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KLEM News PM Update August 5, 2010

(LE MARS)--Many mothers and fathers said goodbye to their sons this morning at the send off for the 113th Calvary at the Le Mars High School. Tammy Ruhland, of Remsen, said that "bittersweet" was a word that could describe her feelings about her 23 year old son, Tim, leaving. She said she's proud and excited for him because it's what he wants, but it's hard to see him go.

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Orange City couple Mark and Deb Dykstra attended the ceremony with a crowd of friends and family to say good bye to their son Matthew. Deb said they've been preparing for this day for quite a while.

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His father Mark added that he is very proud of his 21 year old son and said he's ready to go.

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And go, they shall. Iowa National Guard Calvary Troop 113 left this morning for 2 months of additional training state side before they make their way to Afghanistan . The soldiers are expected to be gone for approximately one year. (News report by Angela Drake of KLEM News)

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Zoning report shows harvest preparations

(LE MARS)--More than one-million dollars in new rural construction is reflected in the latest report on building activity in Plymouth County.

Zoning administrator Alan Lucken issued 17 permits in July. The total is divided between 13 permits for more than 760-thousand dollars for construction on farms and 235-thousand dollars for four permits for rural construction which is not on a farm.

The totals included two new houses and two house additions.

Farm activity totals include four grain bins and three machine storage buildings. The top construction value for farm construction was a milk parlor.

Buildings in rural areas that are not farms included two storage buildings, a horse building and the new house.

$44 million in USDA grants to help expand broadband service in Iowa

Thirty-eight states, including Iowa, have been awarded broadband infrastructure grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Secretary Tom Vilsack, the former Iowa governor, announced the grants Wednesday during a conference call. The funding is part of the Federal Recovery Act and is intended to bring high speed internet access to as many as one-point-two million (1.2 million) homes.

 "I think it's fair to say that it's a down payment, not a balloon payment, approach," Vilsack said. "It clearly makes a difference but there is still far more work to be done to make broadband available in all corners of the country." Vilsack says the grants should also make the U.S. more competive and create jobs.

 "It certainly puts people to work and it certainly begins the process of having the nation focus on where we are competitively with other countries. We're such a vast nation that it's difficult for us to recognize that other countries are far, far ahead in terms of high speed internet access and technology than where we are and we have to pay catch up," Vilsack said. The 44-million dollars ($44 million) in grants for Iowa includes eight-point-three million dollars ($8.3 million) designated for the Hospers Telephone Exchange to connect homes in Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, and Sioux counties. (News report from Radio Iowa)

Former Centerville police chief sues city

CENTERVILLE, S.D. (AP) The former police chief of Centerville is suing the town and its mayor in federal court, alleging she was fired after complaining of sexual harassment.

Rachel Kopman was suspended last October and fired by the City Council the following month.

Kopman says Mayor Jay Ostrem sexually harassed her for more than a year. Her lawsuit says that when she tried to file a complaint in September, she received a letter of reprimand from Ostrem outlining deficiencies in her performance as chief.

Ostrem has called Kopman's sexual harassment allegation ``a big smear campaign.''

Kopman is seeking payment for lost wages, punitive damages and attorney's fees. Centerville has not yet filed a response.

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


Culver calls for increased education spending

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) In twin speeches to education groups, Gov. Chet Culver has said he'll push for a 4 percent increase in basic state aid to local schools if he wins another term.

Culver also called for establishing a goal of a 95 percent graduation rate for poor and minority students. That would be significantly higher than current rates.

The state aid proposal would inject an additional $120 million of state funding into local school budgets and give local boards the authority to increase local property taxes.

Speaking Wednesday afternoon to school administrators, Culver noted that he worked for years as a high school teacher and still considers himself an educator.


Truck carrying chemical overturns in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A Cedar Rapids overpass has re-opened after a tanker-truck carrying chemicals overturned and forced its closure.

The tanker overturned on the Interstate 380 northbound on-ramp just before 6 a.m. Wednesday, which prompted firefighters to establish a 150-foot ``safe zone'' around the truck. The Wright Brothers Boulevard overpass between the freeway exits was included in the closure area.

The chemical, sodium hydroxide, is an irritant to the eyes, skin and mucous membranes.

The driver of the truck, 39-year-old Joe Short of Colona, Ill., was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He was driving the chemical from Muscatine to Red Star Yeast in Cedar Rapids.


Accused Iowa pipe bomber to represent himself

CHICAGO (AP) A former Iowa letter carrier accused of mailing dud pipe bombs and threatening letters to investment firms and others will represent himself at trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Pope says Judge George Lindberg on Wednesday approved John Tomkins' request to defend himself.

Tomkins has been in federal custody in Chicago since his April 2007 arrest. He's accused of being the source of letters from May 2005 to January 2007 that threatened to kill recipients and their relatives unless shares in Navarre Corp. and 3COM Corp. increased in value.

Tompkins allegedly signed letters as ``The Bishop.''

The Dubuque, Iowa, man was expected to plead guilty two weeks ago but instead asked the judge if he could represent himself.

If convicted, Tomkins could receive more than 200 years in prison and more than $2.5 million in fines.

(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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