction is set to begin in 2012. It is expected to be in operation by the end of the year.

The wind farm will be owned by Franklin County Wind LLC. It will be able to produce up to 100 megawatts of electricity.  Another Alliant Energy wind farm near Hampton began operation in 2009. That project created jobs and tax dollars for area roads and schools.

Officials say the new project will have the same impact for the county.



Iowa reaches $325K deal with Calif. film company

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa will pay $325,000 in cash and tax credits to a California company who shot a movie under Iowa's scandal-plagued tax incentives program.

TriCoast Studios of Culver City, Calif. was promised up to $400,000 in tax credits for its movie project "Smitty" in 2009.  But the generous incentives were suspended after abuses were uncovered. Criminal charges were brought against several producers and Iowa Film Office Director Tom Wheeler, who goes on trial next week.

The Iowa Attorney General's office is cleaning up the mess, sorting out which projects should have been ineligible and how much money others should receive.  TriCoast will receive tax credits totaling $265,000 and a payment of $60,000 for "Smitty," a coming-of-age story about a troubled 12-year-old boy. It is the third settlement reached in recent months.


New livestock disease tracing program proposed

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says new rules for tracing diseased livestock would lead to greater compliance and improve the country's ability to market its products overseas.

Vilsack on Tuesday announced a new proposal to require that animals be certified as disease-free before they can be transported between states. The rules would require transported livestock to be officially identified by an interstate certificate of veterinary inspection or other documents and have an approved form of identification, such as metal eartags for cattle.

Vilsack says fewer than 30 percent of producers participate in the current, voluntary program.  States would administer the new program and it would cost $14.5 million a year, which Vilsack says would require congressional support. He says the program would still reduce costs to producers and the government.



Sex offender in Cookie Monster costume arrested

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

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - Authorities say a registered sex offender wearing a Cookie Monster costume and greeting children was arrested at the Mississippi Valley Fair in Davenport because he's not allowed to work or volunteer on the fairgrounds.

The Scott County sheriff's office say 25-year-old James Rogers, of Davenport, was arrested Friday. KWQC-TV says Rogers was wearing a Cookie Monster costume and took off the head to say "hello" to a former parole supervisor, who recognized him.

Rogers is charged with sex offender-employment violation. He was working for a company called Q.C. Characters, a private business not contracted by the fair. There is no phone listing for the company in the Davenport area.  Rogers was in the Scott County jail on Tuesday on $2,000 bond.

The online court system doesn't list an attorney.


Iowa authorities seek person of interest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Authorities are looking for a "person of interest" in the disappearance of a central Iowa couple whose truck was found in Kansas City, Mo., a day after fire destroyed their Warren County home.

A body was found in the debris on July 30. Officials say the body is that of a male, but the identity has not been confirmed.  Authorities are searching for 79-year-old James "Bill" Wood and his 72-year-old wife Kaidena "Kay" Wood. They were seen at a local auction on the morning of July 30.

Their truck was found on July 31 at the Cordillera Ranch Apartments in Kansas City.  Investigators on Tuesday release a sketch of a man who was seen at the apartments. They say he may have information about missing couple.


Minnesota fundraisers agree to stop calling Iowans

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A professional fundraising group from Minnesota has agreed to stop making calls to Iowa numbers.  A news release from the office of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller says an agreement has been reached with Public Safety

Council, LLP, and Community Safety, LLC, which are based in Minneapolis. Their subcontractor, Safety Services, LLC, also has agreed to what Miller calls an assurance of voluntary compliance.  Miller says the groups have been making calls on behalf of at least three Iowa law enforcement associations and that several solicitors were "unfair and deceptive" on some calls.

In December, the fundraisers signed an Iowa agreement to change their practices. Miller's office says subsequent solicitations didn't comply with the agreement or Iowa law.  The fundraisers denied any wrongdoing or liability.


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





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