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KLEM News PM Update August 6, 2010


(LE MARS)--Sounds dominated the send off of Troop C of the Iowa Army National Guard in Le Mars Thursday.

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Family, friends, and community leaders, American Legion leaders and members, as well other veterans filled the bleachers to honor and say goodbye to the citizen soldiers called to active duty in Afghanistan. Sergeant Major Jerry Hansen of Le Mars guided the send off in Carey Gymnasium at Le Mars Community High School

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Letters were read by staffers for Governor Chet Culver, Senators Chuck Grassley and Tom Harkin as well as Congressman Steve King. The soldiers left on buses 45 minutes later hearing the sounds that started their send off .

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Business Highway 75 work involves two more steps

(LE MARS)--Two more steps to improve Business Highway 75 through Le Mars are planned.

This week, Barkley Asphalt of Sioux City is patching areas along southbound Business Highway 75, north of 12th Street.

City administrator Scott Langel says diamond grinding of the roadway's surface is next.

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The diamond grinding will be followed by chip sealing.

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The City Council has approved 245-thousand dollars in repairs to Business Highway 75 from Highway Three south.

Vander Plaats will focus on Iowa Supreme Court campaign

(DES MOINES)--Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats is launching a new effort in the battle over gay marriage in Iowa, a campaign aimed at the Iowa Supreme Court.

Vander Plaats has run three times for governor -- in 2002, 2006 and 2010. In this past June's Republican Primary, Vander Plaats got 42 percent of the vote, finishing second.

Vander Plaats had promised that if he were elected governor, he'd issue an executive order that would stop gay marriage in Iowa until voters could decide on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage here.

In April of 2009 the seven-member state Supreme Court issued a ruling which paved the way for gay marriage in Iowa. This morning Vander Plaats held a news conference outside the Iowa Judicial Building. Vander Plaats announced he will lead an effort to defeat the three state supreme court justices who are on this November's ballot in a retention election. Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus is one of the three justices who are up for retention in November. The justice who wrote the gay marriage ruling is not.  (News report by Radio Iowa)

Convicted killer of South Sioux City girl fights death penalty


OMAHA, Neb. (AP) A man convicted of murdering a 3-year-old Siouxland girl has asked for a new jury proceeding on whether he should be executed.

The request in Melecio Camacho-De Jesus' case was filed in light of a Nebraska Supreme Court decision in an unrelated death-penalty case.

Last week, the high court upheld the death penalty for Jose Sandoval, the ringleader of a group that killed five people at a Norfolk bank in 2002.

The court cited one error, however: instructing the jury to consider victims' mental anguish when considering whether Sandoval should be sentenced to death.

Camacho-De Jesus' appeal says his jury was given the same instruction during his sentencing phase. The jury recommended his execution.

A three-judge panel will make the final decision.

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

SUV rollover claims rural Dickens woman's life

(SPENCER)--A rural Dickens woman died at a Spencer hospital after her S-U-V left a Clay County road yesterday (Thursday afternoon).

The Clay County Sheriff's office reports 65-year-old Judy Elaine Adams was ejected from the S-U-V when it rolled multiple times after entering the roadway ditch.

The accident was reported around 5:30 yesterday afternoon.

Money headaches continue for water system

YANKTON, S.D. (AP) The executive director of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System says it will take decades to complete the project if congressional funding continues at its current pace.

Troy Larson says critical water needs would get unmet for too long a time.

The $16 million in federal funding combined for the 2011 budget and the 2010 budget is $11 million less than what Congress approved for the project in 2009. Larson says officials are disappointed and will try to get more money before Congress finishes work on the current budget.

The $537 million system will bring treated Missouri River water to more than 300,000 people in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa. Construction began in 2006.

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

UI President Mason gets $15,000 raise

AMES, Iowa (AP) The Board of Regents have approved a 3.3 percent pay raise for University of Iowa President Sally Mason.

The Regents approved the increase Thursday while meeting in Ames. It's Mason's first raise since taking the Iowa job in 2007.

