Home News Wednesday News, March 16th

Wednesday News, March 16th


Gehlen Catholic Holds Send Off Ceremony For Mission Honduras

(Le Mars) — Gehlen Catholic had a send-off Tuesday for their 37 missionaries going to Honduras.  Among the 37 people were two adult chaperones that have been to Honduras on multiple occasions.  Bruce Kellen is on his tenth Gehlen Mission Honduras trip, while Dr. Juan Uribe is on his fifth tour to the Central American nation.  Moments prior to their departure from Le Mars on Tuesday, KLEM news visited with both individuals to learn why the two  have chosen to make several return trips on the Gehlen Catholic Mission Honduras.  We begin with Bruce Kellen.

Gehlen Catholic Mission Honduras coordinator, Carolyn Bickford can’t recall the exact number of times she has visited Honduras while working on a mission trip.

Bickford says the group will test their construction skills during their ten-day stay.

Mission Honduras is only half of the connection Gehlen Catholic has with the nation and the people of Honduras.  Bickford says the other connection is with the food packaging program known as “Then Feed Just One.”

Each of the members of the Mission Honduras lit a candle and dedicated their missionary service in honor of someone special.  Middle school science teacher Dan O’Brien gave the key-note address during the ceremony.  Dr. Juan Uribe, a five-time participant of the Gehlen Catholic Mission Honduras program, was presented with a cross by mission coordinator Carolyn Bickford.

The 2022 Gehlen Catholic Mission Honduras is the 20th year of the program.




County Supervisors Demand Energy Companies To Have A Bond For Wind Turbine Farm

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution requiring the energy companies Invenergy and MidAmerican, the owners of the wind turbine farm located at the eastern side of the county, to have a guarantee bond for when the time comes to dismantle the wind turbines.  The two energy companies have so far not complied with the county governing board’s wishes.  Supervisor chairman Don Kass explains the issue.




Supervisors Approve Submitted Bids For Culvert Installation Projects

(Le Mars) — Plymouth County Board of Supervisors approved the contractor bids for three separate culvert projects on Tuesday during their regular weekly meeting.  Four different contractors submitted bids on all three culvert projects with the same contractor having the lowest bid on each of the three projects.  Richards Construction from Sac City was approved by the county governing board to perform all three culvert installation projects.  The first project involves a culvert installation in the northwest corner of the county on Fir Avenue and near county road C-12.  The bids had ranged from a high of $445,562 to the successful bid of $375,806.75. with an estimate listed at $400,735.  The second culvert project is a mile south of Craig located on 120th Street.  Richards Construction, again was the successful bidder with a submitted bid of $183,413.60.  The estimate for that project was at $193,931.  The third culvert project will be located in northeast area of Plymouth County near county road C-16 and Shamrock Avenue.  The successful bid was submitted by Richards Construction with a bid of $176,032 and 95 cents with an engineering estimate of $183,979 and 50 cents.




US Senator Grassley Says Interest Rate Hike “Long Overdue”

(Washington, DC)  —  The Federal Reserve is expected to raise the interest rate when it meets this week in an effort to slow down inflation.  U-S Senator Chuck Grassley says that move is “long overdue.”  The Iowa Republican says the Fed is about a year late – at least eight months late – in realizing how bad inflation was going to be.  Experts are predicting an increase of a quarter of a percent.  Grassley says he is glad the Fed “is finally waking up.”




Terrorism Charges Dropped Against ISU Students, But They’re Still Charged For Threats

(Ames, IA)  —  Even though terrorism charges have been dropped, two students at Iowa State University are still in trouble for allegedly making threats on social media.  I-S-U police arrested 18-year-old Abdullateef Malallah and 19-year-old Ty Jerman last month.  K-C-C-I T-V reports each faces a charge of intimidation with a dangerous weapon.  They are accused of posting messages on YikYak warning students on the Ames campus to avoid Carver Hall and Parks Library.  Malallah and Jerman weren’t thought to have been working together.  They have trials set for May.




Iowa Senators Want Upgrade of NWS Technology

(Washington, DC) — Iowa Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst are co-sponsoring a bill to update forecasting technology and communications equipment in the National Weather Service. The bill comes after delays in issuing tornado warnings on March 5th during the deadly storm outbreak. The delays were due primarily to a damaged fiber optic cable. National Weather Service staff came up with a work-around and a warning that a tornado was likely to hit near Winterset was issued 20 minutes in advance.





Iowa Congresswomen Send Joint Letter To National Weather Service About Warnings

(Washington, DC)  —  Two Iowa congresswomen have sent a joint letter to the National Weather Service about delayed warnings concerning the deadly March 5th tornadoes.  U-S Representatives Ashley Hinson, a Republican from Marion, and Cindy Axne, a Democrat from West Des Moines, are asking for information about the specific steps the agency is going to take to fix the issues.  They also want Acting Director Mary Erickson to explain what caused the delays in getting notifications to people when the storms were approaching.  Several alerts were delayed by as much as two-to-seven minutes – though the delays didn’t apparently play a role in the fatalities suffered.




East High Students Don’t Feel Safe, One Student Says

(Des Moines, IA) — Gun safety advocates say Iowa schools need to focus on preventing gun violence after a 15-year-old was shot and killed outside East High School in Des Moines last week. Sierra Pilate (pronounced like “pilot”) is an 18-year-old senior at East High. She says most students at the school don’t feel safe, and that schools need to offer more training for staff rather than just relying on school resource officers or police. Pilate spoke at a news conference organized by an East High graduate and a lawmaker who taught at the school for 40 years. Six teenagers have been charged with murder in the death of 15-year-old Jose David Lopez.




Clinton Woman Admits To Tax Evasion

(Clinton, IA) — A Clinton woman has pleaded guilty to not paying any taxes for the tree trimming business she ran.
Forty-seven-year-old Penny Witt pleaded guilty to evading taxes for the business called Ultimate Tree Service and Spruces Tree Service. Witt admitted she took only cash, had no bank accounts, and paid her employees in cash, while not keeping any records for the business. Witt admitted she knew she owed a substantial amount of federal taxes for 2016 and 2017 and that she willfully chose not to file tax returns. She is scheduled to be sentenced in June.




Daylight Saving Time Bill Advancing

(Des Moines, IA) — A bill that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent has passed out of an Iowa Senate committee — but it may not be needed after similar legislature passed the U-S Senate. Iowa Senator Jeff Reichmann of Montrose is an ex-Marine who was stationed in Hawaii for five years and says he liked that it is one of the states that has Standard Time year-round. The state action will be unnecessary if the U-S House passes the Senate’s Sunshine Protection Act and if it’s signed into law.




Winnebago Celebrates Half a Million Motorhomes

(Forest City, IA) — Winnebago Industries is celebrating its 500-thousandth motor home. The company began in 1958 in Forest City as Modernistic Industries selling travel trailers, and then changed the name to Winnebago in 1960. The first motorhome rolled out of the factory in 1967 — and the 500-thousandth motor home that rolled off the line Tuesday was a Revel model that was introduced four years ago. The company in recent years has expanded to make many other products, and moved its corporate headquarters from Forest City to Eden Prairie, Minnesota in August of 2021.