Home News KLEM News for Tuesday, January 31, 2023

KLEM News for Tuesday, January 31, 2023


Plymouth County Engineer Tom Rohe brought several items for the consideration of the Board of Supervisors.
The Board approved a permit for a tile crossing on 330th Street in Garfield Township, east of Kingsley. Rohe also continued a discussion on the Secondary Roads budget. He submitted a list of projects completed in the county in the past year. These include a road resurfacing project, a bridge replacement project, and 12 culvert projects. In the next fiscal year, these projects included 3 resurfacing projects on county roads, 3 microsurfacing projects, two bridge replacements, and 19 culvert projects. There is also a project in the drainage district on Hinton. The total cost of these proposed projects are some 12.8 million dollars.


Le Mars Police are investigating a truck-train accident that occured yesterday afternoon near downtown Le Mars. Police say a delivery truck was approaching the rail crossing at 2nd St SW, near Le Mars Agri-Center, when it struck a freight train that was crossing the intersection. Police say the crossing there has no signal lights, but does have crossing signs. Traffic in the area was diverted while railroad personnel inspected the train for the extent of damage. The train was eventually moved out of Le Mars to a siding for inspection. No injuries were reported.


The Iowa Ag Expo opens today (Tuesday) in Des Moines for its 103rd year, with a forecast economic impact of 19-million dollars over its three-day run. Katie Stien, with Catch Des Moines, says there will be more than 700 exhibitors traveling from 26 states and five Canadian provinces to display their latest products and services to farmers from across Iowa and the Midwest.

Spanning more than seven acres, Stien says the expo is the third-largest indoor ag show in the country, featuring everything from tractors to tech.

The event opened this morning, and will run through Thursday afternoon at the Iowa Events Center.  For the first time this year, tickets can be purchased in advance, while admission is free for students. To see the full Iowa Ag Expo program and a list of exhibitors, visit iowaagexpo.com. What was originally called the Iowa Power Farming Show debuted in 1910.


A key senator is proposing new restrictions for commercially owned solar installations placed on farmland. Senate Ag Committee chairman Dan Zumbach says the goal is to establish limits on how close solar arrays may be to property lines, farm buildings and homes. Zumbach says most people in rural Iowa who live near solar panels don’t like what they look like when they’re placed in a pasture or corn field. Representatives for utilities and developers say requiring solar arrays to be 12-hundred feet from a residence or livestock facility would be a project killer. The Iowa Farm Bureau supports regulations for large-scale solar arrays, but warns the bill as currently written would prohibit farmers from reducing electricity costs by putting solar panels on barns or livestock confinements.


A bill that would let Iowans pay extra for a license plate that bears the message “Don’t Tread On Me” has cleared a Senate subcommittee. If the bill becomes law, a specialty Iowa license plate in the image of the yellow Gadsden Flag would be created, with a three inch tall coiled rattlesnake on the left side and the phrase “Don’t Tread on Me” along the bottom. Republican Senator Scott Webster of Bettendorf says he has a lot of veterans in his area who may be supportive of the proposal. Senator Tony Bisignano, a Democrat from Des Moines, says the flag has become an aggressive symbol of the extreme right and he opposes the bill. About a dozen states sell Gadsden Flag specialty license plates, including Missouri and Kansas.



Winter weather is tough on equipment and people.  Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says extreme cold complicates their response to emergency calls.

Chief Schipper says winter conditions create hazards in the home, too.

One problem from the heavy snow this winter is that fire hydrants become buried.  There are over 700 of them placed throughout Le Mars.  With so many hyrants to clear, Chief Schipper is asking for Le Mars residents to help out.  He asks that those willing and able dig out a 3 foot perimeter around buried hydrants.



A Sioux City Fire Department spokesman says it could take some time before they can determine the exact cause of a fire that destroyed a restaurant in a strip mall Sunday. Captain Ryan Collins says the aftermath of fighting the fire in below-zero temperatures will keep them out of the site for a while.

He says the subzero temperatures create all sorts of concerns when fighting a fire.

The roof of the Opa Time restaurant collapsed, so Collins says they had to pour water on from the outside to fight the fire. He says they believe something in the ceiling may’ve started the fire. An H&R Block office next door was damaged, but Collins says firewalls prevented more damage to other businesses in the mall. Nobody was in the building at the time of the fire.




The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors hold session today.  Their agenda includes items from the county Engineer, including a discussion on the Secondary Road Budget.  The Supervisors will hold a closed session to discuss collective bargaining.  They will also review the county budget for next fiscal year.  The session starts at 9-30 this morning.



A U-S-D-A-funded program aims to get local food to hungry people while securing good prices for local producers. The Iowa Local Food Purchasing Assistance Program comes from the American Rescue Plan. Iowa is getting two-point-seven million dollars for the local food system. Giselle Bruskewitz is a program director for Iowa Valley Resource Conservation and Development, which is implementing the program. Bruskewitz says the program is particularly focused on helping farmers from disadvantaged backgrounds. Iowa Valley will to develop 17 distribution partners across the state. They range from food hubs and food banks to the Meskwaki Nation. As they court additional U-S-D-A dollars, she hopes local growers get more attention as a solution to hunger.



The future of the old fort replica in Fort Madison’s Riverview Park is subject of a public meeting today (Tuesday). Mayor Matt Mohrfeld says the fort is now closed due to safety concerns as several buildings were found to be unstable. The fort replicates the military outpost that was built there in 1808 and opened as a tourist attraction in 1988. An architectural study in 2014 found the site in need of repairs and Mohrfeld says its current condition is the culmination of years of neglecting a long-term maintenance plan and the funding that would go with it. The report said some of the damage was due to flooding that engulfed the wooden replica several times. The park is in a floodplain on the banks of the Mississippi River.