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KLEM News AM Update September 16, 2010

(LE MARS)--Thunderstorms brought brief heavy downpours, high winds and hail to Siouxland late Wednesday afternoon and early Wednesday night.

The National Weather Service issued two Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for Plymouth County beginning at 5:15 Wednesday afternoon. The second warning was issued as the storm moved quickly through the area into the eastern part of the county.

Pea-sized hail was first reported at Akron. In the Brunsville area just after 5:30, wind gusts with the thunderstorm movement were estimated at 50-60 miles an hour. The high wind report was repeated at 6:15 Wednesday evening six miles northwest of Kingsley along with pea-sized hail.

Four miles south of Cleghorn winds gusting up to an estimated 60 miles an hour were reported. A weather report from the Washta area also included high winds and pea-sized hail.

Enrollment expected to change

(LE MARS)--The number of students in Le Mars Community School District classrooms this fall is down about 50.

The district takes an official count of students October 1 and reports that number to the Iowa Department of Education. Assistant Superintendent Dr. Carl Turner says the student count this fall will include the Preschool enrollment. Although there are 20 students in the new program, the actual number the district can include in the report is 12 students.

School staff is working with open enrollments into and out of the district as they prepare for the enrollment count next month.

A factor in the decline is the difference between Kindergarten classes this fall and the class of 2010 this past May. Turner points to 173 students graduating last May and 130 in Kindergarten classrooms this fall.

Turner said the way the district counts home schooled students has also changed.

Chalk Art Festival returns to Le Mars this weekend

(LE MARS)--This weekend you'll have the chance to draw on the streets and sidewalks of Le Mars! The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Chalk Art Festival begins at 11am on Saturday morning.

Randy Becker of Le Mars is one of the featured artists this year. Last year Randy drew the Beatles, this year he said he's sticking with the music theme by putting Jimi Hendrix on the pavement.

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For Becker, chalk art is a new thing. His creation last year was his first time working with the medium. However, he is an artist by trade.

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No stranger to chalk art is Mary Campbell of Bertram, Iowa. Mary is a retired art teacher who loves to work with pastels and got started with chalk about 4 years ago. Her works last year in Le Mars were President Obama and Jay Leno. She'll make the 5 hour trek to Le Mars, from her home near Cedar Rapids, as one of the festival's featured artists.

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The featured children's artist is Sydney Rand from Le Mars.

Come out to watch the artists or pick up some chalk and draw with friends and family. The Le Mars Chalk Art Festival is this Saturday 11am-6pm and Sunday 12n-5p at the Olson Cultural Events Center. There will be food vendors and live music on-site all weekend. If showers are threatening the day of the event, participants should bring a plastic drop cloth to cover their art. (News report by Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Chalk art entertainment planned

(LE MARS)--Dancers, vocalists and bands will entertain during the 2nd annual Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Chalk Art Festival this weekend. Performances are at the Olson Cultural Event Center in downtown Le Mars.

According to Mary Reynolds, manager of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce Main Street program, B-L-T begins the musical performances Saturday morning at 11 followed by the Jammers at noon with hourly performances through 4 p-m. On Sunday, vocalist Allyn Anderson opens entertainment at noon followed by C-2-C and performers through 4 p.m. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

11 a.m. BLT

Noon The Jammers

1 p.m. The Turn Around

2 p.m. Last Chance Weekend

3 p.m. Sachem

4 p.m. Sachem

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Noon Allyn Anderson

1 p.m. C2C

2 p.m. BLT

3 p.m. The Dance Studio

4 p.m. Flute quartet

Fall clean up days offered through Saturday

(LE MARS)--This is day three of the city of Le Mars fall clean up days. Today through Saturday, Le Mars residents may take up to one-thousand pounds of throw away material to the rural Le Mars landfill without a fee.

Hours today and tomorrow are from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon. Saturday, the final day of the fall clean up, hours at the landfill are from eight in the morning until noon.

The fall clean up days were offered two days last week as well.

 Iowan sentenced in accident that killed Neb. man

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) A Sioux City man accused in a deadly hit-and-run that killed a Nebraska man has been sentenced to 25 years.

Associated Press reports Ryan Deming was sentenced on Tuesday after pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide in Woodbury County District Court.

Deming was charged in the death of 61-year-old Edward Miller, of Jackson, Neb., in December.

Police say Deming hit Miller as Miller was walking across a street in Sioux City. Police later found the car suspected of hitting Miller, and arrested Deming.


Senate leader predicts nonpartisan district maps

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Senate Majority Leader Michael Gronstal says the Legislature is likely to again approve new legislative and congressional maps drawn by nonpartisan staffers even though in the past that has resulted in a shift of power at the Statehouse.