Her annual salary will climb from $450,000 to $465,000.

Neither Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy nor University of Northern Iowa President Ben Allen requested raises. However, they were given increases in their deferred compensation agreements, which rewards them for staying at their jobs.

Geoffroy is paid $423,316, and Allen gets $320,000.


Axelrod, Plouffe headline Harkin steak fry

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) White House political strategists David Axelrod and David Plouffe will headline Sen. Tom Harkin's annual steak fry next month, bringing back two operatives with a long history in Iowa.

Plouffe was campaign manager for President Barack Obama's winning campaign in 2008, and Axelrod served as Obama's chief political strategist.

Harkin adviser Matt Paul says the two will speak at the event, held Sept. 12 at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Indianola.

The event is one of the Iowa Democratic Party's biggest fundraisers and past speakers have included Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Thousands of people attend the event, spending a day eating, drinking and talking politics.

Plouff began his political career working for Harkin's 1990 election campaign. Axelrod ran a political consulting business in Chicago, working for a string of candidates in Iowa.

Regents OK plan to close Vinton blind school

AMES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa Board of Regents has approved a plan to close a 148-year-old residential school for the blind in Vinton.

The board approved the plan Thursday, opting to close the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School and using $2.2 million in savings to hire more teachers. The money will pay for seven more teachers, two special-education consultants and other staff.

The Vinton campus will still provide some services and house the administration for a renamed Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Since 1972, enrollment has dropped from 119 students to nine last year. Federal law encourages disabled children to attend traditional public schools.

The regents will recommend the change to the Legislature, and the plan could be completed by fall 2012.

Company selling Mason City powdered milk business

MASON CITY, Iowa (AP) An Illinois company will buy a Mason City powdered milk business and then close the plant, putting 36 people out of work.

TreeHouse Foods, Inc., of Westchester, Ill., will buy the business from Associated Milk Producers Inc., based in New Ulm, Minn.

Associated Milk Producers spokeswoman Sheryl Doering Meshke says the company will run the plant through about Sept. 1. It will then be closed and eventually sold.

The company says it's selling the powdered milk business to focus on other dairy products.

Workers in Mason City were told about the sale Thursday.

Authorities in Fort Dodge find body

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) Authorities have recovered a body from the Des Moines River believed to that of a man missing since Sunday after going tubing with friends in Fort Dodge.

The body was spotted Thursday afternoon. Webster County Sheriff's Department detective Jason Bahr says authorities can't confirm the identity but presume it's Tyler Peart of Humboldt.

The 20-year-old Peart was tubing with friends on Lizard Creek when he went underwater in rough water. The body was found nearly three miles downstream from where Peart was last seen.

The creek empties into the Des Moines River.

Family and friends held vigils and set up a memorial on a bridge while firefighters searched for Peart.

$23 million could buy library fame in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) For $23 million, your name can be over the door of Cedar Rapids' planned library.

The library board on Thursday agreed that a donor would need to contribute at least 51 percent of the library's cost before the panel would consider naming the building in that person's honor.

The library is expected to be built by late 2012 at a cost of $45.5 million.

Board members set guidelines for recognizing donors. Those who give $500 or more will have their names added to a donor wall, and people who give $2,500 can have their names affixed to a nameplate on an auditorium seat.

There are other options for those who give more.

The library will replace one destroyed in the 2008 flooding.

Board member Hilery Livengood says $1 million has been donated for the new library.

$5M gift opens doors to new Iowa State auditorium

AMES, Iowa (AP) A $5 million commitment from a foundation started by an Iowa State University alumnus will help the university build a $10 million, 400-seat auditorium that university officials say will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment for science courses.

The Iowa Board of Regents approved plans for the building Thursday. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the fall semester 2012.

The building will be named after Douglas Troxel, who is president and chief executive officer of the Change Happens Foundation. Troxel, who lives in Hawaii, is a Lake City, Iowa native who graduated from Iowa State in 1967 with a degree in mathematics.

The foundation is committed to motivated groups with pioneering research and projects that benefit humanity.

(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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