Home News KLEM News for Friday, October 21

KLEM News for Friday, October 21


The Climate Prediction Center says this winter will hold above average chances for cooler temperatures this winter, and normal chances for precipitation.  The Center’s Winter Outlook for December January and February also says drought will expand over the US this winter.

Meteorologist Peter Rogers at the National Weather Services in Sioux Falls says cooler ocean temperatures at the equator, known as La Nina, will continue to affect weather in the Midwest for a third consecutive winter.

La Nina tends to disrupt the normal pattern of moisture flowing into the central U.S. from the south.

Rogers says a third consecutive year of La Nina is unusual.

La Nina behaves differently over those three-year spans.

La Nine will probably diminish sometime after this winter.

Rogers says that even after La Nina breaks down, drought has become so persistent that it will take a longer span of time to recharge soil moisture levels.

The Climate Prediction Center says this winter will hold above average chances for cooler temperatures, and normal chances for precipitation. The Center’s Winter Outlook for December January and February also says drought will expand over the US this winter.



There was a reception last night at the Le Mars Arts Center to officially open a new exhibit. Le Mars resident, and retired art instructor Harry Gray, opened a show which reflects on his 50 year career as a muralist. The show, entitled: “Harry Gray Retrospective: 50 years in the Making”, is on display at the Le Mars Arts Center through November 19th.



The president of a Le Mars transport firm has been named to a leadership position in the Iowa Motor Truck Association. Steve Schuster of Schuster Co. was elected treasurer of the industry group for 2023. This took place at a recent management conference of the IMTA.

Schuster’s Trucking Company of Le Mars has grown from one truck owned by Orville Schuster more than 50 years ago, to now a fleet of nearly 500 trucks that deliver goods to all 48 continental states and into Canada.

The Iowa Motor Truck Association was established in 1942 and has been the recognized voice of Iowa’s trucking industry for 80 years. Headquartered in Des Moines, IMTA has over 600 member companies (trucking and suppliers) throughout the state of Iowa.



The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputies were requested at an address in rural Hinton for a fight between family members. As result of an investigation, two subjects were arrested and charged with multiple offenses.

Colton Eli Ferguson, age 25 of Hinton, was arrested and charged with domestic abuse assault second offense, criminal mischief in the 5th degree, simple assault, possession of multiple controlled substances, interference with officers, theft of a firearm, convicted domestic abuser in control of a firearm, and felony domestic assault impeding the normal breathing of another person.

Jade Elizabeth Wikstrom, age 26 of Hinton, was arrested and charged with domestic abuse assault first offense and simple assault.

The incident occurred on October 13th.



The second session of the Citizens Academy focused on the use of firearms and deadly force.  Plymouth County Sheriff Jeff Te Brink says the students Thursday went to the law enforcement shooting range to use several weapons.

Law enforcement officers explained the standards necessary to be certified to use such weapons.

Te Brink says officers and deputies are trained in the use of deadly force.  It’s not just a matter of learning how to shoot a weapon, but to learn whether or not to use it in varying situations.

The Academy students also learned about the CERT team, made up of officers from several agencies in the area, and the methods and tactics they use when they are called to the scene of an unfolding situation.

This is the fourth year of Citizens Academy, a one-month program intended to survey multiple dimensions of law enforcement.



A tree expert in the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says the abnormally dry conditions throughout the state make this fall a good time to plant a tree. Emma Hanigan, the D-N-R’s urban forestry coordinator, says since newly planted trees will be watered for a few more weeks in 2022, they’ll have a little bit of a leg up and a more established root system in the spring. She says that will be helpful if the drought continues. Iowa has an overpopulation of maple trees, according to Hanigan. She’s recommending that Iowans choose to plant a variety of other species to improve diversity and avoid blights like Dutch Elm Disease that killed hundreds of thousands of elm trees in Iowa during the 1960s and ’70s.



Iowa hunters will be searching the countryside for pheasants starting next weekend. Nate Carr, a D-N-R conservation officer in Hamilton and Hardin counties, says all factors point to a good season ahead, based on the August roadside surveys. Carr expects a repeat of last year during which about 63-thousand hunters killed some 370-thousand birds, one of the largest harvests in a decade. Hunters need a hunting license and habitat fee, while shooting hours this year start at 8 AM and end at 4:30 PM. The daily limit is three pheasants. The season runs October 29th through January 10th



Four people were injured in a one vehicle accident near Luton Thursday morning.  The Woodbury County Sheriff’s Department says the crash occurred on Iowa Highway 141 around 8:10 A.M.  when the vehicle left the road and struck a tree.  The female adult driver and three children who were passengers were injured.  The driver sustained serious injuries and the children’s injuries were described as non-life threatening.  It’s not known at this time why the vehicle left the road.



A new study suggests Iowa workers are underpaid by at least 900 million dollars a year. Common Good Iowa, the group issuing the report, calls that wage theft. Sean Finn, the report’s author, says an estimated 250-thousand Iowans are impacted.

Finn says some workers are not paid the overtime they’re owed or their employers fail to follow minimum wage laws. Other full-time workers are misclassified as a independent contractor, which Finn says lets the employer avoid paying taxes and benefits.

Finn’s report is titled “A Heist in Plain Sight” and he argues businesses that are violating wage laws are hurting responsible employers who are following the rules.

The Iowa Workforce Development agency is using part of a federal grant to investigate businesses that may be misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Last year the agency collected a quarter of a million dollars to settle 341 claims over unpaid or underpaid wages.



Iowans in almost every county can now get instant messages about threatening weather, missing persons, and other emergency situations unfolding nearby. Tracey Bearden, the 9-1-1 coordinator for the Polk County Emergency Management Agency, says Iowa’s most populous county is upgrading from Code Red to the new Alert Iowa system starting today (Wednesday). It will be used for a host of weather alerts, including warnings about severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and floods. Bearden says it’s important to stay connected, especially if there’s a missing child or adult, search-and-rescue, a public works emergency, or an active crime scene. Iowans can pick how they’d like to be notified, whether it’s by voice on a landline phone, by text to a cell phone, or by email.



Advocates for prisoners says Iowa’s new system of screening mail that’s sent to inmates is confusing and hard to navigate. All non-legal mail is sent to a third party company to be opened, screened and scanned, then a color copy is sent to the inmate. Professor Alison Guernsey, in the University of Iowa College of Law, says communication between inmates and people on the outside is valuable in maintaining strong connections. The new policy was instituted after it was found people were soaking letters in drugs and sending them to inmates who could chew the paper to ingest the drugs. Guernsey, who’s director of the U-I’s Federal Criminal Defense Clinic, worries about whether the policy could have negative effects for inmates, saying it’s “yet another way in which we deny people that we incarcerate a bit of their humanity.”