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KLEM News AM Update April 24, 2010

(LE MARS)--Financing costs will be reduced in the city of Le Mars budgets by about 166-thousand dollars.

That's the expected savings from changes in financing for projects ranging from the city's share of the Law Enforcement Center construction to sewer improvements.

The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors and Auditor Stacey Feldman are working with a consultant to refund Local Option Sales Tax Revenue bonds with General Obligation bonds. The change is expected to trim 35-thousand dollars from the amount cities and the county pay to finance the jail, communication center and sheriff's office.

According to information given to the Le Mars City Council this week, the interest reduction will save the city of Le Mars about a 95-hundred dollar savings over the next six years.

The city is refinancing general obligation bonds issued in 2003 and 2002 that will lower the interest rate on money borrowed for sewer improvements. That saves the city about 91-thousand dollars. Prepaying maturities will save about $45,400 in interest.

After a city request, the Iowa Finance Authority agreed to reduce the interest rate for a two-and-a-half-million dollars Water Revenue Bond. The interest reduction will save the city about 21-thousand dollars.

(LE MARS)--Signups for state tax credits and rent reimbursements are beginning in Plymouth County.

Treasurer Linda Dobson says Iowa residents who own their own homes must be 65 or older by December 31st of last year or be totally disabled and at least 18 years of age or older and have a total household income of less than 20-thousand 427 thousand dollars for 2009. The earnings amount includes social security earnings.

To signup for the annual credits or reimbursements, Dobson says county residents need to bring their 2009 income tax return, social security statements of earnings and any other income amount that they received in 2009 to the Plymouth County courthouse until June first.

Dobson and treasurer's staff will also have signups at locations outside of the courthouse beginning May 3rd at the Hinton Community Center at nine a.m. The signups end at the Westfield City Hall on May 5th. She'll be in Merrill, Remsen, Kingsley and Akron as well.

**May 3 Hinton Community Bldg 9-10 a.m.

**May 3 Merrill Civic Center 10:15-11:15 a.m.

**May 4 Remsen Library 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

**May 5 Kingsley City Hall 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

**May 5 Akron Library Community Room 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.

**May 5 Westfield City Hall 1-3 p.m.

(LE MARS)--A school administrator described as an excellent role model for both staff and students is the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce "Boss of the Quarter."

Le Mars Community elementary principal Dave Horken was nominated for the honor by the Clark Elementary staff. He's served as principal in the Le Mars Community School District for 27 years, with the past eight years as Clark and Franklin principal.

The nomination credits Horken with striving to encourage everyone he works with to be the best that they can be. The nomination states, "he displays his leadership qualities while showing kindness, compassion, commitment and fairness as he helps develop those skills in others."

The staff sees him as someone with a great sense of humor and a positive attitude.

He is retiring at the end of this school year.

(REMSEN)--Education today and into the future are the focus of a "Community Conference" in Remsen next week.

The Remsen-Union School Board of Directors and administrators are inviting all stakeholders to the meeting at the R-U auditorium at Wednesday night at seven.

The status of education in Remsen will be presented and then a discussion will follow on several questions. They include what is envisioned for the educational future of children in the Remsen area and what is needed to continue providing quality education due to state budget reductions and enrollment trends.

Information that will be reviewed at the meeting Wednesday night will be placed on the Remsen-Union School website by Monday.

(LE MARS)--The 59th annual National Day of Prayer will be observed in Le Mars next month.

"Prayer for Such a Time as This," is the theme for the observance at the Le Mars Convention Center May 6th.

The National Day of Prayer in Le Mars includes a luncheon and begins at 11:35 a.m.

(SIOUX CITY)--A report of a possible disturbance on Sioux City's east side led to more than a dozen charges early today.

Sioux City Police report they were called to 101 Alice Street and found a large drinking party at the residence. Eighteen people were issued citations including charges of keeping a disorderly house and frequenting a disorderly house.

(LE MARS)--KLEM'S Spring Radio Auction begins at 8:05 this morning.  The auction is on 1410 AM and 96.9 FM and is also streamed on the KLEM web page. The auction will shorten the 10 a.m. news on KLEM today.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Officials of the Des Moines Public Schools say 74 teachers will be getting pink slips as the district continues efforts to rein in costs.

School District chief of staff Twyla Woods says the teachers will be told Friday by school principals they are being let go.

