Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, December 27

KLEM News for Tuesday, December 27

Iowa Congressman Randy Feenstra is pushing to expand a 2018 law about a new technology that processes data dramatically faster than traditional computers do. It’s called quantum computing and it has the potential to improve existing industries — and create new ones.

Here’s how the concept works: computers use quantum mechanics to store data on what are called subatomic particles — basically the fragments of atoms. Quantum computing has the potential to process data in seconds that would take a traditional computer days or even months to sort. Congress is expected to reauthorize the government’s National Quantum Initiative in 2023. Feenstra says agricultural applications need to be specified.

Federal spending on quantum information science has doubled in the past two years. Feenstra says it has the potential to expand battery storage and create more effective medications as well as create the next generation of farm fertilizers.


Democrat Tom Miller — the longest serving state attorney general in U.S. history — will be leaving office on January 1st. Miller says he’s not going to fully retire, but plans to do some part-time legal work — and take some time off. Miller, who is 78, lost his bid for an 11th term as attorney general. Republican Brenna Bird will become Iowa’s attorney general on January 2nd. Miller was a lawyer in McGregor and the city attorney for both McGregor and Marquette when he was first elected in 1978. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1990, then won reelection as attorney general in 1994.


A new season will give Iowa hunters another change to bring home a deer. Tyler Harms of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says they’re calling it the excess tag season. He says hunters can go online January 10th to see if there are unused tags for antlerless deer. The agency sets deer harvesting quotas for each Iowa counties, to manage the deer population, and there will likely be counties with unused tags. The second regular shotgun deer season wrapped up on December 18th. Deer hunters are to use centerfire rifles during the new season in January.

University of Iowa researchers say just a little bit of snow dramatically escalates the risk of an accident as Iowans drive to work. Jon Davis is a professor in the university’s Department of occupational environment and health. He says driving to and from work is often the most dangerous time of day for Iowa workers.



The US House passed the one point seven trillion dollar omnibus spending bill last Friday and then went home for the holidays.

Iowa 4th District Congressman Randy Feenstra voted no.  So did South Dakota Congressman Dusty Johnson

Johnson says he does not want to see the federal government shutdown over a budget impasse: but he respects the decision to pass the bill.

The omnibus bill funds the federal government through the end of next September.



 You probably haven’t taken down your live Christmas tree yet, but you’re thinking about where to dispose of it. The city of Le Mars says discarded Christmas trees can be taken to the city’s tree and yard waste collection site. Trees must be completely free of ornaments and other decorations. The site is behind the Riverview Ball Complex, north of Highway 3, west of the Floyd River. Site will be open 7:00 a.m to 10:00 p.m. December 30th through January 11th.



Unions that represent rail workers are lobbying for a state law that would limit the length of trains. Chris Smith is state legislative director for the SMART-T-D Union which represents transportation workers.

A federal report found the length of trains increased 25 percent between 2008 and 2017. There is currently no limit in state or federal law on how long a train can be.

A bill to set 85-hundred feet — or one-point-six miles — as the maximum train length cleared initial review in the 2022 Iowa Legislature. Smith says he and others will be back at the statehouse next year, lobbying for action.

Smith, who is from Tama, has worked as a Union Pacific conductor and engineer for nearly 18 years.

A spokesman for one of the country’s largest railroads says trains of all lengths have been safely operated for years and longer trains maximize resources and reduce fuel and labor costs. According to the Iowa D-O-T, 18 different private railroad companies ship freight through the state.

And railroad traffic through Iowa may increase soon with the merger of Canadian Pacific and Kansas City Southern. Some officials and residents in cities along the route have expressed concern about the increase in the number of trains as well as the increase in the length of trains.



The Loess Hills Audubon Society will host a guest speaker next week.  Kari Sandage, a naturalist with Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center, is a former National Park Service ranger.  Kari will share her experience living and working in Denali National Park in Alaska. She’ll talk about the natural history of Denali and about what life was like living in one of the most beautiful places in the world. The Audubon Society Board Meeting begins at 6:00 PM Thursday, January 5, with the Denali program beginning at 7:00 PM.



A western Iowa county has launched a campaign marketing itself as a sort of real-life embodiment of a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. Two women who’ve moved to Harlan give testimonials about life in the town. One says she lived big city life for nearly a decade before settling in Shelby County. Hallmark movies often feature characters from the big city who are charmed by small town life as romance blooms.