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KLEM News AM Update June 18, 2010

(LE MARS)--A community survey now available online at the website is a way to provide direction for the future of Le Mars. 

Local leaders are asking that the survey be filled out by the end of the month. Copies are available at city hall, the library or chamber office.

According to the Le Mars City Council Agenda, the survey should provide good insight into the feelings and beliefs within the community.

The survey is one document the city may use in an update of a comprehensive plan completed in 2005.

The city council Tuesday authorized staff to request proposals to obtain a city planning consultant to update the 2005 plan.

According to city staff, many agencies require plans to be updated at least every five years.

(LE MARS)--Family fun is a focus for the third day of Ice Cream Days in Le Mars today.

The day's events begin downtown at 9 with the 15th annual YMCA 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament. Players and balls will fill First Avenue Southwest and First Avenue Northwest.

The Plymouth County Historical Museum's Year of the Study Hall renovation project is showcased on the top floor from one until five at the Museum today. A tour of historical St. Joseph Catholic Church begins at three this afternoon.

An Ice Cream Social and Smile Contest are at Good Samaritan Society-Le Mars starting at two this afternoon.

Family Fun Fest with Ice Cream treats at Cleveland Castle is from 5:30-7:30. There's treasure to be found in a search of the Castle for four through eight year olds. Ages 4-12 can test their skills in "Ice Cream Con-ival Alley."

Hip Hop artist John Reuben and Action Sports Team "Real Encounter" are the headline acts for a concert and skateboard exhibition at the Olson Cultural Event Center form 7:30-10 tonight.

For more information

(LE MARS)--A new three-year contract is in place for the superintendent of the Le Mars Community School District.

The contract approved by the Board of Education this week keeps the pay of Superintendent Dr. Todd Wendt at the current level beginning July 1st. The increases in the second and third year are four percent each year.

Due to pay freezes Wendt volunteered to accept, Board member Scott Kommes said the increase was eight percent over five years which Kommes called a fair deal.


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Board member Dan Smith said he fully agreed with Kommes, but in his words, "I think it is a dangerous thing to start to have locked in increases for anyone." Smith said he wanted to revisit the issue at the end of the three-year contract.  Wendt said he agreed with Smith that the process starts all over again at the end of the contract.

Murphy said Wendt's salary was on the upper end of the Lakes Conference when he was hired because the board wanted excellence in the position.


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The board approved the three year contract with pay unchanged for a four year in a row on  July 1st, $123,517; a second year pay of $128,458, and a third year of $133,596. 

(STORM LAKE)--Siouxlanders are being honored for being part of groups or individually volunteering to make a difference.

Lt. Governor Patty Judge Thursday presented 130 honors at the Governor's Volunteer Awards ceremony in Storm Lake.

The program honors and recognizes the commitment, service and time that hundreds of volunteers contribute each year to state government groups.

Floyd Valley Hospital in Le Mars was recognized for the Senior Health Insurance Information Program known as SHIIP.

Kathy Bartelli of Le Mars was honored by the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals for the Child Advocacy Board.

The efforts on behalf of Siouxland Aging Services by Delores Gloyer of Merrill and June Lamoureux of Akron were also recognized.

The volunteer awards in Sioux County from the Iowa Department of Transportation went to the West Sioux Sportsmans Club of Hawarden and the Boyden Kiwanis

There was recognition to the Hawarden Chamber and Economic Development for the Community Food Pantry of Ireton.

Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) honors went to the Sioux Center Community Hospital and Hegg Memorial Health Center in Rock Valley as well as Darlene Mouw of Sioux Center.

 SPENCER, Iowa (AP) The father of a 29-year-old Iowa soldier who died in Iraq says his son was dedicated to the U.S. Army.

Spc. Christopher Opat died Tuesday in Baquah, Iraq, from injuries in a non-combat incident. Military officials have launched an investigation.

The United States Forces-Iraq didn't have further details on Thursday.

Opat's body arrived in the U.S. late Wednesday. His family says he grew up in Lime Springs and went to Iowa Lakes Community School in Emmetsburg before enlisting in Spencer.

