Home News KLEM News AM Update September 30, 2010

KLEM News AM Update September 30, 2010

(LE MARS) Le Mars is an All-Star Community.

Bethany Duncan of the Iowa League of Cities explained the League chose Le Mars as an All-Star Community due to quality of life efforts in the Community Betterment Project (CBP).

League Board President, Ottumwa Mayor Dale Uehling, presented the All-Star Community award to the city of Le Mars at the Awards Banquet Thursday evening, September 23rd.  Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff accepted the honor. (Photo courtesy the Iowa League of Cities, Des Moines)

Duncan said the large scope of the Community Betterment Project led the League to honor Le Mars as the only city in the category of three-thousand to 10,000 people.

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Duncan noted what stood out to judges in the 2010 competition was the amount of business and community involvement in the Community Betterment Project (CBP).

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A video showcasing Le Mars was shown just before the award was presented.

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The League’s video


Engel: ‘You can do it’

(LE MARS)–Gehlen Catholic and Le Mars Community fourth through sixth graders chanted four words with a speaker at the Optimist Club’s “Just Say No” kickoff Wednesday afternoon.

John Paul Engel of Sioux City told the students to believe in themselves drawing on the four words his mother taught him, “You can do it.”

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Engel grew up in a home where he was a foster child who was born with an umbilical cord around his neck to a drug addicted mother. He wasn’t expected to walk and was enrolled in special education. Engel told the young students he overcame many obstacles and fulfilled dreams such as traveling internationally and working in foreign countries.

He credits the direction and encouragement he received from his mother for his achievements and asks parents to tell their children, “You can do it.”

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Engel cautioned the students that who they surround themselves with is who they’re going to become. In Engel’s words, “Little choices add up to what your life becomes.”

Kommes is Optimist Club T-shirt designer

(LE MARS)–A sixth grader at Le Mars Community Middle School designed the “Just Say No” t-shirt for this school year.

Andrea Kommes chose primary colors of red, yellow and blue to illustrate her message, “Live healthy, think smart and say no.”

Kommes is the daughter of Bob and Sharla Kommes.

The Le Mars Optimist Club chose Andrea’s entry in a contest to design the logo for the “Just Say No” t-shirts worn at Optimist Club-sponsored events for fourth, fifth and sixth graders.

NWC production is family-friendly


(ORANGE CITY) A collection of six Asian Folk Tales will take that stage at Northwestern College in Orange City this weekend.  Northwestern theatre professor Karen Bohm (BOMB) Barker is directing the family-friendly production.  She says that the themes of the stories presented are similar to fairy tales and folk stories from other cultures.

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Barker added that Northwestern chose to present these Asian Folk Tales to utilize the talent within their theater department.

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The 11 member student cast will present the show to the public Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 4pm. The show is one hour in length.  Northwestern alumni can attend the production for free on Saturday, Oct. 2, in honor of the college’s Homecoming celebration.  Tickets can be reserved by visiting the box office between 4 and 9 p.m. or between noon and 5 p.m. on Saturday. The box office can also be reached by phone, 712-707-7098, or e-mail, boxoffice@nwciowa.edu. (Angela Drake, KLEM News)

Eckert is not Iowa City’s choice


IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) A Michigan man–not a Siouxlander is Iowa City’s new city manager.

The City Council announced Wednesday that Thomas Markus would take the job. Markus is the city manager in Birmingham, Mich. Iowa City Mayor Matt Hayek says “it was clear” that Markus was the candidate to hire. The mayor says Markus has “experience, creativity and poise.”

The other two finalists included Paul Eckert who is the city manager of Sioux City.

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

$150M going to U of Iowa after 2008 flooding

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) The University of Iowa is getting more than $152 million to help recover from the historic flooding that struck the state in 2008.

Both Sens. Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley of Iowa announced the grant money on Wednesday from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The largest share of the money, more than $124 million, will go to the school’s Voxman Music School, including the Hancher Auditorium and Clapp Recital Hall. Damage at the school was so severe the building was deemed unusable.

Another more than $27 million will go to the university’s art building, where floodwaters filled the basement and parts of the first floor. And nearly $1.5 million will go to reimburse the university for costs associated with the power plant.

Labor leader sentenced to 42 months for fraud

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A former labor executive has been sentenced to more than three years in federal prison.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that 57-year-old Alan Bernard was sentenced after pleading guilty in May to charges he misappropriated more than $11,000. Bernard is former president of the Hawkeye Labor Council. He pleaded guilty to one count each of access device fraud, forged securities and aggravated identity theft as part of a plea agreement.

Bernard was sentenced Tuesday in a federal court in Cedar Rapids to 42 months in prison, a $300 special assessment and more than $55,000 in restitution.

Bernard was accused of using another person’s credit card from July 26, 2006 to July 26, 2007. He allegedly obtained $6,511 worth of merchandise and forged a check on the council’s account for $5,000.

Jury deliberates in fatal Iowa hit-and-run case

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Jurors in Des Moines have started deliberating in the trial of an Iraq war veteran from Altoona accused in the 2005 hit-and-run death of a woman.

KCCI-TV in Des Moines reports jurors began deliberations Wednesday afternoon after closing arguments in the case.

Justin Pollard, a 27-year-old U.S. Army reservist, was arrested last October in New Jersey after returning from a second tour of duty in Iraq. Pollard is charged in the death of Annamarie Rittman, of Altoona. She was hit in the parking lot of a home improvement store in Altoona.

Prosecutors dropped the charge in 2007 after a judge ruled a surveillance tape could not be used at the trial because it was sped up by 30 percent. Prosecutors refiled a first-degree murder charge in October 2009.

Iowa teen’s vehicular homicide trial delayed

WAVERLY, Iowa (AP) The trial for a Clarksville teenager charged with vehicular homicide has been delayed.

The Bremer County attorney’s office says the trial for 18-year-old Alexander Pothast will be Oct. 26. The trial was to begin this week and county officials say it could be delayed again. The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the delay comes at the request of Pothast’s attorney.

Investigators allege Pothast had been drinking alcohol before a March 21 crash that killed his passenger, 18-year-old Joshua Young of Waverly. Pothast and Young were high school classmates in Waverly.

Pothast was 17 at the time of the crash and a judge has ruled that he be tried as an adult. He has pleaded not guilty.

Driver dies after leading Iowa police on chase

VINTON, Iowa (AP) Police in Vinton have identified the driver of a vehicle who died after leading police on a chase.

The Gazette newspaper in Cedar Rapids reports that authorities have identified the man who died in the Tuesday evening crash as 50-year-old Scott Kirk of Vinton. The Benton County medical examiner pronounced Kirk dead at the scene.

Police stopped Kirk after receiving a report of an intoxicated driver. Police say Kirk lost control and hit several trees on Highway 150. Vinton is in Benton County, about 30 miles north of Cedar Rapids.

Police say Kirk sped off while talking to police during the traffic stop. Authorities say he ran stop signs and traffic lights.

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