Home News KLEM News, Friday, September 16

KLEM News, Friday, September 16


Today (Friday) is National POW/MIA Remembrance Day. The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors signed a Proclamation to recognize POW/MIA Remembrance Day in Plymouth County a couple of weeks ago. Jim Jones moved his Office POW/MIA Display, with the signed Proclamation, to the Courthouse Rotunda area through Friday in recognition of the Remembrance Day.



The Iowa unemployment rate inched up by one-tenth of a percent in August – the first increase in seven months.  Iowa Workforce Development director Beth Townsend says the move is almost entirely related to students leaving their jobs and returning to school.  The increase leaves the state’s unemployment rate at two-point-six percent.  Townsend says Iowa gained 38-hundred jobs in August putting its workforce very near the number of jobs that were held here before the pandemic.



The board which governs the three state universities will ask the Iowa Legislature to increase funding for the schools by 32 million dollars next year. University of Northern Iowa President Mark Nook says they want to use the extra money to help with tuition. He says there should be a bigger difference between what students pay at U-N-I compared to the research schools. University of Iowa president, Barbra Wilson, says they will target one particular area — nursing. Iowa State University President Wendy Wintersteen says the amount of money coming from the state has gone up and down in the last decade but is currently about the same as it was in 2014. Earlier this year, the legislature approved a five-and-a-half million-dollar increase — which was about one third of what the universities had requested.



The first college baseball game at the Field of Dreams movie site is tonight (Friday) as Briar Cliff University plays Luther College. Briar Cliff coach Corby McLaughlin says the game has generated a lot of interest and that the Charger players are thrilled to be part of this event. Luther coach Bryan Nikkel says there’ll be a full day of activities today, including an alumni game. The teams will be wearing throw-back uniforms and hats from the 1960’s. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 P-M.



The Great Akron Scarecrow Festival is ready to unfold, tomorrow (Saturday) at the city park.

Colleen Westergard Baker – with the Akron Friendship and Service Club – is one of organizers of the event.


The Festival has grown into a great one day event.

From 10 am to 3 pm, the events include a scarecrow decorating contest, homemade food and baked goods, kids game and activities, a petting zoo, and dozens of craft vendors.  Winners of the scarecrow judging takes place in the afternoon, concluding with a scarecrow auction.  Some of the entries can be  seen today in the storefronts of Akron’s downtown business district.

Preview of the scarecrow entries can be seen today in certain downtown Akron businesses.

Here are some of last year’s winning entries:



The Storm Lake Police Department is among 15 national recipients of the 2022 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award. It’s the highest U-S government honor recognizing employers that support National Guard and Reserve employees. Becky Coady (KOH-dee, like “Cody”) is State Chair of the Iowa Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve. She says comments from the judges who chose the Storm Lake Police Department for the award cited its flexible scheduling, robust training, and support for Guard members before their deployments and after they returned.



Iowa House Democrats say legalizing recreational marijuana is one of their key priorities ahead of the 2022 election. Other priorities are lowering costs for Iowans, protecting abortion access, and investing more in public schools. House Democratic Leader Jennifer Konfrst says these priorities are based on what the majority of Iowans support.

While Democrats say this is what Iowans want — Republicans have had the majority in both houses of the Iowa Legislature — and even expanded it in the last elections.  That means Democrats haven’t been able to get any of their proposals passed.  Konfrst says if they win more seats, they can block Republican attempts to further restrict abortion.

Democrats would need to make big gains in November — as they currently hold only 40 of the 100 seats in the Iowa House of Representatives



The Pocahontas Area Schools superintendent is responding to a petition that challenges his ongoing employment with the district. The petition regarding Joe Kramer cites concerns over issues including staff turnover, declining enrollment, alleged retaliation, spending issues, and a possible hostile working environment. Those issues were brought up by several residents during the public comments’ session at this week’s Pocahontas Area school board meeting. Kramer says he’s listening to the concerns of those coming to board meetings and utilizing resources to best meet student needs. The district has recently moved the locations of the board meetings to better accommodate the public and has also improved its live streaming service.



University of Iowa researchers say hormones may play a role in the reason why female athletes are more likely to get hurt than male athletes. A new U-I study finds the female hormone relaxin contributes to the breakdown of cartilage, increasing the chance of injury. Robert Westermann, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, says hormones often get overlooked when it comes to injury prevention in female athletes. He also says the U-I-H-C orthopedics department is working with O-B-G-Y-N’s to start looking at ways to regulate hormones in female athletes, such as using birth control pills. Westermann says a lot of research on injuries is focused on anatomic or muscular patterns, while the effect of hormones is not often top-of-mind.



A former Sioux Falls police officer is admitting to trying to entice someone he believed was a child.  Court records show 29-year-old Luke Schauer pled guilty yesterday to attempted enticement of a minor using the internet.  Authorities say he sent explicit messages earlier this year to a federal undercover agent posing as a 12-year-old girl.  Prosecutors dropped two other charges as part of the agreement.  He is set to be sentence in December.