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KLEM News AM Update July 12, 2010

 

LE MARS)--The last day for parents to apply for a new Le Mars Community School District Preschool Program is Friday.

The district received state funds for the program. Ashley Swenson has been hired as the teacher for the program to be offered two half-days with 10 slots for students in the morning and another 10 for students in the afternoon.

Enrollment is open to all four-year-old children.  Dr. Carl Turner describes the new program as an enhancement.

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The Preschool program will be located at Clark Elementary School beginning September 2nd.

Applications are available at the Education Service Center at 940 Lincoln Street Southwest and on the school website www.lemars.k12.ia.us

Conservation board applications due today

(LE MARS)--A volunteer opening on a Plymouth County board is expected to be filled tomorrow.

Clark Goodchild of Le Mars resigned from the County Conservation Board last month.

Supervisors are accepting letters of interest for the Conservation Board at the Auditor's office. The letters are to include the person's qualifications for the appointment.

Today is the deadline to apply for the appointment by the Board of Supervisors. The appointment is an agenda item for the supervisors weekly meeting tomorrow at 9:30 at the Courthouse

Highway 20 project completion is five years away

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) Iowa Department of Transportation officials say it'll take at least five more years to finish the expansion of U.S. Highway 20

The major roadway runs across the state.

The U.S. 20 Corridor Association has been trying to turn it into a four-lane highway since the 1960s.

IDOT officials predict a 2015 to 2020 completion date range. But the project needs more money.

Iowa Department of Transportation commissioner Debi Durham says there are a lot of needs in the state and the agency has limited resources.

Earlier this year, the Iowa Transportation Commission approved a plan to spend $2.3 billion on hundreds of highway projects statewide over the next five years. That included plans to widen Interstate 35 and U.S. Highway 20

(COPYRIGHT 2010 BY ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)

Fourth of July alcohol ban hearing for some areas at Iowa Great Lakes is Tuesday

(DES MOINES)--The Iowa Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing tomorrow (Tuesday) on a proposed rule to ban alcohol use at state parks, recreation areas and public beaches at the Iowa Great Lakes during the Fourth of July holiday. The D-N-R had asked for an emergency ban on alcohol for the area this year during the fourth -- citing safety concerns over excessive alcohol use -- but the Natural Resources Commission rejected the idea. The D-N-R has since been accepting public comments on the issue, and State Parks Bureau chief, Kevin Szcodronski says they've heard from a lot of people.

Szcodronski says they've gotten comments from all across the state and even some from adjacent states, as the areas draws people in from South Dakota and Nebraska. So far the comments have been strong on both sides of the issue.

"There are some people (who) say it's about time time the department does something, and there's are other people (that) say we have to go somewhere, its public property, we can use any way we want, you know, stay out of our way....it's an interesting mix, we haven't had anything surprising to us yet," Szcodronski says, "it just depends on what your beliefs are and how you want to use public land." Szcodronski says they proposed the rules for this year because of large numbers of people and some incidents where they had trouble getting ambulances in and it created a dangerous situation.

"As a department we look at this as primarily safety, it's really gotten beyond being a safe place to be, and it's only a mater of time if we don't do something that...we have something serious happen up there," Szcodronski explains, "I'd just as soon not wait until that happens until we promulgate a rule. Particularly now for the last two three years that we have identified it as a situation that we need to rectify somehow." Szcodronski says all the locally controlled beaches already have alcohol bans, so that just pushes all the problems onto the state beach. The hearing is at the Gull Point Lodge, West Okoboji Lake at 6:30 Tuesday. Szcodronski says you can still make comments if you can't make the hearing.

He says if you go to the Iowa D-N-R-dot-com (iowadnr.com) website, and go to the state parks link, you will find the proposed rules. Szcodronski says you will also find an address to send in any comments on the proposed rules. Alcohol was allowed for the recent Independence Day weekend, and Szcodronski says things went okay.

 Szcodronski thinks went well, as the crowd was down quite a bit. He says some people may have misinterpreted the news reports on the proposed rules to think alcohol was already banned. There were no major incidents. Szcodronski says they did have a large focused law enforcement presence on hand, which also probably kept problems down. (News report by Radio Iowa)

'Barefoot Bandit' nabbed: US teen's 2-year life on the lam brought to an end in the Bahamas

NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) A U.S. teenager who allegedly stole cars, boats and airplanes to dodge U.S. law enforcement for two years was finally captured Sunday in the Bahamas, bringing an end to exploits that made the ``Barefoot Bandit'' a folk hero.