Opat's father, 58-year-old Les Opat, says his son wanted to make a career in the Army.

Funeral services are being arranged by Conway Funeral Home in Cresco. A funeral home spokesman says specific plans on services hadn't been determined.

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

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A South Dakota man has been sentenced to up to 15 years in prison in a burglary in Iowa and police chase into Nebraska.

Court documents say 44-year-old Todd Gravning of Tea, S.D., was sentenced last week on charges of second-degree burglary and flight to avoid prosecution. He earlier pleaded guilty to the charges.

The charges stemmed from a June 2009 burglary at Standard Bearings, a U-Haul dealer in Sioux City.

Police have said Gravning was inside the building with a truck he stole in South Dakota when he drove through a garage door while trying to escape and hit one of the officers, who received a minor injury.

Officers chased Gravning and arrested him in South Sioux City, Neb.

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


 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $14.1 million to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

Northey said Thursday that the latest grant is part of a total of $36 million awarded to Iowa through the Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watershed Initiative. The funds will be used to support the restoration of 37 water quality wetlands in Iowa.

The projects include: 14 wetlands in the North Raccoon River Watershed in Buena Vista County; 15 wetlands in the Upper Cedar River Watershed in Mitchell and Floyd Counties; and eight wetlands in the Boone River Watershed in Wright and Hamilton Counties.

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

WASHINGTON (AP) The Environmental Protection Agency says it will wait until September to decide whether car engines can handle higher concentrations of ethanol in gasoline.

The agency had been expected to decide by this month whether to increase the maximum blend from 10 to 15 percent.

The EPA said Thursday that initial tests ``look good.'' A decision will come after the Energy Department completes testing of the higher blend on vehicles built after 2007.

The ethanol industry has maintained that there is sufficient evidence to show that a 15 percent ethanol blend in motor fuel will not harm the performance of car engines. But the refining industry, small engine manufacturers and some environmental groups have argued against an increase.

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

 ANDREW, Iowa (AP) Jackson County authorities say they have arrested and charged the adoptive parents of a 4-year-old boy who apparently drowned in a bathtub at the family home in Andrew.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department says 29-year-old Danielle Lynn Holdgrafer was arrested Thursday on charges of first-degree murder, and her husband, 31-year-old Andrew Holdgrafer was arrested on charges of child endangerment resulting in the death of a child.

The boy, Collin Parker William Holdgrafer, apparently drowned June 12.

The sheriff's office says Andrew Holdgrafer made a 911 call on the way to the Jackson County Regional Health Center in Maquoketa (muh-KO'-kih-tuh), where the boy pronounced dead.

It was not known if either of the parents had an attorney.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) After agreeing to join the Big Ten last week Nebraska has agreed to join the academic organization that includes the conference's schools.

Nebraska Chancellor Harvey Perlman said Thursday that school officials will be honored to join in July 2011.

He says he appreciates the unanimous vote of the 12 members of the Champaign-based Committee on Institutional Cooperation to invite Nebraska.

In addition to the Big Ten schools the CIC includes the University of Chicago.

Penn State Provost and CIC Chairman called Nebraska a top notch research institution.

CIC schools share expertise and collaborate on academic and research programs.

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

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


KLEM News PM Update June 17, 2010

(LE MARS)--More than 75-thousand dollars for 16 groups will be awarded by the Le Mars United Way.

Volunteer chair Janelle Bixenman says 13 volunteers reviewed 20 applications for more than 152-thousand dollars.

The programs funded will provide a variety of benefits to the Le Mars area including assistance to families facing emergencies, seniors needing aid to continue living independently, children receiving preschool instruction that prepares them for success in school and free books to develop literacy and language skills in infants.

The funded programs will begin receiving their approved allocation in July.

Safety net services funded included 10-thousand dollars to the Council on Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence for the Plymouth County Outreach office for 10-thousand dollars.

Children grow into successful adults funding included 95-hundred dollars to Le Mars Backpack Food program through Siouxland Community Food Bank.

Listed below is a breakdown of the funding that area agencies will receive for the fiscal years 2010-2011 in the area of 'Safety Net Services'.