The Council Bluffs Democrat says the process is already under way but it will likely be next summer before the job is completed, raising the possibility of a special legislative session to vote on the maps.

Nonpartisan staffers use census data to draw new boundaries as close as possible to being equal in population. They are prohibited by law from considering voter registration data or the location of an incumbent.

Lawmakers must approve or reject the maps. If they can't agree, the maps are redrawn up to two more times before they can be amended.
UPS worker killed in Des Moines airport accident

Driver struck by trailer

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Police say a United Parcel Service employee is dead after he was hit by the trailer of a semi-truck at the Des Moines International Airport.

Police say 64-year-old Daniel Raber was opening a gate so the truck could make a delivery when the trailer struck him early Wednesday.

Raber was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police spokesman Sgt. Jeff Edwards says Raber was pinned by the trailer against a guard shack but not crushed. Raber then fell, and the rear wheels of the trailer ran over his legs.

Police say the 29-year-old semi driver was a student driver. His instructor was a passenger in the truck.

An autopsy was scheduled.

Northern Iowa man faces meth charge

RUDD, Iowa (AP) A northern Iowa man is under arrest and facing a federal charge of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Law officers descended Wednesday on the home of 58-year-old David Neve near Rudd.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's says Neve was taken to Cedar Rapids and was awaiting a federal court hearing.

The Globe Gazette of Mason City reports the investigation involved local law enforcement, the FBI and federal narcotics officers and search dogs trained to look for explosives.

Court records say numerous weapons were found on the rural property during the search. The weapons appeared to be positioned to defend the property, and many were loaded with ammunition.

Court records also say a large amount of suspected ``ice'' methamphetamine was seized from a burn pile in the backyard.

Police investigate Cedar Rapids office burglaries

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) Cedar Rapids police are investigating a string of office burglaries.

Police say electronics were taken from 22 offices in a downtown building over the weekend.

The Gazette of Cedar Rapids reports at least seven businesses at the Armstrong Centre were hit between late Friday and late Sunday.

Police reports say several laptop computers and a few digital cameras and TVs were taken from offices on the second floor.

Investigators don't have any suspects and don't know if more than one burglar was involved. Only a few of the offices had signs they were broken into.

The offices were not damaged.

Cedar Rapids parkade exit ramp deemed historic

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A flood-damaged car park in Cedar Rapids headed for the wrecking ball could keep standing, for now.

The First Street Parkade in downtown Cedar Rapids was slated for demolition this fall. But the City Council learned Tuesday night that the 49-year-old structure may still be standing until next summer because of its historic status.

According to The Gazette of Cedar Rapids, the Federal Emergency Management Agency ruled last week that the parkade's corkscrew-like exit ramp makes the structure historically significant.

Sandy Pumphrey, an engineer in the Public Works Department, told the council that doesn't mean the parkade can't and won't be demolished, but developing a memorandum of agreement with FEMA could take up to nine months.

Shaw Newspapers to become Shaw Media in October

DIXON, Ill. (AP) Shaw Newspapers has announced it will change its name to Shaw Media starting Oct. 10.

The company publishes 60 newspapers, magazines and websites in Illinois and Iowa. Company officials said in a Monday news release that the new name will better reflect the company's growth and strength in emerging media forms.

CEO Tom Shaw says newspapers are still at the core of the company, but the future will increasingly include various publishing platforms.

In 1851, Benjamin Flower Shaw published the first issue of The Dixon Telegraph and Herald and became the newspaper's owner and editor.

(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 Sept. 15, 2010


(LE MARS)--A project to provide a storm-safe location in Le Mars is being funded.

Governor Chet Culver today announced I-JOBS Board of Directors approval of 23 disaster prevention-related efforts in 21 counties.

According to written information from the Governor's office, Plymouth County was awarded 85-thousand dollars for the 637-thousand dollar Courthouse Annex Building project. The construction of the facility is storm resistant and includes an area that may be used by the public which is designated as a tornado safe room. Construction on the Annex Building began last month.

Culver says the I-JOBS awards will help cities and counties move much needed projects forward to protect citizens from the impacts of natural disasters.

Plymouth County Supervisor Craig Anderson of rural Merrill, County Emergency Management Director Gary Junge and Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council (SIMPCO) Community Development Director Kristi Quinn worked on the grant request.

Bluebird buses bought by board

(LE MARS)--A Waterloo firm is the successful low bidder for two new Le Mars Community School District buses.

Three businesses submitted bus bids opened at the board's meeting Monday.

School Bus Sales of Waterloo had the lowest bid of 144-thousand 356 dollars which included $1,250 for trading-in two buses. The difference between the low bid and the next low bid from Thomas Bus Sales of Des Moines was about 750 dollars.

