Home News KLEM News for Thursday, September 29

KLEM News for Thursday, September 29



Siouxland Habitat for Humanity is one of a number of chapters to receive grants from Wells Fargo. This is Executive Director Ann Holmes.

The grant (15-thousand dollars) will help Habitat for Humanity complete a build near Unity Point Elementary in Sioux City.

Holmes says a multifamily project was the best fit for the parcel on which they were going to build.

Building something other than a single family home took some getting used to by potential applicants.

It’s been more difficult to find qualified applicants because of disuptions caused by the pandemic.

Habitat has adjusted its qualifications to meet the reality of a changed economy.

A total of 7.75 million dollars is being donated by Wells Fargo to 230 Habitat for Humanity chapters. These funds will be invested in the construction and repair of approximately 350 homes.

Siouxland Habitat for Humanity is taking applications through October for home builds in Sioux Center and South Sioux City, Nebraska. A home is now under construction in Hospers, and another is near completion in Alton.  Holmes says they are also putting out feelers for potential sites in Plymouth County.



Logan Held with Merrill Ambulance Services has been awarded the 2022 Steven H. Musson Memorial Emergency Services Education Scholarship. The Musson family established the Steven H. Musson Emergency Services Education Endowment in 2003 to recognize and honor Steve for his passion for emergency care. Held will receive a $500.00 scholarship.

Logan is an EMT with Merrill Ambulance Services. He applied for this award to assist in furthering his services by becoming a Nationally Registered Paramedic. Logan also received the award on behalf of the Merrill Ambulance Services in 2021. Held has been a volunteer and EMT since spring of 2017. He has obtained his Advanced EMT License and is working with a number of volunteers to continue to re- build Merrill Ambulance Services.

The Steven H. Musson Memorial Emergency Services Education Scholarship application outline is available each spring annually, through Floyd Valley Healthcare in Le Mars,



An Everly Iowa woman and her newborn child died as the result of a one vehicle crash Tuesday in Clay County, Iowa. The Memorial Funeral Home of Sioux Center published notice of the death of 29 year old Courtney Engeltjes of Everly. The notice also says Courtney’s infant daughter, Kasey, died in the accident.
The Clay County Sheriffs Department says the accident occured around 6 pm Tuesday. Engeltjes was driving on a county road two miles north of Petersen, when she left the roadway, overcorrected and entered a ditch, coming rest on the drivers side. Engeltjes was taken to the Spencer Hospital, and was later flown to another hospital. The funeral home says services will be held Saturday morning at First Reformed Church of Sanborn.



A northwest Iowa woman has pleaded guilty to felony theft and forgery charges after she allegedly took money from a dependent adult.  Scott Van Artsen reports:



The fire chief in Hull, Iowa, is investigating the cause of a fire which broke out Wednesday morning at the Casey’s convenience store there.  Sioux County Communications received a 9-1-1 call around 7 am of a fire at the store, located at the corner of US Highway 18 and county road K52.

Responding Fire and Ambulance personnel found the roof of the store engulfed in flames when they arrived.  There were employees inside the building when the fire broke out.  They reported an explosion that occurred shortly after flames and smoke were noticed.  All of the employees were able to leave the building without injury. The Hull Fire Department was assisted by fire departments from Rock Valley, Sioux Center, the Hull Ambulance and Sioux County Sheriff’s Office.



Authorities from Woodbury and Dakota counties are continuing their search for a male that jumped off of the railroad bridge crossing the Missouri River at about 11:15 am Wednesday.
South Sioux City Police say they received a call about a male with a backpack running across the bridge from the Iowa side towards Nebraska.
A responding officer saw the male jump from the bridge into the river.
Three search boats were launched to try to locate and rescue the person.
His identity remains unknown.



A 38-year-old Iowan who pleaded guilty to assaulting a policeman during the January Sixth attack on the U-S Capitol has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison. Kyle Young of Redfield assaulted D-C Metropolitan Policeman Michael Fanone as Fanone and other officers tried to keep the mob from entering the building. Fanone testified that Young tried to take his gun and held him down as others in the crowd beat him. Prosecutors say Young gave another rioter the Taser that Fanone was repeatedly shocked with and Fanone had a heart attack. In court filings, prosecutors described Young as one of the most violent rioters at the Capitol. Young’s attorney has said his client lives with deep regret for his actions that day.



A new report finds more than one in every three adult Iowans is obese, ranking Iowa in the bottom tier of states. Rhea  Farberman, director of policy research at Trust for America’s Health, says the organization’s annual report tracks obesity rates by age, race or ethnicity, and state of residence.

Iowa’s childhood obesity rate, for children ages ten to 17, is now at 17-percent, which is a slight increase from a year ago. The report says obesity is estimated to increase U-S healthcare spending by 170-billion dollars every year.

Farberman says there’s a link between obesity rates and food insecurity. She says families that don’t have the money to provide enough food for themselves often turn to cheaper foods that are higher in calories and lower in nutritional value. Obesity rates have risen sharply nationwide over the past decade and Farberman says obesity prevention programs need to be launched or expanded in more communities in Iowa and nationwide.

Iowa is among 19 states with adult obesity rates over 35 percent, what she describes as crisis-level. See the full report, “State of Obesity 2022: Better Policies for a Healthier America,” at the Trust for America’s Health website: https://www.tfah.org/



An attorney representing the State of Iowa says the legal landscape surrounding access to abortion has changed — and he’s asking the Iowa Supreme Court to allow a ban on most abortions in Iowa to take effect.

Four years ago, Governor Reynolds approved a bill to ban abortions after the sixth week of a pregnancy, known as the fetal heartbeat law.

Abortion rights advocates immediately sued and a district court judge issued an order that has prevented the law from taking effect. Alan Ostergren — the attorney who’s representing the state on this case — argues the Iowa Supreme Court has the authority and duty to lift the district court’s injunction after recent rulings from the Iowa and U.S. Supreme Courts. Ostergren wrote in a legal brief that those rulings prove neither the state or federal constitutions ever protected a fundamental right to an abortion.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa has argued the six week abortion ban was unconstitutional at the time it was passed — and Republican lawmakers who support abortion restrictions should vote on a new law under the new legal precedents established by the courts.

New abortion restrictions have taken effect in at least 15 states since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade in June. Iowa’s six-week abortion ban would include exceptions for rape, incest, fetal abnormalities and to save the life of the mother.



While there’s an impasse over energy policy in Congress, Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it won’t be anything serious enough to prevent passage of a continuing resolution to keep the federal government running. Grassley says he’s confident there will NOT be a government shutdown at week’s end. The federal fiscal year ends Friday, and the continuing resolution would fund the government through mid-December. A bill from Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia, would speed up a series of energy projects and mandate that federal environmental reviews be done much more frequently.



The Iowa Department of Corrections has revived a training academy for new employees of the state prison system. The training lasts between one and four weeks, depending on the job. Department of Corrections director, Beth Skinner, says it’s among several steps the agency has taken after two employees at the Anamosa State Penitentiary were murdered in March of 2021 by inmates attempting an escape. The two inmates tried to use a grinder to cut through metal bars on a window and investigators say they used hammers to attack the prison guard and nurse who intervened. There are new rules for the control of tools used in prison apprenticeship programs and a new system for evaluating which prisoners may participate.