Home News Wednesday News, July 6

Wednesday News, July 6


The local housing market reflects some statewide trends.
Julie Hurt with Century 21 Pro Link Alliance says there’s been a slight dip in home sales in the Le Mars area.

Hurt says there is a short inventory of homes available, and a longer list of buyers.

Hurt says homes are still not on the market very long, two weeks on average.
While home prices are rising, buyers are still motivated, but they are more selective.
In the future, Hurt sees a bit of a shift, as the market takes into account the position of buyers.



NIPCO,the Northwest Iowa Power Cooperative based in Le Mars, says they’ve postponed their planned power outage in the Alton area because of last night’s storm. They were to do maintenance and repairs on a transmission line tonight, but have postponed the planned outage to Thursday evening, beginning at 11 pm, and ending at 5 am on Friday, July 8.


The Plymouth County Soil and Water Conservation District is now taking cover crop cost share signups for producers in the Deep Creek-Willow Creek watershed.
Shay Kamstra is the watershed project coordinator.

Cover crops are beneficial to reduce nitrates leaching into area waterways.

A signup period for cover crop cost share is now open.

Kamstra says cover crops are planted to keep nitrates from entering nearby creeks and streams.

Farmers can learn more about cover crops and the cost share programs at a field day on July 14

Under the Cover Crop Cost Share program, farmers are elibiel to receive 25 collars per acre with a maximum of 200 acres. Applications for cost share in the Deep Creek-Willow Creek watershed will be accepted through August 30.


The Iowa Supreme Court has denied the governor’s request to rehear an abortion case it decided less than a month ago. On June 17th, the Iowa Supreme Court overturned a 2018 ruling that said women had a fundamental right to an abortion under the Iowa Constitution. The U-S Supreme Court overturned Roe-V-Wade the next week. Last Friday, Republican Governor Kim Reynolds asked the Iowa Supreme Court to rehear the case involving a 24-hour waiting period for abortions and adopt a new standard that would make it harder to find that abortion restrictions are unconstitutional. The state court’s refusal to rehear that case means the 24-hour waiting period for abortions in Iowa is likely to go into effect late this week.


Despite another mass shooting over the holiday weekend, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he does -not- foresee any new gun control legislation moving forward in Congress that would prevent future killings. Grassley says the bipartisan gun bill that was signed into law last month by President Biden was “very hard” for lawmakers to create.

A gunman opened fire at an Independence Day parade in a Chicago suburb, killing six people and wounding more than three dozen. A suspect is in custody.

Saying they only had an hour to read the 80-page bill, Grassley says he voted “no” on the initial procedural vote on the gun bill. Several sections of the bill weren’t spelled out fully enough to win Grassley’s approval, and he again voted “no” during the measure’s final vote, though he says some very helpful elements were included.

Fellow Republican Senator Joni Ernst voted “yes” on the measure, as did Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne of West Des Moines, but the rest of Iowa’s congressional delegation opposed it.


Governor Kim Reynolds is confident production of the “Field of Dreams” T-V show will move forward after last week’s announcement that the Peacock Network had dumped the show. Reynolds had awarded six million dollars to Universal Television through the Destination Iowa program for development of the series, which is expected to be filmed in Iowa. The governor says Universal Television is shopping the series to other networks. She also says, “nothing has been allocated,” because the six million is “on a reimbursement basis, so we’re not out anything.” Producers had announced plans to film in Polk, Boone, Mahaska and Clinton Counties and construction had already started on a ball field and refurbishing of a farmhouse near Polk City.

Democratic Leader Questions Governor’s $6M Award To Field Of Dreams TV Series

House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst (CON-first) says she’s not sure the governor’s decision to set aside federal pandemic relief money for the Field of Dreams T-V series is the best use of those six million dollars. During a Sunday appearance on Iowa P-B-S’s “Iowa Press,” she suggested the governor’s office should instead back “legislation that makes teachers want to live here (and) makes families want to move here.” Konfrst says the state “could be doing a lot more in economic development when it comes to making Iowa a welcoming state for all, not just raising awareness about one tourist attraction.” The Peacock Network has pulled out of the project. Universal Television is now shopping the series to other networks and streaming services.




A motion to approve the first reading of a Vacant Building Ordinance in Le Mars was supported by the city council today.  The ordinance would affect buildings in the Le Mars Downtown Historic District. The council passed the ordinance to first ready on a unanimous vote.  Three readings are required before adoption.

Also before the council Tuesday – Bids for a project to repair the intersection of Hawkeye Ave and 12th Street Southwest will be received by July 27th.  A contract for the project will be awarded on August 2.

The city will take bids on a 4.8 million dollars improvement project at the city wastewater treatment plant.  This includes installation of an ultraviolet disinfection system, which is required under the city’s discharge permit.  Bids are due August 4, and the contract will be awarded on August 16.

The Le Mars city council has set two public hearings for their next session on July 19th.  One is for approval of plans for making alley improvements on alley’s north and south of Plymouth Street, and west of Central Ave.  The estimated cost of that project is some 425-thousand dollars.  The other hearing concerns plans for street improvements along 12th Street SW, between 6th and Central.  This project carries an estimated cost of 787-thousand dollars.



The worst of yesterday’s stormy weather stayed in South Dakota, but the northern third of Iowa, including Plymouth County, was covered with Severe Thunderstorm Warnings for potential high winds and heavy rains.   Lyon and O’Brien County spotters reported the strongest winds. A gust in Rock Rapids was estimated at 64miles per hour. West of Hartley, a 79 miles per hour gust was reported.  There was tree damage reported in Sanborn and at Royal, in Clay County.

Thousands were without power after a derecho moved through southeastern south Dakota.  Debris was scattered as the extended wind storm whipped through the Sioux Falls area yesterday afternoon.  Skies turned black, grey, and a murky green during the storm that included a short downpour.  This is the second similar storm to hit the region since mid-May.



The Sioux County Sheriffs Department identified a teenager who drowned Monday at a pond north of Rock Valley. 19 year old Aldo Tomas De Leon of Rock Valley was at the Groeneweg Pond, went under, and did not resurface. Bystanders and emergency responders found the victim after some time, and attempted to resuscitate him. De Leon was flown directly to a Sioux Falls hospital where he was pronounced dead.



A 20-year-old shooting suspect has been taken into custody in Sioux City nearly two months after the incident.  Apollo Houston is charged with willful injury, assault while displaying a dangerous weapon, and reckless use of a firearm.  Houston is accused of shooting a woman in both legs May 7th.  He and the victim had been drinking together and arguing with a third person.  Houston is scheduled for a hearing in Woodbury County Court next Monday.



A man sent to prison for his involvement in a 1969 crime spree in northern Iowa has died in the Iowa State Penitentiary. According to Iowa court records, Elvin Gilroy was one of four men who broke out of a jail in St. Cloud, Minnesota in June of 1969. They stole a county car, ditched that vehicle and stole another car. They made their way south and robbed a grocery store in Spirit Lake, a filling station in Emmetsburg and the Fareway Store in Algona. Melvin Bay, the store manager in Algona, was shot during the robbery. He died ten days later. Gilroy did not pull the trigger, but he was convicted of robbery and murder and sentenced to life. State officials say Gilroy died last week in the Iowa State Penitentiary’s hospice, where he had been transferred due to a chronic illness. He was 82.


The Plymouth County Road Department says construction has been completed on a couple of projects.
A bridge repair project northeast of Kingsley on Roosevelt Ave, and a culvert project on Quarry Road and C-70 are now finished. Roosevelt and Quarry Road have now been reopened to traffic.