Home News KLEM News for Thursday, November 3

KLEM News for Thursday, November 3



Responding to assault cases is one of the most dangerous things that law enforcement officers face.
Students in Plymouth County’s Citizens Academy learned about assault cases, and how law enforcement responds to them. Sergeant Lenny Flack of the Le Mars Police Department is the force’s specialist on assault cases.

Sgt Flack says it’s complicated to determine the proper charge to make, especially when the laws on some categories of assault change.

Sometimes Flack takes over an investigation, and sometimes he is in a support role.

The first priority when responding to an assault case is to calm down the scene and protect all parties.

Sgt Flack says assault cases are the most dangerous to officers, because of the need to respond quickly and decisively to who or what is behind a closed door.

Academy students this week learned about the various categories and subcategories of assault. They also learned about assessing the scene of an assault, using actors from the Le Mars Community Theater to create scenarios for the students. There was also an exercise with the Le Mars Police Department simulator, where officers learn to properly respond to a variety of assault scenarios.



(NOTE: This the date for this item is in error – the meeting will not be held on November 3, but on November 10)

The Plymouth County 4-H and Agricultural Society will hold their annual meeting tonight at 7 pm. The meeting will be held at the lower level of the Le Mars Convention Center.
The meeting will include an amendment to their bylaws, which will expand the maximum number of board members from 24 to 28.
This will be followed by election of Fair Board members, a recap of the past year’s activities and actions.
The board will also take comments and suggestions for the 2023 Plymouth County Fair.
The annual meeting will be followed by a regular Board of Directors monthly meeting. Their agenda will include election of officers, a discussion on entertainment for next year’s fair, and a parking lot update.


Residents of the small Crawford County town of Ricketts were briefly evacuated early Wednesday afternoon as a large field fire started spreading in the area. According to Crawford County Emergency Management, a field of standing corn ignited and strong winds pushed the fire toward Ricketts, a town of about 100 residents. Firefighters from departments in Crawford, Ida and Woodbury Counties were able to stop the fire before it reached the community and residents were allowed back into Ricketts at about 3 p.m. Officials say the fire did burn a three-to-four mile area before it was contained, though. The wind carried smoke from the fire more than 50 miles to the north, far into Cherokee County.


A USDA grant of over half a million dollars will support the relocation and expansion of the Cherokee Locker, a meat processing facility in Cherokee. The U-S-D-A has also given Upper Iowa Beef in Lime Springs a nine million dollar grant. The new owners of a chicken processing plant in Charles City are getting nearly 46-million dollars in federal assistance to reopen the facility. The Simply Essentials plant closed in August of 2019. Pure Prairie Farms, the facility’s new owner, plans to start production in mid-November.


A panel of national Democrats will soon vote on a plan that may remove the Iowa Caucuses from the lead-off position in selecting the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee.

The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws group will begin meeting December 1st. On December 3rd, it intends to recommend which states get to host the first voting events in 2024.

Iowa Democrats and parties from more than a dozen other states are competing for those slots which traditionally have been held by the Iowa Caucuses, followed by New Hampshire’s Primary and contests in Nevada and South Carolina. The final decision will be made by the Democratic National Committee in early 2023.

Iowa Democrats have proposed mail-in voting for their Caucuses in 2024. It’s a major change from required in-person Caucus Night attendance followed by complicated calculations and, in 2020, the delayed reporting of results.

The Republican National Committee has already voted to keep the Iowa G-O-P’s Caucuses first in 2024.



No one was hurt in a basement fire that occurred Wednesday afternoon in Le Mars, but there was extensive fire and smoke damage.  Le Mars Fire-Rescue Chief Dave Schipper said in a press release that the fire occurred at 24 4th Street NW, a house owned by Sarah Jenness of Le Mars. Crews were called out around 1:15 pm.

Two people and a dog occupied the home.  The occupants were checked out at Floyd Valley Health, While the dog was given oxygen, and was taken to a local vet for examination. Schipper described the fire as dangerous to the crewmen, but no one was hurt.  Heavy smoke impeded progress toward finding the fire’s source.  They had to retreat when the main floor began to collapse.  Firemen then went into the basement to find the source.

The cause of the fire was determined to be accidental. It started in a basement bedroom, most likely by a burning candle, which ignited nearby combustibles.  The fire then spread up the basement wall into the kitchen.  There was heavy fire damage in two rooms, and smoke damage through the entire home.

Assisting at the scene were Le Mars Police, Plymouth County Sheriffs Department, Mid-American Energy, and the Orange City Fire Department.


In Sioux County yesterday, fire crews  battled a pair of fires, and called on farmers to help.  A field fire was reported two miles south of Hospers around 1:48 pm.  Tractors and discs were requested there.  The fire was brought under control an hour later.

Another call went out for tractors with discs and payloaders for a manure pile fire northeast of Hawarden, around 6-45 pm. That fire was brought under control a half hour later.



Former President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak at a rally tonight in Sioux City. Trump’s political action committee says the event is meant to boost two candidates that Trump previously endorsed — Senator Chuck Grassley and Governor Kim Reynolds.

The rally site is in Iowa’s fourth congressional district, where Republican voters outnumber Democrats by 95-thousand. University of Iowa political science professor Tim Hagle  says during a midterm election — when there’s no presidential race on the ballot — both political parties have to find ways to maximize turnout among their voters.

Trump will join a long list of potential 2024 presidential candidates who’ve campaigned here for Iowa Republicans on the 2022 ballot.

Iowa Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn says Grassley and Reynolds will be standing with a traitor who wanted to overthrow our government and continues to support attacks on our democracy. Iowa G-O-P chairman Jeff Kaufmann says Iowans are ready for President Trump’s message of pushing back against Democrats’ woke ideology and President Biden’s agenda. Trump’s rally will be held at the Sioux City airport and some people camped out overnight to be ready when the parking lot opens at 8 a.m. Tickets are required for entry into the venue and doors will open at 2 p.m. Opening speakers begin at 4.  Trump will speak around 7 pm.



Governor Kim Reynolds will appeal a judge’s ruling that some Iowa children with serious medical conditions are harmed by the state law that bars schools from having mask mandates. A federal judge has ruled high-risk children are endangered when students and staff around them are not wearing masks. Some of the parents who filed the lawsuit say they’ve had to keep their kids at home and their children are being denied the kind of specialized instruction they’d receive at school. Governor Reynolds says a federal appeals court has already noted COVID-19 conditions have changed significantly, but it did not discuss the case entirely. Reynolds says her appeal will again make the argument that parents, not the government, should decide whether their children wear a mask at school.



Iowans are now able to open enroll under the Affordable Care Act Marketplace. Federal data shows more than 72-thousand Iowans enrolled in health care plans through the marketplace last year. Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen (OH-men) says enrollment in marketplace plans has risen in recent years as more options became available. Ommen says Iowans who haven’t done this before should talk to marketplace navigators or contact the Iowa Insurance Division for help. He says Iowans who are interested in enrolling in a plan shouldn’t delay making a decision, as that can impact coverage. Iowans who are interested in signing up for a plan or need help doing so can go to healthcare-dot-gov. Open enrollment started Tuesday and runs through January 15th.