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KLEM News AM Update June 16, 2010

 (LE MARS)---Four days flavored with ice cream-themed fun are being celebrated in Le Mars starting today.

Ice Cream Days 2010 features theTri-State Drive In Cruisers at Bob's Drive Inn beginning at five this afternoon. Classic, street-rod, muscle and other collectible vehicles will cruise into the family-owned Le Mars business with the sounds of the '50s and '60s playing for those who stroll through the display of classic wheels.

The Le Mars Arts Center features "Artistic Flavors of the Textile Kind," from 1-5 today. The June exhibit is by area textile students and professionals. Entries for the Ice Cream Days logo contest are also displayed .

The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors Ice Cream Days. There is more information in the KLEM Fairs and Festivals guide or online at and on the slide show on the KLEM web page.

(LE MARS)--The Le Mars City Council today Tuesday took one step toward more revenue for storm water drainage projects.

The action is in an ordinance which could require up to three meetings before it is final. The proposal increases the monthly charge to residential water meter customers for storm water drainage to $4 from $2 now and the fee for business customers to $7. The residential increase would be offset by a $2 a month decrease in solid waste charges.

The Council accepted bids for water main and sanitary sewer to the area where ICON Ag Solutions will relocate and expand in southwest Le Mars.

The council on a three-to-two vote approved a pool of money for merit raises for 20 employees who are not in a bargaining group and agreed to raise the top end of a pay range for the positions.

(LE MARS)--The current operation of the city of Le Mars golf course bar and restaurant facility is not being changed.

A judge Tuesday turned down a request for a temporary injunction from Mark and Tobi Ellis who were the 2009 operators of the Willow Creek Watering Hole and Plymouth Ice Cream Company. Through a Plymouth County District Court case, the couple asked to temporarily and permanently be placed back into the business of operating the bar and restaurant at the golf course.

In court documents, the city of Le Mars had objected to the request. The city claimed they failed to meet the requirements of their agreement with the city.

The city hired Mike Fiddelke of Orange City for the operation earlier this year.

Judge Jeffrey Neary Tuesday afternoon ruled the temporary injunction request is moot because the facility has already been leased. Judge Neary also noted the ruling is not a ruling on the merits of any of the claims made by the the 2009 operators and they remain intact.

(LE MARS)--A rural Le Mars acreage sale will put money back into the pockets of local governments.

Lance Sitzmann of Sitzmann Real Estate in Le Mars brought the offer to buy 2.72 acres in Crescent Ridge to the Plymouth County Board of Supervisors and  Le Mars City Council Tuesday.

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The sale of a house, garage and one building for the Le Mars Business Initiative Corporation (LBIC)  is from property purchased for development in southwest Le Mars, including the Wells' Dairy Corporate headquarters.

Both local governments voted to accept the 197-thousand 500 dollar purchase offer from Floyd Fielder of Le Mars. City administrator Scott Langel says city cleanup costs for the property come off the sale proceeds.

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City cleanup costs included building demolition and concrete crushing.

 (HINTON)--Fire damaged a rural Hinton home Monday afternoon and early Tuesday.

Hinton, Kingsley and Merrill Fire Departments responded to the report of a house fire at 28215 Marble Avenue about two Monday afternoon.

According to the Plymouth County Assessor's property records, the house is owned by Matthew N. Hoffman.

Hinton Fire Chief Chad Beck says a passerby reported smoke coming from the roof of the small two-story farm house. No one was home.

Hinton firefighters were called out again early Tuesday morning when the fire was reported to have rekindled in the attic area.

The probable cause of the fire is electrical.

 (LE MARS)--The newest member of the Floyd Valley Hospital Board of Trustees was sworn in Tuesday.

Ralph Klemme of Le Mars took the oath of office for hospital trustee at a swearing-in ceremony with Mayor Dick Kirchoff.

Klemme succeeds long-time board member Jim Ryan who resigned because Ryan is moving. Klemme was appointed by the City Council to serve through December of next year.

ROCKWELL CITY, Iowa (AP) Authorities in Calhoun County have ruled murder-suicide in the case of three people found dead in a rural home there.

County officials say autopsies and a joint investigation by law enforcement show the two women found dead in the house, 19-year-old Paige Gallo of Council Bluffs and 20-year-old Heather Campbell of Urbandale, were homicide victims. Both women died from gunshot wounds.

The man found dead, 20-year-old Luke Schleisman of Lake City, also died of a gunshot wound and his death has been ruled a suicide.

Officers found the bodies early Friday morning after responding to a report of a possible disturbance.

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Police in Des Moines are investigating an early morning home invasion in which a 21-year-old woman was raped several times by three masked men and her 23-year-old fiance was pistol-whipped.

Officers say the couple and their 11-month-old child were asleep in their second-story bedroom north of Union Park about 5:20 Tuesday morning when three men kicked in a box fan in their bedroom window and crawled through.

The woman says the three men demanded money and held the child as a hostage while they raped her and beat her fiance.

