Home News Thursday News, September 9th

Thursday News, September 9th


Le Mars Farmer To Receive “Good Neighbor Farmer” Award

(Le Mars) –– A local farmer will be honored today for his commitment of protecting the environment while farming.  Bob and Lisa Puetz of Le Mars will receive the Gary Wergin – Good Neighbor Award.  The honor is a statewide recognition through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, along with the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers.  Brian Waddingham serves as the Executive Director with the Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers and talks about the award.

Waddingham tells of how Bob and Lisa Puetz were selected for the honor.

The Coalition to Support Iowa Farmers executive says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig will also be attending the awards luncheon ceremony.

Waddingham says the Coalition to Support Iowa farmers is an organization comprised of many commodity and farm groups with the mission to assist farmers with possible environmental concerns, such as manure run-off, and nuisance livestock odors.

Other Plymouth County farmers to receive the Good Neighbor Award include Randy Kroksh and Brad Harvey, both are from Akron.  The Good Neighbor Award ceremony is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Le Mars Knights of Columbus Hall.




Knights of Columbus Phone-A-Thon For Life Skills Raises More Than $51,500

(Le Mars) — The Knights of Columbus annual phone-a-thon again proved to be successful. KLEM’s Dave Ruden visited with Life Skills Training Center’s Development Director Shelly Thomson at the conclusion of yesterday’s fund raising event.



City To Close Street For Repairs

(Le Mars) — The Le Mars Street Dept. will be closing 7th Ave. S.E. just south of 6th Street S.E. starting Thursday morning Sept. 9th.  There is going to be some street repair done  on 7th Ave. The project should take seven days to complete.




Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department To Close Roads For Culvert Installation

(Le Mars) — Evergreen Avenue between Highway 3 and 180th Street will be closed until September 22nd in order for county road crews can replace a wooden bridge with a culvert.  Plymouth County Secondary Roads Department has announced they are closing 200th Street between Concord Avenue and Diamond Avenue in order to replace a bridge with a culvert pipe.  That road will be closed until September 30th.




Dordt University Reports Record Student Enrollment

(Sioux Center) — Dordt University of Sioux Center is reporting having a record enrollment.  Dordt University’s overall enrollment is 1,786 for the fall 2021 semester – the largest enrollment in the institution’s history, breaking the fall 2020 semester record of 1,666 students. This figure includes a record 1,401 full-time undergraduate students. In addition, Dordt has record full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment at 1,544; FTE is a measure of how many credits students are taking. There are 424 freshmen on campus this fall, which is the second largest freshmen class in Dordt’s history. The largest freshmen class was in 1998, which included 439 students.




Iowa COVID-19 Numbers Continue To Rise

(Des Moines, IA)  —  The total number of Iowa hospital patients with COVID has grown for the tenth straight week for a total of 578 patients by Wednesday night. That’s a 10 percent increase since the middle of last week. Eighty-eight percent of the patients who’re being treated for COVID in an Iowa hospital’s intensive care unit have not been fully vaccinated. Children account for 29 percent of the positive COVID-19 test results in Iowa this past week and seven percent of the COVID patients in Iowa hospitals are under the age of 18.




Paranormal Group Given Permission To Investigate Spooky House

(Sioux City, IA)  —  The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors has given permission for the group Para 9-1-1 to investigate claims the Prairie Hills facility just outside of Sioux City is haunted. Group representative, Dave Lafleur, made the request to investigate the facility that’s also known as the old county home.  Lafleur says he’s seen some stuff “that would make the skin crawl on the back of your neck” — but says he’s also been able to go into places and put stuff to bed. Supervisor chairman, Rocky DeWitt says the county is not paying the group to do the investigation and the investigators will sign liability waivers.




