Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, November 16

KLEM News for Wednesday, November 16

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GOP COMMITTEE CHAIRS

Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley has announced committee chairs for the next Legislative session
Representative Tom Jeneary of Le Mars has been named chair of the Natural Resources Committee. Representative Skyler Wheeler of Hull has been named chair of the Education Committee.  Representative Jacob Bossman of Sioux City has been named chair of the Transportation, Infrstrucutre, and Capitals Appropriations Committee.

There has also been formed an Education Reform committee in the House. Grassley will chair that committee. It is a 5-person committee dealing with bills containing significant reforms to the state’s education system.

 

RAILROAD CROSSING

The railroad crossing on 12th Street in Le Mars may be closed for several weeks.  Le Mars Street Department Supervisor Scott Kneip contacted the railroad about repairs to a crossing that was damaged earlier this week by a semi-truck. He explains that the railroad does not stock parts for this type of crossing. Kneip says it could take anywhere from two weeks to a month before the crossing is re-opened. The 12th Street crossing is at a major intersection along Hawkeye Avenue in Le Mars.

 

BREAST CANCER FUNDRAISER

It was another successful October fundraiser for two local auto dealers. Mitch Christoffel, GM, Total Motors in Le Mars, says they and Vollmar Motors of Holstein. raised 12-thousand dollars to help in the fight against breast cancer.

Funds raised by Making Strides Against Breast Cancer help area medical facilities, and individuals in need.
Christoffel considers this a great opportunity to help people in their service area.

Fundraising for this effort comes from car sales.

The October fundraiser is a great motivator for the sales staff.

The funds raised were always spread out among providers and individuals.

This year, the 12-thousand dollars was split, 15-hundred dollars to Floyd Valley Health, 750 dollars apiece to Cherokee Regional Medical Center and Horn Memorial Clinic, both located in Holstein. The rest of the funds were donated to six individuals from Le Mars, Hawarden, Marcus, Remsen, and Holstein.

 

OPIOID SETTLEMENT

Iowa’s Attorney General has announced a settlement against Walmart after claims the company contributed to the opioid crisis. Attorney General Tom Miller says a coalition of attorneys general have reached a three-point-one billion dollar settlement with Walmart after allegations the company failed to appropriately oversee the dispensing of opioids at its stores. Iowa will receive nearly 20 million dollars from the settlement that Miller says must be used to provide treatment and recovery services to people struggling with opioid use disorder. The settlement also includes court-ordered requirements for oversight to prevent fraudulent prescriptions and flag suspicious prescriptions.

 

LE MARS LIBRARY SPACE NEEDS

The Le Mars city council Tuesday heard a summary of a Space needs assessment done for the Le Mars Public Library. Brittney Ruba of FEH Design presented the summary to the council.

Ruba says library has much to offer the community…

But their data shows the library needs more space to accommodate the demand for new programs.

Ruba said the assessment did not make conclusions on where or what kind of expansion to make…

The library can expand and grow into new space, and that additional space should be sustainable for the library’s programs over time.

Ruba says any expansion of library space should be done with the idea of creating a community asset, not just exapnding a building.

There are plenty of questions for the library board to consider in the wake of this report.

FEH did a similar assessment for the public library, and helped them through an expansion in 2017.

 

FIREARMS VIOLATION

Two Sioux Falls residents were arrested in Plymouth County on a weapons violation.  On November 11, 2022, a deputy with Plymouth County initiated a traffic stop for an equipment violation.  Upon investigation, Jonathon Underberg, age 22 of Sioux Falls, was found to be in possession of a firearm and ammunition.  Cecilia Deters, age 21 of Sioux Falls, was found to be in possession of ammunition.  Both subjects had valid protection orders against them and both parties were charged with being a subject to a protective who knowingly possesses a firearm, offensive weapon, or ammunition.

 

HEALTH ADVISORY

The city of Sioux City is issuing a health advisory due to dangerous chemicals called PFAs detected in one of the city’s drinking water plants. It’s one of many communities across Iowa that has to come up with a plan to address the so-called “forever chemicals.” Utilities director Brad Puetz says Sioux City will wait to develop a plan once the E-P-A’s final rule on PFAs standards comes out next summer.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources first detected the chemicals at nine-point-one parts per trillion in January. Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency has lowered its threshold for health advisories from 70 parts per trillion to less than point-zero-zero-four parts per trillion.

Puetz says Sioux City’s water was likely contaminated by the nearby Iowa Air National Guard Base. The drinking source accounts for less than a fourth of the city’s drinking water. The EPA is expected to give a final ruling of PFAS level standards next summer, and if the city is still under an advisory, officials say they will consider relocating the well to a different water source.

 

WEATHER WEBSITE

The snow across the state is a reminder to be prepared when you head out and there are winter driving conditions.  The Iowa D-O-T’s Sinclair Stolle says the 511ia.org website can help you navigate this winter and that includes personalizing the info with the layer bar that’s on the far right side of the map. They added the winter mode button last year that lets you only view the information on winter driving. Stolle says it looks like a snowflake in the upper left corner of the website. She says it only turns on the road conditions and plow locations. You can also get the 511IA.org app for your phone.