Before they left, the three invaders took a laptop computer, a video game system, a 26-inch flat screen television and about $200 in cash.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) Federal court officials in Council Bluffs have arraigned two Omaha women on sex trafficking and interstate prostitution charges.

The two who made their initial court appearances Tuesday were identified as 32-year-old Merrideth Crane Horton, who also uses the name Mary Crane Horton, and 22-year-old Katherine Heredia.

The two were named in a nine-count indictment that also named 21-year-old Ramon Heredia, who is also from Omaha.

U.S. Attorney Nicholas Klinefeldt said Ramon Heredia would probably be arraigned in the near future.

Some of the charges in the indictment involve the alleged recruitment of underage girls into the sex trade. One of the girls was said be younger than 14 and the second was said to be younger than 18.

Federal attorneys did not indicate Tuesday whether any of the defendants had attorneys.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) A federal audit says Iowa must repay $576,000 in misspent funds from the 2002 Help America Vote Act that the state received while Gov. Chet Culver was secretary of state.

Iowa got about $30 million from The Help America Vote Act, which was aimed at updating voting systems after the 2000 presidential election.

The audit on Monday found $2.5 million in questionable spending but the amount Iowa should repay was lowered to $576,000.

The audit lists three main reasons for the disallowed payments, including that bids were not sought for a contract associated with the grant; a program called ``Celebrate Voting'' spent money on nonvoter activities; and radio ads were not allowable expenses.

Culver spokesman Jim Flansburg says the governor and the attorney general's office are working to resolve all questions.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Gov. Chet Culver says Iowa is pulling out of the recession in part because of an $875 million bonding program that is paying for construction projects throughout the state.

Speaking Tuesday at a national trade and transportation association conference being held in Des Moines, Culver argued that pouring money into road, bridge and flood recovery projects had provided jobs and set the stage for future growth.

The spending will likely be a key part of the governor's race, with Culver maintaining he responded boldly to the recession and unemployment with the bonding program, dubbed I-JOBS.

An aide to his Republican opponent, Terry Branstad, responded that Culver's program created few jobs and would leave Iowa saddled with debt for years.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Federal officials say an investigation shows that the Iowa Interstate Railroad retaliated against a train conductor for reporting a work-related injury.

The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration says the railroad violated the Federal Rail Safety Act.

OSHA says the company issued a train conductor a notification of formal investigation in January last year and disciplined him with a letter of censure after the employee reported a work injury.

The employee, who isn't being named, filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA.

The Cedar Rapids company has been ordered to pay $1,000 in punitive damages and to ``make amends'' with the employee.

Mick Burkart is the vice president of the railroad. He says the company disagrees with OSHA's findings and plans to appeal.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Officials say the Iowa Governors Office of Drug Control Policy will get nearly $250,000 in federal money.

The grant will be used for the Iowa Residential Substance Abuse Treatment for State Prisoners Program. That will allow state officials to further develop and implement substance abuse programs at state and local correctional and detention facilities.

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sen. Chuck Grassley announced the award on Tuesday.

He says drug substance abuse treatment can help lower the recidivism rate of released prisoners.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) A major Agriculture Department study says farmers in the Upper Mississippi River basin have made significant progress in reducing sediment, fertilizer and pesticide runoff.

But it says they also need to do more to cut pollution. The biggest concern is excessive runoff of nitrogen fertilizer.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told The Associated Press before the study's release Wednesday that it shows good conservation practices work.

The study found use of soil erosion controls are widespread. And it says conservation practices in the region have been extremely effective in reducing pesticide runoff.

It's the first of several studies the USDA plans to release on the effect of conservation practices on major watersheds.

PRAIRIE CITY, Iowa (AP) Biologists at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Center are being encouraged to recruit keen-nosed dogs from animal shelters in their fight against an invasive weed called Lespedeza Cuneata.

The Asian plant, which is also called Chinese bush clover, was planted in some of the southeastern states as a possible forage crop about 100 years ago. It soon became a troublesome weed, and has been slowly moving north, often choking out native prairie plants.

But dogs like Wickett, a 6-year-old Labrador mix, are being trained to spot the plant before it has a chance to spread.

Alice Whitelaw of Working Dogs for Conservation says dogs can smell the weed from greater distances and can find more plants than a human. Those plants can then be marked for herbicides.

(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 15, 2010

(LE MARS)--ICON Ag Solutions General Manager Adam Timmerman said, "Keep Going," as the first shovels of dirt were turned at the John Deere dealer's new Le Mars sales and service site Monday.

That's exactly what local officials hope will happen as a result of ICON's decision to build in an area of Le Mars first developed as the new corporate headquarters for Wells' Dairy. Business and government leaders say they want businesses to keep going into the area where millions of dollars have been spent for infrastructure and land

Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Don Kass of rural Remsen welcomes ICON Ag Solutions decision to locate on the east side of Key Avenue.