American Red Cross: Siouxland Chapter
Emergency Services-Disaster & Service to Military Families $3,600

Christian Needs Center
Interior Renovation of Property for Shelving Food Items $1,500

Council on Sexual Assault & Domestic Violence
Plymouth County Outreach Office $10,000

Jackson Recovery
Substance Abuse Services for Low Income Families $3,500

Life Skills Training Center
Network Server Upgrade $2,520

The Living Center
Assistance with Basic Life Needs $4,500

Plains Area Mental Health Center
Evening & Weekend Therapeutic Socialization Program $5,000

Plymouth County Drug Court
Incentives for Recovery Efforts $1,200

Plymouth County Senior Helpmate
Driver Reimbursement & Administrative Costs $7,000

Listed below is a breakdown of the funding that area agencies will receive for the 2010-2011 fiscal years in the area of ensuring that 'Children Grow into Successful Adults'.

Gehlen Catholic Schools
Transitional Kindergarten Scholarships for Low-Income Families $7,500

Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa
Girls' Summer Camp Scholarships $3,000

Imagination Library
Free Book Program $6,000

Le Mars Area Family YMCA
Scholarships $7,000

Le Mars Arts Council
ARTSreach Program Music to Daycares & Preschools $2,880

Le Mars Community Middle School
After School Programming $5,260

Le Mars Day Care & Preschool
Item Replacement & Age Appropriate Learning Materials $2,000

Siouxland Community Food Bank
Le Mars Backpack Food Program $9,500

Siouxland Youth for Christ
Juvenile Justice Ministry Program $7,500

The Le Mars United Way will begin this year's fundraising efforts Thursday, September 2nd with a four-person scramble, 18-hole golf tournament at the city of Le Mars Willow Creek Golf Course. For more information on the tournament, the Le Mars United Way Campaign or the funding decisions, contact United Way at 712-255-3551 or visit and click on events. 

(LE MARS)--Le Mars Police will use a bicycle lottery system to clear out the stolen/abandoned bikes from the past 12 month.s

The bike lottery will be Wednesday, June 30 at the Le Mars Police Department building, 22 Second Street NE. The number of bikes expected to be sold during the lottery are 40-45 bikes.

Those who'd like to buy a bike will put their name in a hat and each person's name will be called by drawing one name at a time. That person will choose one bike and pay $5 for the bike. The process will be repeated until the bikes are purchased for $5 each.

If someone wants more than one bike, police will draw a second time after all names that have been drawn have had an opportunity to choose a bike in the first round.

The bike lottery for bikes sold "as is" will begin with viewing of the bikes at 4 p-m on June 30th and the first name being drawn at 6 p-m.

LE MARS)--A brief power outage affected about 600 MidAmerican Energy customers on the north side of Le Mars today.

Mark Reinders of MidAmerican reports a bad insulator caused a problem with a circuit on a power line about 8:30 this morning . Power was restored to all customers by just after nine.

The outage was reported at 17279 Highway 75.

KLEM 1410AM/96.9 FM was off the air briefly during the outage.

Listen to the newscast 

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(DES MOINES)--While many Iowans are still recovering from this week's flooding, they'll have to be on guard for more severe weather later today (Thursday). Miles Schumacher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Johnston, says they're tracking a large storm system that's heading for Iowa from the west.
 Moisture and warm air are coming, Schumacher says, and there's a strong chance for severe weather statewide late this afternoon in the northwest and later tonight across much of the rest of Iowa. The western third of the state is at greatest risk of seeing a tornado but most of Iowa is threatened by wind and hail.

Schumacher says the best threat for tornadoes would be west of a line from Algona to Atlantic. He says the active weather pattern will continue into the weekend.
Heavy rain is likely this weekend though he says the potential for severe weather is less. Schumacher says heavy rains will be a possibility this time in northern Iowa. (News report by Radio Iowa)


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) State regulators will hold three public hearings on a request by a South Dakota-based utility for a 2.9 percent rate increase for its natural gas customers in Iowa.

