Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, March 22

KLEM News for Wednesday, March 22


The Le Mars city council heard an update on street projects in the city this year and next year.  Dakin Schultz, Transportation Planner at the Iowa Department of Transportation, says the biggest project is planned for next year, a repaving of Iowa Highway 3 through downtown Le Mars.

This will also include the need for temporary easements on properties along Iowa 3 to include more safety features.

Bids for the project will be let in November of this year, with construction to take place in 2024.

A more immediate project is a railroad crossing improvement project to take place this year.

The project will require rerouting Iowa 3 around the crossing.

Vander Pol Excavating of Orange City was awarded the contract for this project.  The detour will extend along 1st Street NW to NE, between Business 75 and Iowa High 3 east. City Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte expressed concerns to the council about the signage necessary to accommodate the detour.

DOT has allocated additional funds in this fiscal year for a patching project from Le Mars north. It will take place after the frost is out of the ground. This is DOT planner Dakin Schultz.

The road damage from the excessive frost-thaw cycles this winter shows the need for extensive road repairs.



Investigators are on the scene of a rural fire which occurred Tuesday, destroying three hog buildings. Le Mars Fire Rescue Chief Dave Schipper says they were called to assist the Merrill Fire Department.

Several hog buildings were already on fire.

Had to battle the elements as well as the fire.

The fire was extensive, but there is evidence as to where it started



A motor vehicle stop on a Plymouth County road resulted in multiple charges against the driver.  The vehicle was stopped at C80 and Frelon Driver.  The driver, 29 year old Marcel Hayes, was arrested for driving while barred.  He was arrested and transported to the Plymouth County Jail.  At the jail, Hayes was found to be under the influence of alcohol.  He was also charged with OWI 3rd offense or greater, and child endangerment.



The Le Mars Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring an Ag Day celebration today at the Le Mars Convention Center. Activities begin with a chamber coffee put on by the Plymouth County Farm Bureau.  There’s a luncheon at 11:30.  Along the way, there will be several awards presented to stuand agriculture leaders.  Featured speakers include Sarah Carlson of Practical Farmers of Iowa and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Mike Naig.



Iowa Department of Public Safety commissioner Stephan (Steven)  Bayens (bainz sounds like rain) says they determined pretty quickly this (Tuesday) morning that schools in the state were getting hit with swatting calls. The first call came into Clinton High School and Bayens says several law enforcement agencies responded and the school locked down. He says the calls came in from east to west across the state, so there was a warning for schools as the situation progressed. Commissioner Bayens says it is hard to track these types of calls and they often come from out of the state or country. He says some 30 schools got calls and everything in terms of the details are the same, the methodology, the phone number, the voice, and the content.  No credible threats were found at any school.



A new “Safe and Sound Iowa” smart phone app is available to let Iowans anonymously report school-related safety concerns. Special agent Don Schnitker is chief of the Governor’s School Safety Bureau. He says it will help identify students in crisis before they hurt themselves or others. Schnitker also cites data indicating that in 80 percent of school shootings, at least one other person had advance knowledge of the threat. There’s a “Safe and Smart Iowa” website, a toll-free number and the smart phone app. Any report immediately goes to a law enforcement dispatcher who relays the information to school administrators and local law enforcement.