Home News Monday News, July 19th

Monday News, July 19th


RAGBRAI Event Is Closing In On Le Mars

(Le Mars) — RAGBRAI is this coming weekend, and leading up to the event itself, KLEM news will be visiting with different RAGBRAI officials as well as local law enforcement officers regarding what we all should know and understand
about the mega bicycle ride that begins at Le Mars. Several downtown streets will be closed to traffic to accommodate the bicyclers, support people, and entertainment and the multiple vendors that will be selling everything from food to souvenirs to bicycle repairs. Tents will be popping up everywhere including the Plymouth County Fairgrounds, our city parks, to individual
residents allowing for bicycle riders to establish a temporary campsite on the lawns. Local people will want to study the route and know a possible alternate detour to get to a business, restaurant, or even Sunday morning church services. RAGBRAI Le Mars is still seeking volunteers to assist with the major event.

Have you noticed the colored bicycles featured in the downtown area? Downtown Le Mars is preparing for RAGBRAI by featuring
several painted bicycles or bike parts such as the wheels in planter boxes, and some businesses, such as Claussen’s have several neon colored bicycles on its awning.

KLEM radio wants to know when you see the first bicycle rider coming into Le Mars. Simply take a photo of the bicycler, find out their name and where they are from, and if this is their first bike ride, or if they have participated on multiple previous RAGBRAI rides. Then send the information to klemnews@powellbroadcasting.com. We will feature the information on the KLEM radio website.




Local Law Enforcement Visits With U-S Senator Ernst About Mental Health Issues

(Le Mars) — U-S Senator Joni Ernst stopped by the Le Mars Police Station on Friday morning to visit with local law enforcement and city, county, and state government officials. Among the many topics of discussion mental health seemed to affect all those gathered at the meeting. Plymouth County
Sheriff, Jeff TeBrink talked about the problem of not having enough beds for mental health patients.

Plymouth County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Rick Singer echoed TeBrink’s comments and contributed to the conversation.

TeBrink commented that the people needing assistance with their mental health issues are not necessarily getting the help they need.

Saying she didn’t think mental health cases were this bad 30 years ago, Senator Ernst asked Sheriff TeBrink as what in his opinion is driving up the number of cases today involving mental health patients?

The local law enforcement officials informed Senator Ernst that drug usage is going up, especially with methamphetamine, and that is a contributing factor with the mental health cases.

Former Plymouth County Sheriff, and now County Supervisor Mike Van Otterloo also attended Friday’s meeting. He wonders about how mental health will be handled now that the state is taking over much of the financing of mental health programs.

Le Mars Mayor Dick Kirchoff, Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte, and State House Representative Dr. Tom Jeneary all were in attendance of Friday’s meeting. Senator Ernst’s visit to Plymouth County was part of her 99-county tour.




Officials From American Legion Wasmer Post #241 Visit With Ernst

(Le Mars) — Representatives from the Le Mars American Legion Wasmer Post #241 met with U-S Senator Joni Ernst of Iowa Friday morning. Post Commander Dan Plueger along with Past Post Commander Wayne Schipper briefly visited with the Republican senator following her visit with local law enforcement officials. Ernst stopped at Le Mars on Friday as part of her 99-county tour. The local American Legion officials discussed some issues of concern regarding veterans. They also shared the poem written by Jim Rolfes “Come Visit My Grave” with Ernst. Ernst thanked the Legion members for bringing to her attention the famous poem which is featured at the Plymouth County Veterans Park, and is read during the Memorial Day “Avenue of the Flags” program held at the Plymouth County Courthouse. Ernst is a past military combat veteran and is a member of the Senate Arms Services Committee. Plueger also mentioned that the next Post Commander of the American Legion Wasmer Post #241 will be Nick Hanson.




Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Against U-I

(Iowa City, IA) — A judge for the U-S. Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling that the University of Iowa violated the Constitutional rights of the Christian student group InterVarsity. The ruling says the university’s deregistering of religious groups was clearly unconstitutional and treated religious groups differently under the school’s Human Rights Policy. The decision upheld a 2019 court case that also found that U-I faith groups had the right to choose their leadership based on the individuals’ religious beliefs.




Judge Rules Against Bahena Rivera

(Montezuma, IA) — A hearing on a motion for a new trial for the man convicted of murdering University of Iowa student Mollie Tibbetts will be held June 27th. The hearing will come after a judge ruled against the request of Cristhian Bahena Rivera’s attorneys for information on two other cases they say could be linked to Tibbetts’ death. The judge says the request made in a hearing last Thursday would be a fishing expedition.




Gas Leak, Lit Cigarette Blamed For Deadly House Explosion In January

(Washington, IA) — The Washington fire chief says a gas leak and a lit cigarette are to blame for a deadly house explosion there in January. The chief says a gas leak filled a confined space in the home and it ignited when someone in the home lit a cigarette. The source of the gas is no known. Sixty-eight-year-old George Carpenter was injured in the explosion and died in the hospital three days later. A second person in the home was injured.




Pella Windows & Doors To Hire 120 Workers At Shenandoah Plant

(Shenandoah, IA) — Pella Windows and Doors plans to move some of its production work from Illinois to its plant in Shenandoah. That change means the company plans to hire an additional 120 workers in southwest Iowa. Production of the wooden double-hung windows has been done in Macomb, Illinois. Pella is getting a forgivable 200-thousand dollar loan to help cover the cost of the move. The company says it plans to spend more than five-and-a-half million dollars on the project. The new jobs are expected to pay at least 20-dollars, 58-cents an hour.