The Iowa Utilities Board will hold hearings in Newton on June 29, Dubuque on June 30 and Council Bluffs on July 1.

Black Hills Energy, of Rapid City, S.D., has filed a request for a $4.7 million increase in annual revenues to recover the costs of capital investments in its Iowa distribution system and other expenses.

If granted, monthly bills of residential customers would go up by about 3.4 percent.

The utilities board says under Iowa law, a temporary rate increase of 1.6 percent, or $2.6 million, doesn't require pre-approval and goes into effect on Friday.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a driver suffered minor injuries when a car slammed into a house in Des Moines during a chase with police.

Police say officers were pursuing the driver when the car hit the house just before 2 a.m. Thursday.

No one inside the house was hurt.

Tracy Negrete told KCCI-TV that she had just gotten to sleep and thought someone was trying to get inside her home. Negrete say she went outside and saw a wall had collapsed and a car was inside the house.

The driver's name was not immediately released.

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) A 31-year-old Iowa woman who was hauling cocaine across Nebraska has been given 40 months in federal prison.

U.S. District Judge Warren Urbom sentenced Sophia Morris on Wednesday. He gave her five years of supervised release after she leaves prison.

U.S. Attorney Deborah Gilg said in a news release that a Nebraska state trooper stop Morris for a traffic violation on Interstate 80 nearly Lincoln on Oct. 26.

A patrol dog taken to the scene indicated there were drugs in the car. The drugs were found in a diaper bag in the trunk.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) The owner of a Waterloo liquor store where two robbers were killed says the clerk who shot them had no choice.

The clerk, Johnny Sanders, shot Robert Bolden and Antonio Sproles, both of Waterloo, early Wednesday. Police say the men walked into East Fourth Street Liquor brandishing a rifle and a handgun about 2 a.m.

Store owner Mehnde Khan, who wasn't in the store at the time of the shooting, says Sanders didn't have a choice and was protecting himself. Khan says Sanders shot the men with a revolver, which was kept at the store.

Khan says the men were frequent customers and he never had problems with them in the past.

The shooting remains under investigation, but police say they don't anticipate any charges.

FOREST CITY, Iowa (AP) Motor home maker Winnebago Industries Inc. says it returned to profitability in its fiscal third quarter as revenue nearly tripled as it sold more motor homes.

Recreational vehicle makers were hit hard as many consumers postponed big-ticket purchases during the recession in an attempt to conserve cash, and many RV companies cut their inventory and other costs in response.

Winnebago's deliveries of motor homes more than doubled in the quarter to 1,366 from 620 in a year ago. Its deliveries of its bigger ``Class A'' motor homes rose to 690 from 176 a year ago.

Winnebago said it had net income of $6 million, or 21 cents per share, for the quarter ended May 29 compared with a net loss of $8.6 million, or 29 cents per share, in the year ago-quarter.

ANDREW, Iowa (AP) Authorities say a 4-year-old eastern Iowa boy apparently drowned in a bathtub.

The child, Collin Parker William Holdgrafer, of Andrew, died last Saturday. The Jackson County sheriff's office says emergency crews responded to a 911 call about 5 p.m. The boy was rushed to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The sheriff's office says the boy's father, Andrew Holdgrafer, made the 911 call while taking him to the hospital. Officials met them in Maquoketa (muh-KO'-kih-tuh), where the boy was put in an ambulance and taken to Jackson County Regional Health Center in Maquoketa.

The boy's death remains under investigation.

AVOCA, Iowa (AP) A new option for water recreation is set to open in western Iowa.

A grand opening is planned for the Nishnabotna Water Trail on Saturday in Avoca. The trail runs along the West Nishnabotna River from near Avoca south to Macedonia past stops with camping in Hancock, Oakland and Carson. Canoeing, kayaking and tubing will be available on the stretch of river.

The state of Iowa has designated the portion of the river a water trail, meaning is has several points of entry.

Cindy Thompson is with the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board. She says about $50,000 in state and private grant money has been spent on the water trail.

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

Submit your news release, confidential news tip or news idea by email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , by calling 712.546.4121 or 712.546.9672 fax.


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