Police Sgt. Chrislyn Skippings says 19-year-old Colton Harris-Moore was arrested before dawn Sunday.

Island police have been searching for the wily fugitive since he allegedly crash-landed a stolen plane on nearby Great Abaco Island a week ago.

He has been on the run from American law enforcement since escaping from a Washington state halfway house in 2008. He is a suspect in a burglary in Yankton.

He is accused of breaking into dozens of homes and committing burglaries across Washington, as well as in British Columbia, Idaho, South Dakota and Nebraska.


Lawmakers launch unique redistricting

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa lawmakers are about to begin the task of drawing new legislative and congressional districts.

The task is done every 10 years after the census is conducted and the Legislature must approve new district lines reflecting changes in population.

In Iowa, the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency redraws boundaries and submits maps to the Legislature for approval.

Tim Storey of the National Conference of State Legislatures says the process used in Iowa is unique. In other states the Legislature battles it out and courts are are forced to settle the matter.

Redistricting in Iowa will be important because it's expected that Iowa will likely lose a congressional seat. That would likely throw two incumbents into the same district, a situation that could also happen in some legislative districts.


FEC filing shows Palin gave $87,500 to candidates

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) Sarah Palin has put her money where her mouth is, contributing at least $87,500 to candidates she's endorsed in the last few months.

But the financial disclosure filed by her political action committee also shows Palin spending more than $210,000 on consulting.

Candidates receiving money from Palin, for the period covering April 1 to June 30, include Terry Branstad, who's running for governor of Iowa, and Joe Miller, who's challenging Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Each received $5,000.

Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, has been mentioned as a possible contender for the 2012 presidential nomination. She hasn't ruled out a bid.

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1 man drowns in Iowa farm pond

ELDORA, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a 55-year-old man drowned in a farm pond near Eldora.

The Hardin County Sheriff's Office identified the man as William Dale Eldridge.

Police say he was fishing in a pond around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday when the boat tipped over.

A Story County dive team recovered Eldridge's body.

The Hardin County Law Enforcement Center says an autopsy will be conducted in Mason City.


1 woman dead after being struck by train in Ames

AMES, Iowa (AP) Police in Ames say a woman is dead after she was struck by a Union Pacific train.

Ames Police Department Cmdr. Mike Brennan says the woman was trying to cross railroad tracks around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The woman, who has not been identified, was pronounced dead on arrival.

Brennan says witnesses told police that the woman was trying to hurry across the tracks and possibly beat the oncoming train.

He says signals and alarms at the crossing were functioning properly.


University of Iowa museum to ask for FEMA funds

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The University of Iowa plans to ask federal officials again for funding replacement efforts at the Museum of Art, which was heavily damaged by floods.

The building is located on the banks of the Iowa River and officials estimate damage of the building at $5.5 million.

Most of the art was removed before the flood, but university officials are considering relocating the museum.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency had ruled that the building didn't suffer damage over 50 percent of the building's worth. That means the agency will help pay to restore the existing building, but won't replace it.

Doug True is a vice president at the college. He says the university has a good case.

Japanese Beetle spreads across Iowa

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) The Japanese beetle is appearing in Iowa early this year, targeting trees and plants.

An Iowa State University bug expert, Ken Holscher, says the beetle has worked its way into southwest Iowa and is now documented in 37 counties in the state since 1994.

He says this year appears to be the worst in Iowa for Japanese beetles.

The beetle began emerging along the East Coast but has gradually drifted west across the country.

Adult Japanese beetles feed on more than 300 kinds of trees and plants, targeting foilage, fruits and flowers.

Holscher says there isn't one method of preventing the spread of the beetle that's effective but he says he keeps a bucket of soapy water nearby and knocks as many of them as he can into the bucket, where they die a quick death.

Holscher says the best defense against the Japanese beetle is to learn what it likes and doesn't like and plant accordingly.

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

Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email klemnews@lemarscomm.net, by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.




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