The two diesel 53-passenger Bluebird buses will be part of a fleet that covers more than one-thousand miles a day carrying 690 rural students on 18 regular routes. Buses last year traveled 50 miles per day on the city bus route with an estimated 331 students riding each day. The district also provided bus transportation to extracurricular activities totaling more than 37-thousand miles in the past school year. The statistics are from the Superintendent's annual report for 2009-2010.

School administrators and board members this week commended Transportation Supervisor Gary Herman and Bus Mechanic Rick Stream for a deficiency-free state inspection of the district's buses. As a result of the inspection, no buses were taken out of service on a temporary or permanent basis. 

Jamison fundraiser is in Sioux City Friday 

(SIOUX CITY)--Two Republican candidates for state offices will be in Sioux City Friday for a fundraiser.

Republican State Treasurer candidate Dave Jamison will be joined by Lt. Governor candidate Kim Reynolds for the luncheon fundraiser at Luciano's Restaurant in downtown Sioux City.

Jamison lives in Ames and is the Story County Treasurer. He is opposing Democratic incumbent State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald in the November general Election. Jamison has been Story County Treasurer since 1995.

Reynolds is the Clarke County Treasurer and a State Senator from Osceola. She's the running mate for Republican candidate for Governor, Terry Branstad. Branstad is seeking election to a fifth term as the state's top chief executive.

NCC bond vote falls short of majority for passage

(SHELDON)--More votes were yes than no for the Northwest Iowa Community College bond issue vote Tuesday, but the percentages didn't add up to approval.

Unofficial results from voting on the 13.4-million dollar bond issue for the Sheldon school's facilities and equipment showed 57.4 percent voter approval. State law requires a majority of 60 percent.

There were more yes than no votes in Cherokee, Lyon, O'Brien and Sioux Counties, with a tie of 84 yes and 84 no votes in Osceola County.

The vote total was 2,523. Results are unofficial until they're reviewed by the boards of supervisors in each of the five counties.

Pioneer Hi-Bred buys stake in South African firm

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Seed company Pioneer Hi-Bred says it bought a majority share in South African-based Pannar Seed Limited, expanding Pioneer's reach in the African market.

Pioneer, the second-biggest seed company in the United States after Monsanto Co., did not disclose terms of the deal.

The purchase is subject to approval by the South African Competition Commission and other countries' regulatory agencies.

Pioneer said the partnership would help it develop genetically engineered crops specifically tailored to different regions of Africa. The deal is expected to close in early 2011 if approved.

Pioneer is a subsidiary of Wilmington, Del.-based chemical maker DuPont Co.

Group disputes historic designation decision

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A neighborhood group is taking issue with a report that says the flood-damaged Czech Village in Cedar Rapids doesn't warrant a historic status.

The report by the Louis Berger Group of Marion found 21 buildings eligible for the National Register of Historic places, but not the neighborhood as a whole. An architectural historian says the homes were altered too much to qualify.

The neighborhood was inundated by flooding in 2008. The report paves the way for demolition to begin in October.

The Gazette says the Czech Village/New Bohemia Main Street Board voted Tuesday to disagree with the findings. Board President Brian Fagan says the history of the neighborhood and its commercial district are intertwined. He says Czech immigrants built the neighborhood and the businesses followed.

Iowa panel OKs extension of manure rule

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa livestock producers can continue to apply manure on frozen ground in emergency situations for another five years.

The Des Moines Register says a state legislative panel took no action on Tuesday on a decision by the Iowa Environmental Protection Commission to give confinement operations more time to come up with sufficient manure storage.

The nonprofit Citizens for Community Improvement argued the extended grace period violates the federal Clean Water Act and imperils Iowa's waterways.

The panel's decision to take no action allows the grace period to stand.

The rule regulates manure piles at farms. It requires pads and covers in some situations and bans the spread of manure on frozen or snow-covered ground except in emergencies, such as storms that overload storage basins.

Iowa broadcaster Jack Shelley dies

AMES, Iowa (AP) Longtime Iowa broadcaster John ``Jack'' Shelley, whose career spanned covering World War II to teaching at Iowa State University, has died.

Michael Bugeja  of ISU's Greenlee School of Journalism says Shelley died late Tuesday at a retirement home in Ames. He was 98.

KCCI-TV first reported Shelley's death Wednesday morning.

Shelley was born in Boone in 1912. He graduated from the University of Missouri and worked briefly at the Clinton Herald. He took a job at WHO radio in Des Moines. When WHO-TV went on the air in the 1950s, Shelley was news director for both radio and television operations.

Shelley covered World War II for WHO, including the formal Japanese surrender on the USS Missouri.

Shelley taught broadcast journalism at Iowa State from 1965 until 1982.

(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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