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ICON Ag Solutions is the first project Plymouth County Economic Development director Andrea Westergard worked on after she was hired in March of last year. Westergard describes the project as a partnership.

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Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff emphasized two words, "Thank you," when he spoke after the groundbreaking.

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Speaking on behalf of ICON Ag Solutions, Timmerman talked of growth.

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The firm expects to host a grand opening at the new location in the spring of next year. 

(CARROLL)--The Carroll County Sheriff's office has released the names of the two people killed in Sunday's plane crash near Lidderdale.
Sixty-four-year-old Orlan Ely Kellenberger and his wife, 64-year-old Mary Margaret Kellenberger of Lamar, Missouri, died when their six-passenger single-engine Beachcraft plane crashed into a field. The Kellenbergers had visited friends in West Bend and had taken off in Algona on their way to Missouri. Sheriff Doug Bass says members of the National Transportation Safety Board continue to investigate the cause of the crash. No other details available at this time. (News report from Radio Iowa)

DENISON, Iowa (AP) The Donna Reed festival in the star's hometown of Denison is taking a new approach because of financial woes and dwindling attendance.

The festival, held since 1986, paid tribute to Reed, who was born Donnabelle Mullenger in 1921. Actors, producers and writers from Hollywood and New York came to the western Iowa town for a week in June each year to tutor others.

Officials with the Donna Reed Foundation think a year-round schedule of events, seminars and workshops could be more manageable and affordable.

Foundation board member Roy Voggesser says it's worth a try.

Reed won an Academy Award for the 1953 movie ``From Here to Eternity.'' She became a television icon with the ``The Donna Reed Show'' from 1958 through 1966. And she starred with Jimmy Stewart in the 1946 holiday classic ``It's a Wonderful Life.''

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

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) The Army Corps of Engineers said the three largest Missouri River reservoirs gained water in May because snow in the mountains and rain in the upper basin pushed runoff to 127 percent of normal.

The amount of water in the six reservoirs was 60.8 million acre-feet, the largest amount since 1999. Runoff this year is expected to be 115 percent of normal.

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

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) About ten soldiers from the Iowa Army National Guard are deploying as part of the Iraq War.

The Iowa National Guard said Monday that the soldiers are part of a detachment that specializes in moving personnel around via air. The same unit previously was mobilized from November 2002 through April 2003.

A send-off ceremony is scheduled for the soldiers on Friday at the Ankeny Airport. Both local and National Guard officials are expected to attend the ceremony. After the ceremony, the soldiers are to travel to Fort Benning, Ga., for more training and to prepare to travel overseas.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa lawmakers have called off plans to have a committee study the legalization of medical marijuana, saying such a decision could be made by the Iowa Board of Pharmacy.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy noted Monday that an old state law says the board may set the rules, so there's no need for a committee. The Des Moines Democrat says the ball is in the board's court now

The pharmacy board in February recommended the Legislature change the classification of marijuana. It noted that a decades-old piece of Iowa law already appeared to allow that, but members said the intent of the law was unclear.

The board's executive director, Lloyd Jessen, said Monday that the board doesn't want that responsibility and needs direction from elected leaders.

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) Waterloo students will have to tuck in their shirt, wear pants no more than one size too big and leave the steel-toe boots at home.

In a 3-2 vote Monday, the school board approved regulations that fill in the details of a dress code policy for its schools beginning in the fall of 2011.

The policy was approved three weeks ago in a similar vote.

The regulations include specifics about the solid color tops and bottoms required under the policy, along with footwear, jackets and other clothes. It also has a list of items prohibited, including no sleeveless shirts, no jeans and no sandals.

Consequences for students out of compliance could range from time away from normal school activities to out-of-school suspension.

GRANGER, Iowa (AP) Granger will keep ``hot'' and ``cold'' on its water towers that will get a new logo.

The two towers have been labeled for about 30 years, and many residents say they represent the town.

The City Council on Monday decided to incorporate ``hot'' and ``cold'' into the design. The decision resolves a dispute that surfaced last month when the city decided to repaint the towers without the words.

The new logo is a stylized green and gold ``G'' with a leaf.

Most residents are satisfied with the compromise.

Business owner Alice Wicker says it moves the city ahead with a new logo and keeps ``our sense of humor.''

Granger, which has about 1,000 residents, is about 25 miles northwest of Des Moines.

ANKENY, Iowa (AP) Casey's General Stores Inc., the Midwest convenience store operator that is resisting a $1.9 billion takeover bid, says its net income rose 41 percent in the fourth quarter as revenue soared.

The earnings results beat Wall Street expectations, and the company raised its quarterly dividend by almost 18 percent to 10 cents a share.

Its shares rose 2.3 percent to $36.75 in premarket trading.

Casey's has said the April buyout offer of $36 a share from Canada's Alimentation Couche-Tard is too low and sued its suitor.

Facing resistance, Couche-Tard has taken its offer directly to Casey's shareholders and says it will defend itself against the suit.

(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.


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