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KLEM News Update August 7, 2010

(DES MOINES)--Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Vander Plaats of rural Sioux City has decided against running for governor in the fall as an independent. Instead, Vander Plaats is launching a new effort in the battle over gay marriage in Iowa, a campaign aimed at the Iowa Supreme Court.

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. Vander Plaats Friday 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.

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(as said) "More than ever we need to hold this court in check," Vander Plaats said. "And that is what our plan is to do." Vander Plaats said he'll release more details about the effort next, including information about fundraising. 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. Vander Plaats said he made up his mind to launch the campaign against the three justices when the California judge ruled California's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.


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(as said) "I will be going into intense strategy sessions with the best and the brightest from around this state and around the country," Vander Plaats said. "And we will be unleashing a full effort and campaign in the next coming days." Vander Plaats also announced that he will not run as an independent candidate for governor. Vander Plaats has said he would only run if he determined he could win.


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(as said) "I had no interest in being a spoiler in that campaign," Vander Plaats said. Vander Plaats was asked by a reporter if or when he might endorse Terry Branstad, the Republican candidate for governor. Vander Plaats said he had no "timeframe" for making an endorsement. (News report by Radio Iowa)

Family services offered in four communities

(ORANGE CITY)--Counseling and skill-building services are provided by a northwest Iowa organization with a satellite office in Le Mars.

Denise Driesen of Family Solutions Services explains services are offered to children and families.

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Driesen says there are Family Solutions Services for needs identified by the Iowa Department of Human Services.

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She describes the staff of 24 at Family Solutions Services as experienced and dedicated to helping people.

Family Solutions Services' are coordinated through phone calls to the main offices in Orange City and Sioux City. Satellite offices are in Le Mars and Akron.   

(LE MARS)--The back door for many Le Mars residents in the original part of the city is being spruced up.

City administrator Scott Langel said a change was made in alley maintenance to reduce dust.

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Langel extended a thanks to residents who responded to a city request.

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City crews continue to complete the summer alley maintenance work.

Fire in Buena Vista County

(ALBERT CITY-BUENA VISTA CO.)-- Early last Monday morning a home was destroyed by fire in Buena Vista County.  According to Sheriff Gary Launderville, a deputy on routine partrol discovered the house fire on 210th avenue in the Albert City area.  The Albert City Fire Department and the Marathon Fire Department fought the two-story blaze for 4 hours.   

After investigation it has been concluded that the August 2nd fire was caused by an electrical malfunction.  The house and contents are considered a total loss with damages estimated in excess of $130,000.

Information regarding the owner of the home and whether or not it was occupied at the time of the fire is unavailable from the Buena Vista Sheriff's Office.

(Angela Drake of KLEM News)

 

Congressman to meet with Fifth District residents in Primghar

(WASHINGTON)--Congressman Steve King will hear from Fifth District residents during a Town Hall meeting in O'Brien County next week.

King says Town Hall meetings allow him to communicate directly with his constituents about the issues under consideration in Washington. He explains the exchange allows him to better represent the Fifth District.

The Town Hall meeting in Primghar is Friday, August 13th from 3:30-4:30 p-m in the Assembly Room at the O'Brien County Courthouse .

Paper collection today helps schools

(LE MARS)--Today is a day to recycle paper for school projects in Le Mars and Remsen.

The Le Mars Community Elementary Schools paper recycling project is this (Saturday) morning after a July holiday off. Paper may be dropped off at O'Toole Park in Le Mars from 8-10 a-m. Other pickup sites are at the Struble and Craig Banks, the Brunsville Bank corners and at Kissinger School in Merrill from 8-9 a.m.


The Remsen-Union Family Connection and St. Mary's School Board collect paper from 8-11 a.m. at the Marion Street permanent location.

Murder charges filed after body found near Larchwood

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) Two Sioux Falls men arrested for the robbery and kidnapping of a man whose body was found in northwest Iowa are charged with murder.

The indictment against 29-year-old Benjamin Carter and 23-year-old Payton Strum was filed in court in Sioux Falls this week. Strum also is charged with first-degree arson. Strum is accused of starting a fire in the home where the kidnapping took place.

The body of 27-year-old Joseph Cynkar was discovered lying outside his pickup truck near Larchwood late last month.

Strum and Carter are accused of beating Cynkar and robbing him at gunpoint before binding his hands with a cable, taping a hood over his head and driving him in his own truck to a wooded area in Lyon County. Autopsy results show Cynkar died of suffocation and a blow to the head.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

LP tanks target of shooter

(SAC CITY)--A reward of up to 11-thousand dollars is being offered for information about Sac County vandalism.

The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers and the Sac County Sheriff's Office announced the reward. They're asking for information about vandalism on four Sac County hog farms.

Authorities say liquid propane (LP) tanks were shot using a high-powered rifle. The tanks were near or adjacent to indoor hog barns. Other LP tanks, including those near grain storage facilities and homes, were NOT targeted .

The vandalism occurred almost one year to the day that 12 similar events were reported in Sac and Calhoun Counties. One of the four sites was also targeted a year ago.

Sac County Sheriff Ken McClure says the greatest concern is the explosion danger to people working in or around livestock farms and LP tanks.

The Coalition to Support Iowa's Farmers is providing 75-hundred dollars toward the 11-thousand dollar reward. Others backing the reward effort include local farm groups and businesses that want to help law enforcement solve the crime.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sac County Sheriff's Office. Callers may remain anonymous.

Activists: More flood protection needed


DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Environmental activists are urging the state to expand wetlands and flood plain protections, arguing the changing climate is increasing the danger of flooding.

Mark Tercek, president of the Nature Conservancy, says changes in land use also are increasing the chance of flooding.

Tercek and state and city officials held a news conference near where the Des Moines and Raccoon rivers converge in downtown Des Moines Friday to push for more projects to prevent and protect against flooding.

It comes as Iowa recovers from a wet summer that has caused flooding across the state.

State Sen. Rob Hogg, a Democrat from Cedar Rapids, says expanding wetlands, installing pavement that allows water to seep into the ground and placing barrels to collect rainfall at homes can all be part of the solution.

I-80 overpass in Iowa turned into artistic gateway

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) A Council Bluffs highway overpass has been transformed into an artistic gateway by installation of metal sculptures.

The four multimetal sculptures of stainless steel, weathering steel and bronze plate are called ``Odyssey'' by the sculptor, Albert Paley. They weigh up to 70,000 pounds, or 35 tons.

On Friday, a crane was installing bases on the four corners of the 24th Street bridge over Interstate 80. That work was expected to continue into Saturday, followed by installation of the art pieces. The project was expected to be complete on Tuesday.

The $3 million artwork serves as a sort of gateway to Nebraska to the west and the rest of Iowa to the east.

It was selected by the Iowa West Foundation's public art initiative.

Iowa City couple to wed in jr. high where they met

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Almost 50 years after they met there as seventh graders, an Iowa City couple will get married in the halls of South East Junior High.

Karen Wilcox and Mike Wilson were brought together in 1962 by an alphabetized seating arrangement in homeroom class. They dated in eighth grade, but had broken up by high school. They stayed in touch on and off as each went on to two unsuccessful marriages.

The two started dating again in January, after Wilson moved back to Iowa City from Florida, where he'd lived after retiring as a surgeon. This Monday, they'll get married in the same room where they shared their first dance together.

Principal Deb Wretman loved the idea. She says most people once they leave junior high never want to look back.

(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.



   

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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