Home News KLEM News for Thursday, March 2

KLEM News for Thursday, March 2


February ended up being much wetter than normal — though state climatologist Justin Glisan (Gliss-en) says we had a “snow drought.”

The month will end up high on the list when it comes to precipitation.

A warmer than average overall temperature could be part of the reason for the below average snow.

He says February continued what has been a wetter and warm winter season.

Wednesday marked the start of the meteorological spring for Iowa.



For the fourth consecutive year, Siouxland ranks first in the nation in economic development.  Site Selection Magazine placed Siouxland first among metro areas of 200-thousand population or smaller in their rankings for 2022.

Members of local governmentn and economic development officials from the tri-state metro communities accepted individual awards for their efforts.

Siouxland also won the top ranking in 2019, 2020, and 2021. The announcement was made at an event at Dakota Dunes Wednesday, sponsored by the Siouxland Initiative and the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce. Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota was the keynote speaker at the event. It’s the 11th time Siouxland has ranked atop their population category.


Iowans who are getting a refund on their federal taxes this year should expect it to be a smaller check than it was last year, according to I-R-S spokesman Michael Devine. He says refunds are about 11-percent less because many of the credits that were pumped up during COVID have returned to their 2019 levels. If you haven’t already filed your returns, Devine urges Iowans to file electronically, saying it’s the fastest, safest, most accurate way to do your return. Through e-filing, he says you can expect a refund within 21 days and often, even faster. The deadline to file your 2022 federal return is April 18th, while state returns are due May 1st.



Governor Kim Reynolds has selected a New York company to administer the new state-funded Education Savings Accounts created by a law she signed in January.

Odyssey was one of four companies that applied for the Iowa contract. The governor’s office announced state officials will now start negotiating contract details with the company. Reynolds spoke Wednesday at the Iowa Alliance for Choice in Education rally at the statehouse. The governor told the crowd Iowa’s new law is spawning a revolution around the country.

This fall, low income parents who enroll a child in a private school will get about 76-hundred dollars from the state to cover tuition and other expenses. In the third year, all private school parents will qualify for the state funding. Odyssey is managing Education Savings Account programs in Arizona and Idaho. According to the governor’s office, the company will be in charge of customer service and fraud detection. Critics say the law Reynolds signed does not provide enough direct oversight to prevent fraud.



High school students in at least 20 different Iowa districts staged walk outs Wednesday to protest bills in the legislature that they say unfairly target L-G-B-T-Q youth.  Dozens of Storm Lake students joined the walk out. about 100 Iowa City students walked from their high school to the University of Iowa campus to protest. Some central Iowa students protested outside the governor’s residence. Others rallied in the Iowa Capitol rotunda. Protests in support of L-G-B-T-Q students were also held at Grinnell College and Iowa State University.



White-tailed deer are susceptible to coronavirus infections and researchers at the U-S-D-A’s National Animal Disease Center in Ames are looking into how different variants of the virus impact deer over time. U-S-D-A Veterinary Medical Officer Mitchell Palmer says once a disease is established in wildlife, it’s difficult to get out of wildlife, plus, there are about 30-million white-tailed deer in the U-S. The research team has been infecting captive white-tailed deer with different coronavirus variants, though the deer don’t develop a fever or clinical signs of COVID-19.  Palmer says it’s possible a new variant could pop out that might be infectious to people.



The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a rule to let E-15 be sold year round in the Midwest — starting in 2024. Governor Reynolds says she is thrilled the E-P-A has approved the waiver she and the governors of seven other Midwest states requested, but Reynolds says year round sales of E-15 should begin THIS summer. She calls the delay unacceptable and plans seek another waiver. Reynolds is scheduled to speak this (Thursday) morning to the National Ethanol Conference in Florida. Farm groups and the renewable fuels industry say waiting another 14 months for higher blends of ethanol to be sold year round injects uncertainty into the corn and ethanol markets.