Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, September 20

KLEM News for Tuesday, September 20


The Le Mars city council today approved a bond purchase agreement, to raise funds for improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment facility. The council passed a resolution which approves the sale of up to 5.5 milion dollars in Sewer Revenue Bonds. Bond counsel Michael Maloney says the bonds will be sold at 4.42% interest. FUnds raised by the bond sale will help install an ultraviolet disinfection system at the city’;s wastewater treatment plant. Final action on the bond sale will take place during the council’s October 4 meeting, where the council will consider authorizing the issuance of the bonds.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors today approved the formation of a Plymouth County Wind Urban Renewal Area. This area includes parts of rural Plymouth County in Fredonia, Meadow, Remsen, and Henry townships.It covers an area where the Plymouth Wind Energy Center is located. By approving the urban renewal area, the county can capture property taxes generated there for the purpose of funding infrastructure for future development projects. The city of Remsen must also approve this urban renewal area, as some of its property is affected by the wind project.



There was a motor vehicle pursuit last night, originating in Le Mars, and ending with two arrests near Sheldon.
Le Mars Police say one of their officers attempted to stop a vehicle on Hawkeye Ave and 18th St. late last night. The driver of the vehicle bolted, and a pursuit ensued north on US 75 to Iowa Highway 60. The incident came to an end after Sheldon Police deployed stop sticks to flatten the tires of the suspect’s vehicle. Two people were arrested. An investigation revealed that the vehicle was stolen from Colorado the previous day. Both occupants of the vehicle are from New Mexico, with no home addresses. The driver, Esteban Valdivia-Nunez, 40, was charged with nine offenses, including felony eluding, first degree theft, driving while intoxicated. The passenger, 33 year old Cynthia Estrada, was charged with two minor drug counts. Both are held in the Plymouth County Jail. Six law enforcement agencies were involved in the chase, including Le Mars, Orange City, and Sheldon Police, The Sioux and O’Brien County Sheriffs Departments, and the Iowa State Patrol.



The Orange City Council yesterday agreed to dispose of city property in the North Weiland residential subdivision. This is a third addition to the subdivision. After a public hearing, the council agreed to sell the 11.2 acres of land to the project’s developer, to create more residential lots. This subdivision will include extention of Frankfurt Ave. north, connecting with ninth street northeast. The purchase price is 22-thousand, 500 dollars per acre.

The Orange City Council Monday approved the new dedication for the Gelderland Frist Addition. In approving the plat and covenants, the council also approved lot pricing in the subdivision. 18 of the lots designated single family residential, are priced between 55-thousand and 80-thousand. There are eight lots designated multi-family. They will be priced and approved for sale by the city council.

The city of Orange City will hold a strategic planning session in November, at which time they will consider city funding for a list of projects outlined in the city’s Comunity Development Plan. City Manager Earl Woudstra distributed the priority list for consideration. The top five projects by ranking include the demolition and redevelopment of the old Orange City Elementary School… expansion of local trails and sidewalks, including connections to the new elementary school… development of the Puddle Jumper Trail Park… extension of 18th Street as part of redevelopment of the old airport… and extension of 14th Street east to Jay Ave, near the new elementary school. 44



Republican Senator Chuck Grassley says his Democratic opponent Mike Franken made accusations by a former staffer a campaign issue — but he is not going to follow up on the accusations. Kimberley Strope-Boggus was fired from Franken’s campaign in February and says Franken kissed her without her permission in March after offering her a new campaign job. Prosecutors declined to file charges. During an interview with The Gazette in Cedar Rapids, Franken denied the allegations in the report and accused Republicans of targeting him because he’s in a critical U-S Senate race. Grassley says he is aware of the police report and Franken’s denials and says “Iowa voters deserve honesty and, of course, the victim deserves respect. Grassley says Franken’s comments to the reporter show total disregard for his former campaign aide.



At the request of the County’s Fire Departments, the State Fire Marshal has declared a ban on open burning in Plymouth County as of this (Tuesday) morning.  Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper (shipper), who made the request to the state, says the fire danger is increasing into the fall harvest season.

This is the second burn ban issued in Plymouth County this year.

Schipper says there are some types of burning that are allowed, even under an open burning ban.

With harvest approaching, farmers need to take precautions to avoid field fires.

Schipper says there are many ways farm machinery can cause a fire.

Plymouth is the second northwest Iowa county with an active open burning ban.  Last week, a burn ban was issued for Sioux County.  There were earlier open burning bans issued in August for four southern Iowa Counties, but three have been lifted as of early September. Fremont County’s open burning ban remains in place.



The Governor’s office announced that members of the Taiwan Agricultural Trade Goodwill Mission delegation, representing agricultural, economic and cultural sectors, will be at the Iowa State Capitol Building today (Tuesday) to sign letters of intent to purchase a significant amount of U-S corn and soybeans. The governor will be on hand along with leaders of commodity groups for the signing that is set for 1:20 p-m.



The Le Mars Police Dept. and Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office are excited to announce an upcoming Citizens Academy. This is a chance for residents in Le Mars and Plymouth County to see how their law enforcement operates. Classes will start Tuesday, October 18th and be held every Tuesday and Thursday evening for four (4) weeks from 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm at the Le Mars Police Dept. An application must be completed and dropped off at either location before September 30th. Please contact the Le Mars Police Department or Plymouth Co. Sheriff’s Office for an application or for more details.



A former campaign aide to U-S Senate candidate Mike Franken asked Des Moines Police to investigate after she says Franken kissed her without her consent. Franken says it never happened. Kimberley Strope-Boggus (STROHP BOG-us) made the claim when she was the manager of Franken’s campaign two years ago. She was working as an aide on his current campaign before being fired in late February. Strope-Boggus told police she and Franken met for a drink at a Des Moines bar in mid-March and, according to Strope-Boggus, Franken offered her a new campaign job. Strope-Boggus told police that as the two walked to their cars, Franken kissed her on the mouth. Des Moines Police and an assistant Polk County Attorney determined the allegation of an assault was unfounded. The Gazette reports that during a campaign event in Cedar Rapids, Franken said the incident Boggus described to police never happened.



Reports show nearly one in eight Iowans who take their own lives are veterans, and a new national campaign will encourage veterans to seek help — and for everyone else to lend a hand. Dave Berkenfield, a former Navy SEAL who lost his brother to suicide, says every day nationwide between 17 and 22 veterans kill themselves, depending on which study is being quoted. The American Legion is launching a campaign in Iowa and nationwide that will be seen on billboards and in T-V and radio P-S-As called “Be The One.” Berkenfield says it asks everyone to take action and be the one to make a difference for veterans considering taking their own life. He says mental health is one of the toughest challenges facing veterans, as they’re trained to accept every challenge, to lead and be strong, but there’s a stigma surrounding a veteran who seeks help for the silent wounds of war.



The University of Iowa is going to investigate after 12 teachers were diagnosed with breast cancer in less than ten years in the Hudson School District south of Cedar Falls. The U-I will try to help determine whether an environmental factor contributed to the cancer cases. The Iowa Cancer Registry looks into a handful of cancer cluster cases in the state each year.



Iowa is expected to ride another weather rollercoaster this week with high temperatures today (Tuesday) climbing into the low to mid-90s, but then a cool front will arrive and knock highs by Thursday into the 60s, with lows in the 40s. National Weather Service Meteorologist Darren Clabo  predicts another warm-up will soon follow with lesser chances of rain. He says it will be above-average temperatures through the next one to two weeks, combined with below-average precipitation. Clabo says that the same pattern may continue right into October.