Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, December 13

KLEM News for Tuesday, December 13


The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors this morning heard the recommendations of the county compensation board, and set salaries for elected officials for the 2023-24 fiscal year. Bruce Brock, chair of the compensation board, said the salaries were adjusted for inflation, cost of living, and job demands.
The recommendation heard by the Supervisors provides a 9% salary increase for the county Auditor, Recorder, Treasurer, Sheriff and Attorney. The Board of Supervisors will see a salary increase of 8%, with no longevity increases.
The new salaries for 23-24 will range from 38,600 dollars for Supervisors, to 162-thousand dollars for the county attorney.

The Supervisors set a public hearing for December 20, at which time they will take comment on an amendment to the county road ordinance. This amendment will declassify several rural roads in the county to class C status.

The Supervisors also approved additions to three minor subdivisions in Grant, Remsen and Elgin Townships.The board also heard a fiscal year 2023-24 budget request from Wet Nose Rescue, the new animal shelter in Le Mars. Judy Bowman made a presentation about the shelter, and its goals for the coming year. The shelter requests just under 10-thousand dollars from the county in the next fiscal year to help with their operations.



Local Republican committees in at least six Iowa counties have voted to censure U-S Senator Joni Ernst for her vote to have the federal government recognize same-sex marriages. The move means all states must recognize same-sex marriages from other states, but Ernst says it does not force states to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Ernst says Iowa has recognized same-sex marriage since 2009 and the vast majority of Iowans, even a majority of Republicans, support same-sex marriage. County party officials who’ve criticized Ernst say her vote violates the Iowa G-O-P’s platform, which calls for the REPEAL of laws that recognize same-sex marriage. Ernst says the bill includes new and explicit protections for religious institutions that do not wish to recognize or support same-sex marriages — and she stands by her vote.

This summer, the Mahaska County G-O-P voted to censure Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of LeClaire for her support of the initial bill on same-sex marriage. On December 1st, the Des Moines County G-O-P voted to condemn both Miller-Meeks and Ernst. The Wright County G-O-P’s Central Committee is another group that’s voted to censure Ernst

Three of the four Iowans serving in the U.S. House have voted for the bill that ensures same-sex marriages are recognized in all 50 states.

Republican Congressman Randy Feenstra of Hull was the only Iowa representative in the House to vote against it.



A Winter Weather Advisory covers Plymouth and Union counties this morning, until 9 am, and Sioux, Cherokee, and Lincoln counties until noon. Freezing rain, with accumulations of up to one tenth of an inch early this morning.  There’s also wind gusting to 40 mph.

Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. As temperatures slowly warm this morning, freezing rain will change to rain with icing improving after daybreak. Slow down and use caution while traveling.

Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. As temperatures slowly warm this morning, freezing rain will change to rain with icing improving after daybreak. Slow down and use caution while traveling. Prepare for possible power outages.

Further north – for Lyon-Osceola-Dickinson-O`Brien-Clay-Lincoln counties, there is an Ice Storm Warning until noon today.

All the Plymouth County schools have two hour late starts this morning, because of the icy weather.



There were several accidents which occurred yesterday morning in Sioux County just before and after daybreak.  The most serious accident occurred around 5-30 am on Iowa Highway 60, a mile south of Sheldon.  The Sheriffs Department says  20-year-old Sarah Lerma of Sheldon lost control of her vehicle, entered the median and rolled.  Lerma was transported to Sanford Sheldon Medical Center for treatment of injuries suffered in the accident.  Sheldon Police, Fire and Ambulance assisted at the scene of the accident, as did the O’Brien County Sheriffs Department.



Livestock producers are concerned about a shortage of forage in northwest Iowa. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Beef Specialist Beth Doran says that’s mainly due to the drought.

Doran says producers have several forage options available to them…

There are a couple of other options available to help farmers who are short of forage, including an insurance option..

USDA also has a couple of disaster assistance programs available for those who qualify.

Doran has planned a series of meetings in northwest Iowa to discuss the shortage of forage, and the options that are available to producers.  This includes programs from the USDA and a new forage insurance program that’s under development.

Plymouth County Extension will host a forage meeting next Monday, December 19, at the Le Mars Convention Center.  The meeting will be from 1 to 3 pm, and will feature experts to lead discussion on these issues and potential solutions for producers.  There is no cost to attend, but you need to preregister with the Plymouth County Extension Office.



The application process for a new state program that awards grants to help workers get training for a commercial driver’s license opens today.  Iowa Workforce Development’s, Mike Cockrum, says they are looking to fill a void for employers.

That entry level driver training is now required before you can take the C-D-L exam.  Cockrum says the grant can be used in several ways.

Some businesses have already become trainers so they can work with their employees.

The grant process will open on December 13th.

The deadline to file for the grants is February 3rd.



 A district court judge has ruled that a state law that would ban most abortions is still unconsitutional and the permanent injunction barring it from taking effect remains in place. In 2018, Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill to make most abortions illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s about the sixth week of a pregnancy. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa immediately sued and prevented the law from taking effect. In 2019, a district court judge issued a permanent injunction. A Polk County District Court judge has ruled she has no authority to lift that order and her ruling goes on to say it’s the Iowa Supreme Court, not the district court, that will decide what legal standards should be used to review abortion-related cases. Governor Reynolds says she’s very disappointed in the district court’s ruling and appeal the decision immediately.



 The Iowa Department of Agriculture has confirmed its third new case of avian influenza in northwest Iowa in the last two days. The latest case is in Ida County is in a commercial turkey flock with 90-thousand birds, and comes after new cases were reported in commercial turkey flocks in Buena Vista and Cherokee County Sunday. There have been seven total cases of the bird flu confirmed this month — with more than 400-thousand birds that have been destroyed to prevent the spread of the disease. It’s believed the disease is being spread by migratory birds.  The state ag secretary recently said they are hoping for a hard freeze to keep those birds from landing here.