Home News KLEM News for Monday, December 19

KLEM News for Monday, December 19


A long-time Le Mars business is purchasing another long-time Le Mars business. Tom Mullally, owner of Lally’s restaurant in Le Mars, is purchasing Vander Meer Bakery.  The sale will take effect before the end of the year.  Mullally intends to move the bakery equipment over to his restaurant, and operate both businesses out of the same building.
In the future, you can purchase bakery goods using the Vander Meer recipes at Lally’s. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed.


Le Mars Police responded early Saturday to a report of three runaway juveniles who sought help after leaving the railroad box car they were traveling in.  Police confirmed today that the three left the rail car in which they stowed away, and sought help due to cold conditions that morning.  They were not identified, other than that they were runaways from Iowa, and were wanted for crimes in Iowa.
The three were taken to Floyd Valley Healthcare in Le Mars for treatment.  Police say no charges will brought against the three.



Last week’s snow and wind are being replaced by a stretch of very cold weather.  Today’s forecast high temperature of 17 degrees will be the warmest of the week.  Single digits above and below zero will be common in Plymouth County.  By mid-week, a new weather system will bring snow, followed by even more cold, along with blustery winds.  A Wind Chill Watch will be in effect from Thursday morning through Saturday morning, as forecast temperatures will stay below zero through Saturday morning. Wind chills of 50 below zero are possible during that period.  A slight break in temperatures are forecast on Christmas Day, when temperatures top out in the teens.



After significant setbacks in the 2022 election and the apparent loss of the lead-off spot for the Iowa Caucuses, the chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party is stepping down. In early 2021, the Iowa Democratic Party’s State Central Committee elected Ross Wilburn to lead the party through the 2022 campaign. Wilburn announced Saturday he will not seek another term. Wilburn said he has faith the party’s next chair will lead Iowa Democrats through the challenges ahead. The November election saw Republicans gain seats in the state legislature.



The entire Iowa House Delegation, including US Representative Randy Feenstra of Hull, have sent a letter demanding the Biden Administration take action against Mexico’s ban on biotech corn imports.  This violates terms of the current trade agreement between the US, Mexico, and Canada.  Mexico’s President Obrador announced two years ago that his country would phase out and ban biotech corn.  Recently, the ban would be postponed until 2025. The ban would be a blow to the US economy.  Last year, Mexico accounted for 25% of US corn exports. The letter calls on the Biden administration to enforce the terms of the trade agreement.



The acquisition of land in Minnesota could help boost the water quality in northwest Iowa’s Spirit Lake. The Spirit Lake Protective Association’s, John Smeltzer, says they’ve partnered with a Minnesota conservation organization to buy the 195 acres to restore it to wetland and prairie.  The watershed protection project is expected to decrease phosphorus and nitrogen deposits by 85 percent. Smeltzer says it also will restore habitat for diverse types of waterfowl, like trumpeter swans and Sandhill cranes. It’s estimated it will take two to three years until the natural habitat is restored. The land will then become a Waterfowl Production Area and be managed by the U-S Fish and Wildlife Service.



The state Natural Resources Commission has approved a D-N-R proposal to create a continuous open season on raccoons.  D-N-R wildlife biologist, Vince Evelsizer, told the commission the request was not taken lightly and came after a review of various raccoon population surveys.

He says there’s been a steady increase in the raccoon population in roughly the last 20 years. Evelsizer says they also have consulted with the wildlife depredation staff that deal with raccoons and deer and other animals that annually eat up crops and cause other problems.

Evelsizer says having a continuous raccoon season will provide some help with the issues.

Evelsizer says they’ve also seen an increase in distemper outbreaks around the state — which he says is typically indicative of a high density of raccoons.



 The Iowa District Office of the U-S Small Business Administration is wrapping up its fiscal year with COVID-19 still casting a long shadow. Jayne Armstrong, district director of the S-B-A in Iowa, says the current year is closing out a ways behind the previous year, which saw unprecedented borrower and lender incentives to aid in the pandemic recovery. Many of those incentives have long since expired, making Fiscal ’22 more lackluster. The S-B-A made 466 loans in Iowa for the year, totaling more than 243-million dollars. That’s down 10 loans and more than 20-million dollars from the previous year. Armstrong says Iowa’s hospitality industry, in particular, is continuing to face challenges with workforce shortages and supply chain troubles.