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KLEM News PM Update June 18, 2010

(ORANGE CITY)--A business based in Orange City celebrates an expansion next week.

Revival Animal Health added 54-hundred square feet to Revival's facilities in Orange City's Industrial Park. Revival is a national supplier of cat and dog products.

In addition to an office area, the addition will be used for marketing, e-commerce and graphic design work.

According to Revival president Roy Nielsen III, the expanded area meets needs today and provides an opportunity for future growth.

The grand opening is at 5:30 p.m. on June 25th with tours to follow.

(CHEROKEE)--Road construction will change travel in Cherokee for about six weeks.

Michael Kruger of the Iowa Department of Transportation's Cherokee office reports the work will be at the intersection Highway Three and county road C-38.

Road construction work will restrict traffic to one lane beginning Wednesday, weather permitting. Traffic will be assisted through the work area by flaggers and a pilot car. The project is expected to be complete August 2nd.

(ROCK RAPIDS)--Historic murals are being displayed during Rock Rapids 125th anniversary.

Free mural tours begin at 1:30 and 3:30 this afternoon at the Forster Community Center and Depot Museum.

A new mural will be dedicated tomorrow night at 6. The Rock Rapids Mural Society is also offering a tour of historical homes Saturday from noon to 4.

Other Quasquicentennial events during Heritage Days in Rock Rapids include a queen contest, beard contest, minnow races, and a car show. Additional information is available from the chamber or

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.

The projects include: 14 wetlands in the North Raccoon River Watershed in Buena Vista County. The wetlands to be restored will be modeled after nitrate removal wetlands that have been built through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP).

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

What's going on with Ice Cream Days right now or tomorrow?

(Spencer)--An Iowan will be taking part in the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship tomorrow (Saturday) in Oklahoma City. At age 20,

Will Epperly (EP-ur-lee) will be one of the youngest contestants. Epperly calls auctions at Spencer Livestock Sales when he isn't attending classes at Iowa Lakes Community College in Spencer. Epperly spent much of his youth listening to auctioneers while accompanying his father to livestock auctions back in his native Virginia. He says it's a thrill to be in Oklahoma.

He say it's a real honor to be in the contest as he's going up against several auctioneers who have been his mentors. Epperly was one of ten finalists in regional competition at Crawfordsville, Nebraska. He talks about how the judging works at the national finals.

The L-M-A Epperly refers to is the Livestock Marketing Association, the sponsor of the event. Epperly says a good auctioneer keeps a sale moving and demonstrates a good working knowledge of the livestock he sells.Thirty-three finalists will compete Saturday in the 47th annual competition. It will be held at the Oklahoma National Stockyards in Oklahoma City. (News report by Radio Iowa)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) No injuries or major damage is reported from storms that hit Iowa with strong winds, large hail and numerous tornadoes and funnel clouds.

Across the border in Minnesota, at least three people died after a series of tornadoes tore through the state Thursday night.

The storms took aim on northern Iowa Thursday afternoon into the evening. Tornadoes were reported in Winnebago and Kossuth counties. Trees and power poles were damaged near Algona.

Trees also were damaged in Mason City and Clear Lake, where winds reached almost 70 mph.

More storms are likely on Friday, and some could be severe during the afternoon and evening.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) The Iowa agriculture secretary wants hay and straw producers to sign up for a statewide directory.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said Thursday that if producers register with the Iowa Hay and Straw Directory they can be connected with potential buyers across the country. Northey's office says the directory lists Iowa producers with hay and straw for sale. Organizations and businesses that promote and market hay and straw also are listed.

The directory has been around for 34 years. Sections include ``Forage for Sale,'' ``Forage Auctions,'' ``Hay Associations,'' ``Forage Dealers,'' ``Hay Grinders'' and ``Custom Balers.''

CLEAR LAKE, Iowa (AP) Ray Faust says he just had to do something when baby skunks were found under the sidewalk of the Evangelical Free Church near Clear Lake.

The nine babies, called kits, were discovered last week by some children during Vacation Bible School.

Faust, of Clear Lake, says one has since died. Their mother, Faust says, was run over on the highway.

Faust has been taking care of the babies, bringing them bread, milk and worms.

Faust says the next time he spots them out of their hole, he plans to take them to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources or out to the country.

Conservation officer Matt Washburn says when someone finds baby animals in the wild, it's best to leave them alone and contact the agency.

VINTON, Iowa (AP) Some changes could be in store for the Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School in Vinton.

Under a draft proposal approved Thursday by a school study committee, a long-term residential program would end, but the campus would remain as headquarters for statewide vision services and would offer short-term and summer programs.

Supporters say it would mean much of the $2.2 million now used for the school can be used to provide better services to blind and vision-impaired students around the state. Opponents fear the change will decrease the quality of services.

Nine students were enrolled in the school in 2009-10. About 400 students are served through the statewide system.

A final vote is July 1. The recommendation will go to the Iowa Board of Regents.

CHARLES CITY, Iowa (AP) A Charles City man accused of locking his two children in their bedrooms for up to 14 hours a day for two years has been sentenced to prison.

Danial Onken pleaded guilty in April to two counts of neglect or abandonment of a dependent. He was sentenced this month in Floyd County District Court to 10 years in prison on each count. The sentences will run concurrently.

According to court records, Onken locked his son and daughter in their bedrooms, beginning in February 2007. The windows were boarded up from the inside. The children were not allowed out to go to the bathroom, so they had to relieve themselves on the floor.

County Attorney Norm Klemesrud says the girl was 4 and the boy was 5 when the charges were filed in May 2009.

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

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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.


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