Home News KLEM News, Monday, September 26

KLEM News, Monday, September 26

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FARMLAND VALUES

Survey information released from the USDA shows a big increase in farmland values and cash rents in Iowa. An Iowa State University economist, Lee Schulz, says values increased 19 percent, the highest increase in a decade. Pasture land values are up 9 percent. Lee says high commodity prices are one of the big drivers of farmland values. A series of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve are also playing into the values increase.

 

DEMOCRAT EVENT

The Democratic Party candidate for Congress in Iowa’s Fourth District says he’s running for office to promote justice.  Ryan Melton of Nevada spoke Friday at a party event in Orange City. His concern is that too many young people are leaving this area.

Melton says public school funding, eminent domain for carbon capture pipelines, and gun safety are unify around justice issues.

Also speaking at the event was former Admiral Michael Franken, who is running for the US Senate.  Franken, who is a Sioux County native, saw this as a homecoming.

Melton, Franken, and state auditor Rob Sand were among several candidates speaking at an event Friday at Northwestern College. It was sponsored by the Democratic parties of five counties, including Plymouth, Sioux, and O’Brien, and campus democrats at Northwestern.

 

YOUTH FOR CHRIST

Siouxland Youth for Christ is making presentations to potential partners in Le Mars this month and next.
Plymouth County Area Director Jim Rahn says YFC is an area outreach to middle and high school students.

Grace Nordquist is the YFC community engagement coordinator.

Youth for Christ has programs for middle and high school students.

Rahn says their teen center in Le Mars is where most of their activities and programs take place.

Nordquist says they are presenting their See the Story program this month and next. That will lead up to an event Monday, November 14, at the Le Mars Senior Center.

The next showing for See the Story is tomorrow morning at 8 am at the Youth for Christ center, at 1055 3rd Ave SE in Le Mars.

 

PARTY REGISTRATION

Iowa Republicans have about an 87-thousand statewide voter registration edge over Democrats With six weeks remaining in the 2022 campaign. Independents for years the largest voting block in Iowa, but have dropped to third. Jeff Link is a consultant who has worked for several Democratic candidates in Iowa and he says having independents shrink from being the largest to the smallest block of voters in Iowa shows that things are more polarized than ever. Iowa Republican Party chairman Jeff Kaufmann says he intends for the G-O-P to keep its foot on the pedal and seek out new voters because Iowa has had a long history of having swing state tendencies.

 

BRONSON SENTENCE

A man from Bronson, Iowa, who kidnapped his ex-girlfriend has been sentenced to more than 10 years in federal prison. Twenty-one-year-old Zachary Smith pleaded guilty to the kidnapping charge in March. Prosecutors say Smith violated a protection order when he hid in the back seat of his ex-girlfriend’s car in June of 2021 and waited for her to come out of her South Sioux City home. She and a juvenile female drove to a nearby school with Smith hidden in the back seat. After the juvenile got out of the car, Smith sprang out, threatened his ex-girlfriend with a BB gun, drugged her with homemade chloroform and kidnapped her.  He took her to a home in rural Woodbury County. She later escaped and flagged down a passing motorist — her aunt, who was in the area looking for her.

 

IOWAN CONVICTED

A Washington, D.C. jury has found a Des Moines man guilty on seven criminal charges related to his role in the rioting inside the U.S. Capitol on January 6th of last year. Doug Jensen was among the first to be arrested after the attack and he said during an F-B-I interview that he wanted to be a poster boy for that day’s events. Jensen was seen in widely broadcast and shared videos confronting a U.S. Capitol Policeman on steps near the U.S. Senate floor. The prosecutor told jurors Jensen didn’t just lead the mob that day, he weaponized it. Evidence during the trial showed Jensen was the 10th person to enter the Capitol. Jensen is likely to be sentenced in December. Jensen’s attorney told jurors the pandemic did weird things to people, including Jensen, who believed online conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and what would happen on January 6th.

 

BANKERS HONORED

A state association recently honored the co-founders of a northwest Iowa financial corporation.  Brothers Neal and Dwight Conover, natives of Holstein, were presented the James A Leach Leadership Award from the Iowa Bankers Association.  The two co-founded what is now Northwest Financial Corporation, a firm that spread their Northwest Banks to 23 communities in northwest Iowa, including Le Mars.  The company this year was also recognized as a 2022 Top Workplace in the USA.

 

ENDANGERED BEES

Iowa State University researchers say their effort to map out the location of and habitat of the rare rusty patched bee In Iowa found them in limited quantity. Teams from I-S-U surveyed 50 sites across Iowa twice in recent months and they only found the rusty patched bumble bee at four locations — in Ames, Brushy Creek State Recreation Area near Fort Dodge, and two locations near Dubuque and Yellow River State Forest. The rusty patched bumble bee, was the first ever bee to be listed as endangered in 2017.  Researchers hope the findings could help wildlife managers and land stewards reverse the decline of bee populations and support other pollinators more broadly.