Woods refused to name the positions being eliminated, or the schools affected. However, she said the staff reduction is spread evenly throughout the district. The school board is scheduled to vote on the layoffs on May 4.

The district eliminated 173 full-time teaching positions earlier this month in an effort to offset a $11.1 million funding shortfall next school year.

The Des Moines school district is Iowa's largest, serving 31,000 students in 66 schools.

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Johnson County authorities say they are holding a Cedar Rapids man on charges stemming from the stabbing of two men in downtown Iowa City.

The arrested man, 37-year-old Molike Jerome Bennett faces two counts of willful injury, which is a class C felony.

Iowa City police say they were called to a residence early Friday morning and found two male victims who were conscious, but suffering from multiple stab wounds.

The stabbing victims were taken to University Hospitals, where their condition was unknown Friday afternoon.


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) New federal indictments accuse the operators of a Nebraska escort business of running a prostitution ring.

The indictments handed down Friday charge one Iowa man and three Nebraskans with various counts, including conspiracy and prostitution charges.

Charged are Richard Costanzo of Carter Lake, Iowa, Theresa Costanzo of Omaha, and Michael and Janna Wasko of Papillion.

Richard Costanzo is also charged with money laundering. He's the president of Dream Girls Inc.

Authorities say the other three worked at the business in various capacities.

Phone listings could not be found for Richard Costanzo or Theresa Costanzo, who are brother and sister. A message left Friday at a listing for Michael and Janna Wasko, who are married, was not immediately returned.


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Coralville police have arrested the executive director of the Johnson County Emergency Communication Center on drunken driving charges.

According to a police report, Michael Sullivan was allegedly observed driving in an erratic manner, including hitting a mailbox Thursday evening. The report indicates Sullivan registered a .256 and .234 on different blood-alcohol tests, or about three times the legal limit.

Telephone calls to Sullivan for comment were not immediately returned.

Emergency Communication Center Policy Board chairman Michael Wright says the board will meet ``very soon'' to address the matter.

The board's vice chairman is Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek. He says the incident reflects badly on Johnson, but he added everyone makes mistakes.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Child endangerment charges were filed against a Cedar Rapids in-home daycare provider after two children tested positive for cocaine.

LaShaunda Nelson was initially arrested Nov. 23, 2009 after officers executed a narcotics search warrant at her residence and found crack cocaine and prescription pills.

Police spokesman Sgt. Cristy Hamblin says hair samples taken from two of Nelson's children confirmed they had been exposed to crack cocaine.

According to Hamblin, Department of Human Services caseworkers removed Nelson's children and placed them in foster care. Nelson was charged a controlled substance violation and unlawful possession of prescription drugs after the initial search warrant.

A court hearing on the child endangerment charge is set for May 12. It isn't immediately known if Nelson, who was released Thursday from the Linn County Jail, has a lawyer.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Waterloo police say they arrested two 18-year-olds after the couples' 7-month-old daughter began choking on a bag of marijuana.

Police arrested Amanda Monique Mallit and Horace Phillip on Thursday evening on charges of child endangerment. Mallit was also arrested for interference with official acts, and Phillip was charged with possession of marijuana.

Paramedics say they were called to the home because Mallit, who is pregnant, was assaulted by another person. While Mallit and her daughter were riding to the hospital in an ambulance, the girl began to choke. Medics say that when they helped the baby, they found a bag of marijuana in her mouth.

Police did not know Friday whether either Mallit or Phillip had an attorney.


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) The White House says President Barack Obama will visit towns in Iowa, Missouri and Illinois next week during a two-day Midwestern swing.

The schedule for what's being called the ``White House to Main Street Tour'' was announced Friday.

The president plans three stops on Tuesday in Iowa, beginning with a tour of a Siemens Energy plant in Fort Madison. He'll also visit Mount Pleasant before holding an afternoon town hall meeting at Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa.

On Wednesday, the president is to travel to Macon, Mo., and Quincy, Ill. The White House says details of those events will be announced later.


OSAGE, Iowa (AP) A rare automobile that is believed to have been the first ever built in Iowa is on display this weekend during the grand opening of the new Mitchell County Historical Museum in Osage.

The $17 million facility has an auditorium, wellness center and indoor pool as well as the museum. The project began in 2005 and was supported by donations and grants.

The car is a 1901 Frazee, built by Osage jeweler George Frazee, who put it together at his home and drove it around town for many years. It is usually displayed at the Cedar Valley Memories complex west of Osage.


(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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