Iowa Addresses Housing Shortage With $100M In Federal COVID-19 Funding

(Cedar Rapids, IA)  —  Iowa will address its affordable housing shortage by using 100 million dollars in federal COVID-19 relief funding.  Governor Kim Reynolds made the announcement Wednesday in Cedar Rapids.  The money clears the way for developers to build more than 36 thousand new housing units.  Reynolds calls it “far and away the most consequential housing policy” ever implemented in the state.  The biggest chunk of the money – 65 million dollars – will go to bolster the existing housing tax credit program to fund more projects and help cover the increasing costs of housing materials.




Unlicensed Pilot Who Tried To Fly Plane To New Mexico Sentenced In Federal Court

(Des Moines, IA)  —  An unlicensed pilot who tried to fly a plane from Wisconsin to New Mexico has been sentenced to two years’ probation and fined five thousand dollars.  Forty-four-year-old Keith Alexander Thomas was at the controls when the plane suffered engine failure and had to be set down in Waterloo, Iowa.  The Cessna was out of inspection compliance at the time and it had a landing gear that wasn’t operational.  No injuries were caused by the emergency landing in 2018 at a private airstrip.  Thomas was sentenced in Cedar Rapids federal court this week.




Iowa Preparing to Resettle 350 Afghan Refugees

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Refugee resettlement agencies in Iowa are preparing for more refugees who were evacuated from Afghanistan last month.  The Des Moines office of the U-S Committee for Refugees and Immigrants has already resettled one family and it expects the capacity to stretch to about 350 more Afghan evacuees.  Director Kerri True-Funk says we’re going to get overwhelmed pretty quickly, just with the number of ongoing arrivals that we have, in addition to Afghan folks.  She says agency has received an outpouring of support from many Iowans for the effort, including the governor’s office.  After consulting with the Iowa Bureau of Refugee Services, True-Funk says the hundreds of expected Afghans are in addition to the agency’s scheduled arrivals from other countries.  She says the best way Iowans can help is by making cash donations.




State Representative Breckenridge Resigns For Job at Iowa Law Enforcement Academy

(Newton, IA)  —  A state lawmaker from Newton is resigning after starting a job at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy this summer.  State Representative Wes Breckenridge, a Democrat who’s a retired Newton policeman, was first elected to the Iowa House in 2016.  He won re-election in 2018 by a 17-and-a-half percent margin, but in 2020, Breckenridge finished just three percent ahead of his G-O-P opponent.  His resignation takes effect this Friday, meaning the governor will soon set a date for a special election in the district, which covers Newton and other parts of Jasper County.  A special election is being held next week for an open House seat in Ankeny.  Breckenridge is now the assistant director of the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.  It’s a state-run institution, located at Camp Dodge in Johnston, and it trains law enforcement personnel, including police, sheriff’s deputies, 911 operators, and jailers.




Casey’s Convenience Stores Report Record 1st Quarter Profits

(Ankeny, IA)  —  Ankeny-based Casey’s convenience stores reports the end of pandemic shutdowns has had a big impact on the company’s bottom line.  C-E-O Darren Rebelez says first-quarter sales volume and margin improved dramatically as guest traffic began to rebound — driving an all-time high gross profit for the company.  Chief financial officer Steve Bramlage said Casey’s had a gross profit of 723-point-nine million dollars in the first quarter.  That’s an increase of over 100 million dollars in the prior year and the highest gross profit in Casey’s history.  He says the fuel profits included a higher than normal sale of 19 million dollars in renewable fuel credits.  Gas sales increased nine percent — and he says the company took advantage of higher gas prices to make 35 cents on each gallon sold.




Motorcyclist Killed in Crash in Des Moines

(Des Moines, IA)  —  Police in Des Moines are investigating a fatal motorcycle crash.  Officers say a cycle driven by a 45-year-old West Des Moines man collided with a pickup pulling a trailer around 7 a-m today (Wednesday).  The man suffered critical injuries and died about an hour later in the hospital.  Investigators believe speeding was a significant factor in the motorcycle crash.  The victim’s name hasn’t been released.