Home News KLEM News, Wednesday, September 14

KLEM News, Wednesday, September 14

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MILITARY ACADEMY SELECTION

U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) announced the eight members who will serve on the 2022 Military Academy Selection Board for the 4th District.

The eight members include:

Col. Sonya Morrison, Wing Commander of the 185th refueling wing in Sioux City.
Lt. Col. Robin Hosch, Retired of Fort Dodge
Eric Rankin – Hull, IA

The deadline for students to apply for a Military Service Academy through Rep. Feenstra’s office is Saturday October 1, 2022 at 5 PM CT.

 

CROP CONDITIONS

The Latest Iowa crop condition report indicated plenty of fieldwork underway. Activity included chopping corn or silage, harvesting corn for seed, cutting hay and seeding cover crops. Farmers were also getting their equipment ready for harvest.
Dry conditions continue, but there was measurable rain in Iowa over the past weekend. Topsoil moisture was rated 45% short to very short,and subsoil moisture 51% short to very short. Corn and soybean condition were rated 63% good to excellent, both down 3 points from the previous week.
Widespread rains last weekend brought at least 2 tenths of an inch of precipitation to some 40 waether stations in Iowa. Statewide weekly average rainfall was .85 of an inch. The weekly average is .83. The lightest rainfalls were in northwest Iowa, while the heaviest accumulations were in southeast Iowa.

 

TRAFFIC VOLUMES

The Iowa Department of Transportation continues to see an impact on traffic levels from gas prices. The D-O-T’s Stuart Anderson says traffic had been coming back after the pandemic, but gas prices started making an impact. He says the pre pandemic traffic levels in the state — was down four percent in April, and it’s generally been down three to four percent each month since. Anderson also says the May number was not as negative as some of the other months, but that is believed to be skewed by people eager to get out and enjoy the Memorial Day weekend. But he adds that the drop in travel isn’t enough to cause a concern about road use taxes.

 

KNAPP VERDICT

A Plymouth County Jury has found 84 year old Thomas Knapp guilty of first degree murder.

The jury took around an hour to reach their verdict in the case of Knapp, who was charged with murder in the shooting death of 51 year old Kevin Juzek, and four other counts involving an assault on Knapp’s wife, Darlene.

Closing arguments took place earlier in the day.  Prosecutor Darin Raymond’s summation included a replay of the 9-1-1 calls made by Darlene Knapp, who is the mother of the victim.

Raymond also replayed parts of the jail interview done with the defendant, where Knapp admitted shooting Juzek because he was mad at him for a variety of reasons, including Juzek supposedly knocking over a birdbath in the yard.

Raymond said Knapp always hated Juzek, and the evidence he presented buttressed his case that Knapp must be convicted of first degree murder.

Defense attorney Wendy Samuelson’s argument was that Knapps’ actions were in a fit of anger and passion, and warranted not a murder conviction, but voluntary manslaughter.

In addition to the murder conviction, the jury found Knapp guilty of two counts of willful injury, and two counts of domestic abuse.

Knapp will be sentenced next month.  He faces a term of life in prison.

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS PHONE A THON

The Knights of Columbus Phonathon for persons with various abilities will be today.  Shelly Thompson says the marathon phone outreach begins at 9 am.

Thompson says this fundraiser has seen Life Skills Training Center through some tough times.

For 12 hours today, from 9 am to 9 pm, volunteers will try to reach everyone in Plymouth, seeking funds for Life Skills Training Center and Iowa Special Olympics.

 

ROCK VALLEY VOTE

A vote to approve a 25 million dollar expansion project in the Rock Valley School District failed Tuesday. Voters could not reach the 60% supermajority to pass the plan.  57% of the voters were in favor of the plan.  If approved, up to 25 million dollars in bonds would be sold to fund construction of a new Rock Valley High School.  The expansion would have included 24 new classrooms, a new gymnasium, and additional parking.

 

PLYMOUTH COUNTY SUPERVISORS

The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Tuesday passed a motion in favor of a petition to the Iowa Utilities Board. The petition, from the Iowa Association of Counties, seeks greater access to information from counties affected by the carbon capture pipelines proposed in the state. Summit Carbon Solutions wants to run a pipeline from Nebraska into Plymouth County, near Merrill, and extend north to Sioux County, on a route west of Le Mars. The Board supports more transparency about the pipeline. The Board supports the pipeline, but does not support any effort to allow eminent domain to cross property to build the line.

 

RAIL PROJECTS

The Department of Transportation is recommending several awards for rail projects to be voted on for approval by the Iowa Transportation Commission next month. Rail director, Amanda Martin, says one recommendation is for 37-million-dollar private loop track at a soybean crush plant in Buena Vista County. The company would receive a two-million-dollar loan and a grant for 612-thousand dollars. Martin also says a transload is being proposed in Woodbury County for shipping to and from the Sioux City area. The state Transportation Commission will vote on approval of the recommendations at its next meeting.

 

POCAHONTAS PETITION

Several people showed up to speak at Monday’s Pocahontas Area Community School District meeting – most calling for the dismissal of Superintendent Joe Kramer.  This follows the submission of a petition bearing 230 signatures calling for the removal of the superintendent. Board President Paul Berte (birdie) told the crowd a petition isn’t a vehicle to challenge board employment decisions or work assignments, but people were allowed to speak on the subject, but the board took no action.  A former school board member says every annual review when he was serving there was positive about Kramer’s performance.