Home News KLEM News AM Update October 7, 2010

KLEM News AM Update October 7, 2010

(ORANGE CITY) Pioneer Hi-Bred officially broke ground in Orange City’s industrial park Wednesday for their new Corn Research Center.


Bill Kepp of the Orange City Development Corporation welcomed Pioneer.

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Pioneer business director Todd Frazier explained what the company will be doing at the 26,000 square foot facility.

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State Representative Chuck Soderberg, Congressman Steve King and State Senator David Johnson attended the Pioneer Groundbreaking Wednesday. Congressman King said that having an agriculture research facility of this magnitude in northwestern Iowa is important for the local and global economy.

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Pioneer currently has 2 full time employees working out of a temporary office in downtown Orange City. There are plans to add 7 more full time employees. Sixty additional workers will be employed part time when research is being done in the field. Completion of the facility is expected sometime in the spring of 2011. (News report by Angela Drake of KLEM News)

Missing teen found in Le Mars

(LE MARS)–A Le Mars teen who was reported missing Monday evening was found by Le Mars Police Wednesday afternoon.

Jennifer Brewer of Le Mars told police her 13-year-old daughter, Alexis Brewer, had left home to walk to a bus stop on Adler Drive Monday morning but didn’t go to school at Le Mars Community Middle School.

The teen’s mom contacted news media, used social media and placed photos on posters reporting the disappearance of her daughter.

The teen whose family had just moved to Le Mars was located at a Le Mars residence about 1:30 Wednesday afternoon. Police report she was unharmed.

An investigation into the disappearance is continuing.

Le Mars Community hosts College Night Monday

(LE MARS)–Le Mars Community High School is the place Plymouth County high school juniors and seniors and their families will get information that helps them plan for their future.

Le Mars Community High School counselors Barry Borchers and Jim Boyd coordinate the annual “College Night” Monday night from 6-7:30 p-m.

Boyd and Borchers expect about 80 schools to be represented with a general browsing session for students and parents to get information and ask questions.

Locally grown fall produce has long shelf life

(LE MARS) Fresh produce still abounds at the Le Mars Farmers Market. One area vendor, Nancy Ellensohn, said there’s plenty for sale twice a week in downtown Le Mars.

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Potatoes, pumpkins and gourds have a long shelf life, so now is the time to stock up on locally grown foods. The Le Mars Farmers Market stays open through October at the Olson Cultural Events Center. Hours are from 8 to noon on Saturdays and 3 to 6pm on Wednesdays. The Agriculture Committee of the Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Farmers Market. (News report by Angela Drake of KLEM News)

Egg recall is key issue in ag secretary race

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Republican Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey and Democratic challenger Francis Thicke  are taking opposing sides on the national food safety debate.

Food safety has become a key issue in the Nov. 2 election since eggs produced at two Iowa farms were recalled after more than 1,600 people became sick after eating eggs contaminated with salmonella.

Northey says the federal government should retain oversight of egg farms to avoid inconsistencies among states. Thicke wants Iowa to adopt it’s own rules.

Thicke also supports expanding wind energy and biofuel production on farms and increased local production of fruits and vegetables.

Northey wants to expand programs to protect Iowa’s waterways.

Both support renewal of an ethanol tax credit.

Conlin calls for campaign finance rule changes

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Roxanne Conlin is calling for changing how political campaigns are financed and making lobbying of Congress more transparent.

At a news conference Wednesday, Conlin accused Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of taking advantage of the current system to raise huge amounts of money from lobbyists and special interests.

Conlin says she wants to reform financing of campaigns so politicians aren’t dependent on corporations and other wealthy interests. She added that it should be easier to track lobbying and that Congress should pass new laws in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that has allowed for unlimited corporate donations.

Grassley has stated that he makes clear to campaign contributors that they aren’t buying his vote.

Iowa voters receiving robocalls on judge retention

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Efforts to oust three Iowa Supreme Court justices now include automated phone calls to voters.

The Des Moines Register reports Wednesday that Iowa For Freedom spokesman Bob Vander Plaats confirmed that his campaign is behind the statewide calls. Gay rights opponents announced this summer that they are seeking to unseat the justices for supporting last year’s unanimous decision legalizing gay marriage.

The calls tell Iowa voters that choosing not to retain the justices on the Nov. 2 general election ballot “will send a clear message that we are taking back control of our government from political activist judges.”

Iowa Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus has said she and justices David Baker and Michael Streit don’t want to launch a counter-campaign.

Iowa seeing high rate of absentee ballot requests

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Iowa Secretary of State Michael Mauro says if absentee ballot requests continue at even half the current rate, early voting in the state will “far exceed” 2002 and 2006 totals.

Mauro said Wednesday absentee ballot requests statewide have reached more than 173,000. Mauro says with four weeks remaining before the Nov. 2 general election early voting totals may set a record for midterm elections.

Mauro said as of Tuesday, county auditors processed 24,690 absentee requests. He says four years ago the busiest day of early voting saw 13,905 requests and two years ago during the presidential election cycle the busiest day saw 25,954 requests.

Of the requests, the secretary of state’s office says about 90,300 are Democratic ballots, about 54,200 are Republican ballots and about 28,600 are for no party or another party.

Ousted Floyd County attorney testifies at hearing

FORT DODGE, Iowa (AP) Lawyers for former Floyd County attorney Jesse Marzen have argued before a judge during a hearing over his removal from office.

The Waterloo-Cedar Fall Courier reports a judge will rule after Wednesday’s hearing if the county’s board of supervisors acted properly when it removed Marzen from office earlier this year. Floyd County supervisors declared the county attorney’s office vacant after Marzen’s law license was suspended by the Iowa Supreme Court.

The court ruled he broke the rules when he engaged in a sexual relationship with a client before his election in 2006.

The hearing was held at the Webster County courthouse in Fort Dodge on a change of venue. The judge expects a ruling in about a week. Marzen was the only witness during the proceedings.

Iowa man sentenced for stealing meat from Illinois

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) A federal judge has sentenced an Iowa man to 45 months in prison for being part of a meat theft ring centered on a storage facility in East Dubuque, Ill.

Prosecutors say 49-year-old Lloyd Patterson of Bernard was sentenced Tuesday in Cedar Rapids. He entered a guilty plea in June to one count of conspiring to steal, receive and possess property worth more than $1,000 stolen from interstate shipments.

In his plea agreement, Patterson admitted that from the fall of 2006 through September of 2007, he conspired to steal meat and meat products stolen from trucks leaving the East Dubuque facility.

Patterson also received a special assessment of $100 and was ordered to pay more than $380,000 in restitution. He must serve three years of supervised release after his prison term.

Alliant project brings power outages to Burlington

BURLINGTON, Iowa (AP) An Alliant Energy project in Burlington has caused three power outages over the last week.

The electric utility says the $250,000 rebuilding project should be finished before winter and has apologized for the outages. The Hawk Eye newspaper in Burlington reports that the outages were recorded Sept. 30 and then Sunday and Monday. Two outages affected about 2,200 customers and one outages affected about 1,500 customers.

Alliant Energy spokesman Ryan Stensland says the outages are due to construction and equipment issues as the utility rebuilds and upgrades an existing line.

Stensland said the utility is working to upgrade poles, lines and substations to make their more efficient and reliable during storms.

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

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