Home News KLEM News for Wednesday, August 16

KLEM News for Wednesday, August 16

The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors have formed a committee to determine what needs to be done to improve the county Emergency Management building.  The Supervisors recently toured the structure. The former County Road Department building is plagued with a leaky roof, windows and doors, and a lack of insulation. The Board designation Supervisors Mike Van Otterloo and Craig Anderson, Sheriff Jeff Te Brink, and Emergency Management Agency Rebecca Socknat to determine the extent of renovations needed, and submit estimated costs for the work to be done.


The Le Mars city council has hired a firm to design a reverse osmosis system to be added to the water treatment plant project. On recommendation of the project engineer and city administration, the council agreed to use DesaliTec in the water plant renovation. This was one of three companies which performed pilot studies on the plant. The study found DesaliTec equipment will reduce water hardness form the current 35 grains down to 7 grains. The system could save 150-thousand gallons of water daily. The council approved a contract for 150-thousand dollars. A final design of the plant will be forwarded in December, Bids for teh RO system will opened next spring. The entire project is to be completed in the fall of 2026.


The U-S-S Sioux City was decommissioned by the Navy during a ceremony Monday at a naval base in Florida. Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott recalls one of his most memorable days in office was the commissioning ceremony of the littoral combat ship in November of 2018. Scott estimates around one-and-a-half million dollars was spent on the celebration and scholarship program for the crew, with a large portion coming from Sioux City and surrounding areas. He says he thinks it’s a joke.
Scott says not only did the Navy waste 350 million dollars on a ship quickly pulled out of service, they won’t disclose why his community was allowed to invest monetarily and emotionally in the U-S-S Sioux City.
Scott says the Navy fleeced not only his community but all taxpayers.
Scott says the Navy has yet to respond to his concerns. A Navy spokesperson says no one was available for comment. Iowa Senator Joni Ernst , a Republican from Red Oak, serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee and said last month that the Navy knew this was going to happen as they did not want to build the ships. Ernst said the ships cost 50 million dollars a year to maintain, and some of the 13 ships in the class have develop cracks in their hulls, so no one wants them.



The Plymouth County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a project to replace lighting at county buildings with LED lights.  The board heard a presentation from ROI Energy last week.  Their proposal would affect 15 county buildings, including the courthouse and annex, the Law Enforcement Center, Emergency Services, and Engineering buildings. The Board approved most of the project, at a cost of 97-thousand dollars.  They broke out part of the project, the replacement of some lighting at the courthouse, as a standalone project.  This will be done by county maintenance staff.  Energy savings through this project would pay back the cost of the new lighting in a little over four years.



There are four seats up for election to the Le Mars Community School Board this November.  Two of the four office holders said Monday they will seek re-election, and two will not.  Jill Feuerhelm is completing her first term on the board, representing District 5.  Kyle Plathe is also finishing his first term, an at-large representative.  Both Feuerhelm and Plathe indicated they will seek re-election this fall.  Jane Arnold, who joined the board in 2018, and current Board Chair Angela Catton, who joined the board in 2015, indicated they will not seek re-election to the board.  Catton is an at-large board member.  Arnold represents District 3.  Superintendent Dr. Steven Webner says those interested in filing for a seat on the school board can pick up nomination materials at his office. The three other members of the school board – Lorraine De Jong, Aaron Tolzin, and Makenzie Lange, are serving four-year terms which expire in 2025.


The Le Mars city council approved second reading of an ordinance to create a Parks and Recreation Committee.  This committee would oversee parks, playgrounds, recreational facilities, and other recreational opportunities.  The 7-member committee would serve in an advisory capacity to the city council, and will have no authority to set policies or fees, or have oversight of employees.  They would not be paid.  Three readings are required before the ordinance is to be adopted.



Three juveniles were arrested in Plymouth County Monday, after allegedly stealing a car. Plymouth County was asked by Buena Vista County authorities to be on the lookout for a stolen vehicle.  At approximately noon Monday, a Plymouth County Deputy located the vehicle in question on C60 just east of Hinton, Iowa. The deputy and the Hinton Police Chief attempted to make a traffic stop on this vehicle in the city limits of Hinton. The vehicle initially stopped but then fled the scene. A pursuit ensued ultimately ending when the vehicle entered a cul-de-sac in Hinton. At that time all three occupants fled the vehicle on foot. After a short foot chase, two of the three subjects were taken into custody. After a search of the area, the third subject was located and taken into custody about 30 minutes later. All three subjects were initially taken to the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office for processing and then to the YES Center in Cherokee. All three individuals are juvenile males, two are 14 years of age and the third is 15 years of age. They were charged with three felonies:

Possession of stolen property in excess of $10,000, a class C Felony
Possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a class D Felony
Failure to affix a drug tax stamp, a Class D Felony

They were also charged with:
Interference with official acts, a simple misdemeanor

In addition, the driver was charged with Eluding with speeds 25 mph over the posted limit.

The Plymouth County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Hinton Police Department, Plymouth County Conservation, the Iowa State Patrol and Iowa DNR law enforcement.



The Ankeny-based Casey’s convenience store chain announced it has an agreement to purchase 63 stores from the E-G group that operate under the Mini Mart and Certified Oil names in Kentucky and Tennessee. The company says the sale is expected to close later this year pending regulatory approval. Casey’s is the third largest convenience store chain in the country with more than 25-hundred stores in 16 states. The company released a three-year plan at the end of June that said they want to  add 350 stores by the end of their 2026 fiscal year by building new stores and acquisitions.



More than a half-dozen Iowans are now on the wildfire-ravaged Hawaiian island of Maui, helping survivors there recover from last week’s swift-moving fire. About a hundred people were killed in the fires and almost a thousand are still reported as missing. Emily Holley, spokeswoman for the American Red Cross Nebraska-Iowa Region, says seven Iowa volunteers are already on duty in Hawaii and several more are on standby. Most of the Iowans who have been sent to Hawaii are working in emergency shelters, which will likely need to remain open for quite some time. Another Iowan, who’s a certified mental health counselor, is part of the team helping folks cope with the tragedy. Given the distance, Holley says the Iowa volunteers are on a mandatory three-week deployment.



Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says it’s “very difficult to make any judgment” about the latest legal challenge facing former President Donald Trump, as it was just released. Trump and 18 of his supporters were indicted Monday in Georgia over their alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election in that state. Grassley notes how Georgia officials “put it on the internet before they notified any of the people that were being charged,” which he calls embarrassing. Last week, Delaware U-S Attorney David Weiss was appointed as special counsel in the investigation of the business dealings of President Biden and his son, Hunter. Grassley says he takes exception to Weiss as the choice, as he’s from President Biden’s home state and was responsible for a “botched sweetheart plea deal” in the case.



Republican presidential candidate Tim Scott says the latest indictment against former President Trump is unAmerican and unacceptable. Scott, who campaigned at the Iowa State Fair today (Tuesday), says the legal system is being weaponized against political opponents. Former Arkansas Governor Asa (AY-suh) Hutchinson also campaigned at the State Fair today (Tuesday). Hutchinson says Trump is morally accountable for what happened on January 6th and the qustion now is whether he’s criminally accountable. Hutchinson suggests there will be another lawsuit filed at some point. That one would challenge whether Trump violated the 14th Amendment by participating in an insurrection and is disqualified from being president.